Tell All Thursdays- The Don’ts and Be Carefuls

Welcome to the seventh edition of “Tell All Thursdays”, where we seek to go beyond the song and find out more about the artist. Through conversation with the artist, perhaps we’ll obtain more insight about the songs we enjoy so much.

Today we’re talking with The Don’ts and Be Carefuls. A few weeks back we introduced them with their insanely catchy song, “The Still Favorites”. TDABC (Yeah it’s a lot to type out), a four piece band from Denver, Colorado. I particularly enjoy their little story to answer #1. I find that they are quite humorous and very chillax. I especially like their answer to #4 because it’s quite honest and real. Thank you guys so much for conducting this interview and I look forward to seeing the growth of this band for some time to come.

  1. Where and how did you guys meet?

When we were all kids, we worried about the corruption in the leadership of our school. After meeting secretly at safe house to discuss our problem, a strange man came out, and suggested that the superintendent is in fact the real corrupt one. While at first we were insulted by his claims, we soon found ourselves surrounded by the superintendent’s men, proving that he was correct. The strange man fought off the men in return for money, however after realizing that our principle could now be in danger, he decided to help us bring down the corrupt superintendant.  After we accomplished this goal, we were inseparable.

Er, wait, no it’s more like we met in college and around the Denver scene haha


2.     What are some of your musical influences? As a follow up, how do you take from these influences and make your own distinctive sound?

 We started off being very influenced by bands like Wolf Parade and LCD Soundsystem, but as we’ve progressed, we feel like we’ve shed those influences, and other specific influences for a less focused, more intuitive sound.  Meaning that we put more energy into feeling out the songs as opposed to planning them out. 

3.     What’s the story behind your name?

The Don’ts & Be Carefuls was the street name for a list of rules and regulations on film from the early age of film.  We appreciate the attitude that was developed by those who had to work around the list in order to continue to make movies of any worth.  It’s an ironic name for us.  Because of our goal to make high energy, fun music, we felt that the evocative juxtaposition of our music with that band name would, frankly, be fun and humorous. 

4.     Did you/you guys ever have any kind of crystallizing moment that sticks out in your history as an artist/band?

Each time we reach the completion of a new song, there’s an air of exuberance that could be likened to a crystallizing moment.

5.     Why do you make music? What is it that drives you to create?

Speaking for myself, my mother asks me every once in a while how much we made at a show, and I always laugh and tell her that “you don’t get into this kind of thing for the money,” and I stand pretty firmly behind that.  We do it because we can’t not do it.  

6.     What is it that you want most out of your musical experiences? Is it the ability to get out of those 9-5 jobs, or is it something you do for the sake of a creative outlet, or what?

We don’t all work 9-5 jobs, and it’s not exactly that we do it for some sort of scheduled amount of weekly creativity.  There are cultures/languages/etc. that don’t really have a word for “art,” because it’s just another part of life, there’s no need to “make time” for it, their creativity comes out when it does. We work in a similar way.

7.     When looking through your guys’ own music libraries, do you mostly have music that resembles what you produce yourself?

We all come from such varied musical backgrounds that we barely have music libraries which resemble the other member’s haha.  There are too many wonderful things in the world to just focus on a certain type of music, and it’d be an injustice to ourselves to allow ourselves any limitations.  That said, of course we all have our own preferences haha.

8.     If you guys could see any band or artist live, who would it be and why?

Answering solely for myself on this one, Tom Waits and Laurie Anderson are always near the top of my “want to see” list, because they rarely come through and I’ve yet to have a chance to see them.  If you need a why, then all you’ll need to do is look up any song by either, then you’ll be sold. 

9.      Sound engineer shout out (or any venue that gave you great sound)

This town has an amazing group of sound engineers in it.  I suppose the most recent one we worked with that we have always loved is Matt Daniels who did our sound down at the Meadowlark more than a few times.

10.  If you could give a shout-out to another band, who would it be?

An almost infinite amount of bands deserve shout outs.  Our collective, Hot Congress, is home to some incredible bands, so, with just one shout out to give, I’d say everyone connected to Hot Congress and the bands we play with all the time … those are the bands you should check out haha.

Luke Hunter James-Erickson

The Don’ts and Be Carefuls 

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