As you listen to “This Time” and then “Devil” you may wonder if these two songs are by different bands. Keystone Postcard has such a varying sound, we decided to talk about the band’s individual influences and how they might contribute to what you hear today. Vic, Becky and Matt each answered a few questions separately to help explain KP’s unique sound.
Who are your three main musical influences?
VIC: Ooo, I have to pick just three? Umm. I was a big Pearl Jam fan and listened to how Eddie Vedder would sing stuff. And Ed Kowalczyk from Live I took vocal stuff.
In terms of performances and songwriting, I took a lot from Green Day. I listened to a lot of [Green Day] growing up and they were a big influence on what I do. I did take some vocal stuff from Billie Jo Armstrong too.
Early catchy songwriting I took a lot from Steven Curtis Chapman because I started in the Christian world.
That would probably be, I know it was supposed to be three, but my top four.
BECKY: Mine are kind of weird because I have my musical theatre influences too. But the very first influence overall for me was Judy Garland. I was obsessed when I was a kid. I once watched a documentary that mentioned how people used to refer to her as ‘the little girl with the big voice’. Well, I wanted to be THAT!
Also when I was little, I was so excited to receive Cindi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual.” I used to lip-sync (and sometimes just belt out) that album in front of the mirror. [laughs]
The one that is probably no surprise to many is No Doubt. Gwen was a huge influence on me as a young performer and all of that just kinda stuck.
MATT: Wow! Well, first it’s definitely gonna be Metallica, Guns and Roses, and oof, this is a hard question. [long pause] Probably Sound Garden.
What was the first CD you owned?
VIC: I don’t know, I had tapes first. [laughs] I don’t have something memorable enough that I can remember like “this was my first CD, I remember unwrapping it.”
BECKY: My first CD was Alanis Morrisette: Jagged Little Pill. I can still remember the little blue THE WALL sticker on the back. [laughs] I guess that lifetime guarantee isn’t good anymore huh?
MATT: Oooh. [laughs] And I’m not ashamed to admit this, it was a Boyz II Men CD. Yeah, I think that’s where my harmonies kinda came into play with singing backup.
Vic and Becky is there a vocalist in particular who influenced each of you?
VIC: Actually, I lied [about the CD], I had one experience like that, and this goes to the influences, this person was a huge influence on me. This singer, I wanted to be him SO bad. When I first started gigging I used to put a scarf on my freaking mic stand. Aerosmith. I was a huge Aerosmith fan. Humongous fan! Steven Tyler, he was like a God. I used to listen to ‘Dream On’ and be like “Wow! How does he do that?” [So] Big Ones was the first [album] that I was actually like “I want to buy this. I love this.” And then I really worked at memorizing the songs [starts singing Aerosmith lyrics].
BECKY: So the influences I mentioned before were pretty much subconscious because I liked their music. I was just belting and squealing like Judy and Gwen all over the place. But while in college I started paying closer attention to my technique and performance. It was actually Victor who recommended I listen to more Billie Holiday for her nuisance and feel. I enjoyed her before, but then I studied her approach and how I could apply her subtlety. She didn’t have the range or belt like Judy. But she was just as powerful in her delivery. Looking at my voice dynamically like that was huge for me! I realized I didn’t have to just belt every note for it to have meaning and power.
Matt can you name one guitar player who most influences your playing?
MATT: [Without hesitation] Definitely, James Hetfield of Metallica.
If you could fill in with a band, who would you play with in your dream world?
VIC: Probably Foo Fighters. I’m just so in love with Dave Grohl. I’d probably just sit there and drool while I was watching the back of his head. He’s so good. It’s not even like that he’s just a great musician and good singer. It’s not even those things per sea. It’s the fact of how grounded he is through all of that. And how he can talk about Nirvana and his experiences there. What it taught him and how he grew from it. He always maintains that he’s still just a person. Yeah, he’s a rock star. He is arguably one of the largest rock stars currently, but he is still so grounded. That is such a great reminder of being a human being while being in this job. People get all crazy. It’s just a reminder you’re just another dude that sings and plays guitar. That doesn’t make you any better than anyone else out there swinging a hammer or sitting at a desk.
BECKY: Honestly, I would love to get to play with Walk Off The Earth. I’m so obsessed right now. I feel like I could learn so much from them and just have a dang good time!
MATT: Oh well, I know this is gonna sound a little repetitive but Metallica, for sure. That’s the top for me.
How do you feel Metallica influences KP?
MATT: Well, I think probably just through me, when we write songs and I just kinda add my little ideas into that. A lot of my style of playing is derived from learning Metallica songs. And you know, I think a lot of that has to do with them being one of my favorite bands. So that’s probably where the direction comes from.
Becky how do you feel Judy, No Doubt, etc influence KP?
BECKY: My influences helped shape me as a performer. And I’ve always felt like a performer. In theatre you are given a part to perform. So I felt that my ability to entertain a crowd was my major contribution to the band because that is what comes easy for me. Writing doesn’t come as easy. So I’ve had to contemplate why I like certain music and try to apply it here. I think the subtlety leads to some cool vocal harmonies and more interesting lead vocal lines. In the studio, our producers reminded me that I am telling a story and encouraged me to tap into those theatre roots. I learned that I can be the little girl with the big AND little voice. It doesn’t have to be all in you face all the time.
Vic, how do you feel Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, etc influence KP?
VIC: My musical roots are based in rock. But I listened to whatever my mom listened to growing up. And I also was a huge jazz fan. I remember listening to all the jazz artists coming through the Poconos. My taste is so diverse, I just like music. It gives us a broader spectrum and hopefully an organic feel of diversity from all of us. On this EP, all the songs are so different. From a country feel, to heavy hard rock, to that light airy Christian feel. Hopefully that means we can connect with people from every shape, color, creed because we each have varying experiences.