Pixley ~ California Country

Liz Rohrs and Josh Todd

Liz Rohrs and Josh Todd

Josh Todd and Liz Rohrs from the indie country band Pixley are going places. Pixley arrived on the scene two years ago, and they’ve already played the House of Blues in Los Angeles. When the band launched a Kickstarter to finance their first 4 singles, they met their goal within a week. Wow!

I love their hit Summer Nights, along with Underneath the Roses and Harken. I can’t pick a favorite. To me, their music has a country feel with pop influences.

Liz describes their music: “The cool thing about music is that you can look at what’s come before you and, if you know the rules, you can bend them. We wrote our first few songs in the traditional rules for folk and country. For the ballad Underneath the Roses, we added a layering effect beyond the melody in production. We added a folk edge to the song Harken. I would describe our music as varied and unique. We are able to write in a variety of different styles.”

Josh adds: “We made this rule. We didn’t want to be rudimentary. If the song is ‘yeah, I’ve heard that,’ then Boom! Add a new instrument. Disrupt that whole sound. At our first live show, we had 12 players.”

Liz Rohrs is classically trained on the violin. She plays in symphonies throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. Liz grew up in the 90’s loving Ska and pop music. She always wanted to try something new and fun, to break out of the serious world of classical music. Liz met Josh Todd online through Craigslist (a hidden gem to connect with musicians). Josh was interested in starting a country music project. The two joined forces and Pixley Band was born.

Liz explains, “As a violinist, fiddling is something we joke about in the classical world. To me, it’s fun and old school and something I’ve always wanted to get into.”

Josh Todd started touring in college. “When I went to college, my roommates were all in bands. I played with a musician name Chad Douglas. He was a little more established, and he asked me to go on a mini tour with him. I got an early high on playing live. I thought this was the coolest thing ever.”

Since college, Josh played guitar in several different bands. “I thought it would be really fun to take a crack at a different version of country. We started this ‘California Country’ music project called Pixley. I had the idea years ago and never acted on it. This was good timing. We both were in the same mindset.”

Pixley performingJosh Todd is a big fan of classic country singer George Strait. “It’s funny I say that, because you won’t really hear his influence in our music, but we definitely use some simple, old-fashioned George Strait chord progressions. Liz and I are so different in our backgrounds. She’ll say things like, ‘How about a Bruno Mars affect in this song or a John Legend affect?’ I never thought of bringing R&B into country.”

Josh is Pixley Band’s social media mascot: “I’m on every major social media site. ReverbNation is a big one. I found you through ReverbNation. I pull tactics on LinkedIn too, so I can meet promoters and producers and get instant feedback. Instagram and Twitter are great too, especially on show days. It’s nice to have all these big, glowing sites out there that do well for lesser known artists.”

Josh advises other artists: “Don’t be afraid to reach out. All the success we’ve had, like the House of Blues invite, happened because I just reach out and ask. It’s amazing what people have given us, the shots we’ve had so far. At the end of the day, what do you have to lose? They can always say ‘No,’  and you can always go back. That’s the cool thing about going online, it fades away and you can come back with another email or tweet. Don’t be afraid to go after it.”

Liz added, “In music, it takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication. Many bands give up after a year or two, because they realize how much time and how much work and how much patience it takes. I would stress perseverance, stick with it and do something you love. Don’t give up. Maybe it’s really about the joy of playing music at the end of the day.” Sage advice, Liz Rohrs.

What’s up next for Pixley? More writing. Josh and Liz get together a couple times a week to write. The band recently brought on a new writer, who adds a rock-and-roll feel to their new music. They have five songs in the works, which should be produced by the end of this year.

Excellent, I can’t wait to hear their new music.

Watch the complete video interview on the Amused Now YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/g8NHAsWdvTs

Amused Now Featured Artist Series

Pixley BW square Josh Todd and Liz Rohrs

Cynthia Kahn, Founder of Amused Now    


Pixley rehearsing