By Andrew Ellis, Editor-in-Chief
If you go to a Plott Hounds show you’re going to hear loud guitars and the Georgia drawl of Noah Alexander. What won’t you hear? Cover songs. And it’s a challenge the band has continually faced as they’ve toured the midwest.
It’s also something Alexander was able to address in their current single, “Write Your Own Songs.” The songs kicks off their most recent release, Lost Summer Day, and gets right into it with the lyrics, “We work too damn hard/ We might play too loud/ Whatever happened to making your own sound?”
“It speaks to the frustration, and often some of the road blocks that an original band often faces,” he says.
It’s something he’s particularly noticed in the country music, especially for local acts playing bar after bar. Rather than putting on an actual performance or showcase he says that somehow the status quo has turned into playing everyone’s favorite songs that they can already hear on the radio.
“Head on down to Triple Rock and tell me how many rock bands are playing cover sets,” he says adding that same thing goes for venues such as the Cabooze, 7th Street Entry, and the Hook & Ladder Theatre. “Tell me where you are hearing independent bands ‘pay their dues’ covering what the venue wants to hear.”
He admits that when the band started out they did play some three hours sets that included some covers, but they also tried to include as many originals as possible. And any covers were carefully chosen to match what they were doing musically as band.
He’s not trying to knock any bands who fill their sets with covers, either. He actually thinks what they do is harder than what the Plott Hounds are doing. But he’s dreamt of writing and playing songs that people will connect to.
“You can’t do that playing a top 40 cover tune at 1:30 a.m.,” he says.
“Write Your Own Songs” will certainly be part of their set list. It’s actually one of his favorites that he’s ever written. And it also let everyone else do what they do best.
“The greatest thing about this band is giving everyone an opportunity to add their own stamp to each song,” he says. “Regardless of who the primary songwriter is. And I think this tune is an example of all of that coming together.”
If you ever see them live you’ll be able to see it all come together with each song. You can yell “Free Bird!,” but your request may go unanswered.
“Music is inspiring, music can change a person,” he says. “And we believe the best way for us to live up to that is to play and write our own music that comes from our hearts and minds.”