Win Single File's Full-Length Debut Album, 'Common Struggles'
The album features the quirky pop-rock track "Mannequin Loveseat" as well as the just released album single "Girlfriends." The new single is sure to be a hit as it channels the likes of Weezer, Plain White T's and all that's right with modern pop-rock.
"The title Common Struggles says it all – I'm not pretending that any of what I've dealt with is new, it's just the human condition," says lead vocalist/guitarist/bassist Sloan Anderson, explaining the choice of title for Single File's full length debut album.
While there is undoubtedly a universal quality to the Denver-based rock trio's story – that hard work and unswerving dedication to one's craft can pay off, particularly when combined with a little luck – it's probably safe to say that most people don't spend a big chunk of their twenties tooling around the U.S. in an RV named Maggie Mae and nipping into gas stations to fill its water tank before the attendant catches on. "We were little pirates, just living in this crappy RV," says Anderson.
"We drove, we promoted on MySpace, we played shows – that's all we did," remembers Joe Ginsberg, who alternates on bass and guitar with Anderson. "We'd post – ‘hey, if you want to bring non-perishables or water to the show, we'll hook you up with some free merch.'"
"It's important to maintain a sense of humor, because if you can't laugh at yourself and at the things that happen to you, you're not really enjoying life to the fullest," adds drummer Chris Depew.
Their collective sense of humor has seen the three friends through a tumultuous decade together. Anderson and Depew started playing music together in junior high, when they rigged up a drum kit out of cardboard boxes, Legos and G.I. Joe parts. Upon meeting Ginsberg in high school, they immediately clicked as a trio but took separate paths after graduation. In time, Anderson – who had moved to North Carolina and was working as an artist at a video game company – began writing songs over the phone with Ginsberg, who was studying jazz at U.S.C. in Los Angeles. Collaborating became easier once Activision offered Anderson a job in L.A. and relocated him. The two recorded Single File's first EP, As You Were, in Anderson's office after hours. They gigged around a bit, working with a local drummer, and self-releasing a second EP, Heartbreak & Masturbation, in 2004. Things just weren't the same without Depew, who was still living in Colorado, so the pair coaxed him to join them in Los Angeles – just in time for a poorly planned tour that December.
"We had no clue about promotion, we were like, ‘let's just show up, maybe people will be there," says Anderson. They self-released a third EP, My Best Defense, which landed them a feature on MySpace, which in turn led to the opportunity to play two dates on the Vans Warped tour. They wound up playing to the line in the parking lot for the rest of the tour – in between gigs they'd booked in nearby cities. It was at the Dark Room, a venue in Baton Rouge, LA, that they reached a turning point. With no money left after filling Maggie Mae's gas tank, should they just quit – or should they dig in and try even harder? The trio decided that when the summer tour was over, they'd stick their stuff in storage and hit the road for the long haul. They had learned the importance of playing all-ages shows, hooking up with bands that were the local favorites and hitting the same cities repeatedly, so their fan base was growing.
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