Longtime musicians Brian Speer of Odon and Darren Perkins of Washington have played with various bands at many different venues, but a new band is providing a fresh experience for them.
Since March the two Daviess County men have been members of “Trainwreck Survivors,” and in July they played at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville prior to the Jimmy Buffett concert. They were featured on the Marathon Side Stage, which is the first stage concert-goers see as they come into the venue.
“Most bands on the side stage only play 45 minutes to an hour, but since Buffett doesn’t have an opener we got an hour and 45 minutes,” Speer said.
Though they’ve played other large venues with big crowds, Perkins said the audience is generally more spread out, such as on festival grounds. Klipsch is probably the biggest, he said, where the entire crowd was at the stage at the same time.
“We already know we’ll be back up at Klipsch next summer,” he said. “We’ll probably get more than one job out of it.”
Speer and Perkins are no strangers to warming up big-name groups. They’ve played together 15-20 years in various bands, they said, and have played prior to the likes of .38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Joan Jett, Foghat, Sawyer Brown, Little River Band, Juice Newton and Steve Wariner.
The musicians credit the quick success of Trainwreck Survivors to their band mates and manager, all of whom also have years of experience in the music business. Besides Speer, who plays bass, and Perkins, who plays drums, the band includes Tony Cannon on acoustic and rhythm guitar, Tom Wince on keyboard, and Danny Emborton on lead guitar. All but Wince also sing vocals.
Manager Michael Smith books shows, handles PR and runs the sound equipment for Trainwreck Survivors. Speer explained he and Perkins met Smith while playing in another band.
“We talked to him about doing something with newer country,” Perkins said.
To that point, he said, they’d been playing traditional country and southern rock. But they wanted to play newer, fresher country music, so Smith started introducing them to other musicians.
“It was mostly young people coming into where we were playing, and we realized they’d probably be more interested in what we were wanting to do than what were playing,” Speer said.
“As soon as we met Tony, we could tell that’s where his head was.”
Perkins said they recruited Emborton next, then Wince.
“We’re all on the same page and focused on the same goal,” he said. “I think that’s why the band clicks so well.
“It’s hard to get five guys together that have the same frame of mind.”
And that’s how they came up with the band name, in a sense. Every band member had been involved in various bands that ultimately didn’t work out for them. Discussing the trials and tribulations of playing music, they joked about surviving some train wrecks.
“We’ve done quite a bit no longer than we’ve been together,” Perkins continued. “We practiced six times, and the seventh time (we got together) we were giggin’ out, and we’ve been giggin’ since then.”
All but two of the band members have full-time jobs, and they practice in Bloomington, which is more or less a central location for the scattered band members. Perkins and Speer said they’ve been playing three weekends a month and hardly have time for practice. They’ve played in Jasper, Bedford, Ellettsville and other cities, and they recently played in Odon.
“We’re getting ready to hit Indianapolis soon,” Speer said. “We have a lot of bookings up there.
“Mike is really on top of getting us good jobs. He deals with bar owners and negotiations, which is a blessing for the band.”
He explained the musicians really aren’t interested in that end of the business, and relationships such as the one Smith struck up with Live Nation are invaluable.
But Trainwreck Survivors doesn’t want to just play live shows. They have original songs they plan to record.
“Tony Cannon has some great originals we’ve been playing and some others we’re working up,” Speer said, adding Cannon grew up with Jason Aldean and Brantley Gilbert, and the 30-year-old toured from the time he was 19 until he was 29.
Perkins said: “We’re planning on getting in the studio as soon as possible.”
Check out the Trainwreck Survivors Facebook page for more on the band and their schedule.
- Local News
WHS wins SeaPerch title
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Persons interested in these positions should contact athletic director John Howell at 812-254-2050, or email at email@example.com.
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- State News
Indiana’s high school grad rate continues upward
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