The State Of Music: Part 13: Mississippi - Furrows

I suppose when this project first entered my conciousness I half wondered if I would find any particular sounds in certain states. I was guessing this would be more prevalent in the Southern States which just seems to develop a certain identifiable style.

This isn't to say that Mississippi's Furrows sound anything like friends of the radio Kings Of Leon, indeed their Malcontent & Adored album sounds like a cross between Fugazi (mainly on track 1) and Cold War Kids if both bands decided to move a few thousand miles south.

Have a listen yourself below and a read of my interview with the band and let me know your thoughts.

CMM: Welcome to Choose My Music. I suppose the first question is - who are Furrows and where in the world would we find you?

Furrows is a Jackson, MS-based band that can consist of upwards of 7 people but usually keeps about 4-5 consistent members. As for style of music, the best bet is to go and check out furrows1.bandcamp.com to stream both of our albums (with a third in the works). You can also check us out on faceboook at facebook.com/furrows1

CMM: How long has the band been in existence and how did it all start?

We've been together for about 2 1/2 years. It started out of informal songwriting sessions between myself and Tyler Kemp (piano, trumpet, organ, etc.) I had been in a pretty heavily touring band for the previous 7 years or so, which had just broken up, and Tyler had been in one that had been around for several years too that called it quits. We were just looking to get away from what we had been doing for so long in the prior bands; to continue to grow musically. It blossomed when we started picking up other members. The songs we had been putting together started to see the light of day and the dark of a venue once we started to flesh out each song with a full band.

CMM: How best would you describe your music?

It's been called "skeleton rock". Its been called "cerebral indie folk" I just think it sounds like a bunch of music nerds who love playing music together. We craft a strong melodic force together. You can toss any sort of name on what we "sound" like but the vague term of "rock" suits us just fine until you hear what our music sounds like.

CMM: What is the music scene like in Mississippi right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?

The state of Mississippi is definitely booming. The trick is letting the rest of the country know about it without losing the integrity that exists here. I think that's why Mississippi has some of the best kept secrets in the country...because the folks here are subconciously fearful of allowing its style out into the world and letting the rest of the world in. As far as genres, mostly folk and rock hold sway, but those are such vague terms. We have bands from just about every genre you could imagine, several that push genres as well. Where Mississippian musicians may be subconciously fearful of losing integrity of what they have here, they are just as unafraid of pushing things and playing what is their voice. It may just take someone "discovering" this area for it to really break.

CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their location. Do you feel as an artist you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you?

Oh, most definitely. Furrows once played in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and these two guys came up after our set and after stammering on about what we sounded like they finally just decided that we sounded like "mississippi" and "the south". I think Furrows, as well as, several other great Mississippi bands are a new breed of "Southern Rock"...not cheesey and stadium-friendly like what the genre used to mean. Its got more dust, grit, teeth, and sweat involved.

I'm not sure what you know of the weather in Mississippi, but 78% of the year there is a wetness hanging in the thick sheets of air all over the state. It makes things feel mysitc almost, like lightning is going to strike at any moment. People here live that way. Well, at least the folks in-tune to their surroundings. Most of the creative sort in the state is that in-tune slice of population.

CMM: What other influences does the band have, musical or otherwise?

Everyting influences us. Books, Cartoons, other bands, the bullshit that life feeds us, politics, the haphepiness that you take from life. Its all fodder for creativity.

CMM: I am aware that you appear in other bands and run your own label - please tell me everything!

Everything?! The easiest way to talk about the label is to check out elegant-trainwreck.com My other band, besides Furrows, is a two-piece rock act with my fiancee (Caitlin McNally) on drums and myself on guitar and banjo.We call it Liver Mousse. We kick something between Stooges garage rock and Velvet Underground attic pop. We like David lynch, Neil Young, couches, spicy food, and guitar feedback. You can check that out at livermousse.bandcamp.com Both of our albums are on there to stream or purchase.

CMM: I am sure like most bands you get out and play live when you can. Where are your favourite places to plan both in and out of state?

Two of the best places in Mississippi is Proud Larry's in Oxford, MS and Ole Tavern in Jackson, MS. Out of state, I would have to say that The White Water Tavern in Little Rock, AR is amazing. I would also add Dan's Silverleaf in Denton, TX is great too.

CMM: What's next in the pipeline for Furrows?

Our last album combined the visual artists in town with the entire album, with each artist doing a picture for a specific, assigned song. We then used all the pieces as an insert and track listing on the LP insert. This time around on album number 3, we have written a concept album with which we hope to include a relatively disjointed film (composed of individual local director's short films of a specific songs. Not music videos, but actual cinematic interpretations of each track off the new album. Should be fun to put together. We just figured we had to keep upping the ante.

CMM: And finally, where can people reach out to you online and where can they get hold of your stuff?

furrows1.bandcamp.com

you can email us at elegant.trainwreck@gmail.com to order one via mail, or you can go to elegant-trainwreck.com and click the "buy" links there. either way, I hope everyone will check out this area and all the great music here.

Dom