We’re based out of Columbus, Ohio and formed in 2011. The group has recently been reformatted from a four-piece alternative rock band to a somewhat unconventional two-man team with a hired gun drummer for shows and recording. Tim Cowan formed the group early in 2011 and Paul Lindberg came onboard later that year through the other guitarist, who was involved with Paul in a funk band at that time.
Introduction to Music:
Tim: Basically, my mom was a music teacher, and she really pushed for me to start on piano around age 5. My sister also went into music teaching initially in college. Music’s what I’ve always wanted to do and it was kind of expected that I would follow suite majoring in music, though ultimately in college, I majored in fashion. I’ve been pursuing music nonstop.
Paul: My dad was a bass player for a regionally significant Christian Rock band called Oasis (they had the name copyrighted in the US, once the way more famous UK band got big their P.O. box was flooded, pretty funny). I grew up going on weekend stints on their tour bus. Seemed like the family business.
Part of reformatting the band meant a sound change. In addition to the band’s rock roots, elements of funk and hip-hop have been heavily incorporated. Originally we were more alt-rock. However, now we transition from heavy rock to light alternative to rhythm-core hop-hop.
What this means to us, is a freedom to be very creative and overlap a lot of different elements of music together, even electronica into our songs.
Evolution of the initial musical and thematic elements:
When we reformatted we took elements of music we really like and combined it with what we’d like to do together as musicians and just pretty much started from that. Our music backgrounds overlap in areas that have allowed us to pull from those areas and express ourselves creatively so it’s been really nice.
Yes, very happy. We could have probably spent more money on it and had better quality, but for the most part it’s nice for our first EP. As far as what we nailed, the EP does offer a nice blend of alt-rock, heavy riffs, hip-hop beats, rap vocals, trippy guitar effects, slight elements of pop, lyrics about social unrest & self-exploration. So it offers a lot of stuff for new listeners to find enjoyable.
So far we’ve been hearing good feedback about our new format and the new songs.
We’re looking to start playing out to promo the EP this fall. Paul and his wife just had a baby boy so he’s taking some time to become acquainted with being a dad. Once he’s all set we’ll be busy. Following up the EP will also be something tossed onto the agenda. We’ve got another round of solid songs that are worth recording for future releases.
As of right now, we’re just releasing our first EP, so what comes after that is the unknown. Heavily promoting it through shows and building fan interest into our new sound will be the next step.
Lyrics, themes and concepts:
Our lyrics are something we spend a good deal of time working on. They range from topics of social unrest to self-exploration. The pictures we paint can sometimes make life sound a bit bleak, but the fact is – the world is a messed up place. But, on a lighter note, we do drop in plenty of fun pop culture references and even some Shakespeare nods if you catch them.
Tim: We both write the music and lyrics. Typically, we share ideas and basic concepts between one another via Dropbox and email. After that, we’ll record rough copies at my home studio for sharing with drummers for studio work down the road.
Paul: In general I’m just excited about how we write now and the freedom I feel like we have. It’s just me and Tim and we like almost everything the other person comes up with. We were restricted before both by doing traditional writing and band practices and who we were working with. There’s no limit now. We’re just getting started.
Tim: Some artists I like are guilty pleasures and others I’m influenced by. Some of my favorite artists are Muse, Radiohead, Bad Religion, Gorillaz and even Nobuo Uematsu. I like punk music and electronica. I like upbeat music and I like pop music too. But as far as individuals, Ray Manzarek was a big influence on keys for me. On guitar, Tom Morello and Matt Bellamy are huge influences. Making the guitar not sound like a guitar is one thing I love doing. I’d also have to say that while the EBow is used by countless bands, it was probably R.E.M. that really introduced me to it. I used it on ‘Whipping Beam’ and love the way it worked with Pauls bassline.
Paul: We definitely have some overlap here, which is why we work well together. Rage Against The Machine is still my all-time, both in terms of musical awesomeness and waking me up as a teenager. Chili Peppers have always been great; have always fantasized about getting to hang out with Flea for a day. I was influenced by the gangsta rap at a young age (had to sneak copies of tapes by Dre, Ice Cube etc. when I was in elementary school). Also love straight up funk. My favorite is Tower of Power. Basically a whole lot of California Love going on.
Preference; cater to the audience or music for its own sake:
People come to expect a certain sound if you’re an established act. We’re not. So, as an unknown artist, it’s nice to be able to really just make music however we want and not really have to care about catering to an audience. In the back of your mind, we want to make riffs and songs that are catchy, and that’s important. When you remember a song or riff you’re more likely to want to get involved in that music somehow. Either by supporting them, buying the music or seeing them live. And the population is huge, so getting it to as many people as possible is important because some people will like it, some won’t.
Tim: So far, just rebounding to where we’re at now is an accomplishment. We’ve been through a lot over the last couple years. We started as a four-piece and now are just a duo with hired drummers for support. I’m happy that Paul and I are sticking this out and still working together. I think we complement one another musically very well. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off one another. And in some ways, whether or not he’d admit it, I think we’re a lot alike, which I think is part of the reason why it’s so easy for us to get stuff done and also be easy going friends like we are.
Paul: Echo Tim, but I have to admit, my proudest moment was when I was in a hardcore band a few years back; we nearly sold out the venue where we were doing a demo release at and the pit was so crazy that they called the PO-lease. Something to tell the kids about. My proudest moment with Wren is really the time right now. We’re getting a lot of good feedback from the new music.