Interview With 'The Backseaters'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
Jake Cook started the Backseaters in 2012, with the sole intent of making music that he himself would want to listen to on his own time. One thing needed to be made clear; and that was that, no matter what, the music had to be 100% honest, heartfelt, with nothing to hide. Combining the influences of The Gaslight Anthem, Death Cab For Cutie, and countless other bands, the Indie/Alternative Rock sound was formed. Although numerous demos had been released here and there, so people could get the idea of the sound, the first official Backseaters release was their EP 'Mailboxes'; written, recorded, and performed by Jake Cook. Shortly after releasing Mailboxes, a full line-up was recruited to perform the songs live! After 6 months the line-up had minor changes, but resulted in the final duo being Jake Cook and David Jerusik. Jake and David performed for about 6 months together before going back in to the studio to record The Backseaters’ first full-length album, 'A Place To Rest Your Feet'. The band has only been gaining more and more momentum as time goes on, and it’s just a matter of time before they take their honest, whole-hearted sound to the top!
What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
Jake: I had been playing drums in bands from the Denver music scene for 6 years before coming up with the idea for The Backseaters. I had avoided even going to college because I knew that music was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life; and I believed in the music that was being made! I picked up a guitar at about 18 and couldn’t put it down; and through learning so many of my favorite artist’s song, I eventually started to write my own! Over the course of a year, I released a few demos, but didn’t really get busy with it until I started writing the 'Mailboxes' EP!
David: Before I joined the band I actually did a wide variety of things, I went to college for about 2 years and then worked at a closet shop for a bit, and then moved onto other jobs, but music has always been a consistent thing in my life. I had been playing drums in my basement since I was 12 years old and had only in my whole time seriously playing taken maybe five lessons so the transition from basement jam man to legitimate band dude was a shocking, but very natural transition. The allure of playing shows and being swept up into a community of local musicians had always appealed to me, and I was beyond happy when I became an official member.
Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.
Our new album 'A Place To Rest Your Feet' I think is quite special, because I believe it's a very genuine offering as to who we are as a band. I feel like often times bands these days become so over produced and seemingly perfect that the heart of the music itself is kind of lost in the effect. So when listening to this record, we hope the listener realizes that it's all real. Everything on the record was recorded by Jake and I slugging through one of the most difficult but ultimately satisfying parts of our musical careers. Songs like 'We're Not 15 Anymore' had to be recorded often times several times over to the point where we were so frustrated with it that we ended up just leaving the song alone for a few days and then coming back to it a couple days later and realizing it was exactly what we wanted that song to be, and kind of just realizing in the process what stress, anxiety and pressure can really do to our minds and how we perceive the outside world. I think ultimately we want people to know that this record is us. What you see is what you get and we think that's beautiful. Everything on the record came straight from the heart. The minute a song was even in thought, if we got excited about it, the song was laid down; because we as The Backseaters believe that that initial spark that gets us pumped is the same one that our listeners will feel upon hearing our music for the first time!
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
Jake: There are so many talented bands in the Denver music scene that we have either played with or seen! If I Fail is a big one for us just because we play shows with them all the time and they’re straight up talented guys. Water Aerobics (another duo, like us) puts on an amazing show every time we see/play with them! And I personally have had the pleasure of playing drums a few times for a band called The Host Club, who have a unique electronic, but also rocky, sound that I believe is going to take them far!
David: This is a hard question because there's almost to many to count. I think I would first off like to give a shout out to the local talent here in Denver. Bands like our friends in If I Fail never cease to blow me away with their talent along with our fellow indie counterparts in Wild Trees and Water Aerobics. They are all just a very talented group of musicians who make me want to do better in what I do myself. I think though that one of the most earth shattering moments for me has been being able to chat and hang out with Garrett Russell from Silent Planet. I watched them play a sketchy nightclub on a freezing December evening with maybe 15 people in attendance, to being able to play this years Warped Tour. Just being able to watch just where exactly playing random shows and being kind to people can really take you in life and the music scene has blown me away and inspires me to be the absolute best I can be every single day.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
Jake: Energy. The both of us put out a lot of energy when we play! We encourage a lot of crowd participation as well as just giving a good show to watch; from David’s fills on the drums, to Jake’s jumping and spinning. We’ve always admired bands that try to do something different on stage, and not just play exactly like the songs are on the album. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we just like to have fun and see where the set takes us. It’s like orderly-chaos; and we mean that in the best way possible!
David: A Backseaters show is such a cool experience because I feel like it's different every time. Some nights I just feel like our band can absolutely just rip through a set with high-energy songs like 'Limbo' and 'Does It Though', and then also have the opportunity to be able to scale back and really feel the essence of the music through songs like 'We're Not 15 Anymore' and 'The Lottery'. I think when someone goes to our show they hopefully can see what a large variety of music we're inspired by which ranges from heavy and driving post-hardcore bands to softer and more soulful indie rock and being able to have that dynamic keeps our set interesting to watch to say the least.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
Jake: I would probably say either The Gaslight Anthem or The Front Bottoms. Gaslight because I love their music and it would be an honor to get to hang out with Brian Fallon everyday. The Front Bottoms because it looks like they have a fun time and go to some awesome places!
David: it's a fairly even toss up between The Front Bottoms and Say Anything. Those bands have just meant so much to me in the past years that being able to tour with them would be one of the most incredible experiences I could ever ask for.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
Jake: I know that he may not be a huge icon like Bob Dylan or somebody of that nature, but Brian Fallon would have to be my top pick. I love the music that he makes and I relate to it so much; so I would really like to just have the opportunity to sit down with him and talk about life and just the way we both see the world! Other than that, I’m not really a big “icon” guy because we’re all just human beings trying to make life just a little more bearable.
David: For me I would have to say it would have to be Danny Carey from Tool. Being able to pick that dude's brain on the intricacies of rhythm and how it applies not to just drums, but the very quality of life I think would be absolutely fascinating.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Jake: You know, I’ve never actually watched it on Christmas, but thinking about it, I could see how that might be a good one to watch this year around the holidays!
David: This may in fact be the hardest question on this entire list. In the end regardless of popular opinion I'm going to have to say no. A Christmas movie should in and of itself be focused on the man in the red suit, high calorie food, green trees that smell nice and unnatural bioluminescence emitting from the nose of a certain reindeer. Die Hard is simply a straight up action movie that can be enjoyed anytime of the year, mind you, happens to be set during that particular season.
'A Place To Rest Your Feet' Available Now!
Bandcamp - http://thebackseaters.bandcamp.com