In this interview, we chat about influences, obstacles as an indie musician in a digital world, and their newest project.
Full Q&A, links, and streams below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
First, we wanted to create music that was organic and authentic. Something that appealed to everyone in Blue Sand Renegades. We figure that as an artist, your first – and maybe only goal – is to create music that sounds good to the band! If you don’t love it, who’s going to? After that, it’s up to our listeners to decide whether they get on the same wave-length as us. If you do – that’s great!
Blue Sand Renegades is a guitar-oriented band, which is different than most of the stuff you hear today. On our debut album ‘Disclosure’, we try to establish the groove early on, if you’re foot is tapping, that’s where we live! Guitars + Vocals + Groove = Hot Tunes!
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
When we first got together, it was really just for fun. That fun lead us to creating a number of songs, and after we had created four or five tunes, we thought about becoming a band and releasing a record. We played the songs for a few folks, and they all encouraged us to put it out, so we did. And we’ve received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, and the record has only been out for a week!
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
We have a ton of influences. Not just musically but in a general artistic sense. We’ve spent time in museums, at shows, poetry readings and slams. We’re absolutely music fans as well as musicians, we love seeing live shows, and listening to recordings, hanging out with friends discussing music and art.
Early on we were exposed to the punk alt-rock scene, but ‘Disclosure‘ and especially our first single ‘Gypsy Water’ – which MTM was the first to feature – took us back to our southern roots. It was actually very refreshing to not try to fit in any particular genre or style, but really just let ourselves out of the box, let all those influences fly – which is why you hear some bluegrass tinge, some bluesy stuff, and some country-fried rock ‘n’ roll on the album. We just let our hair down. So, yeah, there’s definitely been an evolution.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
We were trying to capture the sound of Blue Sand Renegades. In contrast to how most records are recorded these days, we played most of this stuff ‘live’ in the studio, and captured what came out. What we tried to get on tape was the drama and the groove, telling a story – our story, with the music and lyrics.
What was the last song you listened to?
The last song I listened to? Between us, we have over 20,000 songs in our library! And that’s before we get to Spotify! Dan’s had the opportunity to hang out with Al Kooper, so we’re listening to a ton of Al’s early stuff: Super Sessions, the first Blood Sweat and Tears record, he’s a lesser known Founding Father of rock ‘n’ roll, with a real soul/blues twist. Great guy who’s was there with everybody at the beginning! But if we’re really talking about the last song, it was a tune by Lake Street Dive. Great band! Had the opportunity to see them live at Austin City Limits last year.
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Ha! They each have their appeal. MP3s are great for the convenience. Listen to ’em on the go, create custom playlists, just awesome. We still love CDs, and the packaging that comes with them. And they can’t be beat for clarity and depth of sound, especially those songs created in the digital age.
Vinyl has a special place in our heart. Between us, we have at least 4 different turntables! Sam is always spinning up a disc for us to check out. It’s great that vinyl is having a renaissance – there is so much more warmth conveyed.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Love Spotify! A great way to check out new artists or follow ones that you’re interested in. In general, we prefer to BUY the music we like – which explains the good sized music libraries. Apple Music is good for that, we get a lot of stuff there, and you can’t beat the convenience! Bandcamp and Soundcloud are really good for discovering new artists.
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
I think you hit the nail on the head. One of the great things about music in the modern day is that it’s much easier for unknown artists to get some recognition . . . big business really doesn’t control what you have access to as much as they used to, which is great. But it is a bit more like trying to find your favorite drop of water in an ocean – there is just so much out there! That’s part of the value of MTM – it’s super helpful to have someone direct you to music you might like.
For us, connection with our current and new fans is really about the music itself. We use social media, and other connections, but it’s really about the songs, not us.
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
Blue Sand Renegades debut album ‘Disclosure‘ is available on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby, Spotify, wherever else you find your music. Check it out!
For more info, people can find us and follow on the ‘net.
Anything else you’d like to add before signing off?
Yes. It’s blogs like this one – with your features, interviews and the rest that really helps new Indie bands. Gives people a place to go to learn about what the latest is, help navigate that sea of new music. We appreciate your time, and the effort – keep it up!