When it comes to finding a band with a unique mix, something unlike the rest of the mainstream offerings, Quor takes the lead. The San Diego-based independent band has been fine tuning its skills for over a decade, allowing them to find what works for them, what their fans truly want, and most importantly, how to survive on a tour bus together. I got a chance to catch up with this eclectic band recently and we were able to chat about the unique way they found each other, their love of tattoos and art, and some of the strangest occurrences they’ve faced while on the road. Check it out!
The first thing I noticed when I checked out your Facebook page was your banner photo – the one with the three of you sitting around a table with very pensive expressions. Can you tell us a little about this photograph?
It was that time again. The time when every band needs to put their face in front of a camera to let their fans and listeners know who is behind all of the heavy riffs and ridiculousness. We went down to the sea in San Diego and walked through some sailing ships and a russian submarine. Turned out to be a pretty unique environment with cool lighting.
You’ve got Rock/Punk/Metal listed on your FB page as your genre. If you had to describe this blend to someone who didn’t understand it, how would you do so? Feel free to use other bands as an example.
It’s rock because of our attitude toward life and the instruments we use. It’s Punk because it’s energetic, and depicts our personalities and of course metal because it’s heavy and creativity. It’s like a homemade delicious chicken noodle soup on a cold winter’s day. There are many ingredients that makes this soup warm your soul and taste amazing just like there are many musical influences that we accumulate over the years as individual humans and as a band. QUOR cannot be narrowed down to one genre; it just sounds delicious and warms the soul.
You mention in the Domestic Rockstar interview that you guys used Craigslist to find each other. I’m curious what that ad looked like? Who posted it, what did it say, and how many weirdos replied before you found each other?
Brian and I have been writing and performing music together for over a decade. The last project was looking for a new vocalist on Craigslist back in 2005. Brian answered the ad and also sent pre-tracked vocal demos along to our music. Not too many so-called singers out there that take the initiative to present themselves like that right out of the gate. After Brian and I started QUOR in 2010 we had been cursed with not being able to find a drummer. We had been through 3 over an 18-month period or so. I posted another Craigslist ad in 2012 looking for yet another drummer when John Cordes answered the call. In short, QUOR is a Craigslist Frankenstein baby built over an 11 year time frame.
What is the strangest show you’ve played? What made it odd, was it the location, the fans, or something that happened at the show?
Strangest show… hmm… every QUOR show is a bit weird and awesome. We played a show in the middle of the desert at a neutral biker rally where Hell’s Angels and Mongols were represented. No colors were to be flown, and everyone was there to just have a good time. Through the night, some dude started making racists comments and almost got cut up by a knife wielding human knick-named “Evil Jesus” who was a Mongols prospect I believe. EJ was awake because he had “bike watch” through the night. EJ made it very clear that if someone didn’t put the drunk human down; he would. So Brian and I took it upon ourselves to make this random guy drink a bunch more Jack Daniel’s shots to make him pass out. It was either hit him in the face or force feed him whiskey… Then Brian proceeded to get drunk with EJ to diffuse the situation by feeding EJ whiskey and telling him jokes.
Do you feel like social media has helped or hindered your exposure? Are your fans of social media in your personal lives or do you only use it because, let’s face it, you have to these days when in the public eye?
Exposure comes from every corner. Someone seeing a facebook post, a tweet, instagram picture, a fan wearing a t shirt, spinning the record in public places, and just sharing our content. Social media is, what it is. It is what we all make of it. If you let it run your life; it will. If you respect it’s power to warp your mind or it’s usefulness as a tool, it will do that as well. I don’t think we have a choice in these modern days. It’s kind of one of those things that you keep up with the times or get left behind. I think that has happened to a lot of the bigger more seasoned artists that have been around for a long time. People have a hard time adjusting or modernizing.
When you’re touring, you spend an awful lot of time with each other and obviously get to know each other’s little quirks and habits. Who has the most interesting quirk or habit?
– I have bad gas when in confined spaces. I think it’s a defensive measure much like a skunk.
– Brian takes Hollywood showers especially in the morning when everyone wakes up and has to take a morning leak.
– John and his long hair will make any hotel bathroom look like water balloons were exploded on the inside.
– G Jonez our tech has bad sinuses and chews with his mouth open sometimes which makes Brian and I want to fight him. He also has a weird habit of getting sick at the end of every tour.
You’ve used the phrase “Simply Unsimple” in your bio. What is this concept and who came up with it?
Brian came up with it when he was writing the bio besides a campfire at the beach. To me, everything in life and this industry is based upon simple things and needs. We as humans make it unsimple. This band in essence is a simple 3-piece that puts out hard hitting melodic music, but the chaos that goes on behind the scenes to make this ship sail is a sight in itself.
When you’re away from the stage, what do you guys like to do in your free time? Do you find that your outside hobbies and activities contribute to your music in any way?
I have 3 kids under the age of 6, including twins. If I’m not spending time with my family or doing things related to QUOR, I spend a lot of time as the A&R boss for Dirtbag Clothing’s artist sponsorship program. I dabble in the audio and video engineering world and am a carpenter in my past life.
Obviously, the tattoo industry has long been involved with the music industry. Are you guys tattooed? Who has the most tattoos? Are any of them musically inspired?
I love the art and idea behind where tattoos come from. I think some people get them for the wrong reasons at times, but for the most part are an amazing way to tell a story or express one’s self. I received my first tattoo on my right shoulder of my best friend’s initials after he committed suicide when I was 17. My girlfriend at the time was 18 and signed for the release. Since then, I’ve gotten some navigation nautical work done on my left shoulder representing my time in Navy and two mirrored bass clefs on my left forearm representing my love for bass. I’m due for more work for sure.
Brian and John are both tattooless but share an equal love for the art and expression. G Jonez, our tech has Jim Morrison tattooed on the top of his foot and some chest work. On this last tour while in Austin, Texas, he got a lucky horseshoe done which turned out bitchin.
What does your rehearsal schedule look like when you’re not touring? Do you rehearse while on tour, too?
Everyone in QUOR rehearses on their own at home frequently. We get together about once a week to work on new material and to rehearse for tours when we are gearing up to hit the road. We have a small but extensive stage show with video projection and choreographed lighting. We also take pride in our set up and break-down times at shows. So we spend time rehearsing and devising new ways to make our shows more fun, impactful, and easier to execute.
I see that you’re an indie band and that you’re not repped by a label. Is this a personal choice or are you seeking label representation in the future? Do you find yourselves facing any challenges being an indie band?
We haven’t really pursued any labels for interest. We are self produced, funded, and owned. At this point, a label would be nice for their manpower and resources. Most bands think labels and want money. I hate taking loans from people and would rather just work harder and smarter. Let’s face it, modern 360 recording deals are loans with 40% interest rates. Of course, being independent has it’s good and bad things. Independent means, we control everything which is good. The bad thing being we have to work a little harder to network and get ourselves out there. We don’t mind it; it’s all apart of the journey.
When it comes to other music, what is your biggest influence when it comes to your own? If we were to grab your ipod right now and look at each of your playlists, what would be the last played song?
Life and snacks. I would venture to say that everyone in the band loves both equally. The band I am listening to while writing this is called Symbolic from our hometown in San Diego, CA. Great band. Check them out.