South Carolina rock/reggae band shares a tireless work ethic, diverse musical influences, and a mutual dislike of Afroman. At the end of this article is a Q&A Giveaway where The Movement are offering autographed copies of their album, ‘Set Sail’ to four lucky Skope readers!
Attention anyone still mourning the loss of Sublime, or feels like 311 have fallen off their game since their heyday in the mid 90’s: I have your new favorite band right here. South Carolina’s The Movement, formed in 2004 by guitarists/vocalists Josh Swain and Jordan Miller, quickly gained local buzz and caught the attention of G Love and Special Sauce producer Chris DiBeneditto. It wasn’t long before the Movement relocated to Philadelphia, where they picked up drummer Gary Jackson and Jay Schmidt. Since then, The Movement have released their second album, “Set Sail”, and have logged over 250 shows in the last year and a half supporting it. Skope recently had a chance to sit down with The Movement on their Rochester NY tour stop at Water Street Music Hall.
Skope: It’s the fifth night of your tour, how has it been so far, and what is your worst tour horror story ever?
Jordan: Tour has been great so far, we have been trying to bring back some of the older tracks from the old record, that we haven’t played in a while. As far as our worst tour experience goes, the tour with Afroman (Yes, the “Because I got high“ guy), was by far the worst. We were playing a show with Afroman, and you can quote me on this, “fuck you, Afroman!” We were in Auburn Alabama, and the dude was late for everything always, late all the time. We were doing our set, and that was back when we had a DJ. We were doing beats and shit, and waiting for Afroman to get to the show. our DJ then looks up and sees Afroman in the balcony. So I’m freestyling a rap, “Oh cool Afroman is here, give it up for Afroman, Afroman is in the building you guys ready for a good show?” Next thing I know, Afroman walks down from the balcony while I’m rapping, and snatches the mic out of my hand. “Who the fuck are these guys, the fuckin movement? Fuck them.” Me and Josh just looked at each other, and put our guitars down and walked out. We were running around the parking lot looking for him, we were furious. So that was the worst tour horror story, not counting our van crash.
Skope: Well, without hearing the story, I would say van crash trumps the Afroman story.
Jordan: We were leaving Coco Beach Florida, and heading down Route 75 to Gainesville, And (bass player) Jay Schmidt was driving…. Jay do you want to finish telling the story?
Jay: I was driving for about 6 hours, it was 6:30 in the morning, everybody was sleeping, and I ended up falling asleep at the wheel. I woke up into oncoming traffic 3 lanes over, so I swerved back into the grass median. The trailer swung around and blew the windows out. No one was hurt though.
Jordan: However, now when ever Jay is driving and we hit a bump, all three heads pop up from the seats in panic (All start laughing) Jay, do they still trust you with the keys?
Jay: I didn’t drive for a good month though.
CHECK OUT MORE PHOTO’S FROM SCOTT STEWART / THE MOVEMENT PHOTO SHOOT:
Skope: I hear so many different influences in your style, what did you grow up listening to? When you hit that age, where you broke away from your parents records collection?
Jordan: The first CD I ever owned was Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins. Before that, all my tapes were Special Ed, G Love, 311, a lot of hip hop……Even now, I listen to a Breeders song, and Ill write a hip hop song about it.
Gary: My dad was a jazz musician, so he exposed me to a lot of cool music growing up. Then I got into rock, punk rock, hardcore, reggae, Bad Brains, Fishbone; just a big pile of everything.
Skope: That’s funny you mentioned that, because I do hear a Bad Brains influence, especially from their “I & I Survived” era, in The Movement…..
Speaking of diversity, you’ve opened for everyone from Wu Tang Clan to Blues Traveler. What has been your all time favorite gig and why?
Jordan: Every show is dope, but probably the best experience for me was doing the tour with G. Love. It was our first experience being able to be on the road with a big band. Being able to hang out on tour busses, play in front of big crowds.
Gary: Being that they were such good musicians, and so humble was awesome. Me and Jay (Bass) growing up in the Philly scene where G Love is from, and being under the wing of people we looked up to as kids……
Jay: We listened to those guys for years as kids, and to be able to record in G Love’s studio and open up for him, was surreal!!!!
Jordan: I remember when Josh and I first started playing together, and we were in the car with my dad, driving down the road smoking a bowl. The G Love and Jack Johnson song Rodeo Clowns came on the radio, And I was like, “Yo pop, this is what we are trying to do. This style of music….. “ Four years later, we are all on the bus hanging out and jamming together, writing with G Love. That was pretty cool.
Skope: You recorded your first release, “On Your Feet” in 2007, in 24 hours. For your second album, “Set Sail”, how did you approach the recording since you had more time, and how was it working with (G Love producer)Chris DiBeneditto?
Jordan: We did that whole album in three 8 hour sessions, and then 2 hours for mixing. Everything was recorded with a 150 dollar drum machine. We had to scrounge up money to pay the engineer of the studio….I think we even had to go back a week later to pay him the rest of the money too. Asking our moms and dads for money…..
Very much like that scene from the movie Boogie Nights, where Marky Mark is like, “These tracks are gold, give us the rest of our tracks!”
Josh: Man, I wish we could redo our first record.
Jordan: After a show we played with G Love one night, we met Chris DiBeneditto, (whos now our manager,) and he said, “I really like the music and would love to work with you.” I remember being pretty hammered, and walking to a bar with G Love, and Josh. There we these old cats playing at the bar, and we all got up and started freestyling over their music, just hanging out and having fun. That’s how we kind of met up and first hung out.
We went up to Philadelphia for the first time in December 2006, and the record took 3 years to make, because we could only afford to go up there so many times and stay. As far as the songs on “Set Sail” are concerned, like the lyrics to the songs, Its more mature then the first album. A lot more radio friendly. It’s a perfect stepping stone from the beginning of where we started, to the journey we are making.
As far as the next record, we have no idea what its going to sound like. We could write anything from punk to country to reggae to anything. There is going to be a lot of progression, and a little bit more of all four of us combing our influences, instead of just Josh and I handling the bulk of the song writing. Everything from jazz, to punk, to pop. We have the advantage of being able to write many different styles of music. Gary and Jay have so many riffs and rhythms, and Josh and I have another ton of riffs and lyrics, we probably have around 20 30 new songs in the works, and if we had to record an album tomorrow, we could do it like that. “Set Sail” proved to us we could do this as a 100% live band. That we could make a good record, and have the motivation to write new shit. That’s what the movement is all about, always changing and progressing, which is exciting.
Skope: What advice do you have for bands just starting out, wanting to make it?
Gary: Lazy bands die fast.
Josh: Make sure you have rich parents!
Jordan: Stick with it, do it for the love, and you’ll never be discouraged. We have done 250 shows in the last 15 months, and we are really just kind of starting out. People don’t know who you are, they aren’t going to pay you two grand to come play their club. They’ll pay you your five bucks at the door, and if people come, you get paid. If not, here is a couple of beers and you’re on your way. You have to be into it for the love of the music, or you wont last long. We still continue to do it and press on. There are always new doors opening for us. None of us are going crazy or insane. We are still right and still positive. We can all hang out in the same room without wanting to kill each other. The Movement is definitely moving, no doubt about that……….
Text By: Matt Dalberth
Photos By: Scott Stewart
SKOPE / THE MOVEMENT GIVEAWAY
Skope magazine and The Movement have teamed up to give away 4 autographed copies of Set Sail, for the first five hardcore fans who answer any one of the following questions correctly:
1. Who Wrecked the Van? = ??
2. What Color bucket does the band have at the merch booth? = ??
3. What colors is Garys Drum Kit? = ??
4. Who cut there Dreads off? = ??
Email Answers To: firstname.lastname@example.org