Interview: Lobby Boxer

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After reading my interviews, you can understand that my main goal in life is to scour the internet and find new and obscure bands.  Enter Lobby Boxer, an alternative indie band from St. Louis, MO.  I instantly fell in love.  The intricate guitar and slightly strained vocals, mixed with sick timings are what did me in.  I was so excited to get them on the blog, and finally it happened.  Below is the transcript from a nice conversation I had with Andrew, Zach and Max, talking about their plans, influences and their mantra.

How long has Lobby Boxer been a thing?
Andrew: Since May 2013, almost 3 years.

You guys are all extremely good musicians apart from each other, and then you come together and mesh so well.  Who influences your writing and playing style?
Max: You take that one, you’re the brains.
Zach: I mean a lot, it kind of changes with each song.  I would say right now, the main influences are kind of more leaning towards classic rock like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd and stuff like that, as cliche as that sounds.  You can’t really get enough of some of the stuff those guys do.  But I mean we do mix in newer influences as well like Fall of Troy or Deafheaven and even Real Estate and stuff like that.  So it’s just kind of all across the board.
Max: And even like older metal, R & B…
Zach: And soul and country and bluegrass….
Max: It’s a big pool.

So what do you guys describe your sound as?  Alternative Indie, Emo…?
Max: We’re going for prog rock these days.  We’re trying to kind of, you know… we love pop punk and emo, just that whole scene but it’s just like we’re trying to mix stuff that has a wider appeal, but still has those pop punk and emo elements to it, but leans more towards a progressive rock sound.  Because we take influence from a lot of emo and indie bands and pop punk especially.  Like I listen to a lot of Knuckle Puck right now; a lot of The Story So Far, and Modern Baseball.

Modern Baseball is a good time.  Who are some other St. Louis bands you think people should check out and why?
Max: The Gorge.
Zach: YES.
Max: They’re like the coolest prog rock or prog metal band I’ve ever heard.  They have some of the craziest timings and they’re all just insanely tight musicians live.
Zach: Life Without. They’re like Touche Amore meets surf rock.  They just put out Uncertain Circles.
Max: It’s their six song EP and then they won the local award for best post-hardcore band in St. Louis which was super cool.
Zach: Black Fast,  which is another metal band and Bike Path who is just finishing recording their first official full length.  So they don’t have any music up yet but once they do it’s going to be pretty killer.

So how would you describe the St. Louis music scene?
Zach: Scattered.
Max: It’s very confused right now; well not confused.  Every genre right now has it’s own little niche.
Zach: Nobody is really thriving, but nobody is really doing that poorly except for like, trendy metalcore.
Max: We’re in this weird shift where it used to be a very metal heavy town and now metal is kind of dying out.  Well not really dying out, but the trend of metalcore in St. Louis is just kind of dying out more so it’s becoming a more punk and indie scene and more of a DIY kind of area.
Zach: There are DIY spots that are doing a lot better than just some venues.
Max: It’s a really interesting time to be in the St. Louis music scene.  And turn outs are getting way better as time goes on, we’ve noticed that a lot because back when we played in a metal band it was hard to get people to come out to shows except for the big name shows that we played.  But now we noticed it’s a lot easier to get people to come out to like a DIY space because there are a bunch of them in St. Louis that are just really fun to be in; they’re just great places to hang out.  It’s becoming the place to go to hang out on the weekends and then there’s also going to be a show there so it’s really good for the scene.

Do you guys have any ideas for how to provide solidarity to the music scene? Be it in St. Louis or around the Midwest?
Max: Play the shows you didn’t think you’d want to play.  Play the shows you wouldn’t think your fans or people who know you wouldn’t expect to see you playing.  We’ve been playing with a lot of hardcore acts and a lot of indie acts.  Like we’ve been playing with all kinds of different bands.  We try to aim for diverse bills wherever we can, at least until we go out on more than a regional run.
Zach: Also I would say putting an emphasis on your live show.  Not necessarily coordinating things but just making sure that the audience is engaged.  I can go home and listen to any band’s CD and go see them live and hear the same thing, but I wanna see something different.  Y’know, it is a show.  When a band goes the extra mile and just does something it shows me that they’re really into what they’re doing and they’re really passionate about it.  It just makes a world of difference, no matter what the music sounds like.
Max: And that’s what a lot of bands are doing right now in St. Louis which is cool, because I can go see a band and be entertained now.
Zach: It used to be a chore.
Max: Yeah, it used to be a chore, but every band is getting really, really entertaining.  Especially with the circuit that we’re playing.  Like at Barn Fest, which is a little independent festival in Pacific, Missouri for mostly like, underground punk and post hardcore  bands and whatnot.  It’s giving us a really good avenue because now we’re going to start taking touring acts.  Like last month we had Teenagers come in from Wisconsin to play.  It’s starting to gain more and more popularity in the St. Louis crowd, and even people drive in from Illinois to come to this all day festival out on this remote farm.  So things like that are just starting to thrive in this scene.
Zach: There are just people who care.  Do you have anything Max?
Andrew: Haha, I’m just listening.  It’s just really cool, all the different bands we’ve been playing with in the midwest that are like, really good.  I really like listening to these bands and supporting them long after we learn about them.  You find them in places that you wouldn’t expect, which is really cool.

Dream show.  Who would you play with, where would it be?
Max: Fall of Troy. Circa Survive.  Um… Sunny Day Real Estate-Reunioun Tour.
Zach: Madison Square Garden!
Max: With Dane Cook Opening.
Andrew: What about the Hollywood Bowl?
Max: Well we want to open our own venue and call it the “Arsenio Hall.” But for real… Who do you think?
Zach:  My dream show would be like… Zepplin, but I wouldn’t be able to share the same stage as them like… Not even worthy.  But like, it would be cool to play with like, Brand New, Fall of Troy, Circa Survive… all of those heavy-hitters right now.  Even Chon.  Actually, The Deer Hunter is mine. I love the Deer Hunter.
Max: So let’s call it Brand New, The Fall Of Troy, Circa Survive…
Zach: We’ll just make it like a two day festival.
Max: With the Deer Hunter and Chon.  And Mars Volta will be there too.

What do we call the festival?
Max: We’ll call it… The Lobby Fester.
Andrew: No, here’s what we can do: We’ll play it on the highway on Hampton and all of the people in the hotels will get on their porch and watch.  Everyone gets their own hotel.
Zach: We could play it on the Hampton hump!  So there’s this hump on the highway, and we call it the Hampton Hump, so we could play on the hump and call it “The Hampton Hump” Festival.

Do you guys have any new music or anything that you want to let us know about?
Max: We literally just finished a new song.
Zach: Like ten minutes before we started this conversation.
Max: And we have a demo recorded so we have a new album coming out later this year.  Our goal is to finish writing that today.  We’re so close.  Once that’s out, it’s time to hit the road.

Are you guys setting up a midwest run or what’s the plan?
Zach: Our plan was to hit a few out of town dates.  We’re taking a couple months off from playing shows in St. Louis and write and record.  We’ve got studio time booked.  By next summer we’ll hopefully be able to take on a full tour, between 15 and 30 dates.
Max: And we want to go out on a few week or two runs in the winter, around the time the album comes out.  We want to hit some markets we haven’t been in because we haven’t really been outside of St. Louis a whole lot.  We’re trying to set the groundwork this winter so we can hit the ground running when we get to a full tour.

Any final things you want to add?
Max: Rock is for the people.  That’s our mantra.

There you have it folks.  Check these guys out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and get stoked on the new music coming from these boys.


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