We conducted an interview with Nashville, TN punk rock band COURTESY DROP on January 17, 2012.
Hey! What’s up guys? Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself for people who don’t know who you are. Which punk rock era is your music from?
Hi! My name’s Paul, and I’m in a band called COURTESY DROP, from Nashville, TN. We formed just over a year ago, though oddly enough, a lot of the music has been in the writing process for years. We’ve been taking our sweet time writing and saving up, and we’re about to (finally) hit the road full time, come June (dates can be found here).
As far as what era our music is from; I always describe it as the Midwest in the late 90’s/early 00’s; Indiana more specifically; that’s where I grew up and lived until about two years ago, so if you’re familiar with the ‘Indiana sound’, you’ll definitely hear it in our music.
How’s Nashville these days? What’s the scene like there right now?
Nashville’s good. The weather is all over the place right now, so that’s annoying, but still good.
The scene…well, as a whole, I’d say it’s doing pretty well; the whole garage-rock/folky scene is still blowing up, hardcore is hardcore, and the crust punks will always thrive, always [laughs]. As far as our specific scene though, it’s been kind of sucky until recently. Nashville is so over-saturated with venues/bands/musicians that it’s hard for people to care about, let alone PAY to see, something other than “what’s big”; and anything else they do care about is a popularity contest. Granted, the whole music industry is one giant popularity contest, so you have to take that for what it is. It’s getting better though; people have started bridging gaps between genres and scenes and it’s been awesome. Hopefully that continues.
Your new record is called “What Makes This Place Worth Calling Our Home”. Where can we get it? How do you distribute your music?
You can pick up the record on our bandcamp. We have vinyl available for $8, or you can get it digitally for $5. We do all the distributing ourselves.
Lyrically, where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Most of the current record’s lyrics were inspired solely by some of my past personal experiences. A lot of it was me working through/getting rid of baggage that I’d been carrying for way too long, and trying to get into a less cynical mindset. The sole exceptions are the “title track”, which I wrote in response to the massive amount of love and support I received after moving here, from friends I hadn’t even known for that long; and the song called “Blood of My Blood and Jam of My Jams”, which addresses the disunity among “scenes” and “music lovers”.
The lyrics that’ll be in our new stuff are a little broader in scope, but still share the trait of just being real; no candy coating; no dumb, naive positivity; just being real, if that makes sense.
How many shows have you played so far? What were the biggest bands you supported? Is it your goal to support popular rock bands? Please discuss your attitude towards DIY music.
I don’t have an exact number, though I wish I did, but we’ve played as many shows as we could this past year. Each of the other three dudes are in one or more other bands, so time and shows have been split to accommodate that.
Since we’re relatively new, and are just now touring, the biggest bands we’ve supported would be BALANCE & COMPOSURE and A PLEA FOR PURGING [laughs]. I don’t consider them BIG bands, but I’m pretty sure that anybody reading this will know those names, so whatever.
If the FOO FIGHTERS asked us to go on tour as support, we would in a heartbeat, but that’s not our goal as a band. We’re all in this band because we love writing/playing music; that’s it. If I’m able to turn this into a living somehow, that’d be awesome, but if not, whatever, I’m still doing it. Forever [laughs]. I plan on being synonymous with Matt Fox (of SHAI HULUD), in that I have no intentions of ever quiting what I love to do, regardless of success or lack thereof.
I love DIY music, and I love the process of DIY music. We spent ten hours straight at Fed Ex assembling our record jackets with our good friend Alex Miracle, and loved (almost) every minute of it. Having said that, I think people get caught up in the thought of DIY, and end up doing more harm than good. For me, I’m perfectly content with paying for/booking/handling everything ourselves, but if the opportunity arose where we’d be able to get our music and message[s] out to more people more efficiently, I would definitely take it. However, the moment money and opportunity affect the music directly, I’m done; I think it’s absolutely possible for DIY bands to be successful, and still be DIY; JIMMY EAT WORLD is a prime example.
If you weren’t in a band what would you be doing most of the time?
We’re all in other projects, so I’ll answer as if we weren’t in any.
If I wasn’t in a band, I’d be trying to start or join one [laughs]. That, and spending every moment and resource I have to get Christina Perri to fall in love with me.
Hinkle, the other guitar player, would be trying to start a band with me or join the one I was in [laughs]. I don’t know if you’ve seen “The Story of Anvil” or not, but we are basically Lips and Robb; together for the long haul. That, and spending every moment and resource he had to get BALANCE & COMPOSURE to fall in love with him.
Jaime, our bass player, would probably just be working, making money, marrying his awesome girlfriend, being happy; you know, all that lame stuff [laughs]. However, the rest of us are convinced that he’s an alien or a cyborg, so he’d probably actually be touring the universe in an intergalactic funk band.
Shon, our drummer, loves music the most out of all of us, so he’d definitely be getting involved in other musical endeavor[s], or actually teaching it. He’d probably continue to be black too.
What are your hopes for COURTESY DROP in the future?
I mean, every band wants to be successful, so I definitely hope for that, but I really just hope for us to affect people’s lives in a positive way, regardless of the scale.
Thank you! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for the opportunity! I’m ridiculously long winded, so I apologize for the huge read. I think it’s best that I stop now, before it gets worse.
Featured photo by Tori Wharton Smith.