What are your names and where are you from?
Regina: My name is Regina Strayhorn AKA Clarissa and I’m from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Sydney: I’m Sydney Shephard AKA Bonanza Jellyfish and I’m from Hickory, North Carolina
Adrian: and I’m Adrian Blake Enscoe AKA Roy Dodger from Earlville, New York
All together what do you call yourselves?
Bandits: Bandits on the Run
What are you guys doing here on the farm this week?
Regina: We are working on some new songs and communing with nature.
Sydney: We have been a band for about two years now and right now we are in the process of making our first full length album. The songs that we’re doing on the album are songs that have been with us for a long time and we’ve been dissecting to make perfect. We wanted to use this trip as a way to create new material. Also to work on collaborating with each other a bit more. We all write songs for the band but a lot of the time it will be mostly one person’s song that they share and we’ll sort of add to it. We’re trying to riff more off of each other in the same room. We have one song that we’ve been working on so far that was very much that way.
Regina: By far the most collaborative song we’ve ever done which is really exciting.
Regina & Sydney: We’re here getting our voices all blended.
Adrian: I’m just here for the food
All: Not a bad reason to be here
When did you all meet and start playing together?
Regina: Well Sydney and I met through school we went to highschool and college together at UNC School of the Arts. We were both acting majors and during the year sort of randomly we would make music together.
Sydney: We made it a tradition to do a song together every year.
Adrian: You had a name for it right?
Regina & Sydney: WE WERE CALLED MILK & HONEY
Regina: Get it? Get it? She’s the milk and I’m the honey. Now I realize there are so many bands called milk & honey I didn’t know that at the time.
Sydney: Adrian and I met in the subway which is pretty funny. He was busking, playing guitar in the subway.
Adrian: I was a Bandit even back then.
Sydney: I was coming back from a party and I liked his song so we started talking. We’ve been together kind of ever since.
Adrian: Kind of.
Sydney: Definitely, actually. We played music for a couple months and then Regina moved up.
Regina: I moved in with Sydney in the same apartment. It just became this melting pot where the three of us were there all the time. We started playing together and there was no moment in my mind where were like “we’re a band now”
Sydney: but Adrian had been scheming about it for a while.
Adrian: Sydney would talk about Regina and showed me some of the songs…
Sydney: and you were like “we’re gonna play music with her” but I don’t think we ever foresaw it becoming such a huge part of our lives.
Adrian: I did, I was like this is gonna be the thing, and it was.
Sydney: We started playing in the subways a lot in the city. That was the only thing we would do in terms of playing out.
Adrian: I had been playing a lot. I graduated school a year earlier from Carnegie Mellon as an Acting student and I was probably the only busker in Pittsburg where I was. When I moved to New York I continued doing it. So I got them to come down into the Subway with me. People were really engaged from the get go so I knew we’d found something special.
So I think we’re in the spot right now….has this [the parlor] become your favorite place to work on the farm?
Sydney: I interned here a long time ago and I never thought of this as a work space. Its nice because there is a piano, we don’t really use it that much, but there is something about making music in a room with a piano that’s really nice. It’s sunny and you don’t really want to be outside that much with instruments.
Adrian: We have the Ryders here
Sydney: Yeah we have our family portraits on the wall.
Adrian: We’re working on a song called True Ryder and so we felt like it was fate.
Regina: I think they enjoy being sung to.
This is also one of the oldest parts of the house, It was build in 1795, its springy in there because they would use it as a dance hall, right out there [in the living room]. Its got a lot of history.
Adrian: feels like good history...sometimes you can go into a house and you feel like there’s been bad shit that’s happened here
Sydney: The juju is really good in here.
If you had to be reincarnated into farm animals what would your farm animals be?
Regina: There’s a duck over there that was outside of the cage but was still hanging out with everybody. I feel like I would want to be reincarnated into that particular duck. Ducks are magical creatures. I was recently talking about this. They can walk, they can fly and they can swim. No one gives them any street cred but they’re really cool.
Sydney: I like that they look so graceful on the water but their little legs are (imitates fast moving legs). Ducks are pretty cool. The horses are magnificent. I would probably come back as a horse. That dog “boy” was pretty cool though, he get’s a lot of love, but I’d probably be a horse. What about you? (To Adrian)
Adrian: Baaaaaah, no.
Sydney: That blacksheep is a badass though.
Adrian: Yeah a true Black Sheep...but no I think I’d want to be a barn cat. They actually have an important job in the farm to catch the mice. He also thinks he owns the place.
Regina: He does own the place.
Tell me more about these characters that you’ve created
Adrian: They are kind of mirror images of us. If I wanted to be told as a myth it would be the myth of Roy Dodger. He is kind of a con man who thinks he’s the leader of the pack but is also a blunder-y fool. There is a clown element to all of these characters. The backstory is that he was born of aristocratic heritage and ran off to join the circus. He has this big family that is everywhere.
Sydney: and these people actually do exist. We play with other people sometimes...lots of white dudes who play guitar so we’ll say “this is roy’s brother ray”. They’ve become a part of the mythology. But he’s [Roy] a goofball with a heart of gold.
Regina: Making things happen but not really sure how. My character Clarissa is a clairvoyant and has a mysterious history. No one is really sure how old she is. No one’s sure where she’s been. Has a very strong sense of what she finds funny that everyone else may not think is funny. A joke like this one. A man walks into a bar, sits down and he hears a voice going “oh my god look at your shirt you look amazing today”. So he turns around and goes “oh my god who said that”? And the bartender goes “oh it’s the peanuts (pause) they’re complimentary”.
Adrian: Wah wah wah waaaaahh [flat joke tag impression]
Regina: Clarissa would hear that and go crazy. She’s a little cuckoo. A little off kilter.
Sydney: The myth of Bonanza Jellyfish is like how Aphrodite rose from the sea she appeared fully formed in a storm cloud one day randomly. She’s probably the most actual cowboy of the bunch. She would know how to legitimately shoot a gun or tie a lasso. She’s the strong silent type. The one who would get into a fight the easiest. In our kickstarter video she goes to visit an old friend from her biker days. She has an edge to her.
Adrian: She’s the badass.
Where can the people find you?
Sydney: We’re all over the internet. We have a facebook page, Instagram and twitter handle all Bandits on the Run. We have a website that is pretty cute banditsontherun.nyc.
Adrian: You can Google us...
Regina: and we’re the first to pop up!