Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Our interview with Green River Ordinance!
At the last minute, I sat down to experience a band I've known about for a while now. Green River Ordinance have just reached the ten year mark as a band which makes this group of 24 and 25 year olds something magical. Being together since they were freshman and sophomores in high school, they have been winning over audiences everywhere with their sweet southern soul pop rock and have recently released their latest effort 'Out Of My Hands'.
The band initially came together ten years ago and even then back in high school, they were just as serious about their music as they are today. "I had only been in the band for like a couple months and Jamey, he asked me where I was planning to go to college because we were considering doing it full time and he was like 'I just want to make sure that you're going to be doing this as a career," said Joshua Wilkerson when we discussed if the band ever imagined they would still be this energized about a being a band together ever ten years. From their energy on stage and through their music, it seems obvious.
It's crazy to think that this album is only their sophomore full length considering how much touring they have put in and with bands like Switchfoot, Third Eye Blind and Collective Soul but the boys are very humble about their success as a band which showed when I asked about their three dream bands to tour with. Instead they named bands like U2 and Coldplay since they have been lucky enough to play with most, if not all of their heroes.
Our interview happened a few hours before they played their sold out show at Harper's Ferry two weeks ago and Jamey Ice, Joshua Perkins, Joshua Wilkerson and Denton Hunker talked about everything from their favorite part of being on the road to some of the craziest things they have experienced. There are quite a few of those stories!
How did Green River Ordinance first come together?
Joshua Perkins(lead vox): We've been a band since high school. Jamey and Geoff, they were brothers and they started the band when Geoff was thirteen and Jamey was fifteen. They were a blues rock band in their parents' garage so that's how it kind of got it's start. I was just fifteen when I joined and Joshua (Wilkerson) started shortly after that. We went to high school together and met Denton in college so we were just doing school while we were playing music together and then we dropped out of school two years into college and just bought a van and trailer and toured the country so now we're here. Have been a band for ten years.
Ten years! Really, that's huge. Did you ever think that you would reach that level?
Joshua Wilkerson(guitar): Um, it's actually kind of funny because in high school whenever we would talk about going to college, I had only been in the band for a few months and Jamey, he asked me where I was planning to go to college because we were considering doing it full time and he was like 'I just want to make sure that you're going to be doing this as a career". That was whenever we were fifteen or seventeen you know. We're all twenty four, twenty five now so there was some hope back then at a young age.
Josh P: But we never thought we would be doing this full time for this long.
Denton(drums): I sure didn't.
Josh P: We were hoping for it!
How do you go about the songwriting process? Is it one person, more collective?
Denton: Every song is different. We really don't have like a set way of writing songs. Sometimes someone will come up with an idea, sometimes two people will bring an idea, sometimes we'll be in the practice room and all five people will be pitching in. It sounds strange, but it's really different for every song.
Jamey(guitar): There really isn't any set formula.
You've been on this tour for a little bit now I believe. How has it been going so far?
Joshua P: It's been good! We've known the Sleeperstar guys for a few years, those Dallas boys, Waco guys and it's been awesome. I mean, our first show we played, we were supposed to play in DC, got rescheduled because of the blizzard but it's been a lot of fun! It feels like more of a road trip right now then it has been a tour. We've just been hanging out with them a lot and stuff so it's awesome to play with your friends you know. It's always great.
If you could go on the road with any three dream bands, maybe that are realistic for you guys or a dream, who do you think they would be?
Josh W: U2 would be a dream. Or Coldplay, that would be dream.
Joshua P: Um, but realistic?
Denton: Jimmy Eat World.
Jamey: We've gotten to play with most of our dream bands and heroes.
Josh W: Third Eye Blind is a group we grew up listening to and we got to play with them a few times.
Okay so would be on the list if it didn't already happen. What would you say is your favorite part of being on the road and playing shows?
Jamey: I think getting to meet people.
Joshua P: Getting to see different towns and cultures.
Denton: Um, I think getting to play music every night.
Jamey: You meet so many people and that's probably one of our favorite things. I mean in between the driving, the driving can probably be one of the least favorite parts of the road.
Josh W: Not all the driving. I think our least favorite part of driving is in terms of figuring out in the Northeast which highway we can get on with the trailer.
Always good to know. I know you guys have been together for a really long time for about ten years now but what do you think you would be doing if you weren't in GRO?
Josh W: Entrepreneurship for me.
Denton: I'd be, uh, bodybuilding.
Jamey: Ah, I would be in school for sure, back in school.
Joshua P: I'd be a ventriloquist for sure.
Josh W: You'd be good at it, you have the right lips.
Have you ever had any crazy experiences with fans over the years or pretty low key?
Josh W: We went on tour with David Cook for a while and it was great. You know, we met so many people every night we were playing in front of people. Like Jamey was saying, you get to meet a lot of people. One of the coolest things is they bring you food. So, it would depend on the location but some people bring in like Amish food.
Jamey: Two nights ago, we got a pound and a half of amish jerky.
Denton: Yeah! Like we got a warm thing of brownies then the other night got like four bags of cookies all in one night.
Joshua P: We get flowers a lot.
Josh W: Some girl gave me a flower one time and said 'Get Better'.
Joshua P: I don't know about crazy though. We're not cool enough for crazy fans. We just like to hang out and meet lovely people. We get magnets. Somehow, we got on this kick where we wanted to put magnets on our trailer.
Josh W: We bought on at this gas station that says 'Pimpin'. It's purple. It's not so much crazy, it's just on one tour we collected a lot. Like I mean, hundreds.
Denton: Some of them are falling off though.
Jamey: Yeah, they're falling off but then people us them like one or two nights ago.
Josh W: We tweeted about it once and just said 'hey if you want to bring any magnets, we're collecting magnets on the back of our trailer' and now people just bring them all the time.
Joshua P: We had a sweet band aid. We had a huge dent in the front of the van and had a big huge band aid for a car and um, somebody stole that!
That's a bummer! Now people are going to come out and steal your magnets. Who would you say are some of your bigger musical influences maybe for the band or growing up?
Joshua P: As far as the band goes?
Jamey: Probably some of those bands that we'd like to tour with.
Joshua P: Collective Soul, bands like that we love! You know, Jamey and Geoff grew up playing kind of blues rock and I grew up kind of in the country world and Joshua's dad toured with the Beach Boys. So growing up, all of us were kind of eclectic in our style and taste so it's a pretty cool environment when you're writing songs. You kind of pull from different chains of thought.
Josh W: A natural train of thought. It's like a brainstorm technique.
If you were to collaborate with any artist that you maybe personally know from touring with in the past, who would they be and what would the song be about?
Jamey: I'd say Collective Soul, but we've already collaborated with them a little bit like vocals.
Joshua P: Probably Collective Soul.
Josh W: I'd say Collective Soul.
Denton: Yeah, we'd probably do like a ska remix slash hip hop of Run or something.
Josh W: No! (laughs) Collective Soul would be fun, we actually got a chance to write with Ed a little bit but as far as what song we'd like to write about, I'd say an organic relative thing. It would be like what we were feeling that day.
Joshua P: Yeah, it's pretty hard to force a song. It's way easier to write a song about whatever comes to your mind!
Thank you to the boys of Green River Ordinance and Paul for doing this interview. The boys have some rumored happenings going on, so check out all the details coming on their myspace.