Four days in a Ford Econoline. Two nights on the floors and couches of acquaintances from high school, and one in a Holiday Inn. A few iPods, too many cups of Starbucks, and a 70's Al Pacino DVD. Arguments, jokes, and deep conversations. Summer in the south equals sweat and smell. At more than a few stops, someone often asks a bleary-eyed member, barely awake from an hour of van-sleep: "Are ya'll in a band?" Well, what else could they be? The answer is that they wouldn't be anything else. There are few hobbies, and fewer professions that would send four musicians - Drew Thomas (vocals, gtr), Jamie Randolph (gtr, vocals), Richard Thomas (bass) and John Rawlinson (drums) - and their support team on such an unglamorous journey. This is the beginning for Retrospect, a Memphis-based independent rock band.
A few weeks before the tour, Drew sat over a beer in the corner of a local faux-english pub. The topic was the band and staying independent as long as possible. The cramped van and the uncertainty of venue and turnout is a means to an end. The end is 'making it', but is a twist of most bands' definition of the phrase. The goal is to take the band and the audience and create something bigger. Being a part of "something bigger" is an end that requires a means of going on the road and pouring music into the crowds. This is not to say they have not had some help along the way though.
Starting out as a small high school band, Retrospect has grown from jamming for their own pleasure to writing great songs that will connect them to an audience. In 2002 they were offered the opportunity to record demos that started a relationship with Ardent Studios in Memphis. Shortly after the release of their 6-song EP, "The Art of the Following", tracks were spun regularly on Memphis' 94.1 the Buzz. The band continued to receive more airplay with several college radio stations around the mid-south including: Vanderbilt University, The University of Mississippi, Auburn University, University of Kentucky, and University of Georgia.
Ardent soon became a second home and proved fertile ground for recording their first full-length album produced by Ross Rice (Steve Earle, Big Ass Truck) and John Hampton (Gin Blossoms, North MS Allstars). The album is all about the fun and heartbreak of romance, belief and action, and fully feeling the impact of life. It's about great lyrics, melodies and wonderful songs.
Retrospect's musical influences are diverse, ranging from the Gin Blossoms to U2. The emotions reflected in that diversity run a gauntlet from the fun-natured romanticizing of heartbreak in "Forgetting Evelyn;" to the intense crying out against the longing to be "anyone but yourself" in "Fall Like A Star." This record is packed with meaning and melody.
Over the last four years, Retrospect has played at southeast venues such as The New Daisy Theatre, Newby's, The Hi-Tone, B.B. King's (Memphis,TN); The Exit/In (Nashville, TN); Sticky Fingerz (Little Rock, AR); The Varsity (Baton Rouge, LA); The Nick (Birmingham, AL); Smith's Olde Bar and the 10 High (Atlanta, GA); as well as the Mercury Lounge in New York. They have also participated in three summer concert series in Memphis, Nashville, and Atlanta.
Internationally they are receiving airplay on Shonan Station 98.7 in Japan and the track, "I Am The Sun", was #1 on Indiejukebox.com for 5 consecutive weeks. They are also currently featured on two compilation CDs: LiveFromMemphis.com (also distributed in the UK) and For You, a compilation CD distributed at the "Race to Erase MS" fundraiser in Hollywood, CA. In 2002, ASCAP honored the band by including them in the Heineken ASCAP music showcase series, and in 2003 the Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy awarded the band 1st Place in the Rock category and 3rd place overall in the GRAMMY Independent Music Showcase. Finally, two of their tracks, "One In A Million" and "As Long As I'm Alive" were selected to be featured in the independent movie "Dishdogz" which is scheduled for a 2005 release. The tracks will also be included on the movie's soundtrack.
With the release of the new album, new opportunities and challenges are unfolding rapidly, but the music, meeting fans where they are, and connecting with them remain Retrospect's focus.