Estuarie talks dealing with hardship and the Floodgate EP

Graham Peeples and Nick Ilderton make up the band Estuarie—an indie rock band from Greenville, South Carolina with a lot of heart and a lot of promise. They released their debut record Floodgate EP last week and were happy to speak with me about it. 

Andrew: Tell me about your band. How did you guys meet and what made you choose the name ‘Estuarie’?

Estuarie: We met going to school together at The Fine Arts Center in Greenville, both of us studying jazz. We started playing together a lot at school and eventually played in a few bands together before officially starting up Estuarie. The inspiration for the name comes largely from the definition of the word (estuary) - meaning a coming together of two bodies of water. We are both in very different parts of our lives, and the whole project has been a coming together of a lot of different concepts and ideas we both have been working on as individuals in the past.

Andrew: Your songs are very obviously heartfelt, is there a central message you’re really trying to get across to your audience?

Estuarie: There are definitely recurring themes throughout all of the songs on this EP. While that wasn’t intentional at first, it really helped sum up everything I (Graham) have been through and have learned over the past couple of years. The main themes that shine through each song are ones of finding clarity and light in hardship and depression, and learning that it is okay to not be okay. I think the track that really sends that message most clearly is “Hear Me Now”. The song talks heavily about eliminating the social stigmas that we have to be alright all of the time and coming to terms with the fact that being emotional is natural and necessary.

Andrew: Where does the Floodgate EP as a whole fall in line with all of that?

Estuarie: The tracks on this EP all derived from the need to cope with everything that we have experienced in our lives as individuals. Nobody has it easy and we didn’t want to put up a facade that we had all of our s*** together either. You can expect to hear a very wide range of influences musically throughout the EP. It’s an extremely dynamic grouping of songs and they all come from very deep places of contemplation. We want people to feel the emotions we’ve felt and I think there’s a transparency throughout all of the songs that really helps that happen.

Andrew: After listening to the record, “These Ghosts” stood out to be my favorite track. You sing a lyric: “Maybe I’ve run away too soon, or I’m not far enough yet.” What can you tell me about that song and that lyric?

Estuarie: That song and specifically that line come from lots of hardship, and anxiety. I (Graham) remember having a really hard time even finishing that song. I couldn’t play it live for quite some time because of how much emotion is attached to it. It all stems from a time when I was struggling with depression due to surrounding circumstances and that song was a huge coping method for me. All I wanted to do was get away from it all, and in doing so I pushed away a lot of people who were very dear to me—in the moment that I was having such a hard time determining whether or not isolating myself was right or not—thus what inspired that seemingly self contradictory line.

Andrew: You guys are very young and seem to be doing a great job at all of this.  I’m sure there’s many options in your life right now with school and jobs. What’s the plan moving forward? Where does your music fall into place with all of that? 

Estuarie: At the moment, the long term plan is to (hopefully) move to Asheville after this summer to keep pursuing this journey we have started. As far as school goes, we are both going to take some time off of that while we can afford to. We both are working normal jobs in coffee shops and such, as well as doing some filmscore work and getting our feet wet with things like that. Our music is the ultimate goal at the end of the day and it’s something we are both extremely passionate about. We plan on releasing one more EP and then eventually a full length album within the next two years.

Andrew: You have a big release show coming up (March 16 - The Spinning Jenny - Greer, SC). Anything you’d like to share about that?

Estuarie: This will be our second time at The Spinning Jenny and we are both psyched about it. TAY is going to be there—she sang background vocals on the title track of the EP and she is incredible. You do not want to miss her set. It’s going to be an emotional rollercoaster of a show and we are so excited to finally play all of the songs off of the EP as well as a bunch of material that will probably be released sometime next fall. It’s going to be loud, crazy and a lot of fun.

Andrew: Thanks for the time, guys. Any final thoughts?

Estuarie: Keep supporting local bands, keep coming to small venues, and let’s keep the Greenville music scene on the up and up. Thanks to everyone for all of the support thus far! Thanks for having us, Forthright Records! 

Follow Estuarie: Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp

In the Studio: Boston's Pizzeria by Quality Time

Quality Time's new record Boston's Pizzeria is topped with honesty and chock-full of relatability. The record was mastered in the Forthright Records studio and in the process left a good taste in our mouth (no pun intended). Boston's Pizzeria is the first full-length release from the promising South Carolina punk-rock outfit and is well-worth a listen.

Boston's Pizzeria by Quality Time

Q&A with Matthew Logan Vasquez

Matthew Logan Vasquez is rock n' roll artist on Dine Alone Records with a lofty musical resumé (including Delta Spirit, Middle Brother, to name a couple).  His solo record, Solicitor Returns, was one of my favorite records of 2016 and with a new record soon on the way, I thought it'd be a good time to have a chat. 

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Andrew: I understand Solicitor Returns was almost entirely a solo effort—with you playing nearly all the instruments on the record. What were some of the ups and downs working like that? 

MLV: Absolutely! I've had a totally blast making Solicitor Returns! The only down side was not having any feedback, but I knew what I wanted going into it. 

Andrew: You recorded and mixed the record yourself — and truly knocked it out of the park. From my own experiences, I know it can be hard to keep an objective vision of a project when you’re the one writing, recording, mixing, etc. Were there any moments of self-doubt along the way on the production side of things? 

MLV: I think you have you have an inner belief to finish anything. There were a few moments where I had doubt about the project but I just stuck with it. I'm very proud of the result.

Andrew: I was laid out on my coach, sick with the flu when I listened to Solicitor Returns for the first time. The first song “Maria” (after the intro) really jumped out at me. What can you tell me about that track?

MLV: Maria is a song about the occult. I actually wrote it on an airplane on those little napkins you get with your drink.

Andrew: I can’t do an MLV interview without asking about “Everything I Do Is Out” — one of the purest pieces of rock n’ roll one could possibly find. Can you tell us about this song and where your head might’ve been when you wrote it? 

MLV: Well thanks for saying that! EIDIO was a song that wrote itself. I was in a place where I needed to reaffirm my belief in that style of music. 

Andrew: You put out a single called "Caveman" a few months back with a killer pre-historic themed video. You kept it pretty low-key as far as the buzz surrounding it online. What the story behind that video?

MLV: The video is sort of illegal considering I didn't get permission to use the footage. That's why I didn't reach out for press on it. I just wanted to make it! I thought it'd be fun.

Andrew: I see a lot of posts on your Facebook page involving your family. It’s nice to see a family man killing the game. What’s it like managing that with the work you do as a seasoned musician often on the road? 

MLV: It's a balancing act for sure. If I'm not on tour in not providing for my family. It can certainly beat you down on both sides of the relationship. I'm lucky I married such a kind and patient person.  

Andrew: I saw you teased on Facebook about a new record for 2017. Anything you can share with us about that?

MLV: On 4/21 my new album DOES WHAT HE WANTS will be released. There's a new single on Spotify right now called SAME featuring Kam Franklin. 

Andrew: Finally, if Matthew Logan Vasquez had a gospel message, what would it be? 

MLV: We're all gonna die and eventually what we do is forgotten so make life good for yourself and others. 

Andrew: Preach.

Follow Matthew Logan Vasquez: Facebook // Instagram // Website

Discover the Best New Songs of February

February has come and gone—but these songs are here to stay. Take a listen to the Best Songs of February, a playlist compiled in conjunction with our friends at Future Chord

See what songs made the list and what we had to say about them below:

1. MYFEVER - "Golden”

A soaring arena-sized rocker that climbs to the skies.

2. Dylan Elliott - “You (Be True)”

Ride these cool chill waves out into the spring.

3. Wieuca - “Enamel”

These college rockers bring the party to life and are the last ones to leave.

4. Venn - “Surreal”

Gorgeous shoegaze sounds flow throughout at breakneck speed.

5. Brother Oliver - “I Rely On Everything"

The roaring psychedelic folk thriller delivers on earthy tones and a freewheeling spirit.

6. God Bless Relative - “Consolidate”

Splash into the coastal sensations of this sunny folk-pop gem.

7.  Lance Bangs - “Wash”

The spastic jangle rock dudes are having more fun than any of us.

8. Museum Mouth - “Strong Enough” (Sheryl Crow cover)

That feeling when the wildest combination turns out just right...

9. Jake McMullen - “Falling”

A charming indie pop number that cleans up quite nicely.

10. Val Hollie - “Neighborhood”

Time stands still in this whispering bedroom pop cosmos.

Track descriptions by Jeremy Theall. Future Chord is an artist management and event production company in South Carolina and a regional partner with Forthright Records.