10 Questions with ... SAFETYSUIT
June 6, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Safetysuit consists of Douglas Brown (lead vocal), Dave Garofalo (electric guitar), Jeremy Henshaw (bass guitar) and Tate Cunningham (percussion) formed in Tulsa, OK. Their 2008 major label debut album "Life Left to Go" featured the songs "Stay" and "Someone Like You". The band first achieved success by climbing to No. 1 on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown. In 2012, SafetySuit released their second album "These Times", notable for the songs "Let Go" and "These Times".
Douglas Brown kindly took time out of his busy schedule with us to answer some questions.
1) Thanks so much for your time today! How's 2016 been treating the band so far?
It's been an awesome year so far! We did a tour in January and February, radio promo for "Looking Up" in April and May, and now we are off to a secluded studio in the mountains and we aren't coming out until the record is finished.
2) What do you think have been some of the group's biggest highlights throughout the years? What are you proudest of today?
Well we are always most proud of our relationship with our fans. We love their passion and we love trying to match it every time we hit the stage. But as far as career milestones, your first record release is always special. Being a VH1 "You Oughta Know" artist and having a #1 video with "Stay" was a goal from the start. Our second record debuting at #1 on iTunes and #7 on billboard was amazing, and now running our own label to that is something we are really proud of.
3) How did the band first get together back in 2002?
Honestly, we were all just friends and I had written a song and there was a battle of the bands ... the rest is history.
4) What was the inspiration for your current and newest single, "Looking Up"? How long have you been working on this new collection of music?
With "Looking Up", we just wanted a song that made you feel good. We had a song called "These Times" on our last record that we thought was super inspiring and uplifting, but we realized after we released it that if you weren't paying attention to all the words you may actually think it's a sad song. That was the exact opposite of what we were going for! So we said on this record we were going to have a song that from the first downbeat to the last note of the song, there would be no mistaking it. It was going to make you feel good. It would sound happy and feel happy ... all the way through. I think we did it with "Looking Up."
5) How have the band's dynamics have changed and grown over the years?
Well thankfully I think we've grown as men. We listen to each other better than we did back at the start. Not as much pride. We are more in sync than we've ever been. There is much more trust. We are in a great place, the best we've ever been.
6) In January, you kicked off your first tour since 2012. What was it like getting back on the road after that long of an absence?
It was great! It was like riding a bike ... Thankfully people actually showed up! We had some of the best shows of our career.
7) How would you compare going from a major label to being an independent artist?
There are pros and cons to each. We had some great moments at Universal. People we still love and still keep up with today. But right now we are at an exciting time in the music business so we love being lean, fast and in control of our destiny. It's scary though at the same time. There is no safety net when you're the only one working your record. Either way though, it's a rush ... and I like that.
8) Where did the name "SAFETYSUIT" come from?
It's actually a combination of two names we were debating. We liked "The Safety" and "Pressure Suit" but we couldn't get the worldwide trademark on either so we just mashed the two together and called it a day. We were a few months into the search at that point so we were ready to be done. But now we love it ... it's us.
9) What artists continue to inspire you through the years?
I like anything from bands like U2 and Coldplay, to more pop centered acts. Great bands) like Maroon 5 and OneRepublic, to newer artists like Jack Garrett ... anyone who isn't content with their last success. That's inspiring.
10) At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I hope our music inspires people. I hope it makes you think, and I hope it makes you feel good. If we can do all that, I think we are doing ok.