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INTERVIEW: the Orphan, the Poet

totp2Infectious Magazine’s Sami Marshall recently caught up with Jake Floyd and David Eselgroth of the Orphan, the Poet in Orlando, Florida, on one of that last shows of The Live Free Die Young Tour. Things got weird while discussing the walk of shame, being attacked by dinosaurs, and a new tasty trend on Instagram. Check out the interview below, and be sure to check out the show review here.

Infectious Magazine: To start, can you guys introduce yourselves?

David Eselgroth: Hey I’m David. I sing and play guitar.

Jake Floyd: And I’m Jake and I play bass.

IM: So you guys are getting ready to wrap this tour [The Live Free Die Young Tour] up. How has it been so far?

DE: So far it’s been amazing. It’s been one of my favorite tours that we’ve done. And I don’t know if it’s just because I like this time of year, it’s been nicer weather, but the bands definitely had something to do with it. Everyone on this tour is amazing. It’s been a lot of fun.

IM: How did you guys get involved with this tour?

JF: Um, it’s not an exciting story. Our booking agents knew each other, and their booking agent was putting together this tour and thought we’d be a good fit. So, that all connected.

IM: The schedule for this tour was pretty crazy. I saw you guys had very few days off this month. How do you keep your energy levels up during this kind of schedule?

DE: Cat naps. Lots and lots of cat naps. Jake hits the Bull, the Red Bull.

JF: I do. Well there’s two secrets. I think my secret is a little bit due to Red Bull. The band’s secret, I feel like it’s bananas.

DE: A lot of bananas. Like no muscle cramps. It has the energy to keep you going. So yeah, we basically run on bananas. We’re trying to get a sponsorship from Chiquita or Dole. We are open to both offers.

IM: My next question was what are some tour essentials that you have to have with you. So obviously bananas, but what else?

DE: Yes, bananas. With us, because we hate to sleep in our van, it feels like we’re going to a slumber party every day because we have a sleeping bag, these mattress pads, and all these pillows and stuff. So we’re just trying to have slumber parties every night of the tour with people we meet and it’s awesome. It’s funny, we’ll  be in like New York City; I feel like it always strikes me in New York, because you have to park so far away, because the parking is terrible. But we’ll just be like five or six dudes with blankets and pillows just marching through Brooklyn or whatever, like don’t mind us.

JF: It’s not that bad a night. But like the next morning, usually we don’t have to leave until like one in the afternoon. So everyone’s up, going about their day, there’s busy traffic, and then there’s like six dudes, walking around with sleeping bags and towels.

DE: It’s like the walk of shame.

IM: I saw you guys had posted you were listening to A Rocket To The Moon a couple of days ago, and it was a sad post. What do you guys normally listen to while on the road?

DE: We listen to so much random stuff, this tour especially. I feel like we’re random enough normally, but this tour I feel like we really got into it. We listened to, of course, some sappy pop-rock. We also were listening to just movie scores. Which was hilarious because we were driving through, I think it was West Virginia. And we took a wrong turn and we were listening to Jurassic Park. So we start going out in the boonies, on these winding, tiny roads, up in the hills and there’s shacks.

JF: You’re waiting for a brontosaurus to just pop out.

DE: We think there’s a raptor about the claw our faces. And we’re like, “Oh no!” And the tension [in the music] is building and the tension is building. And then we finally find our way back to civilization, and as soon as that happens, and I don’t know what to say. The music was uplifting, it was so perfect. It was as if we were in the movie. What else did we listen to?

JF: Well as a band, we are all pretty eclectic in our music tastes. We all have our own little things. Our drummer, Drew, for instance, really likes country music. Whoever is driving kinda has control of the radio.

DE: Well, at least veto power.

JF: Yeah, or veto power. You, what do you like? We were trying to nail down these.

DE: That’s the thing, everyone has their weird stuff. Jake loves butt rock.

JF: Yeah, like nu metal. Like Limp Bizkit.

DE: Nu metal, butt rock. Drew loves country. Ty, I feel like he likes anything that’s like little female folk singers, super indie stuff. He’s into that. And I…

JF: Yours is definitely boy bands. I’m pretty sure I woke up today, from a nap, to NSYNC playing.

DE: That’s true. I think it was Backstreet Boys, but whatever.

IM: So you guys released “Starlight” in January. How has the reception for that been?

DE: Good! I think people have been responding to it well. We’re really proud of that song. And it’s super fun to play live. I think this is the first tour?

JF: Yeah, It’s the first tour.

DE: We had some one-off dates before, but this is the first tour we’ve got to play it across the country and see people respond to it. Yeah, it’s been very very cool.

JF: And seeing people sing along. It’s the biggest thing in the world. I mean, we’re flattered when anyone sings along to our music. It’s just the craziest thing for us to realize that someone knows who our band is. But let alone a new song that we just put out. It’s really awesome.

IM: Do you have plans for an album coming up anytime soon?

DE: We’ve been doing a lot of writing. So yeah, we’re hoping to take a stab at that pretty soon.

IM: You guys do the TOTP TV episodes on YouTube.

DE: Yeah. Yeah, we do.

IM: How did you come up with the idea for those videos?

DE: Well it’s something that, I think we got kind of stir crazy over the winter. You’re just kind of itching for something to do. And so we thought, let’s just show how weird we are.

IM: They’re very weird.

DE: Yes, they’re quite weird. Some of them are serious, like this is a cool thing we did, but a lot of them are just weird. We have some more on the back burner right now that are super weird. I can’t wait to get back from touring and get those out. I think Jake and I, we were having one of our coffee sessions. We’ll just go into a Starbucks and we will sit there for hours, drinking coffee, getting all hyped up on caffeine, and, as far as I’m concerned, we fix the world. We start talking about problems. We’ll solve this- Boom! Next problem. Let’s do this! So we just come up with zany stuff. And TOTP TV…

JF: I think that’s how it started. We weren’t even talking about something with our band, we were just talking about funny things on YouTube.

DE: Yeah, this would be a funny video to make. I’m seriously super proud of the first one, the Valentine’s Day one.

IM: That was so funny.

DE: Oh my gosh, I love it. I still watch it. If no one else likes it, I find it funny.

IM: Yeah, I was cracking up the entire time watching it. It was great. So you have more planned?

DE: Oh yes.

IM: Are they as crazy as the first one, or are they more like an update type of thing?

DE: We’re trying to balance it out so people aren’t like, “These guys are just dumb. And I don’t care. This has nothing to do with music.” We’re trying to find the balance between“I like their band” and “I like that they’re weirdos.” We’re trying to give a good balance, like cool stuff and weird stuff, and attempted funny stuff, and everything in between.

IM: After this [tour], you guys are doing the Wolves At The Gate tour in June, and you seem really excited about it from your Facebook posts. Can you tell me about this tour and why you are so excited about it?

JF: First off, Wolves At The Gate is an awesome band, they are just incredible. This is their second album coming out on Solid State Records, and we’ve been lucky enough to get a little sneak peek of it, and it’s just amazing! But on top of that, we’ve known the guys in Wolves At The Gate for years and years. And we’ve been friends with them for a long time. I think before our booking agents talked and we got an offer, I was already on the phone with Ben, their bass player, like, “Ok, how are we gonna make this happen?”

DE: Bass players unite.

IM: Bassists get it done.

DE: They do, they do.

JF: But just being out with friends is always awesome. Like this tour has been especially great because we’re making new friends. But to able to go out with people we’ve known since we were all just in local bands playing a couple shows in Dayton [Ohio] together. It’s just awesome to come back, especially, like I said, with how good their CD is now.

IM: The second date of the tour has Red Jumpsuit Apparatus on it, which is awesome. Being from Florida myself, north Florida, they are near to my heart.

JF: Jacksonville, right?

IM: Yeah, they’re from Jacksonville. Are you guys up-to-date with the controversy that has been going on with them? About the photo credit?

DE: I saw a Facebook thing about it and it’s kind of crazy. I don’t know if I got into it enough to figure out exactly what’s going on, but I know it’s pretty heated.

IM: It is. It’s hard seeing bands getting scrutinized like that, but at the same time, it’s a fairness issue.

DE: Yeah, absolutely.

IM: How do you transition from being with bands like Stages & Stereos and Darling Parade, who are more mellow in their music, and then going on to Wolves At The Gate? How do you make that transition, because it’s so different?

JF: It’s weird for us. First of all, I feel like it’s kind of cool that we maybe can pull it off, in a weird way. But it’s also really awesome because I feel like in today’s music, not everyone is a fan of just one type of music. The people who like Wolves At The Gate may also like Stages & Stereos. Or may have seen them when Stages was on tour with Mayday Parade, and maybe saw us when we were on tour with Dance Gavin Dance, or something like that. The scene is so overlapping everywhere. But for us, personally, we just kind of do what we do, and hope that people like it. We’re definitely a little weird to be on this tour. We jump around a little more than everyone else, but we’re definitely not screaming.

DE: Yeah, that’s the thing, we’re just kind of weird on every tour. But that’s just us as a band. We’re not gonna match up with 9 out of 10 bands. But that’s cool, that’s exactly what we want. Just us doing us, and whoever digs it, we will play to.

IM: After that tour, what are your plans for the summer?

JF: We’re home for a little bit, which will be nice. So we can get out of the heat of Florida for a little bit. We’re home for about two weeks. Two or three weeks. Then we go out again for two weeks on a co-headlining run with a band called Artifex Pereo, and they are amazing. They are such a good band. It’s this weird scenario where we’ve been friends with them for like two years now, but have never met them.

DE: We’ve never met them.

JF: We’ve had some mutual friends, and I got their drummer’s phone number, and we were texting about how cool it would be to tour together.

DE: We shared a producer. The same person who produced our last EP produced their last two full-lengths. So it’s like this weird family. We know each other and we know we’re supposed to be friends. So we’re ready to finally tour together.

JF: Yeah, so that starts on July 5th, and we’re out with them and a really rad band called Icarus The Owl, from Portland [Oregon]. They are an incredible band. Super pop-rock, but it’s really technical. And then an awesome band called Envoi, from Cleveland, Ohio. They’re, again, just an amazing band. Their singer, Maddie, she’s just got an incredible voice. That starts on July 5th, and goes on for about two weeks, kind of through the Midwest and New England, and back. And then after that, we’re home for a little bit, hopefully getting as much writing in as we can in between those tours.

IM: Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you guys? Any closing statements?

JF: I’ll take this.

DE: Go ahead. I think I know what this is.

JF: I know this part of the interview. This is the part of the interview where everyone is like, “Oh check us out on Facebook. Check us out on YouTube. Watch our music videos.” No. What we’re going to talk about is we started this thing on this tour called ‘Banana Santana.’ #BananaSantana.

DE: #BananaSantana. You have to hashtag it.

JF: #BananaSantana. And basically it’s just you eat a banana and tape the banana peel to something.

DE: Something random. Like, for instance, this truck in front of us. Boom! Slap a banana peel on there.

JF: Take a picture of it and post it on Instagram, #BananaSantana.

DE: Is that your friend over there? Boom! Slap a banana peel on them. So we’ve been doing this and I think it’s about to catch on. It’s like right there.

JF: It’s so close.

DE: It’s about to go viral. What everyone needs to do is check out our Instagram for inspiration. See how we’re doing it, and then just take that to the extreme. So we’re just trying to get that across the nation.

JF: For today’s Banana Santana, we got a palm tree, since we’re in Florida. Not last night, but a couple of nights ago, we got Alex from Stages’ pedal board, while they were on stage. Slapped the banana peel and taped it on. Which I think he said helped his tone a little bit.

DE: I think it did. I could hear it. So that’s the one thing. If you take one thing away, #BananaSantana.

JF: Don’t  worry about our Twitter. I mean, if you wanna check it out, it’s @TOTPBand.

DE: It’s really for the Banana Santana.

JF: Don’t worry about Don’t worry about Definitely don’t follow us on Instagram. But #BananaSantana.

DE: That’s it, we’ll end it on that note.

IM: Alright then. Thank you guys.

DE: Thank you.

You can purchase a CD here. And check out their Facebook page for information on how to buy concert tickets to their upcoming tours.

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Managing Editor of this lovely magazine! Music is my passion & I aim to make people love it as much as I do. I love concerts, cats, & quoting song lyrics on social media.

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