interview with Autumn Ridge

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Have any of you played in other bands? Yes! Bobbie Sue McDaniel has played in another group called Carnett, while John Vargo (Johnny Johnny Jr.) has played in a multitude of bands including 10 Talents, The Frozen Triangles, From Some Triangle, and Unified Unplugged
How is it that you started playing music?
John: I started playing music when I was in 3rd grade, I took a couple of piano lessons and never really took it seriously. When I was in middle school, I became involved in theatre and orchestra. At that point I was hooked on music, and I knew it would be something that I would do for the rest of my life.
Jordan: I was raised on listening to the band Rush, almost exclusively, which heavily influenced my idea of what the drummer could be in a band. After being the annoying kid tapping pencils constantly in class, my parents decided to get me a teacher which I still continue to take lessons from.
Bobbie: I started playing music because  when I was little because I saw a friend playing the violin and I wanted to play the violin, so when I asked my dad for a violin and lessons he responded with “but Bobbie don’t you want to be a rockstar?” Naturally I said yes, and he bought me a guitar instead.
What are your names? / Who plays what? / How old are you?
John Vargo AKA Johnny Johnny Jr. - Guitar/Vocals 19
Jordan Pelphrey - Drums/Vocals 19
Bobbie Sue McDaniel - Bass/Vocals
Have you had other previous members? No
Did you make music even when you were young?
John: I’ve been playing since a young age, but I didn’t start writing music until I was in high school.
Jordan: Yeah, when I first starting learning drum set I was learning as a jazz drummer, so I have been improvising from the beginning of this journey.
Bobbie: I made music when I was little all the time. I would write songs and showcase them to my family or a teacher would be cool enough to let me play them in class.
Where are you from?
John: I’ve lived all over the United States, but I feel most at home in California!
Jordan: Born in Tennessee, but raised in SE Michigan.
Bobbie: I’m from The Region (otherwise known as the little corner of Indiana that associates themselves with Chicago)
What year did the band form? 2017
What's your style of genre? Alternative Rock
What inspires you? We are inspired by the relationships around us, and both the happiness and hardship in life.
How often and where do you rehearse? We rehearse about 4 - 5 times a week at the college we attend.
How have you developed since you started with the music? As a whole, the band is more focused on creating multiple melodies in our music now. When we started we focused so much on lyrical content that the music was lacking, but now, the songs seem to feel like they have a lot more in them!
Do you have other interests of work outside the band? All of us are currently attending college and studying music.
Are you looking for a booking agency, and what are your thoughts around that? We are not actively looking for a booking agency, but we are open to conversations!
Are you looking for a label, and what are your thoughts around that? We are not looking for a label actively, but we are willing to talk with anyone!
What made you decide to make this music? After years of lacking an outlet, the group kind of focused in together and took the chance to really portray our thoughts and emotions through our music. That’s essentially what made us begin to write and record together.
What are your songs about? Our songs are about our own personal struggles, told in a way that anyone can relate to!
Who does the composing and writes the lyrics? All three band members write the music and lyrics as a group.
Do you start with the music or the lyrics? This depends on the song. Some of our songs are based around a guitar line or a drum beat, while others are composed around the lyrics.
Do you compose in a certain environment? We usually compose during our rehearsals, but sometimes we do it individually and then take our ideas and put them together.
Have you done any covers live? Yes, in addition to our originals, we play a multitude of covers that we have changed to fit our style.
What language do you sing in? English
What ages are most of your concert attendants? Our concert attendants are general age 18 - 25, but we welcome anyone to come jam with us!
Do you always play the same songs live, or do you vary? We change our setlist often, and add new original music as much as we can!
Do you have a regular place you play live often? As of now no, but this coming school year, we will be playing once a month in the college’s dining hall on a friday night.
What was your first gig like? Our first full band gig was a little nerve-racking, but we ended up really enjoying ourselves, and the crowd did too!
What was your latest gig? Our most recent gig was at the Lenawee County Fair in Adrian, Michigan, USA. We had a wonderful time playing for people of all ages!
Where have you played live this year? San Diego, California as well as Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana in multiple different cities.
Where do you plan to gig the coming year? We plan to hit a lot of the same places again, but stay tuned for possible tour information!
When did you start to sell merchandise, and what do you have for sale? We have been selling merch for a few months. Currently we sell T-Shirts in two different styles, and wristbands in two different styles as well.
Where can people buy your merchandise?
What do you think about people downloading music instead of buying records now a days? It’s tough for artists to make a living off of music with people downloading and streaming instead of buying records, but we are grateful to anyone who listens to our songs.
What do you think of my work? We are very impressed with how many bands you have interviewed, as well as the depth of your interviews!
How do you think and know that this interview will help you in the music business? We are excited to have an opportunity for such a large group of people to see our band. This will provide an amazing opportunity for exposure to fellow music-lovers.
Do you have any role models or idols?
We all have different role models and idols, but basically any of the legends in music.
Jordan: For me, drummers like Neil Peart, Chad Smith, Chris Coleman, JoJo Mayer, Gavin Harrison, and JP Bouvet have always given me inspiration.
Why do you think that they exist?
We are so drawn to these people because they have shaped modern music.
Jordan: Just like all of music history, the history of drumming is continuously being innovated and pushing boundaries.
Is it easier to find inspiration from older bands, or bands that are more active today? Both are useful in their own ways. Older bands have created jewels of music that have changed history, while newer bands are expanding genres and creating new benchmarks in what music can be.
What have been your biggest obstacles? Our biggest obstacles have mostly been finances. It’s difficult to make enough money doing music to continue to be able to pay for recording, mixing and mastering. Not to mention the expenses of a tour.
What advice would you give other bands or artists? Keep on working for it! It may be difficult to feel like you’ve “made it” but if you can get by doing music and you’re enjoying it, then you are already ahead of most other people!
How do you get psyched for a gig? 
John: I listen to a lot of emo revival music, like Tiny Moving Parts.
Jordan: Simple pad warm ups to get my head in the right space, plus some short stretching and exercises to get the blood flowing.
Bobbie: I get psyched for a gig by loud car music on the way to the gig.
Do you have any new material?
Yes! We are releasing our EP “Beautiful Colors” in the next few months.
What are your web sites?
How can people reach you?
Our email is
We are always eager to chat with fans, venues, promoters, booking agents, and labels!
What are your plans for the future? We plan to finish our album in the next coming year, and continue touring in the future.
Do you have something to add? Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Autumn Ridge!
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