Murfreesboro, TN-based Root Road consists of 3 brothers who are planning on taking their Christian music career to the next level in 2016. John, Anthony & Nathanael joined us and told us, among other things, their are many other siblings who could have been in their music group.
The Fan Connection (TFC): Hi! Thank you for taking a bit of time to talk with us today! We've done a bit of research on Root Road, and all we can say so far is: we're definitely digging it!
Root Road: Thanks! Your encouragement means a lot and keeps us going.
TFC: You have a pretty extensive bio that we were completely into when reading it, then realized we're probably going to mess up this interview if we already know it all. So for the sake of the readers, let's start fresh! Tell us about YOU. Who is Root Road?
Root Road: Well, simply put, Root Road is John, Anthony and Nathanael Gilkes. Our vision is to create a fun, fresh and familiar musical experience that leads people to the saving knowledge of Christ on a worldwide scale.
TFC: How would you describe your music?
Root Road: We are a fun mix of Christ-centered pop, soul and rock & roll.
TFC: Now, you're all brothers right? Let's give the readers a little background on that. How did you get started, and when did you decide to make music your career?
Root Road: We grew up in a very musical family of seven siblings. Before we were born, our dad was a traveling entertainer and once he retired from that lifestyle, he could not help but allow his passion to spill over into his kids. To make a long story short, we have been performing together almost as long as we can remember. We made the decision to start pursuing music professionally about 8 years ago when we moved to Middle Tennessee.
TFC: You guys are from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a little less than an hour out of Nashville. You must see it as a bonus to live so close to Music City?
Root Road: You bet! Since we have relocated from Northeastern Ohio we have been able to network with some pretty awesome movers and shakers in the music scene here. These relationships have lead to us recording our up-and-coming record with Grammy-nominated producer Roger Ryan.
TFC: We're not too far from you, either. TFC offices are in Nashville. We'll definitely have to get out and see a Root Road show sometime soon! Are there any regular venues where you play?
Root Road: We typically do shows at least once a quarter for the Nashville Rescue Mission's Coffee House which takes place on Friday nights. You can check out or calendar on our website for more details on our performances.
"There is a lot of shared experiences and influences that make it quite easy to shape our sound. The difficulty is because we know each other so well, it is easy to not show the same social graces that you show to a stranger."
TFC: What's it like being in a band with your siblings? We have no doubt that your harmonies are to die for, but what about the "hard" parts? Do you think the dynamic is more difficult being brothers? Or would you say it makes it easier?
Root Road: It is a blend of difficulty and ease. The reason why it is easy is because we have known each other all our lives, so we can generally tell if something is off or one of us is upset. There is a lot of shared experiences and influences that make it quite easy to shape our sound. The difficulty is because we know each other so well, it is easy to not show the same social graces that you show to a stranger. Sometimes our expectations for each other are higher than what we would expect from someone we do not know as well. For that reason, it can be very easy to not show as much grace. Essentially, we tend to sometimes forget that although we are brothers, we are still people too. So we have to make a concentrated effort to not take each other for granted.
TFC: Have you guys toured together yet? If so, how was that? If not, are there any plans in the future of going on the road?
Root Road: The longest tour we have done to date was about 2 weeks. In that short amount of time, we learned a lot. For example, we had to figure out what to do when somebody gets sick on the road and how to better defuse tense interpersonal situations.
TFC: How did you come up with Root Road as a name...is there a back-story on that?
Root Road: We never thought you would ask! Root Road is the street we grew up on in Northeastern Ohio. Our name is a constant reminder for us to not forget where we came from.
TFC: We love that! Describe to us in 7 words or less what we'll experience at a live show?
Root Road: Humor, Energy, Honesty, Emotion & Style.
TFC: Are there any special things we need to look out for this year? Events, new videos, single or album releases?
Root Road: We hope to release two singles and an eight-song album. We have been very hard at work on all of these and can't wait to share them with the world.
TFC: Tell us about your favorite show...the one that you always go back to in your mind and think, "Man, I wish I could play THAT again"?
Root Road: We played a house show back in 2013 in Murfreesboro that was incredibly intimate and we made a ton of new friends.
TFC: Fans are the most important part of an artists career. Without them you really have nothing. They're always willing to help and many times, it's the fans who help push an artist to the next level of their journey. If you could ask one thing of your fans in 2016 what would it be?
Root Road: To quote Michael Keaton's Batman from the 1989 film: "Tell your friends about us!"
TFC: As you may already know, The Fan Connection is a social media/e-commerce website for musicians and fans. We'll be releasing some incredible new features throughout the year, a few of which are: a new music player with radio-like format, professionally run Fan Clubs and merch stores, live video streaming and private chat rooms. Of those mentioned, which one do you think would be most beneficial to Root Road and why?
Root Road: The fan club option is very appealing. Building a community of listeners is necessary as it helps us to increase awareness about Root Road while simultaneously providing a unique way for us to connect with fans.
TFC: Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today! We look forward to seeing more of Root Road on TFC!
Root Road: It has been a true pleasure. Until next time!
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