Q: Introduce yourself and your position in the band.
A: My name is Brian Morgenthaler and I play lead guitar in Bandits & Beggars
Q: When did you attend AHS?
A: I was there for my sophomore year in 2003.
Q: Who was your favorite teacher/class?
A: Hands down, Mrs. Edwards! She and her husband had a child so she left half-way through my year but I always looked forward to biology despite the fact I hate biology!
Q: What bands would you compare your sound to?
A: Thrice, Manchester Orchestra, the Dear Hunter, (hopefully a little) Muse, As Cities Burn, Deas Vail, but I’ve hear people say The Killers and The Fray too.
Q: How would you describe your music to somebody?
A: We are an “indie” rock band. Although we are influenced by these bands above and others, I would say we have a unique sound. Our music varies from high energy tone to smooth vocal and guitar melodies. We try not to stick to the generic four-chord, pop/rock formula.
Q: How do you feel Bandits & Beggars is different than other bands today?
A: Our music carries a stronger message. We naturally write about our faith in Christ as opposed to writing about simple complaints in life (i.e. girls, family life, our dogs…).
Q: What do you consider the biggest problem in the music industry today?
A: There are a lot, but the biggest would have to be the fact that labels tend to wine, dine, then take advantage of amazing musicians. It’s sad to know my friends have bitter tastes in their mouths from labels. But the music industry is starting to level out as a whole, becoming a more horizontal model as opposed to a vertical model; with all of the social network possibilities, bands no longer have to climb to the top to be heard.
Q: Living in such a strong music scene like Virginia, do you think it helps or hurts you as a band?
A: I feel it helps! It pushes us musically and personally to not be in the scene and fade into the background.
Q: What advice could you give to a high school musician trying to make it in the music industry today?
A: Don’t for a minute believe that signing is the end all. I have found that hard work, as cliché as it is, will always pay off more in the end. Also, never limit yourself! Everything from studio gigs, to writing for movies and video, to co-writes with others; it will never get old. It can’t ever get old!
Q: Where can people listen to your music? Where can they buy it?
A: They can listen to us on most of the major social media sites like Facebook, Reverb Nation, MySpace and Pure Volume. Our first EP came out Jan. 7 at Jammin’ Java, and it is now for sale at any of our shows and will be available on iTunes soon! We’ll be sure to get the word out on that as soon as we know.
Q: Any last words? Anything you’d like to add?
A: It took me almost a year to convince our lead singer, Josh Dodd, to start a band with me after my farewell to another local band and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to make music with!