Interview with Kevin Truckenmiller from Quietdrive

Quietdrive, is an alternative rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. This five piece band consistests of: Kevin Truckenmiller – lead vocalist, Justin Bonhiver – Lead guitarist, Will Ceasar – guitarist and vocals, Brice Nehaus – bass player, and Brandon Lanier – drums. Their cover of ‘Time after Time; was 57 on the top 100 pop songs of 2007. They have come far as a band and are continuing to produce great music. They have released over 10 albums and EP’s since 2003, and have a new one coming out on April 24th! They recently released a strictly covers album entitled ‘Your Record Our Spin’, which is available now on iTunes! Check out our interview with the lead singer and make sure to pick up a copy of one of their CDs!

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

“My name is Kevin Truckenmiller and I sing in the band Quiet Drive. I’m the main singer. We have been a band for about seven to ten years, we’ve been doing music for a while. We are about to release our brand new record called ‘Up or Down’, and we’re very excited about it. There’s a lot of new and different songs on it that I think people are really going to dig.”

Do you prefer college shows, or non-college shows?

The reason why we play a lot of colleges is because they take really good care of us and the student base is a really fun base to play for.  You know when you’re on the road and just playing dirty clubs, it’s just kind of nice to be in a college where things are clean and things are taken care of and the people are just as into it as in a club.”

Since you guys are from Minnesota do you have a favorite college to play there?

“Yeah there’s a college called St. Johns University up in St. Cloud that I went to, that’s where I kind of started the band. Whenever we go there it’s just pandemonium.”

How did Quietdrive form?

“It was kind of interesting; I was in one band, actually two bands at the same time. And one of the bands was more like harder rock music, or alternative rock I guess. And the other band I was in was kind of like basically pop music, it was just kind of like rock/pop. At a certain point I just couldn’t do them both and I had to fuse the two and talk to everybody involved, and brought everybody together and it worked out rather nicely. Everything just came together.”

Do you have a favorite song to preform live?

“Well it changes, because you like certain songs one day, and you like others another day, it’s kind of always a fluid emotion. We love all the songs we play. I’d say our favorite one to play is Rise From the Ashes, it’s our anthem, our anthemic rock song. But we’ve got a new record coming up, and there’s a lot of songs on there that we really like so who knows. [Released April 24th].”

Are you guys going to do a record release show?

“We’re going to do a couple dates around the Midwest. We were going to do a Minneapolis hometown record release show, but we got booked at the Rivers Edge Music Festival, it’s one of the newest festivals in Minnesota. That’s going to be kind of our record Release, that’s on June 23rd. I think we’re going to be playing with Flaming Lips, and Dave Matthews Band is going to be playing as well. It’s a pretty big festival and we’re excited to be a part of it!”

Whats the coolest thing to has happened to your band since it has formed. Something you never expected?

“I didn’t expect the cover of a cover to be done on ‘American Idol’. It was like a week and a half ago, something like that. Colton Dixon, whose on ‘American Ido’l did our version of ‘Time After Time;. The Judges were like “That arrangement was spectacular, amazing, I can’t believe you thought of that.” When they cut to Ryan Seacrest interviewing Colton, he was like “yeah I kind of stole that from Quietdrive”. I was like ok, that’s pretty interesting, he ripped off a cover of a cover.”

What is the craziest thing that has happened to you guys while on tour?

“You know, there’s a lot of crazy moments. It’s difficult to put into words the amount of craziness that goes on, because typically we don’t like to bring it up again. But there was one night where we were driving overnight from Seattle, to Salt Lake City. We were going through the mountain pass, and we get to the bottom of  it after getting pulled over and searched, and there was this guy in the middle of the road with a shotgun to his head. We were stunned. Everyone was like “holy shit there’s a guy with a shotgun” cause he turned around and looked at us, and everyone in the van just hit the deck, and the driver just swung the van around and just started going the wrong way on the other road. It was one of the craziest experiences on the road.”

Do you remember your first show? What was it like?

“Our first show was a disaster. I didn’t remember any of the lyrics to any of the songs, so I just made them all up. But that was original material. I’ve done talent shows. I did a talent show when I was in high school and I sang “Whats My Age Again” by Blink 182, and I did a Weezer cover of “Butterfly” which is like an acoustic song, and I think that went well. But, our first show as band was a disaster; I lost my voice I didn’t know any of the lyrics, but you got to start somewhere. And you know what, this industry is about persistence, not necessarily just about skill and talent.”

Whose your favorite band that you’ve been on tour with?

“Don’t have just one favorite. It’s tough because when you’re on the road with people, you develop a bond, it’s impossible not to because you’re both just doing something crazy. You’re both so interested in each others work, you cant help but bond.”

If you could tour with any band, who would they be?

“I would like to tour with any band, it doesn’t matter to me. Accept I’ve always wanted to tour with ‘Taking Back Sunday’, but they’re pretty phenomenal, so it’s hard to compete with that.”

We know that “Time After Time” is your most popular cover, but what is your favorite song to cover?

“It’s difficult to pinpoint that exactly, all songs change and they mean different things to you. But ‘Third Eyed Blind’ – “Semi Charmed Life” is really fun because the crowd gets so into it. I don’t know why, but it’s just a really great song to play.”

Tell us about your upcoming tour?

“Yeah sure, there’s info on our Facebook, but it’s just generally a Midwestern. We usually like to do a tour in the Midwest, and then we do a couple Japanese tours, just because those are our best markets, that’s kind of how we can stay afloat as a band. It’s really difficult in the era of $4 a gallon gas prices and declining CD sales for a band to do any amount of touring and be successful. Even bigger bands aren’t taking on as much money. So it’s difficult, but we do what we can. We hope that anyone who hears about those dates can come out to a show, because we’d love to play for them!”

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