Interview – Chris Carreon of Springtime

Not long into the new year and Tiny Engines was announcing their claim to newcomers Springtime. There are hints at geography and history with their gritty but melodic punk rock and their down to earth attitude but no member of Springtime is some Johnny-come-lately either. They know their stuff but resist the urge to closely ape their influences, instead they create a solid mix of breakneck energy and vintage Dischord melody and emotion; yet with it’s own character. Guitarist, Chris Carreon, found a chunk of time to carve out and answer a few questions for me.

Musically you guys are reminiscent of that “revolution summer” sound, bands like Embrace and Rites of Spring. Was the name Springtime a deliberate nod to that influence or just a name like any other?

The name “Springtime” is actually lifted from a Leatherface song. They were one of my favorite bands, especially when I started getting into melodic punk/hardcore kind of stuff. When I was in high school I never thought I would get to see them, but I was fortunate enough to catch them in Richmond 2 or 3 years ago and they were incredible. As far as the “revolution summer” style bands I’ve also loved all of those since high school. Embrace, Rites of Spring, Gray Matter, all those bands have always been monumental to me. I have to admit I’ve never realized that our name can also be seen as a reference to that time period.

Listen to Springtime’s 2012 Demo

Speaking of the DC/RVA scene, did you all grow up into that scene with that music or are some or all of you transplants to the area? That area seems to have a hallmark sound, do you think there is some environmental factor responsible for that or is it just history? Or totally a misconception? People have come to expect that sound so that’s what people acknowledge?

I grew up in Virginia Beach which is about an hour and a half or two hours from Richmond. As far as music goes I think this area has an enormous population of people into alternative or “counter culture” music of many different genres. I myself and many others can easily be recognized as drawing influence from Dischord bands from DC. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a location thing. Dischord and that area in general just had and continue to have great bands. Even if I didn’t live in this area I would still be amazed by bands like Fugazi.

Any other bands or musicians from your area you would want to give more exposure too?

As far as local bands, Brief Lives and Close Talker are my two favorites, hands down. Brief Lives is accompanying us on a short tour in March and i couldn’t be more excited to see them every night for a week. Close Talker are also a secret gem of this area. They have demos online recorded a long time ago. They’re finally recording an LP and i’m really excited to hear it. Both bands are also great friends of ours.

I know some of you have played in other RVA bands like Tiger Tail and Family Cat. Now that you have “signed” do you think those other bands might fall to the wayside or will they continue on? The way they are? Or in a different capacity?

Haha, I don’t think being “signed” with Springtime makes much of a difference to either of those bands at this point. Tiger Tail hasn’t really done much in about a year and a half. We do have an EP that’s in the process of being slowly recorded. By the time these songs are out it will probably be two years since they were actually written. Family Cat released a full length this fall and it is getting pressed to vinyl sometime in the next several months. However, we haven’t been too active since our singer/songwriter of 99% of our music moved to Austin, TX in August. So although Springtime has become even more of my main focus, being on Tiny Engines doesn’t really affect either project.

Other than the upcoming 7″ through Tiny Engines, what can we expect from Springtime? Any touring plans? Or dive right back into the creative process?

We have an 8 day tour coming up in March and we’re trying to figure out how to continue doing a weekend out right before that. Our drummer’s other band Cheyenne has their record release that Saturday. We’ll definitely be doing more trips out this year, hopefully a two week summer tour and more weekends spread through out. During this whole time though we’ll be working on writing more. We’re gonna attempt to tackle out first full length this fall.

Listen to Cheyenne’s LP Secrets of the Cheyenne on bandcamp

One last question, just for fun: If there was a place you have never been that if time and money were not an issue you could transport to immediately, where would that be?

I would go to Korea to visit my best friend since 5th grade who I haven’t seen in a few years. Either that or a Wawa.

Find out more about Springtime and their upcoming 7″ from Tiny Engines.

Photos by Tom Barbee

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