DC After 5 Interview: Sister Hazel

sister hazelBy Greg Hudson

Gainesville, FL’s Sister Hazel (vocalist Ken Block, guitarist/vocalist Drew Copeland, lead guitarist Ryan Newell, drummer Mark Trojanowski and bassist Jett Beres) will be taking the stage this Sunday at Rams Head in Annapolis. DC After 5 caught up with drummer Mark Trojanowski…

Is it still special when you’re in your car or out and about and hear “All For You” or “Change Your Mind” come on over the radio airwaves?

Yes.  I think that it is special because not too many people get that opportunity, plus our songs have really made such an impression with so many people.

The Rockboat has been very sucessful and you always manage to get some talented and popular bands in the lineup. How did you ever come up with the idea to do the first one?

The first one started with us wanting to do something special for our fans after the Fortress tour.  There were several ideas being thrown around on what to do.  I myself had worked on Cruise ships and always thought it would be cool to do something on them.  Jett our bass player wanted to play shows on barges in port cities on the east coast.  Our manager Andy Levine happen to be on a flight with a travel agent and the idea of doing a special trip for our fans on a cruise ship was born.

What is in store for 2012’s Rock Boat?

We are finally getting to leave out of New Orleans.  We have been trying to leave from New Orleans since Katrina hit the city so this will be really special.  Plus we always try to find new and up and coming artists to expose them to great music fans.

Sister Hazel has been together for nearly 20 years and that means you’ve put out quite a few albums. Release was the highest charting album for you guys on the Billboard Top 40. Is that surprising to you?

I think any time our music can connect with people, we feel really lucky.  The music industry has changed so drastically over the last 15 years that charts and numbers to us really don’t affect what we do.  Digital downloads and the internet run the music industry and we have always tried to reach fans that way.

You guys really treat your fans well, hosting a lot of personal fun events. Hazelnut Hang 6 is just around the corner. What can your fans expect from this event?

The Hazelnut Hang is just a cool event.  It takes place on the beach in Isle of Palms, South Carolina.  The venue has always been special to us and the weekend is just a fun time to get together with fans.  We always have a special cover set planned and this year’s set is one I think people will really like.

The last time we interviewed Sister Hazel, you played Celebrate Fairfax in Fairfax, VA. This time around, you’re at Rams Head in Annapolis. It’s a pretty neat city….Have you guys ever played there before? Have any plans after your show like checking out the downtown or the waterfront?

We have played Annapolis several times before.  It is a very cool city and we have enjoyed walking around there.  We have played Rams Head several times as well as the Naval Academy.

Sister Hazel Live
Rams Head
Annapolis, MD
Sunday, May 30. 1 p.m.

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