We had the pleasure of interviewing The Unlikely Candidates over Zoom video.
Coming off their multi-city tour with legendary band 311, The Unlikely Candidates were welcomed home with open arms as fans and Fort Worth residents listened to new and...
We had the pleasure of interviewing The Unlikely Candidates over Zoom video.
Coming off their multi-city tour with legendary band 311, The Unlikely Candidates were welcomed home with open arms as fans and Fort Worth residents listened to new and fan-favorite music from their album. The party included performances from the band, a specialty drink, raffles, and a champagne toast to celebrate this milestone.
“Panther Island,” which features 8 new and 3 previously released songs, was written over Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic including “High Low,” which was recorded in lead singer Kyle Morris’ closet.
“The record is a kaleidoscopic landscape of genre and style that changes from song to song, a greatest hits of the sonic worlds the band has inhabited over the years,” says Morris. “Thematically it’s just as varied, shifting from songs about the chaos on the streets and loneliness behind the phone screens of America during the pandemic, to humorous tales of twenty-something malaise and the many ways the heart breaks; when love or loved ones are lost. At the heart of this album is the ethos of taking a bad situation and making something of it. It was written during the pandemic while the world was shut down, by a band who has hit enough roadblocks to delay a debut album nine years.”
Following the release of their album, The Unlikely Candidates are going back on the road, making stops in the Midwest, the Mountain States, and Canada. All upcoming tour dates can be found here. TUC has previously toured with Fall Out Boy, The Dirty Heads, and Sublime with Rome, just to name a few.
“Its been an honor working with The Unlikely Candidates and I am so very proud for them to release their first full length album,” said Ryan Metheny, Director of Product Management at The Orchard. “After so many ups and downs over the last few years, they continue to blow me away with how hard they work and get through any roadblock put in front of them. It will be a great joy to see them play these songs in front of their fans this summer.”
Signed to Another Century, a subsidiary of Sony Music, The Unlikely Candidates are best known for their 2019 hit “Novocaine,” which reached #1 on the Alternative Charts. The song was also featured in the Season 4 trailer of HULU's Veronica Mars, and on Now That’s What I Call Music, with The music video becoming the #6 most viewed Alternative video of 2019 on VEVO.
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Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Kyle of the band, the unlikely candidates over zoom video, Kyle was born and raised and Keller, Texas, which is in the Fort worth area. And he talks about how he got into music, actually music wasn't in Kyle's future at all until almost a senior year in high school. He was at a party. Cole was there. They both ran cross country together. So they knew each other. Cole knew a few chords on guitar started playing basket case from green day. 4 (2m 6s): Kyle started singing it and people were like, whoa. And he just immediately caught the bug. Right? Then he knew that's what he had to be doing. He knew he had a sing and he wanted to write songs. So him and Cole just got together and started writing and writing and writing it wasn't til after college, they played a show in Arizona that his dad set up for them, where somebody from the music industry was there ended up kind of getting everybody together, which eventually formed the unlikely candidates. He talked about the success of their very first song called follow my feet. Eventually getting signed to Atlantic records without, as like the continued success of bed of liars and danger to myself, the singles they had off those records, what it was like having those songs on the radio to eventually having Novacane become the number one song while they're on tour, right as the pandemic was happening. 4 (2m 59s): So Nova Cane's going to number one as the world's shutting down and their tour got canceled after I think 19 shows, but they were supposed to play like 70 shows, which ended up allowing a lot more time for them to sit down and work on their debut studio album, which just came out called Panther island. He talked about the process of recording that record all done, like via face time singing the entire album in his closet, just surrounded by clothes. Cause he didn't have it properly soundproofed. He was just in his closet, close surrounding him and he sang all of what is on Panther island. So we hear all about that new record as well. And the tour they have coming up, you can watch our interview with Kyle on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. 4 (3m 45s): It would be awesome if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it would be amazing if you follow us there as well and hook us up with a five-star review. 5 (4m 3s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 4 (4m 9s): We're bringing it backwards with the unlikely candidates. Hey Kyle, how's it going? 6 (4m 13s): What's up, dude? How you doing? 4 (4m 15s): I'm doing well. I'm Adam and this podcast is about you and your journey and music. And we'll talk about the new record. 6 (4m 21s): Awesome. 4 (4m 22s): Sweet, sweet. So I always start off with, where were you born and raised? I did see the band start in Keller, Texas. 6 (4m 29s): Yeah, Keller, Texas. Didn't like Fort worth, like me and Cole went to Keller, but we were both kind of like Keller for worth, but like the band really like cemented in a forward Texas. 4 (4m 41s): Okay. What was it like you see, you were mainly in the Keller area though, but before the band started. 6 (4m 47s): Yeah. That's where I grew up. 4 (4m 50s): Was it like growing up there? I don't even, I it's. You said in Fort worth, that's kind of Dallas, whatever. 6 (4m 55s): Yeah. It's like a, it's like the big city, small town vibe, even though it's massive. It's kind of like feels more like a town than a city. Yeah. Like growing up and Keller was, it's just like the most suburban of all suburban. Like I literally don't know else. It's like basically mostly just made out of like track homes and like strip shopping centers, like as far as I can see. So we definitely had that like, you know, angsty, I'm getting out of the burbs kinda like thing, you know? 6 (5m 35s): Okay. You only, only band in our town. So, you know, just that kind of youthful, teenage rebellion type thing and inspired that for sure. 4 (5m 51s): Cool. And how did you get to music? 6 (5m 54s): Literally? I had no background in music. Like at all. I'd never even like sang in front of anyone. Like Cole could barely play the guitar, but we were at like little high school party and Cole was like playing like a green day song or something. And I guess I was just buzzed enough to like try and sing along. So I started to like sing and I got a good reaction from like the few friends that were there. And for some reason in that moment, I was just like, oh, this is it. Like, this is the aha moment I want to do this forever. Which made no, which made no sense because I had literally never sang in front of anyone. 6 (6m 35s): Didn't know how to play, never written a song. Cole could barely play guitar. And I was like, yeah, this is it. 4 (6m 41s): That blows my mind. Cause you're such a great vocalist. Like I'm so surprised that you weren't, like, I thought you're gonna be like, yeah, I was in choir since I was four. And then I went to, oh my gosh. 6 (6m 51s): I literally had like no background in singing at all. Just kind of like, I didn't even know if my voice is any good. Like it took me a while to like actually believe that like I was getting singing because I hadn't gotten any feedback from like anyone my entire life. Like not even my family knew I could sing. Like I would just sing in the shower, in the car. So when I started singing like all the time, they're like, where did you, where did this come from? 4 (7m 18s): Oh, wow. 6 (7m 19s): Like, I don't know. I've been having this. You guys said just haven't showed you guys type thing. 4 (7m 23s): Sure. Will you like in sports or anything like that? Is that what you're up to prior to 6 (7m 28s): Me and Cole were in like cross country. Like I had played soccer, like growing up, but like, yeah, me and Cole were in cross country and that's kind of like how we knew each other, but like that's about it. Like we can, we didn't really do most of the sports thing. And even in cross-country we're just kind of like, it was just something to do we're slacking off and stuff. 4 (7m 50s): Wow. And then he obviously knew how to play a little bit of guitar to play a green day song. 6 (7m 55s): How like very little, like barely knew his way around four chords, like had probably been like actually playing for like maybe like a few months. So it made even less sense that we were both like, let's do this for like six hours every day. 4 (8m 14s): This is our new full-time. 6 (8m 16s): Yeah, we did. Everyone was like very confused. 4 (8m 20s): What green day song was? It 6 (8m 22s): Was like a basket case, like the easiest to play, like, yeah. 4 (8m 26s): That's cool. Oh my gosh. How funny? So basket case was the first song I ever knew out the lyrics to. 6 (8m 33s): Oh yeah. No, it makes sense. One of those it's one of those beginner songs. It's a great song. It's like, it's a good place to start. It's usually the first bat in like seven nation army are usually where everything begins. 4 (8m 47s): Yeah. I was, I'm a bit older than I was like in fourth grade when that record came out or maybe I was in fifth grade and I just remember singing basket case, my parents, like what are you like talking about? 6 (8m 58s): Probably like very confused and I'm sure. 4 (9m 2s): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. When I had the CD, I remember I listened to it in my room on headphones because I didn't want him to hear the lyrics. It's like, it was just so funny to think back to it. Yeah. 6 (9m 11s): I did the same thing. Like I somehow tricked my parents into buying like the outcast. See, 4 (9m 19s): There you go. 6 (9m 20s): Like for some reason when I was like really young, I really gravitate towards outcasts. Like I don't really, I think I just loved that Ms. Jackson song. I was like, that was like my favorite song. So I like tricks my grandma into buying the CDA, like snuck it on the thing because it was right when parental advisory came out. So I couldn't buy it myself. 4 (9m 42s): Oh, right. 6 (9m 43s): Yeah. And then I just jammed that CD, like 4 (9m 46s): Left it in there somewhere. Yeah. 6 (9m 48s): And it had like a really explicit like image on the top of the CD. So I covered it with like little like stickers from like tech decks and like, you know, bottles and stuff. 4 (9m 60s): That's hilarious. Yeah. So this, what grade were you in when you saying that green day song or like when you guys kind of got together? 6 (10m 8s): We were like going into our senior year of high school. So it was 4 (10m 12s): Like towards the end 6 (10m 13s): There, it was like really late. Yeah. That's why people were like, even more confused. Like everyone's kind of getting ready to like, you know, graduate and stuff. And we were spending all of our time doing this, make a lot of sense, even looking back I'm like, I really don't know. Like I think we were just like, oh, like I was like, this is it. I think Cole was just like, I, you know, on board, like sure, 4 (10m 38s): Sure. Let's play. Did you both have plans to go to college and pursue something totally different prior to that moment? 6 (10m 46s): Yeah. I was just going to go to college and like just do whatever we get integrated. Have like a plan. Exactly. Yeah. I think same with him. Like, but obviously music was way more interesting. 4 (11m 1s): Sure. Did the band take off a little bit during your senior year of high school? Or like how did the band started? I guess in a different part of, 6 (11m 10s): No, we were, we were terrible. Like we, it was just me and him. We couldn't find anybody else in town that played music. Like literally like not, not a single other person would join the band. So we just stayed acoustic for several years because it was easy. And we're while we were figuring everything out. But like, yeah, we were not, the band definitely did not take off. Like we had some fans, I think like we were always on my space, like adding people, like we'd spend hours a day, like adding people on MySpace, like, yeah, we were, we were hustling for sure. But yeah. Now the band didn't really take off out of there. 4 (11m 52s): Now, were you writing songs together too? Or was it mainly? 6 (11m 56s): We were, and we were just like, we just had no idea what we're doing. Like we were writing songs with like, cause neither of us had ever written a song and like no one was in our band as well to like try and help us. So like we just kind of had a foggy notion of how it was done. So we were writing these songs like three or four times signatures like that had like no repeating parts, like just like almost terrible acoustic prog rock format alone. Not like, because we were actually good at progra. Yeah. We were, we were pretty bad for awhile. It took awhile for us to figure out. We basically started from the ground up. Like, 4 (12m 35s): And then w do you end up like, like how do you end a meeting the other guys in officially forming the band? 6 (12m 42s): We got, we finally like through basically like my dad was doing like electrical work on like this like venue in Arizona, in Tempe, Arizona, and me and Cole had like, already like gone to college and we were like still riding and stuff, but like, didn't really know where to go with it. My dad was like, Hey, like this there's this bent fancy venue opening. Like, you should definitely like come out here and play where like, yeah, I don't know. It's an Arizona. And he's like, I'll pay for your gas. And we're like, all right, cool. We'll go. And we went there. He was like, he was like, I bet somebody like important might be there and like scout you guys. And like, sure enough, like when we're there, like we play it. 6 (13m 24s): And some guys like, ah, like, yes, stuff, like talk to me outside. And then he led us to somebody and that somebody let us to somebody else. And they kind of like signed us to like a very small management type deal. And 4 (13m 39s): Just the two of you at this time, or 6 (13m 41s): Just the two of you. And then like that guy linked us up with our drummer and like through a bunch of different lineup changes. We finally got to where we are like, but yeah, a lot of it came from like this management person kind of linking us with different people. 4 (14m 2s): That's interesting. Your dad didn't have any idea. This guy was going to be there. He just kind of threw that out. 6 (14m 7s): He just totally, just totally called his shot. Like he was just like, yeah, there'll be somebody here that like, can do something to help you guys. And there was, I was just like, wow, that worked out exactly. Like you said, he's like, I knew it. I was like, no, you didn't even not know that this is, 4 (14m 28s): Oh my gosh, we'll see you put out the follow, your follow. My feet was the first song you put out. 6 (14m 34s): Yeah. 4 (14m 35s): And with that, was that still just the two of you? Or was the band like officially formed? Are you writing as a band at this time? 6 (14m 41s): It really just, it was really just the two of us, like me and Cole wrote the song and then like, we, we like had it, we worked with like a producer to fill out the rest of it, but yeah, we just wrote it on acoustic guitar and that was kinda the beginning. That's how he wrote like pretty much everything at the beginning was just like acoustic guitar for like years. 4 (15m 3s): Interesting. And so with that though, you ended up putting an EAP out and was the wood you was the band, what you, what it is or was the band fully formed though when you were releasing that? And so when that started to kind of take off, 6 (15m 15s): Honestly, like we had, we had a full lineup and then something happened like some drama. And like, we had to like get rid of our guitarists, like why we were getting signed and like kind of a disaster. And then there's this Jared who, like, we basically also knew through this manager guy, like he had worked with him before and we would just go stay on Jared's couch whenever we were in like California and like hang out with him. And I didn't even know that he could really like play. I knew that he was in a band, but like when we needed a new member, literally one week before tour, we were trying out basis and couldn't find anybody. 6 (15m 59s): He's just like, Hey, I play bass. And I was like, oh yeah, you do play bass. And then he like came out and like, just nailed the audition. So we didn't have a set lineup until a week before we went out on like a year and a half tour. 4 (16m 14s): Oh, wow. 6 (16m 16s): That could have been, that could have gone badly. 4 (16m 19s): Yeah. W where were you guys going? And where's it supporting that fall on my feet release. 6 (16m 23s): Yeah. Yeah. Like it was right after we got signed to Atlantic and then we literally hit the road for like a year and a half. Basically. 4 (16m 32s): That's crazy. Like getting signed to Atlantic. Must've been such a like, wow, what a big moment. I mean, not, 6 (16m 38s): It was insane. It was like, it was totally that rock star moment that we'd all like, dreamed of, especially like the way that it happened. Like we played south by the song was already falling. My feet was already like moving at radio, 4 (16m 52s): Which was probably crazy in itself. 6 (16m 54s): Independent. Yeah. And then we played the show at south by Southwest and just like, played like a lights out, shows like, like when it's still one of the best shows or played. And like, the second we did that, like we poured into like the alleyway and like, there were like five or six. ANRs just like all like swarming us. Like, and two days later we were in New York trying out for labels. And three days later we were signed to Atlantic. Like, it was definitely that whirlwind rockstar story. 4 (17m 27s): Wow. That's crazy. That's so rad 6 (17m 29s): Though. It was nice. Yeah. 4 (17m 32s): Yeah. And the next record was better liars and you, you know, you had another couple of hits on, on that right off the bat that went to radio to, right? 6 (17m 41s): Yeah. We had love can start a war that it took a while though. Like after, after that year and a half tour, like, we kind of like, we hadn't really written anything in the label is like, Hey, like, we're probably going to drop you guys. If you guys don't come up with some new stuff. And we're like, oh shit. So we went home and like, we didn't really want to do it the acoustic thing anymore. So like Brent, who joined the band when he was 19, like I knew that I had known that he had done some production before and was like, he was really good at guitar, but basically we all just moved into like his like parent's house and me and him just started writing together. 6 (18m 31s): Like, and his productions were actually like really good. And then basically me and him just started writing every day for like hours. Like he would, he would write for like eight hours during the day. And then I would come in and like write eight hours through the night. And like, we just did that for like six months. And we get like over a hundred songs and that kind of like, that kinda like saved the band kind of like, we came up with that ringer song, which became a single, and then we had already had loved and start a war. But both of those ended up going to radio. 4 (19m 6s): Yeah. I remember. Cause I did radio for a long time up until pretty much the pandemic. And I took on this podcast full time. But yeah, I remember playing both those songs on the radio. 6 (19m 17s): Oh, what a, what station were you? 4 (19m 19s): I was at for a long time. I was at 91 acts in San Diego and then I was at live on a five in San Francisco, which became like all 1 0 5. And I think it's like 6 (19m 31s): San Diego. 4 (19m 34s): I feel 6 (19m 34s): Like we had, 4 (19m 35s): I believe it was like, yeah. W yeah, we have, I think we met in like 20 18, 20, 19, maybe. I dunno. I don't know. I can't remember exactly. When, when did you guys cause you were, you, you might've done. Did you play that show in March, 2020? Like I think you were supposed to do a show for us. 6 (19m 54s): Yeah. I think by then it was like already everything had already been like, no, actually. Yeah, no, you 4 (20m 0s): Did the music box, right? 6 (20m 3s): Yeah. 4 (20m 4s): Okay. I was trying to figure it out. I was 6 (20m 6s): Like 4 (20m 7s): Timeline wise. I was like, w cause we were playing Novacane I think, 6 (20m 10s): Yeah. That was a great show. Yeah. Yeah. That was like the last run before the end of the world. 4 (20m 17s): Right, right, right. Cause the cause, okay. That did ha I was, I worked, I was on the night show. I didn't go to that show, but I played your record a million times and we, and I met you guys through that way prior to that. But I, I do remember that because that was when everyone's kind of like coronavirus is totally a thing at this point, everyone was like, what is going on? Like, is this going to get, 6 (20m 41s): It was like just getting to California. And like, people are like, is this a big deal yet? And then like, and then like a week later it was like, everyone's like, oh my God, like, yeah, we were on tour. And like, it was insane. Like every place that we would play the next day, we would hear that they were like, shut down like that they were shutting down and like, we would just like go to the next city. Then they shut down after we left. And we're like, all right, 4 (21m 14s): That's so wild. How did you make it up through the end of your tour? Or did you get shut down? 6 (21m 19s): I enclosed like, honestly, like the tour that we booked was like insane. Like I was already like terrified of doing it. Cause it was like, it was like 70 shows in like three months. Like I think our booking agent was literally trying to kill me. 4 (21m 41s): Like 6 (21m 41s): I like it didn't, it was an absurd amount of shows, but like, we were about to like make the most money and have like the best run of our like entire career. But like we had to cut it like 12 shows in, I think 4 (21m 56s): That's crazy. And 6 (21m 58s): Wasn't great. But like that's so it was so many shows. I was already like pretty terrified. 4 (22m 4s): Well, you guys didn't have, well, obviously the new record wasn't out yet. And, and what, before that was dangerous. Yes. Right? Cause you had danger to myself was before that record, before you put out Novacane 6 (22m 18s): We were just torn out the success of Novacane like we hit number one, like shortly after that San Diego show and we hit number one and then like four days later, like everything stops. 4 (22m 31s): Oh my gosh. What was that like? Like having 6 (22m 33s): Devastating. 4 (22m 35s): Yeah. I can't imagine 6 (22m 37s): It was devastating getting the number one was amazing. Like, cause it was still, we got to enjoy the number one. Cause Corona is still hadn't like, it wasn't like real, real, like it was, it was happening, but like we didn't realize it was like such a big deal at the very beginning. 4 (22m 55s): Like 6 (22m 56s): We got to enjoy the success, like the number one moment. Like it was its own thing, but then yeah. Then real life on that happened. 4 (23m 7s): Yeah. Oh my gosh. Like, yeah. I can't imagine that what a position to be. Number one on the, on the charts is like incentive. That's insane. I mean, so cool. And the song is obviously amazing and it did people resonated with it and everything else, but yeah, I remember we were playing that, but I felt like we played a couple of your rec. We played your records before that one too. I remember playing those. 6 (23m 33s): Yeah. Song's out like every, like just every song that we put out just like did well at different parts of the country, but just didn't really unite. All of them. Like Novacane was the first time that like the, like everyone played the song. 4 (23m 48s): That's so cool. 6 (23m 50s): It was pretty awesome. 4 (23m 51s): And from that though, I mean like riding that high, getting number one and then it's like, everything comes crashing down and you get sent home. How do you guys handle that? Like, is it like, cause in the beginning it was like, this is going to be two weeks and everyone's going to be back out on the road. 6 (24m 5s): I think we had a little bit of hope at the beginning. Cause we thought maybe it was going to be like that. But then we realized that it wasn't going to be like that. And like, I mean, what can you do really? Like, especially when it's the whole world, like, it's hard for me to complain about like stuff when like people were like dying and we were just, we just kind of focused on doing these flattened, the hump day sessions, like where like every Wednesday we would do like a live stream with like, and try and make it interesting by doing like an eighties week or like we went to like a safari park cause people doing that because it was open air, we played for a bunch of animals. 6 (24m 46s): So like we just tried to do that. Like every week we did it every week for 20 weeks sexually. 4 (24m 52s): Did you really just go into different places? 6 (24m 55s): Yeah. I mean, we did most of it in our rehearsal area. Like just like just playing for the fans, like really? It was just to keep us saying and to like keep engaged like them. But yeah, we, we did flatten the hump day sessions are weekly streamed for like 20 weeks. 4 (25m 15s): That's cool. And did you have the re a record? Like were you working on a record that before hitting the road or is it just like, okay. We put out a notification and then it does super well. So it's like, we got to just let's go and do this, but did you have a batch of songs ready to come out? 6 (25m 34s): No, I mean, we did have a bunch of songs, but like, yeah, like we didn't end up using any of them. Like I hit up my friend, like who's been our producer on a bunch of other tracks and I was like, Hey, let's like, we're a while we're just here. Let's just write a full album. Cause we had already had those two singles, but basically they just needed a bunch of like, besides to fill out an album. We're not really good at writing. Besides like every time we write a song, like it always just ends up trying to be like a big song, like love like big choruses and melodies and like, so like it always, it always ends up that way, even though I'm trying to write like low key, just like, but basically I just, like, we just wanted to write stuff that we thought were cool. 6 (26m 29s): We weren't really like trying to chase a sound or like hits. We just did whatever we wanted and we did it over the course of the pandemic and that became Panther island. 4 (26m 40s): Okay. Wow. Was there always a hope to put full record out or do you feel like because the pandemic allowed more toddler? 6 (26m 48s): Yeah. I mean, we wouldn't have gotten to start from scratch if it weren't for the pandemic. So I'm definitely thankful for that. Yeah. So like that Panther island probably definitely would not exist if it wasn't for the pandemic, it would be a totally different album. And honestly, this album is better than the album. It would have been. 4 (27m 11s): Oh, interesting. So did you have songs that were recorded that you were kind of holding onto and they just didn't. 6 (27m 16s): We did do. We just kinda started over, like, we had a bunch of songs that I'd written, you know, we'd got worked on with like different producers and stuff, but like we just decided to like scrap it and start it from scratch and we had the time to do it. So, 4 (27m 34s): So when you start working on Panther island, you said you were working with a producer friend of yours? 6 (27m 40s): Yeah. Like it's, it's our buddy Derek Furman. And we've worked with him like in the past, on a bunch of stuff and yeah, we were just like, Hey, like let's just start sending shit back and forth. 4 (27m 52s): Okay. So that's why, that's how you did it. Okay. I was going to ask it. Wasn't like a virtual type. 6 (27m 57s): Yeah. Like we'd bring it on like FaceTime with them and talk about the songs when we build them out. Like whenever it was recording vocals, like he would like coach me through them. Like, so he's just like here on my like shelf in my closet, kind of like we use this one thing where like a, it's like an app through logic where he can hear in real time what I'm singing. Like he can kind of like direct me through that and yeah, we just did that for hours and hours and hours and hours. 4 (28m 35s): Did you sing the whole record and your closet? 6 (28m 38s): Yeah. 4 (28m 39s): So what you hear on the album is, is those takes 6 (28m 41s): The recorded recorded in my closet around a bunch of clothes that I stacked. Like I didn't have like audio treatment. So I just put a ton of clothes in my closet. It was hot. It was hot in there. Suffered, suffered for those, those takes. 4 (29m 1s): That's incredible. And what about the music and the instrumental for the rest of the record? Was that just done the same way? Like you guys, how are you 6 (29m 9s): Sending files back and forth? Like our guitars would like go like listen to like, like the, you know, he would just add his own parts on there and stuff like that. Like everyone, but we were all, we were writing a lot of it, like at the rehearsal space, but yeah, like it was basically just sending files back and forth the old postal service way. Sure. 4 (29m 32s): Wow. And what about playing together? Like when was the first time you actually got to be together and be like, oh, we should play these songs. Like as a unit, like live, 6 (29m 42s): I don't know. Like that was like, I came like way, way later. Like we would play them for like fun and stuff like that. But as far as like, really learn them and like sharpen them up like that. I mean, I mean, we haven't even learned like to play like all the songs on the record yet. Like really? No, like, I mean we just kinda, you just kinda ride them and then like record them and then like move on until like you need to do it again. Yeah. There's still a couple of songs on the record that we don't know how to play, but we're learning now because we're going on tour and I'm assuming that people want to hear then just stuff. So stuff like right now. So right now. Exactly. Okay. 4 (30m 22s): Yeah. Right now I love the video you guys did to announce the tour dates or w that was like a little song and you sang all the dates, the tour dates. 6 (30m 33s): That's a that's feeding the tick tock machine, man. 4 (30m 37s): It worked at least for me. I was like, damn, this is cool. 6 (30m 40s): Yeah. I mean, me and Cole loved the old Bob Dylan thing. Honestly, I think that we, like, we got the idea from like, I mean, actually it was like a, it was like the I've been everywhere, man. Like, that's kinda like what we're going for. But yeah, we did that. It was, it was fun. 4 (30m 59s): They had no, it's a great video 6 (31m 1s): Video. We're like doing like a folk song listing off all like the places where we're going. 4 (31m 6s): Yeah. And the kick drum. Now you're a drummer doing 6 (31m 9s): That was what made it, honestly, it made the video. If it wasn't for that, it would not have been like happening. Yeah. We found this in our rehearsal studio. There's like an old timey suitcase. I'm just explaining this for like every, anyone that might be listening. Yeah, 4 (31m 24s): No, no. Explain it. Cause I was actually actually going to ask you about this. 6 (31m 27s): I never even seen one. It was like an old time. You suitcase with like, like a Tom head on it, like glued to it. I don't know if the Tom had goes through the suitcase, I guess it does. But like basically there could be nothing more like folky, like, oh brother where art they're shanty ban than like an old timey suitcase. Like with that you can use as like a kick drum. 4 (31m 55s): It does it fit, closing it? Like, could you put stuff in this? 6 (31m 57s): No idea. I didn't know. You didn't know? Like I don't even, yeah. I don't even know. I want to check out what's in there. Cause like itch. It sounded way better than it had any right to sound that's for sure. And it doesn't sound 4 (32m 12s): Good. 6 (32m 13s): Oh, thank you. It sounded, it sounded, yeah, it was, it was all right. It was good. It was good for the moment. It was great. 4 (32m 20s): I w I thought it was like a prop you guys created like, okay, we're going to be on the road suitcase. And we're going to glue like a Tom head. And I'll just go with 6 (32m 29s): That. There was that much forethought and what we did now, we just came up with that idea in like 20 minutes and then filmed it 20 minutes later. That's that's our level of 4 (32m 42s): That's cool though. So we'll tell me about the, and I want to hear about the record then. I know you've put out as the whole albums out, but you got a handful of singles out prior to it and yeah, yeah, 6 (32m 54s): Yeah. The record it's I think it turned out pretty well. Like we wrote all the songs during the pandemic and yeah, it's, it's a weird record. Like we've always like skipped around a genres, like never, I'm just never been able to like lock on one sound and just continue to do it. I have no idea why. I really don't. Like, I know it's like a production thing, but like all the production still sound different. It's like we just hop genres. Like we can't write a specific sound over and over, which makes it really hard to market this band because like, and it makes it really hard to pick even like what songs we're going to do. 6 (33m 37s): Cause everybody kind of has a different favorite song. Cause they're all so different. 4 (33m 42s): Sure. 6 (33m 43s): So we just played around with genres. Like there's like Gemini sounds like a funky soul. 4 (33m 50s): Let's one of my favorites. That's the first one on the record, right? 6 (33m 53s): Go track. Yeah. 4 (33m 54s): Yeah. I think that's such a great song. That one. And I think it's the fourth song I listened to the record through. Yeah. Sunshine. That's a cool song too. 6 (34m 4s): Like that was like a west coast kind of like gorillas easy thing, 4 (34m 10s): Which 6 (34m 10s): We've been doing songs like those for years, but this is kind of like a lot of those sounds that we've been playing with for a long time, kind of like melded into like very solidified crystallizations of those little shams or generals that we'd been playing with. So yeah, just like, there's some like, like I tried to do like almost like a juice world mixed with like a nineties song, like yeah. It's all over the place, but that was really fun for us to like try on all the different styles, but it's definitely a mixed match. It's just my voice. I rely on my voice to tie everything together. 4 (34m 47s): I was going to say, cause it doesn't sound like, like you're explaining it for anyone that hadn't heard the record and it sounds like a cohesive album. Like it, like it, it does what it's like, if you turn it on and you listen to Gemini through the record, it makes sense as a full album. Like you're but it does have a bunch of different influences. You can see it. 6 (35m 8s): Yeah. Cause the two bookends of the label is like, there's like a nineties, like grunge track with like Nirvana, you vibes. And then like the first song on the album is like disco, funk, like all false Seto, like BGS thing. So I got like the BGS and Nirvana type by some of the same record, just like, doesn't really make sense. But somehow it works, 4 (35m 32s): But it does. It works. 6 (35m 34s): Yeah. 4 (35m 35s): And was it difficult to like lay it out and like, 6 (35m 39s): Like 4 (35m 39s): Track listings? 6 (35m 41s): It took me forever. Like, and I was annoying. Like everybody I'd send everybody like different track listings. I'm like, where you guys think of this? Should I put they're like, they're like, we don't care. Like really real stop asking. You've been doing this for months now. Like please. Yeah. I like, and then even like when it came out, I was like, oh, I messed this up. It's going to get it. Like this track listing is this trash. And everyone's like, please, please just stop. Like, you're going to do something crazy. Like call the pressors to like stop the album too late. 4 (36m 19s): Hang on. 6 (36m 22s): Yeah. I do stuff like that all the time. And the labels just like out of your own way. 4 (36m 30s): No, but I, I love that you do that and take the time to do that. Cause I feel like a lot of people nowadays, especially with, you know, streaming in like a single game that a lot of people are playing. Don't have that like, you know, they don't look that far into it. Like you're made a record and there's a reason it's an album and there's a reason why you put Gemini as the first song. And the last song is the last song and it, and it, and it reads as it does. And I think that like art is kind of getting lost. 6 (36m 59s): Yeah. I like, yeah. The day of the album is kind of like done on, unfortunately. I mean, it's, it'll never be like actually done, but like yeah, everything has been focused on singles for so long. Now that I feel like the album is not as like appreciated or just like, well tailored. It's like people just dump a bunch of songs on there. I mean, I'm sure a lot of people everyone's like thinking about their like album, like, but I, I am not, I wouldn't be surprised at people. Like don't put as much emphasis on it as it used to be. So yeah. I definitely try to overthink it for sure. 4 (37m 43s): No, but I that's. I think that's so cool that you do that and like, you still just, cause like I said, I come from, 6 (37m 50s): You might be the only one who thinks that I'm not going to lie my video. They want to appreciate the overthinking. At least everybody in our camp where like, 4 (38m 0s): I guess it's coming from like the radio programmer guy in me, just spending hours putting together playlist, like, why should I not play blah, blah, blah into blah, blah, blah. Like it's like, 6 (38m 13s): You have 4 (38m 14s): To like hear it in like, and just not to spoil the, the, you know, behind the curtain to anyone listening that doesn't know radio, it's all programmed by like two people at the station. Yeah. But it's, I loved that. It was like trying to figure out what goes into what 6 (38m 32s): The playlist struggle is. Yeah. It's a real, it's a real thing. It 4 (38m 35s): Is 6 (38m 36s): Only got you only got one chance to like, you know, assuming that people listen. I mean, like I just tried to stack it to keep people's attention. Like I was just kind of like, I'm trying to imagine that like, this is somebody that liked one song and they're like entering our music for the first time. So I tried to have it all blend well together, but also like, I just really tried to like keep people's attention throughout to get them to the next song and the next song and the next song. Thanks. Glad my, my efforts were not in vain. 4 (39m 12s): No, not at all, dude. They're there. They're awesome. And then you have your tour coming up, which is exciting. 6 (39m 18s): Yeah. Stopes. It's, we're playing some places we've never played before. 4 (39m 24s): We kind of played in the middle of the country. It looks like, 6 (39m 26s): Yeah. It's a weird, it's kind of a weird tour, but it'll be fun. Like, and we haven't played a lot of these places. Like we're playing like a couple of towns. I've never heard of like we're playing up in like I've never heard of Harlington Montana. 4 (39m 45s): Yeah. I hadn't either. Yeah. There was a couple on there. I was like, okay. I mean, there's places on there, which is rad that you're doing these, the, these dates. I mean there's bigger ones, Columbus, Chicago. And you know, there's, I guess it's a festival, but like you're doing Minneapolis, but like you'll look at and be like, oh, okay. That's cool. Like I like, I, this like rap 6 (40m 9s): Interesting choice. 4 (40m 11s): Not even like that though. It's like, that's rad that you guys are playing cities and these people and people that live in that town, just so stoked. 6 (40m 20s): There'll be stoked. Like, I mean, that's, that's like the great thing is like a lot of these places probably don't get a lot of like bands coming through. So I'm just hoping like the whole town is there. Like that's, 4 (40m 32s): I bet it will be the 6 (40m 33s): Mayor and like everyone, like, you 4 (40m 36s): Know, they'll shut the whole city down. 6 (40m 37s): Yeah. That would be sick. So yeah. I hope, I hope those are some interesting gigs. 4 (40m 45s): Yeah. I did notice a lot of people are asking in the comment section on your thing. If you guys are doing any other dates coming up too. And I'm curious because I recently moved from San Diego to Nashville and I saw 6 (40m 55s): Nice. Yeah, no, I mean, we're going to be like booking stuff throughout the next year. Like we're going to be on the road. We're trying to get some dates for like August and all that. I mean, we might be going to Europe. I think we're going to start doing more Europe stuff, which is going to be cool. 4 (41m 17s): That's cool. 6 (41m 18s): So, I mean, that'll probably eat into our us time. Know? Yeah. I think that's going to be next on the horizon as well. 4 (41m 30s): Very cool, man. Well, I appreciate your time today. Carlos has been awesome. Thank you much, 6 (41m 33s): Man. Thank you so much. Good to see you again. 4 (41m 36s): Good to see you as well. I have one more quick question before I let you go. Do you, do you have any advice for aspiring artists? 6 (41m 44s): Just write as much as you possibly can look at the influences like whoever your favorite people are and try and figure out what made them work and really, really try and understand the craft. Like what's that? I remember a man, what's the guy Gonzo reporting Thompson. Yeah. He, I think that I re watched this documentary where he would just literally type the great Gatsby over and over and over to get like the rhythm and feel of it. And like, if you can kind of do something with that, like with music, like right, like really pay attention to how these people write their songs, like even write your own songs on top of the way that they wrote their songs. 6 (42m 30s): Like that's a good, I, I tell a lot of like aspiring people to do that. They're like, I don't know how to write a song. I'm like right over the songs of the people that you admire. Like until you figure out how to like adopt their format, you learn about structure. You learn about melodic structure. You learn about where to put your lyrics. What to say, basically just pay attention to the grades and then build your own style from there. And then once you won't need them anymore, you'll have your own momentum.
Having always been a bit off-center and straying from the norm, The Unlikely Candidates, just as their name implies, have always been the outliers, outliers who embrace their divergence and channel it into their craft. Hailing from Texas, where country music and blues have dominated the airwaves for decades, they managed to do what no alt-rock band of their generation has been able to do - create a significant niche for themselves within the state. From playing the dive bars of Dallas-Fort Worth to dominating airwaves across the nation with singles such as Novocaine, Oh My Dear Lord, and High Low, they have blended a kaleidoscopic mixture of genres with alt-rock that has bloomed in the unlikeliest of places. Through their hard work and tenacity, Novocaine rose to Billboard’s #1 spot on the Alt-rock charts in 2020, amassing over 250 million streams and 40 million views on Youtube, making it the 6th most viewed Alternative video on Vevo US. Known for their rhythmic hooks and high energy, the band embodies what it means and feels like to be the odd one out, someone genuine to themselves and a true maverick.
Always in a state of evolution, The Unlikely Candidates continue to find new ways to bring charisma and excitement not only to airwaves, but to the stage as well. Tens of thousands have witnessed their wild antics, from bobbing and weaving around one another to jumping off sky high stacks of speakers, while touring with such acts as Fall Out Boy, 311, Sublime with Rome, Dirty Heads. Not letting bruises, broken bones, or torn ligaments diminish the spirit of rock and roll they try to embody. The band has created a distinct image and energy around themselves, inspired by the style and sound of The Strokes, Outkast, Gorillaz, and Led Zeppelin. They have taken their music to new heights in a way that no two songs sound alike.
Although the band's momentum and opportunity would be snatched away by the COVID-19 pandemic, the band showed their tenacity and grit by using the pandemic to their advantage to work on their first debut LP, “Panther Island” which dropped May 20th, 2022. Determined to stay on top, Morris even recorded their single “High Low” in his apartment closet. Despite picking up music late on and overcoming countless obstacles, the band has shown their tenacity and are carving a name for themselves in the industry. The band is currently signed to Another Century, a subsidiary of Sony Music.