Flyer profile: Joe Eckels and The Wreckards

Courtesy photo
L.A. band The Wreckards are coming to Fayetteville for a show at Rogue on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Staff note:
There’s some funky Los Angeles soul headed to Fayetteville this weekend.

Jeff Kearney is bringing his friends Joel Eckels and the Wreckards to town for a show with his band 1 Oz. Jig at Rogue Saturday night, and he conducted a little Q&A with the band so that we could get to know them better first.

Of course, you could also get to know them by checking out their track below, or any of the tracks available on their Bandcamp page.

Meet The Wreckards, why don’t you?

Jeff Kearney: How would you describe your sound to some one who has never heard you before?
Joe Eckels: Clever songwriting with and old-school soul and funk flavor

JK: How did your band name come about?
JE: After an epic search for the name that fits the music, my brother, Shawn emailed and said, ‘You should call the band “The Wreckards.”‘ Period. Done. Move on.

JK: This is a band of brothers. Tell us about that, and other bands you guys play in, together or separately?
JE: My brother, Shawn and I have always been each other’s biggest fans and have always influenced each other. I think it was inevitable that we would start playing together more and more. It’s exciting because there’s just something that happens between siblings in general that, when translated into musical interaction, is pretty cool. We play off each other’s strengths really well, I’ve been playing with Mark “Babyhead” Corben since 2005 and he has been a big supporter and collaborator ever since.

We live in the same apartment building in Hollywood. Actually across the hall from each other. After parting ways with one drummer/neighbor in the building in 2009, we decided to try out the drummer down the hall, Tamir Barzilay, and it turned out to be a match made in heaven. Pretty amazing in a big town like LA to have that kind of chemistry in such close proximity. When we added Shawn to the mix the chemistry felt even more complete. We’re all brothers for sure. Just some of us are brothers from another mother.

JK: The greatest show in the known universe is coming up at Rogue this Saturday, September 24th. Tell us a little about that, and how it came to be?
JE: This is our first time bringing this incarnation of the band to the midwest. It’s pretty exciting and we wanted to make it a good solid run of shows. Fayetteville was definitely on the list of towns we wanted to play. Speakeasy has always loved the town and fans in the area, and I’ve had a blast in my past experiences there. We hit up local friends and the clubs to see what we could put together, being a relatively unknown band in town. We were lucky to have the guys from 1 Oz. Jig step up to help and hook up a show. I know how hard it is to break into new markets, so it means a lot to get that kind of enthusiasm and support. We plan to throw down on Saturday for sure.

JK: Where else can people see you in town before you guys move on?
JE: We’re actually coming back to Fayetteville to play Mojo’s on Tuesday, the 27th. Other than that, we have a Eureka Springs show on Wed, the 28th at the Squid and Whale, Schlafly Brewery in St. Louis on Friday, the 30th and a big show at Patton Alley Pub in Springfield on Saturday, Oct 1st.

JK: What is the weirdest thing to happen to you (or be thrown at you) at a show?
JE: Hmm. Well, one time in LA, I was packing up gear and my kneecap slipped out of socket. I fell to the floor and a random guy dressed as Elvis came over to help me. He was completely freaked out by the sight of my kneecap sticking out the side of my leg. I got it back into place and stabilized it. I had Elvis helping me walk out of the club and a bunch of girls carrying all of my gear. Ha! Only in L.A.

JK: Do you play covers or originals. If originals, who is the songwriter and what is their muse?
JE: We mostly play originals, but definitely love to play some fun covers from time to time. It’s a great way to study the music that inspires you. As long as the covers feel like they’re an extension/accompaniment to the originals and not just something to please a crowd. Musically, we’re trying to write more and more as a band. At this point, though, I write most of the lyrics. My muse is life and experiences, really, but that sounds so ordinary. If I were to be more specific, girls are the muse. One or two in particular that have inspired a majority of my songs. Through the good, the bad and the ugly, it can all be worth it if you get a good song out of it, right?

JK: What has been your greatest accomplishment musically?
JE: I would have to say that my biggest musical accomplishment is having Bill Withers tell me that I write good, clever songs that have something to say. He is one of the greatest songwriters ever and has been one of my biggest influences, so it felt so incredible to be validated by him. We’ve been fortunate enough to get to know him and his family. Before we recorded “The Joy, the Pain” EP, he spent a couple months mentoring our band. It’s still surreal to think about. We learned so much from him.