To be a band for over a decade and finally get noticed is at once kind of amazing, and kind of a bummer. Amazing because that’s just a damn good story – to build an audience, work hard, keep going, and make it. A bummer because, damn, a lot of people have missed out on something great.
Quiet Company’s tour, in support of – or, more in preview of – their upcoming album Transgressor, will be a testing of some new waters for the Austin Indie/Rock 4 piece. With the addition of two new members, the band is coming off of a watershed year filled with awards, accolades, and a lot more attention than it seems they’ve received before. My memory fails me in that I can’t recall if they’ve been to Cincinnati before – it’s either been long enough that it’s going to feel like the first time, or it legitimately is the first time – so their arrival at The Southgate House Revival feels long overdue.
With a sound reminiscent of too many quality bands to name – though seeing their name mentioned with gone-but-not-forgotten Dear And The Headlights and hearing some Copeland-esque moments in their most recent release We Are All Where We Belong – Quiet Company could very well be poised to get the attention and recognition they deserve. I, for one, will be at the show, smiling in the middle of what I imagine will be an excited, attentive crowd.
I was able to ask frontman and band leader Taylor Muse some questions about the their career, the new album and tour, and a few others that I had been curious about. Thanks to the Taylor for taking the time to answer them.
Be sure to catch them Friday, June 6th at The Southgate House Revival with openers Driver Friendly and The Kickback!
Quiet Company is a band that has been around for much longer than most people – even newer fans – might realize. Can you talk a little about how you’ve maintained that longevity? Did you see the band lasting as long as it has?
I initially saw the band lasting until I died, especially because it started out as just me, so I never planned on breaking up with myself. Since it became a band, I fantasize about its ending everyday....Kidding of course, but yes, we've been around for a long time, about 8+ years now.
Where do you think things have changed the most since you’ve started out? What’s still the same? As well, how has your outlook and approach changed? Does it feel like a “career” at this point, or is there still the sense of fun and newness to it?
It's still fun, but where it was mostly fun and little work at the beginning, now I feel like it's equal parts fun and work. Trying to build anything meaningful is difficult and stressful and requires a lot of sacrifice but you're either willing to do it or you're not.
You’ve managed to stay on a steady, progressive trajectory with each consecutive album, sort of building on and tweaking what’s come before. Do you feel like you’ve been able stay the course and just sort of naturally create music that keeps within your particular aesthetic? Is there a Quiet Company “sound” that you’ve strived for? Have you had to reign yourselves in to stay there, or do you feel like you’ve found that happy medium between looking forward and staying who you are as a band?
I think if there's one thing people that I work with know about me, it's that I'm pretty consistent. I really haven't changed too many opinions over the years about what kind of music I want to make. That being said, we've never wanted to make the same record twice and I don't think we have. I like to believe that we've matured and grown as a band with every release.
You tend to play more shows locally than on a national scale – what’s kept you so close to home? Was that always the plan for the band?
This is actually an issue that we've debated a lot as far as strategy goes. We've learned a lot of ways to do things the wrong way, I'm not sure we've found the right approach yet. We're still working on it. Touring is both more difficult and more important now that we've got families.
Which leads me to one of the things that I find both fascinating and frustrating (as a fan): over the course of your career the band has received genuine, multiple, often prestigious accolades and awards, yet has somehow stayed under the radar for a lot longer than makes sense. Why do you think that is? Do you feel like its timing, or exposure, or some combination of incantations and spells you’ve not been privy to yet?
I wish I knew! If I knew the answer, we wouldn't have this problem. I'm not sure who's dick needs sucking but someone just needs to let us know, we'll get it sucked. I'm open to the black magic route, as well.
You’re about to embark on a 2+ week run through the South, Midwest, and East Coast, which will bring you to the Cincinnati area at the Southgate House Revival on June 6th. Have you had any experience in this region, or in Cincinnati in particular? Are there places you’re looking forward to revisiting, or visiting for the first time, on this tour?
We're always stoked to hit Chicago. We've had a lot of great experience there and we've got a lot of friends there. I'm cautiously optimistic about Brooklyn but we'll see... Our bass player, Matt, lived in the Cincinnati area for a long time so I guess that's our only tie to the area. We had a really fun house show there once.
You’ll be playing some new tracks off of your recently recorded new album, Transgressor. To me, the title alone evokes a bit more aggression than your previous albums. What can fans expect with the new tracks, both live and when the record comes out?
I think it's an appropriate title then. It definitely has more balls than our previous records. We recorded it live because we were tired of people saying our live show had more energy than our records, so hopefully, we captured that.
I, for one, am excited to see where you’ve taken the new album. Were there any big differences, or changes, when it came to writing and recording Transgressor?
Definitely! We worked with a producer for the first time, which was Matt Noveskey who also plays bass for Blue October. He and CB from Blue October have built an amazing studio called the Orb, where we did the entire record, and Matt really helped bring out the best version of us, I think. I think it's our most guitar-y record and also our most drum heavy. We have a new drummer who's great, and his performance is a big feature on the record.
I do have to mention before I wrap up this inquisition, I’ve seen that you’ve played with one of my all-time favorites, Dear and the Headlights, fairly regularly when they were around (I was and still am incredibly sad that they’re not playing anymore). There are definitely elements of their sound mixed in to your own. Were you close with them? Was it interesting to see their trajectory over the course of their signing and touring, perhaps compared to your own?
I'm afraid I have to disappoint you. We only played with those guys once and had very little conversation with them, though they were really great. I don't actually own any of their records, but maybe I should.
On a lighter note – a friend of mine gave me this question a while ago and I’m excited to ask: If you could create a flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, what ingredients would you choose and what would it be called?
That's a hard one. Probably coconut ice cream with pistachios and milk chocolate. Probably be called Taylor's Creamy Dream or something lame like that.