This trio are definitely thieves. Thieves of my heart, that is. We had the pleasure of speaking with lead vocalist and guitarist, Martin Early this afternoon while they were on their way to Durango, CO for a show. After our conversation, it is evident that music is at his core existence and that this band means everything to him. Not just the music, but the people behind the instruments as well. With passion and excitement embedded in each word he spoke; we delved into some interesting topics. Like hula-hoop fails and getting lost in Mexico. And of course their new album debuting in the spring of 2015 and their upcoming show at the Larimer Lounge this Sunday (check out our Instagram @Ultra5280 for the deets on how to score a pair of tickets).
The Ballroom Thieves sounds like a fitting name for your band, how did you come up with it?
It’s an interesting story but maybe not as interesting as you might think... I was up in Newport at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. Which has always been a place where I find music that I'll listen to for the upcoming year. It’s a pretty small festival but it’s just a beautiful place and the people that run that festival really know what they’re doing. The drummer and I had been touring under our names which doesn’t really roll off the tongue and we had been thinking of a band name and while I was there it kinda came out of no where. It may have been the amount of drinks or just the idea of people dressing up in fancy clothes and stealing things but it kind of stuck.
How would you classify your genre of music?
We have been describing it is as a rock band in a folk suit. We’re not truly folk because we’ve got some pretty heavy rock influences. Our influences come from all over the place too. It’s really tough to pin down an exact genre.
If you were stranded on a desert what is one record that you’d have to have with you?
One record is really tough. I cant speak for the other two, but I guess it would definitely be “Blood On The Tracks” by Bob Dylan. He stands across multiple genres.
Which band member is the most likely to end up in Mexico on a random Tuesday?
Oh. That’s a tough one too. We’re all pretty likely to be there together. I don’t think we’re likely to end up there alone, but we'll all be there together. We’re getting to the point where we’re pretty much a family and if one person gets lost, we’ll be there with them.
What is your pregame ritual before you go on stage?
Umm usually we just like to be around each other. We just like to be in a little group. We do some vocal warm up stuff and keep our voices happy. Just water maybe some tea and some company of the band. Preferably just the band, getting into that space is really important.
What is the biggest inspiration for you guys when it comes to writing and recording music?
Honestly, our biggest inspiration are usually the bands that are our peers. Ya know, trying to make a living out of music. Some of them are: Darling Side, Tall Heights and a band form Maine called, The Ghost Of Paul Revere. We’re all challenging each other. It’s definitely a competitive environment, but in a really positive way. We want to push each other to do interesting things and keep writing inspiring music.
Name the peak and pit of this last year for you guys.
Umm, well I mean any show that we play in Boston is a peak because it’s our hometown. We finished our first record and it won’t come out until the spring 2015, but we finished it and were just really excited to share it and show everyone what we’ve been working on. That's definitely the highlight, the process of writing and recording, just everything about it. We also signed with an agency and record label. There’s been a lot of standard and interesting things happening for us. But definitely the record and having that finished product.
The pit... I don’t know there’s been a couple pits but it’s really easy to get through them. We’ve played a couple college shows and its to an empty lunch room with a Magic The Gathering game going on in the back and kids with head phones on. We just kind of view them as paid rehearsals. We’ve played shows with maybe 12 people there but maybe one person there really connects with the music and that makes the hour really worth it to us.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you on stage?
Umm, hmm good question. Umm I think there was a festival in Poconos called Campfire and it was an absolute blast. It’s held at a Jewish summer camp and it feels like you’re actually at camp. They have a huge blob and basketball courts and volleyball and yoga on the beach in the morning, it’s awesome. Right before we played our show, Devon had found a hula-hoop at a house and he actually got pretty good at it. So, at the festival there were a couple people hooping around and I challenged Dev to hula-hoop on stage and he couldn’t do it (enter: cute giggles). I was so confident in him because he had gotten so good at it. Maybe the hula-hoop wasn’t regulation size or something but he failed miserably.
Are you excited to come to Denver?
Yeah, we love Colorado. I’ve got some family here and so does Cali. We’ve also got some friends in the area as well. It’s just one of the states where its comfortable and cozy to come to. We’re also really excited for the show. It’s been awhile since we’ve played in Denver.
So there you have it. An adorable family from Boston that hula-hoops and sticks with each other through thick and thin will be playing at the Larimer Lounge this Sunday, December, 7th. Drop by, listen to some amazing rock-in-a-folk-suit and meet these guys. Because, they were sure a blast to get to know.