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POCZCIWINSKI: The Burkharts have a spark -- and presence (Q&A)

It is always amazing to see a local band grow each time you see them live. I still remember seeing The Burkharts for the first time 7 months ago at Mohawk Place, back when they were just starting out. I remember being instantly captivated by their light and bright sound that could bring sunshine to even the darkest of winter days. Just from that first performance I could tell that this group of 5 goofy guys had a unique spark that I had not seen in a very long time.

While 7 months might not seem like a long time, the progress that they have made in that short of a time span might take other bands years to accomplish. They went from just standing on stage and playing their tunes, to acquiring matching outfits and giving out wildly named VHS tapes. Best of all, they gained a stage presence that would make even the most experienced photographer lose their breath while trying to keep up with their madness.

The Burkharts are still riding high off the release of their debut EP Lazy Dazing that dropped not too long ago in May. If you have not checked it out yet then do yourself a favor and pull up a chair on your local beach and listen to Lazy Dazing from start to finish, it will be the best 16 minutes and 12 seconds of your summer.

Comprised of Trevor (guitar/vox), Gavon (Drums), James (keyboard/vox), Austin (Bass) and Luke (Guitar) The Burkharts are one of the local bands that you must catch live. I was lucky enough to catch the Burkharts at their recent show at Milkie’s to talk about their debut EP, upcoming tour, and new music video. Thank you again to the Burkharts for always putting on a great show and for sitting down to talk with me!

Also, along with the interview, please enjoy some photos from their show at Milkie’s shot by the amazing Haley Sousa.  Make sure to check out the Burkharts wherever you get your music and follow them on social media to keep up with all their shenanigans.

Chandler Poczciwinski: How Have people liked the new album so far?

Trevor: “More people liked it then we thought would, usually we release new music and people don’t give a shit, but this time people liked it. We got some plays from social media areas and it gave us some confidence.”

CP: Where did you record the new EP?

Trevor: “James and I we tracked a lot of stuff and some of the other guys would track some stuff here and there. We sent it out to get mixed but when we got it backed we realized we wanted to do it ourselves, so then we mixed it ourselves and we are pretty satisfied with it usually I’m not but this time I was. I actually got a mixing for dummies book just to make sure I had everything right.”

CP: So, how do your write your songs?

Trevor: “Usually one of us would come with a chord progression or a melody and then we will build around that, some of us will get the bass of the song down then either Gavin, Luke or Austin will come and say, ‘hey we should do this here,’ or, ‘I just thought of this for this part’, a lot of the basic parts of the songs are from James and I and then the rest of the guys will just pile on the rest.”

James: “lyrically, we will have the whole song done musically, then we will kinda start to hum and that will turn into a more specific mumble then the mumble turns into the eventual lyric, then we bass it off of that.”

CP: Does your lyrical inspiration come from anywhere specific?

Trevor: “I like to sound like the Beach Boys or the Beatles, and as long as I can sound like them I am cool with it.”

Austin: “Lazy Dazing has a cool story around it though.”

Trevor: “Yeah well, the whole album I tried to bass it around the idea that I miss being a little kid and not having to care about anything, so I tried to make the lyrics about having a nostalgic feeling. So, ‘Lazy Dazing’ is about sitting around with your friends playing Xbox in middle school. Then, ‘Flower City Nights’ is about me living in Rochester and hating it, then I moved back here, but then I thought maybe it wasn’t so bad. So, just feeling how you miss the past is really the theme of the album.”

CP: So, to talk more specifically about the song “Lazy Dazing” and its corresponding music video. Was there a way that you tried to tell the story of “Lazy Dazing” in the music video or was it just an overall vibe that you were going for?

James: “It was more of a vibe, you know summer just started and we have been told that our music sounds kinda summerish. So we just wanted a video that had a vibe that went with the album, just fitting the astetic visually and sonically.”

Austin: “ The story came out as we made the video, basically on accident. We just went into the video saying, ‘okay we are going to make a video today’”.

Trevor: “Also, if you want to do what we always do, where we make something then try to find the meaning in it. You could say that us doing all this random nonsensical stuff like doing laundry in the video, is us lazy dazing, were you are just hanging with your friends riding bikes and stuff.”

CP: Speaking of when you were in the laundry mat, how did people respond to you filming the video in a public location like that?

James: “Well there was really no one there for most of that shot in the laundry mat, but at the end this like really old man came in. He was just doing his laundry and looking at me doing all of these dance moves and jumping around. I was like halfway through the song and I just wanted to power through it and finish so we could leave haha.”

Trevor: “The old man was actually our cousin but we haven’t seen him in like 10 years so I don’t know if he recognized us but we recognized him.”

CP: Do you guys want to do another music video from songs on this album?

Trevor: “Well we don’t own our own cameras, so if we can get cameras and us all in the same spot at the same time there will definitely be another video.”

CP: So, I know we were talking before about you going on tour in October, are you excited? Or are you nervous?

All Together: “Yeah we are pretty excited”

Trevor: “Yeah we are excited, but like in the same way when you go get a physical. I could find out that I am completely healthy but at the same time I know I am going to get touched haha. We might get touched on the road by thieves, they have touched us before when we were on the road, our van was broken into when we were in Washington D.C.”

James: “Yeah we had left our van for like an hour to go see this festival because we had time to kill before we played a show that night, and when we came back our window was smashed in on our rental van. They took a bunch of our personal belongings but thankfully didn’t take any of our musical equipment. So, we had to sort that whole thing out.”

Trevor: “They took the bags that our show outfits were in so we didn’t get to play in our matching outfits that night. It was actually a great show that night, we love D.C. because it was a cool show and they loved us so we will be back!”

Austin: “This time I have a place for us to stay though so we will be safe haha.”

Chandler Poczciwinski is a student at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, production director at WSBU 88.3 The Buzz, and producer for punk music blog, The Uncharted Hour. He is also the lead guitar player for the local pop-punk band, Among The Wolves. He reviews music for All WNY Radio. 

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