ROCK TAWKS with Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why – Its Only Change

July 20, 2013 in Rock Tawks by rock6847

Quincy Mumford
On July 30th, after 5 years, over 400 shows and four award-winning albums, New Jersey-based 21 year-old singer/songwriter Quincy Mumford is set to release his fifth album, Its Only Change, with Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why. Its Only Change was recorded in Nashville, TN with producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) and features performances from Jerry Roe (K.D. Lang), David Labruyere (John Mayer) and Aubrey Freed (Black Crowes, Sheryl Crow).

Check out a sampling of the album, ‘Its Only Change’ in the video below.

Having shared the stage with the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Rusted Root, moe., Donovan Frankenreiter, Tedeschi Trucks Band and performing at major music festivals such as, The Gathering of the Vibes and Musikfest, Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why are ready for any live gig. Their new album incorporates so many different musical styles including, rock, soul, jazz, funk and hip-hop. Rock Cousteau recently had the opportunity to speak with Quincy and ask him all about his band and the new album.

RC: Your 5th album, Its Only Change is expected for release July 30th and after listening to the album a few times, I hear how it incorporates so many different sounds and styles including soul, jazz, rock, R&B, reggae, funk and hip-hop. That’s a lot of different styles in one place and requires training, for sure. What musical training have you had up to this point to be able to accomplish something like this?

QM: I grew up listening to so many different types of genres, including all of the ones above. My parents played everything in the house from the Talking Heads to Bob Marley. I played trumpet in the school band, and picked up guitar for the first time when I was 9 years old! I studied guitar for many years and still do, as well as getting vocal training.

RC: When you dig deep down, what would you say really is the influential force that drives you to create the music that you create? Is it other music, is it visual arts or is it something else? Same question asked a different way, why did you choose music as a career instead of becoming a doctor, lawyer, accountant or some other suit?

QM: For me, inspiration comes from everywhere. My everyday experiences give me ideas to create new songs with different themes, emotions, and musical styles. What ever I am feeling at that moment the pen is in my hand, is what I will put down on the paper.

Music is in my blood, I could not imagine doing anything else. I love writing, performing, and making music, I will never stop. Plus, I like to be barefoot, I can do without the shiny shoes that these other jobs require :)

RC: You are no newcomer to this business, yet you are only 21 years old and are set to release your 5th album. What have the experiences with the 4 previous albums taught you or should I say, what have you learned “not” to do anymore?

QM: Every year and every album has taught me a new lesson. It’s not about what you have done wrong in the past, it is about what you have learned from your past experiences and what you can do to improve yourself as a person and a musician. Every year and ever new song, you grow as an artist, and you never stop growing, creating more wisdom under your belt.

RC: Do you feel like Its Only Change is a departure from your previous efforts or some kind of growth? If it’s a departure, where did you come from? If it’s growth, how has it grown?

QM: This album is definitely growth for me. It is something I have never done before, leave my hometown and record somewhere far away, in Nashville. This is the first time I really feel like I wrote a complete album. All of the songs relate to each other in some way, and all come back to the same theme of “change”. In the past it has been just different songs put in a certain order. Not from beginning to end, I feel like this album tells a story.

RC: Tell me a bit about the band you have put together? Have they been with you for years? Why did you choose to work with them? What are their previous band experiences?

QM: Brian Gearty (Bass/Vox): I have know Brian since the 4th grade. When I started playing guitar, Brian started playing bass. So we grew up playing music together, including our first punk band together.

Karlee Bloomfield (Keys/Vox): Karlee saw us play as a trio back in the day opening for a band called DeSol. We were looking for a keyboard player at the time and Karlee asked to try out, and we were very impressed! It has been 5 years now since she has been in the group.

Mike Zdeb(Guitar/Vox): Mike was a fill in for about 2 years while our other guitar player was in college during the school year. When we started to get some serious momentum going with the group, our guitar player decided to leave and it just made sense for Mike to come in as a full time band mate!

Davide Vossel (Drums): Davide is actually from Italy! He attended music school in NYC with Brian. We were looking for a new drummer this past fall, and Sister Dave (davide) nailed the audition! He is a pleasure to work with.

RC: What is your reaction when someone compares your music to existing bands, i.e., Ben Harper, Grateful Dead, etc)? Do you freak out in anger or are you elated about the comparison?

QM: Doesn’t bother me one bit. Everybody’s ears are different and compare me differently depending on the person. It is natural for someone to compare because I am not well know yet, so people feel the need to relate me to someone else they are familiar with. Its human nature and its all good!

RC: Realizing that Kickstarter is what gave you the financial basis for your recent recording and upcoming release of Its Only Change, how was your experience with the Kickstarter campaign?

QM: It was stressful!, but we reached our goal just 2 weeks into the campaign, so it became exciting and humbling to know so many people were willing to support me and this record.

RC: What was it like to work with Ken Coomer, who has produced fantastic bands like Wilco and Uncle Tupelo?

QM: Ken is the man! I love that guy, I consider him a great friend. Creatively, he is off the charts, so many amazing ideas, a genius with arrangements, and a blast to make a record with. I can’t wait to work with him again!

RC: Do you find that you are excessively “hands on” in this industry or does your involvement in your career barely ruffle your day-to-day operations? In other words, is being hands-on really the only way you know how to manage your own career? Or, do you feel comfortable handing off the management to someone else?

QM: I have management and a great team working for me, but in order to get what you want, you have to be the one doing most of the work. I spend everyday working on my music career. In order to be successful, you need to work hard and be determined, you can not rely on someone else to do it for you.

RC: Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called the “Outliers,” in that book he claims that the basis for success lies mainly in putting in time into your career, whatever that career may be. I completely agree with his theory that putting time into your career is the key. He uses The Beatles as one of his examples and states that during their early stages of their career, when they were performing in Germany every single night, they began accumulating their 10,000 hours. First, do you agree with this theory and would you say you are close to your “10,000 hours” of performing just yet?

QM: I absolutely agree with his theory, and live by it. Like I said before, in order to be successful, you need to put in the time, its up to you and no one else. I was told when I first started playing out about the Beatles 10,000 hours. I spend my first couple of years playing 3 to 4 hr bar gigs. As a band it forced us to learn and create more songs. It also got us to become very tight together, and become better as a group.

RC: Let’s back up and think about your first exposure to the music business. You are probably a musician who doesn’t feel the pain of change, as many other veterans in music business. I say this because you have been part of the music business well after the internet shook it up, but after hearing one of many formulas for success and always remembering that it is a business, where do you see your future in the music business?

QM: I just hope to keep touring, and expanding to new markets nationally and internationally. I hope that my fan base will continue to grow and get stronger. I love what I do and I will never stop.

If you want qualified optimistic tunes that are uplifting and technically done right, then Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why are what you need to be listening to, right now. Its Only Change confirms that Quincy Mumford and The Reason Why are a “Band to Watch” in 2013!

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Track Listing for Its Only Change:
01. Change
02. For You
03. Under The Covers
04. When You Get Back
05. A Hard Place
06. Time Won’t Wait
07. Eventually
08. Madeline
09. No Love
10. Baby Don’t Go

Tour Dates:

7/20 – Blues On The Beach Stratford, CT
8/2 – Acoustic Café Bridgeport, CT
8/7 – Sandy Hook Beach Concert Sandy Hook, NJ
8/10 – Jamian’s Red Bank, NJ
8/14 – Orton’s Wilmington, NC
8/22 – The Funky Buddha Boca Raton, FL
8/27 – The Hummingbird Macon, GA
8/29 – Southern Rail Carrboro, NC