Last Saturday, locally born-and-bred soul rock band Mission South swung their nation wide tour by The Bayou in DC for their official Album Release Party. The new album “Migration Vol.2” is a follow up to their first release called, you guessed it, “Migration Vol. 1”. The house was packed by the time the band took the stage with fans who have been following them from the beginning; along with people who have just recently begun to hear the buzz that’s been forming around them recently. This is noticeably due to recent features in prominent music publications along with their new music video being premiered by Fuse TV. DC50 was on hand for the Album Release Show and was able to interview the band.
Mission South is Dan Miller on guitar and vocals, John Beck on bass, and Max Harwood on the drums. The following is DC50’s interview with the guys.
DC50: How long have you all been playing together, and when did you realize that Mission South was going to be more than just a garage band?
MS: The three of us first met when we were nine years old in the fourth grade. We all played together in the elementary school band and remained close friends through out grade school. It wasn’t until our last two years of high school that we started jamming and taking our first cracks at song writing under the name Mission South. It was a slow realization that we had any chance of making us more than a garage band. We would always play a few shows when we were home for winter and summer break that were a lot of fun, but none were ever taken too seriously. It was when we were faced with graduation and the decision of life after college when we decided if we gave this endeavor 100% of our attention and dedication, we could make something out of it.
DC50: You all went to college hundreds of miles away from each other but kept up playing throughout. How did you manage that and how has that impacted the band for better or worse?
MS: During our senior year of college, we would meet every two weeks for a Skype session, drink a few beers, and figure out the logistics. For three consecutive weekends each semester we would fly to each of our schools and play as many shows as we could in 48 hours. I think it impacted the band for the better because we were able to establish a small following in Burlington, Blacksburg, and New Orleans. As for our grades were concerned, definitely for the worse.
DC50: You are from the DC area originally but have been on multiple tours that has brought you to many different cities around the country. How have you been received in these non-native cities?
MS: To be honest, surprisingly well. While we try our best to play cities where we know the most people, sometimes ya just gotta play in Memphis, TN at a biker bar on Sunday night where you are the only three people in the room without a full grown beard. Needless to say, now Memphis, TN is one of our favorite places to play.
DC50: Besides DC where would you say you have the biggest following?
MS:Whenever we travel back to our three universities (University of Vermont, Virginia Tech, Tulane) we tend to consistently have great shows. We are headed down to Tulane’s CrawFest on April, 20th to open for the Funky Meters, I know we are all really looking forward to that. Atlanta is another great city for us. We have gotten a lot of love from the Teach For America corps members working in Atlanta. They really know how to par-tay.
DC50: You had your Album Release Party for “Migration Volume 2” this past Saturday, and are now on tour. How much has changed for you since the release of Volume 1 and what are your plans moving forward after the conclusion of this tour?
MS: In between the two releases, all of us graduated college, recorded Vol. 2, booked and played two national tours, and produced our first music video. As far as looking into the future, we are going to take some time to write once we get home. We have tons of unfinished ideas that have been set aside while we are on the road.
DC50: Can you give us a story/stories of something fun/interesting/crazy that has happened to you while on tour?
MS: On the way home from our Fall tour, we were on 95 South just passed the GW Bridge when the tire of our car completely FELL OFF going 70mph. Dan taxied to the right lane with sparks flying out the back for 100 yards. Long story short, we spend the weekend in Fort Lee, New Jersey with guido mechanics.
This past February we met the Lumineers while they were in town for a show at DAR Constitution Hall. They walked into a bar on P st. where we would play every Tuesday night. We ended up talking music with them for hours while drinking whiskey and sharing some stories from the road. Afterwards, they were nice enough to throw us on the list for their sold out show the next night.
Check out Mission South’s new music video for “Peaches” below and find out more at www.missionsouth.com. Be sure to check them out next time they are playing in DC.
(Photos (C) Tyler Jacobson)