Tomorrow, Thursday Jan. 26th, marks the date of the annual Songwriters Club Two Day Benefit Concert for THON! If you love original music, and don’t mind shelling a couple bucks to help a great cause, you don’t want to miss this. One 8$ ticket gets you access to 2 concerts, and entertainment from over 10 different acts! The first concert is tomorrow night, on campus at 105 Forum and will include acts such as Brethren, The Wondershop Showdown, and Free Rollercoaster! The second concert, on Friday Jan 27nth, is a night full of acoustic performances in the attic of the State Theater. There, you will be serenaded by notable PSU performers such as Annelise Gaus, Brian Kilkelly, Topher Stephenson, Seagulls, a group of PSU alumni.
Any and all information about the concert can be found here.
SITR: How did Free Roller Coaster get started? What is your involvement with the Penn State Songwriters Club?
Miles: Free Rollercoaster started back in March of 2010 with just Blake, Ricky, and DJ. They started out as a cover band, but in December when I (Miles) was added, we began to integrate in originals. From there we took off, and now we are playing mostly originals. When it comes to the Songwriters Club, two of our members (myself and Ricky) were already heavily involved in the club. Whenever we heard of shows we would try to pick them up and play them, giving us experience and honing our sound.
SITR; How did you decide on the name?
Miles: When posed with this question I always ask the question back, “What’s better than a roller coaster that’s free?”
SITR: PSU isn’t very well known for its folk music, what made you guys go in that direction?/ What do you think of Penn States music Scene?
Miles: There are probably three main things that took us in that direction. One would be our music taste. The second would be our instrumentation; it’s a sight to see if you haven’t before! Lastly, would be Blake’s writing style. He writes all the lyrics himself and the basic structure of the song. From there we all add our own touch to the song, make suggestions, and collaborate till we have a finished product. Personally, I think that the Penn States music scene is mediocre. It has it’s place around town if you are looking for it, decent amounts of media attention, but I think it’s dwarfed by the “college town” experience and frankly doesn’t get as much attention from the student body as it should. We need more original music!!!
SITR: What would you say are your biggest influences regarding your music?
Miles: The Decemberists, Guster, Pearl and the Beard, Fleet Foxes
SITR: Try to sell us on your upcoming show, what can we expect from you guys at the Songwriters Club Benefit Show For THON?
Miles: Haha I like this question. What you can expect from us: Thirteen instruments, two new songs for our six song set-list, all original music, and over all, a sound that I’m sure most people in State college haven’t heard before. We’re a lot of fun, and a laid back group. We sound like… A FOLK EXPLOSION.
SITR: What does Free Roller Coaster have planned for 2012?
Miles: Well we take what we can get but we are going to try out for Movin-On and the Art’s Crawl. So hopefully you can check us out there!
SITR: What would you tell a PSU musician who was thinking about joining the Songwriters Club?
Miles: It’s a great way to network, gain experience, get feedback, get started, and make friends with a great group who share your interests too! There is nothing like knowing your audience before the show!
SITR: Any other advice for PSU musicians?
Miles: Writing music takes practice. I’m a junior now and I’ve been writing music for three years and playing it for twelve. If you only play covers now is the chance for you to try something different. Writing is a journey. You learn so much about yourself and can express yourself in ways you couldn’t imagine before. Who knows, you might even listen to one type of genre and play a whole different type of genre. It’s your time, your place, your chance, your story. Put down the cover and tell us who you are.
There you have it. Come to the show tomorrow; hear a folk explosion. See you there!
Check out Free Rollercoaster’s Facebook and their new demo Here