Square Peg Round Hole is an instrumental band that will leave you breathless. Each song is full of intricate sounds. This is a band to jam no matter the situation. I had the privilege of interviewing Carlos of Square Peg Round Hole. In this interview, we talk about inspiration, their new album, and much more.
Rob: Where did your name come from?
Carlos: Back when we were starting out still at Indiana University, we were trying to come up with a name for the band and failing miserably. Evan was trying to play this percussion solo at the time called, “Square Peg Round Hole” by Dennis DeSantis, and thought that name might actually fit considering the music we were playing didn’t belong to any one genre. We never found a name that topped that so it stuck!
Rob: What is your songwriting process?
Carlos: Many times one of us will bring in either an idea or a fully realized song and teach the others their parts. In a way, there is one composer for each song. But once everyone has learned their parts we mess around with the song as a band, changing up the song to work better live and be more fun to play. That collaboration takes it from just an idea on a computer to a completely fleshed out song that we can jam out to.
Rob: What bands have inspired your sound?
Carlos: We are constantly inspired by so many different types of music, ranging from contemporary classical all the way to punk rock. But definitely one of our stand alone favorites is Son Lux. Their music is wildly creative and has a perfect balance between acoustic and electronic elements. Because we are all percussionists we are always trying to find new sounds and Son Lux always blows us away with the vast range of evocative sounds they are able to produce.
Rob: Where did the title of your new album “Juniper” come from?
Carlos: We were lucky enough to be asked to perform and teach at the Birch Creek Percussion Festival in Door County, Wisconsin. There they had a performance space called Juniper Hall that was super beautiful. Completely lined with wood and amazing acoustics. The initial idea was to record our album in that room, but we weren’t able to work out the logistics of traveling to Wisconsin from Philadelphia without taking a million days off work. Even though we didn’t end up using that space we liked remembering what it symbolized for us.
Rob: Which song is your favorite of the record?
Carlos: That’s definitely a tough one. We have had the songs for a very long time and have gone through so many phases of which one was our favorite. Usually the stand outs are the songs that are super exciting to play live. So in that category, “Blithe,” “Momentary Light,” and “Name Not One Man” are definitely up there. But one thing that we kept telling each other time and time again was just how much we liked the album. We really do love every song on the album and love the flow of it all.
Rob: How did you get signed to Spartan Records?
Carlos: Again we were super lucky to be contacted by Bryan Laurenson, who is the guitarist for Copeland, a band that we are all super big fans of. He ended up mixing our record and afterwards he gave us a couple connections to labels he knew. One of them being Spartan Records, who seemed really excited about our record and really understood what we were trying to do. In the end we picked them because of their dedication to the music and to our product and we couldn’t be happier!
Rob: If you could play one music festival what would it be?
Carlos: Another tough one! Obviously, if we had our pick of the litter we would headline Lollapalooza or something like that. But in more realistic terms, there are so many great festivals now that showcase really creative music such as the Eaux Claire Festival organized by Justin Vernon, or Big Ears in Knoxville. Those are definitely at the top of the list.
Rob: What are your plans in 2016?
Carlos: We have a lot of big things on the horizon, one hopefully being a pretty large tour. Nothing is set in stone, but we just want to play these songs for as many people as possible. We are constantly writing new material and getting inspiration, so the music process never stops, and we’ve got a couple more videos in store that we can’t wait to share with the world!