"Showbread talks new album, free tour, Aerosmith, Queen and The Muppets." - Interview

Showbread is an impressive band with the new album “Who Can Know It?” out now. Early next year the band is heading out on tour in which admission to every show will be free. Recently I got a chance to chat with Josh Dies where we talk about Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic,” Queen’s “A Night at the Opera,” along with the new album and the upcoming tour. Check it out.

Q - You have a new album, "Who Can Know It" out, how would you describe the new album, especially compared to previous efforts?

A - Different. It couldn’t be more different. Our previous records were often about being as loud and ugly as possible. They used satire and unbridled energy to get their point across while this record is about contemplating philosophy in a musically cerebral way. There’s certainly still an energy and an abrasive spirit, but it’s fleshed out in a way that’s completely unique to us. We wanted to change every way we approached writing this time and we found something that we loved more than anything we had done before.

Q - What's your band’s writing process? Do you have a designated songwriter, is it more collaborative etc?

A - I’m the songwriter to a certain extent, but even when I’ve completely written a song I bring it to the band with a collaborative spirit. Sometimes we do a complete overhaul and sometimes we leave it be, everyone just wants the best song, not the most input or the best part for their instrument.

Q - Do you have a favorite song on the album?

A - It’s always changing. Right now it might be “Time To Go” which came from a long day of listening to Phil Collins and The Flaming Lips. The song is mostly just a drum kit and a piano, which most people will tell you doesn’t work sonically. I love the way that song came out, if there was some kind of “guide to Showbread” compilation, I’d want it near the end.

Q - With the state of the music industry in pretty much disarray, you managed to gain some attention view social media sites, specifically youtube.com. What role do you think social media will play in getting new music out there?

A - Unfortunately it seems like it’s almost everything in promoting a record now, which I find disheartening. The internet can certainly be a convenient way to release and promote music but the drawback is that it simultaneously devalues that music because of suffering attention spans. I’m sure in the coming years the internet will become the only vehicle for music to be released and promoted. It’s a double-edged sword because on the one hand an artist doesn’t have to wait to be played on the radio to gain exposure, but on the other hand any kid with a laptop can and will release an album and add to the noise of a billion bands all screaming for attention in the cesspool of the internet which can stifle the opportunity to be heard in the first place.

Q - What are your future touring plans?

A - We’ll be touring to promote the new album early next year and every date will be free admission. After that we’ll probably resume a more traditional touring schedule with normal shows until we can save up enough for another free tour.

Q - What can fans expect from your live show?

A - A break from the stale rock show format. It’s more like a play or a presentation.

Q - What was your first concert?

A - I saw Hootie And The Blowfish when I was 11 or 12. It was pretty cool. The show that changed me was MxPx in 1998; it was my first punk show and an experience like none other.

Q - Who are some of your early musical influences?

A - The first time my brother and I talked about starting a band was when we were about 8 and 10 years old and it was because my Dad had played us a lot of Aerosmith and Queen records. Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic” and Queen’s “A Night At The Opera” were the records that really stuck out to me as a kid and probably the albums I’ve listened to and loved for the longest time.

Q - While doing research on the always reliable Wikipedia website they label you as a "Christian, American Rock band." As a fan of rock music I feel like a lot of great bands that also happen to be Christian don't get a fair shake with mainstream rock radio because of the Christian label, which is unfortunate because there are a lot of great Christian artists out there. Has this been something you've experienced, if not am I off base for thinking that?

A - We think of our art and faith as one in the same so it’s never bothered us that we’ve been called “a Christian band.” It does come at a cost, but I feel like that cost is decreasing all the time. Openly Christian bands are accepted among secular bands more often than not in the current climate of independent rock music. Even so there seems to be an uncertain rule about exactly how “Christian” you can take it before people start to think of you as cheesy. We like to write lyrics about complicated theology and we never put any restrictions on ourselves in any respect, so we don’t waste time worrying about how we’re received, we just make the record we want to make.

Q - Thanks so much for your time, is there anything else you'd like to add?

A – “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is one of the best, if not the best Christmas movie ever.


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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