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Kolars live

KOLARS: rock'n'roll resurrected

"we are influenced by all the eras, and we try to pull our favorite influences from those eras... so manygems out there. The 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and on, every era has some real gems. We just try to incorporate those into what we are doing."

for taking the time to talk with us.

No worries man, dude, I’m loving the earplugs. These work better than any I’ve ever had. So, I’m stoked to tell friends and share about it. I’m trying to decide exactly how I’m going to post about them. We are here now in Austin for SXSW (south by southwest) and we are constantly using them to see all the shows and keep our hearing for when we have to perform.

Right, we’ve heard from other musicians, and it’s basically what you’ve stated, that when waiting to perform you’ll show support by attending the opening acts and sometimes it’ll be so loud, when you go up next to perform... you can’t actually hear yourself play or sing. Have you had that experience?

Totally! Yeah, your ears get kind of blown out. Certainly, what happens is you’ll hear another bands set and then about half way through my set my ears will get tired, and then things get muddy and all that. Your ears just get spent and all that noise and distortion you went through kind of muddies up the clarity. So, I’ve been using these and it helps so much because you still hear all of the clarity and all of the frequencies. A lot of earplugs mute the highs and change the tone and the sound. So again to me they are the best ones I’ve used.They turn the volume down but I still hear everything I want to hear.

Rob, that’s the kindest words ever and we certainly feel good to start this interview in this way. Thank you.

Yeah, I’ve been telling friends already. So, we will definitely be posting for ya. Again, really stoked to have them. Love the whole design and the attention to detail on the packaging. Just excellent. Well done.

Well, that’s great to hear. Which is a great lead in to talking about your band Kolars. We recently attended your concert a little less than two weeks ago. You all played Aisle5 in Little Five Points of Atlanta. To begin, I’ve been going to many many shows, and I will come right out and say... I’d never heard much of your band. I saw your music video and thought, ‘this is interesting. I wonder what the live show will be like.’ And, brother, it was quite possibly the best performance of rock’n’roll I have ever witnessed. My wife was with me, and she hasn't liked rock’n’roll and she was blown away; she loved your wife Lauren’s dress of mirrors, she loved your coat, she and I enjoyed your unique stage presence.

Thanks man, yeah, we appreciate that. It’s been a fun tour, you know, we played a festival in Tampa that was like two or three thousand people and it seems to be all building... which is exciting, and we really do feel like a band on verge.

Well, my wife and I left your show feeling better about the world, and that we’d seen something special. I don’t mean to sound too sappy about it here, but your show was so good that my wife, who has never really enjoyed rock’n’roll, is now a genuine Kolars’ fan—so, with that, let’s start some actual questions for I’m sure you and Lauren are very busy. First question, your music is such a blending of rock from the 1950’s all the way up to present day... almost a morphing of everything into a spectacular sound, how would you personally explain your sound?

I think that’s what we’re going for, we are influenced by all the eras, and we try to pull our favorite influences from those eras... so many gems out there. The 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and on, every era has some real gems. We just try to incorporate those into what we are doing.

It can easily be seen and heard. Brilliant performance. Let’s talk more about that because it’s really almost a theatrical piece you and your wife perform. In the creation of this act... was it an evolution brought together piece by piece or did one of you just have a fantastic dream and wake up demanding sequin clothing, glitter guitars, and circus drums?

It’s been an evolution! It’s been an evolution for us because we were in another band before that leaned a little more psychedelic, circus, folk— so ‘He’s my Bother She’s my Sister,’ which Lauren and I were both in with my sister and few other members. It’s was a little bit folly, kind of sideshow feel. It had a colorful aesthetic and when that band went on hiatus, Lauren and I wanted a more futuristic glam approach. So we have kept evolving but always keeping a thread of what we’ve been doing before... as a matter of fact we still perform a few songs from the prior band. Also we are influenced by designers and fashion, and obviously like Bowie and Prince, with our fashion choices— and we want our own identity, so we make our own clothing or we find something in a consignment store and we have them fitted or change them in some other way. We like to put on a show, you know, full package.

Not many bands do that kind of thing anymore, and honestly I never thought I’d give in to glam, but your show is so original now compared to many others. Sorry, not a question there. Go on Boss.

Yeah, many bands don’t embrace that anymore, as there was a real push against it in the 90’s—to not dress up or be fashionable as a band, but we are fine with it. When I go to a show, something like the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s I really like how they deliver with their music and style, you know? It kind of helps the audience escape into a different world.

You talked about your prior band, let’s delve deeper, in doing these interviews I’ve noticed a lot of musicians change genres, an example is I’ve talked to country music players who originally performed punk and heavy metal.

Right, definitely, the prior band was kind of rockabilly and such. Great question. For me it started as punk that got me started into playing because I wasn’t trained as a musician , and music wasn’t really big in my family. When I picked up the guitar it was kind of a new thing and in the beginning you’re not very skilled. So bands like Rancid or Operation Ivy and others, and it was raw— you didn’t need to play it perfect. So yeah, Rancid and Tim Armstrong was really a large influence as they were my first concert at thirteen. Then I kind of dabbled in ska, punk, and then alternative. I went to New York and performed in the subways for a while... a bob Dylan type phase. I did an album in my bedroom. I moved into indie rock and post punk. So, I’ve been through a lot of the genres in rock, which is why this band with Lauren sounds like such a blend.

Bro, I used to listen to Rancid back when I was middle school trying to skateboard. Good energy there.

Yeah, I remember seeing Tim Armstrong around town, and as a kid remember what a nice guy he was because I come up to him as say, ‘oh man you really inspire me, you’re really cool, I have all your records,’ and he was never pretentious and he was always willing to take a moment and say thanks and give me a hand shake or pat on the shoulder or something… I’ve always remembered that. So, now that I have a band and I’m out here doing it, I will be the same way. I’ve always thought he was a great guy and an early role model.

We appreciate it. We actually met after the show and we appreciate you giving our company a try and for this interview. Let’s talk about your current album. As a project how long did it take you to complete that album.

Oh man! To be honest, some of those songs I’d been playing around with for years, like ‘Haunt Me,’ I’d been working on those while I was in “He’s my brother She’s my Sister,” And it’s always had this dream of putting out an album that more represented my influences in music... which is this Kolars album. Some of the songs like, “Dizzy,” “One More Thrill,” and, “Turn Out the Lights,” those songs came together only a few months before we released the album. They were sparks of inspiration, but “Haunt Me,” and “Change Your Mind,” and one other… those songs had been a bunch of years in the works. So, the album is a mixed bag, spanning sounds and genres, and it took a lot of work to make it all fit, which was really all possible because of Lauren. Lauren was really involved in that, you could say if it’s all like a movie or TV show… I am like the director and I get in there and write a bunch of songs, and Lauren is like the executive producer as she edits it and she adds sounds and makes changes in slight, specific, ways and puts the tracks in an certain order. She put a lot into curating the whole thing.

Excellent, actually I wasn’t going to go into the fact you all are married, because many interviews have brought that up, however since we are discussing the album’s creation, lets bring that up. Is there friction in producing songs together?

It’s definitely a double-edged sword, on one end we know each other so well that we understand what the other is thinking without having to say it. It, also, really helps being on the road because we like the same to do the same things and we’d be doing it anyways. Then, there is the challenge of it, with friction and fights, and we go at it quite frequently… but, we always get over it and move on. We take it all in stride.

Well said,and thanks for your time and music. We can't wait for the next show!