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Pillow Talk: U of M alumni following the path of music

Under a giant moose bust wearing a Budweiser baseball cap with protruding antlers and one missing ear, two members of the local band, Pillow Talk, sat for a chat.

Lead singer, Josh Cannon, 23, of Memphis is an alumnus of the University of Memphis in journalism.

“Music has been the only thing that makes sense to me. It’s what makes me tick,” Cannon said. “It took me all the way to get a degree to realize that I can’t force myself to be interested in something else.”

Cannon said him and Calvin Lauber (guitar, vocals), started this band, but they have been playing music together since high school.

“Three years ago, we decided to do something different,” Lauber said.

Lauber, 22, of Springfield, Ohio has been in Memphis most of his life.

“For the first time we have a real vision for what we want to sound like,” Lauber said. “And we all mesh creatively so we can get in a room to write songs we all like.”

Cannon said the first couple years of Pillow Talk were a struggle as they tried to figure out their sound and have solid band members beyond him and Lauber.

“Right now is the healthiest spot we’ve ever been in,” Cannon said. “We’re going to write a record at the end of June.”

They returned this week from a 10-day tour in Florida and parts of Tennessee.

“It was good to get out on the road and test drive the new songs,” Cannon said. “It was the first tour we’d done in months.”

The other band members are Kevin Gibson (guitar), Bailey Patterson (bass) and Sam Leathers (drums).

“When the band first started, we did a lot of the booking ourselves,” Lauber said. “But, as of last year, our label hooked us up with a booking agent that helped us with this past tour.”

Lauber said they were signed with Animal Style Records in October 2014 after they heard the music they were working on.

“It was a do-it-or-bust type of thing,” Cannon said. “We got involved with a label, Animal Style, and we owed it to ourselves and them to write a record.”

Pillow Talk released a demo titled “Monogamy” on soundcloud in January.

Lauber said they plan to include it on the 10-song album they’re recording in San Francisco this summer.

“What’s better than constantly being able to make sense of ideas in your head?” Cannon said. “With making records, playing music and travelling, it feels very important to me.”

Brandon Caradine, 22, of Memphis said he has played bass and gone on tour with Pillow Talk before.

“I’m the Pillow Talk booty call,” Caradine said. “We’re not in a serious relationship, but they know that if they call me when they need me, I’ll be there.”

Caradine went to high school with Lauber and Cannon. He is currently Cannon’s roommate.

“In terms of describing the music they are making now, one of the biggest things I’ve noticed in their growth is they’ve progressed into their own sound,” Caradine said.

Lauber, Cannon and Caradine all said the Pillow Talk band members are all influenced by very different music that contributes to their unique sound.

“It feels good to know that we’re doing it because we want to and not because we’re trying to make a lot of money,” Lauber said.

Cannon and Lauber said their music has been described as Indie Pop. They can be found on pillowtalktn. as well as Spotify or Apple Music.

“We take elements of abstract sounds and pair that with straightforward pop melodies,” Lauber said. “A lot of the time a new song starts with just an idea or a riff.”

Cannon and Lauber said the theme of their new album is about life long relationships, not just romantic ones.

“The only reason I write songs is to express the s**t that doesn’t makes sense to me in hopes that someone else can connect to it,” Cannon said. “Life is supposed to be a struggle, getting through it, persevering and making something meaningful of it.”

Lauber said he has always loved music and nothing else has ever struck an interest in him.

“When I’m not playing music, I don’t see where I fit into things on a daily basis,” Cannon said. “We’re not a famous band. Sometimes it’s sketchy and dirty. It’s not really a sane decision. I do it because I have to.”

“I feel more focused than I ever have in my entire life,” Cannon said.

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