Monday, January 28, 2013

Penny and Sparrow - Full Feature and Interview!

A few weeks ago my friend Courtney tweeted her new favorite band and mentioned me knowing I would love them. Well the girl knows me well because her discovery, Penny and Sparrow, pretty much made my week. Melodies and harmonies to swoon for, lyrics that hit home and a new album named after Corie Ten Boom whose story inspired me as a kid to stand up for what was right and true. Andy Baxter and Kyle Jahnke, former roommates out of Austin, TX have  just released their first album this month and were kind enough to answer a few question so we can learn more about them and their music. Make sure to stream my favorite track from the album as well as both of theirs while you read. I guarantee you'll enjoy and want to be friends with them and go for some Chipotle when you're done. Make sure to go buy their album and support the band!
Mary: When did each of you first start playing music? 
Kyle: Started playing drums when I was about 12, and picked up guitar in college.
Andy: Started singing in the car seat next to mom (she drove a green ford tauras) and I still don't really play guitar...but I started faking it around age 14...seriously I'm no good...

M: What was the first live concert you ever went to? 
K: My first concert was a 98 degrees concert and I don't care what kind of judgement I get for saying it because it was fantastic.
A: I saw Paula Cole open up for Matchbox 20....yup, I sure did...I saw the freaking Dawson's Creek theme song live and in person....("I don't wanna wait, til our lives will be ov-ahh")

M: What is your favorite song on this album and why? 
K: It changes all the time.... we played "A woman caught" last night at a show and its so emotional and hard to not get caught up in, so it's currently at the top of the list.
A: still "Duet" for me...I love that it sounds dark, sexy, ominous, and romantic...I'm proud of us for that one...

M: Are either of your families musical at all? If so, how was music present in your lives as you grew up? 
K: I don't think I have ever heard anybody in my family sing and didn't grow up with an instrument in the house. My dad loves music though, he is the one who got me to fall in love with classic rock.
A: My Mom sings better than me without question...none of us ever played instruments in the house, but we sang all the time...with dad it was classic rock/country (Eagles, Foreigner, Bad Co., Hank Will Sr., etc.) with my mom it was pop, 80's/90's country, & broadway (literally Reba all the way to 10th anniversary Les Miz)

M: When did you both decide you wanted to pursue a career in music? Has it always been your dreams or did you ever want to do something else? 
K: I've always loved music, but never really considered pursuing it as a career until recently. We both still have day jobs, and I think they represent the other half of what we love. Pursuing music is definitely a dream for me though!
A: Check out Kyle's's perfect....only thing I'll add is that for the longest time I think we both let insecurity and questions about whether or not we were "good enough" keep us from really seeing if music could be our job....I think we might be done with letting fear make decisions for us...

M: What does music do for you personally? For example, is writing a form of therapy for you? 
K: The easiest way to put it I guess is that it produces joy. It's always so inspiring. Writing is definitely a form of therapy, but is equally a form of community. Andy and I get a chance to hang out, talk and laugh, and write songs together, and it's always incredible time even if the song we write is a bust.
A: It's a knee jerk reaction to joy or inspiration....if I have a really badass day, or if I read/watch/see/hear some book/comic/article/song that blows me away....I immediately want to make stuff....usually the stuff I wanna make Is in that way, music is a daily thing...

M: When are you inspired to write music? Can you write at any time or do events in your life spark your creativity? 
K: A little of both -- sometimes its out of the blue and an idea pops in my head, but lots of the time its after watching an awesome movie, reading a great book, or listening to music that I'm fired up to write.
A: well crap, I kinda answered this one in the last question....see above...hahaha

M: What do you do if you ever feel a creative block or experience discouragement in your career? 
K: Luckily, writing with a good friend means you have another guy that gets to either encourage you through it or you can just drop the song you're working on and start with one of his.
A: I get hung up on a lyric I like a lot...and sometimes I'm crazy reluctant to erase it and start over...that keeps me stuck for sure....and it's frustrating... But like Kyle said, having each other is a great weapon against repetition and being stagnant...

M: Do you both enjoy performing live? Do you get nervous or stage fright? If so, how do you get past it? 
K: Totally - still learning how to do it well though. I haven't had stage fright in a while, but I know that as soon as a bigger show comes up it'll be there again. Usually once you start the show it goes away pretty quickly.
A: Yes. Always yes. I won't be nervous by song two...but straight outta the gate, I'm scared every time...I think I just need to remember that I don't suck...once I remember that, I'm pretty ok for the rest of the show...

M: What is the hardest thing about pursuing a music career? 
K: Booking venues - its a tough nut to crack. Other than that, it's been such a joy. Getting to write and play music with good friends is the best thing ever.
A: I think it's knowing what to do next...sort of like asking yourself, "Ok, am I writing enough? Am I calling the right people?" "Have I prayed about any of this?"....I wanna spend my time in ways that aren't stupid...and I dont always know how to do that...I usually Call Kyle when I think my time Management sucks...

M: How do your friends and family support you in your music? 
K: Our friends and family encourage us like crazy - just constant affirmation that we don't suck, which has really helped push us along. Our friends and family are pretty much the ones that funded the album as well, which was a huge blessing. We did a kickstarter campaign, and the majority of the funds came from our friends.
A: We literally have a family/friend army...and if we don't ever play for anyone but them....I would keep writing music...I love them so much and don't deserve one single member of this crazy huge support group...

M: What activity, place, person, etc. brings you joy? 
K: My wife, my family (shout-out my little niece and nephew), playing or watching soccer, CrossFit, Lake Austin, Estes Park, Bananagrams.
A: My wife, my family, Crossfit, broadway, and reading comic books pretty much everyday...chips & verde salsa more: Chipotle, oh how I love chipotle...

M: When you both were roommates which one of you didn't do your dishes? (There's always one...) 
K: Oh it was for sure both of us. We lived in a 4 bedroom house with like 10 guys so it was just constantly disgusting and awesome.
A: Kyle's being sweet....(typical Jahnke) I was messy as hell.... I didn't do dishes because I ate dollar menu items all day erryday...

M: Any plans for a tour? 
K: Absolutely...
A: Absolutely...

Thanks Kyle and Andy for sharing and looking forward to your tour!

Enjoy a few videos from Penny and Sparrow!

1 comment:

jenn prentice said...

Fantastic interview questions, Mary! I love their music too! Definitely getting the album.