Photo Credit: Jeff Barnett-Winsby
Have an interview all ready to go featuring Brooklyn based folk rockers Mail The Horse. The guys most certainly have name recognition, and are taking their set to the masses with a show later on tonight at O'Brien's in Allston with River Whyless that is sure to be packed with concertgoers seeing the band for the first time, curious and anxious to see what they're going to pull out of their musical sleeves for the audience to marvel over. Bassist Brendan Smith was nice enough to take some time out of getting ready for the show to sit down and talk about the band's origins, their home base in Brooklyn, their recording process, and their time partying at a nude pool party for three days! Here is the transcript from our chat:
- Give us your names and roles in the band?
Hess plays keys, organ and piano and sings, Donny plays guitar and sings, weaver plays drums, Brendan bass, and Chris plays pedal steel and guitar! Hess and Donny do the core song writing but we arrange and flush out the songs together.
- Talk about the origins of Mail The Horse and how you all met.
Donny and Hess went to high school together and from what I know I think met on a golf course? They started playing music together and listening to The Strokes and Ryan Adams, which was like, ten years ago at this point. I met Hess in a writing workshop in college, and at the time he and Donny had been in a local college band that had been playing parties and bars in town. Chris and I met in London in 2008, and then he appeared on our doorstep in Brooklyn like 5 years later, and would hang out with us between two-week shifts working on an oil rig in the Midwest, which obviously didn't pan out. Weaver is a Hudson valley kingpin and decided to roll the dice and join the band last year.
- Describe the sound of the band to those who aren't familiar with you?
We play folk-rock with a lot of visceral attitude. We work hard on making tasteful arrangements and try to do make our dynamics breezy and groove our asses off. Warm and fuzzy colors and tones.
- Being based in Brooklyn, how inspiring is it to be around musicians from different musical backgrounds?
It's the best. Hess's girlfriend Maya is playing a hip hop show at Brooklyn Bowl tonight and we're all very sad we'll be missing it. Me and Hess almost fell asleep at a noise show a couple weeks ago. Answering this question makes me want to go to Smalls more often.
- How does a normal practice session work for you guys, is it freeform or is it very well organized?
Pretty well organized at this point. Half the band lives in the Hudson Valley, so when we get together to rehearse for a show or tour we have a clear set of goals. We've got a lot of material and we like having a couple hours of music ready to roll. We just started playing an older song called Dirty Blood for this tour, which has been a blast. We each come to practice having done our homework. We're not really messing around.
- Talk about the energy of your live sets and how you guys switch things up every night?
We come out of the gates on a pretty high level and try to keep it there. We're working on transitions and segways between songs to maintain the momentum. We really tailor our sets to the room we're playing in. We're on tour right now playing 40 minute sets at rock clubs, but last week we played 4 hours at a honky tonk in Charlotte. Hess switches between keys and guitar, as does Chris, so our instrumentation evolves as the show goes on, and by extension our sonics do, too.
- What have been some memorable moments for the group so far that you look back fondly on?
Oh boy. One time we were on tour and wanted to go to SXSW but we realized we didn't have any shows booked so we just went to New Orleans instead and partied our asses off at this nude pool party for three days. We picked up a bunch of shows there somehow.
Boston is always a great stop. I'm from the area and it's always cool to have some old friends and family in the crowd.
- Besides music, what do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
I don't really have any spare time.
- What's coming up next for you guys this year, any more shows or new music to look forward to?
We're going to SXSW in a few weeks (this time with a lot of shows, haha). Then we're goin on tour again with Matt Logan Vasquez, which we're stoked about. We're going to record a new record soon.
- Lastly, how has being in this band brought you closer together?
We've all been through a lot of shit together over the years, and we all have each other's backs super hard. I don't want to get too mushy, here. We're best friends and we laugh our asses on a daily basis.
Thanks once again to Brendan for being so rad in doing this interview. As you can clearly tell, the band don't take themselves too seriously, and are really just fun loving guys who truly love playing music with one another, and sharing that love with anyone who comes to their shows. For more on Mail The Horse, please 'Like' them on Facebook right over here and visit their official homepage here for more in depth info, including links to stream their music.