A lot of bands turn it up to eleven these days but the thing is there’s not a lot of bands out there who sound like they should be blowing the ass end out of a speaker on-stage. When you hear one of ‘em though, you can tell from the get-go. The Quailbones crank it to twelve and sound perfectly comfortable on top of the mountains of reverb, echo and distortion! And as much punk I can hear rattling around in the din, I can hear just about as much straight up 60’s garage rock bleeding from the composition and execution as well. It’s an utterly bizarre juxtaposition of the way I usually hear and see those influences affect music and I think it just might be utterly brilliant. As hard as it might be to label or classify exactly what Quailbones music sounds like it’s easy to toss out reactions and feelings, catchy-as-hell, fun, loud, structured and at once chaotic. Did I mention fun? It’s not often that I feel like I’m genuinely having fun when I’m listening to a band, but it feel like the Quailbones are gonna take you out for a drink at the local pub when the singles done playing. I was lucky enough to have picked up a copy of the super limited Wilbur Crane single last year and was stoked to hear that they had a new single on the way! I’m a fiend for music and I love some Quailbones so I thought this was as good a time as any to track the guys down and interrogate the hell out of them about the band, ha-ha! I was lucky enough to get Corbet Hall and Tim Peyton to take some time out of their hectic schedules and fill all of us lucky folks in on the past, present and maybe even some predictions of the future for Quailbones…
Listen while you read at: http://quailbones.bandcamp.com/
Do you come from musical households? Were your parents interested or involved in music at all? How were you first exposed to music?
Corbet: Not so much. My parents weren't really involved with music besides listening to it in the car and around the house. That's where I was first exposed to music. My mom was more about the oldies and Motown hits and my dad was a classic-rock guy. I do recall being frequently annoyed by my mom's constant need to scan the radio for the right song.
Tim: My mother has been singing since she was a young girl, some of my earliest memories are of her singing hymns at church and around the house. She still has a beautiful voice, could sing that Susan Boyle woman right back to the shed. My father would always play a great assortment of Alan Jackson, John Mellencamp and lots of rap music in the car. He also surprised me when I was a teenager by singing and playing guitar in front of me for the first time, a song my great-uncle would sing to himself while on missions during his service in WWII. I know both Matt (our guitarist) and Jeff’s (our bassist) fathers have been playing guitar since their youth, and were in bands such as Brass Boots/The Frogs ha-ha!
How did you first become interested in music? When and how did you become interested in writing and making your own music?
Corbet: I started really getting into music at the beginning of middle school. At that age I was listening to whatever came my way, some of it was teenage garbage and some of it I can still appreciate. It wasn't until high school that I had any interest in making music. There was usually a guitar around and someone would be playing it. You can have a lot of fun singing out whatever comes to mind and what's great about it is that anyone can do it. You might not want to share it, but it's always there for you. One of the first memories I have of playing music was during High School when Tim and I recorded a bunch of songs by a local band called the Dishwashers with only an acoustic guitar and a fisher price tape recorder. There was a lyric sheet that came with their album and we thought we could do it better. So without even being familiar with the originals we went through each song as fast we could. I don't believe the tape still exists and that's probably for the best.
Tim: When I was about seven years old I became involved with community theater with a lot of the plays being musicals. I was involved with quite a few productions up until I started High School, so that really instilled a creative confidence in me musically and kick-started my interest in performing in front of people in general. I became interested in making my own music around the age of fourteen. My father bought me an acoustic guitar, showed me three or four chords. Within a couple months I was coming home after school and recording really dumb, simple songs on my computer. A lot of children’s songs, sometimes just myself screaming random phrases as loud as I could. It turned into friends getting together, sometimes with instruments, essentially making noise and having a good time; teenagers being teenagers, trying to make each other laugh. It didn’t matter what it sounded like, it was ours. Corbet, Jordan (drums) and I all grew up here in Murray together. Matt (guitar) and Jeff (bass) grew up in the next town over and played in bands together and had experiences very similar to ours.
Where are you originally from?
Corbet: The majestic city of Murray, Kentucky.
Tim: Matt and Jeff grew up in Marshall County just a few miles away, the rest of us are Murray babes.
Where is the band currently located?
Corbet: Murray, Kentucky.
How would you describe the local music scene where you are at now?
Corbet: It feels small at times, but it's growing and that's exciting. Music scenes are up to the people who care enough about the scene to make them succeed or not and in the past Murray hasn't been the greatest environment for local music. It's good to support and encourage variety. Even if it's not your cup of tea, you can appreciate the flavor exists for someone else.
Tim: It has been one of my greatest joys to watch Murray grow musically. I remember being frustrated as a teenager with the lack of variety in the little bit of original music that was being made around here and the out-of-town bands that would come through. There were some cover-bands that would come through to play the local bars, but if you weren't twenty-one that did you no good. Don't get me wrong, it was never completely dead. Every few months there would be a Christian metal show or a horror-punk show on the Murray State campus and annual bluegrass festivals would go down in our community park... I appreciated and respected those things as much as I knew how, but I just needed more; more variety and more mutual respect/support. All of the things I mentioned still exist and still happen here, but there is so much more now. Rarely does a week go by where there aren't at least two or three different types of shows going down somewhere in this town. That might not sound like much to a lot of folks, but having grown up here and seeing, and hearing, the difference these days, it's a wonderful thing to be a part of. People keep coming out to these events whether it's something they think they'd be into or not, just coming out to show their support for whatever is going on.
Are you very involved in the local scene?
Corbet: We try to be. Tim works at the only record shop in town Terrapin Station, and has been organizing shows there for the past couple years which has really helped to improve the local scene. Jordan (drummer) and I also open our home up to the public as a DIY venue called Tater-Tot Mansion. So far this year we've been lucky enough to bring Parquet Courts, Useless Eaters, Colleen Green and Glow God to Murray, just to name a few.
Tim: If you're in a position to provide a platform for something you think is important, you better do it. Bobby and Valerie, the owners of Terrapin Station, allowing us to have bands play in the shop has been crucial to the growth of original music being created around here. The amount of quality bands, local, regional and abroad, that have been interested in playing there is amazing to me. The place has been open for almost thirty years and from time to time would host daytime in-store performances. Wanting to try something a little different, a couple of years ago we had some "trial shows" at night with multiple bands playing, not charging at the door but encouraging donations. The turnouts we had and all the positive feedback was enough to convince me to make it a regular thing. Connecting with near-by towns such as Paducah and Metropolis, Illinois, forming friendships and connections with people involved in music there has been important too. A real regional, musical comradery has sprouted around these parts that was sorely lacking for a while and it's benefited everyone involved. Doing that has helped in getting this area's foot into the vast web of folks that are interested in doing things for the right reasons. It's rewarding. There's a lot of quality and authenticity in that web. It won't matter unless you make it matter and a lot of folks have picked up on that here. To watch that grow has been great.
Has it played a large role in the sound, history or evolution of Quailbones?
Corbet: Absolutely. Being able to bring in bands we like and enjoy has been inspiring. It's interesting to hear feedback on the music you're making from other bands and the people who come out to shows.
Tim: One of the first shows we had at Tater-Tot Mansion was with a great band on tour called Diet Cokeheads. They played a spectacularly intense, noisy fifteen-minute set, terrifying about half of the people there that didn’t know what they were getting into. Theirs was really the first bit of feedback about our music we received from outside of Murray. It’s always nice to have local support from friends and family, but getting a thumbs-up from an outside source gave us a big boost of confidence.
What’s the band’s lineup? Is this your original lineup?
Corbet: The current lineup is Tim Peyton - Guitar, Jordan Ferguson - Drums, Jeff Bugg - Bass, Matt Rowan - Guitar and me Corbet Hall - Vox. The original lineup's only difference is that Matt wasn't playing with us.
Are any of you in any other bands? Have you released any material with anyone else? If so can you tell us about it?
Corbet: We're all involved with other music projects to some degree. Tim makes music as Secular Pets and I've made music under the moniker Birthday Wars. The majority of our projects can be found on a compilation called Once Upon A Time The End: Musical Offerings From Murray, Kentucky. It's available for free download through the Ghost Orchard Records blog.
I am absolutely loathe to label or classify music, how would you describe your sound to our readers that might now have heard you yet?
Corbet: It's hard for us to classify as well. Somewhere between garage rock and post-punk. Moon Punk? Your guess is as good as mine.
There are some seriously complex sounds kicking around in your music, can you talk about who some of your major musical influences are? What about as a band rather than individuals?
Corbet: Thank you. It's difficult to list all the music that's influenced me over the years; I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it. Those early Modest Mouse albums were huge in making an impact on my life. I have no idea what happened to that band and why they've dropped the ball. More recently I've been influenced by guys like Bradford Cox and the late, great Jay Reatard. For a good while now everyone in the band has been mesmerized by the music coming out of Australia, anything involving Mikey Young is always worth checking out. He's got the magic.
Tim: That’s kind. Hearing Built To Spill as a kid pretty much changed everything for me, musically or otherwise, it made me look at the world in a different light. Wilco, Guided By Voices, Pavement, all the good stuff from Athens, and so much more, it sounded absurd and I couldn't get enough, it changed my brain. Around that time my friends and I also started listening to a radio show on WKMS, our local college station, called Beyond The Edge, which was a bottomless well of great music we probably wouldn't have heard otherwise. That was a huge influence on us and I still listen to it today. Realizing there was a whole world of music out there that didn't sound like it took itself too seriously, but wasn't any less thoughtful, really helped open my mind as a kid and brought a lot of influence. Finding out where that stuff originated from, tracing it back and getting into all the weird stuff in the hidden corners of the 60’s and 70’s has been a good journey. Lately we've all been into a lot of Australian music. Marked Men and pretty much anything Mark Ryan puts out, the Memphis and Goner stuff is always great. Atlanta punk, the Scavenger of Death stuff, has had an impact on us. I too am overwhelmed with this question. It would be impossible to list everything!
Tell us about Quailbones’ songwriting process, is there a lot of exploratory jamming or does someone approach the rest of the band with a more finished polished product and work it out with them?
Corbet: We never set out to make a specific sound or style. Most of our songs are comprised by playing around and working out the structure during practice. If we all like it then we'll move forward with it. Sometimes I'll already have words in my head, but usually I'll go back and write it out afterwards. It's a very laid back approach.
Tim: We're always trying to find that sweet spot between goofing off and being "focused". When we can find that place, we get the best results. Everyone in the band has their own self-taught style of playing, so it often gets pushed in different directions and we feed off that. I think we've grown to know each other well enough to play off each other’s strengths, and we're comfortable enough to be able to admit when something isn't working. It ends up sounding pretty weird that way, and hopefully, like its own thing.
Do you enjoy recording? I’m a musician and while I love the final product there’s a certain sense of dread that rises up in my guts when someone mentions going into the studio to record ha-ha!
Corbet: I do, but I completely understand that sense of dread. There are a lot of factors that play into recording and all it takes is one thing to throw off the rest. The fortunate thing about making music as Quailbones is that we're all friends, and being able to work on something together that we enjoy is incredibly rewarding. So far no one has been put in the chokie.
Tim: I’m well acquainted with said dread. It actually overtook me for a little bit when we were recording the Lord Dion 7” and derailed a song we were attempting, one that we’ve played together successfully many, many times. I psyched myself out and just couldn’t get back on track, so we scrapped it for another time; bad feels.
You released You Stay Out of My Family. You Stay Out of My Face on cassette tape in 2011. Can you talk a little bit about the recording of that album? Where and when was it recorded? Who recorded it? What kind of equipment was used?
Corbet: That was our first attempt at recording music as Quailbones. It was a learning experience for sure. We recorded the first four tracks at our friend Austin's house here in Murray. He had set up a small home-recording studio and offered to record us. I believe he was using an older version of Pro Tools. Nothing too elaborate, we did it all fairly quickly. The other two tracks were recorded by us in our practice space. Down By The Water was a live take and Sinister Soldiers was a poor attempt at using Garage Band.
Who released You Stay Out of My Family. You Stay Out of My Face? Was that limited and is it still in print?
Corbet: We did. It's on Ghost Orchard Records which is really our own little label. Ghost Orchard was created as an outlet for us and our friends to release music. It was a limited release of one-hundred copies and is no longer in print. You can download it on the Quailbones bandcamp page though.
In 2012 Ghost Orchard Records released your debut 7”, Crane Wilbur EP. Was recording that material very different than your previous cassette release? Where was that recorded? Who recorded it? How many copies was that limited to?
Corbet: We recorded the songs on the Crane Wilbur EP at Loud and Clear in Paducah, Kentucky. Shelby Preklas and Allan Ramsey recorded us and they're great at getting the sound you want, so that made things much easier. Everything was done in an afternoon, one of the quickest and most relaxed recordings I've ever been involved with. It was limited to one-hundred copies as well.
I know you also released a split cassette with Happy Forever. Can you tell us about that album? Where was it recorded? Who recorded it? What kind of equipment was used?
Corbet: Happy Forever is Quaibones plus our main man, Scott Cook A.K.A. Scort Corfin. We recorded it at Tater-Tot Mansion using a Tascam 424 MKII Portastudio. It's comprised from recording sessions that took place in the winter of 2011 and 2012; that's when Scott comes to visit from Nebraska.
Who released that tape? How limited was it? Is it still in print?
Corbet: Ghost Orchard Records. Limited to one-hundred copies and is still in print.
You recently followed up the Crane Wilbur EP with a new 7” Lord Dion’s House Of Discovery which was also released on Ghost Orchard. Was the recording of this single very different than the session(s) for the Crane Wilbur single?
Corbet: Not really. For Lord Dion's House of Discovery we returned to Loud and Clear and did everything much like before.
Tim: Shelby was kind enough to allow us to record on 1" tape using an older, but legit, reel-to-reel for that 7". That took care of the low end, allowing it to shine on wax. He got the drums and bass to sound just like we wanted.
Has Quailbones released any other music?
Corbet: We released The Day Ben Kingsley Sailed Away as a single video that was animated and directed by our friend, Trevor Anderson.
Do you plan on re-releasing any of the out of print material either physically or via digital means?
Corbet: At the moment we're concentrating on new music, but all of our releases are available online to download for free through the Ghost Orchard Records blog.
Are there any plans for a follow-up release anytime soon? I missed You Stay Out of My Family. You Stay Out of My Face and this single got me amped for a full-length really badly!
Corbet: I'm not sure what the next release for us will be but we've started working on new material which will hopefully lead to a full-length.
With the recent international postage rate increases where’s the best place for our overseas and international readers to get copies of your music?
Corbet: Sorry State Records (http://www.sorrystaterecords.com/).
What about US readers?
What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?
Corbet: We'll be playing the Cropped Out music festival in Louisville, Kentucky September 27th to the 29th. A tour is in the works, but currently we're only doing a few shows here and there. Our Blog (http://quailbonesband.blogspot.com/) or Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/quailbones) is the best way to keep up with future shows.
You have played with some awesome bands, who are some of your personal favorites that you’ve had a chance to share a bill with?
Corbet: Whatever Brains, Parquet Courts and Useless Eaters are at the top for me.
Tim: Aw man, I won't argue there. We've been lucky enough to play with some of the best bands I've ever seen. Definitely the ones Corbet mentioned, along with Final Club, Glow God, Ampline and Shoppers. It was surreal to have Kelley Deal's new project, R. Ring, come to town, having listened to her music for years.
Do you have any interesting or funny stories from live shows that you’d like to share with our readers?
Tim: It's always interesting to see what kind of responses we get when we play shows locally. In bigger cities we've generally had positive responses to our sets, and for the most part, people seem to be into it, or at least willing to give us an honest listen. When we play around here we never know what kind of reaction we're going to get, sometimes we'll clear the room with only our friend(s) left sticking around, sometimes we'll draw quite a few people in and get them to pay attention. Small-town reactions to unconventional things, especially music, are always interesting.
Where’s the best place for our readers to keep up on the latest news like upcoming shows and album releases at?
I’ve got a problem. I’m completely addicted to physical music. Having an album to hold in your hands, artwork to look at and liner notes to read, it all makes for a more complete listening experience; at least for me. Do you have any such connection to physical releases?
Corbet: I know exactly what you mean and I couldn't agree more with you. The physical release is essential to music for me.
Tim: Yep. That experience can't be replicated. Gotta have it
Do you have a music collection? If so can you tell us about it?
Corbet: I use to have a huge CD collection that I started accumulating in Middle School. By the end of High School I had hundreds of CDs, but I also began my transition into vinyl around this time. I took what I liked from my parent's collection and went from there. Sometime during college I sold my CDs and started seeking out music on vinyl. You can't beat the sound of a vinyl record but I do enjoy a good tape. There's something special about that tape hiss.
Tim: I've worked in a record store for a long time, so I might have a bit of an unfair advantage? Even before that, instead of getting an allowance when I was a kid, my dad would take me to Terrapin every couple weeks and I'd get to pick out a CD. I started collecting records when I began working there, so I've accumulated quite a few.
I’m always curious whenever I talk to artists during the digital era what their opinions are on digital music and distribution. While it seems like it’s destroying a lot of the decades old infrastructure in the music industry, it also appears to be leveling the playing field somewhat for independent bands that are willing to go the extra mile and promote themselves. What’s your take on digital music and distribution?
Corbet: I can't say that I have an issue with digital music. It's convenient to download music and throw it on your phone or an iPod and take it with you throughout your day. I think it's especially great for new music though, if you make your music available digitally you're allowing a larger audience the chance to check it out. The music industry has been in a terrible position for a while and I could really care less about that side of it. Music should be in the hands of the musicians who make it, not the mongoloids who only want to make money from it.
Tim: It's a great tool that can be very helpful if you utilize it correctly. There are pros and cons to everything, embrace the pros and learn from the cons.
The other thing that I always make sure and ask is who I should be listening to. So, who should I be listening to from your local area or scene that I might not have heard of before?
Tim: The fact that I have a few varied bands to recommend makes me smile, it wasn't always that way. Based on peeking through your site, the band you'd probably be most interested in from this area would be Leonard the Band. They're based in Metropolis, Illinois, a little over an hour away from Murray but play shows here all the time; poppy, feel-good, psychedelic stuff. Bawn in the Mash have been at it for a while, they're a psychedelic-bluegrass outfit, they're probably the most well-known band from the area and it's neat to see them get the attention they do. Voyage of Slaves are a thrash-metal band that always put on a great show and bring a lot of heavier acts to the area. Kentucky Vultures are a weird, thoughtful rock band. Shark Week do a fun lady pop-punk thing. The Savage Radley make the prettiest songs around. The Great Gatsby Jazz-Funk Odyssey are the best jam-band we have, they keep it interesting. Paducah's Oh Yeah Dakota! have a nice bluesy-rock thing going and The Hi Fi Ninja rock and do a great job of getting people out to shows. I've yet to see Terrapin Pond, but have heard good things. All these bands are actively involved in making sure original music is alive in the area and full of variety.
What about nationally and internationally?
Tim: So much great and interesting stuff out there it's hard to know where to start. Whatever Brains from Raleigh just put out my favorite album of the year thus far, so, so weird, Globsters from Hazard, Kentucky, the opposite side of the state, that's some of the wildest, most chaotic stuff made by the sweetest guy. Onri are a great three-piece from Nashville that have grown into a dark, droning, menacing act... They've taken it to a far-out place and it's been fun to watch that happen. Linear Downfall are another Nashville band that are about as weird as you can get. Plenty of great, hazy stuff in Athens, Georgia, as I'm sure you're aware, especially all the stuff that goes down at Gypsy Farm; The Humms, Shoal Creek Stranglers and Old Smokey, who recently put out one of my favorite 7"s of the year. The Sensibles from Milan, Italy are making super sweet, catchy tunes and put on a great show. Touch A.C. from Louisville puts out some mind-expanding hip-hop. The Jackson Purchase, also based in Louisville, make damn fine folk songs. One of my favorite shows I've seen of the past couple years was Deaf Wish from Melbourne, Australia; holy hell, highly recommended.
Thanks so much for doing the interview! Is there anything that I missed or you’d just like to talk about?
Corbet: Anytime! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk about our music.
Tim: Thanks for reaching out! This site makes me happy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjAQRbPFlvE
(2011) Quailbones – You Stay Out of My Family. You Stay Out of My Face – Cassette Tape – Ghost Orchard Records (Limited to 100 copies)
(2012) Quailbones – Crane Wilbur EP – 7” – Ghost Orchard Records (Limited to 100 hand-numbered copies)
(2013) Quailbones/Happy Forever – Split – Cassette Tape – Ghost Orchard Records (Limited to 100 copies)
(2013) Quailbones – Lord Dion’s House Of Discovery – 7” – Ghost Orchard Records (Limited to 300 copies)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013