Have you heard of Lost Keys? Consisting of Trevor Davis, Anthony Sloan and Jordan Miller, they are a relatively new band playing in and around the Frederick area. On Sunday night, they’ll be performing at Cafe Nola, beginning at 8 p.m. They blend all types of fun music and they have a Time Column. What more do you really need to know? Anyway, we recently caught up with them to discuss what it takes to mash Bob Marley and Sam Smith songs together, what goes into their signature atmosphere, and what we can expect from Sunday night’s show. Enjoy!
First of all, I can’t find anything about you online. Can you take us through the history of the band and how you got together?
Jordan: Anthony and I have been playing together for over 10 years in various bands and musical projects. Trevor and I have also played together a lot over the years and it always made sense to form a band, but it just happened recently.
Trevor: The three of us just started trying out some songs and it worked, and we wanted to put our own spin on things, so we kept the setup minimal and kept with Latin and world influences which have been an influence on us. We keep one guitar entirely acoustic and swap the snare drum for an African djembe. We keep things relatively light and automatically found a sound that suited what we were going after. There are a couple of videos on our website lostkeysgroup.com to get a feel for what we do live.
I see on Cafe Nola’s website that there is a video of you covering Bob Marley and Sam Smith. How did those songs/performances come about?
We tend to just try whatever pops in our heads at practice sometimes. We had been working on a laid back version of “I Know I’m Not the Only One” by Sam Smith when we realized how similar the chords where to “No Woman No Cry”. From there we just thought it would be cool to toss the two together with our own feel, making it feel like one cohesive tune.
Nola’s site also says that you “bring along a whole atmosphere when you perform.” What does that mean?
It’s another thing we’re trying to do to differentiate ourselves from other bands that play covers with a few original tunes. We bring a nice rug and mood lamps and set up a little “living room” type area on the stage where we play. It’s super chill, trust me. You could drink scotch to it.
Who are some of your major influences and why?
We listen to literally everything, and we’ve played it all in different bands over the years. Rock, jazz, progressive, metal, blues, hip-hop, whatever. I would say some of the stuff most directly influencing this band’s sound would be groups like Rodrigo y Gabriella, Tom Waits, Santana, Radiohead, Tinariwen, and good ol’ Ray Charles. It’s evident in our music. We could start off doing a cover of a song like “No Diggity” that is very different from the original, and then go off into some super Latin groove out of nowhere.
Where are some of your favorite places to play (cities/venues) and why?
Together, we’ve all played all over the place in different groups, from New York to Chicago to Austin. And since this band is new, we don’t have a terribly long list of places we’ve played. That being said, most of Lost Keys’ gigs so far have been at beer breweries like Lost Rhino and Milkhouse. We all appreciate a good craft beer so these shows naturally appeal to us and we always have a good time.
Could you give us some names of some great lesser-known original artists we might not already know? Who are you a fan of and who should we keep an eye on?
Jordan: I’ve been a huge fan of a guy named Gavin Castleton for years now. His stuff tends to blend soul, jazz, electronic music and progressive rock together in interesting ways. He’s been in various bands (Gruvis Malt, Ebu Gogo) which have all been major influences on me. Now, he still releases incredible solo music while supporting himself with a day job. Why this guy isn’t famous, I don’t know, but his music rules and I highly suggest looking into it.
What does the rest of 2015 hold for The Lost Keys?
More shows! We also plan on recording some of our original music, so there will be releases somewhere in the future with a little bit of that. Lastly, we are thinking of adding a bassist for some shows.
And finally what can we expect from your show at Cafe Nola? Do you have any surprises in store?
Some original music with a bunch of covers with so many twists, you’ll think it’s an M-Night joint.