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Live at Blaine’s with the Kyle Bennett Band
by Haley Forehand

The Kyle Bennett Band is:

Kyle Bennett, lead vocals, acoustic guitar (KB)
Jon“Fish” Hunt, harmony vocals, rhythm guitar, mandolin(JH)
John Seidler, lead guitar (JS)
Beau Brauer, drums(BB)
Rody Molder, Bass (RM)

Americana Music Times is live at Blaine’s Pub, tonight in San Angelo, Texas talking with the guys of the Kyle Bennett Band, the guys have been gracious enough to talk with us a little bit before their show tonight, and how is everyone going this evening?

(KB) Fantastic.

(RM) Glorious.

(JS) Wonderful.

(BB) Fabulous! [all laughing]

Kyle Bennett BandWell, sounds like everyone’s doing good! So for those out there reading that don’t really know who you guys are, let’s talk a little bit about how the band came to be. Who is the Kyle Bennet Band?

(KB) Yeah, well, John [Seidler] and I got together and started writing songs, John Seidler, he plays lead guitar for us. And we just started writin’ tunes and got together and there have been a couple of line-up changes, but just kind of “friends knowin’ friends who play,” and here we are. So, that’s pretty much it. Fish joined the band, what was it, two years ago?

(JH) Two years, ago.

(KB) Yeah, it’ll be two years in January, he was the drummer for Cooter Graw, and we decided to add a fifth member to the band. So he just started playin’ drums, he’s playin’ the guitar for us now, so [laughs] you know, that’s how it happened.

Awesome, well, how’s it working out for ya’? I mean, listening to the record, and I’m a fan and I’ve been a fan for a couple years now. But in gettin’ ready for the interview, I pulled the album out again, and I’ve been listening to it a lot more than I had before, and...well it’s better than I thought it was the first couple times I listened to it. You know, it’s very diverse from one end to the other. We’ve got some southern rock songs, we’ve got love ballads, we’ve got everything in between, and I know that all of you play a lot of different instruments, so how does that all kind of come together and factor in to put the songs on the album to be what it is that makes the sound.

(JS) The diversity pretty much comes from all of our different backgrounds and input, you know it’s not one of us writin’ a song, it’s five of us writin’ a song and we all have very different backgrounds and influences. It all just kind of meshed together to give us the sound.

(BB) It’s natural, you know, just a little organic!

(KB) Yeah, you know its, “What can you add to this?” You know if somebody brings to the table, a song, whether it be me, whether it be Beau, whether it be John; whoever brings the song to the table, just every body tries to put in, just make the song as good as it can possibly be, I guess.

Great, so that brings me to another question I was gonna actually ask later on, but, who does most of the song writing? It sounds like its more of a collaboration.

(BB) [pointing to Kyle] It usually starts with Kyle, and then we all give our two cents.

(KB) Yeah, well, what usually happens, I bring an idea to the table, sometimes it’s full songs, sometimes its half songs, sometimes somebody brings to the table a song that’s already written, we break it down, and musically, like I said, try to make it the best it can possibly be. It’s really cool, because, I don’t know, I’ve never experienced it before, but five inputs to make a sound is pretty cool. You know, if we can do that, and create a sound that’s pleasing to everybody and stuff like that...

Well you all are touring a whole heck of a lot lately, on the road, and doing a lot of private parties too, what’s that about, [the private parties] just something ya’ll like to do?

(KB) Well, you know toward the holidays you do, well, the occasional wedding, the birthday party...

(JS) Bar miztfas!

(KB) Yeah, bar miztas! Yeah, we’ve done a couple of department store openings! Nah, but toward the holidays is a cool time to play because you get to play Christmas parties, and “get- togethers” and stuff like that. You know great way to meet fans. I mean, just really cool, to you know get so close.

(JS) Yeah, it’s more of a personal show, so it’s cool to do that every once in a while.

Well, it’s interesting that you mention that, because toward the holidays, we start getting some of the better shows of the year, in my opinion. You know, in the industry, it’s kind of a special time, a magical time, the holidays. There are some fantastic shows and everyone kind of feels the warmth of the season, but speaking from the artist’s point of view not the fans, how much time do you get to spend with your family, and getting home. The holidays have a different meaning for you.

(KB) Yeah, well, usually we’re working when everyone else is playing, so I think it’s more of a conditioned response now. Its not, I mean, we don’t really think about it! And it really hasn’t been bad to this point, bein’ away from home too much. I wouldn’t be doin’ it-I don’t think any of us would be doin’ what we do if we didn’t love it-so we sort of crave the road. So for us this...

(JS) This is easy.

(KB) Yeah, for us this is a dream come true, so you know we’ll worry about that family stuff later on.

Well, that’s what makes it great, and the fans can feel that, when you’re up there on stage.

(KB) Well we love what we do, you know, and we hope that it conveys through the music, that’s the most important part. That we can, you know one or a thousand, we can provide excellent musical entertainment for everybody that listens. That’s what I like about Blaine’s, and I’ve said this a lot before, talking about a big crowd or a small crowd. I was talking with an artist earlier this year about always trying to reach the next level...

(BB) Always, always.

Kyle Bennett BandYou know, be it a bigger fan base, better label, bigger venue, whatever. Just always reaching, always reaching. And sometimes, you know it’s kind of cool to come to a] place like Blaine’s. And I know you guys play here a lot, I guess they treat you right...

(BB) Oh, yeah, always.

(RM) For sure.

(KB) Definitely, we love this place.

And like I’ve said before, it’s a great place, a lot of “Texas Kings” have worn their crowns in here, and a lot of ‘em are lookin’ down from the walls and the neon.

(KB) I was thinking about that earlier. Actually we were talkin’ about that earlier, just kind of lookin at you know, Pat Green and Gary P Nunn back there, you know, Johnny Bush. All those people that you know, kind of started the whole thing, and you don’t really get to think about it when you’re playin’a lot. But we’ve played some pretty cool stages, and Blaine’s is one of ‘em. I mean you know when you’re standin’ on a stage that greats have played-and play on-it’s very special.

Especially for such a quaint place to be, and there is always that fan-artist interaction.

(KB) Absolutely.

(JS) It’s very important. Very Personal.

There are those artists who have played here and will again, and those who won’t because they aren’t with us anymore, but they’re lookin’ down, so it’s definitely a unique place to play.

(RM) Absolutely. Even if we have to stand on the rail!

Yeah, the stage is small! And even for a five piece, you know I’ve seen ‘em put six, even seven people up there, and it’s tight! You almost want to see them make the stage bigger, and Blaine’s went through a transformation a while back, it was a possibility.

(KB) It’s crazy, you know we played a show with Stoney LaRue here that was pretty crazy. Believe it or not, you run into artists a lot, [laughs] that say that it’s a challenge every time playin’. You know, “what are we gonna put where, who are we gonna put where!”

Well, I mentioned earlier that I’ve been listening to the album [self-titled from 2005], and I’m lovin’ it, actually liking it more and more as I continue to listen to it. And start to finish, like I said, a lot of diversity, but it’s very polished, very clean...a little bit of a change from the live sound, and I love the live sound, but it’s a good studio record. Different from your live shows, which basically kick ass!

[all lauging]

(KB) Well, it’s sometimes hard to reproduce what you hear on an album because an album is so intimate. You get what the artist wants you to hear. To reproduce it on stage is just so hard. You know, to get everybody in the mood for what your bringing to the table, you know what I mean? And some of the times we do, some of the times we don’t, but the energy comes from just lovin’ what you do. Just sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s not, but in the end, I mean, I’m playin’ music, you know? I’m not sittin’ behind a desk, I want everybody to know that. You know?

(JS) We’re really close too. We spend a lot of time, even when we’re off on the weekends, we spend a lot of time with each other, and we practice a lot. You know it just, we just know where everybody’s gonna be on the stage. And everybody has that same commitment, that same love and passion. And you know really it becomes-that becomes the part that’s the easiest, just gettin’ up there and rockin’ and rollin’.

So bein’ on the road with five of you! How do you keep the peace?

(KB) Five is the minimum! Five is the minimum!

(JS) We actually have seven today.

(KB) Yeah, there’s seven today.

Awesome, so who are you puttin’ in where? Is somebody sittin’ in?

(KB) Uhhhh, well.....

(JS) They’re not really musicians, they’re more...helpers!...

[all laughing]

(KB) The hangers on! Nah, the merch, we have a merchandise manager, we have a friend that’s traveling with us today too, but five is the minimum. It’s fun though, we have a 15 passenger, so a lot of room to stretch out.

Sounds like you have a lot of fun on the road, just doin’ what you do.

(RM) It’s definitely always fun! Interesting, but fun.

(KB) There’s always laughter somewhere in the band.

(RM) Brutal, brutal would be a more honest word!

(JS) Whether it’s evil laughter...

[“evil laughter” from the back]

(RM) Or possibly real laughter...

[all laughing]

So I know you’ve been in the studio again, right, for an album set for early 2009?

(KB) We’re actually finished with recording, for the most part.

So it’s done?

(KB) It’s not done yet. We’re finished for the most part. We’ve got a few other things we have to do, bells and whistles. But we’re hopin’ for a March release for the next CD, with somethin’ to listen to maybe a little bit before then, but not likely. The album’s called “Grey Sunrise,” so look for it. It’ll be on the market. We’re going to put it there February, hopefully.

So without saying too much about it, what can listeners expect?

(BB) It should have the same diversity.

(KB) Yeah, it’s definitely the same diversity [as the last record], we’ve just grown up as a unit, I guess, sonicly. You can tell it’s the same band, but...

(JS) More input on this album.

(KB) There’s a lot more band input, it’s more of a band album. Yeah, it wasn’t three of us sittin’ in a studio deciding’ what’s goin’ on, there was five of us, and some. [Loud noise in background, it’s the local dumpster]

(JS) And listeners, that is the dumpster!

[all laugh]

(KB) But that’s the perfect way to say it, it was more of a band album, so you’ll hear everyone’s input.

Awesome, and that is out early 2009, maybe March, so fans can check it out. And you guys will have it what, everywhere? Lonestar Music, iTunes?

(KB) It’ll be everywhere, actually. Best Buy, Lonestar Music, itunes, you’ll be able to get it on itunes.

(JS) Yeah, Best Buy’ll have it.

(BB) Or you can come to a Kyle Bennett Band show!

(KB) And get us to sign it for you! And let us shake your hand!

And for those who haven’t checked out a live show, like I said earlier, great performance. You will not forget it; it’s a fun, awesome experience, a lot of intensity. And you can check that out at KyleBennettBand.com, and also on myspace.com/kylebennettband. Anywhere else they can find you guys?

(KB) Lonestarmusic.com always...

(BB) Woody’s Tavern, we’ll be there sometimes.

(KB) [laughs] Yeah, Woody’s Tavern! [In Ft. Worth] Yeah, I think that’s pretty much it on the online stuff. Just be lookin’ for the new album, you’ll see it online first.

(JS) Yeah, you can’t miss it.

(KB) Yeah, look for it, it’s got some great artwork, and the tunes, obviously, we’re very proud of ‘em, and it’s gonna be a big deal.

Excellent, well guys, we’ll talk to you soon, have a great show tonight, thanks for spending some time with us, and we’ll see you down the road.

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