A Quiet Corral Of Musicians

Quiet Corral is a Lawrence-based band playing Wakarusa 2012.

Isaac Flynn recently wrote in to discuss how the band came together, the growth of their sound and albums he always finds himself listening to.

For more info on Quiet Corral, check out http://quietcorral.com/.


How did Quiet Corral come together? 

Quiet Corral was one of those bands that was an idea for quite some time before it came to fruition. Garrett Childers (vocals/guitar) and I met at church when he was 13 and I was 11. Our parents concluded that we both played music, therefore, we should play music together. He was living in Kansas City at the time and our parents would meet in Eudora, so that the two of us could play Nirvana covers in my parent’s basement in Lawrence.

Eventually Garrett came to KU, and starting a band became more realistic. He met Jesse Roberts (lead vocals/acoustic guitar/mandolin) at their fraternity, and Garrett expressed interest in starting a band with him. A few years later, I started classes at KU, and the three of us began playing music together from time to time. We rounded up the rest of the band and began writing songs in my apartment. This was January of 2010, and my apartment had no heat. Good times.

Our drummer and producer, Jim Barnes, moved to Lawrence to start a recording studio called The Art House with me in February of 2010, completing our lineup. The other two members, Matt Green (bass) and Eric Davis (guitar 2010-2011), were longtime friends of mine. Since then the band has parted ways with Eric, and acquired, Zach Mehl (guitar/keys), a longtime friend who was in my first band ever.


Your songs have a very expansive sound. Do you follow a certain process when songwriting? 

Our song writing process is definitely meticulous. Jesse and myself are the two main writers, so often times him and I get together early on in the process and create the foundation for the song. Jesse writes all of the lyrics, so sometimes songs get put on the back burner if the right words aren’t coming to him at the time.

Eventually the song makes it to the rest of the band and it’s free reign for change. We are very collaborative, and everyone has an equal say about what direction they think the song should go. Our drummer, Jim, is very detail oriented, and I think he really helps complete the songs.

Lastly, we do our best to embrace space in the music. We try to write each of our parts so that they fit the song perfectly.


How do you approach recording in the studio differently than your live show?

Recording is often times a very thought out process. Since Jim is so detail oriented, we are extremely particular about each individual sound that is being tracked, whereas live is a much more “what happens, happens” experience. I go back and forth on which I enjoy more.


How has your sound grown since you first started out?

I think our sound is more cohesive now. As cliche as it may sound, I think we are finding our own identity, and I’d like to think that we are getting better as songwriters and musicians. I was a drummer prior to Quiet Corral, so it has been an experience transitioning to guitar.


What do you love about the music scene in Lawrence?

I personally love how much people appreciate music in Lawrence. The town has been so supportive of us, and there is no better feeling than coming home from a tour and playing Lawrence. People in Lawrence love having fun, and their enthusiasm for live music is infectious. It’s also the coolest town in the world.


What has been the strangest gig you’ve played?

Tidballs- Bowling Green, KY. At the time Matt and I were minors, and the venue was very strict about removing us after our performance. The door guy said, “You guys were great, we gotta get you back here soon…now get out!”

We watched the headliner play from the window…


How did the track “City Steep” get created?

I wrote the initial version of “City Steep” on a ukulele at Mass St. Music in Lawrence. When I gave a demo of it to Jesse, he turned the lyrics around quickly.

At the time it was a guitar riff and chorus hook based around one chord. One chord wasn’t cutting it for Jim, so we made some revisions and finalized the song.


What’s your favorite description you’ve heard of your music? 

Someone told me that Jesse and Garrett’s vocals reminded them of Simon and Garfunkel. That’s about the nicest thing anyone could say.


What albums do you always find yourself listening to?


Tom Petty- Damn The Torpedoes

Elvis Costello- This Year’s Model

The Beatles- Rubber Soul

Band of Horses- Cease to Begin

Wilco- Sky Blue Sky

John Mayer- Continuum

Outkast- Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
Michael Jackson- Off The Wall

Queen- Night at The Opera


What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?

Our career is rather short at this point, but I think we are currently trying to overcome our toughest obstacle which is surviving playing music. A few of the guys are putting other careers on hold, and three of us are putting school on hold.

If we can become successful enough to sustain ourselves and find some security in music as a career, we will be more than pleased. The band has already been a dream come true, and to watch it progress is unbelievably fulfilling.


Do you have a quote or motto that you live by?

I think that all of us embrace that everything in this life is temporary, so we do our best to enjoy every single moment that we are given to play music together.

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