Muscadine Bloodline on Their Diverse Musical Style: ‘It’s Kinda Cool to Attack From Multiple Sides’
While sometimes it's unnerving to not fit the mold of a certain genre, Charlie Muncaster and Gary Stanton, who make up the duo Muscadine Bloodline, say that the diversity of their musical influences can be exciting, too.
"We haven't really carved out a lane, and sometimes that's scary," Stanton admits, "but people are taking what they want from us. We have all these different people coming to our shows. Maybe one song brings one kind of person to a show, and another song brings a completely different kind of person to the same show. It's kinda cool to attack it from multiple sides."
"We also have so many influences who haven't stayed the same over the course of their career," Muncaster adds, "so it's like we don't have to either. Why not change it up? It helps us stay motivated and push ourselves to something different on new songs, and keeps us in the mindset of being different and creative."
The duo's new EP, Movin' On, out Friday (April 27), showcases that diversity: The songs run the gamut from '90s country to pop to rock, and one track even includes a little bit of hip-hop.
"We wanna be able to put out a different kind of song at any point and not have our fans be shocked by it," Muncaster explains. "There's a lot of bands I grew up listening to that stayed in this one lane for their whole career, and then suddenly they put out this edgy record, and it kinda freaked me out a little bit! So we wanted to get the diversity in there from the jump."
Since Muscadine Bloodline don't have a label yet, the pair has more freedom to take risks and release songs that don't fit within a certain genre: "Since we don't have a record deal, it's kind of like open waters," Stanton says. Of course, self-releasing their EP brings challenges of its own, and without the backing of a label or country radio, Stanton and Muncaster rely heavily on social media.
"Really, the scenario right now is, that's all we have," Stanton goes on to say. "We really have to be active and engage with our fans."
"If you're not taking advantage of social media, then you're doing your fans and yourselves a disservice," Muncaster adds. "There are a few artists here and there who can do the whole mystery act thing, but for us, why not? In the beginning, that's all we did. We posted cover songs."
"With social media, there's more of a parallel between the fan and the artist, as opposed to the artist up on a pedestal," Stanton continues. "We have people coming up to us at shows and saying, 'It's not like we're just fans of you, we wanna have a beer with you. Y'all are just the coolest guys ever.' And we appreciate that, because in a grassroots model like this, the fan is everything."
However, there is one downside to social media's ability to make the fan-artist connection closer to a peer relationship: Sometimes, fans get a little too personal.
"Every now and then, people overshare," Muncaster admits. "I get it, they wanna talk, but there's certain things, and certain issues, where I don't have the answer. There's things like domestic violence or drug abuse -- and we do care! But sometimes, these questions are hard."
"Sometimes all you can do is say, 'Hey, I hate that you're going through this, and I'm praying for you,'" Stanton adds.
Looking ahead, 2018 is shaping up to be a year of firsts for Muscadine Bloodline: Earlier this month, the duo headed to Florida to play their first big beach show at the 2018 Tortuga Music Festival ("I'd also never played on a stage that spun around before," Stanton adds about that show). Next up, the country act will continue to travel new places and play more festivals and shows.
"One goal that's never not up at the top of our list is meeting more fans," Muncaster says. "Being able to meet them and look them in the eyes, there's no better feeling than meeting these good folks who spend their hard-earned money to come hang out. It even beats playing on stage. It really does."