The High Plains Drifters - 10 Questions Music Interview
Born with a desire for the finer things in life, a passion for rock-n-roll, and a rich background in the entertainment industry, The High Plains Drifters is the new band merging various genres of infectious music that speaks to the rebel in us.
At the helm of the band is front man Larry Studnicky (songwriter, lead/backup vocals), the lawyer who, at the turn of the millennium, structured and closed the landmark label and publisher deals that ushered in the world of digital interactive radio (enjoyed today by listeners of Pandora, Spotifiy, etc.). The band also features Charles Czarnecki (producer, songwriter, keyboards, percussion, lead/backup vocals), John Macom (rhythm/electric guitars, lead/backup vocals) and Mike DoCampo (rhythm/electric guitars, backup vocals), all of whom are lifetime friends that created the group to bring happiness to listeners’ ears.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
There was no catalyst that I can recall. It came out of nowhere, about mid-way through high school. Songs just started writing themselves in my head. I don't know how else to explain it. For many years, I didn't take it too seriously, as I couldn't read or write or play music. But I could sing (a bit, not well back then). So, in time, I figured it was a "real thing" and that I should be serious about it.
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
I was working with a band in the 90's. They were doing an album where half were my songs, and half were by the band's lead singer. He was a roadie for CHER at the time. He kept promising that she'd show up and do a duet with him. We were in a studio in central Jersey -- about 45 minutes north of Atlantic City. One night, she finished doing a show at a casino there. She put her whole crew on the bus; drove to the studio; and stayed all night to do the duet as a favor to her roadie. Watching her work was amazing. She sang, on and off, all night long, making sure that she gave THE BEST performance possible for her friend. She was a consummate pro. I'll never forget her work ethic.
What has been the high point of your music path?
Finishing and releasing our band's debut album, and seeing get some great press and end up on a bunch o college radio charts -- that was the best. We're an older group -- but kids were really enjoying our music.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
The melodies seem to come out of nowhere, but not so the lyrics. Those take hard work. Lots of writing and re-writing of the lyrics, and playing with rhymes and the like. Often, something in the external real world triggers a lyrical phrase, which often (not always) comes into my head with a melody pre-attached. Then I get to work and finish it.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
Getting exposure and recognition is still the big battle. Despite there being so so many more avenues and distribution channels for promotion and for reaching an audience, it's incredibly hard to nudge the major lablel artists aside. Their labels are still able to "buy" exposure.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
The Traveling Wilbury's, if they were all still alive. Their sound is not unlike ours on a lot of our songs on the debut album -- country-influenced rock, or "Americana" as radio seems to want to call it. They all sing, as does everyone in our group. We have 3 lead vocalists on the 12 songs we released. And besides, how could you NOT want to share a stage with Orbison, Harrison, Petty, and Dylan??
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
Rehearsals are tough for us to pull off. We are NOT kids. Most of us are "married with children". It's really hard to coordinate schedules to get everyone in one place to rehearse. The recording process is much easier -- if we have any 2 or 3 us together (with the producer), we can get a lot done.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
"Rear View Mirror". It was written in two chunks, over 20 years apart! The chorus popped into my head one day, while leaving NYC heading West out of the Lincoln Tunnel. I looked up into my rear view mirror and the lyrics and melody for the chorus of that song just poured out. But I could never come up with a verse -- I guess I didn't know what "story" I was trying to tell. And I'm more of a storyteller. We were about halfway through recording the debut album and I realized I needed this song to be my love song to New York City -- as maddening as it can be to live there some days. There's no place like it, and I realized that this guy singing the song could never really leave NYC in his rear view mirror. He'd have to turn around. After that, I finished the song in a day.
What's coming up in the future? We shall start on our 2nd album sometime in the 1st quarter of 2020.
Tell us where fans can access your music?
The High Plains Drifters “Get Me Home By Christmas Eve" will be airing on National Indie Radio (WNIR) commencing December 1st through December 31st as part of BWH Music Group’s Holiday Radio Special. WNIR features the best independent artists in the world and is part of the highly selective and nationally renowned BWH Music Group platform. The Holiday Radio Special will feature original holiday songs as well as covers by exceptional independent artists. Station information can be found at www.wnir-radio.com