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Interviews

Tobin Bawinkel from FLATFOOT 56 discusses his new Americana project 6’10!

Tobin Bawinkel of FLATFOOT 56, started 6’10 to go back to his musical roots in Americana and Folk music. “Life can’t be all circle pits and spitting on sweaty crowds”, says the official press release and you certainly cannot argue with that truth. Life is a thought-provoking book about self-discovery and exploration and it’s really comforting to meet artists like Tobin, who are motivated to create incredibly engaging and entertaining stories. I am really glad I was able to meet Tobin through the interview for IDIOTEQ and share the final effect with you.

Pick up “The Humble Beginnings of a Roving Soul” on iTunes. The pre-order comes with a free download for the album single called “Backpack”.

Hey guys! How are you? How cold is Chicago this winter? Freezing cold like last year?

Chicago has been cold but luckily we have been snow free. They say it shouldn’t be as harsh of a year as last.

Ok Tobin. Let’s introduce this new project of yours. Who are 6’10’s and what inspired you to start this band?

6’10 was started in the spring of 2013 as a way to put out some of the tunes that I had been writing that didn’t quite fit with the FLATFOOT 56 style or themes. We are a folk/americana type band with rougher edges and deep content. We love story telling and always try to keep the crowd engaged.

Did your musical diversity made it more difficult or way easier to come up with a new coherent effort?

It’s had helped for sure. I have always been a guy who likes many different style of music. I have always seen it as a wonderful way to learn and understand about culture and people groups. Each song is a chance to understand a different perspective. For this reason, creating a new band was a total adventure. I could stretch my legs in new areas and allow my creative juices to flow.

610 album cover

What are “The Humble Beginnings of a Rovin’ Soul” from the title of the album? What can your stories and lyrics teach us this time?

This is the title of the new full length record. It is a collection of songs that cover everything from frustration with relationships and politics, to finding love and learning how to recover from having you life ripped apart. The songs on the album were written during the most difficult period I have ever been through. Much of the record is my journey through trial and finding forgiveness. There are also some very good stories of the road and travel. In short the album will take you somewhere.

Tobin, you arranged a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to support this album. Can you expound more on that idea? Was it worth it?

We are very blessed to have some amazing fans that have always supported what we do. In the past I have always worked with labels, but since 6’10 is more of a homegrown style band, we thought we would see if the fans wanted to back the record. The process gave us the chance to connect with our fan base in a personal way. We were able to incorporate the people we love into the creative process. A Kickstarter is a ton of work, but the process was well worth it. I just finished a few songs and jingles for those fans who opted for the personal song package, which was offered through the kickstarter. For this particular package, the supporter is able to tell me info about something they want a song written about, and I then write a tune for them and record it. Its an amazing honor to be a part of peoples lives in this way. Some of the stories we have been given are amazing and life impacting.

I’ve met a bunch of musicians who believe that How do crowdfinding campaigns do not follow the logic of the original independent approach to making music. How does it work with DIY punk approach in your opinion?

Punk has always been about community and the scene. At least that is what it always was for me. It was always the band of misfit individuals coming together through their love for music and freedom. I don’t know about your other musician friends, but I don’t have the money to put out records on my own. What i do have is a strong work ethic and drive. Projects that include fans in the creative process are incredible. It makes musicians more connected to people and allows for those who don’t have as much musical talent, to be a part of a scene that they love. Besides if you have ever done a kickstarter you will know that it is anything but sitting back and letting the money roll in. There is so much work involved in fulfilling the package obligations. It is almost more work to do a kickstarter then it is to just pay for it yourself.

What were the biggest obstacles to the overall success of the whole “new record” project?

Time! There just isn’t enough time to create, promote, tour, book, record, communicate, and schedule four peoples lives around a band. I have been playing music for almost 15 year and it is always the biggest difficulty.

Tobin, you arranged a cool record release party later this month. Can you drop us some details and promote it a bit more here? What can we expect on December 12th?

You can expect an amazing night of music and musical unity. We are hoping to release our newest music video that night as well and give everyone a first look at it. I am really excited about this. We are also excited to have my old friends in DESTROY NATE ALLEN paying the show with us as well. IN EXILE (Which is Brandon FLATFOOT’s band) is also going to bring it for us. I love the venue as well.

610 Record Release Show

6’10 have a European tour scheduled for fall next year. Is the booking already on? Can you share some more details on that trek?

We will be coming to Europe next fall for three weeks. We are looking being there the last week of September and into October. The booking has already begun and we are excited to come over.

Cool. Ok, Tobin. Tell me, how is Americana music popular within your local community of punk rockers?

Americana has always been something that the older punks start to appreciate after life has run them over a few times. Americana has a very rich heritage of trial, love, loss and looking at life in a witty way. Singer songwriter shows at some of the better known spots draw very well in Chicago. I think the reason is that Chicago is a very down to earth kind of town. The people work hard and are the salt of the earth. The theams of Americana share these values.

Are there some cool folk rock / country / acoustic / Americana acts you’d like to recommend to our readers?

Check out a guy names Brandon Reid. Also Cory Branan, and Homeless Gospel choir.

Thanks Tobin! Good luck in this new chapter and have a great month! Would you like to add anything else before we wrap it up?

Keep up with what is going on with 6’10 by visiting our web site OR check out our facebook page.

Thanks man! Cheers from refreshingly cold Warsaw! Take care!

6’10 Facebook
6’10 YouTube
6’10 official website
6’10 Instagram
Tobin@flatfoot56.com
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