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A Quick Interview With Jared Kolesar of Jared & The Mill

By: Paul Voran

How long have you all been making music together?

Weíve been together for five years now, itís been a hell of a journey. I was thinking today about how much weíve changed as people and as a band. Normally people change a lot at this time in their lives, from 20-25 years old. Weíve had very special circumstances under which weíve had to grow up during this period. We went off and had to find ourselves without the comforts of home and thatís a very unique experience.

Which musical influences do your various bandmates bring to the overall sound?

Michael, the banjo player and I have been friends since seventh grade. We listen to a lot of western rock from the 60ís and 70ís as well as modern indie-rock. Many artists from the folk revival such as Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel are also huge for us. Larry and Josh are really into rock ní roll, jazz, and classical music. They have a very different palette of music that they bring to the table. Chuck, the bass player probably has the most diverse musical taste of any of us. He listens to everything, indie, metal, hip-hop, trap, all of it. Weíve all kind of grown into each other and now we listen to everything when weíre on the road.

Are you full time musicians?

Itís hard to get away from being a full-time musician when you have a nine month touring schedule. However we all have side gigs that weíre able to perform from the road which is really great. Mike and I work for an app from Phoenix called Bravo Tip or Pay. Larry and Chuck work for Google and Josh works for his brotherís solar panel installation company as a project manager.

Describe your style of music, what sets you apart from other emerging artists?

I honestly donít know of anyone that has a similar sound to us which is both a blessing and a curse. We call ourselves western indie-rock and while there a lot of acts that would also describe themselves as such I think we have a very unique blend of influences. For example, on our new release we have a record called ďLost, Scared & TiredĒ that sounds like Marshall Tucker Band if they were an indie-rock band today. These authentic western bands are so much in vogue right now. Everyone is hot and bothered about Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams. Not to say that these artists aren't great, Iíve been listening to them my whole life. I feel like all the sudden people are rockiní cowboy hats out of nowhere. I think itís tight, fashion's gonna go where itís gonna go but it's just interesting because theses are cultural influences that Iíve had for a long time. All of the sudden itís a really hip thing to be rockiní a Stetson. What sets us apart is our authenticity. Weíre very honest in being children of the West, weíre all born and bred Arizona boys. We have this inherent western spirit in our music that we donít have to try for. This allows us to open up other doors in our music that others wouldnít. For example in one of our songs Larry has a very ĎVan HalenesqueĒ guitar solo, and we have some metal breakdowns in other parts of the show. But despite this people still call us a western rock band, I think the reason for that is this genuine western spirit that Iím talking about.

How have your records changed over time?

Our production value has definitely gone up. I think weíre getting more to a place of just being who we are. Our sound is always going to change gradually, that's just the way the creative spirit works I guess. We used to dance around the whole western country thing. We were worried about what was relevant and I think that inhibited our ability to create the music we wanted to create. What you hear on this record is a true form of us. We do have some hokey western country influences and that's alright because itís who we are. Weíre not like a costume party band anymore trying to be socially relevant and I think you hear that in the record.

How was working with Ryan Hewitt?

Being in Ryanís hands was really great at this time in our career. He recorded us in live rooms and took the click track off of certain recordings. It gave us a more natural sound, like six buddies playing in a room together. That's exactly what we were at the time of recording. This record is a really honest representation of us as a band.

Will you be going back to House of Blues for the next record?

Itís always good to bounce around with new people and have new influences but I donít think our time with Ryan is over. Weíre definitely going to try to get back to work with him for a full album.

What kind of atmosphere can somebody expect at one of your performances?

They can expect a hell of a good time hopefully! We do our best not to take ourselves too seriously so thereís a lot of joking around and laughing at our shows. We always get people to clap and sing along, we also try to get out into the crowd to play some acoustic tunes which creates a really intimate vibe. If you come to our show there's not one emotion you can expect to feel, itís a bit of a roller coaster experience.

Are you handling all of the logistics yourselves on this tour or have you started delegating work to agencies and managers?

We have an agent and a manager and attorneys and all of that but they are all hired in-house. Weíre still a completely independent band so when we go on the road we donít have a tour manager or sound guy or anything. Itís just us. We have different jobs for different people. Mike is the guy that gets us from point A to point B, Iím the acting tour manager so Iím the point of contact for the venues and I talk to promoters and collect payouts and whatnot. Larry is our sound guy so heíll collaborate with the staff at venues to help them figure out what we need out of them. Josh is our merch manager so he counts in and out all merchandise. Long story short we do everything within ourselves. Its actually really great to know that we can sustain ourselves without the help of anybody else on the road.

Are there any certain venues youíre looking forward to playing?

We love North Carolina, New York, Mineapolis, Seattle, honestly I love all of it. There arenít particular shows that stick out to me as super special. Every show has itís moments. The North Carolina scene in Durham, Carrboro, and Chapel Hill was actually one of the first markets we really pulled a crowd at outside of Arizona which is amazing. Itís very near and dear to our hearts.

We love your stuff down here.

We love your stuff! MotorCo is our first time playing in proper Durham. Iím really excited to break into and see what Durham is all about.

Any words for people that may be on the fence about coming out on Thursday?

I guarantee you will not regret coming out and will not get what you were expecting. Itís a very intimate experience that you canít get out of our CD if youíve listened to it. We donít just hop on stage, play the music, and hop off stage. Youíll definitely have a story or two to tell.

Jared & The Mill will be performing with Edison on August 25th at MotorCo in Durham, NC. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Their new record, Orme Dugas is available through iTunes on September 9th.

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