Like It or Not
Words seem to fall short as a sufficient way to describe the Landon James Band. With genuine music pouring from each of their souls without compromise for anyone, The Landon James Band is truly a distinct sound that is sure to be unforgettable. The Landon James Band came together in 2006, when Landon James and Mike Scholze decided it was time to put their years of practice to good use. Both musicians started their careers early in life, with James taking up the guitar at age 10 while Scholze began playing drums at the tender age of 12. Bassist Brandon Lee Singleton came onboard in 2008, with just a few weeks to practice before their next gig. Singleton and James have been best friends since the 4th grade and he tried several instruments before settling on the bass. Lead guitarist John Schaefer joined in March of 2008. He's been a assiduous musician since the ripe old age of 7. Each member brings something unique to the band and it's this mixture of influences that give them their distinctive sound. "I've always loved music," explains James. "When I turned 10, I picked up the guitar and started learning how to play and sing. Mike and I went to school together and I found out he played drums. So we started getting together to jam. After trying out several guitar players, we picked John." Landon and Mike were fans of Texas music so they steered the band in that general direction. As Landon recalls, "I was exposed to classic country through my family, and so our music definitely has those roots." Most of the band are self taught musicians, with only John and Mike having some formal training. "I was about 6 years old when I started taking piano lessons," recalls John. "I stopped when I was 10, but when I turned 13, I decided to give the guitar a try. I was like any other beginner at first but I never took any lessons, I just stuck with the 'do it yourself' method until I learned it. I read a lot and just work through it logically. I consider myself a musician first and a guitar player second." Mike's story is very similar. "I played percussion in the school band and when I was 12, I got my first drum set. I practiced everyday for at least four hours. I would make CD's with all the songs I wanted to learn and would practice until I knew every beat of each song. Soon I joined the Justin Ford Band, and remained with them until Justin went to college. Shortly after that I met Landon and the rest is history." Though they are called the Landon James Band, decisions are made by all members. Especially when it comes to writing their original tunes, it's definitely a band experience. "Even though I write a lot of the songs," explains Landon, "we all pitch in on the process. I might bring a song to the band and I have the tempo in my head, or Mike can bring a song, and we have a bond between us that will completely transform it into something else. We will all add something to it until it becomes a Landon James Band song, regardless of who wrote the lyrics. Once I get the lyrics and chords down, I run through it once for the band. They rarely wait until I'm finished; they usually jump right in and start adding their own thing to it. Every song is definitely a full band effort." Once the band had their four members intact, they began the task of finding places to play. They landed gigs at venues around the area such as Scores Sports Bar, Billy's Ice, Riley's Tavern, River Road Ice House and Tavern in the Gruene, to name a few. In the summer of 2008 they picked up a regular Wednesday night gig at Buffalo Wings & Rings. These weekly shows were so popular, their fans demanded them back. In 2007 they recorded a two song demo CD at 5th Street Studios in Austin. This CD was used by the band to give booking agents a sample of their sound. Though the band is still in their early years, they have a core sound all their own. As Landon explains, "We always play what we want to play, not what we're supposed to play just to fit into a certain genre. We play original songs and mix in some classic country, southern rock and classic rock. We blend it together and call it Texas music. We're not trying to fit into any specific format. We like to use the motto 'Like It or Not,' which is the title of our new album." They returned to 5th Street Studios in November to record a new album and completed it in six months. For the new album, 'Like It or Not,' the band worked hard on every song so that when they were in the studio, things went smoothly. "We knew what we wanted each song to sound like," explained Brandon, "and when we got in the studio, our senses began to come alive with inspiration." Their goal was for each song to have it's own unique sound, which they feel was accomplished on this album. The CD contains these seven songs: Writings on my Wall (written by Brandon Singleton); Try, Like It or Not and Before You Missed Me (all written by Landon James); Last Shot (written by Mike Scholze, Landon James & Brandon Singleton); Waiting to be Found (written by Mike and Landon) and Blues Kickin' Blues (written by Mike, Landon & Justin Ford). The CD is titled 'Like It or Not' and will be available at Lone Star Music and at all of the bands live gigs.