Summer is halfway over, but that does not mean the music has slowed down at all. As I am recovering from the holiday food coma and festival scene, a new group has been helping me through it all. The band Filmspeed are the saviors of the day. Right before the celebration of our nation’s independence, I jumped on a Skype call with these fine gentlemen as they regaled me with their love of music. In case many of you are wondering, Filmspeed is made up of three fellas; the enthusiastic Craig Broombaugh, the ever-chilled Nick Stout and Jerry Garcia reincarnated James Mozina.
To start things off, I was curious to hear about their start into music. Craig immediately shared his tale, “Well, Nick and I have known each other for 15 years. We were born in same town in Detroit. Our town was so small the grocery store was in the mall. Once we were in high school and started college, we began playing around. While we were in various bands, we changed modes and styles. Then, with some forward thinking, we moved out to California for a start in pop punk. We did a couple of Warped Tours but then dropped it all and changed styles again to do something all three of us wanted to do. We have experienced the music scene all over from big studios to small. We realized the cost and time it takes so, it made more sense to record ourselves. Eventually, we went through many drummers and through a referral, James jammed one time and the magic happened. One of biggest bonds of our lives is the fact that James sleeps, lives and breathes music. He is able to make it through music and share it with us.” These guys have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of the music world and have since made it their goal to try to do it their own way. I think they will and have found some great success there.
It was at this point where the four of us all went on a long conversation about puppetry and the frustrations of bad puppeteers and the hilarity of bad lip-reading. However, I digress. We shifted back to their music. “Currently, we are finishing our new EP of five songs. We may finish it or re-record, we are not sure yet. We love to record at home and we have been successful in making our music sound clear and good,” remarks Craig. My favorite song of theirs is Voices, which can be found on their album Heavy Decibels. Filmspeed was kind enough to share the story of that song. “Voices was lingering on the GarageBand software for years. Some songs take a few minutes yet some you are stuck on one part while the rest isn’t there. Voices was one of those songs that you played, put it back and came back to it after a while. It morphed into this ballad for being heard. It talks about passion and how you are always striving to do things to the best of your ability.”
What do the men of Filmspeed love the most about their music life? Touring seems to be something they enjoy. “We would love to traveling across the United States. We love just to play, drink, smoke and enjoy our time,” Craig states. James then gave a little bit of his fascination about NYC. “Every time I am on the subways, I always see so many junkies just being crazy. My favorite thing is watching that one guy who is so tired that he keeps almost falling over.” It is best when those guys do fall or land on people on the train, the reactions of the other bystanders is hilarious! Believe me, I have suffered through this before here in the city.
Filmspeed explained a bit on their music worldviews that they live in nowadays. “The modern industry is a strange commercial money grab. Today’s attention span is 15 seconds or less. Same to be said with music choruses that are bent on whatever can be featured on a commercial or put into a movie trailer. Music is not really about the lyrics anymore. We just stream everything. Technology is caught up with demand. Napster really started it all. ITunes is essence of it all now and has developed music into tiny files. You don’t have to get records anymore. Now a pissed off teenager can stream it all. The only way to make money is to tour or sell a lot of merchandise.”
I asked what some of the band’s favorite musicians were. They all chimed in to this. “Oh, we are all across the board. We love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Less Than Jake, Jay-Z and The Band. This year we have really be into alt-J and Vampire Weekend.” Craig said proudly. “My mom put the radio on every night before I went to sleep. So, at that time adult contemporary music was playing. This opened doors for us into The Carpenters, Motown and Earth, Wind and Fire.”
You can sense the myriad of influences in Filmspeed’s music. “We like to rock on both spectrums with blues and alternative. We like to hold true to the vibes of songs and focus less on cookie cutter themes. The next song we write cannot be in the same key or tempo as one we have played before. We always want a new vibe to test and be moved by the melody and verse. We want our music to turn into the something.” This then went into an entertaining analysis of Rock-onomatopoeia. It is defined as when a mixture of beat boxing and miming comes along a musician, similar to how an auto-mechanic attempts to describe the noises from the car. Filmspeed uses this skill often to help grow their sound as musicians tap into something valuable.
Now, I have interviewed and met with many musicians this past year who have been nothing but wonderful people. However, Filmspeed were perhaps the easiest guys to talk to. I have never felt so relaxed and at ease chatting with the trio about music and life. Their musicianship is only matched by their enthusiasm, dedication and spirit for their craft. As testament to their character, they have offered Punchland to unveil their latest music video, Quite Like You (Please see below). If you do not get hooked on their music, I do not know what will. Perhaps, just become friends with them and have a ball instead!