Recently, on, we have been hosting a contest with the band NEEDTOBREATHE. Here is a short interview I did with the lead singer of the band.

How did you first come to play music? Did you grow up with it or find a love of it on your own?

I got involved in music at an early age. I think my parents recognized that I had a natural talent for it, so my mother got me started early with piano lessons and children’s choir. I finally got my first drum kit when I was twelve. I was hooked after that.

What are some of your biggest musical influences? Who did you grow up listening to, and whom do you consider a musical role model?
When I was little, I was a huge fan of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” record. It made me want to play saxophone.  I got into a lot of the early 90’s alternative stuff right as I started playing drums, so I was all about Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. My favorite band of all time is a band from South Carolina called Jump, Little Children. They aren’t together anymore, but I followed their entire career since I was fifteen. They had a huge impact on how I think about songs and harmonies.

Who do you listen to now?

I listen to whatever I can get my hands on. The new Band of Skulls record is great. The Alternate Routes are great, too. They came out with us for a few shows last month.
You guys just came back from touring, I believe, do you enjoy touring besides how exhausting it is?

I love touring. It does tend to wear you down after a while, but, for me, touring is the ultimate goal of what we do as a band. I love working in the studio and developing new stuff, but the best part of being in a band is getting in front of a crowd and really connecting with people.  
What is your favorite part in the process of making an album, writing the songs, practices, recording, filming the music video, touring? What is the most rewarding?

I think recording and touring are rewarding in different ways. Like I said before, I love the personal interaction we get with the audience when we’re out playing shows. But I think the albums themselves can be more rewarding for the fans. That’s how they really spend the most time with our music and make connections with our songs.
And lastly I know that you probably don’t have a second of free time on tour but what are some of your favorite places that you have been to on tour?

There are a few cities that stand out for me. I’m a huge fan of San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Portland. And we loved Charleston so much we decided to move down here. I think Charleston is the best city in the south.
Do you have a favorite gig/concert that you’ve done so far?

On our last tour we played our old hometown, Greenville, SC. We played a club where I saw Jump, Little Children for the first time and a ton of other bands while I was growing up. We sold out an entire weekend, Friday through Sunday, and the atmosphere was amazing! Those have been my favorite shows, so far.

Check out the contest!