Bonaventure is a young American band from Nashville. Andy Albert (ex-Holiday Parade) and Dan Smyers (ex-Transition) met a few months ago thanks to a common friend. After releasing their second single ‘I Dare You’ on 16th April, they are announcing ‘Come Hell or High Water’, a 4 songs EP for 15th May and planning a tour in the next few months. The quality of their music, their lyrics and their voices are going to conquer the world.
First of all, thank you for your kindness. As we don’t really know who you are, could you please make a short introduction to yourselves?
Andrew: I’m Andrew and I sing for the band Bonaventure.
Dan: I’m Dan and I play guitar for the band Bonaventure as well. We are a Rock/Pop band based in Nashville, TN.
Where do you come from? What did you study at school? Which instrument did you learn to play?
Andrew: I grew up in Atlanta, GA, only a few hours south of Nashville. I actually went to school to study Economics and Entrepreneurship. Not exactly what you would expect from a budding musician, but it is actually more useful than you’d think. I started playing guitar and singing when I was about 13 years old, and haven’t stopped since.
Dan: I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up there and went to school at Carnegie Mellon University to study Finance. I have been playing guitar and singing since I was very young and have played in numerous bands over the years.
What is your musical background? Which bands or singers did influence you the most?
Dan: I started touring when I was 15 in a band called Transition. We traveled around the country several times and toured with bands like MXPX, The Rocket Summer and Reel Big Fish. My favorite artists include Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Andrew: I have been playing in bands since I first started playing guitar, but didn’t really do it professionally until a few years back when I started recording/touring with my old band, Holiday Parade. My favorite singers/artists are Ryan Adams, The Counting Crows, and Augustana. We both grew up listening to a ton of 90’s alternative, and those influences definitely shine through in our music.
You both started to be band members very young. Dan, you belonged to Transition for several years and then started a solo career, and Andrew, you were the leader of Holiday Parade. How did you become musicians?
Andrew: Music is one of those things that has always been a huge part of my life. No matter how distracted or sidetracked I sometimes get doing other things, at the end of the day music has always been the core of it all. As I said before, I have been in bands since I first picked up the guitar when I was 13, since then it’s just become a bigger and bigger part of my life.
Dan: Similarly to Andrew, I have been playing in bands and wanting to make music my life since I was very young. I had the chance to sign to a record label and start touring when I was about 15, and ever since I first felt the rush I get from playing in front of people, I haven’t been able to stop. I took a break for a few years when I went to college, but the time away only made me want it more. Since we put Bonaventure together last year we’ve been going non-stop with it all, and I couldn’t be happier.
You met each other thanks to mutual friends a few months ago. How did you start your collaboration?
Dan: We met through a good friend of ours who we both have known for years. We were both looking for someone like-minded to collaborate with, and when we started talking and exchanging song ideas things fell into place very quickly. Since then we have moved to Nashville and have been writing/recording full time and are getting ready to release our debut EP, “Come Hell or High Water” on May 15th.
For those who did not watch your video ‘Introducing Bonaventure’, could you please tell us how you choose the name of your band?
Andrew: I was living in downtown Atlanta at the time and Dan was still up in Pittsburgh. Whenever I would hit a wall writing or get stuck on a lyric idea, I would walk laps around the block in my little downtown neighborhood. On this particular day, Dan and I were trying to think of a name for the band, something that would be synonymous with the sound and vibe of the music. After about an hour of making laps around the block, I looked up and noticed the street sign adjacent to my house was called “Bonaventure Blvd”. Something about that word stood out to me, so I ran it by Dan and a few other people and everyone loved it. We decided to run with it and it’s been the name ever since.
Andrew, you’re from Georgia and Dan, from Pennsylvania, why living in Nashville?
Dan: First of all, Nashville was central to where we were living previously, so that made it easier to meet in the middle. Also, it is much more affordable than New York or LA, so that played a big part in our decision to relocate.
Andrew: Nashville is an incredible hub for songwriters, musicians, producers, and music in general, so it is a great place for us to be right now as we are developing Bonaventure. No matter where you go in Nashville, you are constantly surrounded by music, and that is certainly inspiring.
What inspires you when you write your music and your lyrics?
Andrew: We are inspired by many things, but as a general statement, life itself. Life throws you lots of twists and turns, and what better way to cope with changes than writing a song.
Dan: Like Andrew said, we are very inspired by all facets of life, but a lot of our songs are inspired by the ups and downs of past relationships. Being in our twenties, we are very familiar with this, and are able to easily translate these emotions into our music.
Do you both write music and lyrics?
Andrew: Yes, we both work together on songs.
‘These Shoes’, your first single, was released in November 2011? Why this choice?
Dan: We chose to release ‘These Shoes’, first simply because it is a light-hearted, fun song that almost everyone can appreciate. Since it is slightly different than the rest of our EP, we chose to release it on its own.
Andrew: We love that song, and it has become a fan favorite, so we are glad that we released it on its own. We still really believe in the tune, and think it stands just fine on its own!
Your second single ‘I Dare You’ was first aired on 16 April. Are you going to release an album in the next months?
Andrew: Yes, we will be releasing an EP on May 15th, and it will feature 4 new songs, one being ‘I Dare You’.
[For more information, go to this website: http://bonaventure.bigcartel.com/]
You seem to really appreciate your audience and the people that are following you from the very beginning. Are you planning to appear on stage soon?
Dan: We absolutely can’t thank everyone who has taken the time to support us enough, especially since we are still an up and coming band at the moment. It really means a lot to us when people take a chance on a new band, and we will never forget that. We are planning our first tour very soon, and once we start, we will be on the road nonstop!
What is your dream in life?
Andrew: Our dream is to touch people with our music. Whether we are playing for an audience of 1, or 1 million, we want our music to hit home with people on a personal level.
Dan: We don’t measure success in money earned or records sold, but the extent to which people are moved by the music we create. If we can inspire someone, or brighten their day with our songs, then we have succeeded.
In order to know you better, I would like you to answer the Proust Questionnaire. It’s a questionnaire that was traditionally proposed by Bernard Pivot, who hosted a very well known TV show here in France called ‘Apostrophe’, and then, a few years later, by James Lipton, in his TV show ‘Inside the Actor’s Studio’. It was a tradition for them to ask these questions to their guests at the very end of their shows.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
What turns you off?
What sound or noise do you love?
What sound or noise do you hate?
What is your favorites curse word?
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
The pizza buffet is that way!