We nipped down to Plymouth on Tuesday 20th January to catch 4 bands playing at The Tiki Bar, on the bill were Black Foxxes, Boston Manor, Choir Vandals and Moose Blood. After their set, we had a brief chat with the bass player from Choir Vandals and asked if he was up for taking part in our 'Introducing' feature, he was, of course he was, who wouldn't be? Anyway, I raced home, penned some questions and emailed them over to the guys to take a look at. It looks like the singer Austin McCutchen drew the short straw, here's how it went....
You’re called Choir Vandals, where did the name come from and did you have to vandalize any choirs along the way?
The name came from a song by the American Analog Set. Austin and Micah actually did vandalize a choir.
What was the first gig you ever attended and the most recent one as a paying customer?
The first gig I ever attended was Backstreet Boys, Cisco and Alicia Keys. I got stuck in a port-a-pottie while Cisco played the Thong Song. The last gig I payed for was Backstreet Boy, Cisco and Alicia Keys. I got stuck in a Port-A-Pottie while Cisco played the Thong Song.
I saw you play in Plymouth recently and did a review of your live set (very impressed by the way), I’m loving the vocal style, who would you say influenced this?
Julian Casablancas from The Strokes has influenced a lot of my vocal tendencies. Him and Jake Bellows from Neva Dinova are definitely my main two vocal influences.
Which guitar solo gives you a 'funny feeling' when you hear it?
It's a three-way tie between the solo from the Power Rangers theme song, Jimi Hendrix playing the Star Spangled Banner, or the solo in I'm Not Okay by My Chemical Romance.
Who would you say are your musical influences?
All of our personal influences are very different from each other, but some influences we do agree on are The Strokes, Death Cab For Cutie and The Smiths.
Your drummer Wil has some impressive ‘ink’, where does he get his tattoos done?
Wil worked at a tattoo shop in St. Louis and got tattooed by many of his mates.
Some of the live dates you are doing alongside Boston Manor and Moose Blood have already sold out, how does this make you feel?
Never in my life did I think that I would go from playing these songs on my bedroom floor in the middle of America to playing them in front of sold out crowds in the UK. We are all so appreciative and blown away by all of this.
Which act or band do you think are going to be really successful during 2015?
Diamond Youth and Somos. We like what they have put out in the past and we're really excited to see what those guys do in the future.
What was the first song that you learnt to play together as a band?
An Honest Conversation
You recently apologized for maybe not understanding all the various English accents that you come across on tour in the UK, which one has really confused you?
Some cockney geezer going on about footie at the pub slurring over several pints of lager.
What is the music scene in the St Louis area like at the moment?
The St. Louis scene is a very segregated one, but we've been lucky enough to find support from friends in the various music groups there. Despite the separation between the genres the people are very supportive and active within the scene.
What was the last movie you saw? Any stand out moments?
Grand Budapest Hotel on our flight to the UK. We saw the movie together when it first came out in theaters, and got to watch it together again on the plane. No specific stand out moments, the whole movie is great.
Have you partaken in any 'rock n' roll' antics (smashing up hotel rooms, groupies, sex drugs & alcohol etc…)?
This isn't Spinal Tap we just really like looking at our phones.
What has been the crappiest job you've ever done?
Josh works at a Cracker Barrel and used to have to clean the bathrooms.
What was the last book you read? What was it about?
Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut. It's about a man in prison.
Who is the biggest ‘celebrity’ that you have on your mobile phone contacts?
It's a tie between Mike Jones and Carly Hoskins from thisischuck.org.
Our regular followers are always looking for new acts to check out, give me 3 bands that they should be looking into?
The Star Killers, Culture Abuse, and Keep.
According to Wikipedia, St Louis houses around 320,000 people, how many of these own a Choir Vandals T-Shirt?
I'm not sure, but at least 8 because all of our parents have a shirt.
You’re signed to 6131 records, how did this come about? Who else is on the label?
We sent them a Christmas card and asked very politely. Dads, Dream Ritual, Culture Abuse, Teen Death, Seizures, and Hemingway are also signed to 6131.
When was the last time you were so drunk you puked?
On our tour with Dads and Tiny Moving Parts in November, Austin threw up in San Fransisco after drinking about five jack and cokes.
Tell me a fascinating fact about you or another band member?
The first gig I ever attended was Backstreet Boys, Cisco and Alicia Keys. I got stuck in a port-a-pottie while Cisco played the Thong Song.
You've played alongside some great bands, which band taught you the most about being a band and what advice did you take on board?
As far as bands that we've toured with go, Dads was the band we learned the most from. Going on tour with them taught us to stay organized on the road.
Have you made any firm festival plans for 2015 yet? If so, where?
We haven't made any firm festival plans, but we have some loose ones. ;)
Prior to releasing Austin back into the wild, we thought a few short, snappy quickfire questions would be nice....
Ozzy or Lemmy?
Hot Dogs or Burgers?
Beard or no beard?
Depends how far into the tour we are!
Camping or Camper Van?
Tattoos or Piercings?
Tattoos are cool
Blonde or brunette?
Neil Young or Bob Dylan?
BBQ or Sit down meal?
Sunday Roast or Fry Up?
Beanie hats or Trucker Caps?
Sunbathing or Exploring?
Pizza or Kebab?
XBOX or Playstation?
Pearl Jam or Soundgarden?
God or Google?
We'd like to thank Austin for taking time out to answer our questions and we wish the band every success in 2015. Why not spend your lunch break having a look at their social media channels, they're all listed below, just point and click!