Artist profile part five: The Unlikely Candidates


Courtesy Photo

The Red Ledger’s Catherine Hathaway interviews The Unlikely Candidates.

Catherine Hathaway

The Unlikely Candidates are a band from Fort Worth on the tour circuit promoting their most recently released EP Follow My Feet. Consisting of Jared Hornbeek (bassist), Cole Male (guitarist), Brenton Carney (lead guitarist), Kevin Goddard (drummer) and Kyle Morris (lead singer) The Unlikely Candidates are individual outcasts, rebels and determined young men that sparked an immediate interest in the music industry with their so called “alternative indie rock” vibe and relatable lyrics.
The band is currently touring the country, playing venues from hole in the wall bars to nationally known music festivals. The Red Ledger’s Catherine Hathaway sat down with the band and had the chance to talk about their music and being on the road.
The Red Ledger: Where is your band based out of? Where do you call home?
Kyle Morris: “The road? America.”
Jared Hornbeek: “Wherever we can be at that time we have off. Last month it was Texas. Three months before that was L.A. I have a house in Portland. We have been really hoping to get up there and do some writing whenever we have the time.”
Brenton Carney: “We are a Fort Worth native band. We were a local band, but now we consider ourselves a national band. We are never in Texas anymore. Now we are performing everywhere. Fort Worth is our home. It’s where we took our first steps.”
The Red Ledger: What was the critical response to your EP Follow My Feet? Are you happy with it? Are the fans?
Morris: “I feel like they loved it. I feel like they loved us.”
Hornbeek: “We are happy with it. Definetly.”
Morris: :”It’s good. We have a nice sort of run off it and got ourselves acquainted with America and vice versa.”

Carney: “It was basically like a hello and now we are about to invite ourselves in.”
Morris: “You know. Say hello, invite ourselves in, raid the fridge.”
The Red Ledger: What is the songwriting process like for you?
Morris: “Originally it was just me and the acoustic guitar player, Cole, who is uhh not here right now, but now we have really developed the band dynamic more and Brent has added a lot of his production value to it. Right now, as things are, it’s like it’s a pretty full band type of thing. As far as like melody and lyrics it’s me, but as far as music writing it’s Brent.”
Carney: “There’s only so much you can do with an acoustic guitar. You know what I mean? It got really old. So I started reading books on the road, and then when we went back to write I just put all my knowledge into the computer and it really helped.”
The Red Ledger: [Cole Male joins the interview] So you guys have a unique story. I heard that a couple of you may have gotten into a bit of trouble with the law in order to find your place in the band. How did the band form? How did you know that these were the right people?
Morris: ‘Me and Cole met a long time ago under interesting circumstances, but we really kinda just took that as a stepping stone and it was both of our first bands. So our combined love of music is really what got us where we are right now. I’m sorry I’m getting totally off track. Blue October is over there right now. [Shouting to lead singer of Blue October] We love you! Blue! [Stops shouting] I really wish we were doing a camera interview because Justin [Furstenfeld] (lead singer of Blue October) would totally come over here and like inappropriately slap you in the face or something.”
Cole Male: “We were on tour for a whole month with them. It was rad.”
Hornbeek: “They are just awesome guys.”

Male: “We got into a little prank war with them. It was really fun. It ended up with us in diapers and our van completely saran wrapped. Peanut butter was everywhere [laughs].”
Carney: “Oh god. They put a dirty diaper in our van, we found it and what did we do after that?”
Hornbeek: “We took a Craigslist ad out.”
Carney: “A Craigslist ad for a free bike in San Francisco. You know, people in San Francisco love bikes. He said he got hundreds of calls. It’s a great prank. And then they got us back by saran wrapping and putting peanut butter on the handles of our van. And some of them, I didn’t do it, they all put on diapers and went on stage in front of an audience as the final prank.”
The Red Ledger: Oh, but you opted out of that?
Carney: “Haha yeah totally. But just look on Instagram. There are pictures.”
The Red Ledger: Okay so growing up, interesting circumstances, all of that, does that contribute to your music?
Morris: “I think just being from like a suburban town.”
Carney: “Having nothing to do.”
Morris: “And never feeling like you were ever meant to be there. Like you grew up in the wrong- well not the wrong place. I’ve got a thing that where I’m from made me who I am. I think we always kinda stuck out a little bit. I think that definitely helped project us into the future for sure.”
The Red Ledger: Musically, did you guys have any training? Did you teach your selves?
Morris: “We taught ourselves. We were terrible for so long. I really hope no one ever finds anything we have ever done in the past.”

Hornbeek: “I’ve maybe had one bass lesson in my life.”
Morris: “I’ve had like three vocal lessons.”
Hornbeek: “But Brent was playing guitar at like what? Four years old?”
Morris: “This kid [Brent] has had a lot of training. But he taught himself a lot.”
Hornbeek: “Playing drums and everything.”
Carney: “I started with drums then I started playing bass. Then I was like ‘I’m playing bass, I might as well play guitar.’ Then my dad taught me a power cord. He was like ‘There you go,’ and I basically just took it from there.”
Hornbeek: “His dad always says that he is the human jukebox.”
Carney: “Haha yeah.”
Morris: “He is though. He can write any song.”
The Red Ledger: What is your genre? What do people categorize you as?
Morris: “Afro-beat [laughs].”
Hornbeek: “Umm Wikipedia says what? Indie alternative rock?”
Morris: “[Mockingly] ‘Wikipedia says’ No. It’s rock. Yeah we are rock. I know that’s pretty broad.”
Carney: “Alternative indie rock.”
Hornbeek: “Yeah something in that direction. We’re there.”
The Red Ledger: You’ve released this EP in September of 2013. Is there more to come from The Unlikely Candidates?
Hornbeek: “Throughout touring we’ve been taking about a month off at a time. We spent two months in L.A writing with a lot of different producers and stuff and this last month we spent here in Fort Worth and pretty much staying at Brent’s family’s house, in his backhouse, just sweating and playing with cats, and playing a lot of video games, and writing a lot of music.
Carney: “Music, cats and video games. That’s my house. It’s a good time.”
The Red Ledger: Music festivals or concerts?
Everyone: “Festivals.”
Morris: “I like festivals because there are so many people, but if you get a really good show or concert, it’s just better than a festival I think.”
Hornbeek: “I do like the feel of being inside with lights and everything instead of being out in the sun.”
Morris: “It feels more dramatic inside, but if you’ve got a good crowd outside it’s great.”
Hornbeek: “It’s two completely different feelings there. Definitely. But they are both amazing.”
The Red Ledger: What is the feeling on Suburbia [held in Plano in May]? How do you think your set went?
Hornbeek: “Suburbia is awesome! I’m really excited for them. It’s going really well, and I hope they continue the next few years doing it.”
Morris: “I had an awesome time. I really like this idea. I’m excited that we got to be here. I’m excited that they wanted us here. My only complaint is we had to walk a thousand miles to each stage.”
Carney: “Suburbia is a good festival.”

Male: “It’s a good festival for Texas for sure.”
The Red Ledger: As far as hometowns and families. what are you guys leaving behind when you go on tour and is it hard?
Hornbeek: “Everything. We take a suitcase with us and that’s all we have. We try to bring a skateboard, but we hardly skate.”
The Red Ledger: “One skateboard for all of you?”
Hornbeek: “Yeah. That’s pretty much yeah. We tried bringing a bike with us and it just got completely [messed] up.”
Morris: “Yeah it just [messed] up my hand basically. The chain on it [grunts] it was chacos.”
Hornbeek: “Touring is definitely difficult. You leave a lot of friends and family behind. You only get to see them every here and there. At the same time you get to make new friends. You come into a city and you start building a new relationship with a bunch of different people. Every new city becomes a new home.”
The Red Ledger: Last question. Touring. I know we already talked about crazy tour adventures, but what are some things you get to do that you wouldn’t get to or wouldn’t be as fun to do at home?
Morris: “A lot of them we probably can’t say. Today. Right now. On recording.”
Hornbeek: “We try to do sightseeing. That hardly happens.”
Morris: “Well we have become very familiar with all the bars in the country, but I did go to Colonial Williamsburg. Which for me as a little history nerd was really nice. Walked around a little bit with my tri folded hat and a thing of meat and I was just like totally out of it and they were like ‘Let’s get the hell out of here. It’s so hot.’”
Carney: “It was hot! It was the middle of summer!”
Morris: “No it was authentic.”

Carney: “It was like this without the cold air and wind.”
Morris: “No. It was awesome.”
For more information on The Unlikely Candidate visit their website:
For a chance to see The Unlikely Candidates perform live, attend this year’s KXT’s Summer Cut The Happy Fun Time Fest at Gexa Energy Pavilion on August 15.