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The Up-Turn

@TheUpTurnMusic /

When I received an email from Michael Weis a couple weeks back I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Kentucky 3-piece.  While most e-mails we receive are flashy and include photos and press releases, Weis’ email was simple and incredibly modest.  “When you have a second, could you listen to our music at the link below,” opened Weis, and of course I did listen.  Immediately I was impressed with their EP, Nostalgia Trip 2011.  Opener, ‘Old Shows’, is sure to remain a consistent part of my summer playlist and the entire release shows off a band that can sound incredibly unique and also familiar.  The band recently got blogged by WAWSTSF and I was lucky enough to get to talk to Michael last week.  After the jump I’ve posted the full, mostly unedited interview.

PK: so first generic question, you mentioned that you are friends with one member and brothers with the other so have you guys always sort of made music together?

Michael:  yeah, there was a break for a while when jason moved away. also im 5 years older than tony and ive been playing in bands since i was 13 or so… but for the most part yes

PK:  that’s sweet, how long have you guys been together as “Little Brothers”

Michael:  3-4 years maybe… jason wasnt here the whole time thoughm. he lived in atlanta for a long time. We had a different drummer at first

PK:  wow so you guys have been around for a while then

Michael:  not as little brothers… we were around as a 6 piece band called grand prize us three plus three more

PK:  oh ok, so is Nostalgia Trip 2011 the first real release from you guys as Little Brothers?

Michael:  the first thing we’ve really tried to share with people besides our family

PK:  nice, well it’s definitely something I’m really glad I got to listen to

Michael:  i appreciate it

PK:  the sound was really interesting, what are some of the influences you guys would cite for the album or just some things that you guys grew up listening to?

Michael:  for this album: a few references to the squeeze, a little davey graham, some todd rundgren…  but we kind of bury a lot of it. it sounds like an influence when we start… but it doesnt really end up that way. as far growing up… i like everything… i started out as a metal kid, like the earache label type stuff. there really isnt a genre we arent into…

PK:  nice, did you guys grow up in Kentucky?

Michael:  yes… all in louisville.. me and jason went to high school together. its technically a little redneckish burb in the south of louisville called fern creek

PK:  haha that’s definitely something that sets you apart

Michael:  we have a twang?

PK:  haha I guess. I’m not sure what I’d call it, but you guys definitely have different spice than a lot of other bands

Michael:  we like what people are doing now too

PK:  any albums from this year you guys are really digging?

Michael:  coolrunnings is one of my favorite low level bands

PK:  oh yeah we posted them, that album is definitely a sleeper hit

Michael:  let me think… i dont usually push one year over any other year. so, new to me isnt different than new this year

PK:  oh for sure I’m always finding new favorites that were released a while ago

Michael:  was flying lotus this year? thats kind of old now

PK:  yeah Cosmogramma was last year, and is definitely great

Michael:  i think a lot of the electronic stuff is pretty interesting

PK:  that’s what I love about the internet, so many talented electronic musicians are getting their music out

Michael:  and they have about zero chance of having hits, so you know they love the music even though i play it, not too much rock/pop i have liked super recently. my brother turned my on to umbeto the last few weeks… that at least within the last couple of years

PK:  I haven’t heard about them, I’ll definitely look them up

Michael:  basically a rip off of goblin… that did all the italian zombie soundtracks i like goblin, so its fine’ any newish bands you think we sound like?

PK:  yes actually. I posted this band called Sat. Nite Duets that definitely has similar vibes

Michael:  haha, i saw that… we were referenced one review later! time wharp… that’s the electronic album i heard recently i liked. there’s a song on there that has a chord progression that sounds like a take on an old standard

PK:  I haven’t heard of Time Wharp but I’ll also check them out

Time Wharp- later.:

Michael: <that blog is where i found them

PK:  nice this blog looks pretty sweet. do you frequent any other blogs?

Michael:  yes.. tons and tons: exp etc is great, know your conjurer, somatose is nice. i kind of had the idea since i liked so much music other people posted, that people would like ours too. inconstant sol is nice if you like free jazz stuff

PK:  yeah, I really like the touch of jazz that is in some songs in the sax

Michael:  xmas present 2008

PK:  haha nice, I used to play trumpet. but I just wasn’t really into how nasty the instrument got

Michael:  its a labor of love, im sure

PK:  playing trumpet through middle school was just brutal I guess. were you guys always musical growing up? any instruments from early ages?

Michael:  yeah, i started playing piano at 6, sax at 9, guitar at 13 or so but i quit playing piano and sax for a long time. had to relearn them later. i can play drums a bit. jason started playing drums pretty early… early teen years jazz camps and all that. tony started playing guitar as a early teen as well

PK:  that’s awesome.  I think getting an early start with instruments is crucial. I picked up guitar a few years back and definitely love it a lot more than trumpet

Michael:  it just depends, you can start late too as long as you have fun, it doesnt really matter

PK:  yeah, where do you want to take Little Brothers as far as the future? any plans for releases?

Michael:  yeah, we’ll record forever… we’ve already started on the next set we record at my house… so we kind of do what we want probably with EPs… easier to have a coherent track set that way. some of the newer stuff is pretty power poppy, but we’ll see when it is finished. big star/xtc… all that stuff

PK:  nice man, I’d definitely be psyched to hear it

Michael:  of course, will be a few months… i like to tinker with them a lot

PK:  oh for sure, rushed releases rarely turn out well. that’s why I like hearing music from young bands early before they have the spotlight on them and the pressure to produce

Michael:  thats not really where we are coming from… we’ll record and put out music… but not really any of the other stuff we’ll play out from time to timeits the only parts we are really into also, we have jobs. Haha

PK:  so you guys are basically hoping to keep Little Brothers something that will always be fun for you guys… not really work?

Michael:  well, there is still some repetition… i mean some of the track clean up i do for our recording is really tedious and boring. but, no… we are not getting a PR firm or heading out on the road for 300 days or anything… but the recordings take lots and lots of time so, we still take it seriously. but we definitely have a lot of fun playing together. our wives all get along

PK:  haha that’s a big plus

Michael:  i mean, it’s tough to get people that get along AND you like playing music with…

PK:  definitely, my short lived experience with a band taught me that it’s nice having chemistry within the band and I think that your music definitely reflects that you guys are all musicians but friends first

Michael:  thats nice to hear

PK:  well I guess are there any bands or projects that you want to give a shout out to?

Michael:  nah… we only know louisville bands that no one’s ever heard of

PK:  well I’m always up to hear new bands

Michael:  if people get some things recorded i will definitely send them your way

PK:  word

Michael:  nice chatting with you

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