The State Of Music: Part 40: Florida - The Great Deceivers

It seems fitting with this glorious weather we are currently having in the UK that today's State Of Music post comes from The Sunshine State.

If my memory is right, this Orlando based band were a reccomendation from Alabama's Earth House ( State Of Music Part 8 ).

A perfect band for a perfect lazy sunny day.

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

Thanks for having us, Dom! We're a four-piece band from Orlando, Fl. We can be found in our respective corners of town or in select spots on the internet.

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

We've been in existence with our current line up for about two years. We've had a couple of line up changes but have been friends for a few years, once we played together the vibe was there and we were stuck.

CMM: How best would you describe your music?

I'd say that our music would be best described as an attempt to make indie rock interesting. We're a quartet of moody fellows and some of that probably comes through in the tone of our songs. More than anything we want to incorporate elements that we'd like to hear more often in music nowadays, we listen to jazz, we listen to heavy music, we listen to pop music. There's no reason a band can't meld all of these qualities into their sound--or at least try to.

CMM: I really struggled to find a band in Florida for some reason. How is the scene out there right now? What the genre of choice out there at the moment?

The scene in Florida is great. We just got home from a week-long Florida tour last week so we're experts now! For some reason, maybe because it's technically in "the South" people assume there aren't many progressive things going on or important bands happening but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Sarasota, St. Pete, Tampa, St. Augustine, Miami and Ft. Myers are just some of the towns in Florida that immediately come to mind where great things are happening. Those cities are all home to DIY-venues and scenes that are growing steadily, small but strong communities are popping up all over the place here. There's a really wide variety of music happening too, we've got great electronic, metal and rock scenes. I'd say there isn't one predominant style or genre, the cool thing is that more often shows aren't being limited to genre. We play shows all of the time with punk or pop punk bands, instrumental or experimental bands. It's a good, synergistic way to bring out different crowds and introduce people to new things.

CMM: One thing I am hoping to find in this series is some kind of link between where a band is based and their music. Do you feel as an band you are influenced by your surroundings and the scene around you? Definitely. Regionally, certain genres may be popular and I feel like that can determine how certain bands sound just based on being surrounded by a large number of bands playing a specific kind of music. It's like how a lot of people here associate pop-punk with the American midwest, there probably isn't anything about that physical region that inspires that type of music but people who start bands there probably grew up hearing it and knowing people that played it so it ends up feeding on itself. Like I mentioned, there are a lot of separate but successful music scenes in Orlando, just like I'm sure there are anywhere. The extent to which we're influenced is probably just when we see our friends playing and writing awesome music it makes us want to be as good, to be doing as many cool things. We know so many great musicians and so many people who have amazing musical ideas it makes us want to push ourselves that much harder to be on our game, even if the music we're enamored of at that moment is an acoustic bluegrass quintet or a two-piece grind band we want to be able to appreciate what makes something good and maybe incorporate an element of that into something we're doing.

CMM: What other influences do you have, musical or otherwise?

That's a rabbit hole of a question, really. Lately Josh and myself have been indulging in a lot of reading on the paranormal, some really, really out there stuff. We like watching sports, mostly basketball but Ben (our bassist) is British and enjoys a good game of soccer/football as much as the next Londoner. Space is a big influence too, it's huge. We're generally preoccupied with trying to define our reality. We listen to all kinds of bands too. Fugazi, David Bazan, Minus the Bear, Neurosis, Miles Davis--all favorites, all the time.

CMM: Could you perhaps give a run down of the music you have released so far?

So far we've got two records. Our first is called House of Stairs and was released in summer of 2010. Our latest is called Seasons In Reverse and was released in summer of 2011.

CMM: Are you able to get out an play live much?. Where are your favourite places to play both in and out of state?

We are able to play out a good amount. We consider that to be pretty integral to being a band, usually we've got one or two shows a month in Orlando and we try to go on tour a couple of times a year. We just returned from a week-long mini-tour of Florida. Last year we did two weeks in the summer along the East coast to Boston and back and then did another week to New York and back for CMJ Music Marathon. Our favorite places to play are probably just around our home state. Cool Hand Luc's, Burro Bar, New World Brewery and 1982 are some great venues across the state that touring bands should look into. Will's Pub, Peacock Room, Substance Art Gallery and Stardust are some choice Orlando venues.

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

Right now we're in the processing of booking a tour of the Southeast in May with our friends, also from Orlando, called Saskatchewan. Early next month we're going to be recording a couple of songs to be released on a 7" split with another fellow Orlando group, The Pauses. That's keeping us more than busy at the moment!

Dom