Today’s Feature – November 7-8: Spring Standards

November 10, 2008 at 2:00 am (Today's Feature)


Sure, half the challenge of making it big in the music industry is exposure – everyone knows that. Some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen are hardly heard of because they’re disconnected from the media… while more and more often I see singers making it big because they knew somebody who knew somebody (they usually make a record and then never perform live – you know the type). The Spring Standards don’t really think about exposure – they are in love with what they do; “We have always had an optimistic outlook on our career and that largely stems from a genuine love of making music, so if you believe in what you’re doing, it’s not discouraging to pursue it without instant recognition.”

Well… while they may not need the media attention… they certainly got it. They’re just too damn talented. They landed in millions of living rooms across America with an appearance on one of my favorite programs, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Playing a bit of their latest release, “No One Will Know,” they showed off their unique three-part harmonies, “circling over a rock n’ roll sound with an old country aftertaste.” The harmonies are what are going to grab you about this album – it’s a breed of sound that’s tough to find nowadays. It’s art to be sure, and yet these guys make it sound mainstream enough to be playing it for the entire world – no easy task.

They talk about “No One Will Know,” saying “It’s the first seed of the garden we’re sowing as a band. It’s honest and simple and true to who we are.” You can see who they are for yourself at one of their shows, as they take off on a tour with another great act, The Everybodyfields. Check the schedule and keep your ears alert for full length record early next year. Get into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: The Spring Standards (PEV): Tell us how The Spring Standards first came together. Was it an instant connection the first day you practiced together?

The Spring Standards (SS): Our musical history goes back 10+ years, when we first met around the Delaware/Pennsylvania border.  We played together in various groups throughout high school but went our separate ways for college. When we all moved to NYC after graduation we started playing together again.  Gradually things got more serious and now we’re all committed to really making it happen.

PEV: What was it like for the band when you were first breaking into the music business? Before you were getting press, and regular gigs?

SS: We have always had an optimistic outlook on our career and that largely stems from a genuine love of making music, so if you believe in what you’re doing, it’s not discouraging to pursue it without instant recognition.  That being said, things certainly grow at a faster pace one you start getting attention from the media, but the goals stay the same; it doesn’t change what we’re trying to do.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Spring Standards show?

SS: It’s a folk music version of The Running of the Bulls.

PEV: Speaking of shows, on August 29th, you appeared on The Late Night With Conan O’Brien Show. How was at experience? As well, was being on a show like this, something that as a band, can really elevates your careers?

SS: It was a great experience – it gave us the opportunity to instantly tour the country and play for everyone in their own living room.

PEV: How have your shows evolved from when you first started out?

SS: For starters, we all play the drums now; it wasn’t always so.  As a result, we all sweat a lot more and lose our breath more frequently.

PEV: Any embarrassing or crazy live show stories? There has to be tons, I’m sure.

SS:  To be honest, not really.  We’ve been touring for less than 6 months so we’re sure we have a lot of those in store.

PEV: If you could collaborate with one artist out today, who would it be and why?

SS: Just the other day we were daydreaming about Ben Folds producing our full length record.  He’s definitely one of the artists at the top of our list.

PEV: As well, is there an up and coming artist right now that you think we should all be looking out for?

SS: There’s an incredible songwriter out of Iceland that we met on the road named Helfi Hrafn Jonsson.  He plays in Sigur Ros, but his solo work is absolutely beautiful and totally original.  Definitely one to keep your eye out for in the future.

PEV: Tell us, what can fans expect from your latest release, “No One Will Know”?

SS: It’s the first seed of the garden we’re sowing as a band.  It’s honest and simple and true to who we are.

PEV: How is “No One Will Know” different from other music out today?

SS:  Well for one thing, it’s rare to hear modern bands that utilize vocal harmony as much as we do.  That’s one of the most unique things about the record.

PEV: When you sit down to write an album like “No One Will Know” what kind of environment do you surround yourselves in?

SS: A safe and comfortable environment is essential for any creative endeavor.  We find that more in each other than we do from the world around us, but it’s definitely important to have as few distractions as possible.  We did a lot of the pre-production work for the record at a cabin in upstate New York, so we got to take advantage of that isolation.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Spring Standards?

SS: We all turn into goats after midnight.

PEV: How have your friends and family reacted to all your success?

SS:  We’ve always had an enormous amount of support from our friends and family.  They are very happy about everything that’s happened to us thus far, and continue to be supportive of the decisions we make.

PEV: If we were to walk into your practice studio right now, what’s one thing we’d most likely find?

SS: The Sears Organ that we bought at the Goodwill in Middletown, Delaware a few months ago and some random puddles from the refrigerator units in the neighboring building.

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Good parts? Bad parts?

SS:  Life on the road has been a lot of fun. We love seeing new parts of the country and bringing our music to new ears.  ‘Home, Home on the Range’ has taken on a whole new meaning now that we’ve actually seen antelopes playing on the plains.  The only bad part has been the occasional 12hr+ drive, but luckily those have been few and far between.

PEV: In your opinion, is there a certain city (US or International) that you find to be the best city for music?

SS:  Every city appreciates music in its own way – obviously, places like Nashville and Austin have incredible reputations and with good reason, but we were surprised to find small little gems sprinkled throughout the country.  Columbia, Missouri, for example, with the impressive ‘Blue Note’ blew us away.

PEV: As well, where’s one place you haven’t played, you would like to? Why?

SS:  There are too many places to count.  Europe would be a great adventure, Australia would be amazing – the list is endless.

PEV: Where will The Spring Standards be ten years from now?

SS: Ten years ago we never could have guess we’d be here, so we won’t even try to predict what ten years from now will look like.  But hopefully we will still be doing what we’re doing and loving it just as much.

PEV: So, what’s next for The Spring Standards?

SS: A hometown show in NYC on November 7th and then a few weeks off before another small tour with a great band from Tennessee called ‘The Everybodyfields.’  And hopefully we’ll be working on our full length record by early next year.

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