The Company Stores is a modern Appalachian rock band originally from Charleston, WV. Led by the beautiful Casey Litz’s powerful vocals, the band takes the listener on a musical journey with each song, pulling inspiration from Appalachian folk, progressive rock, electronic, and many other musical genres. The band began as a duo in late 2012, and quickly gained momentum picking up new members and playing for bigger audiences.
The band’s name refers to the store in Appalachian coal towns during the 19th and 20th century, where workers were paid in coal money or “scrip”, leaving them with no exit from the mines. It is a metaphor for the band’s gritty mountain sound as well as a throwback to their heritage and the struggles of the common man
In this interview, we chat with Company Stores about influences, the new project, the digital music world and more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
We are from Charleston, WV. In short, we play modern Appalachian rock.
How does Appalachian culture and it’s music influence your sound and songwriting?
We were all surrounded by Appalachian music growing up. From folk and bluegrass to gospel, it definitely influenced our childhoods. We grew up and developed our own more modern musical tastes (rock, jazz, hip hop, electronic), but our roots stayed the same. I think that is a direct result of our sound. We love the story telling that comes with Appalachian folk, but don’t want to stay inside of that box (or any box) musically. We always want to challenge ourselves and our listeners.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
We believe this is the first true album by The Company Stores. Our first was created within a year of us being a band, and was more a collection of songs written by Casey and Matt. We didn’t know what our sound was or what we were really good at yet. It took another couple years of playing gigs and learning each members assets before we really honed in our sound. We did set out to accomplish many things with this album, but the main is to stay eclectic while being cohesive. Surprising the listener around every turn, yet letting the songs flow together as one piece of art.
Do you face challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? How has technology helped you (assuming it helps)?
The challenge of the digital music age is simple…harder to be found but easier to be heard. There is a LOT of music out there so it’s harder to stand out to venues, festivals, and first time listeners. But once someone hears us or hears about us we are easily accessible.
Where can we connect with you online and discover more music?
Buy the album at http://thecompanystores.com/downloads/ or on iTunes, Amazon, etc.
Stream the album on Soundcloud or Spotify, Google Play, etc.