by Jordan Mohler
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
* Liv Miner – lead vocals, guitar
* Cole Schwartz – lead guitar
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Drayter?
Cole – when I was 13 when I founded Drayter, so it was and still is my first band.
Liv – I was in a band for 5 years with my brother called Liv and the Drummer.
How long has the band been around?
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
We were 13 when we started the band; it was originally named Broken Spine. Since Broken Spine was pretty lame, we came up with our current name – but with a different spelling. As we got a little older we decided to change the spelling but keep the name.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
We write our songs and we’ve also worked with a very talented writer. The entire process depends on what the goals are. Sometimes we play around with lots of ideas and we let things grow naturally. Other times, if there is a specific goal, we like to hone in on it and the process becomes more systematic and organized. We feel that our themes are universal life problems or situations. As artists, we like to deal with our own experiences by creating music that represents the way we see things. The world is not a perfect place and we feel you have to take it as it comes. However, you can choose to be what you believe. A very important lesson for us has been learning how to deal with the negatives by finding the positive. Anyone can bash someone on a song but it takes more to channel it in a positive way. Again, we want to accept the world and all of its elements on its terms, but we can define how we deal with it and move on. For example, “Not Alone” deals with the negatives of bullying, not being accepted, neglect, yet we do not focus on those words. Instead we focus on the statement, “You are not alone.” We talk about support, reaching out to others, and understanding that even the people who seem to have it all might be feeling the exact same way you do. It’s about finding the solution instead of focusing on the problem. We think that artists grow over time, so topics will as well. Evolving is a good thing and as long as there are current events and we are growing as humans, so will our music.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Well, we like to channel ourselves through our art. That being said, there are bands/artists that inspire us to jam, write, move. Here are a few:
Tool – Specifically, Maynard. He is lyrically inspiring for me because he gets so real, deep, and sometimes, dark. As a whole, this band inspires me.
Yelawolf – He is inspiring to me because he does what he wants and his talent is undeniable.
Avenged Sevenfold – They make me want to jam! Every single one of them is extremely talented and the best at what they do. I’ve been hooked since I was 15.
Deafheaven – The overall atmosphere and songwriting, especially on their 2013 album, Sunbather.
The Devil Wears Prada – As a guitarist, I really like the guitar tone and almost percussive sound and style.
Maroon 5 – I really like their songwriting. They seem to be getting better and better with every album. I like the funk and groove they’re blending in.
Kendrick Lamar – He has a unique sound, a blend of hip-hop, rock, and jazz.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Liv – My parents were my inspiration – they are musicians and were always touring with a band. I always knew it was exactly what I wanted to do and I’m so thankful that they exposed me to what would become my dream. And then when I saw Switchfoot in 2004 and I knew I wanted to be a professional musician.
Cole – A defining moment for me was at the age of 8, at a Green Day concert. I knew it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. After the fuse was lit, I started to get into a lot of other bands that inspired me to start my own band, like Metallica and Pantera.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc.?
Liv - My absolute musts are rest, tons of water, and vocal warm ups. After I warm up my voice, I coat it with “Musician’s Friend” throat spray and mix some honey with hot tea. Backstage I like to listen to music that gets me in the mood. Steve Aoki, Yelawolf, and Eminem or whatever else I’m feeling in the moment. Right before the show starts I connect with my band in a huddle and we say weird, funny stuff to laugh and remind ourselves to have a good time! Finally, I say a prayer and steady my breathing.
Cole - I like to get in a good workout because it gets me in the mindset to perform and keeps me pumped. After sound check, I start drinking tons of water and I eat a protein bar or shake – nothing too heavy. About an hour before our set I start warming up my hands by playing to Slipknot, Slayer, The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, and Chelsea Grin. This gets my hands and fingers super warmed-up, and gets my mind and body ready to put on a high-energy show
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We started at a young age, and we have been extremely fortunate on so many levels. But probably some of the biggest highlights are playing with Stone Sour throughout Texas and getting to know Corey Taylor, playing big (but very select) festivals, working with our producer, Dave Fortman, who has produced bands we look up to like Slipknot, Godsmack, and Evanescence, and lastly recording our new album at NRG Studios where legends like Jimi Hendrix (Electric Ladyland), Linkin Park, Tom Petty, NAS, and Stone Temple Pilots have recorded.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
That’s a tough one, there are so many! For starters, we have to say that touring with the classic rock/metal/80’s bands during those eras, like Zeppelin, Metallica, The Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, would be an honor! They were pioneers and many bands grew from their styles. Also, it would be killer to tour with incredible blues musicians like SRV, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters. The older blues musicians paved the way for the British rock bands that we love. For our current ‘wish list’ tour, we would jump at the chance to tour with Avenged Sevenfold, Maroon 5, Tool, Green Day, or the Foo Fighters…just to name a few:)
[LINK TO STORY: http://killthemusic.net/blog/unsigned-spotlight-drayter]