It was at Smiley's Acoustic Cafe, back in December of 2011, that I met the talented musicians of Late To Bloom. Since then, I have been to several of their shows. Shane, Jeff, Jamey, Lance and Wilson never disappoint. This band is original, with their own original songs and sound. For more than two decades they have been writing and recording "their own unique blend of music."
I last caught up with them in June, at Wild Wings Café, in Greenville, SC. It was the final round of the Wild Wing's Last Band Standing contest. That night, I also had the pleasure of speaking with venue manager and fellow musician, Nathan Cox. I asked him to send me his thoughts on Late To Bloom.
"There's a difference between being a musician and being a band member. Late to Bloom is a great band comprised not of good band members, but of great musicians. These guys are masters at their individual arts and they bring them together seamlessly. Well written lyrics with great voices to sing them, an energetic and very creative drummer, and a steel guitarist that will wow an audience. A 'must listen to' group of guys." –Nathan Cox
I wholeheartedly agree with Nathan. At the end of the night, Late To Bloom had a "tie for first place" to add to their already impressive résumé.
The guys have been super busy, but I eventually caught up with Jeff and Shane and here's what they had to say...
ABK: What do you think sets you apart from other bands in your genre?
Shane: Diversity. We've got the mellow songs, the happy, hopeful, upbeat songs, folk sounding songs, and then we turn around and rock it out on another song. I've actually had people come up to me and say, "I really like your music ...but ...what do you call it?"
Jeff: I would say that we're not a genre. We can safely be called a rock band. I think that's what's good about our "style", if you will. We haven't modeled ourselves on a particular band or a particular genre. We just like music. So if some of our songs sound like pop, it's because we like pop. If some of them sound like country, it's because we like country. So there are no rules, in terms of what we write or how we play it-it's just that if we come up with something that sounds cool, we play it.
ABK: What is one of the toughest decisions you guys have had to make as a band?
Shane: Covers. We've never wanted to do covers. We feel confident enough in our own music and believe other people will like it. That's the toughest decision so far. If we are playing somewhere for two or three hours, we can't play one set twice. So we have to swallow our pride and do some covers. I think too, it comes from...well, we've put so much work into the music and our songs are actually about personal experiences, so it's something we already feel passionate about, and then, of course, we're also passionate about the music.
ABK: I understand you guys have a new CD? Can you tell me a little about it?
Jeff: Well, it's not out yet. It will be out very soon though. The name of it is "The High Dive". It has 12 awesome tracks. Our best work to date, I think.
Shane: The music is just pulled from everyday stuff we've gone through. It's just a human journey ...wins, losses, ups, downs ...of just being human. That's pretty much all we write about. Personal experiences, things we've gone through. Some of the songs may be downers, but that's part of life too.
ABK: So, what's the story behind the title, "The High Dive"?
Jeff: That title has been with us for some time-years really, and its definition has evolved with us. It came about during a hiatus the band took years ago but I won't go into any more detail than that. Let's just say, it was like looking off the end of a high dive.
Shane: But now, at least for me, I see it as a leap of faith-faith in us (our band) and our music.
Late To Bloom band members:
Shane Lasseter – Vocals & Guitar
Jeff Bailey – Guitar & Vocals
Jamey Bailey – Drums
Lance Lister – Bass
Wilson Warren – Steel & Vocals
Videos and Photos:
Late To Bloom - "Damage"
Late To Bloom - "Sex On Fire"
Late To Bloom - "Cinnamon Girl"
Photos of Greenville SC band, Late To Bloom, by Mother Shutter.
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