When The Pitch checked in with Quiet Corral last year, the Lawrence-bred folk-pop group was fresh off the release of its self-titled debut EP. Since then, Quiet Corral has been touring the country — half of its six members have put college at the University of Kansas on hold — and capitalizing on the surprising new American appetite for bombastic, stadium-sized folk anthems (see: Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, et al.). They've played to huge crowds at Austin City Limits and received the VIP treatment in Las Vegas. On November 29, the band comes to RecordBar, where it performs some songs from its upcoming proper full-length. The Pitch sat down with the band members for a status update.
The Pitch: You've got a new album coming out in the spring. How does it stack up to the 2010 EP?
Isaac Flynn (guitar): As cliché as it sounds for a band on their next release, it's definitely more mature-sounding. The songs are more cohesive. I just think they're better songs. We've become better songwriters. Our musicianship has gotten better. I think we all understand how to play off each other better. Whereas when you first start a band, it's almost like who can show off on their instrument more or who can come up with the cooler part. Now I think we are playing for the song instead of playing for ourselves. We're getting better at that.
Jesse Braswell Roberts (guitar, mandolin): We've had a lot more time playing together, being around each other, and we know how each other works better, and I think all of that shines through in the record. We like to take our time and get our arrangements right. We've had a tough time narrowing down songs. We recorded more than we are going to put on there, and we are having a difficult time agreeing on the ones to cut.
Matt Green (bass): We've stuck to the four-part harmonies and a lot of acoustic — Jesse plays a lot of mandolin and acoustic guitar on it. But I think we've branched out a little bit more. Isaac put in a lot of work on electrics, and adding Zach [Mehl]'s piano parts now, there are a few songs where it's really featured. It adds to a whole band sound.
Jim Barnes (drums): I think the idea is to kind of find what your band's identity is. I still don't think we have found it 100 percent, but we are a lot closer than the EP.
What would you say are some of the influences on your sound right now?
Braswell Roberts: There is definitely a folk influence, but sometimes it sounds just kind of rock and roll.
Green: As far as what I bring to my instrument and what I try to bring to the songs, I look toward Mutemath. Great bass player, more on the rock side. I feel like a lot of comparisons we get are to Mumford & Sons, but I never once sat in a room and learned a Mumford & Sons bass line.
Barnes: The acoustics and Jesse's vocals are not too dissimilar [from Mumford & Sons], but other than that, we have three electric guitars sometimes. But the vocal is the vocal, which is the centerpiece. Both Marcus [Mumford] and Jesse have really good emotion in their voice and really good vulnerability, which I think is a big reason. I think that that comparison will be something that fades more with the album coming out, but I don't mind the comparison at all. It's unbelievable that an Americana or folk or bluegrass band is considered to be mainstream or Top 40.