We interviewed Joe, Brian, Will, Connor, and Steven of the local group, Forrester to get a firsthand look at what winning KJHK’s Farmer’s Ball in 2013 did for them.
How did Forrester get its start?
We got our start with Brian, Jo and Connor’s band in high school, Kept Mess. The band broke up when Brian and Jo studied in Oklahoma City. After a year, they transferred to KU and the two of them moved to Lawrence, picked up where their band left off, and added Will and Steve.
How do you see the Lawrence music scene?
There are a lot of bands with a lot of talent and so many genres of music happening here. It’s exciting.
Compare Forrester today to Forrester last year up to Farmer’s Ball.
Farmer’s Ball was our main focus. We spent all of our time focusing and getting our acts together and I think that’s what you need. We found success in something that we enjoy and what we are doing now is because of the encouragement we got from [Farmer’s Ball].
What was your experience playing in Farmer’s Ball?
It felt just like playing a concert. All of the bands were super supportive of one another. We pulled out all the stops. We had lights and brought a smoke machine. It was awesome.
What has winning Farmer’s Ball done for you?
We were able to record our E.P. with the prize money. It took us to a new level of seriousness. We went from playing around with music for fun to recognizing that we had something worth sharing. People wanted to talk to us about our music.
Do you have any advice for bands competing in this year’s Farmer’s Ball?
You don’t have to be established to win. You just need to put on a good show. Get lost in your music and practice a lot!
One thing Forrester stressed was how motivational Farmer’s Ball was for them to come together as a band. The submission requirements pushed them to record a sample of their music and the competition gave them a strong deadline to work towards. After their unexpected win, they have been in contact with people wanting to manage and record them. They are also proud to announce that they will be playing in this year’s Middle of the Map Fest in Kansas City and releasing their EP on March 27th at the Bottleneck in Lawrence.