Interview: Kyle Morris of The Unlikely Candidates
Honest Dallas caught up with Kyle Morris of The Unlikely Candidates before their St. Louis show.
On the recent release of their 2nd EP “Bed of Liars”, The Unlikely Candidates got to produce music their way. After leaving Atlantic Records, The Unlikely Candidates spent time writing and finding a new sound. The band was picked up by Another Century Records. Currently on their People’s Choice Tour, Honest Dallas spoke with singer Kyle Morris before their St. Louis show.
Kyle, much like his songs, is energetic and upbeat. The interview flowed like a conversation. Kyle, who likes answering questions, equates interviews to sharing a passion with another person is also living their passion. We were able to chat about the BBQ, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, favorite locations, falling and getting back up, tour must-haves and more.
KM: It’s St. Louis. I have not played here in a long time. We’ve been lucky enough the last three times that we played at St. Louis to play at like venues that were 3000 capacity. The last three times we played here we played with Fall Out Boy and then Fitz and the Tantrums. But this time we’re going out alone, playing a little bar gig. Should be a good.
HD: I saw that you were asking about BBQ in St. Louis. Did you wind up getting BBQ?
KM: We did. And it was so good, literally. A lot of times we Google. We’re so Texan, whenever we come into a city we Google like whatever the best fried chicken or BBQ restaurant is. We did a morning show, like a Good Morning/Fox Show. They told us to go to this place called Pappy’s. We went there and it was amazing. The difference between their BBQ and ours is they grill theirs super intensive. They don’t put the sauce on theirs. They grill it, grill it, and then they put a little coat of sauce. It’s amazingly tender and grilled but then just got the hint of BBQ. In case you wanted to know.
KM: My favorite joint is actually in Saginaw. A place called the Texas Pit BBQ. It’s surprisingly really good for how random it is.
HD: With playing St. Louis and not being back in a while, what other cities are you looking forward to on this tour?
KM: We’re going to Chicago tomorrow. I haven’t been to Chicago in same, a long time. It should be interesting and fun. We already trying to figure out what to do during the day there. It’s cool to hit these big, interesting cities. We’re going to be playing New York City for the first time in a really long time. I’m really excited about that. Because New York City is one of my favorite places in the world.
HD: So I have to ask, is People’s Choice Tour because you ask your fans on Twitter? What’s the meaning behind that?
KM: I mean, I came up with this bomb idea for the tour. They wanted us to do something kind of interesting. I was like why don’t we do this thing called the People’s Choice tour, where we have our label set something up on our website that basically shows these b-sides we don’t really ever play, but maybe superfans know them. They can pick a song in a set. The website thing didn’t work out. So we started doing it on Twitter. But it’s cool. People seem to like it. This is technically the first show to do it on.
HD: They picked “Home” for tonight. How do you feel about that song?
KM: It makes sense though because there’s no way for us to show the people who haven’t heard the other songs what they might be missing. Home is the only one that’s out there. It makes sense they would pick that one. But I’m cool with Home. It’s unbelievably difficult for me to remember all the lyrics. That was back in an era of writing where I would just pack in a thousand words a minute. Because I thought I was a real Bob Dylan character. It is a struggle to remember those words. But I will do my best. I actually had to bring some girl on stage in Denver because she knew the song.
HD: You’ve been a part of all sorts of festivals so far. And you’re going to do SXSW this year.
KM: We’ve done it every year for four years now. It’s been a consistent staple in my life to go to SXSW for the past six years. Every time we go, it’s amazing. This time we’re going and we’re playing the most shows we’ve ever played, which is really exciting. Last SXSW our current label saw us and that’s when they decided to sign us. I’ve gotten two record deals out of SXSW. The dream is alive for sure.
(“Hey Man” from the manager. The allusive manager that helped TUC connect with their current manager stopped in. )
KM: That’s the wonderful thing about SXSW. It’s a music festival but it’s a music/business festival as well. Literally, every type of person is at SXSW. You got fans, industry people, business people. One great performance at SXSW can kind of alter the course of your career. So it’s always super exciting. Stakes are always high, which is fun. I perform really well when there’s something on the line. We’ve had some of our best shows ever at SXSW. At this one place, in particular, called the Firehouse Hostel. I’ve played two of my best ten sets ever. SXSW is definitely magic for us.
HD: Out of all the songs you’ve written, which one is closest to your heart?
KM: I don’t know, that’s a tough one. Probably “Follow My Feet” still. I still kind of feel like as of right now, I still haven’t beat that one in terms of form, function, style, and heart. It really was a perfect song in a lot of ways. I still often come back to that one. I know a lot of people have gotten a lot of mileage out of that song in their own lives. And for whatever reason, they found that song when they needed it. I’m no different. Sometimes that song will come into my mind in certain situations and it’ll still be as relevant to me, emotionally, as the day that I wrote it. It stuck around. And it stays good. Still, love playing it too. I’ve played that song 10,000.
HD: Is there another song, maybe not one of yours, but is also one that comes to you when you need it?
KM: Hmm, that’s a good question….I don’t know. Yeah, there is. There’s a song called “Whatever Happens” by the Strokes. Every time I hear that it gives me a retching feeling in my gut. It’s all emotion. Great song.
HD: Now I know you like the Stokes (KM: LOVE the Strokes), which is a great band. You’ve toured with Fall Out and several others. Is there somebody you really wish you could tour with?
KM: I would love to tour with the Strokes. Strokes would be amazing. I would love to go out with Cage [the Elephant]. I think that would really be fun. And that’s probably a much more likely given the genre we’re in. I know the band loves Kings of Leon, that would be pretty fun as well. We’re playing with Kings two days in a row at two separate festivals. I mean I feel like we probably got some shit in common with them, like personality wise. We’re kind of hard drinking Southern-ish boys. I think we can probably get along with them alright.
HD: Speaking of drinking, St. Patrick’s is coming up and you are headlining. What is your go-to drink?
KM: On St. Patrick’s Day, I’m going to have to say Irish Car Bombs, just for decorum.
HD: What’s one thing you have to bring with you on tour?
KM: I always bring a lot of books with me that I never read. Everyone loves that I do that, a lot. I always bring some random book that I’m reading somewhat. I’ll read like a chapter of it, then leave it strewn all over the place. So that’s definitely on mine.
HD: What’s the book you’re trying to read now?
KM: I’m reading this book called “The Wind-Up Bird” by Murakami. I’ve gotten through 6 chapters and I’m still not really sure if I wanna go through the rest of it. It’s like 600 pages and I’m still not sure if I’m 100% into it yet.
HD: Then what’s your favorite book?
KM: My favorite book…that’s a tough one. All time favorite, I really loved “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”. That book really hit me at the right time, a couple different times. It’s just short enough, just artistic enough and the tone changes as the author grows. It’s an interesting book. It’s like a thought experiment as a book that worked really well. I think that’s where he came up with the stream of consciousness writing that came to be adopted by modern writing after that. It’s an important book and it’s a cool book. I like that book. Definitely one of my favorites. I’d say the last book that I read that I really liked was something Hard-Boiled Egg. I just finished that one. It’s another Murakami. It’s got an outrageous name. It was really good.
Their next two Dallas shows are:
3/11 St. Patrick’s Day Concert 11:50 am
(If you happen to be at the St. Pat’s concert, buy the band a round of Jameson.)
3/30 Club Dada 8 pm
Listen to The Unlikely Candidate on Spotify and watch their new video here: