Thursday, 6 March 2014

Pawns or Kings Q&A

Your name: 
Edward Stengel.

Where are you from? 
The State of Missouri in the USA.

Name of band: 
Pawns or Kings.

Who else is in your band? 
Ben Bigelow (Backup vocals and guitar/banjotar), Justin Arndt (Percussion), Devin Langer (Backup Vocals and Electric Bass) and Caleb McDaniel (Backup Vocals and fiddle).

How would you describe yourselves? 
A group of strange (some bearded and some not) men who play music that sounds sort of like the way cedar wood smells. We often get compared to the Fleet Foxes, the Avett Brothers, and Mumford and Sons... but we sure don't mind because we have a lot of respect for those bands. If you ever see some lads wandering around your city dressed like coal miners from the 1920s, say hello for it is surely us.

Who are your main influences musically? 
Bands like Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Matthew and the Atlas, the Avett Brothers, and Jon Foreman had quite an impact. Also all the local bluegrass musicians that have always surrounded us in the Ozarks.

What do you hope to achieve in music? 
Our goal is to simply give music to anyone who would have it. When we play shows, the connection with the audience is what drives us. We want to make people's lives just a little bit better if we can. That might mean talking to a fan two hours after the venue is already closed but it is what we live for.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why? 
We have gotten to play with some pretty great bands and have played some awesome places. We once played a CIA agent's wedding. We also once got chased down an icy highway for nearly an hour by a very intoxicated fan who was adamant about finding out where we were staying that night. 

And what’s the moment you want to forget? 
We once had a good connection to Ben Lovett's (of Mumford and Sons) label "Communion", but just as things were looking good and we were gearing up to meet with them in Nashville, we had a major mechanical failure on our studio computer and we lost our entire EP we were planning to bring to them. Once that EP went, so did our momentum and a good chunk of our buzz we were riding. We ran out of money for touring and have had to take long breaks to make enough money to live on. We have been trying to rebuild ever since and that road has not been easy at all. 

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
Shadow of a Man from the new "Pomme de Terre" album. This song kind of brings together the two sounds we are known for. We have our song moments where the bluegrass is in plain sight and the driving sound could easily take you down a sunny back road in the Ozark Mountains... then there is the dark and brooding sound that the hard times have hammered firmly into us. This song brings you along for both rides and sometimes it can be a bit unnerving while also being liberating.

Where can we listen to it? 

Where can we find out more about your music? 
We are also on Spotify and all the similar sites

Anything else you’d like to say about your band/music that I forgot to ask?
We almost always are up for a chat on Twitter if you fancy one. We love talking music with you but will talk about pretty much anything. It is very important to us that we treat fans like family and that means talking, facebooking, emailing... whatever you choose. We refuse to be that band who ignores their fans. 
Oh and also, if things go well, we will most likely be coming for a short tour in the UK summer of 2015.

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