The music of Eisley has always captivated me. As a boy, I read The Chronicles of Narnia and watched movies like The Never Ending Story. I was entranced by fantasy, and to this day I have a curiosity for what is beyond the stars, and still dream of being the guy that saves the universe from apocalyptic demise. OK. Enough with the nerd talk… Eisley’s music takes you there. It gives you a sense of disbelief – wonder – mystery. It’s the modern day Romeo and Juliet… In one moment there’s passion, fighting for love, or a convertible cruising down the coast. In the next, your heart is being ripped out. It’s a roller coaster. It’s infatuation. It’s Rock & Roll. And hey, if you need a good excuse to take them for a spin, they’re from Texas. Here’s a conversation I had with the bass player and producer, Garron DuPree (pictured far right):
Paul: Thanks, Garron, for taking some time to tell us about your band, Eisley!
If you could give someone an “elevator pitch” on who you guys are, how would you describe Eisley to someone who has never heard you before?
Garron: It’s always really difficult to self-describe attributes of your own band. But, in its simplest form, we’re a group of people that try to make the most creative music that we’re capable of making – and so far that has come out as a form of Indie rock that can oscillate from moody and ambient, to more driving Pop.
Paul: So I know you guys are a family band, and you personally live here in Sugar Land. The rest of the band is in Texas?
Garron: Yes, I am a cousin to the rest of the band members, who are all siblings. I grew up being really close to my cousins, and so when they all started making music, it didn’t take long for me to join along. Currently, we all still live in Texas. Originally, we’re all from Houston, but when we were kids the rest of the band moved to Tyler, while my immediate family and myself stayed in Sugar Land.
Paul: How did Eisley get started? I know you’ve been with them almost the whole time, right? And you started young, I hear.
Garron: Eisley started back in the late 1990’s, actually, when my cousins and I were only about 8 years old. That’s when Stacy, one of our singers and songwriters, wrote her first song. They began playing together as a band ever since then. I joined the band shortly after Eisley got signed to a major label in 2003. I’ve been with them ever since.
Paul: And you’re married now, right? Does she pack a bag and hit the road with you?
Garron: I am married. Over the last 10 years that I’ve been professionally touring, she’s never had the opportunity to come out with me, until recently. It was great being able to go to some of the same places that I have literally been visiting every couple of months since I was 15 years old, and letting her experience some of the places that are so familiar to me, yet she had never known. It was great having those two worlds collide.
Paul: So, when did you pick up a bass for the first time?
Garron: Well, oddly enough, I didn’t seriously pick up bass until I started playing it professionally when I was 15. I learned guitar from my dad who has played for over 50 years now. I would just see him play and try to copy it, and would ask him how to play a Beatles’ song or something random.
Paul: I saw on your latest project that you oversaw all the production and engineering. That’s quite a task. But you made it sound easy. Has technology made it easier for you guys to have more creative freedom in your music?
Garron: I did. In the last several years, I’ve gotten pretty into the production and audio engineering side of the music business, while of course, still keeping my feet wet in the writing and live performance side. I’ve always been a bit of a tech guy, so I was always interested in what the engineers and techs were doing over the years that we’ve spent in big fancy studios. Even though I was young, I was always paying attention to that aspect of music-making. Eisley’s most recent record was the first record that I officially engineered. That record has led to me engineering a lot of other records. At this point, I’ve been involved with three records that have charted on the Billboard Top 200, which I feel is an enormous blessing for someone who is so new to engineering.
Paul: If I ever get a chance to interview a band member like this, I always want to ask what their favorite wine is. Do you have one, or a certain style you love?
Garron: It’s hard for me to say, because I generally subscribe to the motto, “I like wine”, and I will often just leave it at that. You say wine, I say, “Yes.” Haha, kidding, of course. There are so many amazing vineyards and wineries out there that it’s hard to say a specific winery that is my favorite, but I love Cabernet Sauvignons. I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in California, and a decent amount of time in Napa, CA – so I’ve also grown to be fond of California wines, like Zinfandels from many different Napa wineries.
Paul: What’s the best way for people to follow your music?
Garron: Our music is available from pretty much every modern outlet of music: iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and more serious physical CD/Vinyl stores. But the best way to stay up-to-date with what we’re doing is to follow our band twitter: @Eisley, or our various personal Twitters and Instagram’s.
Paul: Thanks again for giving us the nitty-gritty on the music bizz. Best of luck in the future!
Garron: Thanks, Paul. I’m honored to be a part of this. Thanks for having me. // eisley.com