PropertyOfZack Interview : : The Little Indians
The Little Indians are a brand new band featuring Augustine Rampolla and Kyle Gibson, who were both formally in You, Me & Everyone We Know. PropertyOfZack had the chance just last week to chat with Augustine for a great interview. Augustine and I discussed how The Little Indians came to be, the fallout with You, Me & Everyone We Know, the amount of music the band has, and much more. Read up, fill yourself in, and enjoy!
For the record, could you state your name and role in The Little Indians?
My name is Augustine. I do everything but play the drums. I write the tunes, I play and record all the parts, produce them, and then Kyle drums on them.
Kyle Gibson is also in the band. How long after your departure from You, Me & Everyone We Know did you start the project?
It kind of just happened right away. We dropped off The GK Tour in April and got to Chicago where we were living at the time. We spent weeks trying to decide what to do, and we were deciding whether we should keep going with it or not. After we decided that we weren’t going to keep going, Kyle and I were on our way to see a movie and were talking about things. I’m from Maryland and he’s originally from Chicago, but his girlfriend is from Maryland. He told me he was moving to Maryland and that we should start a new band. I told him that I was stoked to hear that. It sort of just happened right away. I had a lot of material that I had been writing from the time we got done with the last full-length. I have a lot of stuff to work with. It just happened essentially right away. We didn’t really get the ball rolling until the middle of the summer though.
I’m sure everyone was pretty thrown off, to say the least, when things came to an end. Did you have doubts about how you wanted to step back into music?
Not really. It’s strange, it was a really tough decision. People who think we just called it quits because Ben made some bad decisions are wrong. We weren’t like, “Fuck you.” It was a really, really difficult thing that myself and everyone in the band really wrestled with. I don’t want to upset anyone with actual mental illnesses, but we were all really down and kind of depressed about everything. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I knew that I was going to keep writing music. I viewed it like I was going to write these songs and sing them and I didn’t want to rely on anyone. We were a band, but Ben was a songwriter and the original member, so we relied on him. It was just me and Kyle because I didn’t want to have other people involved. When we expand into a full band it’s going to be with friends and with people I know and trust. I wouldn’t say I had doubts. I just wanted to do things differently.
Not to necessarily dig up all of the happenings that transpired in April and May, but how did the situation sort of shape the mission statement for you and Kyle behind The Little Indians in terms of how you handled the band?
There were a lot of gray areas in You, Me & Everyone We Know. I got a call out of the blue from Ben saying that he heard me play guitar in Baltimore and that he wanted me to come out on tour. I knew of the band and I told him I’d love to do it. So I toured for a few months and we did a little stint on Warped Tour. I became an official member, but there were just a lot of gray areas. Starting this project, I knew that it was going to be an open thing. I wanted to do everything right and open. More importantly, I want to have fun with it.
In terms of what transpired, there were a lot of statements going back and forth and it did get messy, and many fans were upset. Do you regret just the way things sort of spiraled out in the public, or was that just a part of it?
I really regret it. I made statements, and I and everyone else formally of the band stands by those statements. When we finally came to the decision, we all agreed that we were going to make a brief statement. Two days later Ben came out with a whole elaborate write up with half-truths. It just wasn’t fair for him to say that. He made us out to look like we were these ungrateful dudes who couldn’t get along with him because he was an alcoholic. I don’t want to get into it, but we were really upset. The other guys were on tour with Hellogoodbye hanging out and told me that we had to respond. I’m the one who went online and made the post, so it looked like it was me saying these things. But really, all the statements I made were from everyone. We all talked about it. We had to tell the fans what happened, but they were on a four hour drive, so I went online and did it. Looking back, maybe we should have left it alone. The statement we made really upset fans even more. There are some things that outsiders don’t need to know. There was way too much stuff that got out that should not have been public knowledge. I would definitely say that I regret it. All we can do is move forward.
So you knew you wanted to start this new band, but what about the actual music? We know that you’re using parts of You, Me & Everyone We Know songs. Did you ever want to not use those ideas?
I guess I should preface this by saying that Ben is a singer, but plays no instruments. He writes lyrics and melodies, but he doesn’t write music. All the music that was composed for the record was either by Rico or I. We’d write full songs with drums, guitars, and bass and would talk from there. Usually Rico would take me part and changed something and then Ben would throw in his ideas. That’s how we’d make songs. When I say that I took stuff that I wrote for You, Me… These are full songs that I had already written. I certainly showed them to Ben and Rico. I showed the song that we just put out to Ben and he thought it was great, but as far as did I feel wrong about using them? Definitely not. It was 100% my work. Nowhere along the way did Ben, Rico, or anyone change parts on it. That’s really it.
Do you think fans will be okay with that?
Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned the band at all, but at the same time, we want to connect with our old fans. We wanted to say that we left You, Me & Everyone We Know and that we’re The Little Indians. I think some people perceived it as that I took future songs from that band and turned them into my own. I took songs that I wrote. I composed them for You, Me & Everyone We Know, but there were no lyrics or vocals by Ben. These songs, by that standard, were never You, Me songs. I think people perceived that wrong. Maybe we should have made it more clear, but I didn’t want to make the release too long and drawn out. I know some people were upset that we mentioned the band at all. People said we were just trying to ride off of the band’s success. The only reason we mentioned You, Me was to give people some sense of where The Little Indians came from. We came from the break up of the band, and I took songs that I wrote for You, Me. Some people may have perceived that wrong. I think people were just upset to see the name You, Me & Everyone We Know. That’s understandable, but that was our sort of our official press release.
How have listeners been reacting to “What Makes You Grin?” in your eyes?
Overall, it’s been flattering. I spend a fair amount of time reading what people think because it’s important to know what people like. The only people that really said negative things were people that miss You, Me. A lot of people said that it was good, but that they’re more interested to see what Ben does. That’s fine. This is a new path for us. Aside from those people, the feedback was flattering and gratifying. A lot of people really seemed to like it. I was/am excited by the response.
POZ: Is it a bummer that people will refrain themselves from listening because of the past?
Augustine: It totally is. It is definitely a bummer. Some people hear it and say it’s not You, Me & Everyone We Know, and that alone turns them off.
How many songs have been recorded to this point?
I hesitate to say. A lot of people get turned off when bands have a large number of songs for a project. People don’t like when bands record 20 songs and only release 11 on the record. Having said that, I’m not going to lie. Since Some Things Don’t Wash Out I’ve written over 20 songs. There are 16 songs including the one we just released in various stages of completion. It’s now a matter of fine-tuning them. It’s just a matter of tracking the rest of the drums. I have all the vocals written, but we have to do vocal tracking too. That’s pretty much all that’s left for the rest of the tunes. We have no plans yet in terms of when we’re releasing the next song. We have everything ready for it. That’s where we are now though.
Are there plans to shop this around to labels at all?
There are and there aren’t. We’re a brand new band. We write and we produce full band records, but we’re a duo. I have talked to a lot of really talented musicians though about filling out this band. I certainly don’t want to get into a three-record contract with a label unless it was right. I really enjoyed working with Dave and Dirk at Doghouse. They are really, really just nice people. I’ve talked to our old manager about potentially releasing something. When the time is right, certainly I’d like to shop them. I’d say we’re not quite there yet. I’m more focused on getting the songs done. I’d rather get it done on my own terms first.
Should the album come out in early-2012?
We’re throwing around a lot of ideas. We might just do some digital 7”s. Rico and the other guys from You, Me have a new project too. They’ve recorded a handful of tunes. I just heard some last night and they’re awesome. We’ve talked about doing a split EP for both of out first releases. That’d be in the winter time. As far as a full-length goes, we’re not quite there yet. We’re going to keep releasing songs. We may release a few more singles before we do anything. Time will tell with us.
Would you like to play shows soon?
Absolutely. We have to flesh out the band first. Some bands only have a few official members and have touring members like You, Me or The Format. I’d rather find musicians who are in it for the long hall. I’ve spoken to a few people who are really talented and interested. We’d love to though. I definitely miss playing music in a live setting.
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