PawnShop kings

Pawnshopkings

Background: Joel and I have been playing music together forever, but it took moving to Los Angeles to really figure out our working relationship. Being brothers, we knew it would shine a light on layers of our history and the baggage that comes with family dynamics, but knew it was crucial if we wanted to make the musical partnership work. So, we basically forced the living situation: getting up every morning, staring at each other, sharing a bathroom, and forced engagement regardless of the circumstance. It was tricky, and often hard, but it allowed us to work through stuff and grow both musically and as people. We spent a lot of time reading, writing, and listening to music, and learned how to bring out the strength in one another to maximize our collective creativity. It was a definitive time for us, and has heavily shaped our vision as artists.

About three months before tracking our first record “Locksley,” we limited our listening to Beatles and Stevie Wonder records in order to push into the creative process and draw out some influence from two of our favorites. You can hear the influence of ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver’ on that record, and some of Stevie’s influence in Locksley B-sides, and our more recent EPs. The Way-Back Background: Growing up in Southern California has been extremely influential in shaping our reality. We grew up on the coast, and feel that nothing on earth is more grounding and inspiring than the ocean. Although, the relationships and experiences from the years spent with our extended family in the South have made the greatest impact.

Everything I am is affected by those experiences. To this day, I can smell the air at my grandfather’s lake plantation outside West Memphis, Arkansas. I can feel the water, warm on the surface and cool five inches below. I can hear the crickets, tree frogs, and the voices of the people. I can smell the soil and taste the food. I can see the roads, the bridge, the general store… Our music, relationships, desires, and the way we see the world and treat people all centers around the learning done in this environment.

“Those are the memories that make me who I am,” says Scott. The further along we go, the more apparent the impact becomes of those times and experiences in everyday life. Our writing and music is the crossing of these worlds, the West Coast and the American South, one no less vital than the other… Love, Life, God, Pain, Hope…the subjects most often sung about by our heroes…each find their way into the things we write and speak into.

Music as Influence: Collectively- The Beatles, Bob Marley, Staple Singers and Stevie Wonder. “Joel initially hears the music, and I hear the lyrics. Not surprising since everything we do starts off opposite. I spent long periods of my life listening to California Folk Rock: CSNY, Jackson Browne and The Eagles. Other acts like Led Zeppelin, The Band, Cream, Cat Stevens, Mahallia Jackson, Big Star, Black Crowes, Allman Brothers Band, Lenny Kravitz, and Toad the Wet Sprocket have all been hugely influential,” says Scott. As a younger brother, I made Joel listen to all these bands which has turned out a good thing for us as our musical influences are really very similar. But he also gravitated to rap listening early on to Run D.M.C’s ‘Raising Hell’ and the Beasties, then brought a lot of instrumental music to us like Groove Armada, Plej, and Copy as well as British sounds like Oasis, Radiohead, Richard Ashcroft, and so on. All of these bands and more shaped and continue to shape the musical directions we travel.