Like a lot of bands, The Damn Quails, started their story by jamming at the local live music venue on a weekly basis. But unlike other bands, the Quails quickly grew in popularity so much so that Red Dirt legend in his own right, Mike McClure, took notice and wanted to help them out. Wasn’t too long they were working on their first CD with McClure in the producing chair.
I loved that first CD, Down the Hatch, it was definitely one of the best out in 2011. Fast forward a few years and the guys are still growing their fan bases all over the region. They’ve even started work (this week actually) on their 2nd CD! Which led me to decide this is a perfect opportunity to spotlight the Quails! Thanks to Bryon White for taking a few minutes to answer my questions.
Katie: Why the name “The Damn Quails?”
Bryon: Gabriel Marshall and I used to perform three weekly shows to make our rent at the Deli in Norman OK every Monday, Libby’s in Goldsby, OK every Wednesday, and Moony’s in Moore, OK every Thursday. I was dating a girl whose Christmas tree was adorned not with traditional ornaments, but rather a bunch of replicas of different types of birds. On the bottom limb, right by the front door, and positioned at exactly guitar case height were a covey of quail. Inevitably, we would come home from our weekly gigs during the Christmas season and one of our guitar cases would send the covey flying. “God damn quails!” became our nightly exclamation, we needed a band name, and The Damn Quails stuck.
Katie: HA! How did the rest of the band come together?
Bryon: The band formed out of our Monday night Deli gig. Gabriel and I filled out a 3 and a half hour gig by swapping songs to a crowd of eight or ten people. Before you know it, local musicians started showing up to join in and we went from being a duo to a 9 piece band on stage every week and the Quail Philharmonic was born.
Katie: Why do you think your band has done so well, so quickly?
Bryon: Quickly is most definitely a relative term. It seemed very quick from an outside perspective, but Gabe and I had each been playing our own songs for over a decade before the Quails became a band. As for our success, I feel the roots of it lie in our personal goal of never releasing a bad song. Gabriel and I are songwriters first, performers second, and musicians third. If you start with good songs, people will take notice and I feel the quality of our writing and our work is the main thing that people identify with.
Katie: Your sophomore album is underway…tell us what the difference will be between this one and your first, Down the Hatch, (which is still one of my faves, btw). Who is producing the 2nd one?
Bryon: For our second record, we have David Abeyta from Reckless Kelly on production details and we are beyond ecstatic that he was interested in being a part of it. The songs making up the album are songs we’re already been playing for a while now and the ease and comfort of knowing our material has made the process very simple and organic. We’re tracking a lot of parts live which really adds to the vibe and personality of the recording. How will it be different? In many, many ways. Different is good. Our new record is completely fan funded via our Kickstarter campaign with raised over $54,000 in a month and we can’t wait to get it finished and recorded.
Katie: We can’t wait to hear it! What would be the ULTIMATE FANTASY gig for you?
Bryon: Every night I get paid to play music is like the ultimate fantasy gig. Our fans are incredible and we wouldn’t be in business without all of them. That being said, I think headlining any tour of substantial size would fit the bill.
For all you Houston area folks, The Damn Quails are playing MY favorite venue, the Redneck Country Club, Friday night along with Midnight River Choir! But if you aren’t in the area, check them out here: http://www.thedamnquailsband.com/. You won’t be sorry!