Interview: The Static Trees | Band | Nashville, TN

The Static Trees are a prominent example of Frederick, Maryland’s growing music scene. Featuring Nikki Barber on vocals and Dylan Whitlow on guitar and vocals, The Static Trees have a unique genre comprised of blues, alternative rock and punk.

“We were just messing around with recording gear in a friend’s basement and thought: why not start a band?” said Whitlow, “There wasn’t one real defining moment. We were both always looking for a creative outlet, and music turned out to be it.”

The band’s early influences consisted of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Simon and Garfunkel. “We slowly crept our way into the blues,” Whitlow said. “Lightnin’ Hopkins, Howlin’ Wolf, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe were our favorites. We’ve always loved rock n’ roll acts like The Rolling Stones, The Sonics, and Chuck Berry as well.”

After the band was well developed, they wanted to get their songs out to the public. “All we wanted to do was record,” said Barber. “So that’s pretty much all we did. We set up a makeshift recording space in Dylan’s basement and basically locked ourselves down there. We put out four albums in our first year, all with fifteen or more songs on them.”

The band then went on to do a few mini tours further away from Frederick. “Going on tour is tricky,” Whitlow said. “We started playing with our friend’s bands in their hometowns and it grew from there. It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it,” When asked what their favorite experiences are from touring so far. Whitlow said, “The people you meet and the places you wind up. Every town has a mind of it’s own. It’s always rewarding when complete strangers really dig your music.”

After deciding on taking on music as a career, The Static Trees decided to move to Nashville. “We wanted a change,” Whitlow said. “We debated L.A., but we had just made a record down in Nashville and fell in love with the city. It’s packed full of music, but with a very hometown vibe. The music community in Nashville is one of the best we’ve been to. Frederick was a great place to start playing, but it doesn’t offer a huge chance of progression.”

The Static Trees are a duo at their core, but they go through many different touring lineups. “Lately we’ve been playing with the same people pretty consistently, but there is no telling how many band line  ups we’ll have as we progress down the line,” Barber said. “We like playing with different musicians because everyone brings something new to our songs.”

The Record Exchange in downtown Frederick is one of the band’s favorite spots to come back to when visiting. “We love it there,” Whitlow said, “Everyone who works there has been wonderful to us and they have such a great selection of music. We could spend hours in that store every time we visit. It was one of the first places we played as a full plugged in band, so it has a special place in our hearts.”The band hopes to keep striving and do their best. “We’re going to be putting out a 4 song EP we did down in Nashville within the next few months, and we want to start working on a full length album soon,” Whitlow said. “We also want to start touring down south as heavily as possible.”The Static Trees try to play homecoming shows in Frederick as often as they can. The band plans on coming back around Christmas or in the spring.”

When asked what advice they would give to young musicians, Whitlow said. “Write and play as much as possible, meet as many musicians as you can, and never stop. Most of all don’t let your age get in the way of playing out. It can be hard to find all age venues, but they are out there!”

Author: whatisfrederick

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