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Interview: Kyle Morris of The Unlikely Candidates on touring, “Novocaine” and staying motivated

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Alt-pop quintet The Unlikely Candidates like to stay busy. After crushing it at SXSW earlier this month, the band is getting ready to hit the road in support of their latest single “Novocaine.” However, that’s just the start for the Texas natives. Their new album will be released this fall, and between now and then, you can bet the band has some more tricks up their sleeves. We caught up TUC’s frontman Kyle Morris to talk about all they’ve got going on and how they stay so motivated.

1) You guys are gearing up for tours with The Brevet and IRONTRON and are hitting some major cities. Are there any cities in particular you’re looking forward to playing?

I’m pretty excited to be playing Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We have played every state in the Continental US except South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana, so it will be nice to scratch another one of those off the list. It will also be cool to get up to Portland, we have a lot of friends up there and we have only been once in all these years of touring. Looking forward to some Voodoo Donuts and seeing some real-life Portlandia sketches play out.

2) It’s been a few weeks now since you played SXSW. What was the most memorable part of that experience?

Probably just meeting up with label, radio, band, fans, and friends. It’s such a zoo down there that it’s nice to see some familiar faces and find some trouble to get into. One of mine was climbing a tree and then eating a tray of baked oysters at the Stubhub showcase.

3) Were there any other bands at SXSW who you thought really brought their A-game (or who you thought bombed, if you’re feeling super shady and want to ignite the greatest musical feud since Kanye & T-Swift)?

Honestly we didn’t have a lot of time to watch other bands. DJ Jazzy Jeff killed it. Our buddies in the southern rock band The Vegabonds killed it. From what I remember of the Stubhub night, Sir Sly killed it as well.

4) Let’s dive into your creative process. What typically comes first to y’all: the lyrics or the melody?

Melody most of the time. I like to make sure it sounds ace and set the mood, then I’ll weave the meaning into it.

5) You released your new single “Novocaine” less than a week ago and the internet seems to have already universally declared it “a bop”. What does that honor mean to you? Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?

Very kind of the internet. It means I did my job, which is a fine honor in itself. The song is a sort of slackers anthem about half wanting to be better and half accepting who you are. It’s that endless cycle of I’ll do it tomorrow that I and a lot of other people get stuck in. You are indulging in being a loser, but also lamenting it a bit because of who you are letting down in the process. Should I watch that next episode and get less sleep, eat that last slice I don’t need, spend that dollar I don’t have, drink even though I work early the next day? The answer is yes. That’s what this “Novocaine” is about.

6) The artwork for “Novocaine” and “Strange Love” are sick. How do you come up with those images?

Oh thank you. For “Novocaine” I wanted an image that conveyed that trashy wasted grimy lifestyle. Basically what a total mess of a life would look like if it was framed. “Strange Love” is about a vampire who follows her reincarnated lover through his various lives so I just wanted something cheeky and supernatural. The pin-up picture was perfect.

7) Your new album comes out sometime this fall. Can we expect more new tracks before then?

I hope so. We may be putting two b sides out but I am not 100% on that yet. I have two songs picked out that I love, but we will see what happens.

8) You don’t have to give any spoilers, but is there one song in particular off the new record that you’re most excited to see people’s reactions to?

Definitely “Novocaine”, that’s the big single so I’m excited to watch it pick up momentum.

9) Within the first five months of 2019, The Unlikely Candidates will have accomplished more than most bands do in an entire year. What’s the secret to staying so motivated?

Hmmmm, probably the potential for starvation and destitution. Also the joy in creating and being able to share these songs with people who will weave them into their own lives, then getting to play our little hearts out on stage for 60 minutes a night to them. That’s about all the motivation we need.

Follow The Unlikely Candidates on their socials:

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Featured Image by Sydney Angel Photography

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