Lockeland Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lockeland Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about you forthe first time. How would you describe yourself and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

Kyndon Oakes: We like to compare ourselves to modern country with a throwback twist. 

Michael Boris: We characterize ourselves as 90s country, with modern production.

Mark Vikingstad: If you can take a bit of today’s country music sound, with a bit of the
1990’s country music sound, meld them together, you get a good idea of
what we’re all about

Lamitschka:  What kind of songs do you like to record the most?

Kyndon Oakes:I love the power of a good soulful ballad but there is also something about an upbeat blood pumping song too!

Mark Vikingstad:  We enjoy recording any kind of song, whether it be a rockin’ high energy,
full band tune or a stripped down ballad. As long as we continue to
record music that resonates with our hearts and the hearts of others,
we’ll be happy no matter what.

As a songwriter, it’d have to be the one with a killer hook and a great
lyric.  As a guitar player, it would be anything fun/upbeat that has a
ton of energy and nice big open chords

Lamitschka:  What is your favorite song among all the songs you have recorded and what’s thestory behind it?

Kyndon Oakes:  It’s hard to pick just one song but one of my favorite is Keep Us Young. All
of our parents have been together 30 plus years and its just a song
about how love can stand the test

Of time and keep us young no matter how old we grow.

Michael Boris:

That’s a difficult question to answer, because each song has something
uniquely special about it, but if I had to pick one song to date, I
believe it would be “These Hands”. This is the song that actually was
the catalyst for the official forming of our band, Lockeland. Kyndon had
hired me (Michael) to come into the 
studio
to produce/arrange the song that both he and Mark had written. Though
the three of us had been friends and performing music as separate
business entities in the past, we decided after much time in the studio
and working out the harmonies that we should combine our efforts and
come together to form ONE entity… Lockeland.

Mark Vikingstad: Each songs brings out a different emotion for each of us, it actually is
difficult to choose.  Though if I have to choose, I’d say “Drive”  its
our most fun, with the most energy.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music? 

Kyndon Oakes:  All of our fans have been great!. We were amazed by our UK fans when we
went on tour. They knew songs we haven’t even released yet! Pretty
incredible to feel that impact.

Michael Boris: We recently performed at the Millport Country Music Festival in Millport,
Scotland, and there was a group of wonderful Lockeland fans there who
had purchased and brought inflatable cows, dressed up in cow printed
clothes and were so happy to see us and hear our single “Til The Cows
Come Home”, amongst our other material. Seeing that our music brings joy
to people, is such an incredible feeling as an artist.

Mark Vikingstad: Although I cannot single out a certain fans reaction, I do believe our music is
putting smiles on our fans faces, which to me, even though minuscule, is
just as important as the fan who used our music to get through a tough
time.

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do your musical roots run?

Kyndon Oakes:  I grew up singing
to the radio and family members, then joined choirs in church
and school, picked up the guitar and started writing. Music has been in
my blood since I can remember. I have many many musical influences. My
grandma was my first musical inspiration but one memory I’ll never
forget is going to a Collin Raye concert in Colorado when I was younger
and I caught a bandana which he later signed. That definitely had an
impact on me.

Michael Boris: The three of us have very unique musical tastes and roots. For
me, music has always been very rich in my family on both sides. I drew
my initial love of music and drums/percussion from my father, Peter J.
Boris, who has been a professional drummer all his life. He toured the
world with his craft, and he is the one who first taught me how to hold a
drum stick. On my mothers side, my late grandmother Jaqueline Arena was
a professional singer in the 1940s, ironically, ALSO in a vocal trio
with her two sisters. They were called “The Reagle Sisters” and they
toured up and down the east coast with a full 1940s style big band. Not
to mention, they performed on the Copa Cabana in NYC, and had radio play
as well. So all this to say… music has been deeply rooted in my heart
from the beginning. As far as what inspires me musically, I would have
to say that absolutely EVERY genre inspires me. I grew up performing and
learning all styles of music including classical, rock, jazz, R&B,
latin and others. I believe that every talented artist and genre has
something to offer and something to learn from.

Mark Vikingstad: The pioneers of change in music are a big influence to me.  The Beatles,
Garth Brooks, Blink 182 😉 (okay maybe Blink 182 is not considered
pioneers) but they changed the game in their own way.  I appreciate the
ability each those artists had to change the game.

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music scene versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

Kyndon Oakes:  The music industry is ever changing. One day you can be no one and the next
known by everyone. It’s pretty incredible. The future of country music
is always based on the listeners, I’m personally ready to bring back
90s country! 

Michael Boris: It’s hard to say, seeing how the music industry changes so frequently, but
it’s always my hope that the music industry allows for both new artists
to rise up, and for the more established artists to keep creating great
music. 

Mark Vikingstad: My opinion on this is always evolving, some say the country music you hear
today isn’t ‘real country’, but I recently read a quote from Waylon
Jennings stating, “Country music isn’t a guitar, it isn’t a banjo, it
isn’t a melody, it isn’t a lyric. It’s a feeling.”  So no matter what is
happening in country music, as long as that feeling is conveyed, well
then, it’s country music.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

Kyndon Oakes:  Make it less about the money and more about the song or artist and the influence they have in a positive manner.

Michael Boris: We as a culture are heavily influenced by the “idea” of being a famous
artist, and there is a lot of vanity associated with it. I would love to
see a revitalization in our culture that allows a genuine love for
the “art of music” to return. 

Mark Vikingstad: To be a talent competition, not a popularity contest.

Lamitschka:  What was your big break that got you into the music business?

Kyndon Oakes:  The passion for music and the way it has always made me feel

Michael Boris: For me personally, I would attribute any successes I’ve had in the music
industry to a bunch of “little breaks” that have compounded upon each
other. In my experience working in the music industry as a full time
drummer for other artists (pre-Lockeland) I would say that kindness,
hard work, the willingness to go the “extra mile”, and an abundance of
very special people and artists in my life who have taken a chance on me
are the reason for any success I’ve achieved thus far. I would also say
that the formation of Lockeland alongside Mark and Kyndon, is a huge
milestone. I’m honored to create music with my friends.

Mark Vikingstad: Small breaks are more where we are right now, I believe we are still looking for the ‘Big One’ to come along.

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

Kyndon Oakes:  A song can tell so many stories. When I first started writing, I was just
expressing my emotions in a song and the more I wrote the better I got.
I always just wanted to express myself in a way that affected other
people  in a helpful way and made them feel the same way.

Michael Boris: Being an artist has always been “in my blood”. I started learning the art of
percussion when I was 11 years old, and haven’t looked back since.

Garth Brooks.  My first concert I ever attended was Garth in Central Park.
After that show, I knew that I wanted to do music for the rest of my
life and I have never looked back.

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

Kyndon Oakes:I have been in Nashville for 10 years now. The challenge is trying to
support yourself while chasing your dream knowing that a show won’t
always pay but you do it anyway because of your passion for it.

Michael Boris: For me I would have to say that staying proactive and never losing
your “professional edge” is always a great challenge. The music industry
is always changing, and it’s expectations of artists and musicians
always changes with it. I believe that having a driven, yet teachable
spirit helps you excel and stay ahead of the challenge.

Mark Vikingstad: Figuring out the eb and flow and the constant changes involved in this crazy business.

Lamitschka:  What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights and achievements which you are proud of?

Kyndon Oakes:  One of many memories/highlights is playing at the Millport festival. We
played two shows and the fans were amazing! They knew our songs and one 
group even had inflatable Cows for our song “Till The Cows Come Home”

Michael Boris: As a professional drummer (pre-Lockeland), I would have to say
that performing on the Grand Ole Opry for the first time back in 2014
was one of the more special moments in my musical career thus far. I’m
looking forward to the day when Lockeland stands “in the circle” on that
stage one day. I’d say that the other moment is more of a large
collection of moments since the inception of Lockeland. This journey
requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears, therefore every victory is to
be celebrated. We have a long way to go, but it’s fun to see where we
are now versus when we first started.

Lamitschka:  What message would you like to send your European fans?

Kyndon Oakes:  Keep playing our songs and keep supporting us and we will keep flying over and playing our hearts out for you!

Michael Boris: We love you dearly, and we’re working very hard to come back over! Thank you for your immense friendship and support!

Mark Vikingstad: We absolutely are overjoyed that ya’ll have come to follow us on this journey.  We hope to be seeing you all soon.

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