There are a host of up and coming bands that are primed to breakout big heading into next year, but perhaps none more so than The Unlikely Candidates. The Texas rockers, comprised of Kyle Morris (Vocals), Cole Male (Guitar), Kevin Goddard (Drums), Brenton Carney (Lead Guitar), and Jared Hornbeek (Bass) released their first EP about a year ago. Their first single “Follow My Feet” was extremely successful and charted as high as number 35 on the Billboard Charts, with radio stations playing it almost every hour on the hour. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t heard their EP then you’re missing out big time, as all the songs on their EP were fantastic. With their high energy performances and the on stage presence of a band that’s been touring twice as long as them, The Unlikely Candidates embarked on a U.S. Tour earlier in the year and have been making the rounds at music festivals around the country this Summer. Shortly after their stop in Dover, DE for Firefly Music Festival the band did an interview with the Gleaner. Here’s what they had to say about what their first full album will sound like, the rather unique formation of the band, what the success of “Follow My Feet” means to them, and much more:
So, when I was researching you guys for the interview, I came across a pretty interesting story about the early beginnings of the band. It involved Cole and Kyle in jail. How true is the story and would you care to re-tell it for our readers?
On a sweltering summer day long ago, two young reprobates from different sides of the same city made a fateful error. They allowed the short sightedness and bone deep boredom of their teenage years to instigate a madness that could only be satisfied by delinquency. Each of the boys found their solace in the form of a joy ride, a drive that would consequently lead down a road that would someday stretch across the nation where countless shows and stories awaited them.
The story of us stealing cars and meeting in a juvenile center was an incubator of romance for the band. There is a good bit of fact and fiction from our past that has been concocted into this high octane mixture.
What bands have influenced you, and what was it about them that made them so influential to you?
Bob Dylan has always been a big one. His ability to weave a story out of surrealistic imagery and then bring it back home with some to the bone insight has always stuck with us. The Strokes were also a big influence. They just had that raw, careless, and drunk on a Monday night with nowhere to go vibe. We like Danger Mouse as well. We can always get some inspiration from his moody psych pop. The Beatles. Oasis. Nirvana.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
The stuff on the EP is a bit easier to describe. We were trying to bring an alternative pulse to an older lineage of styles. There was more blues and folk influence. The new stuff is us kind of growing into ourselves a bit more. It is more rhythmic, moody, and tonally bright in dark sonic space.
Your first single, “Follow My Feet”, charted as high as 35 on the Billboard charts. What does the song’s success mean to you?
It means that a good amount of people heard this song that I created at four in the morning in my room and felt at least a little like I did. I could not be more proud of the song’s success and inspired by the people who caught on to it. It also allowed me to tour for a year and a half which was life changing.
The rest of your first EP Follow My Feet is pretty great as well. What is each of your favorite songs from the EP?
We all unanimously like Howl. It’s a rockin’ tune.
I saw you for the first time at the Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party in Philadelphia where you were playing as one of the opening acts. That was less than a year ago, and now you are playing these huge festivals such as Firefly. Is there a difference between playing at something like the 104.5 Summer Block Party which only has a couple thousand people there versus playing at a music festival like Firefly which had over 80,000 people?
The Block Party was much more concentrated and intense, as opposed to the slightly more free roaming and genre diverse crowd at Firefly. Firefly was like summer camp, where you make a lot of new friends from everywhere and see some old ones. The Block Party was like throwing a big party in your home town and all your friends of friends come out. I had an amazing time at both.
You’ve been making the rounds at a bunch of festivals this year, what made Firefly different all the rest?
The forest that it was settled in was a trip in itself. It really did feel like summer camp for bands, which was cool. Firefly is a massive festival, but still felt pretty down to earth.
You have great energy on stage and put on a really fun show. What do you do to get ready for a show?
Thank you very much! We like to have a good time up there. We drink.
Did it take a while for the band to become so confident and energetic onstage or is it something that just came natural to you?
It has been fairly natural. Our performance inspirations have a lot to do with is as well. We dig bands with big live personalities like Led Zeppelin, The Clash, The Stones, Van Halen, and The Stooges.
It seems like you have been touring almost non-stop. Which do you enjoy more: the touring or the writing and recording process?
I like them both. It’s best to have a good balance of both, so you don’t get burnt out or bored.
What do you do to pass time while you’re out on the road?
We acquire culture at all of America’s most esteemed dive bars.
Is there one city or venue that you haven’t played in that you guys are dying to play?
Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver is at the top of the list. Someday…someday.
It’s been almost a year since the EP was released, how far along are you with the first album?
We have written many songs over the year, but it is all about finding the right group that stick together well. Every song needs to be someone’s favorite. I would say we have most of it.
Can you give any insight into what the album will sound like? Is it going to feel similar to the EP, or are you going in a different direction with it?
It seems I got a bit ahead of myself, so I will refer you to my answer for question 3! It is going to be more future forward stylistically. The nostalgia we had for older styles has evolved into us looking for sounds we haven’t heard before.
Is the album titled yet and have you set a formal release date yet?
Metallic corn flakes and the honey’d milk symposium! No, it is untitled as of yet. We have not. We are shooting for fall, but most likely spring.
When can we expect to hear some new music from you guys?
We are testing out some of the new material live. We will be at Riot Fest in Chicago, Riot Fest in Denver, and KXT’s Summer Cut in Dallas. Soon, so keep an ear out!