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New Groove

Published: 2008/07/22

Roy Hobbs Agenda

Our latest New Groove of the Month was selected by our readers. So, baseball fans and non baseball alike (see below for that reference), we present the Roy Hobbs Agenda...

*Can you talk about the development of the group? How did you meet and how did the current line-up solidify? *
After the Breadbox Band broke up, Jordan and Chris decided that they still wanted to play music together. Then Jordan called Brian who he had played with in his first band Quick Leroy in San Francisco. Soon after that while looking for a guitarist to fill in at a show, we stumbled on Sean, formally of Natural Breakdown, and things just seemed to feel right. You know like when youre in the pocket, things just feel right, like that.
Most of the group is comprised of musicians who have performed in other bands. How has that experience impacted on your current aims, intents and development?
Well, first of all, all of the playing experience doesnt teach you what to do, it just showed us what not to do. Were not saying that having been in the scene for a while hasnt taught us a lot, were saying the exact opposite.

Talking about aims and goals is tough, because of the experiences we know better than to aim too high or put all our eggs in one basket, some of us in our last projects thought that we had a golden ticket, now we know to not jump to conclusions, just work hard, but still enjoy the ride.

As far as development, the main thing is communication on stage, the fact that we all come from realizing that communication on stage is key in this kind of music.

And lastly while we are here, we would like to thank our prior projects for helping us get a foot in the door. Much Respect.

Who writes the band’s music? How it is typically presented to the group and how does it then come together?
Usually one person will write the basic song and bring it to the table for the rest of us to flesh out (yeah, we know that sounds clich In other cases they have evolved from sitting on the couch with a couple of guitars late at night. A hefty portion of the current catalogue was written by Jordan with an occasional ditty thrown in from one of the rest of us.
To what extent are you drawing on the existing catalog of Breadbox Band and Natural Breakdown and to what extent are you developing new material to place in rotation?
Well now . here we go. Alright first off, heres the deal. Any songs we play from either one of those two catalogues, one of us has written. Now were not saying that we dont tease things from time to time to put some starch in peoples shorts, but its all in good fun (we hope).

From Quick Leroy where Jordan and Brian originally came from we pull a good deal of songs. A lot that were written by Daniel Elkins, still one of Simms and Gallos good friends whom they consider their Robert Hunter/Tom Marshall, Buddy (wellsort of).

Only being together a few short months, man they felt longer, the project is still green so we are fortunate to have new ideas every day cause everything is still new, its like that new hot girlfriend fun huh?
How do you approach its original songs in the live setting?
This could be a long talk if our songs live translate to this discussion. In the same sense we still believe in the song, there is nothing wrong with the three minute get your point across tune. Actually in the live setting its somewhat refreshing, not saying that were not going to try and hit you hard for those three minutes its still good to know that the heartfelt simple message can work just as hard as the jam.

That being said were realizing with this formation that we are sometimes thirteen minutes deep into a song and still have to come back to the verse . Its kinda fun. So basically being fans of the scene in the first place, we have the approach of what do you think would be cool? and take it from there with originals, jams, covers, and teases.
What about covers, can you talk about what songs you toss in from time to time? Who selects them?
Funny you should ask that. Lets start simple. If someone has never seen you before and you play a song that they recognize there is an immediate connection there. I think we all select them, its a lot of man I love that song, and dude check this out! so obviously a lot are pulled from our influences.

Some of the songs we do now are Cant Always Get What You Want by the Stones, Bathroom Window by the Beatles, Stuck in the Middle by Stealers Wheel, Good Friday by the Black Crowes oh and of course some Dead and Phish thrown in there. Thats just some of what we are doing right now, but we like covers and expect them to keep coming.
In terms of cover tunes can you talk about any spectacular successes and failures?
Wow. Of course we have all butchered a cover or two in our years, I mean in past projects we have stories out the ying yang. Fortunately we havent been around long like this but Im sure youll get one from us.

Now on a positive note Stuck in the Middle has really seemed to be working for us, we put our own spin on it and people are responding well to it. And of course in prior projects there are things that we are particularly proud of as well.
The band name, is that drawn from The Natural? Can you talk a bit about how you landed on Roy Hobbs Agenda? While we’re at it, is it three words, or just one, all run together?
Yes. The story of Roy Hobbs basically is that he was shot down in the prime of his career, and came back a little older and did pretty well in baseball. It teaches you that you dont have to be twenty two years old and good looking to break into any industry, if you work hard enough and want it bad enough it can happen. Hence were trying to follow his plan, his agenda. When all of our previous projects ended, we felt like we were shot in the back of the head (like Roy Hobbs) and the dream was over.

To come back have this support is the most humbling experience of our lives so far. Roy Hobbs Agenda, its three words my friends, but if you know it at all, thats good enough for us. But if you are thinking about getting the tattoo, lets talk first.
How often do you rehearse? What do you focus on when you get together for rehearsal?
Several times a week, but the rehearsal doesnt stop there. We know and trust that individually we will all work on what we need to by ourselves during the week and that helps a lot. The main thing we focus on is dont f*** up on stage, and steps we can take to avoid that.
Can you talk about some of your performance highlights thus far. Is there a gig or gigs that stand out? Why?
First and foremost Bucks County Music Festival, that was really our debut to our peers. We really stepped into our own and found our sound as a band on that stage. It became our foundation, and weve been building on that sound ever since. Please understand as weve mentioned before the experiences we have from our prior projects still mean the world to us.

Also we have had a few gigs where we have gotten a chance to play with some of the great musicians in the scene that we have played with before. We love having people sit in with us at shows, especially at fests, it brings the scene in our minds closer together.
What about a studio or live release, where do things stand there?
Well yes, both. As far as a studio album goes, we are planning to get into the studio sometime in Mid-October. We also plan on releasing a live disc at some point. On the other hand, lets talk business for a second, selling records ain’t what it used to be. So, for that reason and many others we love the tapers just as much as you do. This scene is all about sharing music and word of mouth, were just happy that people are listening to what we are doing. That is the reason we ourselves pass out mixes we have made of our live shows, it truly makes it about simply the people and the music.
Any final thoughts to folks across the country who may be hearing about you for the first time from this piece?
Hi, again we are so humbled to be here, please if this is the first youve heard of us give us a listen, come see a show, hang out, dance, and have a good time with us.
We have really had some crazy experiences in the past and they have taught us so much about life, music, and how important you guys are. I mean we even know where to get a burrito at 4am, but there is so much more to learn and thats what we realized when this group came to together.
The opportunity to be able to share ourselves with you means so much to us, so thank you for taking the time to get to know a little about us. We are here because we love the scene, the people, and of course the music. We will continue to do our best to try and rock ya hard every night and keep the scene grooving. So come out and share the experience with us. Lastly, we so honestly appreciate the support we have received so far thank you so very much to everyone who took the time to go and vote for us, we love you all.
Forming this band has given us new life, and a realization that there are still plenty of good times ahead of us, so come be a few companions on this ride.

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