Smallpools interview

So a photographer walks onto a tour bus… | Smallpools Interview & Photos | October 9, 2015

by • October 27, 2015

Don’t get me wrong. I’m no stranger to interviews.

I’ve researched for them, written questions for them, transcribed them, recorded audio of them, videotaped them, and photographed them. But honestly when it comes to actually DOING the interview…. not really my forte.

Smallpools Interview

Smallpools. Photo by Adam Fricke Photography

Carrying a backpack of camera gear, I loiter around the Smallpools tour bus for what’s probably an alarming amount of time. As I start to feel like a stalker, their tour manager slips out the back door of The Social and greets me. He seems to have his hands full of tour managing duties but, nevertheless, is very cordial. He introduces himself, shakes my hand, and asks, “Is the back lounge okay?” as he points to the bus.

Trying to keep my composure, I respond with something along the lines of, “Yeah that’s fine.”

No big deal. Just another day at the office. I always hang out on tour buses with musicians that have songs all over the radio. Totally normal. In fact, The Weeknd and I went for coffee just the other day. We exchanged knock-knock jokes and he gave me ten thousand dollars (then I woke up).

“Just you, right?”

“Yep.”

Just me. Walking into their home away from home, all by myself. I didn’t even bring a gift, what an inconsiderate asshole of a guest I am.

Their manager gives me a quick tour through the living room/kitchen, bunks, and back to the lounge. As I set up an audio recorder, the band starts to trickle in one by one.

And who would’ve guessed they’d be totally normal human beings? I’ve met some stuck up musicians in my short time on this earth and some of them are less than pleasant. But Sean, Mike, Joe, and Beau don’t seem to fit that description. They’re all quite genuine dudes, introducing themselves and thanking me for being there.

“You’ve got ‘til 6:00,” and the door to the lounge slides shut.

Here I am, sitting in Smallpools’ tour bus with all four members, trying to remember how to form sentences. I reintroduce myself to the group and explain my reason for being here, all the while stuttering and stammering through my introduction, almost at a loss for words. One word I somehow forgot how to say was, “Smallpools” but that’s not embarrassing, right?

We share a laugh over that and my nerves settle down as I realize they aren’t intimidating as so much as the situation itself. As an introvert, I prefer to keep the attention off of myself, usually hiding behind a camera. So having four people silently staring at me as I speak makes this situation a couple steps outside my comfort zone. But after talking with the guys for just a few minutes I begin to notice that it’s like sitting in a room of friends, having a normal conversation. After all, they’re normal people. The kind of people you might find at the bar adjacent to The Social (Lizzy McCormack’s) after a Smallpools show, just hanging out, drinking a beer. Hypothetically speaking, one of them could even have worked at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company at some point in time, “but let’s not talk about that.

So we talk about their “American Love” tour, and what it’s like to be the headliner after being the supporting act for a few tours.

“The first tours where we were supporting, we were basically given an audience and we had to win them over in 30 minutes,”

says lead vocalist and keyboardist Sean Scanlon. “Now we get to call the shots. It’s cool when everyone is singing our songs along with us.”

Smallpools Interview

Sean Scanlon of Smallpools. Photo: Adam Fricke Photography

They have nothing but kind words for the bands that brought them along as their support. Lead guitarist, Mike Kamerman explains what it’s like touring with bands like Twenty One Pilots and Neon Trees (check out our Neon Trees Interview here). “It’s amazing being able to blast your songs to an audience that may have never heard your music.” He claims that whether you realize it or not, you’re constantly absorbing what the headlining bands do and relating it to your own set. “You’re always taking notes. It gives you lots of ideas,” says drummer, Beau Kuther. “Not only that, but they kinda took us under their wing and made it a community. We feel like it’s our responsibility to do the same thing as a headliner and help out the talented bands touring with us,” adds Kamerman.

Smallpools Interview

Mike Kamerman of Smallpools. Photo: Adam Fricke Photography

Sean takes us back in time to “about seven years ago” when he and Mike first started writing together in their spare time, “just jamming, really.” They reminisce for a minute and fast-forward to when they moved to L.A. in pursuit of creative energy and like-minded people such as Joe and Beau.

We just kinda came together, locked ourselves in a room, and put a sign on the door that said ‘Don’t come in here.’ ”

Smallpools Interview

Beau Kuther of Smallpools. Photo: Adam Fricke Photography

Although there were small steps to get the band going, the reception of their first single, “Dreaming” put Smallpools on the map. As I ask if they, as a band, were ready for the attention that was to follow, they all give each other a look of uncertainty. Mike answers, “We were ready to put out music, but we were a little caught off guard when it blew up on the radio.” Beau laughs and says, “We hadn’t even played a show. Nobody knew the name ‘Smallpools,’ it didn’t even exist on the Internet yet.”

Of course, that’s not the case now with Lovetap! – their debut full-length album, full of catchy pop tunes — and some international dates under the belt. Smallpools can be found anywhere from a packed club to Lollapalooza. “Festivals are fun in a sense that you can get in front of a ton of people and breeze through your set. But smaller shows are great too. You can see the faces of everyone in the crowd as they sing the words back to you,” explains bassist, Joe Intile. “It makes you want to try harder and play tighter in those smaller venues.”

Smallpools Interview

Joe Intile of Smallpools. Photo: Adam Fricke Photography

As our friendly conversation winds down, I pack up my belongings and take the guys around the corner for a quick photo. We get about eight steps down the street before they are recognized by a pack of awestruck teenage girls with heart-eyed emojis for faces. We quickly take some photos, slap high-fives, say our goodbyes, and part ways. I can only hope they made it back to the bus unscathed ….

Check out the Live Review and Concert Photos of Smallpools Here!

Smallpools Interview and Photos by Adam Fricke.

Adam Fricke Photography

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