Wednesday, April 11, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Electric Touch INTV!

It has been a month since SXSW and the buzz around bands that were discovered at the Austin, Texas festival has not stopped. One of those bands happened to be Austin natives themselves - Electric Touch, a band that is no frills rock and roll. Comprised of four American's and a Brit, Electric Touch have been making a name for themselves around Austin for years and are now peaking through for national attention. Just ahead of the band's Irving Plaza gig in NYC on Thursday (you can still get tickets), we spoke to the guys - singer, guitarist Shane Lawlor, drummer Louis Messina Jr., guitarist Christopher Leigh, bassist Portland Musser, and keyboardist Isaac Strycker. Take a look at our interview with Electric Touch below:

 Hailing from Texas, how has the Lone Star State influenced your sound and style?

Shane- Texas is a rich tapestry with such a rich musical history. We hope one day to stand alongside those greats, and to do this by being ourselves.

Louis - Country music is great but we are far from it.

Isaac- 'The stars at night are big and bright...' Just the size of Texas lends itself as inspiration to a thousand great songs.  The music scene is so diverse and has so much history. I think it's influenced every style of music made today.  And there's just something cool about cowboy boots.

Being a band that consists of mostly American’s and one Brit, does it ever feel like anyone is the odd man out?

Shane- We all speak the same language and are similar people. I think nationality has nothing to do with personality and that is what ultimately will decide if people get along.

Louis - I don't think so, we are all human.

Isaac- I think we view it as an opportunity.  We all grew up in different places, but there's a common thread between our experiences.  That's really what the music is about, and it's great getting to speak that universal language.

How did the band form?

Shane- Christopher and I met at a time when we were striving to do something special and we hit it off right away. It wasn't long before Louis came on board and the three of us shared a house for almost 2 years - playing every day and building the band.

Louis - For the love of music

Where did the name Electric Touch come from?

Shane- We were looking for an intriguing juxtaposition. There are so many contradictions in life and we thought a cool name would echo that.

Who are some of your influences?

Shane- The subject matter comes from exploring the human condition - there's no better drama than real life.  Musically, we enjoy a plethora of bands and styles, but we never forget to be ourselves and play from the heart.

Louis - Aerosmith, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Halen. So much...

 You play a very straight-up style of rock and roll, not many bands are doing that these days. Do you feel it is important to play and represent the basics of the genre?

Shane- I always thought it was important to make music that people could play themselves in their bedroom. I'm not trying to be smarter than them or show off how many chords I know, I want people to connect with what we're doing. Rock and roll touches my heart so it's a natural that I would play that kind of music

Louis - Rock N Roll is King! We do our best to keep it alive.

 Being a band from Austin, Texas and so much surrounding the city in terms of music and culture, do you feel a sense of community and support in what you are doing?

Shane- There are so many wonderful people in Austin, very community minded. We support each other and are happy when others do well.

Louis – Kind of, there’s a lot of comparison when you’re in a band.

Isaac- We have so many friends who are musicians in Austin and everyone supports everyone else.  It's really special.  When we're in town we get to go out and see our friends play, and they come out and support us when we play.  It's more camaraderie than competition. There's really no place like Austin.

 Austin is an interesting town being the states capitol, music Mecca and a college town, did you find your niche audience right away or did it take time to build?

Shane- We certainly felt at home there right away, but we are at the start of a long road and our audience is always growing.

Louis- Rome wasn't built in a day.

Isaac- We've played in just about every venue in the city, and we even performed as a Clash and UK Punk cover band just to mix it up.  Our friends and fans at home have been so supportive and behind us, it has really helped push us to the next level.

When SXSW rolls around to the city, do you find it harder for hometown bands to stand out during the corporate chaos it has turned it?

Shane- We just do our thing. Play from the heart and believe in ourselves. I come to terms with all the rest by just not thinking about it.

Louis - During SXSW it's very hard for anyone to not get distracted.

Isaac- It’s difficult for anyone to stand out when there is so much happening at once, but we just play from the heart, and try to have the most fun.  It's always a great festival and we get to see and meet a lot of artists that inspire us.

What has been the best thing about being in Electric Touch thus far?

Shane- Every night...The moment when you step out on stage.

Louis – Being in a band with amazing friends and family not to mention being able to play what you love doing time and time again.

Isaac- Getting to perform in front of thousands of people, traveling around the country, feeling the love from the fans! ... It's almost too good to be true.