Flyer Profile: Where’s Lawrence

Our job rules. There are some great bands in Fayetteville and the surrounding area, and a lot of times we get to discover some awesome local music when working on the daily to-do’s and weekend posts here at the Flyer.

When we come across a band that we haven’t heard in one of the to-do’s, we generally head over to their myspace page and check out what they sound like. It’s been about a month since we stubbled upon Where’s Lawrence, and their song “The Comedy” has been stuck in our heads ever since.

Where’s Lawrence is an 8 piece band from Bentonville. That’s right. 8 piece.

Violins, guitars, mandolins, accordions, banjo’s and glockenspiels are just some of the varied instrumentation you can hear in their music, and lead singer Brian Kupillas writes some really inspiring vocal melodies and lyrics.

You can hear their song “The Comedy” by clicking below, or you can check out more Where’s Lawrence on their myspace page, or on our newly-created local band directory here on the Flyer. You can also check them out May 7th at George’s.

We got in touch with Brian from the band, and he was nice enough to answer some questions for us.

Fayetteville Flyer: What have you been listening to lately?
Brian: Well, there’s a lot of us so the list could go on for quite some time, but I asked everybody what they’ve been listening to, and I’m just giving you a small portion of the list:
Belle & Sebastian, Animal Collective, Panda Bear, The Stanley Brothers, Mars Volta, Les Claypool, Ryan Adams, Explosions in the Sky, Traffic, Redneck Manifesto, Bleeding Through, The Arcade Fire, Damien Rice, Brand New, Mew, Cyrpus Hill, Maps and Atlas’, Wolf Parade, Television, White Chapel, Minus the Bear, Bring me the Horizon, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Piglet, Genesis, Vivaldi, Conor Oberst/Bright Eyes, Copeland, Sigur Ros, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Paul Cantelon, Bob Dylan, The Brothers of the Head soundtrack, and De Facto. That’s about it.

FF: How many people are in Where’s Lawrence?
Brian: 8 people I believe.

FF: How long have you guys been playing together?
Brian: It’s just over a year now for most of us. Though the current line up hasn’t even been around half a year yet.

FF: There is a dancing robot in a video on your myspace page. (Awesome). Where’d that come from?
Brian: One of our best friends who was in the band until he moved to Conway to go to school at Central Arkansas is the reason for that. For his last show, he asked if we could have a costume party, so we asked everyone to dress up. A lot of people came out and supported us, some as robots, some as Indians, some as gothic angels, some as gorillas. The band dressed up too, but in those videos most of us had shed our party clothes. We had the honor of a ninja filming the show. Didn’t even know he was there.

FF: Tell us about the name for the band.
Brian: Well it’s pretty much a bummer. But I tell it to people anyway because I don’t like to try and cover it up. I lived in New York when I was younger and my best friend’s dad actually divorced his mother and then hopped a plane to Europe somewhere, but promised to keep in touch with his son. But that never really happened. His dad’s name was Lawrence, so that’s the answer. That was a very big deal in my life, and the life of my friend, and I tried to help him the best I could, but I was too young to do anything worth much, and then, not long after, I moved to Michigan because my dad’s job and eventually here to Arkansas, so as you could imagine, my friend felt terribly abandoned. And I definitely felt bad about it for a time, but you have to move on, though I didn’t want to forget it. So I named the band Where’s Lawrence? in order to remember that situation and that feeling.

FF: Do you guys play in Fayetteville often? Where do you typically play?
Brian: No actually. We’ve only played twice in Fayetteville. At the KXUA Carnival in the fall and at George’s thanks to a fluke. We used to play a lot in Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville because that’s where the most of us are from, but then College came along and Fayetteville has won our hearts. But we have a show May 7th at George’s and May 23rd at Smoke & Barrel.

FF: Looks like you guys are working on a tour for this summer. Where are you headed?
Brian: Yeah we’re going to New York to record an album, a concept album called The Boy in the Well, and on the way up we figured we’d play some shows. Going to be playing with a band from Normal, Illinois called Harder to Fall, they’re really good guys and their music is wonderful. Check them out, they played here not too long ago in my parents basement and stayed the night with us and we had a great time. They’re actually coming down May 17th and we’re looking for a show with them.They recently just expanded their band size and so there will be 16 of us hanging out for a couple of weeks this summer. It should be amazing.

FF: You have an EP for sale, correct? Where did you record it, and where can we get one?
Brian: We do, but it’s not too good. The quality isn’t great, in one song the vocals only come out on one side of the speaker (not to mention the vocals on the entire album are far too loud). So we try to keep that one a secret actually, unless someone desperately wants it. But we’re re-recording two of those songs and two from the up coming album in Centerton at our friend John’s house, and it’s nearly finished. We’re hoping to have it done by our May 7th show at Georges.

FF: What are some other bands in the area we should check out?
Brian: The Candy Fiasco. They’re such great people, they play some beautiful music and have so much talent. Nil Miscreant, I jammed a few times with the people in this band, and they’ve got some pretty tunes. If recordings are ever made public, a friend and ex-member, Brandon Glanton has some really interesting sounds to be heard. He’s got so much going for him, and such an original mind and style. He’s currently trying to create a small low-fi recording studio called Pilgram House or Pilgram Haus, I don’t know how he wants it spelled. But yeah those guys are all great. Brandon’s group at the moment is called The Fellows but I’m not sure if that’s still the case. He’s very mysterious to me.

FF: What’s next for you guys? Any cool projects in the works?
Brian: Other than the album we’re looking to record. Just playing more and more shows. George’s is great but I know there’s a scene in Fayetteville that we’d like to meet and they don’t just play Dickson every night. But a couple of us have side projects that are a much different from the Where’s Lawrence? sound. Jacob the bassist has a solo project called Talib Khadijah, very nice soothing music. I’ve got a solo project called Coyote, and then Jacob and I are currently working on another band with three other guys including John, the man recording our 4-track EP we’re working on. A lot of these projects are for us more than anything, trying to push our own limits and inspire further work for Where’s Lawrence?. But the new group is something we’re trying to play shows with

Photo By Jenn Collins

Click below to hear “The Comedy” by Where’s Lawrence