How did you come up with the band’s name?
The Southern Tier is actually a region on Upstate New York that I spent most of my life living in. It is as far away from NYC as possible, at the corner of the state where NY, PA, and Ohio meet. Its a very small town, poverty stricken forgotten place that I really love. A lot of my writing is inspired by my time there and I want to bring that place a sense of pride, so I named my band after it.
What is your genre of music?
Genres are interesting to me because they are never right. I think they are just place holders for things we cannot fully describe with a short amount of words. If i was hard pressed to use a genre, it would have to be Alt-Rock, but even today that genre seems to be occupied by “rock songs” with pop production and melody. Maybe singer-songwriter rock and roll?
Give us a little bio about your band.
The band is currently just 3: Tim Kelly, lead guitar and harmonies and a co-writer of the music. Grant Bell- a friend of mine who we picked up as drummer recently.
What made you want to go into music?
My fathers side of the family were all musicians, and growing up it was just something we did together. He played in the local bar bands and would have some gig every weekend, its really a part of our identity as a family.
What is the meaning behind the single “Passengers”?
Passengers is a song that I wrote about frustration through misunderstanding. For me it was a way to voice some of the anger I had in current events in my life, people not seeing the way I saw things and understanding what was truly important and worth doing. The lyric “The distance between our frequency” was meant as a jab at some of the sounds that are forced into our ears by the music industry.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
For this one it was actually done over the phone with Tim. Sometimes we write over the phone, he will have a guitar and we will sing different melodies together, then figure out wording and phrasing as we go along. Passengers main melody started with me singing the tune as a guitar line, then over the next hour or two we had a song.
What was the recording process like?
AGONY. Just kidding, we record with my good friend Jordan Sloat, in his barn studio in the middle of nowhere. Its like going camping but you are recording great music with your friends. There is always a sense of excitement because we never have a lot of time to get everything down.
Will we see an EP or album, and, if so, what can we expect?
We have at least 10 more songs that need to be finished that could form into a compilation of some sort, but at this point we are going to release a few more singles and establish our live set to truly flesh out our identity before we plan on releasing any large piece of work
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour planned out? If so, where will you be heading?
This summer we are playing shows at our local clubs in Nashville, TN. First show is June 18th at the Cobra, but for locals just follow us on social media to get updates.
What else can we expect in 2019?
There will be a steady stream of music being released, singles and possibly an EP.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Who are your influences?
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ryan Adams, The War on Drugs, Jason Isbell
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Cuttin’ the grass! Catching up with friends, maybe a trip to Chic-fil-a.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t worry about the opinions of people who are not important to you.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians – not about the industry, just as an artist?
Revere good music, not popular music, and strive to make it.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“We’ll figure it out”
When you are at a gig, what are the 5 things you cannot forget?
1)Definately DO NOT drink until the set is over, (for the voice)
2) Introduce your band
3) Don’t talk to much
4) make sure you have all your gear, double check
5) make good friends with the front of house guy or gal – they make you sound good or bad.