Interview By David Stringer and Madison Miller
Charleston based rock band Co. have been on the rise lately with a show in December opening for Band of Horses in Charleston and more recently announcing midwest tour dates with Band of Horses. We caught up with frontman Brian Hannon about their influences, how they got hooked up with Band of Horses and their plans for a recording an album in the future.
Describe your music for those who aren’t familiar.
Gram Parsons had a saying about his music, he called it “Cosmic American Music”. i like that.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
American rock bands, The Stooges, The Velvet Underground, Talking Heads, The Flying Burrito Bros., Big Star, R.E.M., The Flaming Lips, Guided By Voices, anything like that.
How did you get started as a band?
I know Kelly Grant, the drummer in The Company, from my childhood in Greenville. We both moved to Charleston around the same time and ran into each other at a show at the Music Farm after not seeing each other for some years. We booked our first show at The Map Room, which has since closed down I think, about two years or so ago. Matthew Royse, the bass player in The Company, was at our first show playing with another band, and he started playing with us after that. T.J. Ave-Lallement, the other guitarist in The Company, lived right down the road from me in my old apartment in Mount Pleasant, and so he started playing with us.
How were things in the beginning and what has changed recently that has led yall to finally be catching some big breaks?
Kelly started renting this storage unit out in Summerville where we keep all of our equipment and we can play whenever we want as loud as we want, so our rehearsals have become much more effective, instead of having to practice around roommates and we can just leave all of our stuff lying around. also we just know each other better as friends, which i feel comes out in the music. maybe a little bit too well sometimes.
In December you played a show with Band of Horses and you recently announced a string of dates with them in March. That’s a huge opportunity, what’s the story behind get hooked up with that?
Some members of Band of Horses also live in Charleston, including Ben Bridwell, the lead singer, and Creighton Barrett, the drummer. We met Ben’s father, David Bridwell, after playing a show around town. I gave Mr. Bridwell some CDs of our music and he passed them on to Ben. Ben contacted us for the show in December and i have been getting to know him ever since.
What are you most excited about for the future?
We are supposed to play SXSW in March, but there’s a possibility we won’t get to play because of bureaucratic type stuff…i’m keeping my fingers crossed.
What are you most grateful for in your past? Is there anything you wish you could have done differently?
I’m grateful for my buds in The Company, of course, for helping me play this music. I’m grateful for my family and all our families and all of our friends who have helped along the way and are still helping. I would have done everything the same.
Any plans on recording or any new music in the near future?
I’m more or less done writing a new album, it’s going to be called “Dear America,.” I’m not sure yet how I’m going to record it but I really want to get it done perfectly. All of our recordings are done at home and are done very unprofessionally, so I want to really have a polished product done in a professional recording studio.
At Scene SC we tend to focus on the Columbia music scene, what do you think are the best and worst parts about the Charleston music scene?
I don’t think I could say anything bad about the Holy City, there are great bands here and cool places to hang out.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I wish they would sign me up cause I’m broke.
Where do you see your band in a year from now?
I’ve got big plans for my next album, “Dear America,.” I want a horn section and violins and all sorts of stuff I’ve never done before so I’ve got lots of work to do.