Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Interview with Tyrus Thompson from Stop Drop

Critical Mass: Thanks for taking the time to talk with Critical Mass. For anyone new to Stop Drop, can you give us a little history on the band and how you guys got together?

Tyrus Thompson: Stop Drop started playing together about a year ago. It was formed by myself and Connor who were already playing together in the ska band 2 Tone Runts. I was looking for an outlet for songs that didn't fit the 2TR style and we both wanted to tour more. Brody was a co-worker of mine and I brought him in after jamming a few times. Brooklynn knew Connor because they were both local trombone players and she was looking for more gigs. We are currently working in a new trombone player, Tony Beaderstadt, into the mix. He played with us in 2 Tone Runts. We recorded our first EP, Stop Drop Is Distracted, together last spring and summer in our rehearsal space and released it for free download in August.

CM:  I recently reviewed the bands album "Is Distracted" and enjoy your mix of acoustic pop with a reggae feel. Who are some of the bands musical influences?

TT: Jamaican rhythms have always been a major influence from Toots and the Maytals to The Skatalites. I would also say modern bands like Against Me! and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists as well as legends like The Replacements and The Clash. When I'm listening to records at home I jump all over the place spanning multiple genres like folk to pop to ska to punk to RnB. The daily struggles of the working class and the fight for equality and justice to just growing up and trying to make my voice heard as well as all the teachers who ignored me or said I couldn't make it have all pushed me to keep going and spreading music.

CM: Now, the band is currently unsigned right? Has any labels, indie or otherwise, contacted you about possibly releasing some material in the future? Or will you continue to release your own material?

TT: We wanted to release something for free which is why we went the D.I.Y. route with "Is Distracted." We feel like in this modern age of home studios and accessible online distribution that band don't need labels. Labels need bands. That being said, if the right offer were to come around we may consider it but it's not a priority to us.

CM:  As far as songwriting goes, is it a group effort or is there a primary songwriter in the group?

TT: I'll come to practice with an outline for a song and the rest of the band will help polish it up. We might jam on it a couple times to find which ever arrangement comes naturally. When I write, it's generally when I'm home alone on my guitar or organ. I try to start with a chorus. Usually with a melody and lyrics that may have been in my head all day. The hook can be the hardest part. From there I'll find a chord structure for the verse. I try not to force the first verse and chorus. If I get stuck, I move on to the next song. Once I have a chorus and first verse, I might move on and write the rest of the lyrics and the bridge later. Other times I might just vomit up a whole song at once like with the Tour Song, which I think I wrote in less than 20 minutes.

CM: You have a great song on "Is Distracted" called Tour Song which I love! And the band hails from Minneapolis, MN. Now is Tour Song autobiographical? Has the band been out on tour in the past?

TT: I've been touring with bands for a while now. Stop Drop started touring the Midwest last spring and we did two weeks on the East Coast with Detroit based band Matt Wixson's Flying Circus in August. Touring is probably one of my favorite things to do. It's when I'm the most happy. I don't like being a tourist though. Traveling for me is much more enjoyable when there are people waiting to see you at every city. I like staying with strangers and meeting new friends and other bands. I like the long hours on the road and waking up somewhere else.

CM: Are there any plans to take the show on the road in 2012?

TT: You will start seeing us traveling around the Midwest again this spring. We have a bunch of shows in the works. We plan on doing even more touring this year to different places then we have been. We'll play everything from concert venues to coffee shops to basements. Hit us up if and we'll do our best to make it out to where ever you may be.

CM: Will we be seeing any new releases, full lengths, singles, 7"s or splits in the near future?

TT: We've got a lot of new songs in the works and will start demoing them this summer. No current plans for when or how they will be released. I would love to get something out on vinyl.

CM: Is there a website where fans get up to date news on upcoming releases, gigs and merch?

TT: Our website is www.stopdropmusic.com On there you can download our EP for free, check out our StopDropTV youtube videos as well as purchase our t-shirts and other merch. You can also follow stopdropmusic on Twitter. And starting Monday, 1-23-12 we will be doing a weekly live stream on our "ChatWithTheBand" tab on our Facebook every Monday night at 7pm Central.

CM: The new album is really kick ass, and I'm stoked to hear more from Stop Drop in the future. Thanks again for talking with Critical Mass. All the best to you guys in 2012!

Thanks for taking the time to check out our EP and we're stoked to make more music. Peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.