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Interview with The Noise FM

Back in 2014 at my first Middle of the Map, I saw this band called The Noise FM, they were not supposed to be playing at this time, but the original band couldn't make it so they were filling in. Their set was my favorite of the whole festival. I remember Alex coming out in the middle of the Riot Room floor to play in the crowd. It was such a fun show I couldn't wait to get to more shows of theirs. Since that first show, I've made it out to as many of their shows as possible.. I've only seen them get better over the years. I had the privilege of picking Alex's brain to learn more about The Noise FM and now I get to share the fun with y'all. Kimmy: Can you tell me how you came up with your name? The Noise FM: We didn’t have a name when we played our very first show, but we made a hell of a lot of noise, so we starting calling ourselves The Noise. Sometimes you just gotta grab that low-hanging fruit. By the time we got around to making Myspace page we discovered there were about 40 other bands already called The Noise. So we tacked an “FM” to the end of our name for no real reason. In hindsight we should have put a little more thought into our name because we get lots of music submissions from bands thinking The Noise FM is a radio station.

Kimmy: How long have you been playing as individuals? Together?

The Noise FM: Austin and I are brothers, and we emerged from the womb playing drums and guitar respectively. I don’t want to speak on Barry’s behalf, but I imagine it was a similar situation for him, only with a bass. Austin and I started officially playing together in middle school with a performance of Collective Soul’s smash hit “December” at the Fort Scott Kansas Middle School Talent Show. The three of us as The Noise FM started playing together about 4 years ago. Kimmy: How did you all meet? The Noise FM: Craigslist. Austin and I moved up to Chicago from Lawrence, Kansas. We were looking for someone whose biggest musical inspirations were Nine Inch Nails, Phil Collins, and the Mortal Kombat soundtrack, and Barry was the only Craigslist response we got.

Kimmy: The three of you don't all live in the same city. As a listener, I have found you sound better every show and can't tell you live in different states. How do you guys make it work? The Noise FM: Thanks for saying that! It takes a lot of effort on all of our parts to keep the magic going over long distance. Austin and I are in Chicago, but our label The Record Machine is in Kansas City, and that’s where Barry is living as well. So there’s lots of connections between both cities, and we’re always commuting back and forth. The commute will be easier once we get our private jet back from the mechanic. In the meantime we make sure everyone is well-rehearsed on their own so that when we get together for full band practices we’re ready to rock.

Kimmy:. What is your favorite part of being a band- Writing? Recording? Touring/Playing? Something else?

The Noise FM: I’m sure it varies for all of us, but I’m a touring guy. There’s nothing better than traveling in a filthy old van (like most bands, ours came used from a church youth group), sleeping on strangers’ floors, and struggling to find somewhere to shower, all while playing shows every night that may or may not have anyone in attendance. That sounds like I’m being sarcastic, but I really do enjoy the excitement of it all.

Kimmy: I've head y'all playing some new songs at shows. What is your creative process like? Are y'all working on a new record?

The Noise FM: Yeah, we’ve been playing a batch of new tunes at recent shows to gauge crowd response. That’s usually how we figure out what’s connecting with people or not. Our creative process is throwing a bunch of spaghetti noodles at the wall and seeing what sticks. And we think we’ve almost got enough noodles ready to make a lasagna. So prepare yourself for huge meal soon. What was the question again?

Kimmy: Do you have a favorite band memory you could share or are there any shows you look forward to playing every year?

The Noise FM: Some of our favorite memories have been at our annual Noise For Toys benefit concert we host in Chicago and Kansas City every year. It’s a benefit for Toys For Tots and we go all out every year decorating venues with Christmas decorations, learning a bunch of Christmas songs, and encouraging everyone to dress up in ugly sweaters and donate toys. I don’t know that it’s my favorite memory, but last year one of the little guys from One Direction ended up at our Chicago Noise For Toys show and started buying shots for everyone who was there. Seemed like a cool dude.

Kimmy: What musicians/bands inspire you? What albums do y'all have stuck on repeat these days?

The Noise FM: Our biggest inspirations are probably Nine Inch Nails, Phil Collins, and the Mortal Kombat soundtrack. Currently I’ve got Operators’ ”Blue Wave,” Wild Beasts’ “Boy King”, and a song by Bad Sounds called “Avalanche” on repeat.

The Noise FM has some shows coming up so go give them a listen! You can listen on Friday at the recordBar: You can also check them out at the Plaza Art Fair on Sunday the 25th from 3:00 to 3:45 at the Ink Magazine's Live Music Stage. Further out they have some shows in December. it will be their annual Noise For Toys benefit concerts in Chicago on December 1 at Lincoln Hall and on December 10 at the recordBar in Kansas City.

Posted 21st September 2016 by Kimmy

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