Q: Who’s who? Just a chance to quickly introduce each of yourselves!
TK Collective: Cooper Carr is on guitar and lead vocals, Griffin Oakley plays bass and Evan Lutz is our drummer!
Q: How did each of you come to music? When you first decided to start collaborating, how would you describe the moment you knew this (TK Collective) was something special?
TK Collective: Music has been a passion for each of us ever since we can remember. Cooper and Evan started playing their instruments (guitar and drums respectively) very young, and Griffin started playing bass in high school as a part of his church’s worship team. At first, TK Collective just started out as wanting to play some covers of songs outside on Belmont’s campus for fun. I think we started thinking we had something special after we finished writing and recording our first single, “We’ll See Tomorrow”, and especially after we filmed the music video and saw the positive response it got from other Belmont students. It was such a fun process, and it inspired us to keep making music together.
Q: You all attended Belmont University during the pandemic. Walk me through what that was like. How did that impact what type of music you collaboratively created and your process? How did that impact the way you experienced attending a university during such a strange time in the world?
TK Collective: Going through freshman year of college during a pandemic was definitely unique experience. I think we were all just glad we never got sent home unexpectedly, but it did make it quite a bit more difficult to meet people and have social interaction. As far as music goes, it really limited our ability to play live as a band, so it gave us a lot of time to write and record music that we love. I think it worked to our benefit in a way because it forced to stay focused on that, which gave us a really good amount of original material to play once we did start booking some live shows in Nashville. Still, we are definitely looking forward to a more normal fall semester!
Q: How would you describe your sound? What inspires you to create this sort of music?
TK Collective: It’s fun because each member of the band brings different musical influences to the table. Evan brings country and rock influences, Griffin brings some country as well as folk/singer-songwriter influences, and Cooper brings alternative rock and pop influences. Overall, TK Collective’s sound lands on alternative rock, but if you listen, I think you’ll hear a little bit of all of those influences in our sound. Each song on our EP is quite unique, but at the heart of it we wanted to write honest, relatable lyrics and tell compelling stories with our music. We also want people to be able to scream along to our songs in their car, so we try to go for that as well.
Q: What is your favorite song on the record? Why is it your favorite? How would you describe the process of making that song?
TK Collective: We all love the first song on our EP, “Don’t Be”. It’s super energetic and fun, I think the lyrics about struggling to be authentic in the digital age hits home for a lot of people, and it features our friend Kelsey Minko. She’s also a freshman at Belmont, and her vocals on that song make it so much better. This song was actually written primarily over Zoom during winter break, so it was a lot of fun to get back on campus and start recording it. I definitely think our listeners agree that this is the best song on our EP, and it also illustrates the direction we’re headed with our sound.
Q: What was the most difficult part of making this record?
TK Collective: I honestly think the most difficult part was recording the songs in our dorm rooms. There’s a limited time in the day where we can practice instruments/vocals in our rooms, and then you hope the person next door doesn’t have the same idea at the same time as you if you’re trying to record. It’s definitely not the ideal recording space, but we made it work and are proud of how the recordings turned out.
Q: Who do you cite as an inspiration for your music, generally? Whether as a professional inspiration or in your personal life.
TK Collective: Like I had alluded to in the previous question, our influences are pretty eclectic and across the board, but for the music we’ve released so far, we’ve cited inspiration from artists such as Paramore, the Strokes, and Fleetwood Mac. So if you like any of those artists, you should definitely check out our music!
Q: What is next for you?
TK Collective: We actually have a new single coming out on May 21st! It’s called “Good New Day” and it’s a fun, upbeat summer jam that we’re really excited to share with our listeners.
Interviewed by Kat Rendon