Posted Apr 2nd, 2009 (7:36 pm) by Yuki Sambongi

For the last year, the six-member folk group, Band of Annuals has ranged far and wide while touring all over the United States. Following their two national tours, they took a little time to put together a new record as well. We got a chance to speak with them about their experience on tour as well as the new album before their show at Kilby Court last week.

IYS: How did the band originally start out?

Trever: Jay was in one band, and Jeremi, Brent and I were in another band together. Jay jammed with us, and Brent asked if he could join the band if he bought a pedal steel. We, of course, said sure, and that’s how Band of Annuals came together.
Jeremi: Pretty much.
Trever: Jaime has been in the band for about three years now.

IYS: So how long have you guys been together as a band?

Jeremi: Four and a half years.
Trever: It will be five years in August.

IYS: So you guys have stuck with pretty much the same members?

Trever: Yeah, there has been a core for the band that has been the same.
Jeremi: Charlie has been here for more than a year now.
Trever: He has been with us longer than any drummer we have ever had.

IYS: So Band of Annuals, how did you guys come up with your name?

Trever: We were The Annuals, and then we had to change it because a band called Annuals got bigger than us, faster. We liked our old name a lot, so we didn't want to switch it too much.
Jaime: Plus, we already had a record out.
Trever: Thats right, we already had all this merchandise and a record out under The Annuals, so we thought if we just slipped "band of," no one would notice.
Jaime: Which no one really did.

IYS: So do you guys hang out while not playing music?

Trever: We are a pretty functional bunch. We have practice about twice a week and a show two or three times a month. We also host a country ramble where we play country covers twice a month.
Jeremi: We are together a lot.

IYS: So what exactly is this Country Ramble?

Trever: It is at a cute bar called The Woodshed. Country music tends to be easy to play, so we rotate the singer-songwriters and play old-school/new-school country music. We give the covers our own hallmarks too, which is pretty fun.
Jaime: It is on the first and third Thursdays of every month and we go through about nine different singers every night.
Jeremi: Essentially, people from a bunch different bands get together to play different music than we normally would.

IYS: What else do you guys do besides playing music?

Charlie: We like to go watch other people play music.
Trever: Charlie, Jeremi and I are in a book club together. It's called Book Chowder, we eat soup and read books. Besides that, we don't really do anything else.
Charlie: Music pretty much consumes our lives.
Jeremi: You have to take a break from music sometimes though.
Jaime: Especially with the tour last year, we were constantly together.
This year we aren't touring as much, just writing the new record.

IYS: Jaime just mentioned the new record, how is that coming along?

BOA: It is coming along good.
Trever: It is exhilarating to finally start practicing new stuff again - for such a long time we were just hashing out the hits. We just kept practicing those songs a lot, so it's nice to have the practices be progressive again.

IYS: Do you guys have a certain date in mind for when you want to release the new record?

Trever: We want to record in the fall, and release shortly after that.
Jeremi: Just as a rough goal.

IYS: So you guys have touring outside of your native Salt Lake City recently. How has that been?

BOA: Great, awesome.
Jaime: We toured the United States twice last year, for a month and a half total each time.

IYS: How was the response?

Jeremi: Usually good.
Trever: There are always certain cities we do really well at.
Charlie: And they usually are the big ones. Like Seattle and New York.

IYS: Do you guys tend to get nervous before shows?

Jeremi: I used to always get nervous, but for the past few months, the angst has kinda faded. Of course, some shows are definitely scaruer than others.
Charlie: I think when I'm really really tired it helps me not be nervous.
Jaime: Certain cities are always nerve-racking for me. The worst shows during touring are when you get to a city when you have been driving for the whole day, and you have half an hour to set up. That is when it is hard.

IYS: So after touring the U.S. in its entirety, how do you feel the Salt Lake City compares? Do you feel like it has changed a whole lot since you first started up the band?

Trever: I feel like it has changed a lot. When we started out we were definitely the sore thumb. We got a lot of responses that were like, "what are these guys doing?"
Jaime: Kind of the, "what is this country band doing?"
Charlie: The scene was really great in a lot of different ways though.
Trever: It was awesome, but loud - and we were mellow as shit. I think it took us a good two years before people even knew who we were. It’s a good thing that the scene has become more eclectic recently. I just wish bands from this area would tour out of Utah more. There is a ton of talent around here.
Jaime: In our genre and in what we are trying to do, touring matters. I don't think anyone would just find us on Myspace and be like, "we can sell those guys, let’s give them a record deal."

IYS: We’ve seen lot of indie-folk bands coming out of this area recently - what are your feelings about that?

Jaime: I think it’s great. All the bands in this area tend to be friends and supportive of each other, which makes being a career-musician easier.
Trever: If one band starts getting attention, it helps everybody. People are going to ask, "Where are you from?" and when bands reply "Utah," people start to look things up.
Charlie: There were like four Utah bands at South by Southwest this year too.

IYS: So what do you want people to know about you guys?

Jaime: Buy our record!
Trever: Also, Myspace is our most updated website so people should look that up and come to our shows.
Jaime: I think we all feel really fortunate to be where we are at right now. Salt Lake has been really good to us, and the whole experience has been just incredible.

IYS: Well, good luck tonight and thank you for talking to us tonight.

BOA: Of course, it was great talking with you!

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