Artist Interview: : : The Unlikely Candidates’ Kyle Morris Talks Playing Laurel Live

This weekend is the 2nd annual Laurel Live music festival in Cleveland, Ohio and this year’s lineup is extraordinary. Dawes, Gary Clark Jr., NEEDTOBREATHE, and these guys The Unlikely Candidates. We got to do a quick teaser email interview with their lead singer Kyle Morris as he prepares to play what is sure to be a can’t miss event.

For your new video, “Ringer”, you sort of outsourced its creation to fans. I read you sifted through submissions from all over and it took you over two months to piece together. How did this idea come about and what was your favorite thing you saw going through the submissions?

We wanted to do something that had never been done before with the video. When we were looking for ideas someone mentioned Fiverr, a site where freelancers from around the world offer up their services online. I really wanted to create a video of short vine like videos that would keep people’s attention and kind of play off everyone’s obsession with the Facebook video’s feature. That kind of never ending chain of short videos. Fiverr gave us the opportunity to do that because I could literally freelance any idea I could think of to committed people who wanted to make some money and be a part of it. Plus, it was international, which made it all the more diverse and interesting. 

I came up with every idea so I knew what would be there, but seeing people interpret the ideas was always a lot of fun. I wanted to have a guy do Parkour with masks of Cole and Kevin’s face. He went the extra mile and did hand stand dancing, slow motion shots of all the flips, spun around like he was holding hands with the camera (almost like someone would do in a falling in love montage in a movie). It was amazing. 

So we get to check you out at Laurel Live music fest this year and when doing research, we saw that the band has played quite a lot of festivals as well as in store performances for well known businesses. What have your experiences been like at these, or how do they present more of a challenge as an artist? How have the fans responded to you guys in these venues?

Festivals are easy. Big stages are conductors for grandiose larger then life performances. Playing in offices is interesting. We played to the people at Shazam in the corporate office. People cleared out of the cubicles to watch. I like to have fun with odd settings. Really play up the contrast to a normal show environment. I will stand up on someone’s desk or throw my arm around one of the workers. It’s a stiff environment so you have to use that formality and break it down. Stores are much the same, use the strangeness of the venue to your advantage.

There are some huge acts you’re playing with at Laurel Live, anybody you are especially psyched to see/meet? 

Will be cool to see our buds in Blue October and the Mowglis again. Both great bands and fun people. I am also excited to see Barnes Courtney and some gorgeous shredding from Gary Clark Jr.


Can you explain the band name for us? How did it come about and how did you know that was it?

Cole and I started the band when we were seniors in high school and had never played a lick of music to speak of really. We were a long shot to do much from the get go and everyone treated us accordingly. The learning curve was tremendous, but here we are. To be honest though, I wasn’t really thinking about that when I came up with the name. I just wrote a list of two hundred names and that was the only one that wasn’t awful. I think the second best was Dark Horse.

There are still a few tickets available for Laurel Live (June 10th/11th). Check out the stacked lineup here and be on the look out for more dates from rising stars The Unlikely Candidates here.

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