Lowlander — Making it Big in No Time Flat
Lowlander, a three-piece rock band from Weirton comprised of brothers Kris (lead guitar) and Sean Boynes (rhythm guitar/bass/vox) and Jim Courtney (percussion/vox), has completed an East Coast tour, secured endorsement deals with Knucklehead Guitar Strings and Po Boy Drums and signed a two-year, two-disc record deal with Brimstone Records – all within one year of making their public debut. You can get their CD from at www.cdbaby.com/lowlander, iTunes and other outlets.
Graffiti: What are your latest projects?
Kris Boynes: We are in the studio working on our follow-up album to “We Need To Talk.” This will be our first international release and the first with a label: Brimstone Records.
Jim Courtney: It has definitely been a much better process for us this time. When we went in to record the first album, we had to finance the recording, mastering and distribution ourselves. We were very limited on what we could do and the time we could spend. The songs you hear on “We Need To Talk” were recorded in one take, so we could get the album done in a fiscal way. This time, we do not need to worry about distribution, packaging or advertising.
Graffiti: What instruments do you play? What brand/style of guitar do you perform with?
Jim Courtney: Ludwig and Po Boy Drums
Kris Boynes: Jackson Guitars, Crate Amplifiers and Digitech Pedals
Sean Boynes: Les Paul Guitars, B52 Amplifiers, Line 6 Pedals. I have altered some of the amp settings and de-tune select strings to get a sound that could be described as a batar — half bass/half guitar. People either ask me how I am able to get such a great low-end sound out of my guitar, or just think I am playing the bass.
Graffiti: What CDs are you listening to these days?
Kris Boynes: James Irvin, from Huntsville, who we have had the pleasure of playing with a time or two. The Forbidden Five, a band from the horror-rock genre out of Pittsburgh. Their songs are themed from horror movies. They have that surfer punk sound and a singer that has the Iggy Pop persona perfected. Nicole Atkins, she is blowing up right now.
Graffiti: How did you start getting Australian airplay?
Sean Boynes: When we first put our Web site up on Myspace, I noticed that the majority of our friend requests were coming from there. Then, once our album came out, the majority of sales were from Australia. We started to develop relationships with some of the Australian musicians like Stephanie Paige Norton and the band, Barbed Wire. I was contacted by a DJ (Honni Mooy-Cox) on the EDGE Radio Stations out of Tasmania and Sydney.
Graffiti: What radio stations locally are playing you?
Kris Boynes: When our album first came out, we released “Dilemma” as a single. It received a lukewarm response getting picked up by the CBS stations known as the BOB or JACK stations. It didn’t last very long. The first run of “Dilemma” was limited to two to three weeks. So, we re-examined what song to release next and put out “Piece of Mind.” We almost did not record it, we weren’t convinced that it fit in with the other tracks. This tune took off for us, really providing an opportunity to get the band’s music out there. It was picked up by ClearChannel and had a decent run in about 40 U.S. markets, getting to No. 4 on their New Rock Chart. It was also picked up by various podcasters, which really elevated the band’s status, especially in the southeast United States.
Graffiti: What venues in West Virginia do you play?
Sean Boynes: We play often in Weirton, usually at Big Al’s Grill or the Irish Pub. We also love playing the Rock-It Club in Bluefield. We have started to play in Parkersburg, the 5th Street Pub. The new hand-built stage is fantastic and the tin ceiling makes for a great sound.
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