HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (9/5/13) – It’s no surprise that Murray, KY-based, indie-alternative blues group, Peacock and the Feathers, have been drawing a lot of attention as of late.
This high-energy band has kept western Kentucky audiences rocking since they created the group a little over a year ago, and many are excited to see the group show their true colors on their forthcoming studio album debut.
The album is being unveiled on September 13th and the group, as well as their many fans, will be celebrating with an album release party at The Olive, which is located at 216 North 15th Street in Murray, KY.
Peacock and the Feathers are refreshing, to say the least. And while the group’s talent is undeniable, their ability to draw the listener in isn’t derived from their catchy hooks and Ben Stone’s energetic drum beats alone. Zach Peacock’s voice, layered against his edgy guitar riffs, drives the melody and sends it soaring powerfully into the chorus of every song. Beneath that, Trevor Harper’s groovy bass licks thicken the mix.
I dare you to try and immerse yourself in their bluesy rhythms without taping your toes.
Sugg Street Post had the opportunity to speak with Peacock and the Feathers frontman Zach Peacock about the band, their dreams for the future, their upcoming CD release party, and more. The conversation that ensued is as follows.
Who are the members of Peacock and the Feathers, where is each member from, what are your ages, and what instrument(s) do each of you play?
I'm Zach Peacock and I am the lead vocalist. I also play guitar. Ben Stone is our drummer and Trevor Harper plays bass. Trevor lives in Cadiz, KY, but the band was founded by Ben and myself here in Murray, KY. I am 21, Ben is 23, and Trevor is 21.
Peacock and the Feathers is a rather interesting band name. How did you all come up with it?
Our band name came from a sheer lack of any other original band name ideas that weren't completely lame or forgettable. Our music is real and memorable, so we wanted a name that was as real and memorable as our tunes. Plus, my last name is Peacock, and since I am the frontman, it just kind of adds more meaning to the name.
So, I understand that Peacock and the Feathers was born from a chance meeting at The Olive in Murray, Kentucky. Tell me a little bit about that. How long has the band actually been together at this point?
Yes, for a while there I was doing the solo-acoustic thing. One night, at an open mic night hosted at The Olive in Murray, KY, Ben stumbled across my set and liked what he heard. About a week later, Ben and I had our first "jam" together. Eventually, we invited Trevor to sit in on bass. We knew the second we began playing that we were on to something. We have been playing together a little over a year now.
From what I have read, you all consider the band an indie-alternative blues group. How else would you describe your sound? Who are your musical influences?
Our sound is very recognizable and enjoyable. I have been writing original songs since I was 14, so I have had a good amount of time to hone my craft. Our songs come from a very real and organic place. We don't strive for anything other than true songwriting and musicianship. Ben studies music education at Murray State University [MSU] and has numerous years of teaching high school drumline under his belt. His formal training paired with my self-taught songwriting and guitar playing make fore some seriously enjoyable music. Our influences are many and varied, but we are primarily influenced by groups such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Arctic Monkeys, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, the Police, 311, Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, early Maroon 5 - songs about Jane - Phoenix, Cake, My Morning Jacket, etcetera. You will only hear solid original music from us. We don't do things just for the sake of doing them. Our music is very important to us. It sounds like the way we view the world.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? How has your sound developed since your first jam session?
We are constantly pushing ourselves. We recorded a rather rough DIY CD early on with some of our older songs. They really were great songs. However, we just know that we can never become sedentary or settle with our music. We always have to grow and push ourselves. Typically, you'll find bands competing or comparing themselves to other bands in the scene. Peacock and the Feathers works tirelessly to transcend our local standards - not that they are low or anything - and chisel away at the music industry to gain exposure for the music we truly believe in. We know that people will love it once they hear it. As generic as it may sound, our inspiration comes from living and growing, making observations, and trying to put meaning into things that everybody feels or has dealt with. Life is our inspiration and we are constantly competing with ourselves.
How often do you all get to practice? How do you go about the creative process of making music?
We really have some tough logistics to deal with. Our bassist lives an hour away, so we are lucky to get two or three rehearsals a month in on Monday nights. Lately, we have realized that our gigs have become our rehearsals. Our chemistry and talent help us deal with the lack of rehearsal time. Ben and I are students at MSU and Trevor is a dad who works full time, but the dream stays alive. We have never considered getting tired and giving up. We believe in this band.
Where do you all perform the majority of your gigs?
We play all over, mostly in Murray, often in Clarksville, occasionally in Paducah, and sometimes in Nashville. We are planning to tour a little bit after our CD release. We have our eyes on many, many new cities.
Are there any events coming up that you’d like to plug on Sugg Street Post?
Well, we have a gig at Jasmine in Murray, KY on the 7th of September and our CD release party takes place at The Olive on September 13th.
How would you describe the Murray, KY music scene? What are the positive aspects of the scene, what would you consider the negative aspects, and how could it be improved upon?
Murray has always had a music scene. It has also always had its ups and downs. When I was an aspiring musician in high school, I idolized bands local to Murray, such as Tearing Down Vegas and Horizontal Orange. Now I think it is great that Peacock and the Feathers have had the opportunity to become involved in helping the new Murray music scene prosper. Murray's biggest weakness musically is the lack of congruency among music consumers. It's kind of niche. Because Murray is a suitcase college, the population of potential listeners depletes regularly as students head back home over breaks. Murray needs a lot of things, and Peacock and the Feathers know that they can't save it. That is why it is so ambitious for us to try to make a name for ourselves and facilitate a career with the band.
Tell me more about the debut album you all have been recording. What can we expect from the album? What can we expect at the release party?
This album is a compilation of some of our best songs to date. This album was recorded in Paducah at Loud and Clear Studios by Shelby Preklas. It is our first real studio album. It was professionally mastered by the guys at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, TN. From this album, you can expect a lot of high energy instrumentation and ambitious song writing. We are a three-piece group, so we do the best we can musically. The album is going to be a very good listen from beginning to end. I think people are going to be pleasantly surprised and refreshed to hear something like this come from, well, where we are. Let's face it, our geopolitical region is not exactly conducive to rock and roll stardom. We are really going to have to grind to make a name for ourselves. That isn't cynicism; that's just the hard truth. We are in it to win it, though.
Tell me about the song "New Town," which will be included on the soundtrack of the indie film, Small Town, that is due for release this coming fall via Wasted Life Productions and Enclave Media.
The song "This Town" is actually our first ever studio-recorded track. It was our beta test with Shelby Preklas at Loud and Clear. We recorded that song because of its "easy listening" nature. That and the fact that it wasn't going to be an overly challenging recording for our first time in the studio. We are excited that Wasted Life Productions is utilizing the song in their film. In fact, we are honored. The song is about change.
Why is music important to you each as individuals? Why do you think music is important to the community at large?
I can confidently speak on behalf of the band when I say that music is one thing that each of us have a very deep relationship with. We were all raised in immersive musical environments. Music represents the soul. People need music just like they need variety, art, spirituality, and sex. A community without music is a community lacking in a critical property of culture.
What would you all consider the band's biggest accomplishment thus far?
This album is by far our most awesome accomplishment yet.
Where do you all hope to be in five years? What are your goals as a group?
In five years, I hope to have four more records released, be constantly playing and touring, and perpetuating this group into a lifelong career full of music and friendship. This band is a great excuse to live, meet new people, visit new places, engage the masses, and most importantly, to create.
What is the most random thing that has ever happened to you all during a performance?
One time, I was rocking too hard and using my guitar to smash Ben's crash cymbal. I succeeded in completely dismantling his cymbal stand. It came crashing down. He was kind of mad, but the crowd thought it was killer. No bras or panties, yet!
Where and how can people check you out and purchase your music?
We have a website. We are also on Facebook and Twitter. For now, we have two songs available on ReverbNation, and that first DIY album I mentioned earlier is available for free on BandCamp.com. Once our CD is released, the album will be available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Bandcamp, etcetera. I will keep everyone posted via Facebook once I know more.
Got any shout-outs you’d like to make?
Shout outs go to Shelby P., Allan Ramsey, Chris Black, Alejandro Villannueva, Josh Hunley, Brian Harper, Harper Guitars, Welcome to 1979, Ricky Sullivan, Micah Green, Brey McCoy, Andrew Mroch, Amanda Payne, Alex Peacock, Claire Voelker, and Ryan Gilchrist!
Sugg Street Post
Written by Jessica Dockrey
Photos provided by Zach Peacock