The Fed Pennies Interview

Interview With The Fed Pennies
 Who are the members of The Fed Pennies
John Matthews{bass} Mike Keating{guitar} Jeff Kingsbury{drums} Jake Smith[guitar,vocals}
 How did the band first come to be?
 I started the band with a friend of mine named Aaron Farr{drums} after we both left The Jimmy Swift Band. We played 200 shows a year with JSB but wanted to do something different musically so we started writing and recording demos that would eventually turn into the first cd.
Where did the name of the band come from?
   We had a friend of mine who was playing bass for us and he suggested the name before our first gig. We needed a name and The Fed Pennies was only one that seemed to be interesting to us. He’s a great songwriter and really helped us in the beginning but he didn’t want to do the whole rock n roll thing anymore so he had to leave but he let us keep the name.
Was it difficult to recruit other musicians for the band?
  We have had a few different lineups but we seem to have a big enough pool of friends that can jump in and play with us. Everyone that has been in the band has contributed everything they can and it’s cool to learn from different players.
 How excited were you when you received the news about your song  “Buzzing In My Head”  making it to a video game?
  That was great. I’ve wanted to focus on getting our songs placed in tv/film and video games because it’s great way to gain exposure and get new fans. The song was in a winter sports game for the 2010 Olympics so we ended up getting a lot of press and even got an article in Billboard Magazine.
What is your favorite song to perform off the album live?
Off the album, I’d say my favorite song to play is “Please Kill Me”

 What was it like opening up for Ozzy?
Everyone in the band was influenced by Black Sabbath and Ozzy so it was an honor for us to open the show. We got to meet Zakk Wylde and hung out with the drummer Mike Bordon who played in Faith No More which was cool because John and I are big fans of FNM too. Then about 30 minutes before we went on we got to meet Ozzy. I got to him sign my Blizzard of Oz record and gave him one of our cds. Then we marched to the stage and layed it down for 40 minutes in front of a sold out crowd. Afterwards we watched Ozzy’s set. We had all access passes so I watched the show from every possible angle. Those we’re the best seats I’ve ever had at a concert. Then we partied in the dressing room until they kicked us out at 2 am.

Would you ever want to go on tour with him?
Definitely. That would be amazing.

Now I hear that you are going on tour this summer in June where are you going to be        playing?
We’ve kind of already started our summer tours around PEI and NB. Then we play the El Macombo in Toronto on June 26th and the Rainbow in Ottawa on June 28th. We’re also recording some demos in Toronto with Vic Florencia who recorded some early Danko Jones stuff.

How long do you play for each night?
It depends on what type of show we’re doing. If we play a bar and we’re the only band we have to fill 2 hours. If we play with other bands we stick to a 30 to 40 minute set which I like because it’s a great way to showcase our best songs and the set seems tighter. We’re focusing on these types of shows a lot more because we all have short attention spans.

 What song is your favorite to play live?
I really like playing one of our new songs called “Electric Wire”. It hasn’t been recorded yet but will be on the next cd.

 How do you find people take to your music?
People that comment on our music really like the grittiness and the vibe of the songs.  Generally we appeal to a rock audience but I find we can play to a diverse crowd. We just played an acoustic show in an old theatre whcih was really great.  I think when people hear that we opened for Ozzy they automatically assume we’re a new metal band but we’re not. We take a little from old metal and punk mixed with rock n roll and it ends up soundung the way it does.

Where can people pick up your albums?
You can buy in anywhere they sell cds , they may have to order it in.  It’s also on itunes.