Lockeland Interview by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lockeland Interview by Preshias Harris for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Lockeland harmonizing ‘Til The Cows Come
Home’

Trio’s new single due out March 9

By Preshias Harris

Kyndon Oakes, Mark Vikingstad and Michael
Boris make up the trio known as Lockeland.
They were drawn to Nashville by their mutual love of music and have been
writing and performing together now for several years.

Each brings a unique music vibe that blends
them together as a trio.  Kyndon began
singing alongside family members before moving to Nashville in 2009, originally
to pursue a solo career.  Mark says he
joined his high school band “because chicks dig it.” He moved to Music City
just days after receiving his BA diploma in Music Business from SUNY Fredonia.
Michael grew up in Apalachin, NY, but moved to Nashville to attend Belmont
University, graduating with a degree in Commercial Music Percussion.

Together they create a three-part harmony
that gives them a unique edge in the world of contemporary country music.  They are about to break out with their
infectious debut single, “Til The Cows Come Home,” coming March 8, 2019.  Check out their website here https://www.lockelandband.com/  

A couple of days before Country Radio
Seminar (CRS) hit town, we met up to talk about their new single and how they
make music together.

How did you come up with the group name
Lockeland?

Kyndon:  When we came together to form the group, we
were trying to come up with a name and we kept texting each other with all
these different names that we thought would work best. We fell on Lockeland
just by chance. Mark and Michael are from New York and I’m from Kansas, and we
‘locked the land’ in between and met in Nashville. Plus it helps that Nashville
is landlocked, so we settled on Lockeland.

Looking at your set list, it seems
you’re open to playing music from a lot of different genres. What do you think
of as your musical influences?

Michael:  That’s one of the very cool things I love
about this band because we all come from very diverse musical backgrounds. I
started playing drums when I was eleven. I played a lot of ‘fife and drum core’
stuff.  Then I moved into classical
music, then I started listening to hard rock and a lot of punk, stuff like
that. When I moved to Nashville, I simply hadn’t listened to a whole lot of
Country. But when I moved here eleven years ago, I gave it a try and I was
like, “You know what? There’s a lot of really great music here.” So there’s
honestly not a music genre that I, personally, don’t like. I love R&B,
rock, funk, country. I think that’s kind of the same for all of us.

Kyndon:  I grew up listening to 90s Country.  John Michael Montgomery, George Strait, Garth
Brooks, all those guys. But I’d also listen to Goo Goo Dolls. I’m a huge fan of
that genre of music as well. And the Eagles and so on, so it’s a wide spectrum
of music.

Mark:  The reason I even did music was because of
Garth Brooks.  When I was ten years old,
I saw him in Central Park [in New York City]. My mom took me, and I remember
saying, “I want to do that!”  So from my
childhood, and Garth and 90s Country to my high school years of pop, punk and
‘emo’ kind of rock.  The kind of music
that anyone who’s my age, thirty-one, you know, those bands. After college I
got into my songwriting; kind of pop and folk. Taking all those things I was
listening to and writing, I kind of brought that with these two guys here. And
it made a very cool and eclectic sound that we were able to come up with.

Your new single, “Til the Cows Come
Home,” is due out March 8.  You all
co-wrote that with Renn Anderson.  That’s
a great title. How did that song come about?

Kyndon:  Well, I’m a good ole Kansas boy, and there
are plenty of cows in Kansas! You can’t drive through Kansas and not see a
cow.  I make the trip back to Kansas
quite often, it’s a nine-hour drive.  You
start rolling into Kansas and you start seeing cows.  I remembered that saying, “Til the cows come
home,” and I thought, that would be a cool song title, and I hadn’t heard it
before as a song title.  So when we got
together with Renn, I just brought that to the table.  Every time we write, everyone brings something
different to the table.  Then Michael
came up with the riff.

Michael:Yeah, Kyndon came in and said it would be great to write a song called “Til the
Cows Come Home,” and of course we were all, like, “That’s awesome!”  It immediately triggered a memory of this
voice memo that I’d made a while ago. It was a cheesy drum loop and me playing
guitar at home. It was that opening riff and I said, “How about this?” and Renn
jumped right on it and Mark jumped on it. It all came together within that one
writing session.

Your voices harmonize perfectly. One
often thinks of siblings harmonizing. The three of you obviously aren’t
brothers but was that something you worked on, or did it just ‘click’ when you
first sang together?

Mark:  Kyndon and I met six or seven years ago,
writing together and appearing in ‘writers rounds’ together.  For myself, singing with Kyndon, harmonizing
was an easy thing to pick up. Since I was a kid, going through chorus and so on
in high school and picking up harmonies was just something that came easy.  I guess just learning the ‘blend’ for me, is
hearing the lead singer’s voice, to find the nuances in the lead singer’s
voice, and to match that as best as I can as a harmony singer. I think what works
so well with Kyndon is when we sing together, I can find that really
easily.  And when Michael comes in,
Michael and I, our ears can just hear that and just latch on to Kyndon’s
melody. And, oh man, it just opens up the whole sound and it’s wonderful.

Kyndon:When
we met, I was doing my solo career. Michael was a drummer and Mark would come
in and sing harmonies. So we’ve been harmonizing for five years now.

Mark:  We’ve learned each other’s voices.

That’s an interesting point. You say
you’ve learned each other’s voices. That’s a great phrase. Because there are
some groups where it just doesn’t work that way.

You’ve shared stages with big names such
as Lady Antebellum, Kelsea Ballerini, Eric Church, Brothers Osborne and many
more.  What have you learned from being
with these artists that has influenced your own stage presence or your
performance?

Michael:  Having the opportunity to be on the same bill
as those artists, it’s such a cool thing to watch. It’s one of those things
where, as musicians and artists, our goal should be to strive to always be
better and better. So watching people who are masters at their craft, just
watching their show, watching their performance, watching their energy, how
they connect, how they engage with the audience and with each other. It’s just
an incredible thing. It’s kind of like standing there beside the stage and
absorbing everything like a sponge.

Mark:  I grew up playing sports. My dad would always
say, “Be a student of the game.” And that’s the same thing when you’re going to
shows. You don’t have to perform or open up for these acts. Just going to shows
and watching them and being a student of the game. Learning what works and what
doesn’t work is what makes you better.

Do you feel a vibe from the audience
when you play live gigs?

Kyndon:  Absolutely.
We can tell.  And of course, we
know too. We’ve played enough together that we know if we’re feeling it. But
when people come up to you after the show and they’re talking to you and giving
you that feedback, that’s when you know you’ve had a good show.  You can feel that. You can feel the energy.
They’re singing along, they’re clapping along, they’re in it. And then there
are times when you’re playing and you don’t get that energy back and it’s a
little defeating, but you learn from it and grow from it.

Mark:Just
to add to that, we just played the Listening Room [in Nashville] recently.
Michael and I were talking about how during one of our songs, “Blackberry
Whiskey,” during the outro, the guitar licks at the end, people were already
clapping and cheering before the song is over. It’s those kinds of moments
where we felt, yeah, we got ‘em on that one!

Will you be playing anywhere during
CRS?  Any upcoming tour dates planned?

Kyndon:Yes,
we’re playing at Redneck Riviera and at a new venue called Live Oak.

Michael:  We’re working on some overseas dates. Can’t
really say much more at this point, but we are working heavily on that, ironing
out the details.

Lockeland have carved out a unique niche
for themselves with their faultless harmonies, their creative songwriting and
the ever-growing crowds of fans at their live shows.  Watch them put their own country spin on a
Gin Blossoms mashup here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHuDosPzOAY 

Tour dates and music
at their website  https://www.lockelandband.com/  and on social media  https://www.facebook.com/Lockelandmusic/  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb5LB2uv_JJX4gf3rRMzwhw/featured

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