Punk/rock band Forever and Counting was formed in Georgia, but they’re pretty widely known these days. You may have heard of them from their appearance on an episode of MTV’s Catfish. Check out our interview with the band members Ray Myers, Korey Bridges, Ches Kendrick, and Jarrod Musselwhite below, then make sure to “Like” their Facebook page to keep up-to-date on venues and shows near you!
First of all, I love the name Forever & Counting. What is the story behind deciding on that name?
Ches: Well, Korey or Ray can tell you better than anyone – but what the name means for me the unwillingness to quit. I can remember hearing about the band before it was really a band. A guy who was going to be one of the guitarist told me about it. I never thought I would be a part of it and I certainly never thought I would be answering questions about my band in an interview.
Ray: I thought of the band name while Korey and I were at Starbucks one delightful evening. One of my favorite bands is Hot Water Music and “F&C” is my favorite album by them. I have always thought that it would be a great band name. I threw it out to Korey on that delightful evening and he thought it was a great idea. So there ya go!
Korey: Ray and I were sitting at the Starbucks in Tifton, Georgia, one night about 2 years ago talking about wanting to start a new band and how we wanted to sound. [We] started talking about band names and Ray came up with Forever & Counting… because one of our all time favorite bands is Hot Water Music and “Forever and Counting” was his favorite album by them. We decided it was an awesome name and fit us perfectly.
Jarrod: When I joined up with the fellas they told me this was the name.
Which musicians or bands most influence your style?
Jarrod: Hot Water Music is the overall influence I think. But secretly our influences are The Commodores.
Ches: For me it is Thrice, Brand New, Anti-Flag, Hot Water Music.
Ray: Hot Water Music, Thrice, Brand New, No Motiv, Strung Out, A Wilhelm Scream, Cher.
Korey: I think all of us would definitely say Hot Water Music and Thrice. But I do believe we all have a vast array of artists and bands that have influenced our individual writing styles that when we come together, that’s what truly creates the sound of Forever & Counting….
Use one word to describe each band member.
Ray: Korey – Enigmatic, Ches – Ginger, Jarrod – Owl, Ray – Hideous.
Korey: Ches – Persistent, Jarrod – Resourceful, Ray – Reasonable.
Ches: Korey – Honest, Ray – Witty, Jarrod – Compassionate.
Jarrod: Korey – Indifferent, Ray – Beast, Ches – Potato.
What is your process for writing new songs? Do you all get together and write music, individually write lyrics, or something else?
Ray: For the most part we write together at practice but there are times when each of us will bring something that we have written and the entire band will work off of that [later] at practice.
Ches: It really just depends. Sometimes I bring a song, sometimes Korey does or we just make something up on the spot.
Korey: We try to write mostly everything together. But sometimes one of us may come in with an almost complete song minus [the others’] parts. But mostly one of us will come in with a riff or something and everything happens from there when we jam with it. Lyrics usually come from whomever is going to be the primary vocalist for the song.
Jarrod: We usually come up with stuff and bring it into practice so everyone can slap their creative juices on it.
What is each of you guys’ favorite song to perform live?
Ches: Mine is either “Look” or “Contender”.
Korey: That’s a toss up for me… either “Crack Baby” or “The Contender”.
Ray: “Conversations from Your Dinner Table”.
Jarrod: Mine has to be “Crack Baby”.
How has your appearance on MTV’s show “Catfish” effected the band?
Jarrod: We definitely got more likes on Facebook.
Ray: I think that the exposure had treated us quite well. Our Likes [on Facebook] have jumped up tremendously and promoters are calling every now and then. We hope that a lot more comes our way from the show but really hope that people will want more of us simply from a musical standpoint. We appreciate the “foot in the door” but want to focus on getting our art out to as many people as possible. It has been very fun so far and expect lots more in the upcoming months.
Korey: It boosted our Facebook Likes to a crazy level in such a short amount of time. And we have actually recently been able to start booking shows that we want to do.
Ches: It has helped us out a lot. It has got us fans from all over the place and helped us get shows that before we couldn’t have got.
Who are you listening to most right now?
Ches: I’ve just had my iPhone on shuffle… anything from The Unseen, Senses Fail, Say Anything, Rancid, Polar Bear Club, Flatliners – just a bunch of stuff.
Korey: Make Do and Mend and Mumford & Sons a lot lately.
Jarrod: Right now I am listening to At the Drive In.
Ray: Right now I am listening to “Mute Print” by A Wilhelm Scream.
Tell us the craziest/funniest/best story (that you can remember) since Forever & Counting got together – whether from fan experiences or practice sessions or out playing venues.
Ches: For me it would have to be the time we were playing in this back-woods bar in the middle of nowhere and some one in the audience yelled out, “Play some Disturbed already!” and Ray responded, “You mean dis-crap-ed?”
Korey: I would have to say Ray licking a Stripper Pole in a bar we played.
Ray: The time when I licked a stripper pole at one of our earlier shows.
Jarrod: Ray licking that dang stripper pole.
What’s your dream venue – if you could perform at any venue in the world?
Jarrod: I’d have to say Red Rocks is my dream spot.
Korey: A personal goal for me has always been Heaven in the Masquerade in Atlanta, but other than that I’m not really sure. I just want to play all over the place. Maybe Chain Reaction one day.
Ches: Warped Tour!
Do you have any upcoming appearances?
Korey: We will be playing a few shows in Florida in February and March and we are continuing to book more as well for other areas. Go Like our Facebook page for all the latest stuff we are doing.
Ray: We have some shows set in Florida during the next 2 months – but if any promoter reads this that wants us at your venue then by all means send us a message.
Thanks for the interview, guys!
Photos courtesy of Forever & Counting’s Facebook Page