Six Questions With The Noise FMSix Questions With The Noise FM

Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.

Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.

We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.

Next in the hot seat is Kansas-based indie rock band The Noise FM. We’ve not covered The Noise FM in the past, so we are new to their music! If you’re not familiar with The Noise FM, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.

For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?

The Noise FM formed in Lawrence, Kansas where my brother Austin (drummer, vocals) and a couple of us were attending college at Kansas University. I actually didn’t attend KU, but I’d walk around campus some afternoons pretending to be interested in joining various clubs so that I could score a free lunch. The Noise FM began on a whim with a couple other guys whose previous band had just broken up. We only ever meant to play a couple of shows, just for fun. Now it’s years later, we’ve relocated to Chicago, undergone several line-up changes, and we’ve turned what was once intended to be a fun little project into a “real” band. We play rock music. Rock music with danceable beats, some electronic flourishes, and catchy melodies.

As an artist, how do you define success?

As I’ve gotten older and seen so many bands come and go, and so many of our peers in the music industry experience amazing successes followed by disappointing setbacks, my definition of success continues to change. I think at one point when I was younger I thought “success” meant I’d be rich, my songs would be on the radio, and our concerts would be sold-out every night. Now I think I’m successful if we make enough money on tour to pay for gas and the van transmission doesn’t go out.

Financially, success would be making just enough money that we could spend more of our time focusing on writing, recording, and touring, and not constantly worrying about how I’m going to pay rent at the end of the month or afford cat food for my two cats (Jpeg and Newt). Creatively, success is writing and performing a song that resonates with a crowd. Seeing people in an audience sing along to lyrics we’ve written because our words and music mean something to them is a surreal, gratifying, humbling experience, and in that regard we’ve already had at least some measure of success.

What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?

I think it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway!) that we’re in a peculiar time for the music business where there doesn’t seem to be one defined path to “success” when maybe in the past it was a little more clear cut. There are so many musical outlets now, so many ways for people to discover bands, and quite frankly, so many damn bands because new technology has made it easier for anyone to start a band and make a record, combined with an industry mindset that often emphasizes the importance of catchy singles over albums, that there’s really no right or wrong way to go about being a band. But because of all of these different variables our greatest struggle is figuring out where to focus our energy in the hopes of getting our music heard by the most people. It doesn’t help that we’re easily distracted. We should probably spend more time writing music, but all those Seinfeld DVDs aren’t going to watch themselves.

If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be? 

I don’t think we’ve written the ONE song I would play for the rest of our career just yet, but as of today, I might say it would be a newer tune called “Distant Lover.” It’s a song where the music, melody and lyrics have all come together really nicely, and the lyrics express a more personal side that I don’t typically reveal.

Who do you consider your greatest influences?

Oh boy, so many influences…. Trent Reznor, Bowie, David Byrne, comic books (X-Men and Wolverine, specifically), the TV show Lost…. but it all starts with my dad. He’s a cool dude who has been ridiculously supportive of my brother and me. He’s an old school rocker himself who’s played in bands all his life and introduced us to so many artists while we were growing up. Petty, Springsteen, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, CCR, Bowie, The Beatles — dad cranked them all on his stereo. I have no doubt he’s living vicariously through us whenever we’re out on the road, even though I play guitar through a combo amp and he’s a Les Paul through a Marshall half stack kind of guy.

Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?

So much of the outside world and our extracurricular activities influence and seep into our music writing, even subconsciously. My brother and I are both freelance videographers and film buffs, so we tend to think very visually when we’re writing music, as in, thinking about how a song might “look.” We’re also avid readers of comic books, sci-fi novels, and big videogamers, so all of those interests work their way into our music in one way or another.

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Kelly Murphy
Owner, writer, and editor of Indie Minded; Social Media Marketing & Relationship Consulting via Indie Minded Media; Be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @IndieMurphy or @IndieMindedMedia