Back Pocket Memory

Chris Pennington, Eddie Rosales, Rob Gallagher, Ian Felchlin, Jason Montgomery know who they owe for all of their success out on the west side of the country – the LA-based 5-piece have a fan base as loyal as they come and an appreciation from them that’s refreshing no matter the city you’re in.
Their latest release is titled “Beneath the Trees”, and you can expect it to be burning up your iPod on October 25th. The band gets into it: “It’s a real step forward for us. It represents more focused and mature songwriting, and a more cohesive piece of work. We actually spent time and wrote specifically for this EP, as opposed to writing songs over time and then going into the studio. Never been able to sample our friends in Back Pocket Memory? Expect a sound that is “upbeat, catchy, and rocking. Rock/Pop with a side of ambient dynamics thrown in.” BPM continues, “We're heavy without screaming, and emotional without whining.” Check em’ out and prepare for “Beneath the Trees”. There’s a lot more you’re gonna need to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Back Pocket Memory (PEV): How would you describe your sound? 

BPM: Our sound is upbeat, catchy, and rocking. Rock/Pop with a side of ambient dynamics thrown in. We're heavy without screaming, and emotional without whining. 

PEV: Based out of Los Angeles, what kind of music where the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

BPM: We all grew up with our parents loving the music of their generation (now called Classic Rock). However, we all grew initially into different genres. Ian started playing guitar loving Blues and Soul. Jason was on a steady diet of Prog Rock, Alternative, and Jazz. Rob nourished himself on classic Soul, Blues, Jazz, and Country. Chris -- early Pop Punk, Soul, and moodier music like Dredg and Coldplay. Eddie seemed to always be immersed in the current music scene, with tons of Pop Punk, Nu Metal, and Alternative. We all had a strong love of Rock throughout growing up. Though our other tastes differed, we all followed, studied, and loved the Rock music of the late 90s and early 2000s. 

Our 1st Concerts: Rob - The Beach Boys (feat. John Stamos!) half-time show, sometime in the late 80s.. Jason - Incubus in 1999 at the Gibson Amphitheater. Eddie - 311 and Jay-Z. Ian - The Who at the Hollywood Bowl. Chris - The 2005 Taste of Chaos tour at the Long Beach Arena.

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene is like in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?

BPM: It's hard to say. The LA music scene is... diverse, to say the least. In fact, it's fractured. So many bands and artists are trying to be so many things to so many people, and a lot of them act like it's a competition. However, we've been able to form a connection with several like minded bands. To us, it's not about who is better. Every band is in the same boat, and any kind of 'scene' should be about supporting your friends and keeping the basic passion for music alive. LA's over-saturation can make it hard to stand out, but at the same time it's allowed us to find other bands tired of the same old dishonest thing, and form our own community with those bands, and all of our fans. 

PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live Back Pocket Memory show?

BPM: We go out of our way to give people a show. Our shows are intense, energetic, and engaging. We have fun, and so does the audience. The fact is that they've taken time out of their lives, paid hard earned money, and put a lot of effort into coming out to see us live. Thusly, we need to deliver something worth every bit of that money and effort. Also, to us, there is nothing better than playing live. We are ever grateful for that opportunity. And, our shows are kind of like social events for us. We get to see a couple hundred of our friends, and hang out with them. That's the ice cream, and the actual performance is the cherry on top!

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

We are so lucky to get to do this, and to have such loving fans and friends -- you can never thank people enough.

PEV: Having all played or practiced with other musicians from time to time, how is playing with Back Pocket Memory as a group, different then the others?

Playing with BPM is like drinking a cup of hot cocoa on a cold night. It's just, natural. There's a chemistry. We're best friends -- brothers. It's family.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? 

Everything. Basically, we strive to write music that we love and are proud of. We want people to relate to our music, and feel good while listening to it.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Back Pocket Memory?

We are all complete and total nerds. 

PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “Beneath The Trees”. What can fans expect from this? How is this different from past works?

BPM: 'Beneath the Trees' is a real step forward for us. It represents a more focused and mature songwriting, and a more cohesive piece of work. We actually spent time and wrote specifically for this EP, as opposed to writing songs over time and then going into the studio. Also, our lovely producer Erik Ron helped us trim the fat on these songs; he's a great source of ideas and knowledge. We grew a lot with this record.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

BPM: The East Coast of the US. We all love the East Coast, and we'd love to spend time touring around and meeting new people.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

BPM: You'd probably find us hanging out together. We spend a lot of non-band time together, and have a close group of friends. We'd likely be with our family and friends all enjoying food, beer, and/or coffee together.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

BPM: Stevie Wonder. He is the man. The King of Melody. His voice is instantly recognizable, and we just love everything he does.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

BPM: Can't narrow it down to just one, so let's go with a few (though there are so many!): Bristol to Memory, Awful Critic, The Sweet Repose, Culprit, Happy Body Slow Brain, Harris Grade, and I the Mighty. All great bands, and even greater people. We are proud to call them friends!

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

BPM: Jason would be attempting to save the economy in Washington. Rob would rustlin' cattle somewheres in the great wide open. Ian would be researching the history of Europe while teaching at Oxford. Chris would be high-fiving David Beckham while playing on the Galaxy. Eddie would be a successful Alt-Punk Singer/Songwriter.

PEV: So, what is next for Back Pocket Memory?

BPM: We'll be on tour at some point in the Fall (either October or November) and also early next year. Mainly, we just want to keep growing as a band and as songwriters. Towards the end of 2011, we plan to start writing for a follow up record which we'll likely record next year with Erik Ron (again). He's too charming to pass up the opportunity.

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