Shaun Gunnels - Vocals
James Gonzalez - Guitar/Vocals
Sean Bottoms - Bass
Ray Baumgratz - Drums
Kris Trevino - Guitar
1. How did you get your band name?
RAY: Third Eye Blind song, “The Background”
JAMES: In the beginning of The Background we were and currently are inspired by Third Eye Blind. We are children of '90s rock. The background is a song by TEB and is our way to pay homage to our inspiration.
SHAUN: Third Eye Blind song “The Background”
SEAN: It a song by Third Eye Blind one of Shaun Gunnels favorite bands
2. How did this band get started?
RAY: The band's been together for a while and I just recently joined at the beginning of this year
JAMES: Back in 2005.
SHAUN: This lineup was started about a year ago. I've had the "idea" since I was a wee lad in high school. I have some recordings still from back then.
SEAN: This current lineup has been together for a year, though Shaun Gunnels has been recording and writing under the name The Background for the last few years
3. What bands are you influenced by?
RAY: Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, Sum 41, Hit the Lights, Underoath
JAMES: I would have to say my main influences are bands like: Lydia, Circa Survive, The Maine, Jacks Mannequin, Incubus, This Love and Mayday Parade.
SHAUN: Something Corporate//Jack's Mannequin, Third Eye Blind, The Killers, Coldplay
Some of my personal influences while writing are Saves The Day, Jack's Mannequin, and Circa Survive
SEAN: I would love to tour with Third Eye Blind, one reason is they influenced our name and like some of the other guys in the band I grew up listening to '90s rock.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
RAY: I would have to say All Time Low because they seem like cool guys to tour with and would bring the right crowd out for our style of music.
JAMES: I would love to tour with Mayday Parade, Cute Is What We Aim For, Grouplove, Black Keys, The Fratellis, Lydia or Something Corporate.
SHAUN: I'd go back to Warped Tour 2004 and tear it up with Something Corporate, The Early November, Midtown, New Found Glory, Etc I think the spirit of live music and concerts was better. More kids were into going to shows and helping bands and all of it.
SEAN: Third Eye Blind
5. Best food to eat on tour?
RAY: Taco Bell, curb side dinners.
JAMES: Hot Cheetos, pistachios, red bulls, takis and strawberries.
SHAUN: Taco Bell, curb side dinners.
SEAN: Hmm, chicken sandwiches or anything cheap.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
RAY: Because our music is up to date with music you hear these days. It is all new and is what the future is going to sound like.
JAMES: People should listen to TBG because we have such a unique sound. We come different backgrounds to write catchy indie rock with a good message.
SHAUN: I'm not saying anyone should... but it would be nice if everyone could give our music a chance. We appeal to millions and millions of people out there and we would like to find and make a connection with every single one of you.
SEAN: So that they can broaden their music library
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
RAY: I would have to switch places with a basketball player because they are ballin'. Most likely Kobe Bryant.
JAMES: Javier Hernandez (Manchester United) because he followed his dreams all the way to the pros in England and that's how I feel about my dreams in music.
SHAUN: Probably Rob Dyrdrek but I'd do it with more class. Homie has had a very, very successful career.
SEAN: I don’t know a specific athlete but a hockey player would be cool to switch places with.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
RAY: I would thank everyone who has helped us accomplish that goal. Fans, Companies, Labels, ect.
JAMES: God, my parents, my family, my better half, my band mates, my manager, TBG family and everyone who ever inspired/pushed me to achieve my dream.
SHAUN: Right now I would thank Jan Powers and Jen Appel. Fans who have stayed with us and supported us along every step of the way. My family for never telling me I couldn't do something; but rather I could do anything!
SEAN: Family and friends and my faith without those I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
RAY: I would change the industry by having all different style of bands come to one and not have different cliques throughout the scenes of music.
JAMES: I would give more opportunities to younger aspiring bands/musicians.
SHAUN: I would make shows cheaper, venues in every (major) city, and harder copyright laws. most people these days blow up on someone else songs.
SEAN: More rights to the artist themselves seems like everyone is willing to give up rights just to make a quick buck.
10. Memorable tour experience?
RAY: Almost getting stuck on 6th Street in Austin at SXSW because all of our gear was on stage and we couldn’t get it off.
JAMES: Playing SXSW and being exposed to that scene/festival.
SHAUN: The numerous times at SXSW (both years) when we would all lose each other in the crowds; all just to somehow meet up at the end of the night.
SEAN: When we played SXSW just having to stay in a hotel, all crammed inside and really getting to know each other.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
RAY: What is up and coming in the music industry
JAMES: AP.net is the best media new site for major/indie bands. I check it religiously to find out the latest news.
SHAUN: AP gives every artist a chance to showcase music. It allows smaller bands like ourselves expand to other markets and locations. We love AP.NET!
SEAN: Its an awesome way for bands that may not have the national exposure to try and get their name out there
12. What is your favorite song to play?
RAY: “Taste You”
JAMES: Favorite song to play: Band: "Hands Up", Cover: "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers.
SHAUN: "Hands Up". Come to a show and you'll see why.
SEAN: Out of our old songs I love to play "Your Friends", but currently "Hands Up" is my favorite one to play.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
JAMES: Somewhere on the beach or Chicago.
SEAN: Temecula, California. I have family out there and its relaxing most of the time
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
RAY: Punk rock.
JAMES: I would have to say Rock and Jazz.
SHAUN: '90s rock.
SEAN: .90s rock and pop.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
RAY: Fly. It would be cool to be able to just fly around the place and see the world from above.
JAMES: Super strength so I could carry all of our gear in one trip!!
SHAUN: Move through walls. You know how quick you could just disappear from anything or awkward situation!?!
SEAN: Hmm, I don’t think I'd want a power. I'd rather be like Batman and have science and gadgets help me out. I like to having to strategize.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
RAY: We usually just get in a circle and get pumped before we go on.
JAMES: I always stretch and have a Red Bull before I play.
SHAUN: We get together and all chant lyrics to "Here We Go Again". The lyrics are "You're just like all the other girls." No one knows why we just do it haha
SEAN: We usually pick a song and sick a main line from it as a group.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
RAY: I am afraid of insects and horses.
JAMES: I'm a classically trained musician.
SHAUN: I'm in fact, an alien.
SEAN: Even though I'm the quiet one, I sometimes am the more outgoing one.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
RAY: I love to listen to 102.1 the local edge every Sunday night because they play a lot of stuff you usually wouldn’t hear on the radio. I believe our band could easily play on this station because they like to play local artists.
JAMES: I think the state of the radio is a competition to write a catchier song than the last. I absolutely think we will flourish.
SHAUN: Depending on the market and station. We are trying to write music that can appeal to ALL stations like Third Eye Blind or Coldplay or Grouplove did and do!
SEAN: I believe the radio is starting to open up more on certain types of music. I hope that one day our music will be played on the radio I know it will appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
RAY: Listen to music, disc golf, skate, play sports.
JAMES: In my spare time I jam on my acoustic, watch Dexter, hang with friends and loved ones and go to the park.
SHAUN: Talk to fans and play with my dogs.
SEAN: I like to build things, or help my parents work on the house
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
RAY: I am very good at hacky sack or juggling a ball of any sort
JAMES: I write poetry and make amazing coffee.
SHAUN:When I was young I was an amateur skateboarder. Had a couple sponsors and did comps and demos. If it's still in me, I guess I'd say skateboarding.
SEAN: I play piano, drums, guitar, and many percussion instruments.
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