Evergreen Opening Act

Acid Tongue

Photo By: Stephanie-Severance

Artist: Acid Tongue

Latest Release: Bullies (Freakout Records)

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Members: Guy Keltner/Ian Cunningham

TrunkSpace: The band is set to drop its latest album, Bullies, on March 13. What emotions do you juggle with as you prepare to release new music to the masses, particularly with something like this album, which is said to be the start of a new “polished” direction for the band?
Keltner: There’s a lot of relief associated with releasing this album. We started recording it before we had even finished our debut LP, Babies. It took about 18 months to finally pin down the last of the sessions, since they were all broken up between tours. We cut different pieces of it in Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles. Then we sat on it for a while so we could figure out the best way to release it. It’s a step up from anything we’ve done before, sonically, so we didn’t want to rush this one out like we have done with past releases.

TrunkSpace: You guys have been at it – writing, recording and touring – together since 2015. We mentioned the new direction for the band, but for you guys, what has the creative journey been like? What did your creative POV look like back in 2015 when it all began to where you are today on the eve of releasing Bullies? Do you see the music you’re creating differently now than you did then?
Keltner: We’re in a completely different headspace these days. Back in 2015 I was leaving my job working for a pretty large night club & festival in Seattle. My life here was in a tailspin so a lot of those early songs are really dark, the sessions were chaotic, and our live shows were all over the map. Since then, I spent a few years in Brooklyn, lived in Paris for a year, and did a ton of touring all over the world with Ian (Cunningham) and various other band members we picked up along the way. We’ve polished our writing process, we work better in the studio together, and we learned how to function like a well-oiled machine on the road. We’ve done a lot of growing up the past five years.

TrunkSpace: No one knows your music better than you. With that said, where do you hear the biggest differences between your first EP and what makes up Bullies today?
Keltner: The message in my lyrics has changed substantially over time. Back when we started out, especially on our first two EPs, a lot of the content was inspired by my dreams, weird lucid nightmares I’d have, and some very autobiographical moments from my personal life. Since then we’ve tackled adolescence (on Babies) and the arc of a short-lived romance (The Night We Broke Our Lease). This new record, Bullies, is all about that period in your late 20s and early 30s where you figure out who you are, what you want, what you’re willing to put up with in life, and maybe try and figure out what it all means and where things are going.

TrunkSpace: If someone sat down and listened to Bullies front to back, what would they learn about you guys upon that first dive into the music?
Keltner: We know how to write a decent riff. And hopefully they find the lyrics interesting.

TrunkSpace: Outside of the music itself, what did you want to accomplish with the production on Bullies that perhaps you were unable to achieve on earlier releases? Did you achieve your vision for the album as a whole when you called wrap on the process?
Keltner: I’m honestly really bored with a lot of contemporary rock records, so our main goal was to do something unique and interesting. We’ve totally been the type of band to go lo-fi, bedroom, fuzzy pop record. But we’re kind of growing out of that and wanted to take a stab at really banging out a neat little opus. Adding some serious synth lines and string arrangements was the cherry on top – these are things we don’t have a ton of experience with but we knew we wanted to explore during production. I think Bullies went way beyond what we originally envisioned, in the best possible way. Things grew and matured through a really natural and organic process.

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the album?
Keltner: The title track started out so completely different from what you end up hearing. We had no clue where that song was headed, and one day it just clicked and became what it is now. We’re really proud of that one.

TrunkSpace: What do you get being in a band that you can’t achieve in a solo capacity? Does having another brain in the mix fuel your own creativity?
Keltner: Well, for one thing I think having Ian in the mix sets me up to focus on songwriting and my performance. I still stay deeply involved in our business, especially as it relates to my label, Freakout Records. However, Ian is really focused on our image, the graphics, the photos, the general branding of the band, and he’s a huge asset when we step into the production side of recording and start polishing up our songs. We have a nice relationship dividing up all the things a band needs to do to stay relevant, working and busy.

TrunkSpace: Are you more at home in the studio or on the stage, and if one feels more comfortable to you, why do you think that is?
Keltner: I go back and forth on this. I am always very comfortable on stage and in the studio, however there are drawbacks with both. I personally hate long drives and crappy food on the road. I used to love all the craziness, but after 30 you start to hate sleeping on couches and watching people party all night when you’re completely drained and exhausted. The studio can be a relaxing environment, but it can also be tedious and start to feel claustrophobic.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Keltner: We toured with the King Khan & BBQ Show last month. It was short, just three dates, but it was a ton of fun. My wife was their go-go dancer during their sets, and flew a friend up from LA to dance as well. They dressed up as sexy skunks and sprayed the crowd with water between their legs. Ian and I brought our buddy Ryan from Smokey Brights (a great act on Freakout), and had a killer time essentially partying every night with our friends. Literally nothing super special about this run of dates other than the fact that we’re really tight on stage right now, King Khan rules live, and I love traveling with my family and friends.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Keltner: Hell no. I love the surprises.

Bullies is due March 13 on Freakout Records. Their latest single, “Follow The Witch,” is available now.

read more

Jake Wesley Rogers


Artist/Band: Jake Wesley Rogers


Hometown: Springfield, MO

Latest Album/Release: Evergreen EP

Influences: Fleetwood Mac, Carole King, Adele, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel

TrunkSpace: How do you describe your music?
Rogers: I’d describe my music as a part of the spectrum of pop music, but on the low-key, darker and sadder side. I’m a big fan of writing songs with large dynamics and movement, and also ones that speak true to my story.

TrunkSpace: You moved to Nashville at age 18 to study songwriting at Belmont University. What have you learned as a songwriter outside of the classroom that you could have never uncovered in a formal setting?
Rogers: I feel really fortunate to have studied songwriting at Belmont. The program is set up in a way that encourages growth in individuals as well as working together as a songwriting community. It was really wild going from writing songs by myself for so long to moving to Nashville where co-writing and commercial songwriting is so prevalent. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my own is that not every song I’m going to write is going to be one that fulfills me as an artist and I have to be okay with that. I’ve also learned how vastly different songwriters can view writing songs – I tend to take each song so personally and get wrapped up in the introspection. But it’s easier for others to look at it much more objectively and linearly. I’m trying to find that balance.

TrunkSpace: You inked a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV while you were a freshman. What did that mean to you at that time in terms of justifying not only your abilities as a songwriter, but solidifying you within the Nashville scene, which, we would imagine is filled with seasoned guys and gals who may perceive newbies coming into the scene as competition?
Rogers: It was all so unexpected, for sure. I was just starting to get settled into school and Nashville. It was a goal of mine to have a publishing deal by the time I graduated, so getting one before then really felt like a dream. I think the best part of it all was that I found some people who believed in the music I was making. I really haven’t found much evidence here of people looking at others as competition. I honestly feel like people just like helping out other people here and let inspiration reign over jealousy.

TrunkSpace: As a songwriter, how do you decide what song is right for you as an artist, and what song might benefit from the skill set of another artist? Is it difficult to give a song up that you’ve put so much of yourself into?
Rogers: This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot as I try to find the right songs for my next project. I usually just know when a song is for me. It’s something where when I write it, I just want to listen to it a million times and sing it all day. If my reaction isn’t like that, then I know I probably won’t release the song. As far as giving up a song, that thought has never really bothered me. Carole King is one of my all time favorites and I love how she always had her own version of her songs she wrote for others. It’s like the best of both worlds.

TrunkSpace: What does your songwriting process look like? Can you walks us through how a song goes from core concept to completion?
Rogers: Songwriting is always so sporadic and spontaneous for me. Almost all the songs I’ve released started from a feeling of intense inspiration. From there, I either keep writing the song immediately, or if I’m busy with something else, I’ll record a voice memo of it and revisit it later either by myself or in a co-write. I usually finish most songs in one to two sessions. I tend to always write my song on piano first, and if it ends up being one I want to keep, then I’ll go in and produce it. Production doesn’t usually happen at the same time the song is happening.

TrunkSpace: Lyrically are you someone who likes to write from experience or do you take a more storyteller’s approach?
Rogers: I don’t really like writing songs that aren’t from some sort of personal experience. Once I realize I can’t relate to a song at all, it’s really hard for me to even finish it. With that said, I do love to embellish the truth.

TrunkSpace: What were your creative goals as an artist when you first set out to put together your EP “Evergreen” and did those goals change as you dove head first into the process?
Rogers: My initial goal of the “Evergreen” project was to put together the four songs I was most proud of after living in Nashville for a year. These songs all kinda represent the change I felt after moving to a new place. I knew I wanted to record this in a traditional “Nashville” way. On all of these tracks, we brought in studio musicians who played on all of the songs in one day. After that, I worked with a couple of different producers to arrange the rest of the tracks. I’m thankful because I think I ended up with an EP that fulfilled all of my expectations, and I do feel so proud of it.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist?
Rogers: I think I’m hardest on myself during the writing process. It’s been really difficult for me lately to be patient with the process of songwriting and creating music. So much of what I do depends on spontaneous intervention so it can be really frustrating to wait to find the songs I want to write. But I think I need to work on being more relaxed in the process and more curious with my creativity.

TrunkSpace: Totally unrelated to your music, but as a pop culture site we’d beat ourselves up if we didn’t ask this question. You’re from Ozark, Missouri. One of the hottest Netflix shows of last year was “Ozark.” Have you seen the series and if so, did they get the feel and vibe of the region down?
Rogers: (Laughter) Okay, so Ozark, Missouri isn’t actually in the Lake of the Ozarks, where the show is based, but I do have a lot of family near the Ozarks. I watched the first episode just because I feel like I had to. It wasn’t too far off actually, but I’m also really bad about watching shows so I don’t know if I’ll ever know how accurate it is. Lots to love about Missouri and lots to… not love.

TrunkSpace: What else can fans of Jake Wesley Rogers look forward to in 2018?
Rogers: New videos, new videos, new shows. I am so damn excited for this year.

read more
CBD Products