Also appearing at SXSW was Indie-Soul standouts Gun Runner, also based out of San Diego, CA. A play off of frontman Sean Davenport’s life as a hired-gun musician, the band-mates were all friends from middle school in San Diego. The last several years Davenport spent as a student at Berklee College Of Music in Boston, and even interning for Philip Glass. After some soul-searching and the ending of a relationship, Davenport made the difficult decision of heading back across the country after 7 years on the east coast, reuniting with old friends Tommy Graf and Diego Rojano. We spoke with Sean Davenport from Gun Runner after the show, and here’s what he had to say…
THRILLCALL: Your set at Maggie Mae’s Gibson Room in Austin for SXSW was impressive. What kind of influences and inspiration do you have for the brooding indie-soul sound on your new record, Bad Neighbor?
DAVENPORT: We range from a couple different things. Tommy is really into BRMC (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and The Verve. At the time I was going through a big LCD Soundsystem phase, but we also all love old Motown. I grew up playing a lot of blues as well, so that’s where that comes from, throwing in that dance-y flavor you hear on the record.
THRILLCALL: As young musicians, how do you feel about the way music is consumed in the live-streaming/free downloadable/illegal world? In other words do you think it’s more important for artists to get their work out there, or should there be some sort of legal standard in order to make a living as a musician?
DAVENPORT: Tricky one. I’d love to make tons of money off music, but I download music all the time. For a new indie band, multi-media exposure is the way to go. Personally with our stuff, I’d rather them listen to it for free and come see us live.
THRILLCALL: All of the songs on Bad Neighbor have a deeply personal tone. After reading your bio, am I correct in assuming that a lot of the lyrical content is from experience?
DAVENPORT: Absolutely. Kinda going through a change of… I lived on the east coast for about 7 years. I decided to move and try something else out, but leaving friends behind you’ve known for that long, it gave me certain things to talk about. It was really my first attempt at lyricism, so the only way I could do it would be to rant about what I was going through at the time.
THRILLCALL: If you could only order one pizza for the band… what would the toppings be?
DAVENPORT: The works, a little flavor never hurt anyone. We like our flavor heavy in this band.
Heavy flavor indeed, which is what their new album Bad Neighbor delivers.