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criminal birds

Criminal Birds Interview

They won our Year End Readers' Poll. You know them. You love them. And so do I. Here is my interview with Criminal Birds...

D: How did you guys come together?

CB: Three of the birds (Grahm Robinson, Taylor Dondlinger, Reggie Hastings) began playing together in high school and formed their first band together, Copasetic. After a year of struggling to find a competent and dedicated bass player the group disbanded in 2010 and reformed with the addition of bassist Gunnar Ebeling in 2011. The group is now known as Criminal Birds.

D: What's the story behind your band name?

CB: One evening we were "brainstorming" what we'd like to call ourselves. In that process we came up with more jokes than actual names. A very close friend of ours blurted "Criminal Birds" and initially we laughed, thinking that was his input to the "Who Can Come Up With The Most Ridiculous Name" game. This story ends with a text telling him that the name stuck and us asking for permission to use it.

D: What's your songwriting process like?

CB: Reggie is definitely the primary lyricist, but the music is totally collaborative. It starts in the jam room, typically with just one or two elements (bass & drums, etc.) Then we add layers, alter parts, and keep chipping away at it until we have a clear idea of what the song is or could be, and then we polish it. We like to keep the sounds fresh and ideas plentiful.

D: If you could tour anywhere, where would it be and why?

CB: Europe, no question.

D: Being from Denton, how did it feel to play in Austin for the first time?

CB: It felt a bit like home. The show was a success, we had an excellent crowd, saw some old faces, and met several new ones. It was also our first ever road trip with our new band wagon, so now it feels almost nostalgic to play in Austin.

D: There seems to be a burgeoning music scene in Denton, in your experience, how does it compare to Austin?

CB: In the past we've heard a lot of people try to put Denton and Austin in this sort of contest as if one is better than the other. Both scenes are teeming with talent, and have both produced numerous nationally and internationally successful acts, which to us speaks volumes. Naturally we tip our hats to our hometown, however the music fans and show goers in Austin have exceeded our expectations of the scene over the past year.

D: How stoked were you to hear you won our Readers' Poll?

CB: Like any competition, we were excited to win, but we were especially pleased to win this given Deli Magazine's track record and popularity. The credit really goes to our fans who voted and helped spread the word.

D: What's on the horizon for Criminal Birds?

CB: We will be releasing our sophomore EP in April followed by touring. We intend to really focus on Texas this time around. Which means we'll be stopping by to hang out with you guys quite a bit this Spring.

D: Long term goals and dreams?

CB: Like any aspiring musician, we'd all like to make the band a full time endeavor. Being able to book longer tours and eventually quit our day jobs is the main goal. Touring overseas would be pretty badass as well.

D: Anything else you'd like to say?

CB: Thanks to the reader for taking time and interest in us and what we do. Thanks to Deli and our fans for making this all happen. Just, thanks.

D: You're welcome. Best of luck to you guys. -- Interviewed by Charise Sowells



Austin's Open Submission Results for The Deli Magazine's Year End Poll, 2013

Wow! We got almost twice as many submissions this year as we did last year. Thanks to everyone who helped spread the word and give bands a chance to have their music heard by critics all over the country. After tallying the votes for the Open Submissions stage of our Austin Year End Poll, it's time to release the results.

Please note that no editor was allowed to vote for bands in their own scene. The editors that voted on the Austin scene were: Q.D. Tran (Deli Philadelphia), Jordannah Elizabeth (Deli San Francisco), and Paolo De Gregorio (Deli NYC, Editor-In-Chief).

Acts advancing to our Readers/Fans Poll with a ranking above 6.5:

1. Criminal Birds (Indie Rock) - 7.3
2. Emily Wolfe (Songwriters) - 7.2
3. The Vliets (Psych Rock) - 7.2
4. Growl (Indie Pop/Rock) - 7
5. Hikes (Folk Pop) - 6.8
6. Danny Malone (Songwriters) - 6.8
7. Language Room (Alt Rock) - 6.6
8. Foe Destroyer (Garage Pop/Rock) - 6.6
9. Milezo (Psych Pop/Rock) - 6.6

Honorable Mentions (ranked above 6.0):

Calliope Musicals (Psych Pop/Rock) - 6.3
Lake Lady and the Mountain Man (Soul/Indie Pop) - 6.3
Paula Maya (World Music) - 6.3
Anya (Hip Hop) - 6.2

Total submissions from the Austin Scene: 43

WHAT'S NEXT: These results end the first phase of the poll. In the next few days we'll unveil the artists nominated by our local jurors (mostly venue promoters and other industry people who know the Austin scene insode out), and we'll let our readers and writers influence the poll with their vote.

Thanks to all the acts who submitted to us. Our open submissions pool was truly a celebration of the diversity and richness of Austin's talent. Keep creating, keep supporting and stay tuned for your chance to vote!

The Deli Staff

Open Submissions Featured Artist #1 - Criminal Birds

Criminal Birds came out on top in our Open Submissions portion of the Year End Poll with their precise but ethereal rock music. The 4 piece band out of Denton, Texas stole my heart at first listen and I'm super proud and excited for their accomplishments this year. Check out their sound and remember to cast your vote for your favorite band in our poll this month! -Written by Charise Sowells


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