‘A totally different experience’ An interview with St. Louis band Burrowss (plus MP3 download)
Originally based in Greenville, Ill., where they both attended college, guitarist Matt Stuttler and vocalist/keyboardist Emily Keefauver went from a small, tight-knit music scene full of familiar faces to St. Louis shortly after graduation. The duo wasted no time in establishing Burrowss and recording its first album.
Stuttler and Keefauver first started playing music together in summer 2010 as the Kerouacs. It wasn’t until summer 2011 when the couple and bandmates started playing as Burrowss and moved to St. Louis after they both graduated from Greenville College. Playing as Burrowss marked an opportunity to stretch out into rock ‘n’ roll with an occasional shot of country and sometimes punk elements.
“I feel like we’ve come quite a ways in the past year or two together,” Keefauver says. “Everything’s a lot easier now for us to play together — especially when we have a full band.”
Burrowss took just three months to record its first album, “Don’t Take It Slow,” with the help of Jumbling Towers‘ Louis Wall, who produced and recorded it at the Texas Room. Rounding out with nine songs at 21 minutes, the album serves as a perfect Burrowss primer to listeners, providing a satisfying collection of songs that encompass the band’s own concoction of rock ‘n’ roll sounds.
“We’d done some recording in college with our friends, but this was a totally different experience,” Stuttler, who’s also a volunteer writer for KDHX, says. “We spent a good three months recording, which was phenomenal for us. It was awesome having that much time to work stuff out, [Louis] is a really good guy.”
Working with Louis Wall helped Burrowss transform some of its material from works in progress to stage-ready tracks.
“A lot of the songs weren’t finished when we went to Louis with them, and we’d never played them live with drums or anything,” Stuttler explains. “He helped us figure out how to make them good live songs.”
“He was a very big part of the recording process and helping us put stuff together, which I think was good for us and him,” Keefauver says. “He’s just recently set up his studio.”
Burrowss recorded “Don’t Take It Slow” as a two-piece with musical accompaniment and help from Louis Wall, Bryan Perry, Tara Wepking and Jenn Rudisill. They’ve just recently found a new drummer and plan to play shows as a full band this summer. The current live line-up is Emily Keefauver (vocals), Matt Stuttler (guitar), Peter Lokey (guitar), Bryan Perry (bass) and Jesse Olive (drums).
“Most of the music we play is rock, it’s full-band music,” Keefauver states. “There were times when we would play shows with just the two of us, and we’ve found that it’s a lot more convenient to play with a full set, a lot bigger sound and a lot more fun.”
Burrowss released “Don’t Take It Slow” last month on CD and digital download formats, as well as on what Stuttler calls “a poor man’s vinyl,” the cassette tape.
“It’s interesting, and people like it,” Keefauver says. “A lot of people don’t have cassette players anymore, but even if you don’t listen to [Don't Take It Slow] on the cassette, it’s cool to have.”
“Don’t Take It Slow” – Burrowss