Midwest Fest burning questions (Part 1)

Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers (from left to right) Ryan Hoger, Joe Hertler, Rick Hale (drummer), Kevin Pritchard and fill-in keyboardist Micah Bracken feel the music Friday, Sept. 28 at Rubble’s for the fifth annual Midwest Fest. (Russ Tandy | GCmag)

Mount Pleasant was recently invaded by hoards of alternative tunes and the boot stomps of the unwashed for the fifth annual Midwest Fest. The three-day festival gave Grand Central Magazine plenty of time to pick the brains of the strummers, the singers and the cymbal crashers.

The first of the quirky Q&A’s comes from the soulful Central Michigan alumni band, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers.

Grand Central Magazine (GCmag) – You have to spend a day with Rebecca Black or Justin Bieber, who would you choose?

Ryan Hoger of Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers  – Definitely Justin Bieber. Not for my own satisfaction, but I have a lot of friends who are obsessed with Justin Bieber for some reason … and they would envy me. Plus, I’m going to be 24 this year, so spending an entire day with a 15-year-old girl would be generally construed as bad.

GCmag– If you could only see one musician’s live shows for the rest of your life who would it be?

Hoger– I don’t really go to concerts. But I saw this band called The Hooten Hallers in Iowa while on tour, and they blew my mind. We listened to their album for six days straight in the band van. If they can keep my attention for six days, they have a better shot than most at keeping it for a lifetime.

GCmag– Would you rather have all your toes cut off or all your fingers?

Hoger– My toes. My hands are kinda required for my line of work. You could actually take my right pinky finger though. I don’t use that one.

GCmag– If your entire band could have a superpower what would it be?

Hoger– Joint custody of a super power with the band?… hmm … That kinda depreciates the value of a “super” power, but I suppose it would have to be the ability to fly. Mainly cause we’ll never be famous enough to afford a jet plane.

GCmag– What record has had the most influence on the music you’re currently making?

Hoger– We are all on a heavy Neo-Soul binge right now, specifically D’angelo. Whether you can hear it or not, he has definitely influenced a lot of the music we have been cranking out lately.

Next, we hear from members from Ann Arbor natives, The Appleseed Collective. Violinist, mandolinist and vocalist Brandon Smith and frontman and guitarist Andrew Brown give us the word.

Grand Central Magazine (GCmag) – If you could live in one musical era when would it be?

Brown – The Roaring 20s

GCmag– Would you rather walk barefoot in a Lego factory or through a horse stable?

Smith– Lego factory. I would build a road as I went along.

GCmag– What genre do you think is making the most interesting music right now?

Brown– Genre is a dated word in the self-aware meta century.

Smith– I always think the most interesting music is wherever people are doing the most improvisation. Canned and composed music can be beautiful, but for my money I always want to see someone take a risk.

GCmag– If you could play music for five people, alive or dead, who would you choose?

Brown– Lord Buckley

Smith– For real? Probably five of my dead relatives.

GCmag– Would you rather receive free plane tickets for the rest of your life or free meals for the rest of your life?

Brown– Plane tickets.

Smith– At first I thought plane tickets because it sounds like the ultimate freedom, but really food forever seems even more freeing. I never have to worry about making another meal? Awesome.