I am sitting here with a rock band that deserves some attention. I have worked with 650North numerous times in the past, and every time I am given the chance to do so again, they continue to amaze me. Everything from their image, their lyrics, their pure rock and roll attitude, to their drive and passion for success, these guys know what it takes to make it in this industry. Sit back and let 650North tell you about what makes them who they are.
So before I get too far into this, you guys were just in Poland playing a show with Guns N’ Roses. I need to know all the details about that because I was in Poland for two months this past summer.
(Matt) Yeah. A few summers ago we had the opportunity to open for G N’ R in Warsaw, Poland. It was an awesome, whirlwind experience. (Andrew) We were only there about three days. We met lots of cool people, and had a great time.
What was it like meeting Sebastian Bach?
(Matt) Sebastian is by far one of the most intense people we’ve ever met. He is an absolute ball of energy and charisma, and is quite the storyteller. (Andrew) He treated us with total respect, and he couldn’t believe that a relatively unknown band from Indiana was in Poland. After the show he opened his cooler and partied with us all night.
Did you get to meet the guys in Guns N’ Roses?
(Andrew) We met some of the guys and spent quite a while hanging out with Izzy Stradlin, G N’ R’s original guitarist. He is originally from Indiana, too, and was happy to have more Indiana boys on the bill.
What is the biggest crowd you have played for?
(Matt) Though we didn’t get an official number there were an estimated 3,000 when we took the stage at the G N’ R show. As far as an official number there were 1,500 when we opened for 7 Mary 3 this past summer in our home town of Osgood, Indiana. We have a very dedicated local following.
(Andrew) Let’s see…the smallest show would probably be La Grange, Kentucky, about five years ago when we first started. I think there were about eight people and four were family members. (Matt) (Laughs)
Back to Guns N’ Roses. How did you get on this show?
(Matt) We were signed to an imprint of Warner Music Group at the time, and the label head, through his relationship with Axl, got us on the show. We have since parted ways with them and started our own label, Breakout Records.
Is that the first time you have played over seas?
(Matt) Yeah. We hope to go back soon in support of our new album.
Did you make any contacts with the band to do more shows in the future?
(Andrew) Our label at the time was talking with G N’ R about doing more shows in the US, but then the tour basically imploded. We have kept in touch with Sebastian’s band.
Tell me about your manager. He has been with you guys from the beginning right?
(Matt) Jerry, our manager, has enabled us take our music places. What sets him apart from most managers, to me, is that he has a genuine belief in what we are doing, in addition to being a great businessman.
Did your image come before the music or was it something you established along the way?
(Andrew) I would say that the music came first. Like our music and our sound, our image is constantly evolving. (Matt) We all have our own tastes, fashion and music-wise. While we aim for the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts, we are a group of individuals.
Who is the ring leader of the band?
(Andrew) Honestly, there is no real ring-leader. Everyone has different skills and important roles to fill.
Where do you practice?
(Matt) We rehearse in the garage at the Vollmer’s house. At least we’ll never forget our humble garage-band roots. (Andrew) (Laughs)
What are your plans for a nationwide tour in support of this new album?
(Matt) Currently, we are in the middle of a national radio promotion campaign for “Afraid of Falling”, the first single from our new album ‘Empty Drawer’, and are planning a national radio tour that will include live, on-air interviews and acoustic performances.
If you guys were playing at Verizon Wireless Music Center who would be your opener?
(Matt) It would probably be the Foo Fighters. Rami Jaffee, who played keys on our new album and is currently a touring member of the Foo Fighters, got us backstage passes to their show at Conseco this past summer. We hung out side stage all night and got to meet Dave Grohl. Everyone, including the crew, was very nice.
What toppings do you guys put on your pizza?
(Andrew) Cheese, of course, and pepperoni. (Matt) I like supreme.
What are you drinking on stage?
(Matt) Carbonated beverages, including beer, are a bad idea. Burping mid-song never comes off well. Still, we have the occasional beer, but usually stick to water, no ice.
Any tattoos in the band?
(Andrew) So far, no, but a few of us are thinking about it.
What is the one song you play in every set?
(Matt) Unless the set is too short, we always play the entire new album, plus a few new songs.
If you could play only one cover song for the rest of your career what would it be?
(Matt) It would probably be an arrangement we do of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”. However, we did a cover of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)” this past New Year’s Eve, and got a great response.
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all over?
(Andrew) Obviously, our music. But second, we would like to be remembered for doing things our own way…for becoming successful by not following the beaten path.
Let’s play word association. Just write the first thing that comes to your mind when you read these three words. Go.
Nickelodeon: (Andrew) Keenan
Sierra Mist: (Matt) Pop
Fork: (Andrew) Eyeball (Laughs)
Who are your biggest influences?
(Matt) Our influences are vast, from Silverchair to Creedence Clearwater Revival to Jimmy Eat World.
What is the capital of Alaska? And no, you cannot use Google.
What did you have for dinner last night?
(Matt) Second to music, I enjoy cooking. I made turkey burgers and potato salad.
I always let the artists get the last word.
(Andrew) Check us out at 650north.com. While you are there, be sure to sign up for our street team/mailing list, The Movement. Also, check us out on MySpace. Be sure to add us as a friend and send us a message or leave us a comment. Our new album, ‘Empty Drawer’, is available on iTunes, Amazon, and 650north.com. Thanks to everyone in advance for taking a minute to check us out. You make what we do possible.