SITR decided to do an interview with a band of the folk-rock genre that features one of our very own, a fellow Penn State student, Brian Kilkelly. We can even call this our weekly in/outsource to some extent.
The Crooked Oaks: We are a rock n roll band from Hanover, Pennsylvania, located on the outskirts of Gettysburg. Our sound draws influence from a wide variety of music, from late 60s folk rock to the modern day sounds of alt-country. As a group, the four of us try to keep the emphasis on the song, stressing melody, harmony, and musicianship. Our songs are written, not by one of us, but by all of us. We are hoping to share these songs with a wider audience. Ben plays the drums, harmonica, and sings harmonies. Brian plays the guitar, bass, and sings lead vocals. Charlie plays the bass, guitar, and sings harmonies. Tom plays lead guitar, and sings harmonies.
SITR: What is the meaning of the your band name and how did it start?
We struggled to find a band name for the longest time. It simply became a question of not hating the name. One day Tom (guitarist), came in and proposed ‘The Crooked Oaks.’ I have an affinity for bands with ‘The’ in their name, so I liked it. Charlie (bass & guitar) liked the ‘crooked,’ part, and Ben (drummer) loves nature and liked the oaks part of the name so it stuck.
SITR: Do you have any exciting news, goals, and/or accomplishments?
We recorded a 5 song EP in August. You can listen to the songs on Facebook, Soundcloud, and Reverbnation. We are getting the songs available for digital download soon. We love to play live and we have played some shows in our area of PA, Gettysburg and Hanover. We also went to Vermont for a gig in early September.
SITR: What has been the biggest inspiration for your band?
Our family and friends are the biggest influence. Well, them and Neil Young.
SITR: What would you say is the craziest thing you’ve seen on the road?
We played in Vermont right after Irene hit. Vermont actually suffered a lot of flooding due to the rainfall the storm brought, and as we were driving through we saw washed out bridges and roads, it was wild. Then on the way to the venue, we were following these directions we were given, and we ended up on a road that wasn’t a road at all, just rocks and stuff, so that was an adventure.
SITR: If you had any real advice for any amateur musician what would it be?
I don’t know if we’re in any position to give advice, but we try to stay positive, to keep writing songs, and remember that playing music is supposed to be fun.
SITR: What lies in the future for your band?
We are trying to record again soon, and play more shows both in our hometown and in the different place in PA were we all go to school, (York, Philly, Lancaster, and State College). We would love to play other places on the East Coast as well and then see where it goes. It would be incredible to play music for a living.
SITR: Is there anything else you guys would like to say or make a shout-out about?
Not much other than to shamelessly plug our web presence, you can check us out on Facebook, and get in touch with us through the email listed on that site. We are always open to places to play, and other opportunities. Thanks to all our families, friends, and fans. And finally, we would like to say thanks to everyone at State in the Real, you all do great work. Thanks!