GRAMMYs On The Road With Punch Brothers And Quiet Company
The Recording Academy Texas Chapter recently played host for GRAMMYs On The Road at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, held Oct. 12–14 at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including folk/bluegrass quintet Punch Brothers and indie pop/rock group Quiet Company.
Punch Brothers' Chris Eldridge and Paul Kowert discussed the band's instrumentation, the derivation of their name and their songwriting process, among other topics.
"The instrumentation kind of defines the [band's] sound in a way," said Kowert. "We don't really play bluegrass as we've come to know it, but it's definitely a starting point and common ground for all of us."
Formed by former Nickel Creek member Chris Thile (mandolin), Punch Brothers' lineup features Eldridge (guitar/vocals), Kowert (bass), Noam Pikelny (banjo), and Gabe Witcher (violin). Their debut album, Punch, was released in 2008 and features eight songs, including Thile's four-part "Blind Leading The Blind" suite. Antifogmatic was released in 2010 and peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Bluegrass Albums chart, garnering Punch Brothers a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Instrumental Performance for "New Chance Blues." They earned a second nomination that year for Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for a cover of U2's "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" featuring Dierks Bentley and Del McCoury. Their latest album, Who's Feeling Young Now?, was released in February and peaked at No. 1 on the Bluegrass Albums chart. On Nov. 13 the band will release a five-song EP Ahoy! featuring the single "Another New World."
Quiet Company discussed performing in their hometown of Austin, Texas, recruiting band members from the Internet and stories from the road, among other topics.
"[The Austin City Limits Music Festival] means a lot to everyone everywhere, but especially in Austin," said frontman Taylor Muse. "For us to be recognized by our home city … is very validating."
Based in Austin, Texas, Quiet Company was formed by Muse and includes Cody Ackors (trombone), Thomas Blank (keys/guitar/vocals), Matt Parmenter (bass/piano/vocals), and Jeff Weathers (drums). Muse has cited influences such as the Beatles, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Weezer. Quiet Company released Shine Honesty in 2006, followed by 2009's Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon and a six-song EP, Songs For Staying In, in 2010. In 2011 the band released We Are All Where We Belong, an album featuring 15 tracks written by Muse, including "You, Me & The Boatman." Quiet Company are scheduled to play select dates in the United States through November.