Switchfoot surfs through Columbia

Switchfoot surfs through Columbia

The popular Christian rock band will stop by The Blue Note on Thursday.

By Megan Suddarth

Published April 20, 2012

Avid surfers, the Christian rock band Switchfoot got its name from a surfing technique: “Switchfoot” is when you change your feet on the board and place your left foot forward instead of your right. But instead of hanging 10, the San Diego, Calif. band hangs five with Jon and Tim Foreman, Chad Butler, Jerome Fontamillas and Drew Shirley. Only two of them are actual brothers, but in Drew’s eyes, they all are.

“It’s a band that’s kind of rare,” Shirley says. “(It) started with brothers, but we really do kind of have this feel of kind of being brothers in a band. It’s kind of like a family band in a way because we all feel like brothers.”

Switchfoot is in the process of filming a documentary, and people will get to see behind the scenes of the band’s tours and even a few surfing tips from the California natives. While on tour, the five members will be writing the music to go along with it, and it will be released as their next CD, the soundtrack to the movie.

“We’re visiting a whole bunch of surf destinations around the world,” Shirley says. “It’s kind of a dream come true to make a surf film. It’s going to be a documentary, as well about the history of the band, what it’s like on tour, behind the scenes, how we write music, how we record music and all that.”

Switchfoot brings more than just music to a stage. They also bring a message.

“Our faith is a part of who we are,” Shirley says. “It affects the way we see the world, of course, because it’s who we are. When we play shows, we’re musicians and we’re expressing songs about what we think. So, what we hope comes across is honesty.”

Shirley feels that as a band, honesty is what grabs the audience the most and is the key ingredient to a great song.

“The best songs are the most honest songs, I believe,” Shirley says. “The way Jon writes songs connected to what he believes is very unique and very transparent. And so, we hope that people just catch a glimpse of the vision of the song and the honesty in the song and whatever it’s talking about.”

“Dark Horses” is one Shirley’s favorite songs to perform for audiences. Written about the homeless youth of San Diego, Shirley connects with this song because he sometimes feels like a dark horse himself in that he may not be as good as those around him. He feels that the song is easily relatable for many in the world.

“It’s a song about the underdog,” Shirley says. “When we’re playing that song, we’re helping the audiences feeling hope. We’re bringing hope to the hopeless.”

Switchfoot is impacting people throughout the world. Recently, the band met a soldier about to deploy to Afghanistan, and they decided to sit and talk and play some songs for the young soldier as a sendoff and thank you.

“We were walking to our bus and he asked to play us an acoustic song,” Shirley says. “So, we all just sat there and heard his story, and then Jon played a couple of acoustic songs out on the street right in front of our bus for him as a sort of sendoff.”

Switchfoot plays at The Blue Note with The Rocket Summer opening at 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $22.

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Country superstar Miranda Lambert stops by Mizzou Arena

MOVE caught up with the country singer, who plays at Mizzou Arena on Sunday with openers Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann.

Courtesy of Sarah Fuller

By Megan Suddarth

Published April 13, 2012

Get ready for the hot country chick herself: Miranda Lambert is ready to light up the stage and rock your boots. The 2012 American Country Music Album of the Year winner is riding through the country on her “On Fire” tour.

“(The) tour is going great,” Lambert said in an email. “My shows are always a mix of songs from all my albums plus some rocking cover songs. It’s always exciting having new material, though, so we will be incorporating a lot of songs from Four the Recordduring this tour. Fans can probably expect to hear my newest song, ‘Over You,’ but also my older hits like ‘Gunpowder and Lead’ and ‘The House That Built Me.'”

Lambert is touring with fellow artists Chris Young and Jerrod Niemann. Being the only girl on the road can get a bit rough, she says.

“I enjoy hanging out with my guest artists, band, and crew, but sometimes I miss having girls around too,” Lambert says. “That’s why I love it when the other Pistol Annies decide to come out with me.”

There are many benefits to getting to perform in front of a packed crowd, but Lambert has a favorite one.

“Being on stage performing and having your fans sing every word of every song with you is a natural ‘high’ for me,” Lambert says. “I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life. Of course there are days when I would rather be home and hang out with my dogs and husband, but I think that’s the same for everyone.”

Songs with particular meanings behind the words have a larger effect on audiences than others. This is the case for Lambert’s new single, “Over You.” This song has a special place in her heart.

“Over You” was written by both Lambert and her husband, fellow country star Blake Shelton. At the time of its release, Lambert’s father-in-law and one of her childhood friends passed away, so the song has taken on a lot of meaning for the star.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Blake and I had this song to fall back on during these difficult times,” Lambert says. “We both cried when we wrote it, and it was the most emotional songwriting experience either of us has ever had, since it’s about the tremendous loss of his brother in a tragic car accident.”

Lambert recently took home the Album of the Year award from the 2012 American Country Music Awards for her album, Four the Record, and even now she’s still in shock.

“I am still blown away by the other albums that were nominated for ACM Album of the Year,” she says. “They are all amazing pieces of art, and I am so humbled that mine was eve in the category with those, let alone that it won. Winning awards is a huge thrill and honor, especially winning Album of the Year, because it means that my record was embraced by my peers in the industry while my fans paid hard-earned money for it to help make it so successful. I am so blessed to get to do what I love for a living, and winning awards just puts it over the top.”

Singing and performing for crowds of thousands isn’t the only passion that Lambert has in this world. She also started the MuttNation Foundation in 2009, which raises funds for abandoned and abused animals.

“I started raising money several years back for the Humane Society of East Texas, the shelter where I used to hang out and walk the dogs,” she says. “I have seven rescue dogs — two of them, Delta and Cher, travel with me on the road, but the others are too big to be on the bus with me full time — so it’s a cause that’s very dear to my heart.”

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Blacking out with Breathe Carolina

The Denver electronic band will play Wednesday at The Blue Note with The Ready Set.

Courtesy of MEENO

By Megan Suddarth

Published March 16, 2012

From shattering exit signs to launching champagne glasses off of hotel balconies, the guys in Breathe Carolina personify their lyrics completely. With three albums released and a new single, “Blackout,” that’s taking the pop charts by storm, Kyle Even and David Schmitt of Breathe Carolina are on tour rocking crowds with neon lights and smoke-filled stages.

The band’s sound is one that encourages getting up and dancing and losing yourself. “Blackout” does this to crowds all across the nation.

“It’s like a rave and a rock show,” Even says. “In that element it’s sort of dance-y, but it has that rock background, it’s where we come from. It’s got like this pop-electronic fusion with it.”

The name for the band came from a very unconventional source: a dream.

“It was kind of premeditated from when (David) was in ninth grade,” Even says. “He had this dream about this lady named Carolina. So when it was time for us to name our project he was like, ‘I’ve always wanted to name something Breathe Carolina,’ and that was kind of how it worked out.”

The music combines party melodies with abrupt screaming. The screaming talent on their tracks comes from Even, and success with something so straining doesn’t come quickly.

“It’s just trial and error,” Even says. “I’ve been doing it for about 10 years. After that long you just kind of figure out how to push it without straining.”

Touring is constant and spending so much time with the same group of people can be stressful on relationships, but not for this band.

“There’s so many of us, we tour with 12 people, so there’s a lot of things to do,” Even says. “We laugh a lot, we have a lot of fun. We’re gonna be on Warped Tour all summer on the main stage. It should be absolutely ridiculous.”

Breathe Carolina’s songs are heavily centered on parties and living life in the most crazy ways. Lyrical inspiration isn’t always autobiographical for artists – but for this group, it most certainly is. Even and Schmitt take their songs to a whole new level of real-life destruction.

Even recalls a time in which they were kicked out of a hotel room.

“We were just out in Palm Springs,” Even says. “We were getting all rowdy and we brought a bunch of people that were at the show up to our hotel room. For some reason, I grabbed this champagne glass and I looked at one of the kids that came up and I’m like, ‘Yo, you trying to throw this off this balcony or what?’ And I just hawked it. Right after that, D walked in the room, he didn’t even see me do it, and he goes up to this lamp and just shoves it into the wall. So (security) came up and they kicked us out of the room.”

His explanation?

“We hadn’t been in a hotel room in a while, so we felt destructive,” Even says. “It just happens sometimes.”

Not only do they break lamps, but they destroy signs, too. These guys are a dream come true for the classic rebel.

“I was running around this hotel with my buddy Danny Cooper from Drop Dead Gorgeous and we were just running and jumping and just punching the exit signs,” Even says. “Finally, we’d broke them completely off so we went in the stairwell and we were trying to see how far we could drop them from the stairs. It was fun.”

A word of advice for amateurs:

“Only be destructive if you’re not gonna get caught,” Even says with a chuckle.

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Leveling with Tommy and the High Pilots

The band will play at Mojo’s on Monday.

By Megan Suddarth

Tommy and the High Pilots are returning to Columbia to perform with band Langhorne Slim.

Even with a whirlwind full of new music, touring and a new music video, Tommy and the High Pilots’ lead singer, Tom Cantillon, takes time to discuss food, fashion, movies, personality types of his fellow band mates, Mike Cantillon (electrics, acoustics and keyboard), Steve Libby (bass) and Matt Palermo (drums) and the future for their band.

The band just released the new video for their song “Lonely Place” from their Sawhorse Sessions EP a couple weeks ago.

“We’d been throwing around the idea of doing a video for ‘Lonely Place,’” Lead singer, Tom Cantillon says. “I just thought it’d be kind of cool if we had different apparatuses and girls hanging on stuff. The song is really mellow and kind of artsy so that went with it.”

Touring certainly is stressful on a diet, especially when touring takes place during the majority of the year. Meals packed with Seven Eleven munchies and fast food joints can take a toll. So, The High Pilots try to stock up on healthier options on the road.

“We really strive to have fruit,” Cantillon says. “We’re big on chips and salsa and tons and tons of water.”

“And coffee,” Cantillon adds. “We’re addicts.”

Clothing attire is always something that seems to stick with audiences.  Suspenders, red blazers and denim are usually the options for The High Pilots.

“The High Pilots are usually in collars,” Cantillon says. “Mikey likes his denim jacket for sure – the little country boy in him. I’ve been wearing my black jeans like every day.”

Clothing options usually make a statement to the audience.

“I feel like there’s something of a sense of fashion that ties into music,” Cantillon says. “If it’s a bar, we always want to represent ourselves and the band. Wherever we are, in whatever setting, we want people to turn heads. One night I had a collared shirt on with suspenders and I tucked it in and one of the guys in the band that was opening was like, ‘Hey man, going to work?’”

Band members have their own specific personality that shines through. A successful group is comprised of different character traits in each member. A leader, a baby, a tough guy and a sweetheart make up the men of The High Pilots.

“Mikey’s the baby by default, but he’s also the funny guy,” Cantillon says. “Mikey’s got a personality; we call it ‘The Mikey-ness.’ Whenever he’s being interviewed or talking on stage, you get a little bit of ‘The Mikey-ness.’ I like to think I’m tough but I have to give it to Steve; he’s ‘The Rock’ for sure. Matt is the thoughtful one, very sincere. We all have all these traits but if I had to categorize those three, that’s where I’d put them.”

Every band needs a leader and for this band, Cantillon takes the lead.

“[I’d say I’m] Captain. Every band has a leader and I think by default I am the leader. Everyone has input in this band and everyone gets equal say but I start that process.”

The High Pilots take time to have fun and fool around and be normal but they get down to business, too. The band has been working hard and hitting the studio lately and plan to release a new record by the end of the year.

“We recorded about 20 new demos,” Cantillon says. “I’m really pumped about our new music. I feel like all this new stuff is way better than the old stuff – you realize what works and what doesn’t work.”

As tour dates pass and new material is released, The High Pilots are learning every step of the way.

“I think as we get older,” Cantillon says. “We get better at what we do.”

Flying high: Catching up with Tommy of The High Pilots

The Santa Barbara quartet will stop by Mojo’s on Monday.

By Megan Suddarth

Published March 16, 2012

Open roads, microphones and loyal fans pretty much fill the life of Tom Cantillon, lead singer of Tommy and the High Pilots. For this California boy, life is crazy in so many ways. Touring the country all year, meeting new people, writing songs and, most importantly, bringing a certain charisma that would impress even Lennon to each and every stage he climbs, describes the life of this whole-hearted musician.

Relationships that last a lifetime

Hailing from Santa Barbara, Calif., Tom grew up with his four brothers, all of whom he’s close to. A tight group of boys from when they were little to even today, Tom and his brothers often found their own ways to have fun with what they had growing up. Referred to once as “a pack of hyenas,” the brothers were always trying to outdo each other for attention — understandable coming from such a large group of boys. From activities such as filming their own movies to skateboarding to basketball, their relationships have only grown stronger with the years.

Jimmy Cantillon, one of Tom’s brothers, refers to their relationships as best friends.

“Growing up together was really fun,” Jimmy says. “It has honestly become more fun since we’ve all been old enough to hang out as adults and go to bars together. Our age differences were obviously more noticeable when we were kids.”

Kevin Cantillon, another brother, is the closest to Tom in age.

“We have a lot of the same friends and like a lot of the same things,” Kevin says. “We talk almost daily on the phone, and he’ll run new songs by me to see what I think. He’s on the road a lot, so it’s nice when we get to hang out away from venues or shows.”

Memories underlie each and every relationship, and these brothers have some pretty spectacular ones — Jimmy and Tom once lied to get into a Jimmy Eat World concert in Texas while on tour.

“Word got back to the band somehow, and after the show they walked up to our school bus (tour bus) and asked if they could come in and check it out,” Jimmy says. “They all signed the inside of the bus for us and then talked to us about how lucky we were. After we argued about them being the lucky ones, they explained that they don’t get to see the country and meet people like we do. They are flown from show to show or in a tour bus where they don’t see out the windows. They told us to cherish every minute of it, and I think that ever since then we definitely have. It was pretty inspiring.”

Making another memory in the process, Kevin and Tom once snuck out of the house, escaping the clutches of a babysitter while their parents were out of town.

“Me and Tom took our bikes and rode down the street to the main road, where our parents would never let us go without them,” Kevin says. “We rode our bikes up and down the main street for about 20 minutes, feeling both scared and excited. It was our first experience of being out in the world on our own. When Tom’s out on the road, I often think of that day, and how he’s turned his bike in for a tour van, and the main street in for the open road.”

A lifetime of love

Tom found a passion for music at a young age. With parents who promoted concerts, he grew up in a home filled with musical inspirations like Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain, Van Morrison, David Byrne and John Lennon, and his passion inevitably grew with time.

By fifth grade, Tom had formed his very first band — though it didn’t last long. By middle school, Tom was already writing songs and belting out that unforgettable voice.

“I didn’t play anything, but I sang and wrote the lyrics,” Tom says. “We disbanded due to freeing up recess time.”

Tom can play six different instruments, including the guitar and piano. He taught himself to play guitar as a teen, before his mother decided to put him into lessons.

“I decided to pick up guitar when I was 15,” Tom says. “Haven’t put it down since.”

During high school, Tom even convinced his parents to sign him up for independent studies, so he could get out of classes and do his work while on tour with his band.

Described by Jimmy as a “rare breed,” Tom’s passion and excitement for music shines through his entire life. It takes a lot to make it in the music industry, and it seems Tom has the talent, drive and zeal required.

“Anyone can join a band,” Jimmy says. “A smaller amount of those people can stick with it for a few years and actually take a chance with it. Then there is a very small number of people that you meet who you can tell are not going to accept anything less than a lifelong career in it. Tommy is that guy.”

Kevin shares the same opinion.

“Music is his life,” Kevin says. “It’s what he does all day, and it’s what drives him. Music is his connection with the rest of the world.”

Nowadays

Tommy and the High Pilots formed after Tom moved back to Santa Barbara after a year in New York.

“I had the itch to get a band back together,” Tom says. “Started as a cover band called Mr. Handsome. Moved forward from there.”

Their songs range from romantic lovey-doveys to fast-paced songs detailing subways and the Big Apple, and the inspirations come from all across the board.

“Some are autobiographical, some are just stories made up in my crazy head,” Tom says.

The High Pilots have been touring the country nonstop for the past two years and don’t plan to stop anytime soon. During the couple days they had off this year, they recorded some new demos and hope to release a new record by the end of this year.

“I’m really pumped about our new music,” Tom says. “I feel like all this new stuff is way better than the old stuff. You realize what works and what doesn’t work.”

In addition to hitting the studio and working on new music, The High Pilots also released their video for “Lonely Place” from their Sawhorse Sessions EP a few weeks ago.

Sometimes the trials and tribulations that accompany pursuing dreams can get a bit heavy, but The High Pilots try to keep their heads up. And with an ever-growing fan base, they count themselves happy.

“We measure our success by how many people are coming out to the shows, and that number keeps growing,” Tom says. “Little things, like MTV and song placements in TV shows are also little rays of light that keep us excited to move forward.”

As The High Pilots grow bigger and develop a larger following, those close to Tom can’t help but feel a sense of pride. All of his hard work is paying off, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by those in his life.

“We’re all very proud of him and know that the best is yet to come,” Jimmy says. “Everyone from our parents to all of us brothers, to our grandparents and his friends and girlfriend. We see the hunger in him to do this as a career. So it excites all of us to see how the High Pilots are growing.”

Kevin is also a part of Tom’s support system.

“Tom has always had people rooting for him to succeed,” Kevin says. “When he leaves for tour, they’re all rooting him on and awaiting his arrival home.”

Tommy and the High Pilots are opening for Langhorne Slim at Mojo’s on Monday. Tickets are $10.

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Purity in Music – Roy English

Recently, I discovered that one of my favorite bands from high school, Eye Alaska, broke up. I was a bit devastated, to be honest. But then I started researching a little more and realized that the lead singer went on to do his own thing on a solo project. Brandon Wronski, formerly the lead singer of Eye Alaska, is now doing his own thing and blowing minds as Roy English. At least, my mind is blown.

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At first, I was a little shocked. He now goes by a new name, changed his entire look and also changed the type of music he’s making. However, when I looked more deeply, I realized that I love this new project even more than Eye Alaska. His music as Roy English is purely beautiful. So open. His lyrics convey his entire life and all the pain and struggles he’s been through. It’s truly eye opening and that’s what it’s done for me. After listening to all of his music for every day, all day, I can safely say that I’m not only addicted, but I feel a connection.

Now, I usually don’t feel this way about musicians. Yes, music is a huge part of my life and it gets me through the days. But, Roy English has something even more than just pure lyrics and a wonderful sound flow.

As a strong Christian and child of God, I always think it’s incredibly amazing to find musicians that have a close relationship with the Lord. When listening to the new live, unplugged, unreleased song he posted a couple days ago, “As We Grow Older,” I realized he knows God. I was completely blown away. I was already a fan but this realization was breathtaking. I listened more and more to his songs and found that his faith is apparent in the majority of them. Then, I started following him on Twitter and saw that he shares his faith there as well. I think it’s incredible to find a musician in this world that has faith so inspirational. If I wasn’t already hooked, this did me in.

If you love what you do, work harder than your hardest, push yourself and believe that you can make a change, then you can. This is exactly what Roy English is doing.