Fronted by main songwriter and vocalist Jack Ingram, Tall Tales is a new band comprised of current and former students from Rockhurst High and Blue Valley West High schools. Their recently released EP It's Just a Game is filled with the kinds of pop hooks and production that any fan of Fall Out Boy, The 1975 or Neon Trees will love. For this edition of Listen Local, Ingram was kind enough to answer some questions about the band's busy summer, the recording of their new EP, and what's ahead for the band, in addition to their Johnson County Library recommendations.
Introduce yourselves and the band. Where do you guys live and work?
Our drummer's name is Andrew Hosler and he is the oldest in the group, he just graduated high school. All of us are still students and don't really work unless its during the summer or part-time. Tommy O'Halloran is our bassist and is a new addition to the band as of a couple months ago, he goes to Rockhurst High School. Our lead guitarist is Rylan Fisher and he goes to Blue Valley West High School with me. He's also only 15 years old! I'm Jack Ingram and I am the vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and synth player for the band. We all live pretty close together in the Leawood area and have grown up together playing in a worship band at Church of the Resurrection.
Describe your creative process with songwriting as individuals and as a band. How do you break through creative blocks? How do you handle creative differences?
As the main songwriter of the band, I usually come up with a main theme for a song and bring a chord structure, lyrics, and melody to the band so that we can all jam on it. Then together we'll write leads, and figure out the backbeat and bass line of the song. Usually to blow off some steam and to keep from killing each other during songwriting sessions we will go outside and ride ATVs ha-ha. But we are all really good friends and hangout a lot outside of practice so we are usually pretty good about getting along with each other.
Where was your new EP, “It’s Just A Game” recorded? What was that process like?
We recorded "It's Just a Game" with my good friend Christian Horton. Christian just graduated from Blue Valley West this year and is an amazing audio engineer/producer. We recorded and produced the entire EP in the studio in his basement. It was a really long process and required me going back and forth to his house to redo parts, and occasionally rewriting leads. Although we all agree that recording is one of the best parts about being in this band.
Who or what has been the biggest influence(s) on your band’s music?
We are all pretty diverse when it comes to our music tastes and it kind of blends into our indie pop-rock vibe. Andrew and I grew up listening to classic rock because of our parents and it kind of throws a little bit of old school fashion into our music. Rylan has been playing in church longer than any of us and you can really see how that comes across in his playing. He's always concerned about being in tune/balanced with the band and having good tone. Tommy loves the Red Hot Chili Peppers and has been inspired by Flea. Some bands we all like are Fall Out Boy, The 1975, Walk The Moon, From Indian Lakes, and Phoenix.
What’s on the horizon for Tall Tales?
We have a lot of shows coming up this summer! We're playing a fun show at Martin City Brewery this Friday night followed by two sets of Porch Fest. Then I'm going out of town for awhile but we'll be headlining the Granada on July 2nd when I get back. We're going to be writing a ton of new music this summer and hopefully we'll get a chance to release a single or two this summer. We are also hoping to release a full length album next year.