Written/Media by Austin Schumacher
With the recent Lab Band auditions, The Advocates are currently enjoying another term as a Greenville College Lab band. The Papyrus got a chance to sit down with the funk-rock band’s vocalist/guitarist Austin Fredrich to chat about the band.
How long have you been playing?
Probably since about 8th grade. My parents bought me an acoustic guitar, and I started writing then, so some of The Advocates’ songs actually date back to that time. Rewritten. Worked on. Thankfully. They were a bit rough. But yeah, it’s funny to look back. We’ve got some old ones.
Has your music style changed since then?
Oddly enough. I mean, it’s always developed because I’ve grown into myself as a songwriter, but it’s always kept around the same style. [laughs] At one point and time, I did want to write more, like, hard-rock style, and I was trying to go there, but it always ended up more funky no matter what I tried. So, oddly enough, I’ve always stayed around the same genre.
How long has Advocates been around?
Second semester freshman year is when we officially started…so, a year and a half-ish. Starting last year, sophomore year, my band mates left me, and I had to completely reconstruct… We started with three, and then they both left to do other things. Zach Bridier recorded us second semester Freshman year, and he really liked what I was writing, so he said he’d be willing to drum for us.
So how’d you pick up the bassist?
[laughs] Trevor actually stayed in my room one night Freshman year, and then he came sophomore year, and he was in the Jazz Band, and he was super good. I was like, “Oh! Have you joined anything, yet?” He was like, “No.” I was like, “Listen to this and see if you like it!” He’s like, “Oh, that’s pretty sweet.” So, I was like, “BE IN MY BAND!” So, uh, I really lucked out.
Now, this will not be your first time as a lab band?
So what’s your experience been with the Lab Band program?
It’s really cool. Any opportunity you get to just practice in a venue like that regularly is fantastic. And then, also, mostly since Trevor is so good, Casas really likes us, so that’s really helped, and he’s really offered some quality suggestions for what we do as a team. So, I really like it. It’s just been really nice to practice. It’s really hard to practice in the practice rooms. I don’t know if you’ve….
Yeah, yeah. They get pretty cramped
Yeah. It’s pretty nuts and really loud, and you can’t really take the time to really produce your songs very much.
So, have you been playing other shows or mostly just here at Greenville?
Mostly campus shows. We’ve tried to play other shows, but they’re usually really, really depressing, because we played a show in Cicero’s last year, and the only guys watching us were the guys from the other band… It was pretty uncomfortable, and that’s happened a couple of times. It’s pretty depressing. And we don’t have vehicles, so we’re kinda’ stuck here unless we manage to wrangle up some cars.
Do you have any future plans of getting out of Greenville, or are you content to be here and just let things do their thing?
I would say that we’re pretty much a college band. Everyone has expressed interest in going not much further than college, which is understandable. But, if we could start picking up steam and getting cooler shows in St. Louis, that’d be fine, but it’s really fun to just pick up steam around Greenville College,too, because, you know, playing Midnight Breakfast, and playing the Back to School Bash, that’s a lot of fun, and just having everybody know about you on campus is just as cool as going to St. Louis and having no one show up.
What about you personally?
I’m a double-major in audio engineering and marketing. I’ll always write. I don’t know what’ll go from here. I’ll probably always have a band. We’ll always play little shows, but I’ve thought about the whole national tour thing. Got a couple of friends doing that. I’m not sure how much I like my car. And just sitting in it for hours and hours. So, probably not professionally.
What is the best part about playing with The Advocates?
Playing new music, and having everyone just kinda chip in and build the song… It’s really fun to see something from bare bones that I came up with or that Trevor came up with, and then have it come together to full-band effort, and have it be something that we’re really excited about. Every time we start a new song, we’re like, “This is the best song ever!” You know, and then you get it all worked out, and then you write a new song, and you’re like, “No, wait, THIS is the… “ So, I think that’s really fun. That’s what I’ve had the most fun with so far.
The Advocates are currently working on recording a full-length album. Their EP, We do Origami, is available for free download on Noisetrade. The Advocates are also putting together an acoustic set for one of the Blackroom Cafe shows.