Los Angeles punk-influenced rock trio Unsound Foundation joins us on our trip to Culver City’s industrial coffee bar Bar Nine to discuss their experiences in performing in the local music scene, getting “Faded,” and a new, exciting lineup change.
Unsound Foundation is comprised of:
Tim Cravens – Guitar & Vocals
Josh Odaffer – Bass & Vocals
Allen Kronenberger – Drums & Vocals
Unsound Foundation has gone through a big change in lineup, as in you went from being female fronted to an all male three piece. How has the experience been so far?
Allen Kronenberger: I’d say that the biggest change was adding me, I’m sure the guys just think it’s awesome having me around all the time now.
Tim Cravens: So many notes that he can sing, he’s practically a girl!
Josh Odaffer: Actually we were talking about that. Compared to former drummers he’s a lot more involved. It’s as if all the other drummers just say “I’m here to drum,” but he gives us input and now he sings. That’s pretty big actually. It actually makes it into what a three piece needs. It’s usually when it’s a three piece, as soon as you take away that 4th person you know there’s just three people. Every person has to pull their weight a little bit more.
Tim: *turns to Allen* To be clear, I was joking.
Allen: I don’t give a shit.
Josh: He doesn’t like praise so it’s good. *referring to Allen*
*turns to Allen* But why not? They just want to give you all of the love!
Tim: It’s been a lot more work.
Josh: A lot more work, but not so much at the same time. I think it’s just making us realize what to do and what not to do.
Tim: We’re always trying to figure that out.
Josh: Well, I mean we’re a little more focused on it. I guess that’s the biggest change. The focus is a little bit stronger. At least this time around.
And what are some of the challenges that you guys have faced without that extra member?
Josh: Having to sing. That’s pretty much it. You know, without one person completely doing it all the time and us having to do it. Having to split it up into weird ways. Restructuring songs because of it. That kind of thing. But it seems to be going well so hopefully we keep figuring it out more and more.
What are some of the strengths that you have learned about yourselves in this three piece adventure?
Josh: On the same part again too, that not one person can do it all alone on the lead because we haven’t been doing it for very long. So when one of us does it too much we kind of almost hear the straining of their voice and that shit. It’s a muscle and we still haven’t gotten to the point where we can do it hardcore all the damn time. Being able to split it all around to get all those harmonies kind of makes us feel everything out a little bit better and not just rely on just one person all the time.
Allen: This is not to add to your question, but kind of goes in that same direction. Having a three piece has made it so that we rely more on each other. It’s led us to take it a little more seriously because we weren’t just waiting for someone to appear and sing the songs. We’re just able take this and grab it and we’re good to go.
Tim: Yeah, we’ve been given more of a focus and we can’t slack. We kind of have to take it upon ourselves and rely on each other.
So no being lazy and half-assed on anything then?
Tim: Not as much…*laughs*
Josh: Just one person out of three has to be a go-getter at that time.*laughs* Then it switches. We switch off.
So Josh and Tim, you guys are are the only two original members that have stuck through the many incarnations of Unsound Foundation. Care to share any of the similarities and differences that you’ve seen between the incarnations?
Josh: After like five female singers, I’d probably say that the biggest thing was just realizing that maybe we weren’t ready at the time. We tried it one other time without a singer and us doing it, that was after the first singer, and maybe we just weren’t ready then because musically we didn’t know the songs like second nature. By this point, that’s maybe why it works this time.
Tim: Yeah, what he said.
Use your words!
Josh: You don’t realize? *puppet master movements behind Tim* Puppet.
So he is like the Joey of the group then.
Josh: Which Joey?
We all know which Joey we’re referring to!
Josh: New kids on the block? No wait, Friends!
Of course! And what made you guys decide to stay as a three piece instead of going out to finding a lead singer, whether is female or male?
Josh: I think it was accidental. I was actually thinking about this the other day. Because we had another friend who was singing for us, and mostly through time constraints she wasn’t able to get there right at the beginning at practice. Maybe like an hour into it or maybe just a half an hour at just the end. And during all that time we’re also trying to catch Allen up on all the other songs that we hadn’t shown him. And because somebody had to sing, we kind of were just like, “Can you do it? I guess? Can you do it? I guess?” and just move forward. And then we eventually realized that for the most part, you don’t have to be a perfect singer you just have to figure out what works for you, your music. I think we were having this kind of realization that we could do it this time around, and that it would be kind of fun, because we like the idea of singers jumping up on stage possibly, and doing their collaborations and things like that. It would be fun by us just being a three piece, like Allen said, we don’t really need anybody, we can rely on ourselves, but it’s just as easy because we’re just such a strong core that we can add people in it and wouldn’t be a big deal.
Allen: Yeah I would agree I don’t think it was necessarily intentional to move on from a female front, but it was kind of…
Tim: Natural evolution almost.
Allen: Yeah, with rehearsals we just kind of naturally wanted to move forward and it just naturally progressed where we could do it.
Tim: And still practicing with our singing because of necessity. So we just kind of kept doing it, and eventually when she decided that she really didn’t have time to pursue the project anyways at all.
Josh: I think we’d already figured it out that we’re doing it on our own.
Tim: Yeah, it was pretty much like “Ok, keep doing what we’re doing.”
And going back to your guys’ process of trying to find a replacement singer. I mean you’ve done it before. How would you describe your coming to terms with staying as a three piece, and then looking at all of the processes that you’ve had trying to find a singer from the past?
Josh: Maybe that’s possibly even the reason why we tried to do it ourselves. Because we knew it was so annoying trying to look for a singer. I mean we’ve lucked out on certain aspects. Our first singer we found pretty quick. The first singer was Jeanna. The second one was Lori, who was just a friend where we found while trying other singers out. We found that she wanted to play in a band, so we tried it out, it worked and we went with it. Third one was kind of…
Tim: That was a bit of a search.
Josh: That was a search for a while and it lasted a long time. It really took forever and really sucked. Fourth one was how we met Allen, *Tim and Josh laugh* and it was kind of funny how that one developed too.
Tim: Kind of pinched him away from her.
How do you feel about that Allen? Everyone’s fighting over you!
Allen: It feels good to be wanted. *everyone laughs* It was good. When Megan and I joined y’all do a collaboration it was something that we kept going, but Megan and I didn’t keep playing as much after that. She didn’t really work out, she didn’t really wanna sing y’all songs either.
Tim: It was a fun collaboration that we did for a short while, but it became clear that it was going to be short thing. Like we can hang out and all of that still, but musically we weren’t in the same place. But we really connected with Allen so we kept playing together.
Josh: And after keeping him, moved on to a bit of a hiatus. Because of Tim’s school, and then Allen hurt his hand. When they finally came back it was just around the time that we were gonna start trying people out. I think we didn’t want to do it hardcore because we wanted to catch Allen up on things and really go after it. At the time we had a friend, Josie, that was like, “Oh I can sing! Why don’t we try it out?” We tried it out, and just because of things not working out and certain things happening it kind of just evolved into a natural progression. Our first singer went out to see our shows and said that it kind of just seemed like maybe this how it was always supposed to be, that it was never supposed to be a female fronted band, and that was always supposed to be the two of us *motions to Tim*, considering that we were writing the songs and writing the lyrics.
It’s interesting how that works. Like full circle, because didn’t you guys start out of as just you guys writing songs and playing together anyways?
Tim: How the band started, yup. Just the two of us jamming in our room.
Then you added Allen and he’s the face of the band.
Tim: He’s the pretty face of the band.
He’s the one that’s gonna get all the ladies to buy shit.
Allen: Put my face on the t shirts and we’ll sell all of them.
Josh: And us as silhouettes to the back. *all laugh*
Speaking of hiatus you guys just did your first set of shows after forever. How did you guys feel and how were they different than when you were a quartet?
Tim: Well, they were nerve racking.
Josh: I don’t think it was as nerve wracking because we really did prepare a lot for the most part. It was probably about a year before we got the realization that we could do it on our own. *turns to Tim and Allen* Was it like 4th of July last year? Sometime like that? But since then we’ve been practicing and gearing up for it because since we’ve been this other type of band for so long we needed to get it right the first time out. But definitely nerve-wracking. I don’t think we were expecting people.
Tim: People showed up to the first show, which we were kind of hoping for it to be a kind of throwaway show just to play, break the ice, and work the nerves out. But then all these people showed up and we were like, “Woah!”
Everyone was excited because you haven’t played in years!
Josh: Yeah, and we got good feedback so that’s why I guess we’re sticking with it.
Tim: Second show was actually pretty comfortable, I was not nervous really. Just went in there and did it.
Allen: If the bass room hadn’t fallen away from me and it would have been great.
Josh: Actually if you think about it, with the amount of technical difficulties that we had it still turned out really well.
Tim: I still have no idea why my pedal board wasn’t working for that show.
Josh: Because we hadn’t played a show, in two years *laughs* that’s why!
Tim: Things weren’t working!
Josh: It happens, it happens.
What would you say would be some of the weirdest technical difficulties have been that you’ve ever had?
Tim: I’ve had every problem at one time or another I feel like.
Josh: In this band or in general? Because I do remember one time seeing Tim in another band and his voice when he started singing came out like a lisp came out for some reason. *Tim chuckles* that happened one time and it was pretty good. But that was the technical difficulty.
Would you consider that a technical difficulty though?
Josh: It’s a voice! It’s an instrument, and if you’re not breathing right, I mean, that’s definitely what we’ve been learning over the last year is that the hardest instrument is voice. Just for the fact that a lot of stuff goes into it.
Tim: I got to take care of myself more. Especially before a show.
Josh: So that’s why every show now is in reality, a technical difficulty. *laughs* I think one time I had a show, I think it was at The Viper Room or another place, but the sound guy did not know what he was doing and he plugged in the wrong.
Tim: That’s right, yeah!
Josh: It came out of my head the wrong way. That sounds terrible. *all laugh* But yes, did not know what he was doing and because of it I might have even broken out my microchip on one of my basses. That wasn’t cool.
And Allen is just perfect.
Tim: Except when we’re playing a show and I look over and his drum kit has migrated forward to the point where he’s standing next to me. *laughs*
Josh: Yeah that’s a problem. The biggest thing out of all of drum stuff is the bass drum moving.
Allen: See, I don’t have to plug the drums in so that saves me most of the issues right there. But when that bass drum wasn’t very set during one of our shows it escaped me a little bit. It was kind of hard to play.
Tim: It was trying to get away!
Allen: It was three or four feet away from me.
Josh: Yoga drumming?
Allen: Yeah, exactly. *Josh chuckles*
It’s a new style of drumming, you gotta copyright that. From the shows you did, you did the Valley and South Bay. How would you say these two areas are different in terms of the music scene, then that of Hollywood and such like The Viper Room?
Josh: The Valley one we played in Studio City, so it was pretty much still like Hollywood too. The other bands we played with that day very much had a rock theme, but I wouldn’t say it was close to us. Which is usually kind of the issue that you deal with Hollywood shows is that it never feels like they’re packaged like they should be.
Tim: A lot of promoters don’t care what the lineup is as long as they have a lineup. They don’t care if people stick around and watch the next acts.
Josh: It was Country, Hip Hop, Latin, us, and a DJ. I’m like, “What is going on?” That’s a lot going on.
The mish mash of everything.
Josh: The next one was cool and the sound that they wanted was organized by our former singer, Jeanna’s, other band. So I mean, friends were playing with other friends. That’s always a little bit easier. Even the one up at Studio City was good too, I mean, because at least it was all rock.
Tim: Yeah they’re all rock bands of some kind or another.
Allen: I think every time you get out of Hollywood, West Hollywood too, you’re going to have people that might actually be paying attention more versus the Hollywood music scene.
Tim: The Hollywood music scene is stretched so thin. People’s attentions are so stretched and distracted. They’re all over the place.
Josh: I think they’re just hoping to discover something that’s perfect immediately versus having fun at a bar and all of a sudden, “Holy crap, that’s a good band!”
Would you say that how the live show structure for Hollywood and West Hollywood is different from other areas like Allen was saying? Do you think that affects the success of the music venue?
Tim: I mean honestly, the music venues must be doing ok because they’re still open, some of them.
Allen: It’s just a different mindset on the different areas. Viper Room is similar to the rock scene, the mindset of booking shows, what kinds of bands they bring in, and what the band’s goals are to get out of that type of show versus, say, in Silverlake, Echo Park, Studio City or South Bay. We were playing in Studio City and South Bay because we were just trying to go play, have fun, and get some people out. We’re trying to build maybe a repertoire of places or playing just to go play.
Josh: Plus, I always keep thinking that playing in West Hollywood places, because it’s ‘pay to play,’ they’re so worried about getting they’re number rather than just playing a show and putting on a hit performance.
Tim: And I lot more stressful.
Allen: Not to hate on The Viper Room. Don’t not book us!
Josh: But all those venues, that’s the reason why.
Tim: Well, technically they aren’t pay to play at The Viper Room. They hire all those promoters that are pay to play, but the venue itself is not pay to play. The Whiskey A Go Go is pay to play, but The Viper Room is not pay to play. At least not right now.
Josh: Plus those ones are marquee places, so usually that’s why they do that. But it just sucks, because sometimes it’s a little bit hard if you just testing out to see if you want to do it and the next thing you know, boom! You’re set with 30 tickets to sell, which is usually pretty hard for bands who just starting out.
You think that puts some pressure on these local bands?
Josh: I don’t think it puts on pressure, but I think it makes them apathetic about the situation. It makes them just realize, “Maybe we don’t need to do that.” That’s why we don’t really want to go over to those areas for the most part unless we get certain situations, big ones, where we know that it’s going to be a big event and that people are gonna want to come. But for the most part, just for the regular kind of bands, if they want to play those scenes and want to put them kind of rotation moving around all of Southern California, it kind of makes them shy away from everything and not wanting to deal with the stress.
To talk positively about Hollywood and venues, what are some of your favorite venues that you’ve played? This could be Unsound Foundation or other bands that you’ve done.
Josh: Viper, I do love the Viper Room.
Tim: Viper Room is a really fun place to play. It’s got good energy, great vibe. You know, it’s not a huge room, so it’s not actually not that hard to get a decent audience in there.
Josh: Still though, it can fit a lot of people.
Tim: It can, but it’s all standing room.
Allen: I haven’t played at these places but I would love to play at some places like The Hi Hat.
Josh: Hi Hat, I really wanna play there.
Allen: Or The Satellite, or Harvard & Stone.
Tim: One of my favorite places I’ve ever played is this place in Colorado. It’s this little, kind of hippy-jam place that lets rock bands play called Mishawaka. It’s by the Poudre River with a stage and pink tables where people just drink and hang out all day and afternoon. They have shows on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. That was really fun time playing there.
Josh: Skinnie’s. I used to like their stage and their bar a lot, except I don’t know what they do anymore.
Tim: They do have live music still, I just don’t know what goes on or what kind of music it is now. They only do it on Thursdays I think.
Josh: I like the Troubadour. I would really like to play the Troubadour.
Tim: I would like to play the Troubadour too.
Does Allen want to play the Troubadour?
Josh: Let’s do it!
He’s like, “Do I have a choice?”
Tim: We gotta build our audience a little bit first. *laughs*
Josh: It’ll happen!
Allen: I think our next show is the Hollywood Bowl right?
Tim: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind playing the Bowl. Actually I would love to play Red Rocks in Colorado. That’s always been the dream. Get us there! Let’s play Red Rocks!
Josh: In space! *Heather laughs*
Allen: Elon Musk, fly us out and play us on Mars.
Josh: In a Tesla!
Allen: *laughs* Yeah, in a Tesla!
Tim: In a rocket!
A Tesla rocket! And speaking of advertising and stuff. Being a local band in the social media era, do you feel pressure to keep up with all of your accounts and using them for marketing and advertising advantage to get traction on?
Josh: No pressure, I don’t know how to use any of them. *laughs*
Tim: Usually I feel guilty because we don’t use them enough actually. I tend to forget, get distracted, life gets in the way, and then “Oh! We should have taken a picture and posted that!”
Josh: I think when we’re doing stuff we realize to do it. But when it’s in the lull when you’re not doing a lot, especially when we’re regrouping, it’s hard to keep that stuff going a lot of times. When you’ve got momentum then it’s not terrible at all.
Allen: We should do it more. But to answer your question, I don’t feel guilty about that.
Josh: Yeah, because having a private life is nice too.
Tim: I feel guilty because I know we should be doing it more.
Do you think that social media roles on the advertising perspective have strengthened or diminished how the music industry works?
Tim: It’s strengthened it because in a way it’s made it a lot easier to get the message out. The problem I think is too many bands, us included, tend to rely on it as a crutch and as our only way of getting out a message. That actually doesn’t work very well.
Josh: I like that it gives everyone their own control on what you want to say instead of having a label give you an aspect. It makes people think for themselves for a certain aspect. But it’s always a double edged sword because it’s all up on you. Easy to go take a nap or go do other things and then not do it.
Tim: Yeah, fall asleep on the couch instead of posting something.
What kind of audience do you think your music appeals the most to?
Allen: Drunk people.
Josh: Drunk people.
Tim: That seems to be the case, drunk people seem to like our music a lot.
Josh: People that just want to have a good time, like, the whole idea is to have fun music. People possibly like to dance and not sit still so hopefully those people like us.
Tim: I know the first show that we played back from the hiatus I was surprised with how many people actually were moving and dancing and that kind of thing.
Josh: Like a mosh pit.
Mosh pit? When was this?
Josh: It happened for like a split second.
Pics or didn’t happen. *Tim chuckles* Going back to social media!
Josh: Told you! We’re not good at that!
If you could choose three artists to go on your own world tour who would they be and what would you name your tour?
Josh: That is the question I’m curious about.
Allen: Probably Beyoncé!
Josh: Are we opening up for them or are they opening up for us?
Whatever your heart desires. And you guys can have different answers if you want.
Josh: *turns to Allen* So Beyoncé is what you get?
Josh: You sticking with it?
Tim: Final answer?
Allen: I think we’d fit perfectly with Kendrick Lamar, I think our audience is the same.
Drunk people? *all laugh*
Allen: I wish our audience was the same, I would love to go on tour with Kendrick. It was more of a wish than an actual fit.
Kendrick. If you’re reading this, Allen wants to go on tour with you.
Tim: Take us with you!
Josh: For opening I’m pretty cool with anybody who would give us a chance to have them opening for us. It would be cool to get Blue Oyster Cult, or KISS, or something that we could eventually open up for a big band. And then, they would open up for us.
Tim: That would be kind of fun. You know there’s a lot of great bands out there that I’d love to play with.
Josh: Problem is that it’s hard for us to classify what we are. We’re still having trouble trying to figure out who could pair with.
Doesn’t have to be a perfect pairing.
Josh: I like Royal Blood. I’d open for Jimmy Eat World. Foo Fighters.
Tim: Jimmy Eat World would be awesome to open for and play with.
Allen: And Foo Fighters.
Tim: Yeah, Foo Fighters would be amazing.
Josh: Yeah, Foo Fighters would be amazing. If Cal Jam is looking for artists, we’ll be there.
Tim: I could be your pickup artist.
Josh: I live in Tarzana by the way, I’ll see you at Whole Foods.
Tim: Shoot, we should be like, “Dude, here’s our demo. Cal Jam!”
Josh: First we gotta get a demo. *Heather chuckles*
Tim: Yes, that is the next step.
Josh: Past bands? I don’t know, there’s so many good bands that’d be fun to open with or just play with.
What kind of tour names would you think of?
Josh: Tour names? That is a very good question. It’s like asking us what are naming our novel? Tour de Pharmacy.
Tim: The Drunken USA Tour. *chuckles*
I feel like that’s every person’s tour.
Josh: Yeah, don’t be obvious!
Tim: Drunken World Tour?
Josh: Nah, inebriated.
Josh: The AA Tour.
Tim: I think I’m too old for the AA Tour.
Allen: The Come See Us Play Music Tour.
Tim: The Come Support Us So We Have Enough Gas To Get To The Next Town Tour.
Allen: The Gas Money Tour.
Josh: Oh wait, they’re going realistic ! So apparently that’s what the first one would be called, The Realistic Tour.
Tim: The What Were We Thinking? Tour *laughs*
Alright, so you mentioned that you’d like to Cal Jam. What other music festivals would you like to play in the future? This could be local, national, etc.
Josh: Local. Arroyo Seco would be cool.
Allen: Echo Park Rising.
Tim: Yeah, that would be fun.
Josh: Kaaboo would be cool. I’m not really into the idea of Coachella a crazy amount.
Tim: Yeah Brokechella! That would be fun! Because with Brokechella it’d be an excuse to go to Coachella and not have to pay the $500 for entry.
Josh: Actually that’s an interesting point. Or it’d be cool just to play there or just to go there for once and go watch music. Outside Lands Festival, the Bay Area. One of the best concerts I’ve went to was in Golden Gate Park. So I would love to full circle play there eventually in my life.
Allen: Shaky Knees in Atlanta. They’re open in my home state.
The hometown hero!
Josh: Tokyo, anywhere.
Tim: I’d love to play some kind of Reading Festival in the UK. Just to get us into the UK.
Josh: Let’s just say it, we’ll play at all the festivals.
All the Festivals Tour 2019.
Josh: We open for everyone!
Allen: We’re the noon band, on the first day.
Josh: Noon band, always. We’re the soundcheck band. The Soundcheck Tour!
The Soundcheck Tour 2019!
Tim: Something like KROQ Weenie Roast would be fun too. Something local would be kind of cool.
Josh: How about we go with just one? Anything. Just give us the first one.
Tim: I think it’d be fun to play at a festival. You know, festivals aren’t really that different from the clubs in Hollywood where you have 5 bands playing back to back and just all jumping on stage.
Josh: I think it’s even better because you’d have more people willing to want to find your music, so that’s why it’d be fun to do this.
So let’s talk money!
Tim: Shit. We don’t have any.
Josh: We don’t make any money doing this. This is all for love.
You didn’t let me finish the question…
Tim: Oh you’re buying the drinks right?
That’s not in my contract.
Josh: Wait, there was a contract?
Allen: I wrote it, I guess you didn’t read it.
By the way, Allen is a lawyer, go and see him if you’re in L.A.
Tim: For legal advice, entertainment law.
If you had an infinite amount of money, what kind of music video would you do, and for which song?
Josh: I would still love to do the zombie “Antihero” one for Halloween. That would always be kind of fun. That’s the only one we ever talk about, but we’ve got so many other new songs. I’ve never really thought about what kind of music video we could do. Actually, I would love to do for one for “Frankencar” where we just drive a lot of sports cars, let them break down, and then us fixing them ourselves.
Tim: A lot of videos us driving really fast cars to the desert and then cuts to us with the car to the side of the road with smoke coming out it.
Josh: We need water for the engine, but we have no water, so we’re urinating in the radiator.
Tim: I think we could probably cut the urinating part out.
Josh: You know what would be kind of nice to do a video with? Special effects. That’d be really cool.
To make all of you guys look attractive?
Josh: *laughs* Wow, thanks! I was thinking more like, we turn into Godzilla and Mothra and other kinds of monsters from Kaiju, and have us attacking Tokyo with music. As giants.
Allen: Yeah, whatever the video is we should do it in a foreign country, just so we can put it in the budget to travel.
Josh: That’s another good point! I’d love to travel for it. Going back, to the moon.
Tim: Shoot a video on the moon!
Speaking of music videos and songs, you recently updated the lyrics and themes to “I’ll Be Famous.” Which is the only version that I’ll acknowledge. Why did you choose to go in a different direction for that song and would you choose to go in sequel video to the original?
Josh: Now when you mean “sequel” do you mean, us doing it with the new lyrics? Or do you mean we have to write a sequel to the original song in like a music video?
With the new lyrics.
Josh: I wouldn’t mind us doing that at all. Most of the reason why we probably changed it is because of me. I’ll say it. It’s my fault. I mean the reason why we wrote that song in the first place was for a teenybopper movie and we threw it in the set because we needed songs. I don’t really think it fit with our style.
Tim: It never fit us.
Josh: Not necessarily the music being “poppy” because in general the song has parts that are a bit harder. But lyrically it sounded like a fourteen year old girl singing in her room kind of thing.
*everyone looks at Allen*
Josh: Well, Allen is a man, he’s not a 14 year old girl. This is what he’s doing to get the 14 year old girl. *all laugh*
Tim: It was never us, it was written for a movie, which sadly they decided not to use because they decided it was too rock n’ roll for the movie.
Josh: Funnily enough.
Tim: Ironically enough, it was always kind of too pop,too 14 year old girl for us. We’re trying to re-brand the song to something we can relate to personally more. Make it more about us. So now it’s about booze.
Going back to drunk people. It’s come full circle.
Josh: It’s not drunk people, it’s just people having a hard time that need to blow off steam. This song is to help them get drunk.
The pre-party song.
Josh: The pre-party song, exactly.
Pre-Party Tour 2019. And who are your guys’ personal influencers?
Tim: Personal influencers, we run a whole gamut. I know for me, it’s a band called Live, and then U2. Those were big influences when I started playing guitar. But also Nirvana and the grunge era in the 90s thing going on. Then punk, Social D, Green Day, stuff like that.
Allen: I started drumming in 2000, so I liked the bands that were popular then.
Josh: Such as?
Allen: Such as, the Taking Back Sunday‘s, the Brand New‘s, The Finch‘s, the Blink-182‘s, love Travis Barker. Basically I would create my own mixtapes and just go drum as long as I could to whatever mixtape I made that week. Which is the usually the same songs as the week before, but just in a different order.
Josh: I’ve done that before too. For me, I’ve had a lot of different incarnations of rock that I’d liked. I think I realized later on that I always thought that these bands like Rage [Against the Machine] and Deaftones, [The Red Hot] Chili Peppers,stuff like that, were bands I would love drumming to. But I look back and I realize that I was actually playing to the bass the whole time. That’s what’s what I really love and why I switched from playing drums to moving to the bass. Other bands like Queens of the Stone Age have a big influence on me as well. And recently, as Tim says, Royal Blood I listen to a little too much
Since you played drums would you ever do a drum-off with Allen?
Josh: I don’t know if I’d do a drum off. Now if we were talking about the money thing, that would be a maybe. A music video where all three of us are playing drums.
Allen: You two play drums, I take the guitar and bass.
Josh: Well that’s the thing I want to do. Eventually a Chinese fire drill. Eventually everyone switches instruments one song.
Tim looks terrified!
Josh: He can play the bass, not the drums. Or it doesn’t have to be everybody. Two people could switch. That kind of thing.
Tim: I don’t know if you guys want to see me on a drum kit. We all know I have no rhythm.
Josh: So that’s when we play “Seven Nation Army.” *all laugh* You should be better than Meg White I think. That should be every drummer’s credo. Better than Meg White.
Allen: Let’s not hate on Meg White.
Josh: I like her, I’m just saying that she is not the most octopus armed drummer.
She’s not your Travis Barker.
Allen: Rolling Stone lists the “Top 100 Drummers” and listed Meg White above Travis Barker last year.
Josh: Let’s just talk about the fact that it’s Rolling Stone.
They had Kim Kardashian on the Rolling Stone.
Allen: Just throwing it out there.
Josh: Point taken.
Lost credibility. Sorry Rolling Stone.
Josh: The question is, do you believe she’s better?
Allen: Well, they had Travis at like 90. So I obviously have issues with it.
Tim: Yeah, he’s better than that.
Josh: Recently I think cover wise what kind of works for us are kind of the punk, underbelly, type songs. Lately a lot of these 70s ones really work well. I love a lot of that 70s stuff.
Tim: Like The Clash. I guess they’re more 80s, but still.
Josh: I like a bit of The Ramones of course. Thin Lizzy too. Yeah, so stuff like that. Plus I think everyone from here can probably say that while all of us are very different from our influences, we all like a lot of the same music. Certain bands a little more than others, but it’s just a generational thing for everyone to like a huge eclectic amount of music. That’s why music is so interesting nowadays. Because it’s not like it’s only this or only this or only this. It’s everything. It’s a melting pot of music. Melting Pot 2019.
Tim: Deep Thoughts By Josh 2019.
Josh: Nah, it’s usually pretty high thoughts by Josh.
The Unsound Foundation Story. What covers would you guys want to do?
Tim: We’re always looking for new covers to do. We’re always experimenting. We’ll try out songs, we’ll play it, and then say “Yeah, it’s perfect, that works!” Other times we play a song and it’s like “Well that sucked.” *laughs* Then we never touch it again.
What are some of your guys’ favorites that you’ve done?
Tim: When we had a female singer we really liked playing “Criminal” by Fiona Apple because we did a rocked up version of it. That was a lot of fun.
Josh: Definitely. We we first time played “Psycho Killer” by Dirty Heads we realized that was meant to be our first real cover song. It just fits our style for some reason, which is really cool. Tim accidentally started to play, “London Calling” by The Clash recently in this interesting reggae eerie vibe that really worked for us. So we’ve been going on that and we really like it. So many cover songs.
What are some challenging cover songs that you’ve run into.
Josh: We tried playing Bruno Mars‘ “Locked Out Of Heaven” and it was a train wreck.
Tim: It was a total train wreck.
Josh: Because there’s a lot rhythm going on. Maybe we were trying to play it like how it sounds versus doing it the way we should do it.
Tim: It crashed and burned.
Josh: Speaking of burn I liked it when we played “Burned.”
Tim: We played “Burned” by The Cure. Song needs a keyboard. We don’t have a keyboard.
Josh: We need more covers songs. It’s tough. I was thinking “These Boots Were Made For Walkin'” by Nancy Sinatra recently.
Allen is stoked for that! He’s gonna be the one that in the boots.
Allen: Oh yeah!
He’s going to be marching. *laughs
Josh: Or “Taste Of Ink” by The Used.
Allen: Do that one! That used to be on my mixed tape!
Josh: I was just talking about it last night, and I heard it on the radio, I’m like, “Holy Crap! This would be awesome!” I think a lot of people know that song and really like that song. Do you like that song?
I’m an emo kid, of course I like that song.
Josh: But do you like that song Tim?
Josh: Was it the first time you heard it yesterday when I played for you?
Tim: No, no, it’s a song I’ve heard before.
Tim: It’s just one the ones where you told me the name and I’m like, “I don’t know that song.” Then after you played it I went, “Oh, yeah I know that song.”
Josh: Exactly. Which is the hardest thing about finding cover songs, really just trying find ones that enough people know and have a little connection to.
What are some that have been shot down by other band members?
Tim: “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways.
Josh: I don’t want to play “Cherry Bomb.” Usually the bands that we love that influence us a lot help us to realize that’s not what our band is. We stop trying to make it work like that. Even if you want to do like an homage to it or a little bit of respect it’s just not going to work.
What three artists would you say that your music is most like? And Why?
Josh: So loaded and so wrong. After our first show, I think everyone tried to ask everyone what we sounded like. Allen what was one that someone said?
Allen: The Pixies.
Josh: Which I thought was kind of cool. One our friends, Craig, said that we are the love child of Tool and Creedence Clearwater Revival, which I don’t see at all.
Allen: It’s interesting, but I disagree.
I think that might be drunk thoughts right there.
Josh: I like that one, at least I would like to be heard that way. Somebody who’s wise said we sounded like a harder version of Blink-182 I think. I don’t know if I agree with the sound, but maybe she was just trying to say that about our style and how we’ve kind of figured out how to do our lyrics in a bit of that switching back and forth. One person might sing one part, one person might sing another. We try to do a column response, which is very Blink, but I don’t know if I would say if our music is like Blink.
Allen: One or two might be close.
Josh: Yeah one or two might be close, but definitely, as she said, a harder version. So maybe like a hard rock Blink or something.
Tim: I heard someone said Rise Against.
Josh: That’s not bad. It’s hard to get good answers on that. The worst thing too is to say what you think you sound like. Because first all, you’re biased. It won’t sound right.
Tim: Our band has never really gotten a clear answer, or any consensus, on what we sound like, which I guess is a good thing. Because if we get “Oh man, you guys so much like this band…” then I go “Oh man, we sound too much like that band…”
Josh: And we want to sound like Unsound Foundation. So maybe that’s what we’re doing right now.
Tim: We did something right? Sweet!
Josh: I think we’re just learning that our tour should just be called “2019” *laughs*
Which three artists would you like to collaborate with and why? Again, these could be different answers.
Josh: Does it have to be musical artists? I was thinking more like finding artists to do albums and stuff, because it would be cool to find some kind of Banksy kind of person to do album cover kind of art. Something like that.
Sure, art is a broad word!
Josh: My nephew, with his finger painting. *all laugh* Musically, let’s see, I don’t know. It’d be fun to find a female artist to cover someone with. Like a DJ or something because Allen keeps talking about Kendrick Lamar. I’m all about the idea of him spinning a bridge.
Again Kendrick, if you’re reading.
Josh: Or like the Jay-Z and Linkin Park album. A mashup like that would be kind of cool to do something like that, with a hip-hop artist. Or find somebody like, Florence Welch, from Florence And The Machine, let’s do something like that. That’s what we’re trying to do, get any artist that would want to jump in with us. We like playing with people. It’s fun!
What do you hope your audience takes away from your music?
All: A good time.
Tim: We just want to have fun.
Josh: Oh, and they remember us.
Tim: We want people to have a good time, but not be so drunk to the point of, “What did I do last night? I’m sore as hell, but I don’t remember.”
Josh: Sore as hell?
Tim: Because they were dancing all night. Jeez where is your mind going?
Alright, last question are you ready?
Josh: I suppose.
What big plans should we be expecting from you guys in the near future?
Allen: I guess this is a good time as any, but we’re actually breaking after this interview. So there’s no plans.
Josh: We just talked about it.
Allen: Tim doesn’t like coffee, so we can’t work with him anymore.
Josh: And eventually we’re going to do our own thing, and then have our reunion tour 2019.
I don’t think it works like that if it’s only been a year. *laughs*
Josh: Time is just a number. Other than that, definitely more shows, recording.
Tim: I think it’s time for recordings. The band hasn’t recorded since 2012 so, it’d be nice to record something. We have a ton of songs we’ve never recorded.
Allen: Music videos.
Tim: Music videos, we’re thinking about collaborating with this director guy, named Jake, maybe do a music video with him.
Josh: “The Raven” maybe?
Tim: Yeah “The Raven” can be a good one.
Josh: We’d just have to rent a cabin in the woods.
Allen: Not the giant Godzilla one? Dammit. I’d do a video with you for “Withdraw.”
Josh: That’d be a good one too. I think we’d have to figure it out. Have everyone come to a show and listen to our songs and you can vote on which music video or which recordings we do. Back in part of the social media part we were talking about.
Well thanks for sitting with me, all three of you. I’m sad that you’re breaking up.
Allen: We’re getting back together tomorrow.
Tim: Actually on Wednesday because that’s when practice is.
*laughs* Love is a fickle thing.
About Bar Nine:
Hidden in Culver City’s Hayden Tract lies the modern, industrial Bar Nine. Housed inside a hulking warehouse, you would never think that the space was an ex-food truck commissary kitchen from it’s sleek yet slightly rustic decor and an impressive, state-of-the-art Modbar espresso system to brew all of your caffeinated desires. Ample, organized seating inside is perfect for those who enjoy working with the scent of fresh brewed coffee kissing their nostrils while the front patio area is great for larger groups or to just soak up some rays.
Bar Nine’s menu of classic brews and decently sized pastries paired with seasonal specials gives visitors a chance to opt for something new. I myself chose to go with their featured in house specials called the Matitui, a Colombian blend infused with sweet brown sugar, crisp green apples and a hint of fresh floral, with hazelnut milk. Good God did it hit the spot! Sometimes there’s nothing better in life than fresh brewed coffee poured into a reusable glass mason jar.