Simpleton
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Simpleton

Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States | SELF

Stillwater, Oklahoma, United States | SELF
Band Rock Punk

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"Simpleton Wraps up Texas Tour"

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July 31, 2010

STILLY STUDIO: Simpleton wraps up Texas tour
The Stillwater Punk band visits Stilly Studio
By Chase Rheam
Stillwater NewsPress The Stillwater News Press Tue Aug 10, 2010, 03:59 PM CDT

STILLWATER, Okla. —
Simpleton, a Punk band from Stillwater, has been playing venues in Stillwater and Oklahoma. They recently wrapped up a tour of Texas.

The band has gone through different members, but the current lineup of James Hall, Chris Jones, Tim Gant and Bret Frieden began playing shows in 2008. Simpleton stopped by the NewsPress to discuss the band, what they're working on and to perform two acoustic songs in our Stilly Studio. - Stillwater NewsPress


"Simpleton Plots Texas Tour"

By Chris Day
STILLWATER, Okla. — Chris Jones and James Hall have been the constants in Simpleton since its March 2003 formation as a punk trio. The current lineup of Jones, Hall, Tim Gant and Bret Frieden came together in 2008. Simpleton has performed covers and originals in bars and concerts throughout Oklahoma.

The band will leave Oklahoma for the first time, taking a short tour to Texas early next month. The band will play the Live and Local Stage at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington on July 7 before heading to Austin, Texas, for a gig at Headhunters and returning to the Dallas/Fort Worth area for two more performances.

It’s a short tour because all four band members work. Hall and Jones are teachers. Gant works for a Stillwater pizza restaurant, and Friedan works in a Stillwater doughnut shop.

Simpleton is:

• Hall, vocal guitar

• Jones, vocal, keyboard guitar

• Gant, vocals, bass

• Frieden: vocals drums

Recently, band members talked about their past, songwriting and future during a break in rehearsals for the upcoming tour. Here are excerpts from their Stillwater NewsPress interview:

You started as a punk trio in March 2003. How did that come about?

Chris Jones: There was two of us – James and myself. We’d actually been playing since our junior year in high school, which was 2001. After we graduated, we got a band together. It was a three-piece – just fast Ramones-like punk stuff. In 2005-2006, we added a fourth guy and went for a full-band sound. In 2008, we got all these four members together. We’ve been together for two years now.

How did you come up with the name Simpleton?

Chris Jones: James and I and another drummer sat down in this room and wrote down a list of 100 different band names. ... We were gonna eliminate them down to the top 10 and then rank them. ... Some of the top 10 were ... Chinese Fire Drill, Radio Static. We just came up with it because it is like our music. We’re not the Dave Matthews Band or the most talented musicians on our instruments. We keep it simple, keep it fun and keep it entertaining. That was what our philosphy was. So, Simpleton like simple town.

James Hall: Simpleton is a person that’s not very smart.

Chris Jones: We didn’t know that when we came up with the name.

James Hall: That’s why it fits.

Who are you musical influences?

More of the newer punk – Blink 182 and Green Day. ... That’s what we grew up with. We’ve kind of progressed since then. We’re not so much three chords and the song has to be three chords. We’ve gotten a little bit better. That’s how we started out.

Who are your musical influences now?

Chris Jones: That’s different for everybody now.

James Hall: Weezer. They’re probably my favorite.

Tim Gant: I like Nickelback to Blink 182.

Chris Jones: Relient K, Blink 182 and Green Day

Bret Frieden: For me, Tim and I used to be in a band together, and it was pretty heavy. So a metal influence is more our style. ...

What are your goals?

Chris Jones: There’s no guarantees that’s the problem. This is kind of the peak of what we’ve been planning ...

James Hall: I don’t think we’ve ever worked as hard as we are working right now. We’ve always played shows here and there. Every other month or every month, we’d go somewhere and play on the weekend. ... Chris and I just graduated so we are like now we have time. Being in school we didn’t have time to do it. ...

Chris Jones: One year there, we were both teachers. I had a student teaching semester in spring of ‘09. In the fall of ‘09, James had a student teaching semester. That just makes it impossible to get shows lined up. Now, we’ve both graduated. James will be working in Putnam City in the fall. I’m still looking. We are both teachers. It’s gonna be interesting when he starts working down there with weekly practices and things like that.

James Hall: Hopefully, we can go far.
- Stillwater NewsPress


"The Next Big Thing?"

Four 2002 Stillwater High graduates will be showcased Thursday when their band, Simpleton, takes the stage at Mike's College Bar at 11 p.m.
James Hall, Brandon Ingham, Chris Jones and Jimmy Kappel, who is filling in while regular bass player Tony Valencia is serving in Iraq, make up the band that started in the halls of SHS six years ago. Jones said the band , playing in the shadow of Stillwater's All American REjects, hopes "to make a statement so we will be invited back to do more shows."
Simpleton's first show was at the OSU Student Union in January of 2003. They have also played at shows in Bricktown in Oklahoma City, Stillwater's Boomer Blast and the Bedlam Bash.
Although Hall and Jones have preformed in more than 50 shows together, Thursday will be Kappel's first show after filling in for Valencia in the Spring.
Jones said even though Valencia will be gone for another year, he plans to still record music while on duty in Iraq and send it to the rest of the band over the internet.
The band spent the summer working on the first album, "It's All Changing Now," due out by the end of the year. Band members claim Weezer, Green Day and the Foo Fighters as inspirations.
Thursday, the band will preform songs from their upcoming CD as well as covers of a few memorable 1980's rock songs. - Stillwater NewsPress


"Another Showcase is set"

It's time once again for Stillwater Scene and Willie's Saloon to present to Stillwater another few local artists and another night of good music.
Stillwater punk sensations, Simpleton, will be featured in this months' Stillwater Scene Showcase along with Oklahoma City's Minutes Too Far. The Showcase, presented by Willie's Saloon, will be Friday March 26 starting at 10 p.m.
Simpleton has been making waves since they took Oklahoma State University by storm and won the Instrumental Division of the Cowboy Showcase in March of 2003. The followed that achievement by scoring air play as well as becoming frequent guests on the "Rock and Roll Alternative," which airs Sunday nights from 8-10 p.m. on Hott 93.7 KSPI-FM.
The Trio is able to keep a crowd going through some of their catcy 80's covers or any of their originals. - Daily O'Collegian


"In the Spotlight with Simpleton"

By Jared F. Cranke

It's been a while since a musical act has surprised me. The last time I can think of happened a couple of years ago when a couple of kids showed up at Mike's College Bar with a guitar, bass, and a drum machine. This proved to be the best band I've seen preform at Mike's and they called themselves the All-American Rejects.
Similarly, I came across Simpleton at Oklahoma State University and a three piece band began setting up, smiles all around. They had a simple setup, nothing extravagant, except for the handmade sign with Simpleton spelled in flashing Christmas lights, and were ready to play rather quickly. They looked curiously nervous as they set up; but once they were ready, their curiousity and nervousness went out the door. They came to rock. They only had one song to compete in the contest, but it was a great song. "To Be Continues" is the simple story of a relationship ended, and the question that plaques all fledging love stories is "Will we be together again?" Or, in the words of guitarist and vocalist, Chris Jones, "To Be Continued someday?" At the end of the show, Simpleton took home the award for the best instrumental performance.
Simpleton started like most bands do, meeting each other by chance and finally deciding to put their love for music together into a group. This power punk group has evolved into writing their own material and is preparing to show Oklahoma a new level of music with their live show. "We won the Cowboy Showcase with one song, but we weren't far ahead of that in the songwriting process," added James Hall, bass and vocals. "We didn't know where to go next or what to do. We had an award, but how can we get another show?" They did play another show at OSU about a month later,opening for Gooding at this year's Springfest concert. Opening gigs were no problem, especially for other bands that did original music.
"We know we have to learn covers," adds Jones. "That doesn't mean we're going to stop playing our own songs. That's why we're even a band in the first place. WE want to push these songs on you until you can sing them with us. Then, we might invite you over to the house to hang out!"
Simpleton has a lot of energy for a new band, and they should. Jones and Hall are both 19, while Matt Beier, drummer, is a recent Stillwater High School graduate at 18 years old. But don't let their age fool you, these boys know what they are doing, and are ready to hit the Stillwater music scene like a slingshot - you won't know exactly where it came from, but oyu'll know it when you feel it. Already they've accomplished a lot. They are currently getting airplay on Hot 93.7 KSPI-FM with "To Be Continued" and have been a special guest on the Rock and Roll Alternative twice. They are looking forward to also being featured in the upcoming concert series sponsored by Stillwater Scene and KSPI-FM. "After we start playing some more shows, we are looking to record and release a CD by the end of the year," adds Beier. "we've got the material and we are ready to put something out there for our fans, and hopefully gain a few more while we're at it."
Their next engagement is for the Big O Tires customer appreciation and anniversary party July 4. Simpleton will be preforming live at 8pm and finish right before the fireworks at Boomer Blast will take take center stage. You can find out more about Simpleton and future gigs at http://simpleton.tsda.net. - Stillwater Scene Magazine


Discography

Six Song Demo (2003)
Hopes & Heartbreaks EP (2004)
It's All Changing Now (2007) (Rereleased on iTunes 2010)
Evolution EP (2008)
Undisclosed (Winter 2011)

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Bio

Management and Booking:
Eddie Osborn
(405) 201-2929
booking@allthingssimpleton.com

The New Face of Alternative Rock is Simpleton!!!

Since their inaugural performance in March of 2003, James Hall and Chris Jones have performed over 200 shows together across the Midwest. The singing and songwriting duo spent their first five years performing original material with a carousal of different local musicians. Their influences and style blended flavors of punk rock with the sound of their 90s alternative favorites.

Jones was a musician at an early age. At nine, he began taking piano lessons. At 12 he joined the school band as a percussionist. At 13, Jones played in his first band as a drummer, led by the future All-American Reject's lead singer, Tyson Ritter. Although the band fell through after only a few shows, Jones kept developing as a musician and tried starting up several bands of his own. By high school, he was playing guitar, singing, and even acting. During his senior year, he began teaching Hall how to play the bass guitar. The two friends soon began creating their own music.

Hall's main influence comes from his love of Weezer, the 1990's "Geek Rock" superstars. This influence fits in perfectly with Simpleton's philosophy that less is more. As an education graduate from Oklahoma State University, Hall developed into a master of the English language. His experience of love and love lost, in addition to his belief in hope and optimism, has fueled his musical poetry throughout the past decade and has allowed him to share with the world words that "move us from inside."

Early on, the group had achieved success scoring airplay on local radio stations, however, Hall and Jones were feeling the burden of the ever-changing lineup of drummers and guitarist by 2007. After a long search in 2008, Simpleton finally struck gold when they recruited the Travis Barker-esk drummer, Bret Frieden. In addition to getting an extremely talent percussionist, the group gained a skilled bassist, Tim Gant, who was a fellow band mate of Freiden's. Frieden and Gant performed together in several hard rock bands before teaming up with Hall and Jones' pop punk duo. Since the 2008 merger, the band has gone on to perform nearly 100 shows together in only three years and has expanded its fan base in the Midwest region. Their goal for the future is to promote and expand Simpleton from a regional talent to a nationwide audience.