We were recently introduced to the James Barker Band, and wanted to pass that introduction on to our readers. James was kind enough to do an e-mail interview with us, so we have a lot of information to share with you about this up-and-coming country music band. Our thanks to this great band for doing this interview with us. I am sure all of you will enjoy reading their answers to our questions.
They are a big hit in Canada and now the guys of the James Barker Band are bringing their catchy tunes to the U.S. Named the 2015 Boots and Hearts Festival Emerging Artist Grand Prize winner, the band released their debut single, “Lawn Chair Lazy,” a catchy summer anthem, earlier this summer and it was the fastest climbing country single on the Canadian Country charts. As fall settles in, the guys are getting ready to release a new single to follow their hit summer anthem. So, stay tuned for new music! In the meantime, get to know the band a little better below! While you are waiting for the new single, do yourself a favor and head over to YouTube to see their video for “Lawn Chair Lazy”. If you like what you are hearing on country radio – you are going to love this.
After reading their interview answers and listening to their music, we know we are ready to see them on stage. We are hoping they will have a Nashville show soon! Here is your interview – we’ll toss a few more photos in with it for you all to enjoy.
1. How did you, Taylor, Connor and Bobby meet? When did you form the band?
Connor Stephen and I met in high school in a jazz program through Camp White Pine. When we returned from band camp, we both joined a group called The Odyssey Project. The Odyssey Project was a large stage band that was comprised of a four-piece horn section, eight female vocalists, two drummers and a rhythm section and we performed 70’s hits by groups like Earth, Wind and Fire. Sharing a love for Funk music we decided to form a funk-rock trio and enter into a Battle of The Bands in order to win recording time at a local studio.
We named the trio The Scheming Pals which consisted of myself, Connor and Cody Parnell. We didn’t win Battle of The Bands, but we did meet Taylor Abram, who was running the competition and offered us studio time.
After High School, we all kind of went separate ways, Connor moved to Oklahoma City to obtain a degree in Percussion Performance at The University Of Central Oklahoma. Taylor continued to work at the recording studio and I wound up playing around Ontario and travelling back and forth from Nashville working on my writing.
Fast forward, I entered and another contest, which was run by Taylor and through the competition I met musician named Kris Barclay. Kris, Taylor, Connor and I formed the band
Highway 12 and through Kris, we met Bobby (who joined Highway 12 as well), who had been playing bass for Kris for a few years.
Highway 12 performed together for a year and had a bit of success before disbanding and parting ways with Kris. Taylor, Connor, Bobby and I had worked really well together so we decided to form our own band, which is now James Barker Band.
2. If someone were coming to see your show for the first time, what can they expect to see?
For people new to the James Barker Band show, they can expect to see a wide range of genre-influenced country music; from reggae to rock, pop to traditional country, our original music has many different styles mixed together. We also enjoy throwing in a couple covers into our performance, which can include anything from Rage Against The Machine and Eminem to The Georgia Satellites and Johnny Cash. We love being on stage, so when we perform we try to make sure that the crowd is having just as much fun as we are.
3. Do you have any plans to take part in CMA Fest in Nashville in June 2017? Have you ever participated in that event in the past?
Unfortunately we have never had the opportunity to participate in CMA fest any further than from the sofa, though we would love to be a part of it this year. We make many trips to Nashville and hopefully we will have a trip planned that will coincide with the event this year.
4. These days, many artists seem willing to pose for a photo with fans in a quick Meet & Greet line, but they don’t seem to be willing to put their name on anything for the fans. Schedule permitting, do you think it is important to hang around after a show, meet the fans, and sign autographs?
After a show we believe that it is our number one priority to take the time to meet every fan that we possibly can, schedule permitting. Our fans are the most important element of our career and if you are a James Barker Band fan, than we are a fan of yours as well! We try to take pictures, sign autographs and meet every fan that we possibly can and if we miss anyone we make sure that we communicate with them on social media platforms in order to make sure that they know they are important to us.
5. What are your hopes for the band over the next five years?
Over the next five years we hope to have a major impact on not only the Canadian country music market, but as many Canadian acts hope, a chance at the American country music market as well. Since we began this journey, we have always vowed to shoot for the stars and we will continue to do so in hopes that we can grow as a band and as musicians, and spread our music as far and wide as possible.
6. You list Keith Urban and Brad Paisley among your influences. Is that because of their guitar playing ability? How do you feel Taylor Swift has influenced your music.
We have always deemed Keith Urban and Brad Paisley major influences to our music because of their polarizing styles. We love Keith’s high-energy pop-rock performances, which we attempt to emulate in our style. Brad Paisleys music is very relatable and personable, which we learn from and consider during the songwriting process.
7. Did you have a hand in writing “Lawn Chair Lazy”? Do you write any of your own songs?
I co-wrote Lawn Chair Lazy with Gavin Slate and Travis Wood, a couple of dudes out of Toronto. I co-write the majority of our music, and we have a couple of tunes that the entire band has co-written together as well. We are always open to outside songs; we record whatever song we believe are best suited to our sound and image, whether written by us or another artist/writer.
8. Most of what fans want to know (album release dates, show schedule, etc.) they can find on the Internet these days. Here are a few questions fans might be interested in that they can’t find the answers to online: Favorite food? Favorite color? Favorite movie? Favorite book? Do you have any pets? Favorite city to visit?
Favourite Food- Wendy’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers
Favourite Colour – Grey
Favourite Movie – Almost Famous
Favourite Book – How to Be A Musician For Dummy’s
Pets – Band Bulldog named Ronnie
City To Visit –Nashville
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