I was introduced to The Orphan, The Poet when I saw them open for A Lot Like Birds and Dance Gavin Dance back in 2012. I was really impressed by not only their live show but how nice these guys were to stand and talk to after their set. Recently I caught up with Jake and he was kind enough to answer some questions for me about the band: past, present, and future.

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JF:“Hey there, first off. I’m Jake! I play bass in a band called The Orphan, The Poet, and I’m super excited to be a part of Teal Cheese!”

NT: Thank you, man, for taking the time to sit and and talk to me. We’re glad to have you! So, let’s get right to it. When did you start playing bass? Did you play any instruments previous to that?

JF:“Oh gosh, I think I was either 12 or 13 years old. Without ever knowing how to play or even touching and instrument, my friends and I decided to start a band. I was named the bass player, and then had to ask my parents for a bass for my birthday. Haha. Like most 13 year olds, there were of days filled by learning every Blink 182 and Green Day song I could before I branching off into other areas of music. I’ve always had an active interest in guitar as well, but I really like the fact that I’ve been a bass player through and through.”

NT: Were you in any bands previous to the Orphan, the Poet? If so, when and what were they?

JF: “I’ve only ever been in three bands. The first being the junior high band in which I first picked up the bass. The second was a little more serious. That band was actually how I ended up meeting The Orphan, The Poet. Although we are from Dayton, we actually met at a show in Michigan shortly after The Orphan, The Poet was formed. I became friends with them over the next year, and ended up joining. Immediately, I flew out to Portland to record what became our “Translating” EP. It was a really crazy way to jump into a band, but I think having that fresh perspective on the songs really helped the writing process for that record.”

NT: I see the band started in Ohio, was there a reason you chose to stay there instead of move somewhere where perhaps you’d be more exposed to the industry? 

JF: “Honestly, Ohio is my favorite. And yes, I realize I am bias. Without a ton of real venues, we all grew up going to and playing DIY hall shows. I’d like to think there’s a special bond from that. Those halls shows form a real sense of community in the local scene. And that’s something that’s always stayed with us. I don’t think we’d have that same sense of family if we up and moved to Nashville or L.A.”
NT: You guys have been a band since 2009 and remain unsigned. To me, that’s impressive to survive that long with no label backing you. Do you plan to remain an unsigned band?
 
JF: “You know,” he laughs,  “it’s kind of cool thinking about everything we’ve done without a label. I’d like to think we are a pretty hardworking band. We’re not completely alone though. There’s quite a few people in the TOTP family that aren’t the four of us. We definitely owe a lot to our booking agent, the crew that tours with us, and all of our friends. As far as an upcoming label goes, we care a lot about the family aspect of the TOTP world. It’s just about finding the right people that we really connect with.”

 

NT: What are your top 5 musical influences?
he pauses
JF: “This is actually really tough. I feel like I am influenced every day. One band that really changed the way I look at music was a band called As Cities Burn. Their album “Come Now Sleep” still remains in my top albums of all time. The musicianship and passion on that record is unmistakable. Copeland is another band like that for me. I really don’t think it gets better than their song, “Chin Up.” I think passion really summarizes what influences me as a musician. Whether its crazy heavy like Stray From The Path or the prettiest Lydia song, it’s passion the hits me.”

NT: Who are the top 5 artists you’d like to play with? (Ones you haven’t yet.)

 

JF: “We’ve had the pleasure to tour with so many bands that I truly love. And I am now so honored to call them my friends.  But of course, there are some dream bands that I’d love to share a tour with. At the risk of going into way too much detail on each one, I will go ahead and just say:  Circa Survive, Fall Out Boy, Underoath, Copeland, and Paramore.”

NT: The first time I saw you was on the Rock Yourself to Sleep Tour. What was the craziest experience you had on that tour?

JF: “Okay, this was easily one of the most crazy and fun tours we’ve done to date. The tour itself was incredible, but it was also our first full U.S. tour. We hadn’t made the friends yet around the country that allow us to crash on their floor and shower in their house. So we had gone a few days without a shower, and David decided to take to Twitter to find us a place to clean up before our show in Dallas. After a few charming tweets, we landed a place…or at least we thought we did. We were given an address to an apartment complex, but the catch was…this person wouldn’t be there, nor had they even moved in yet. We didn’t meet this person. And honestly, I’m not even sure if we were in the right apartment. But hey, the water worked. And we made it to the show so fresh and so clean.”

NT: Who did you open for your very first show? And how did it go?

JF: “Personally? 8th grade talent show. I told the entire school that our guitar player wanted dedicated a song to the girl he liked…It didn’t go over well…But as far as The Orphan, The Poet goes, I want to say the band’s first show was at a local venue in Dayton called The Gathering Grounds. You’d have to ask David on the details, but I believe the show was also one of our good buds in Wolves At The Gate’s first shows.”


NT: The most recent song I could find on your YouTube channel was “Better Than This”. That was 6 months ago. Will there be new music from the Orphan, the Poet soon?

JF: “I can’t say too much, but let’s just say the TOTP dropbox pre-production folder has had a good bit of use lately!”

NT: Is that going to be a track off a full length in the works? What, if anything can you tell me about that?

JF: “Better Than This” was a part of three singles we released over the course of 2014. As of now, I think we’re going to let it stay like that. But we recently pressed a limited run of those three singles for the very first time on a physical C.D.. And that can be picked up at our merch table at the upcoming tour dates.

As far as anything else goes, I can’t say too much. But I am extremely excited to be putting together our debut full length. I still listen to all of my favorite bands’ debut records. And as a young band, it’s such a good opportunity to make a statement in the scene. I think we’re all ready for the challenge.”

Check out The Orphan, The Poet below. Get familiar because you’ll be seeing more of them soon!

**Photo credit to Michael-Rex Carbonell