Kyle Pruzina, Holden Hastings, Mark Allen, William Farmer, Kirk Teachout chose “The Passport” as their group’s name to symbolize both their separate journeys to get where they are and their shared passion to spread their music around the world.
Their EP “Memories” released in March 2015 and was forged from a combination of each member’s past, from the band’s beginnings to present day. “We don’t try to pretend like we’ve only had good memories and that’s reflected in songs like ‘Trigger,’” says Pruzina, the band’s lead vocalist. “Sometimes we fall, but got to get back up again and keep trying.”
The music is best described as indie-rock with catchy pop-style hooks that offer goodtime vibes reminiscent of bands such as Foster the People and The 1975, whose song “Chocolate” they do a pretty mean cover of. While the EP is worth a download and listen, live shows are where these guys really shine. Their energy is infectious and songs like “Reruns” and “Running Out” get the shyest concert goers toe tapping along and the rest up and dancing. Even some of the more poignant songs on the record like “Trigger” are still memorable and fun.
Songwriting is a shared experience with each member contributing their own parts on the songs. Pruzina brings them a shell, and together they bring it to life. According to them, the sound and direction of the EP changed after getting into the studio—it got bigger, rhythmically fuller. “’Trigger’ was the hardest, biggest song initially and became the softest by the end of it,” says drummer Kirk Teachout. “We just love making things better. We approached this EP making sure we had a great product to give to Memphis and to give to the world.”
Although they’ve only been an official band for less than two years, their success is rapidly on the rise; nearly 2,000 people turned out for their Easter Eve show at the Levitt Shell in Memphis, Tennessee. However, it’s still a learning process for the bandmates as they try to keep a steady focus of what they want. “The key thing is figuring out what are we trying to do and figuring it out as a unit: as musicians, business people and as friends, too,” says Pruzina.
In addition to talking with management companies and booking agencies to further their musical careers, The Passport is already working on a new, longer EP anticipated to drop either late 2015 or early 2016. They plan to work with a full-time national producer but to keep the sound truly local by recording at Royal Studios with Boo Mitchell.
They don’t want to put out a full album, however, until they can debut at a level eligible for a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, a goal they plan to meet with practices until dawn and highly focused passion. Their motto? Sink or sleep. “We’re all busy with our own things and the only way we can make this work is by investing a lot of time into it,” says Pruzina.
A Trip Down Memories Lane
The Passport releases their first EP, Memories
Story & Photos by Mary Eckersley