I had the pleasure to speak with Trever Stribing, Lucas Honig, Josh Ackerly, and Elijah Peterson of PA Line who won Buffalo's Battle of The Bands and opened for Iron & Wine at Canalside in July and are now touring in New England.
Mark Abell | BuffaloVibe: Any upcoming performances to spotlight?
PA Line: We are very local based band that continues to step on stage on a weekly basis. Our next trip will bring us closer to the coast as we will be telling our story in Boston. The best way to find where we are playing is through any social media site, or to email us directly. We have always been proper in responding when a fan reaches out to us; without them we do not exist.
How do you want to fit into the history of folk?
PL: Folk is dead, and has been for some time now. Between Nu-folk, Folk-Punk, mid-western millennial-folk and anything else in between, it seems the only thing they have in common is the instruments they use. And if they were considered part of the folk genre just because of acoustic guitars, mandolins, and banjos then we want to fit in to the history of folk the same way Woody Guthrie fits in his coffin. The only way we want people to categorize us with the Folk Genre is if they truly understand what folk music is instead of focusing about the sound of the music when in fact it is about the story that backs the emotion. P.A. Line is filled with emotion and we are hoping that our style will lead people to say "that's how they did it", and essentially become our own sub genre of Folk. We believe every movement has a timeline of sorts and folk has a long history, now more-so broken up into a big variety of sub-genres as most music does now, and we would like to think P.A. Line has a chance to be a staple in the next part of that time-line.
Are you surprised about the direction that Mumford & Sons have taken lately?
PL: It doesn't surprise us at all, seeing as lots of bands tend to acclimate to the radio-friendly, "popular" wave of music, it is just a jump in fame and fortune lots of bands go to when a large population discovers the talent they have, so they become more relatable, if you will. They have a very distinct sound and have already released two full length albums of that sound. It seems they were faced with a choice: dig the rut deeper and stay where they were or try to grow not only as a band, but also musicians, and release something new, unparalleled and ground breaking. In my own opinion, they didn't achieve that, but perhaps we can all learn from, and not just when the sound we have had been overplayed too much... Cause more than likely it's too late.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to you when you're touring?
PL: Craziest thing that happened to us on tour... Well... It's always crazy. Crazy good. Ha-ha.
Who are your musical influences? What major band(s) would you want to tour with?
PL: We are influenced by Dave Matthews, and recently John Mayer, Victor Wooten, Lettuce, Sly and the Family Stone, Pat the Bunny Ryan Harvey, Against Me!, Phil Ochs, The Black Death All-Stars, and so many more. We do believe that the variety of influences helps produce the variety of our sound and creates a unique approach to making music. Mumford and Sons is up there, we do of course know virtually every song and touring with them would be brilliant.
If you could work with any producer or record in any studio, which would you choose?
PL: If we could choose anyone it would be through Plan-it-X records. They're a DIY outfit and have always loved the music and the message they spread.