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It'€™s been a while since we'€™ve heard new music from Dakota raised The Spill Canvas but this is definitely their year and return musically. They dropped two dynamite EP'€™s in Abnormalties and Realties this year along with a highly successful spring headlining tour, having several completely sold out dates and making for some incredibly energetic shows.

The band has been together for a long time now and ever since the beginning, they have been writing lyrically driven songs that have been grabbing hearts across the country and I think some of their best work comes from these last two EP'€™s which were present through out their headlining set the night my interview took place with Joe who plays drums in the band. In my exclusive interview with Joe prior to the set, we talked about everything from why they decided to go the direction of EP'€™s over an album this year to some of their bigger musical influences to their plans for this year.

If you could tour with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be?
That'€™s a tough question. I mean current and past? I would probably say Fleetwood Mac is probably one of our all time favorites. We'€™re big like classic rock fans so maybe Peter Gabriel or something. Nick'€™s a big Eminem fan so he'€™d probably say Eminem.
Same tour, Eminem and Peter Gabriel.
(laughing) Yeah. Right? Perfect for us. Uh, I don'€™t know, other than that maybe Jimmy Eat World or something like that.

How has the tour been going so far as the headliner? How are the shows like are kids singing along with the new EP'€™s?
Oh yeah it'€™s been great like taking such a long break, we didn'€™t really know what to expect but there have been a lot of sell outs. Kids have been coming out singing every new word and we'€™ve just been really impressed so we'€™re very pleased.
And this date is sold out yeah?
Yeah, sold out like a month ago.
Oh wow, that'€™s awesome!
Yeah, we'€™ll take it!

Then you came out with two Ep'€™s this year. Is there a reason you chose to put out these two EP'€™s in comparison to a record?
I think the music industry is changing to a more single and EP driven industry where as like it was in the forties and fifties when the Temptations would release a collection of four or five songs every six months or so. In the eighties and nineties, it transitioned into full albums and now with iTunes and everything, it'€™s just so much easier to buy a three or four buck compilation as opposed to you know ten to twelve bucks so we'€™re kind of trying it out and seeing how it goes.

Then who would you say are some of maybe your bigger musical influences today, maybe if they were different from the past?
Um, let'€™s see. I listen to a lot more folk music then I ever have before like I listen to a lot of singer songwriters or like Nashville stuff. Obviously, I don'€™t think Nick listened to Eminem much when we first started but now he'€™s a big hip hop fan and then we always are exploring a lot of older stuff too and kind of seeing what else is out there. We never want to stop listening to new music.

The Spill Canvas used to tour a bunch and so maybe with this tour now with Am Taxi, Tyler Hilton and New Politics, if you could collaborate with any band you'€™ve toured with, who would they be and what do you think the songs would be about?
I think it would be really cool to do some stuff with OneRepublic. We had a good run with them and they'€™re just really good pop writers and they have really kind of epic anthemesque songs and I think it would actually, with their kind of pop sound and our more rock and kind of underground sense, I feel like it would be a really good collaboration.

What made you personally start getting interested in doing music?
Um, It was just kind of one of those things where I saw somebody playing drums. Feel like when I went to church for a while when I was super young a guy was playing drums and I was like '€™oh that'€™s kind of cool, I can do that'€™. Then, I went to like one of my first concerts which was a Blink 182 concert and I saw Travis Barker drumming and I was like '€œI got to do that,'€ and so I started getting into the underground music scene a little bit with like Jimmy Eat World, Saves The Day and that really kind of just made me want to be in a band. Like '€œI could write songs like that and I could play like that'€.

Then what would you say is your favorite part of being on the road?
Um, obviously aside from the shows, I mean nothing would be better than actually playing shows but aside from that, gosh I love eating the good food around the country. You know you get different kinds of food all over the place and you know you got to soak it up!

Maybe what'€™s one of the crazier things that you'€™ve seen while on the road?
Any time we see a Spill Canvas tattoo is kind of very surreal. It'€™s kind of like '€œYou know that lasts forever, right,'€ but no it means a lot to us and it shows that they'€™re really truly dedicated fans so that'€™s very touching to us.

What can kids look forward to when coming out to one of your live shows?
You know we pour our hearts and souls out in every show and just pour all of our energy into it and we hope that the fans kind of get the emotion and the raw energy that we experience. At shows, people just have a blast and let loose and have fun and dance and all that stuff. So yeah that'€™s kind of what they can come to expect.

Maybe you personally or as a band, how do you think you'€™ve all grown as musicians since this all started?
Yeah I mean as we listen to all sorts of different kinds of music and as we tour with all sorts of different bands, you kind of pick up little mannerisms, little tiny tips here and there from different musicians and they kind of help you like '€œoh I'€™m going to pick up this little bit of information'€ or '€œI learned this trick on like a guitar that I'€™m going to start using'€. You kind of morph it into your own style so the more bands you listen to and the more artists you tour with, you kind of really develop a whole new style in the process.

Then, what can fans look forward to this year? More touring, new music?
Well, we are going to be touring a lot. Just we'€™re going to be on the road a lot, we'€™re doing this tour, a Canadian tour then we'€™re doing a Goo Goo dolls tour, a Switchfoot tour in July and August. Then, yeah we have some more music recorded too so maybe another EP down the line as well. So yeah we'€™ll kind of see how it goes but that'€™s where we'€™re thinking.
And it seems to be working for you.
Yeah so far!

Then two little goofy ones. What was the first concert, you may already said with Blink 182?
Yeah Blink 182, Green Day and Saves The Day. It was a great show. Saves The Day is one of my favorite bands of all time for sure.

What was the first record you bought then for the last one?
Green Day '€œDookie'€. You know what? I was probably bigger of a fan then than I am now but Dookie was phenomenal and just kind of a great pop punk record. It got me into playing drums a little bit and that was the kind of stuff I listened to back then.

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