Interview: This Old House

1 May

Earlier in the month I was sitting around Denton trying to find something to do, when I noticed NTX Showlist had a show listed at The Hydrant Cafe. that featured a band named This Old House. Intrigued by the name I took sometime to search out the band, and after a little searching I managed to track down their myspace. To put it mildly I was blown away, this is what “Texas Stargaze” is supposed to sound like. So, I walked down to the venue saw I had no chance of getting in, and decided to try and catch up with the band at a later point. The problem was I didn’t count on having the music stick with me the way it did, so I set up an interview with the guys (Ryan McAdams, Drew McCary, Kennon Talley and Micheal Allison) a few weeks later. After spending a little time discussing the stray dog they took in named Norm, we sat down for a few questions.

They recently remastered the Beatles records, say I slapped down the money for one album which would you buy?

(instantly)McCary: Rubber Soul.

Talley: Rubber Soul.

McAdams: Can I buy Thriller?

Allison: Man, I like Wings, I’ll be honest I like Wings more then the Beatles.

(This cause about 45 seconds of laughter)

So Band on the Run?

Allison: No, no, no Wings has that one song…Drew had the right answer, Sgt. Pepper’s was good.

So who would you guys cite as your main influences?

McCary: We kind of all listen to the same stuff, like we’re all into the Sky Green Leopards, and you know stuff like Grizzly Bear is a big influence in a lot of stuff we do.

Talley: Yeah, I don’t know about these guys but I grew up listing to a lot of older classic rock, and country.

Allison: I’m really bad about keeping up with music trends, I can’t even answer a good Beatles question, but because I’m playing drums I’d say a lot of the influences in my playing come from like oldies, old soul, old Motown, Doo Wop, just stuff I grew up listening to with my mom. I like The Dap Kings, their approach to recording is something I want to do when we start working on the album.

Every group has a different dynamic, which one of you takes the lead?

Allison: No one, though Ryan handles most of the writing.

So how did you guys come together?

McAdams: It started it off with Drew and myself, we’ve been friends for a long time, then we were friends with  Kennon so we asked him to come and play, and from there it just kind of fell together.

Allison: Drew and my girlfriend grew up together, and I made a comment about how I played the drums, they invited me to hang out one day, and it all just kind of happened.

McAdams: I guess we’ve been playing together 2 months of show, we’ve had about 6 shows.

Allison: Yeah we’ve all played a lot under different names and different bands, Kennon has another project.

What do you feel the your music is getting over to the listener?

Talley: Learn to hang out.

McAdams: I feel there’s a lot of Texas in our music, a lot of it has to do with just the Texas culture and how it affects us. I guess you could say it’s the way we see Texas.

Would you say Denton affects you? Like, the culture here, the competitiveness of the scene, does seeing everyone else here push you?

Allison: I think we all appreciate Denton. I was here, then I moved home to Houston, and then I came back to Denton, because I like this town. I know they(McAdams & McCary) moved here from College Station for pretty much the same reason.

McCary: Like every aspect of the scene here is great, like the punk scene going on over at Panhandle, I love what those guys are able to put together is amazing. I just really appreciate everything that’s going on.

Allison: We’ve had our music compared to Denton, like what the town is at it’s core. You know Denton is a slower sort of life style when you compare it to other places, and honestly it’s hard to get going here because it is a healthy competition, because we’re young, and it’s a challenge getting out there you have to work to set yourself apart. Drew and I were talking the other day about, how you have to just pay your dues in this town, luckily we’ve been fortunate to play pretty much every week.

McAdams: I’ve been surprised by the turnouts actually.

Allison: Yeah I guess you can say it’s good when people have problems getting into your show. Another thing is, yeah Denton is great, but we don’t really have a rehearsal space due to neighbor complaints, so we have to sneak into where my girlfriend lives, and use their rehearsal rooms.

Who would you like to play with locally, and like ideally?

McAdams: We’ve been trying to play with Bosque Brown, but it just hasn’t worked out. And, we’d love to play with Midlake, or MATAS.

What are the current goals?

McAdams: Recording.

Allison: We’ve got a tour this summer with Kennon’s other band, we’d like to have that fully booked.

McCary: We just want to play anywhere everywhere, in a house, a street corner, doesn’t matter as long as we’re playing.

Where are you playing during the tour?

Allison: College Station, Austin, Houston. Just anywhere, and everywhere.

Say you’re stuck in a van driving to a tour stop and the tape was jammed in the player what stuck on one song what would that song be?

Talley: It doesn’t matter as long it has some type of wicked 7 minute guitar solo.

McAdams: I have no idea

Allison: That’s one of those questions like what’s your favorite color?

McCary: CCRLooking out my back door

Allison: Either, Mongo JerrySummertime”, or Herb AlpertSpanish Flea

McAdams: I’d probably say something from Sparklehorse.

What’s the best show you’ve been to?

Allison: I would have to say Radiohead last summer.

McCary: We (Himself & McAdams) saw Grizzly Bear at SXSW.

Talley: Monotronix at SXSW it just rocked my world, I felt a little violated, but that’s how a good show should be.

If you could pick one locale to play, where, or what would it be?

McAdams: I would love to play in Europe, but I would say the coolest show ever would be playing somewhere in a jungle to nothing but villagers. It would be  a crowd you would never expect to play to, and that would be awesome.

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