Feeling at home for SXSW Music Festival, I got to sit down and chat with Tommy from one of Austin’s favorite hometown bands, Quiet Company. Quiet company is a pop-rock band that formed in 2005 and has recently found much success in music including spots on Carson Daly, playing Austin City Limits Music Festival, and the ever so infamous SXSW.
When did y’all get together as a band?
We have been playing together for ten years. Transgressor will be out fourth full length and we have a lot of material. We’ve always wanted to be prolific and we also don’t want to pursue something that isn’t always growing. We were able to quit our day jobs last year and do QC full time.
You won 10 Austin Music Awards in 2012, how did the band as a whole react to that?
Yes! We won Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Rock Band of the Year, Indie Band of the Year, Song of the Year and a few more. It was crazy! We have a very wide, active online presence and we asked the fans to vote for us. There were rumors that we stuffed the ballot box. It opened a lot of doors and was a huge thing for us. We also just won Rock Band of the Year at the Austin Music Awards, which is refreshing!
Your full length Transgressor comes out this summer, what’s the feel on it and how is it different than the last album?
It’s weird, it’s like when you’re writing Quiet Company, Taylor (who is the main writer), and we have a really good voice and know how to make our messages clear. The arrangements of the songs are more different than ever. It’s in a folk hymn. People come to the live show and compare it a lot to how the records are so we take that criticism. I think we did a good job at capturing the heart and soul of the songs!
We single track the record and do it in one sitting, we didn’t want to multi-task.
You played ACL, NXNE, CMJ, Canada Music Fest Center of the Universe Fest and a few more big festivals last year, which one would you say was the all around favorite?
They were all different but I think the SX model models them all, SX is the best festival but I would choose either NXNE or CMJ. We went to Toronto and have a pretty big fan base out there. It started with Groove shark, which was in Canada before Spotify. Toronto was a very rewarding experience. Our singer’s wife is there also, which is pretty neat. New York was fun.
If you had to choose between Canada and New York, which would you choose?
I think I would have to pick New York! New York is just so gargantuan and I’m kind of obsessed with things like that. It’s the same thing though; it’s just like asking what you like about SX, everything that’s going on. New York City is the same way except the city is smaller and there are 10x more people. It’s like Tokyo!
Quiet Company headlined KGSR’s Blues on the Green for 14,000 people, is that the largest crowd you performed in front of?
That was the biggest crowd that we have played a live show for sure. It was pretty exhilarating. I remember looking down halfway through the first song and my hands were shaking from the adrenaline rush, it was like being on a rollercoaster. That was a thrill, so cool! KGSR is just really an awesome radio station.
How would you compare 2012 and 2013 for Quiet Company?
In 2012, we played a lot around Austin and the region and in 2013 we started branching out and traveling a lot.
Which showcase are you excited for?
That’s such a hard question! Last night we played the City of Austin Kickoff Showcase, we haven’t played any other showcases yet but that one was amazing! We will see if any other showcases can meet the energy of the first show.
Lead Vocalist, Taylor Muse was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, in a podcast discussing his journey from a Christian rocker to an Atheist. Did someone influence him to participate and do that or did he do it by choice?
The record we put out in 2012 was mostly about that. It was a defining thing for our band actually. We have a lot of atheist folks who relate to our music as well as a lot of Christian who relate but look at it from a different side. In terms of creating popularity of the band, artistically, it was what he was going through at the time and he purged his emotions through his writing. I think it will be a cult record for a long time! We had a lot of weird reactions from that record, Taylor got a lot of questions and wanted to explain himself and answer those questions he received. He did it by choice to clear the air!
Big Picture Media Press Day SXSW 2014