Gulfport, Mississippi’s Rosco Bandana put on an uplifting performance Saturday night, August 4, 2012, at the Hard Rock Hotel Lollapalooza After Party. The seven piece indie – Americana – folk band won Hard Rock Record’s “Hard Rock Rising Competition” in 2011. They were chosen from a group of over 12,000 different bands of various genres. Rosco Bandana became the first band signed to the newly created Hard Rock Records. The band has been preparing for the release of their album, “Time To Begin“, on September 25, 2012 by doing a small tour at various Hard Rock locations throughout the Midwest. The group put on an incredible performance that was radiating feel good energy throughout the entire venue. Rosco Bandana’s music has a no nonsense, high energy feeling to it. The entire band was nonstop smiles throughout their performance, as was the crowd. It is seemingly not possible to listen to their music without cracking a smile. After their performance I was fortunate enough to have an exclusive interview with drummer and vocalist Barry Pribyl Jr., vocalist Jennifer Flint, and keyboardist and vocalist Emily Sholes from the band. All three were more than happy to answer some questions and were nonstop smiles the entire time.
Do you guys like Chicago, and what did you think of the storm we had today that temporarily postponed Lollapalooza?
Emily: Oh yeah, it’s our first time here, we were driving in right when it began to storm, it was horrible–
Jennifer: I thought a tornado was going to come! I’m so scared of tornadoes.
Emily: I was like it’s the apocalypse and everybody was like shut up.
“Rosco Bandana” is there any meaning or significance behind the name?
Jennifer: Oh yeah!
Emily: Oh yeah!
Barry: Jenn and I came up with the name; we listen to a band called “Midlake”, and we wanted it to be something bandana because it kind of symbolizes Americana.
Jennifer: It’s an iconic symbol for American spirit.
Group: America! (one by one each member sang in a joking manner)
Barry: And we were throwing around some names before like Manic or Dirty Bandana–
Jennifer: Like oh, they were awful!
Barry: We were listening to a song by “Midlake”, which is called “Rosco” and in the middle of the song they shout out “Rosco” we looked at each other–
Jennifer: And we were like bam, Rosco!
Jennifer: Rosco Bandana!
Barry: We brought it to the group everybody was like yeah,
Barry: It’s from a “Midlake” song.
How does it feel to have been a part of Hard Rock’s 2011 – Hard Rock Rising competition, ultimately winning and then getting to be the first group signed to Hard Rock Records?
Jennifer: Oh man, it’s like the most amazing feeling ever; like I don’t even know how to–
Emily: The timing was impeccable–
Emily: Being the first band on the label, it’s like yeah.
Jennifer: Oh my gosh, it’s a big deal!
Emily: It’s such an honor!
Barry: We’re so thankful for Hard Rock!
There was like twelve thousand bands that entered, so it feels good that they chose us.
How would you best describe your upcoming release to someone who has never heard your music before?
Barry: Johnny Cash meets Fleetwood Mac and has a love child with (Inaudible)
Jennifer: And then they have an affair and they meet Wilco—
Jennifer: And Bob Dylan in the 70’s —
Barry: It’s such a variety of sounds.
Jennifer: Each of our songs has like a different genre in a way, some have a country feel, some have a bluegrass feel, some of it’s gypsy, some of it’s folk, sometimes it gets hard rock, so I mean we have a good variety.
Barry: It is a good variety.
Emily: Except metal.
Jennifer: Yeah, I don’t think we could pull that off.
Barry: Maybe next album we could throw some metal in, I have a good screaming voice.
How was the recording process for you guys, being flown to L.A. & working with Greg Collins?
Emily: It was surreal!
Jennifer: It was pretty amazing!
Barry: To work with someone on that caliber of professionalism, for me personally, it kind of threw me for a loop because we’ve done recordings in Mississippi, just kind of mosh posh in someone’s basement. To go out to L.A. and to really work with someone on that level–
Emily: To work with someone like that and in such a controlled environment–
Jennifer: I mean we would work like eleven or twelve hours every day. Then afterward, we would have to go out and meet all these people and we’d have to go to a bar. So, for literally about two months we got about three hours of sleep a night. It is awesome though!
Emily: It was definitely worth it because Greg Collins is very talented! He knows what he is doing.
Jennifer: Oh my gosh, yeah! He did a great job at making an awesome album!
Emily: Yeah, he did!
Does being a 7 piece band ever seem to be more problematic than perhaps a smaller band at times?
Barry: Originally, we were a five piece, but we added two members and the dynamic of the group actually works really well. We all kind of have friendships outside of the band and even when we had the new people come in, it meshed so well cause we’re all friends anyway.
Jennifer: We’re pretty grounded and stuff. We were all friends before.
Emily: We’ve all known each other, some of us since fourth grade.
Barry: It’s got a good dynamic it’s like a brotherly/sisterly thing.
Jennifer: We get into little arguments, but there are no grudges ever held against anybody. It’s just like how a brother/sister relationship is, you get mad at each other and five seconds later you’re fine.
Do you guys have any favorite songs, bands, or musicians right now?
Barry: Along the lines of our music I’m a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac. It’s definitely an inspiration of mine. We have the two female vocalists that do a lot of harmonies. So currently I’ve been listening to the greatest hits of Fleetwood Mac. You can never go wrong with Fleetwood Mac.
Jennifer: Oh never! Oh man, I’ve been jamming to Eisley lately.
Emily: Eisley is a band from Tyler, Texas. That’s something that me and Jenn connect on a lot. We’ve both been into them for a long time.
Jennifer: I’ve been listening to a lot of Fleet Foxes, and Avett Brothers for sure, I love Avett Brothers. Their energy live is amazing! When you see them live it’s so much better than the album. That’s what we are going for as a band!
Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge, thank, or any last words to your fans?
Yes, we’d like to thank Hard Rock! We would like to thank our fans, and thanks to any new listeners! Oh and our album, Time To Begin, is out everywhere September, 25, 2012. Check it out! And thank you Xeonlive.com!