Southern California’s explosive modern rock-pop act, The Bolts, are set to release back-to-back seasonal EP’s kicking off with the release of aptly titled Fall 2012 EP on September 21. The classic yet contemporary quintet comprised of bassist and vocalist, Addam Farmer; guitarist and vocalist Heath Farmer; keyboardist and vocalist, Austin Farmer; guitarist and vocalist, Ryan Kilpatrick; and drummer Matt Champagne, is influenced by artists like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Queen, The Clash, The Killers, The Strokes, My Chemical Romance and Modest Mouse.
You guys definitely have a unique sound. It’s almost like a cross between 70s hard-rock and the Beach Boys. Has it been difficult to merge these two different elements together when playing live?
We only write & play the music we love so it hasn’t been that hard combining pop & rock elements together for the live show or album. There has been a few times where reworking harmonies to fit the style of the song was necessary, but that’s all a normal part of The Bolts writing process.
LA has spawned a ton of different bands over the years – particularly in hard-rock and pop. Obviously those influences come through in the music. What particular groups where you guys attracted to?
We really like the new Foster The People record a lot. I think that they have some cool Beach Boys / Brian Wilson influences in their music that The Bolts also love & respect when writing a song. We also love the style of songwriting that The Killers & Muse have to offer, we would love to tour with those guys soon!
The Bolts’ music seems to embrace that pretty heavily with the crunching riffs and loud drums, but many younger bands seem to shy away from arena-rock style shows and music. Why do you think that is, and what makes you guys want to go out and just straight-up let loose?
Good question! Personally, I think its very easy for our culture / generation to go to a local music shop, buy a guitar, auto-tune some vocals, and throw up a pop song within a few hours. But we believe in quality music that takes skill & time to create, but is still simple enough to sing along with when you’re listening to it on the radio. I think that easy access to creating music is a beautiful thing, but a lot of the times musicians are catering to our culture with trendy styles of music that will soon become “old” or “out of style”. We want to break that mold in the music scene & simply create good lasting music!
How do you decide who sings which parts? Is it part of the songwriting process or do you decide it later in studio?
Its actually a mixture of both. There are times when Heath would write a song but Addam ends up singing it or vice-versa. Most of our writing process is done with humming a melody line over a songs chord progression we are jamming on. The 4 guys usually take turns at singing the melody and making up random filler words. Once we start to smile & feel that the right emotion is there we know who is gonna sing lead on that song. A lot lot of bands throw away good songs because it doesn’t fit their lead singers style or range, but for us we just bounce the song to a different lead vocalist in our band rather than trashing it.
You guys have a pretty busy few months ahead: two EPs coming out a full-length due in the spring. What’s been your favorite part so far?
I think our favorite part of what we do is always gonna be the live show. The hype of the internet, interviews, tv placement & so on is all great, but at the end of the day playing your music you wrote during a certain time in your life to an audience is just the best feeling of accomplishment. Whether our lyrics are on paper or recorded digitally at a studio in LA, theres nothing like seeing the translation between our fans connecting with us through social network sites & singing along or feeling the music with us at a live show.