AN INTERVIEW WITH COURTYARD
If you haven’t heard or seen Courtyard play, I’ll be one of many to say that you’re missing out. They play off each other like comedians riffing: quick, an almost effortless flow, and overall enjoyable. The quartet from Nashville is a work in progress and that’s said with all the best praise and love, but that work is starting to take shape and at its core is an emphasis on the creative process and giving it their all. With a sound that’s drawn comparisons to the post-punk movement, it’s interesting and in my opinion, refreshing, to see that they’re not the types to want to assign themselves to any label. They know what they want and they have the drive to get it.
TO SPEAK MORE TO THE BAND’S DYNAMICS, YOU GUYS SEEM PRETTY STRAIGHT TO THE POINT ABOUT WHAT YOU WANNA DO AND MAKE IT AS A UNIT - WHAT DOES THE WRITING PROCESS LOOK LIKE WHEN IT COMES TO THE SONG STRUCTURE?
NOAH: Well in its inception a lot of this was around Matthew, but I think we can all say as we’ve been playing more it’s become a lot more democratic… As far as evidence shows of this we just did some reworking on one of our songs, now it’s one of me and Bailey’s favorites.
MATTHEW: The best part of it is that we’re all best friends, so as opposed to bands that are just assortments of people who kind of know each other, we have a strong bond as a unit. We really don’t have to deal with egos or judgement.
N: We’re pretty open-minded.
BAILEY: Yeah jamming is how we figure things out for the most part.
I’VE SEEN THAT HAPPEN WITH YOU GUYS A BIT SITTING IN ON A FEW SESSIONS. IS THAT WHERE THOSE MORE INTRICATE PARTS STEM FROM?
M: I’d say yeah for the most part. More of a form of inspiration for me, especially when I’m in a bit of a rut with writing. It’s the inspiration that fuels it.
WITH THESE SINGLES ON THE WAY OUT, WHAT CAN FIRST TIME LISTENERS EXPECT?
N: We’re really focused on rounding out the edges from these singles, granted that once we were recording we got booked for a slew of shows. This kinda put us in a bunch. On top of that Issac, our producer, had his own album to put out. But they’re honestly full of energy and a good sample for some of what’s to come.
HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE INTO A LIVE SOUND?
M: We really focus on having fun and having a good time.
BRANDON: Yeah it really goes back to us being best friends, we just keep that same energy from the studio to when we’re on stage.
M: Our worst sets have been when we didn’t go into it with the mentality of having a great time. Our best really comes through when we focus on that.
BACK TO TALKING ABOUT CREATIVE SLUMPS - HOW DO YOU WORK THROUGH THOSE AND HAVE SOME OF YOUR BETTER SONGS COME OUT OF THEM?
M: It really comes from stepping away and then coming back to it.
N: For sure, as a whole if we’re feeling this sense or this air of tension and frustration we’ll just call it a night. Let’s not force it.
M: Usually I’ll set up the song and then come back to it.
SO IS THIS MOVING THE SOUND TO SOMETHING MORE SOLID?
BAILEY: We’re a lot more tight and in lock with each other, we’re a lot more dynamic because we know when to let someone like Brandon come in and fill in that space with his incredible playing.
N: The way we make songs now is so much different. We’ve changed up our formula, I’d say it’s some of our better work.
WHERE CAN WE FIND Y’ALL NEXT?
M: We’ve got some shows around town at Betty’s Grill and hopefully we’ll have some of those singles for ya!.