Interview w/ PAC NW Artist Members Keeper Keeper
Recently, I sat down and feasted over bottomless mimosas and guileless conversation with your new favorite Portland band, Keeper Keeper. The trio, comprised of Dylan Hatcher, Jamie Rhea, and Joe Garcia, is PAC NW's newest artist member, so naturally we thought it best to give you a proper introduction to your new baby brother.
How did you guys come to be a band?
**'Immediately, a pause of sympathetic faces all across the table.
Dylan: "For me, it took kind of a while. I moved to Portland with sorta just the intention of starting a band. I was in this other band for about six months, and it didn't work out. We were called 'Viscerales'--"
Jamie: (jokingly) "For the record, I'm not plugging any of my former bands, cus they're all assholes."
Dylan: "--and eventually, I was like, 'F**k this I'm getting out of here', and I threw up an ad on Craigslist. Went through several people and then Jamie got back to me and sent me this really long, nice email. We met up initially, and he seemed like he played a little more mellow music than I thought, so I was still kinda skeptical, but we kept meeting up every four or five days and he showed me some songs that I really liked, and one day I just had this moment where I thought, 'Okay. This is probably going to work.'"
Jamie: "At the very, very beginning, from the very start, we did play different stuff than one another, but even then it was really clear that neither one of us were set on something having to sound a certain way. Neither one of us had a preset idea of what this or that had to sound like, we just wanted it to sound good. So I'd play stuff and he'd play stuff but we were both open to doing things differently. From the very, very beginning I could just tell that we were both people who just...wanted to make good music."
So where did Joe come in?
Jamie: "Well, Silverado was having a Tuesday night special..."
"No, so after Dylan I had been playing together, we put up an ad for a drummer. Nobody answered for a while, and then a bunch of people answered at once. So we started sifting through people--"
Dylan: "Oh remember? We had those other guys."
Jamie: "We almost played with that other dude. It's weird when you think back on that, too, like how close we came to playing with someone else. You never know how stuff is going to work out, but I'm really glad we didn't go with that guy. He was just the opposite--he had all these preset ideas of how something had to be and how something had to sound. There were about five people who responded and two of them were really experienced people and coming from successful bands. One of the guys was in a worldwide-known successful band. We almost went with him because he had a lot of experience, but with Joe it just worked."
Where did you get your name?
Jamie: "I was in the car one day with my girlfriend of the time, and she said something along the lines of, 'You're a keeper', so I said, 'You're a keeper too.' Then she paused and was just like, 'Keeper Keeper. That's what you should call your band' and it stuck. And it didn't mean anything at the time, but it sounded cool, so we went with it--"
Dylan: "--but then it had this way of making sense in other ways...like I had a thought that stuck with me, it just hit me that everything we are doing--everything that is going on--it's going to be kept."
When did you start playing?
Jamie: "I've always played, I've always loved music, but I guess as far as becoming dedicated goes...five years ago."
Joe: "I was about 17, it was in high school. And when I first started playing, it was actually guitar. But then I started learning drums."
Dylan: "Senior year of high school."
What is the first song you learned to play?
Dylan: "If You're Going to San Francisco by The Mamas & the Papas."
Joe: "Basket Case by Green Day."
Jamie: "Actually, I think it was the Jurassic Park theme song on recorder.
What is the first album you ever bought with your own money?
Dylan: "Eiffel 65. I'm not proud."
Joe: "Green Day, Nimrod."
Jamie: "See, I did one of those like 6-set album purchases where you get a bunch of CDs. I think it was The Cranberries, Ace of Base, The Dandy Warhols, The Beatles...I can't remember all of them for sure."
What is the fist concert you ever went to?
Dylan: "Sugar Ray."
Jamie: "Foo Fighters."
What is the best compliment you've ever gotten from a listener?
Dylan:"It has to be something from Jay (referring to Jay Robichaux of Jackpot Studios). Just for the fact that it's coming from him."
Jamie: "Honestly, the most common compliment I get from people I know, when they listen to us, is like 'Wow, that doesn't suck at all.'"
Dylan: "All we can ask for."
Jamie: "But I think the best thing is I'm consistently impressed by people who are impressed by us."
What is your favorite song to perform?
Dylan: "Love Song"
Joe: "Vanessa Silk"
Jamie: "Wolf Woods"
Lastly, is there anyone you'd like to thank specifically for their support?
Joe: "I would definitely say my parents. They have always encouraged me to pursue my passion in music. Without them I would have never been able to learn how to play an instrument at a young age, and further challenge myself to learn other instruments."
Jamie: "Jay robichaux more than anybody. Love that guy like a brother. And of course… All of the keeper keeper family who comes out to shows and has bought stuff and supported us!"
The boys are fresh out of the studio, so be on the lookout for more music from Keeper Keeper! Until then, tide yourself over by checking out their LIVE set on Zowie Couch here:
Written by Marie Roman, 2016
Photos courtesy of Amelia Schley & Jay Robichaux