1. How’s it going?
The weather here in Nashville can’t decide what season it is, so I’m having a pretty epic allergy situation. Other than that, I’m fantastic.
2. You recently released 2 singles, “Frames” and “Let You Down.” Can you tell us about them?
The opening riff in “Frames” is a musical idea that’s been kicking around in my head for almost 10 years. I would sound check it all the time, but never made it into a song until now. It deals a lot with mental health and anxiety. “Let You Down” is basically about how in a world that’s changing all around us, we need to remember to treat each other with kindness and respect. It might be my favorite song on the record.
3. You’ll be releasing your first full-length album, Our Undivided Attention, later this month. What do you hope fans take away from the album?
I think this record is an important one for us in that we’re establishing our sound and identity. We’ve all been playing in bands here in town for a long time, playing everything from metal to alt-country, and I think this sound really encompasses everything we love in a cohesive sound. Honestly, I mainly just hope people like it.
4. How will this album differ from your last EP, The American Night?
The EP was our first as Benchmarks, but it was really probably our third release. I think the EP is a good transition from what the band used to be (more on the cowpunk/roots rock side of things), and in the direction of what we are today. The record we’re about to put out is a full on rock record.
5. Can we expect a music video anytime soon?
I’d love for that to be the case, but it’s hard to decide if that’s the best thing to pursue at the moment. If a video costs, say, $3000 to make, is the return on it going to be worthwhile? Is the art of the video more important than the art of a new record? Pressing vinyl? I don’t know the answer. That being said, I’d love to shoot an awesome video for “Let You Down” and “Boys and Girls”, our next single. I’ve had the storyboards in my head since we wrote them!
6. You’re going on tour soon. What are you most excited about?
I’m really excited to get these songs out there and play them for folks. The majority of my touring is with my other band, Two Cow Garage, so it’s not very often I get the opportunity to take my own songs on the road. I’m really excited about that.
7. What is your favorite song to perform live?
The song “American Night” from the last EP has become somewhat of our “hit”. We usually close the set with it. If we’re playing in Columbus, or anywhere that Micah (Schnabel, of Two Cow Garage) is also in town, he’ll usually come on stage and sing his part on the end, and people love that. It’s a cool “fist in the air” moment.
8. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done onstage?
About six years ago, we were playing a St. Paddy’s day thing in downtown Nashville. It was like, a four hour set, and as much as we tried to keep our cool, staying sober when you’re playing a 4 hour set on St. Paddy’s is near impossible. By the end of the night, I was in rough shape. I tried to climb on top of the kick drum (something I do sober without issue), and it just didn’t work. I slipped, fell into the drummer, strings broke, cymbals fell over… it was pretty awful. I’ve done a lot of growing up since then.
9. Anything else you want us to know?
If you dig these singles, please come see us or pick up the record, it goes a long way into ensuring we remain a band that makes music. If not, check out our friends Frances & the Foundation, Almost People, The Record Collection, Bill Eberle, Jon Latham, Mutts, Western Settings, Biographies, and Sad Baxter. They’re all really good too.