An Interview with
'Bryce Barnes' & 'Joe Monroe'
that took place on Fort Myers Beach, South West Florida on Saturday August 8th, 2014.
Interview by Glenn Milligan
Glenn: So anyway Bryce and Joey…
Glenn: I’ve known you guys an awful long time. You’ve been in various bands. You’ve had The Oysters, Electric Oysters, Tribal Tongue, you’ve had Edwin Dare and other bands as well. How did The Bakers come to be?
Joe: Well. (They both laugh). That’s how. By being synced up. Him and I are totally in sync. We are two lead vocalists and I decided it was time to create something like a power trio that was…
Bryce: And we can play instruments as well…
Joe: As well as frontmen.
Bryce: Well trumpet mostly (joking).
Joe: Bass, drums, keyboards, guitars – all those things. It was something that was ready to happen.
Bryce: It had to happen.
Joe: It had to happen. We had to get out. Right now, I mean, we’ve just been playing covers and hanging out on the beach which has been wonderful but it was time to do the project and get out there and be create, write some stuff and do something. Different – that’s what we wanna be. Something different.
Bryce: There you have it. There it is.
Glenn: So why do you call yourselves ‘The Bakers’?
Joe: Because you come in here and this is the oven. You’re in it right now. This is the oven. They can’t see the computers and stuff right here but…
Bryce: Actually another story that goes along with that is Bob Freed.
Bryce: Bob Alan Freed, Bob Alan Freed. He was at The Whale one night and he comes up to the stage and he says, “Man you guys are really cooking tonight”. I said, “Well like a bunch of bakers”, and he goes, “That’s it – that’s the name of the band – The Bakers!”.
Joe: And there you go. You now know the nephew of Alan Freed coined it.
Bryce: The guy who coined the phrase ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll - Alan Freed – the first guy in ‘The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’ – the first!
Joe: His nephew.
Glenn: Where did the concept for this album come from?
Joe: Well just to do whatever we like. Not try to sound like anybody that’s out there, try to be mainstream or anything like that. Do something that we enjoy, that we think is good and then I think everyone else will think it’s good as well.
Bryce: That’s the whole truth.
Joe And do something a little bit different. We’ll make it interesting. Change it up in the middle. Maybe.. it doesn’t always have to be lyric chorus lyric chorus and so on… Let’s mix it up. Let’s get interesting. Do something like that.
Bryce: Let’s do that. We already have Glenn.
Glenn: So what were the first songs that you put forward for the project and how was it for you writing songs again?
Bryce: Well we decided that playing covers in the clubs and stuff just wasn’t really getting it that much. For our souls (Joe laughs). You know deep inside the soul. It wasn’t hapnin’. So we kinda just put that aside and decided that we should write music and get back to the roots of what musicians really are. Musicians are creators.
Joe: What was the first one? ‘Scottish Riff’?
Bryce: ‘Scottish Riff’ I believe.
Joe: We came up with a couple of firecrackers right off the bat and after that, that’s all we did. We’re in here 24/7.
Glenn: So it flows really well. What songs would you say flow best and what songs mean the most to you and why?
Joe: Jesus. Man I could answer that in a very short amount of time. Whatever song I am listening to is my favourite at that moment. It really is. They’re all just little children that are ours. That sounds so phony… (they laugh)
Glenn: So many people say that.
Joe: But I can’t pick a favourite, I can’t. They’re all just special in their own right.
Glenn: So if you could like look back at some of the outfits as in bands you’ve been part of, what bands would you say have had the most influential thing on this project right now which is gonna be a major big band hopefully.
Bryce: Well for me, Edwin Dare was the one.
Joe: Edwin Dare – Jeff Kollman, Tommy Kollman, Kevin Chown.
Bryce: That’s what turned me onto writing.
Joe: For me it was TT Strip and Engine Joe. But Tribal Tongue was really nice. That was a great experience.
Bryce: Yeah that was a good one.
Joe: It was a different style of music for me that I wasn’t used to but I adapted and it kind of made me stretch as an artist which was cool.
Glenn: Yes the reason I asked that question is because that is what I am hearing. I’ve not heard a lot of your old bands (to Joe) but I’ve heard a lot of Bryce’s old band and this is what I’m hearing. I’m hearing the vocal style, the musical style… I mean the Tribal Tongue in the Southern Rock Blues that comes on in some of the songs and especially the Edwin Dare sort of stuff. You can never escape that and I wouldn’t want you to escape that especially the fans in Japan and Europe – they still love Edwin Dare. You go onto e-bay and such like and you’ll often find like Edwin Dare CD’s going for stupid prices.
Bryce: Really? Really?
Glenn: So you’re missing out on the market.
Bryce: I can’t even buy it.
Glenn: Over there it’s big.
Bryce: I can’t even afford my own sh*t!
(We all laugh)
Glenn: Of course Marmaduke Records have re-released a few.
Bryce: Yeah. Great.
Glenn: So where do you expect this gig to go to?
Bryce: Well I expect by the end of the month I should have a brand new home and car…
Bryce: …and I will steal it from someone.
Joe: I expect it to go to i-tunes and every other internet access for music that you can possibly imagine. We’ll be there. The Bakers will be there and hopefully in stores soon.
Joe: This CD should be finished mid to late September.
Glenn: So what are you calling the album?
Joe: Just ‘The Bakers’ – Self-titled. We did have another name but we decided against it. We were going to call it ‘Bakers Dozen’ because we were gonna have 13 songs but now we have like 17. (We all laugh). So we put that in the bin and now just its gonna be… actually I think we are gonna change it to just ‘Bakers’.
Glenn: There’s so many bands out there. In your style of band you’ve got a blues style, you’ve got a prog rock style, you’ve got melodic rock, you’ve got old-school 70’s rock – there’s allsorts there.
Joe: I’m glad you got to hear some of it.
Glenn: Yeah. But how would you distinguish your style of your band and what makes you different from other bands out there that are pushing and making right now or not making it right now?
Bryce: Well I think that it’s just the fact that we’re putting together the ideas into our songs from all the wide ranges of music we’ve always heard. We’re putting that into our mix of ‘The Bakers’ – we’re baking and mixing it up.
Joe: Yeah all the great ingredients. It’s everything that you’ve heard throughout your life.
Bryce: That’s what we are made of.
Joe: If you love music and like different styles… everyone wants to pigeon-hole and be just one way and I don’t think that that’s very broad-minded. I think as a band we wanna play all different types of stuff. I like to play all different types of instruments. I like to play all different styles of music.
Glenn: Your songs there that you played me. I know people will get to hear them one day – I assure you.
Bryce: I hope so.
Glenn: How long did some of these songs take to put together and form into a completed composition that you guys are happy with?
Joe: It took longer than it should have.
Bryce: Well I’ll tell you what, some took minutes – some took months. Some of our song came together just like that. Just like a natural thing. It was meant to be and other ones were like, “Oh my god, should we trash this?”
Glenn: Such as?
Bryce: Well there was one called ‘In Sight’ that we’re gonna bring back and we’ve just talked about bringing one back called ‘Groover’ or ‘Driver’.
Joe: We haven’t got the name of it yet but we’ll figure it out later.
Bryce: You know when you think you’re done with a project, you don’t wanna be done because half the fun is creating the thing.
Joe: I love that part.
Glenn: Because you’re creators?
Joe: But this project did take a little bit longer than it should have because there was a lot of personal tragedies along the way and we don’t wanna talk about that but just everything got put on hold and we got back to it and had to put it on hold and that fact that one of our computers crashed and we lost six songs and that took us… oh quite a few months… we had to start again… all those songs. So it’s been a…
Bryce: Uphill battle.
Bryce: It’s been a long and winding road – ahhh.
Glenn: So if you had a chance to support someone to get your name around, who would be the best people that you’d like to support that could do the most for your music and have the audience that’s gonna be right and will be there that’s gonna latch onto your music?
Joe: I have no idea. If you know that answer to that then we’ll be ready to hear.
Bryce: I’d like to warm us up. Actually we do. Oh man. God I wonder.
Joe: We’d be hoping you could tell us that.
Glenn: To me it’s got to be a band like Queensyche or Geoff Tate’s ‘Operation Mindcrime or someone like that.
Glenn: The thing is, is that you’ve got so much going on there. You can’t pigeonhole to a certain style.
Joe: That’s just the scary part.
Bryce: Let’s just say anyone. (Joe laughs). We’ll play anywhere for anyone for any price.
Glenn: What countries would mean the most to you two playing and blowing up in?
Joe: Oh god, I’d love to come over to your side. Yeah. I really would. I’d love to do that. It would be my first time. I’m a Europe virgin. We’d love to play all over the States again though because I had the best time going all over the United States because the people… talk about variety.
Bryce: Look at us. Hahahaha.
Glenn: What parts of the States would you like to play if you got the chance? Anywhere?
Joe: Yes. All of it. I think that we’d probably do really well in the lower coastal areas. California and go across the top and right back down the east coast. We’d do the circle of the whole place.
Bryce: I’d like to go to Taiwan.
Glenn: When all’s said, places like Japan – there’s a big market for you guys.
Bryce: Is there?
Glenn: Or Germany. Alright then, what’s going on the cover for this album and where did the idea for the cover come from?
Joe: The cover’s gonna have our faces in smoke. The three of us. The idea came from me being in college.
Bryce: We should have this as a logo for the band. It’ll be on fire and in the smoke from that burning logo which is actually our souls and hearts throughout life. We’ll be coming up through this smoke and you will see our faces kinda gleaming in the actual smoke.
Joe: But they’re made out of smoke – that’s the cover.
Bryce: So if that happens it’s gonna be great.
Joe: All we gotta do is get an artist now.
Glenn: What would you say you’ve learnt most throughout this whole project?
Joe: Not to use two machines.
Glenn: Now here’s a comedy question for you – The Beatles always had a song for Ringo – Where’s Scotty’s song?
Joe: Oh funny you should mention that. That’s a big thing because Scotty’s every bit of a lead singer as we are and that’s why I had to get him. I had to have him as our drummer.
Joe: We had to have him as our drummer because he sings like a bird. He’s just a wonderful singer. He’s got a high voice. But he was going through some personal stuff during the writing and all of that and didn’t really get into the writing part much.
Bryce: And his dance classes were in the way.
Joe: His ballet class.
Glenn: In a tutu?
Joe: There’ll be stuff coming from him. If not on this record, the next one because we’re still two left to go with vocals and he may be singing one or both.
Glenn: So for a final question to Joe and Bryce from The Bakers, what would you like to say to all the people that are reading this out there? What’s your word to them?
Bryce: My word is to just dig it and fall asleep and that’s about it.
Joe: My word is make sure you got and hour of time, nice lighting, strap the headphones on and go for a ride for a minute. That’s what I would say.
Glenn: I’d call that a wrap fellas. That’s great. Cheers.
Joe: Cheers to you man. Cheers.
Glenn: That’s great.
Thanks for that guys. We look forward to The Bakers album firing out our speakers!