Don’t Stop Please is still out to please, at least when it comes to writing, recording and producing its music, booking shows and continuing to be a self-made band.
Thanks to the Kickstarter crowdfunding site, the six-member band has just released its first full-length album, a self-titled, 10-song disc.
And just in time for Halloween, the band created its first video for “Long List of Numbers” with a zombie theme. The cinematic-quality video is as scary as a Stephen King movie, but band member Anna Horton says it’s actually a metaphor.
“You notice all the zombies are wearing nice clothes? It’s all about corporate America, how everyone falls in line, goes to work, comes home and watches TV, but there’s one guy, played by Joel (Ludford), who sings the song. He gets taken to court and convicted in a game show setting.”
The group, which first got together in Conway, released a debut six-song EP, Crowded Car, in August 2012 on its label, Let’s Talk Figures. And while the six-person band’s early modes of transportation did involve crowded cars, there has been an improvement in that situation.
“We got an old school bus,” Horton says, “but it’s a short bus. We don’t actually make any money. It all goes back into the business of being a band, paying for the bus, buying diesel, that sort of thing.”
In March, the band went out on its first national tour, performing at the Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Idaho, with shows along the way. The band has added Missouri, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Louisiana to a growing list of performance sites. In the spring, New England will join the list.
The band may add a seventh musician to its short bus. Dick Darden, who mostly plays drums, may make what Horton calls “a slow transition” into the band, freeing up Will King from the drum kit and giving the band more options, which is something Don’t Stop Please values highly.
Versatility is a hallmark of Don’t Stop Please, and watching the band can seem like a version of musical chairs, as members seamlessly switch instruments, with all of them singing. Horton plays saxophone, ukulele and washboard. King plays drums and guitar and Ludford plays guitar, trumpet, keyboard and drums. Robert Gaiser plays guitar, bass and keyboards. Nick Caffrey plays bass, trombone and keyboards. Willie Krzeszinski plays keyboards, banjo, guitar and bass.
Krzeszinski says the band’s move to Fayetteville helped propel the recording of the full-length album.
“Most of the band were still in college when we decided to drop out,” he says. “Anna is the only one who graduated; the rest of us are smarter than her. It’s been nice to have our own record label, which also allows us to release our friends’ music. And we’re about to release a couple of those in the next couple of months.
“Of course, it would be nice to get on a large label, but there are too many of us creating for anyone to want to sign us. We’ve given a lot of thought to writing songs that are more ‘pop,’ since probably the closest we’ve gotten to traditional pop is ‘My Booty Is So Luxurious,’ on our EP,” Krzeszinski says.
The new album contains songs that blend rock, folk and jazz and are longer than traditional pop songs. The three shortest songs are at least five minutes long, with one, “Dogsmile,” clocking in at 10 minutes. “Fire Palace,” the first song, is eight minutes and even “Luca,” a recent fan favorite, is one of five songs that is six minutes.
“We wanted to make an album for album listeners,” Krzeszinski notes. “We didn’t want to cut anything down and we wanted to showcase the artistic integrity of the band.”
For a time, Don’t Stop Please played so often that it seemed to Krzeszinski that the band seldom found time to practice. Now there is time for regular rehearsals, which leads to greater creativity, he figures.
“Now we all get to argue in a constructive way, and it’s always pretty civil. It wasn’t any fun at all when we weren’t practicing !”
Don’t Stop Please
Opening acts: Adam Faucett, Open Fields
9 p.m. Friday, Stickyz Rock ’n’ Roll Chicken Shack, 107 River Market Ave., Little Rock
Weekend, Pages 35 on 10/31/2013
Print Headline: Don’t Stop Please wants to please its audience