January 2017: First To Eleven
In this series, we are catching up with musicians from all over the world to talk about their passion: music!
First To Eleven is a rock band from Erie, United States. The band consists of Bo Root (guitar), Matthew Yost (guitar), Chad Tucker (bass), Charlie Root (drums), and Audra Miller (vocals). The band has won several competitions such as the Tri-C Rock Off in both 2015 and 2016. Besides making covers (you should really check out their cover of I Don’t Wanna Live Forever) the band has also released original music. Currently, they are putting the finishing touches on a brand new EP (you can find their previous EP, Out Of Time right here).
Give me a little insight of what a typical day in your life looks like
We’re all still in high school so it usually starts with that garbage. Once that’s over with we all get online and answer any questions or comments we get on our social media. We listen to music, watch videos, then go to practice.
Being a musician isn’t always easy, what problems do you face on a daily basis?
Sometimes we sit down and say to ourselves “let’s write something” or “let’s get started on this song” and then in the process we just hit a wall. Overcoming those little speed bumps is really the extent of any problems we encounter on a regular basis. And YouTube trolls, but those usually put us in a better mood because they are usually hilarious.
What music did you listen to growing up?
Kidz Bop, The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba
Did you always plan on being a musician?
I think most of us at least wanted to. Chad’s mom made him join our band when he was 10. Pretty sure he cried at the first practice.
When and how exactly did you decide to make a YouTube channel?
We actually made our first cover 5 years ago when we were 11-12 for Katy Perrys E.T. It got 30,000 views which was a lot back then. Then our parents told us we were too young to be playing a “suggestive” song like that. So we kinda curbed the YouTube idea for a few years till we came back to it in July of 2016.
Do you have some tips for musicians reading this who want to create their own YouTube channel?
Use Autotune. Just Kidding. Make sure you do research and pay attention to trending songs and videos. Support the Nightcore community and don’t film in 60fps.
How would you describe the music that you make?
Are you working on new material for your next album? How far along is it?
The new EP is all recorded and is getting its final edits. We’re putting together ideas for art, design, and videos right now.
Are there themes or topics where you want to write about on your next album?
So far we’ve only started on one song for our 2018 E.P. but it’s dealing with people that feel disconnected with life and having a difficult time finding traction to right themselves. It’s kind of an “I know what you’re going through” kind of song.
Take me through your songwriting process
We start by listening to our favorite music and that usually inspires us to write. A lot of times the inspiration ends up being so far removed from the end product that it’s hardly recognizable. It’s like a game of “telephone”. Once we have a solid verse/chorus feel we kind of get a visual image in our head based on the music. Then, the lyrics come from that. Does that make sense??
How do you know when a song is ready?
Once it’s done. We don’t try to hide our “sucky” songs, we think it’s important to share the entire process of being in a band with everyone. The good and the bad.
What is the most important song you wrote emotionally? What’s the story behind it?
It’s weird trying to think of one of our songs as being the most emotional. I guess at the time we wrote them they all were emotionally significant but now after playing them so many times, they are all in the “over it” category. Putting something in a song has got to be the quickest way to put something behind you.
Where do you want to be in five years, what are things that you’re still hoping to achieve?
5 years is a long time away! Touring is at the top of our list. We really want to be able to get out there and actually meet all of the people that have been supporting us and helping us grow this band to what it is now.
If you had the choice to do a collaboration with any musician, who would it be and why?
There are so many bands and musicians we look up to and are inspired by. Pvris, Bring Me The Horizon, Say Anything, are a few but it seems so insane for any one of them to know who we are let alone wanting to work with us.
Do you have tips for musicians that they can use when practicing their instrument/vocals?
Make sure you have a good foundation when you start playing. Get the basics solid and try to avoid developing any bad habits. Get a teacher that understands what your goals are and also understands that every student is unique. It sucks when the person that’s there to guide you is pulling you in a direction you’re not interested in going.
What do you think about the Fleeber initiative?
It’s great! We’d love to see an industry standard social media for the music industry.
How do you prepare yourself for a performance (what’s your routine when you are just about to hit the stage)?
Audra always has room temp water and Charlie eats a blue snow cone.
Are you going on tour? Where can people see you playing live?
No plans to tour right now. We’re playing a lot of shows locally but the best place to catch us is to follow our social media!!
Get in contact with First To Eleven!