January 2015 “Band of the Month” – YOU WON’T
Started in January of 2012, the “Band of the Month” feature has allowed The Blue Indian a unique opportunity to share some of our favorite bands with our readers. As we move into our fourth year of the feature, we’re eager to continue showcasing some of the best and brightest bands around. Thanks for the continued support!
I knew that I was hooked after watching the video for “Who Knew”, the second single from Skeptic Goodbye, the debut album from Massachusett-based duo YOU WON’T. I played back the video, called a friend into the room, and wound up sitting there and listening to the entire album. The album was released in 2012, a year before they would go on tour with The Lumineers, and would receive immense praise from SPIN, KEXP, and the like..With new music on the way, 2015 is bound to be the year that You Won’t make their way into your life. Enjoy our interview with singer/songwriter Josh Arnoudse and make plans to see You Won’t this year.
As 2014 winds down, what do your find yourself being thankful for and what are you looking forward about the coming year?
Thankful for donut muffins, looking forward to never eating them again.
How did the two of you meet and what led to eventually playing music together? What do you remember about your very first show?
We met as pretentious theater children in an affluent Boston suburb of great historical import. We spent several years talking about starting a band before we finally got around to it. Our first show was at a dive bar in Cambridge, MA which has since been replaced by a gleaming luxury condo complex.Our SECOND show was more memorable. It was at a Karaoke bar, everyone hated us, and an old man in a pinstripe suit and bowler hat offered me cocaine whilst twirling a golden cane. All true.
Streaming services and the “return” of vinyl were two topics that dominated conversation in the music industry this past year; Any comments/thoughts on either?
Streaming just seems like the natural evolution of music in the digital realm. It makes sense. I do it all the time. I’m a streamer. It would be nice if they figured out a way to offer artists some semblance of reasonable compensation for their work, but I’m not counting on it.
Another article that made headlines was from Jack Conte of the band Pomplamoose detailing the financial side of touring and how despite selling thousands of tickets and merchandise, the band still lost money. If you read it, any thoughts on it? I would imagine as a two-piece, you both are very involved with the business side of things for the band, even now that you’re working with an agent, legal, etc..
Maybe those guys could have been a little more judicious with their spending, but it’s a legitimate point. You can make decent money touring if you have a real fanbase, but the expenses pile up fast, especially if your production includes anything beyond the typical club rock show. We’ve learned a lot about the business side of things over the past few years. It’s not fun, it’s not sexy, it’s not romantic, but if you want music to be anything beyond a hobby you have to grapple with it.
Does the format of the band ever pose any difficulties (who’s driving, interviews, recording… just a few things that came to mind) or is it something you both are very comfortable with? I can think of plenty of benefits..
You mean since there’s just two of us? Long drives are probably the biggest challenge, especially since I tend to nod off after 45 mins or so at the wheel. Having a tour manager makes a big difference in that respect.
I was delighted to see you all toured with Bombadil, another band we’ve featured in this series… Amazing people making amazing music. How did you get to know them?
We discovered Bombadil in 2011 whilst scouring the desolate terrain of MySpace, looking for a band to play with in North Carolina on our first tour. Their music moved us and shook our souls. They couldn’t play the show and when we finally got down there, exactly four people attended. One was the bartender, one was the bartender’s boyfriend, and the other two were Daniel and Bryan from Bombadil. We’ve been friends and comrades ever since.
What have you been reading/listening to recently? Any recommendations?
Listening to The Suitcase Junket, one-man band out of Amherst, Massachusetts. Reading Amy Poehler’s memoir.
What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learned this past year, whether personally or professionally?
Trust yer gut.
You Won’t – Audiotree Session