Twin Cities Media recently had the chance to sit down with The Missing Letters, a four-piece rock band hailing from right here in the Twin Cities. We got the chance to catch up with The Missing Letters ahead of their headlining St. Patrick’s Day show at The Parkway Theater. Following our conversation at The Parkway Theater, TML stopped by the Twin Cities Media studio for a Track by Track session. The guys stopped by our studio just days before heading out on their national tour with Adelitas Way to discuss their debut EP Lucille.
If there was one takeaway from our conversations with TML is that they are four hard working guys. They are wildly talented, drawing musical inspiration from across the genres and decades, to create feel-good rock with a sound that has widespread appeal, with a feel that is both new and old. From catchy hooks to polished vocals to old-school guitar solos, TML is making music with a little bit of something from everyone.
Though rather young, The Missing Letters have already garnered quite the following here in the Twin Cities as well as across the country, as they told me in the tiny green room above The Parkway Theater on St. Patrick’s Day. TML have played a slew of shows across the Midwest as well many shows in a city that has clearly become near and dear to their hearts – Denver. Before sitting down with TML on St. Patrick’s Day, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But after chatting with them over a few drinks and ahead of a knockout performance, I think I speak for all of us here at Twin Cities Media when I say we are excited about not only what The Missing Letters’ is currently doing as a band, but also what is next for these guys.
Backing up a bit – The Missing Letters was formed in 2012 with a little help from Craigslist and Nickelback, the guys joked at The Parkway. The Missing Letters current roster is a bit different than it was back in 2012. Drummer Shannon Drymalski started the band with members who have since moved on to pursue other things before connecting with Bryan Murphy, one of two vocalist/guitarist’s in the band. Murphy and Drymalski then connected with Josh Ripley, fellow vocalist/guitarist and began playing live shows. The guys met through mutual friends and from playing in other bands around the Cities. The Missing Letters, as they are today, was finally complete when bassist Johnny Naughton-Capello joined the band, after auditioning a number of bassists. Murphy spoke highly of his fellow bandmate, Naughton-Capello, who also sings, in addition to bass. There is an undeniable chemistry to this group. Though members have joined at different times and in different seasons, and though they differ in musical tastes, personality, and even just aesthetically, there is something magical that clicks when these four guys take to the stage.
Something I was particularly interested to chat with TML about was their intention and goals for the band. The Twin Cities, and many cities across America, are chalked full of amazing bands. However as anyone slightly tuned into the music industry in 2017 knows – it’s a competitive world out there. The internet can feel saturated with bands. So saturated that as a fan, a writer, a media outlet, it’s hard to stay on top of all the new music popping up on Spotify, Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc. Understandably in this competitive and saturated atmosphere there are a lot of weekend warrior type bands. Playing small venues and nightclubs around their hometown but are never really able to break out of that, weather of their own volition or not. But as we dove deeper into conversation, it’s clear TML are the last thing from just another weekend warrior rock band. Something that deeply resonated throughout our conversations was TML’s commitment to this project, their commitment to their craft and most importantly their commitment to each other and their fans. Ripley told about quitting his job as a teacher to pursue TML full time. Other members talked about putting jobs, relationships and life in general on hold to go out on the road and fully throw themselves into this project. Johnny talked about the first time he listened to The Missing Letter’s when he was preparing to audition for the new bassist opening and knowing from the moment he listened that he wanted to be a part of this band. They talk about the hours practicing, writing, connecting with fans on social media, all because of their commitment to TML, and what I think, stems from a place that loves what they are doing. There is a grind and hustle about The Missing Letters that really is respectable. It’s a hustle that hopefully breeds both continued success and longevity as band.
In our Track by Track at the Twin Cities Media studios, we chatted about The Missing Letters’ debut EP Lucille, traveling to Seattle to record it, and bringing that album to life at their live shows. In our conversation below we dive into the writing, the recording and the process and emotion that went into each of these songs. The guys share their stories, the things they like and the things they struggle with about each song. TML gave us a sneak peak into what is ahead, including more studio time to record more songs. In our time in the TCM Studios we sipped whiskey, talked about Arrested Development (the iconic television show in which the EP got it’s name from), and dove into the meat and bones of their debut EP.
The Missing Letters is not another weekend warrior band – they are four guys poised for what we expect to be things. Check out our conversation below and be sure to grab/download/buy/stream a copy of Lucille and catch them on tour this spring!