Interview – @TheCrowleysBand

Interview originally appeared on www.musicnews360.com , finding the stories between the songs.

@TheCrowleysBand are four good boys that enjoy looking for an Old Milwaukee Ice sponsorship, playing D&D in the van between gigs, and writing love songs. @MusicNews360 caught up with The Crowleys from their dungeon-like lair in Hamilton, Ontario. We mused about pugs, cabin fever, fusilli, and the color pink. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

Music News 360° Interview – The Crowleys

The Crowleys – “L.A. Sunset”

 

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

The sign of the Zodiac killer. Nah, just kidding Gemini…such a Gemini thing to say.

 

MN360° – What is your spirit animal? How does it manifest in daily life?

The pug, girls think we’re so ugly we’re cute, and we have difficulty breathing.

 

“Girls think we’re so ugly we’re cute, and we have difficulty breathing.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

The power to butter toast with our minds.

 

MN360° – How does Canada produce such great music?

Must be something in the water. Or the fact that we are trapped indoors for 5 months of the year.

“We are trapped indoors for 5 months of the year.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

 

 

MN360° – Have you noticed more Americans moving to Canada, as of late?

We don’t notice Americans, but we hear that most of them get to Minnesota and think they’ve made it, so that could be why.

 

MN360° – What first sparked your interest in music?

Pink Floyd in the womb.

 

MN360° – What was your first instrument? Did someone gift it to you?

Probably a pink super-shredder recorder, Satan’s gift to parents everywhere.

 

MN360° – Who is your least obvious musical influence?

Bob Ross. We try to emulate the smoothness of his voice with all our work. Also P!nk.

 

MN360° – What is your process for writing/recording new music?

All different ways and shapes and sizes and colours. Sometimes someone will just start playing a random progression or riff and we will all just put a part to it and see where it goes. Sometimes someone will bring something a little more structured. Sometimes we write while recording.

 

MN360° – What is your ‘truth’?

T-tell no lies

R-remain honest

U-under no circumstance should you lie

T-tell the truth

H-honesty

 

MN360° – Whose basement did you practice in? Did it have concrete walls, or was it a finished basement?

We’ve hopped around from basement to basement (literally). From dungeon to decorated.

 

 

MN360° – How did the basement smell?

Like creative genius and freedom, aka stale beer.

 

MN360° – To the extent it does/does not matter, what do your parents think of your music?

It does not matter. Just kidding ma/pa, love you.

 

MN360° – Favorite psychedelic bands from the 60s/70s?

The Monkees, Willie Nelson. Are The Wiggles from the 60’s? They certainly have a vibe.

 

MN360° – Tell us the background behind LA Sunset? From what vantage point are we watching the sunset?

 

Stu, drummer, brought the song to the band and it evolved into something totally different with everyone else adding things in. A beautiful mosaic, just like Canadian culture, eh. The sunset is being watched from the Moon. Is that possible? During an eclipse?

 

MN360° – Do you believe in magic? Can you give an example?
No, but this one time I didn’t want to get up from the couch so I tried to jedi telekinesis the remote from the table but just ended up peeing a little.

 

“This one time I didn’t want to get up from the couch so I tried to jedi telekinesis the remote from the table but just ended up peeing a little.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – What percentage of your songs would you say are autobiographical?

All of them, but also none. 60%

 

MN360° – For each primary color, can you tell us what kind of amplifier and effects rig the color would be, I️.e. tone?

Red – Whatever rig slayer uses

Blue – BB kings guitar with a ring modulator

Pink – Our tone!

 

MN360° – Any dreams/visions/insights experienced while in the studio?

The dream of being able to do it all the time, it feels like a second home.

 

MN360° – Did your sensei require you to perform special tasks while in the studio? Any stories?

Michael Keire had us on a strict schedule of 4am starts, raw egg shakes for breakfast, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats, and a 10km run. Everyday. We all went bald.

 

“Michael Keire had us on a strict schedule of 4am starts, raw egg shakes for breakfast, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats, and a 10km run. Everyday. We all went bald.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

But really, Mike’s great. He brings the best out of any type of musician. You should go and make your own stories.

 

MN360° – Is a pink rainbow only pink? What happens to the other colors?

Aren’t all colours just different hues of pink, man?

 

MN360° – Do you see a connection between performance and religious experience?

Stuart’s a God on the drums so…that.

MN360° – How did you meet your band mates? How did you ask them to join your band?

We all met in high school, and Justyn met Kaulin when he was born cause they are brothers. We stole Stuart from another band, we didn’t ask, he just came over once and never left. We bonded over our love of fusilli.

“We bonded over our love of fusilli.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – What were your most/least favorite classes in high school? 
Favourite:
Stuart: Math because he’s a nerd
Everyone else: Lunch because they’re meat-heads

Least Favourite:
Stuart: Lunch because the meat-heads would steal his lunch money because he is a nerd.
Everyone else: Math because they are meat-heads

 

MN360° – What is the strangest thing you’ve experienced on tour?
A guitarist got naked during his band’s set and only had a guitar to cover his bits. Then the lead vocalist got naked…he didn’t have a guitar. Pinky winky.

“A guitarist got naked during his band’s set and only had a guitar to cover his bits. Then the lead vocalist got naked…he didn’t have a guitar.” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – What do you do to occupy yourself between shows while on tour?
We play DnD in the van!

 

“We play DnD in the van!” – @TheCrowleysBand

 

MN360° – How about strangest place you’ve crashed while on tour?
We’ve never crashed, we’re all pretty good drivers.

 

MN360° – What will music sound like in 100 years?

Birds and crickets cause we’ll all be dead, or whatever our robot overlords are into.

MN360° – If you had to describe your music as a color, what color would it be?
See, I know you’re looking for a theme throughout this interview so you probably want me to say pink. But I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna give you the satisfaction.

 

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?
Nothing. This world is too full of crappy ads as it is. Give the peoples minds a break!

INTERVIEW – @JOHNCRAIGIE

This interview first appeared on www.musicnews360.com .

Credit: Bradley Cox

Website

Instagram

Twitter

Spotify

Tour Dates

Discography

Live Studio
Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland (2016) No Rain, No Rose (2017)
Make Your Own Legend (2011) Working on My Farewell (2015)
Live in the Living Room (2008) The Apocalypse is Over (2013)
October is the Kindest Month (2011)
Montana Tale (2009)

 

@MusicNews360 caught up with @JohnCraigie between two nights of recording a forthcoming live album in Portland, OR (@MississippiStud & @DougFirLounge). We talked about the apocalypse, fractals, astrology, and hanging out with @JackJohnson. Below are excerpts from our conversation.

 

MN360° – Your performance is both song and narrative. How did storytelling become part of your act?

JC – The storytelling was around way before the music. Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories. So that’s older than the music and came way more naturally. The music was a lot harder for me.

“Growing up, I was the class clown. I was the guy who would tell the stories.”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – What sparked your interest in music?

JC – One of my friends, a dear friend who I credit for having a huge influence on me. He was a little out of the box, really artistic. He had a different way about him. He wasn’t buying into the normal, suburban way, you know?

So he got a guitar when we were about 15 years old. He was really talented, playing the guitar a lot…I looked up to him. One day, he showed me…He was like, ‘It’s not that hard!’ He showed me some chords. That was the pivotal moment for me. The moment I knew it was possible. It changed everything.

I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’

“I think that a lot of times you just need someone to be like, ‘Yeah, you can do this!’”

– @JohnCraigie

 

 

Credit: @littlegreeneyes

Also, in the early 90s, Bob Dylan was not cool. I knew Dylan in the sense of a historical figure, but I had not heard his music. It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting.

“It wasn’t until someone gave me a copy of Freewheelin’ … that was the catalyst for my songwriting. 

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – You have been quoted as saying, “I know that the purpose of music is not to make people feel better, but to make them feel like they are not alone.” Can you elaborate?

JC – People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’

If you’re bummed out, ‘Walking On Sunshine’ is not going to work for you. That doesn’t do it, and we all know that… It’s funny that we disregard that reality.

The best music is relatable, it makes us feel like we are not alone. That’s what I have always thought the purpose of music is… on all levels, whether it is a happy song or a funny song or a sad song.

“People listen to sad songs when they are sad. Why do we do that? It doesn’t cheer us up, but that’s not the point. The point is…What we are really seeking with art is connection. To feel like, ‘Oh, they get it.’”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – You studied math in college. How does math influence your creative process?

JC – I was at UC Santa Cruz, so it was more of a hippie kind of math. Lot of fractals. Lot of looking at pineapples, you know, getting high. Lot of looking at ferns…Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.

“Storytelling is somewhat mathematical. Not so much in what we think about as math, like algebra. More so in putting things together–structure.”

– @JohnCraigie

On structure, songwriting and architecture…How crazy is it to visualize how a building is going to look before you make it? Songwriting is similar in that you hear the general vibe you want before laying the foundation.

MN360° – Is the Apocalypse over?

JC – That was a metaphor for all the hippies who were talking about 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar. Remember that? They were like, “Cool, Babylon will crumble! I won’t have to work my stupid job anymore.” So the lyric is a reference to that. I guess I should have put quotes around “Apocalypse.”

Credit: @danielnjohnson

“I guess I should have put quotes around ‘Apocalypse.’”

– @JohnCraigie

MN360° – What is the most uncomfortable place you have slept while on tour?

JC – Many years ago, I was playing in this town called Winter Park, Colorado, up in the mountains. I finished the gig and was going to sleep in my Astrovan. Then, I looked at my phone, and the app said it was 1° outside…fahrenheit. I was like, “I’ll die…I’m from California. I’ll die sleeping outside.”

Went back to the bartender and said, ‘Hey man, I don’t mean to seem pushy, but do you have a couch I could crash on? It’s 1° outside, and I’m afraid I’ll die if I sleep outside tonight.’ Luckily, he said, ‘Sure, I’ve got to close up the bar. It’s going to be another few hours. Here’s the address. The door is unlocked. You can sleep in the guest room.’

‘Awesome!’

I get to the place, and it’s freezing in the guest room. Though, I was like, ‘It’s better than sleeping outside.’ Got in the bed, curled up, and went to sleep. Hours later, I woke up covered in snow–there was snow all over the bed. One of the windows…the blinds were down, but the window was open. Snow had been blowing in on me all night.

So I would have been better off sleeping in my car.Though, I just went over and closed the window.

That was a weird night, for sure…

MN360° – Do you follow astrology? Is there significance to your album titled ‘Capricorn in Retrograde… Just Kidding… Live in Portland’?

JC – I am into astrology because I lived in Santa Cruz for 5 years. Originally, the title was going to be ‘Mercury in Retrograde… Just kidding’. After talking to some friends, I thought it would be even funnier and maybe a little less intense if I made up something that doesn’t exist, ‘Capricorn in Retrograde’, which is not a thing, you know.

MN360° – What is your astrological sign?

JC – Gemini.

MN360° – How was the time you spent on tour with @JackJohnson?

JC – We had a lot of fun. Probably the funnest thing we did…we had a night off and went to see @JohnMayer perform at The Gorge. You know, I would not normally go to see John Mayer in concert, so it was a trip to go to that show with Jack, sitting there with these two elder statesmen of modern songwriting. That was a surreal night.

MN360° – What percentage of the time do you perform with your eyes open?

JC –  I’d say 2 percent–when I’m making a joke about having my eyes open.

(Referring to the song titled “I Wrote Mr. Tambourine Man”, featured on the Music News 360° – October 2017 Playlist).

Credit: @jayblakesberg

MN360° – If you could have a billboard with anything on it, what would it say?

JC – ‘Be nice to each other’. That’s probably cliche, but that’s what I would say.

“Be nice to each other.”

– @JohnCraigie

Credit: Maria Davey

 

Tom Kitty Oliver – Know Everybody You Meet

I’ve got a new single, ‘Know Everybody You Meet’. You can stream it now on @spotify , at the link above. The song is about discovering the divine within all: ‘God is Love, You are Love, We are Love, Love is Everything’. Special thanks to @matjownz who helped to bring it together, and channeled that ‘Kenny Buttrey’ feel. Also, I’m singing.

Targeting an Audience, Mapping a Tour: Luther Dickinson

In this post, we will map Luther Dickinson’s US twitter followers, by count and influence, and examine how these distributions match his band’s upcoming tour routing, with the intent to demonstrate the value of twitter data for targeting audiences and planning performances.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 10.37.43 PM

Luther Dickinson is the lead guitarist and vocalist for the North Mississippi Allstars. As of August 11, 2015, Luther has 1010 twitter followers. Of these 1010 followers, 483 identify their location as based in the US (not all followers identify location). The map below shows the concentrations of US followers, with the greatest numbers in darkest blue.

Followers

lutherdickinson follower map

Top 10 states by follower count (darkest blue):

State Followers
Tennessee 78
Mississippi 60
California 45
New York 35
Pennsylvania 25
Georgia 22
Colorado 20
Louisiana 18
Washington 17
Illinois 15


Now we will map Luther’s followers by influence, i.e. the followers of Luther’s followers. In other words, if each of Luther’s followers retweeted, how many individuals would see the retweet?

Influence

luterhdickinson_follower_influenceTop 10 states by influence (darkest blue):

State Influence
California 1137586
Tennessee 479783
New York 70690
Georgia 64776
Louisiana 63685
Mississippi 59011
Illinois 35373
Colorado 29206
Texas 26612
Rhode Island 23377

We see differences between followers and influence, with Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Washington hosting greater concentrations of followers, who have less influence. Conversely, we see Rhode Island and Texas hosting lower concentrations of followers, who have more influence. California and Tennessee are strong points for both followers and influence.

Let’s see if this aligns with Luther’s plans for Fall 2015.

According to www.nmallstars.com, the band will tour the following cities in October 2015:

10.1 – San Francisco, CA
10.2 – San Francisco, CA
10.3 – Los Angeles, CA
10.4 – Anaheim, CA
10.5 – Solana Beach, CA
10.6 – Las Vegas, NV
10.9 – Boulder, CO
10.10 – Denver, CO
10.12 – Chicago, IL
10.13 – Pittsburgh, PA
10.14 – Washington D.C.
10.15. – Glenside, PA
10.16 – New York, NY
10.17 – Boston, MA
10.24 – Placerville, CA
10.25 – Placerville, CA

While we do not see a Tennessee performance during the stretch, all dates besides for two, in Las Vegas and Boston, match the list for top 10 states by followers. Furthermore, we see almost half of the performances, 44%, in California, a strong point for both followers and influence. We view this as strong support for the value of twitter data in targeting audiences and planning performances.

Luther’s map serves as a guide for up and coming artists within the genre. Using the raw data, one could target influencers within each state who would welcome the genre.

To this point, I envision developing a platform that leverages twitter data to help artists better identify audiences and geographic strong points within the genre. If you are an artist, manager, data scientist, or entrepreneur, and are interested in this work, contact me at andrewshamlet@gmail.com