Six Picks With: Paper Tongues

Charlotte, NC based 5 piece (7 when on tour) Paper Tongues were not only kind enough to participate in our “Six Picks” feature with us, but all five members submitted their own picks! Topics are across the board from major labels, to skinny jeans, to even why there is not a girl in the band. Their very entertaining submissions can be found below and be sure to pick up Paper Tongues’ new “Crowd Surfing” EP now on iTunes!

“Six Reasons Why We Are Not On A Major Label”

By: Aswan North (Lead Vocals)
1. Major labels don’t sell records anymore. They sell singles, yet they are still offering record deals. It doesn’t make any sense.
2. Majors are not in the development business for rock bands anymore. We believe that the old-fashioned way of A&R is still very important for the development and success of a rock band. Some of the greatest bands that benefited by this style of A&R’ing achieved unbelievable success by their third or fourth album. Example: Kings of Leon, Phoenix, Muse, Wilco, U2, etc. Labels can’t afford to pay for that anymore so we have to do it on our own with the help of great management.
3. A&R staff turnover. Major labels fire their staff in the A&R department about every two years. The staff is always changing so it doesn’t give you enough time with a unified team to get a product out. Just when you are about to accomplish something at a label with your team you have to start over with strangers. This is still art, it is not just business. You need someone who believes in the art, and not someone who is working for a paycheck.
4. The attention span at a major label doesn’t really exist for one act until a kind of money comes from that act. It would be better for a band to be signed to an NBA basketball team where the organization spends a ton of money upfront, which gives the staff a huge incentive to give attention and tons of focus to the new development of the player, insuring great success in due time.
5. We believe that the major label roll in the band’s life has been replaced by management rolls, making it unnecessary to give away most of the business up front. It is actually more advantageous to hold on to the masters and copyrights to have longevity in the business.
6. Most importantly, we want to be part of a new era. We have a pioneer spirit about our band so we want to be a part of the development process and the new existence that rock bands are forced to live with in the music industry…which is really just a glorified excuse that allows us to really enjoy making and playing music.

“Six Things I Can’t Handle On Tour”

By: Devin Forbes (Guitar)
1. Anybody spraying massive amounts of cologne in the tiny sleeping quarters on the bus. I’m for cologne, but its not healthy to breathe it in.
2. Having no private space or alone time. It is hard to read a book when someone’s cooking an egg on your right and playing NBA Live on your left.
3. Not showering for a week. A lot of venues don’t have a shower, and since we sleep on the bus, we don’t get hotels often. It can get kind of dirty.
4. Being away from family and friends. It is fun seeing new places and meeting new people, but it is hard not being able to be around and invest in the people you love.
5. Sleeping in a coffin. The bunks in the bus are just too short for me to stretch out and there is really no clearance, so if you wake up startled, it is likely you’ll slam your forehead against the roof. Also, the mattresses are made out of cardboard and they rest on plywood, or at least it feels that way.
6. Inconsistent schedule. I’m a morning person and a routine man. I like waking up, making my coffee and eggs and getting my day going right. Tour life doesn’t really afford those luxuries. You go to bed super late and sleep late because you’re usually still on the road when you wake up.
All these considered though, it is a small sacrifice to make to do what I love every day of my life.

“Six Reasons Why There Is No Girl In The Band”

By: Joey Signa (Guitar)
1. Drama. We don’t need to have to worry about if maybe one time we accidentally gave her a mean look, when in reality our brains were in Never Never Land and our eyes were turned off.
2. Smells. Too many smells happen.
3. Boyfriends. Leave your boy problems at home.
4. Lost. She is always gonna get lost and trying to find her may not be worth it…
5. Weak. What can she carry? Her own cables…maybe??
6. Dirty. We don’t always have the luxury of a shower and we have to be OK with that.

“Six Things About The Pants

That I Choose To Wear On Tour”

By: Danny Santell (Bass)
1. First things first. I don’t own a pair of loose fitting jeans or pants. Out of the 13 pairs of pants that I own, they are all skinny jeans. It is a known fact that skinny jeans make you look a bit taller.
2. My secret to finding unique looking jeans and printed pants is actually going through every women’s section in Target, thrift stores and Forever 21. Plus It awesome to see how many brands can knock off Versace prints on their pants and t-shirts.
3. My last pair off of pants I wore had a leopard print pattern on them. A lot of chicks were digging them live and on Facebook. A true fact was that I had a big ripped hole at the bottom of the crotch of those pants and I still wore them to the airport and show. I didn’t care. I guess if artists like Prince can wear the outfits he wears and bag all the dope chicks, well I wouldn’t mind that at all either.

4. The fourth reason why I like to only own 13 pairs of skinny jeans is because 14 is way too much. 13 has a nice rotation throughout the year of touring. ;)
5. My preferred pant to wear at a live show would be the “Energy” solid black jeans I got tailored from our “Ride to California” video shoot. I feel like you can wear any shoe to match those, plus they were given to me for free, and the only thing better then free stuff are hot chicks.
6. The last reason why I spent this whole time talking about my pants is because my outfits can be a way of expression to who i am. It doesn’t make you gay or a freak to wear what you want to wear. I learned that from Gwen Stefani. Only you can be you and express yourself, and the rest will follow.

“My Six Favorite Things About Playing Gigs”

By: Luke Anderson (Drums)
1. New Cities.
2. Meeting bands and snagging numbers.
3. My energetic self is fitting.
4. Meeting amazing people – that all give you a side hug while talking photos with you!
5. The nervousness/anxiety – talk about a rush!
6. Looking forward to the next gig!
Fronted by the southern local Aswan North, this Charlotte, NC based band has crafted their own brand of rock music, uniting their diverse influences into a cohesive sound that’s been resonating with fans nationwide. After having charted on Billboard’s top 40 for Alternative Rock with 3 of their singles (Ride To California, Trinity, and Get Higher), and having landed a #1 spot on Billboards ‘Heat Seekers’ chart in 2010, Paper Tongues looks forward to building on the successes of their debut album with their new release, the “Crowd Surfing” EP.
(Click image above to purchase)
For more information on Paper Tongues please visit:
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