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Live Chicago Music Does Sound!

Mandy Z & Rural Route One


Band Interview Questions
#1. : What type of band are you?~

Rockin’ Country – Originals & Covers- some with an RR1 twist J

#2. : Tell us the brief history of your band.~

The band started 4 years ago with Mandy & drummer Bob Lindsley. Over the last 2 ½ years, we’ve integrated our original material, all of which has it’s own unique sound – each song is different- from Rockabilly to swampy country blues, to sweet country ballads. In 2011, we won our first contest, Rock The Ark through FM 106.1 Milwaukee Country. 2012 has been an amazing year to us. We’ve been Texaco Country Showdown Finalists through FM106.1 Milwaukee Country, along with one of our originals, “Drinkin’ Song” placing 4th Nationally in the Texaco Country Showdown Songwriting Competition. Some other accomplishments this year are:
*2012- November- We’ve made our debut on the Nashville Honky Tonk Circuit playing Tootsies Orchid Lounge, Honky Tonk Central, & Mandy was a featured writer at Hotel Indigo in Nashville.
*2012- August & September- “Honky Tonk Heart” is featured on Nashville Radio FM 107.1 Spotlight on Songwriters Segment

*2012- September- Mandy Z & Rural Route One voted one of the Top 25 Artists on Digital Rodeo’s “Next Country Star” Competition

#3. : Who are your musical and non-musical influences?~

There are so many! Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Hank Jr., Waylon Jennings, to Asleep At The Wheel, The Mavericks, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert… and so many more!

#4. : What are your dreams and goals?~

The same as most singer/songwriters and bands. We’ve been very fortunate to have come as far as we have with our music. One of our dreams/goals came true being invited to play on the stage at Tootsies & Honky Tonk Central. Another is to have our music out there; so many have given us feedback that they’ve listened to “Not A Love Song” and it sure hits home for them or inspires them. We are currently working to get on our own tour to promote our music. It would be amazing for someone to hear us & a deal to unfold and be able to play music & write songs as our full time career.

#5. : Who writes the songs, what are they about?~

Mandy is the primary songwriter for the songs you hear right now. However, “Drinkin’ Song” was co-written with a fellow local musician, Jim Billmeier. The awesome thing is that Mandy will write the lyrics, melody, and progression, explain the concept, feel, & idea to the guys, and then they all work together to create the final product with each of the guys putting their sound and feel into the initial “skeleton” of the song. Currently, Mandy and the guys are working on some new material that each member has taken part in writing.
What are the songs about is a loaded question… LOL Each one is entirely different, but a common theme is that non of them are romantic love songs. It’s a running joke actually in our group. The exciting thing is, you’re all going to hear some of that coming in the near future.

#6. : What’s your opinion of Politics?~

Hank Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, & Reba McEntire should’ve all ran for office…

#7. : How do you promote your band and shows?~

We utilize and exhaust a lot of online resources- some include eventful, reverbnation, sonicbids, Facebook, mailing lists and many more. We also put a lot of time into posters- not just at venues, but posted around the area near the venue we are playing, schedule cards at our shows, newspapers, and other resources and tools that are out there available.

#8. : Describe your show, visual and musically~

We don’t have fog machines or light shows, but what we do have is a professional stage set up, 3 and sometimes 4 part harmonies, we are energetic and dance with the crowd, everyone who has a birthday can expect to get a little something from the band. We love involving the crowd in the show- we even put together the “RR1 Percussion Section” with members of the audience on a song or two. J
Bart & Hutch, our two guitarists each have a unique and different sound. Bart brings the rock feel, while Hutch brings the more “classic clean” feel on guitar. They do an awesome job at feeding off of each other for leads.
We have dynamics with the music and vocals. We don’t plow through any song and we put our own arrangements to a lot of the covers, for example, Your Cheatin’ Heart, Honky Tonk Blues, and some others, will sound just a little different than the original.

#9. : What do you think about downloading music online?~

It’s no different than when Tapes came about after Records, then Cds were the way to buy music, now we are headed into 2013 and music downloads is the latest. I think with today’s technology, downloading music gives artists a new way to reach people. We are now in an “online” world and you can discover music in so many different ways.

#10. : What’s your outlook on the record industry today?~

Everyone plays, everyone sings. The record industry is a business to sell a product. Just like any other type of business, you have to have a product and marketing strategy. The online world we live in has allowed artists who may not “be in the right place at the right time” in front of that record industry professional, to potentially reach them.
#11. : What’s your claim to fame?~

One of the biggest things we take pride in is that we are unique, dynamic, and entertaining. We’ve been a solid line up and have grown through the years as a band. Each of our original songs has a different sense, feel, and style to it. From Rockabilly Country to Swampy Country Blues, to a Sweet Ballad, each song is different. Bob Lindsley drives the band keeping the solid strong beat on the drums, along with supporting vocals, while Jim Roxworthy stays locked in on the low end on Bass. Bart Alonzo & Patrick “Hutch” Hutchins are on vocals & guitar, both taking leads & rhythm. Bart’s style brings the “rock” feel to the songs, while Hutch has his signature clean tones and chicken pickin’ riffs. Singer/Songwriter Mandy Z fronts the band on vocals and rhythm guitar bringing the audience into every show with her enthusiasm & excitement that has been described as contagious. She has a unique vocal style and puts her heart & sould into every lyric of the songs.

#12. : Tell us a story about a day in your life.~

3 of us work full time jobs. A lot of the time, we are working 70 hours a week at our full time job, that includes travel out of town. When we are not there we are heading to rehearsals, writing, marketing, promoting, booking, and even doing radio interviews during our off time from our full time job. For the 2 others, they are constantly working on the same things for the band, along with researching sound equipment, venues, writing, and promoting.

#13. : What inspires you to do what you do?~

Love and Passion for music and entertaining. We’ve all been doing this as long as we can remember. Some grow up wanting to be fire fighters, teachers, doctors… we grew up wanting to entertain, make music, give people an outlet to let loose and have fun, and reach them through the messages and stories told in our songs.

#14. : What advice would you give to fellow bands?~

Keep on rockin’ & spreadin’ the music love! On a more serious note, if you want something, go for it. There is a lot of disappointment and it isn’t easy, but at the same time, there is a lot of happiness and success. Everything happens for a reason. Always strive to be better than your last show, your last song written, and always look for new ideas. Support your peers in the business and help each other out. Without artists and local musicians, there would be no national acts, no record labels, no local cover bands.

#15. :What are some of your pet peeves?~

Poor or Inaccurate marketing and lack of understanding that a band is a business. If you are a band striving to get out there, you have to push forward. No one will know about your music if you don’t start to get the word out yourself. At the same time, if you are a venue hosting a band, market the band is going to be there- put the name of the band on the Marquee- not just “Live Music“, hang posters, promote on social networks. It is a partnership between two businesses- the band and the venue.
Venues not honoring previous booked dates just because of a change in ownership or booking personell. When this happens, a band is out of business for the night, but the venues doors are still open. Just as the venue has customers, or a business advertises a sale or special, Fans of the band are our customers. They show up to the venue expecting to see the band there because they have a schedule they picked up at a show or festival a couple months back- get there and the band isn’t there. It is a disappointment to the bands fans… our customers.

#16. : How does music affect you and the world around you?~

Music is everywhere. It effects our moods, emotions, our day to day lives.

#17. : What’s new in the recording of your music?~

We are hoping to get into the studio in 2013 and begin laying down tracks on some new original songs, so stay tuned.

#18. : What are the biggest obstacles for bands?~

Overcoming the perception that all bands are the same and having to push through to prove that you do have a quality sound and product. Another major obstacle is today’s economy and unemployment rate. If people are out of work, they aren’t going to go out as much to live shows, they aren’t going to spend a lot of money at the venue, which ultimately cuts into the bands pay and re-booking.

#19. : What’s the best and worst thing about playing clubs?~

Best thing is that you are a part of someone’s good time on their night out- we are entertaining and getting our music out there for people to hear… worst thing is the load in and set up… for example, a normal “gig day” is a 9 hour day. If we play from 9pm-1am, we haul equipment, set up beginning at 6pm or 7pm and after the show, take it all down and don’t walk out until at least 2am or after… this most of the time being after working a 9 hour day at our full time job. But we do what we love and love what we do!!
#20. : Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.~

We have a full schedule and will be ending the year with our 97th show of 2012 at Mavericks in Mundelein on New Years Eve. We have another big year in the works for the band. You should be there because you’re going to have a great time, you’ll be introduced to some new music you haven’t heard before, and you’ll be entertained!