The Spring Standards

23 Jul

“We approach each song differently, doing our best to make each number a full experience for the listener – as honest, engaging and unique as possible.”

James Cleare, Heather Robb, and James Smith are three individuals who live and breathe music. Their lives have been consumed of creating the kind of music that defies any genre. Their music has the power to make you sing-a-long, dance, and maybe even tear up a bit. Many fans comment on the bands ability to throw one of the best live shows, making them a trio that stands out among the rest. I recently talked with Heather and got to know her the two James’ a bit more.

Q. How did the three of you meet to form your band, The Spring Standards?

A. The three of us first met in high school – we all grew up in the Delaware/Pennsylvania area. We played in bands together on and off for years and then just over 3 years ago The Spring Standards was formed.

Q. You’re now living in Brooklyn, NY. What are some of the best things the city
has to offer in terms of music?

A. The best thing about being in Brooklyn is the feeling of being a part of a vibrant and exciting artistic community. Also, the food. There is some amazing food in Brooklyn.

Q. How has your music evolved since you first began writing/performing?

A. Well, we were 16 when we first started so it’s changed a lot – thankfully. We look back fondly at those early days, of course, but sometimes you can’t help but cringe a little bit. I’d say one of the biggest changes has been our live set-up, which is pretty bizarre, and having that as an element of our music has definitely changed the way we arrange our songs. We approach each song differently, doing our best to make each number a full experience for the listener – as honest, engaging and unique as possible.

Q. With the music business being nearly impossible to break into these days,
what do you think sets you apart from bands of the same genre?

A. There are so many talented musicians out there, we see them every time we tour, and we’re constantly humbled by that fact. Every performer has some unique quality that makes their music “click” with certain listeners. We’ve learned a lot about our audience in the 3 years that we’ve been touring and I think two of the qualities we have that draw our fans to us are our honesty and accessibility. We’re very much ourselves when we play – we’re not trying to be something we’re not and we always sing from the heart.

Q. Your band is composed of all guys, with you being the only girl. What’s the relationship like with you guys while you’re out on the road?

A. We’re like siblings. Or baby monkeys. Sometimes we have to be separated. Sometimes mom (aka our tour manager Noah) threatens to turn the car around if we don’t stop fighting. But we also love and trust each other immensely. People are always mistaking us for a family band.

Q. Your band has received rave reviews for your live show. What is one of the
best memories of a show you’ve played in the past?

A. We always love bringing friends up on stage with us – we recently played the Bowery Ballroom on Bob Dylan’s birthday and we brought up all the other musicians on the bill night and sang ‘I Shall Be Released.’ There was an unexpected trumpet solo and some very inventive harmonies – that was really fun and special.

Q. Your most recent album, Would Things Be Different, is composed of twelve
really great tracks. What song on the album was the most fun to record?

A. All the songs were fun to record – our producer Bryce Goggin saw to that. I’d say one of the most fun days was when we brought in about 15 of our friends to sing group vocals on a few of the tracks. We taught them all the parts and they stood in the middle of the room and sang our songs. It was a great feeling, watching our most beloved friends contributing to our music and feeling a wonderful sense unity.

Q. If you had to choose one band to tour with for the rest of your career, who would it be?

A. Oh wow, that’s a really hard question. We’ve become really close with just about every band we’ve toured with, so that question might be impossible to answer. Sorry, but we’ve gotta pass on that one. Unless we can say The Beatles?

Q. Who does the primary songwriting for your albums and what is the biggest influence in your lyrics?

A. We all do a pretty equal amount of songwriting, there’s truly no “primary” writer. I’d say the biggest influence in our writing is just life experience – things we’ve learned from, things that have hurt us, things we’ve loved, lost, hard times and great times. All of that contributes directly to our songwriting, and we try our best to communicate those experiences truthfully to our audience.

Q. If you were stranded on an island for the rest of your life and could only bring one of your songs to listen to, which one would it be and why?

A. Another impossible question! This is like ‘Sophie’s Choice’ – I’m sorry, I just can’t answer!

Here is Queen of the Lot off of their most recent album, Would Things Be Different. The album should be a standard in your collection.

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