We connected with Jesse Phillips of the Nashville-based band Passport, who took some time out of his schedule and joined us for an interview, chatting about the band and their music.
The Fan Connection (TFC): Hi Jesse! Tell us a little bit about your band and how you met.
Jesse: Passport began in the spring of 2013 when Bryce asked Chris to sing in his band for a drum recital in college. Bryce was planning on covering several U2 tunes, so his mission was to find the best person to impersonate Bono...and Chris was that man. Jesse (myself) was also playing bass for the recital, so when rehearsals began, it became very clear that there was something special happening between the three of us. We had an instant connection musically and great friendships sparked from there. Soon after, meetings and discussions about starting a band came to light and before anyone knew it, Passport was born!
We wasted no time, and began sitting in a room with guitars and writing songs, developing our style, and figuring out the direction of the band. After 6 months of writing, we decided to start recording our debut EP “Wherever I Roam”. It is a 7-song EP that we wrote and recorded independently. The EP was released in the fall of 2014. We are very excited and proud of the songs on the record and hope that you are too!
We are continually working hard to enhance our reach, fan base, and book shows in any city where we can meet new people, hear their stories, and spread hope to the hopeless. We believe in our dreams and want to encourage people to chase their dreams as well! Life is too short to settle! So, we hope that you will join us on this journey as we chase our dreams and are privileged to make you a part of them!
TFC: We love dream chasers! Who are the band members and what do they do in the band?
Jesse: Chris Barrans: Lead vocal, rhythm guitar; Bryce Rodgers: Drums; Jesse Phillips: Bass. And we have an honorary Lead Guitar Player named Austin Addams who isn’t officially part of the group (yet), but plays with us as much as we can have him!
TFC: Tell us a little bit about your music...what bands, artists or albums have inspired you?
Jesse: Our music stems from who we are. Stylistically, we listen to bands like U2, Coldplay, Switchfoot, and Needtobreathe a lot. Lyrically, we get inspiration from what keeps us up at night: spiritual matters, love, hope. One album that sticks out to me (Jesse) is the "Vice Verses" album by Switchfoot. Songs like "Where I Belong" and "Thrive" have really pushed us to grab for more than just surviving in life. We want all life has to offer, and being a part of this band is one way we do that.
TFC: Music is such a powerful platform for those kinds of messages. How long have you been together and what is your most memorable experience as a band?
Jesse: We started Passport in the spring of 2013, and have had a lot of memorable experiences together. One time our van got towed from Chris’ apartment complex during one of our recording sessions, we opened for Colony House in April of 2014, which was an awesome experience, and being a part of Chris’ wedding was also so fun.
TFC: Bands are like family. Tell us a little bit about your most recent music. Did you write together as a band? How do you decide as a group the musical direction of the band?
Jesse: Our recent music has yet to be released, and we’re excited to share it sometime in 2016! Our EP was written by all of us individually at different times, but then crafted all together during the recording process. We got together in a hotel conference room to record and produce the whole thing. It was a blast! We all have equal voice and we love creating with each other.
TFC: That's awesome and sounds like it was a lot of fun! What are your long-term musical career goals?
Jesse: The dream is to do what you love for a living, right? We’d love to provide for our families through this band. We’d love to bring them on the road and experience life as a traveling extended family and get to experience the country with those we love the most.
"After the show was over, we had to help bring pews back into the church because there was a congregation meeting there in the morning. Picking up legit wooden pews after a show is a WORK OUT."
TFC: What has been your most exciting or interesting show to date?
Jesse: I think each of us would have a different answer to that because there have been so many interesting/exciting shows we’ve done! But the one that sticks out to me is a tiny show we did in a church that had all of the pews removed. There were less than 40 people there, it was LOUD, and most people hadn’t heard us yet, but it was so fun! After the show was over, we had to help bring pews back into the church because there was a congregation meeting there in the morning. Picking up legit wooden pews after a show is a WORK OUT. We’ll never forget it.
TFC: We haven't heard a story like that before! Anything else interesting about you that you want the fans to know?
Jesse: We love sharing our music and experience with new people! We don’t want our band to be one that people just sit and listen to; we want you to experience life and music with us! We’ll be announcing some cool things on our Facebook and our Twitter (links on the bands TFC page!), so stay tuned for that! And also we have a free song for download at Noisetrade.
TFC: We hope you'll be sure to make those announcements here at TFC too! And we'll get that download! Thanks guys!
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