Meet The Morning Kings

Music Monday – The Morning Kings

Every Monday the staff here at Five.Oh.Seven. Clothing sits down and meets with a local band, musician, and/or entertainer who has roots to our kick ass community. We get the insight on what it’s like to be a musician in our area, and what it takes to separate yourselves from the rest. We go inside with our local celebrities and find out just what it is that makes them tick, what keeps them moving, and we have them tell us some never heard before stories. Check back every Monday to meet a new group, hear some tunes, and find out where you can go to find more local music.

Meet The Morning Kings

Members: Cameron Smith, Drew Barbes, Dan Sauer, Kyle Truex, Andrew Conrad and Justin Bourassa

Founded: 2010

Genre: Alternative Acoustic-Rock

Sounds like: Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, O.A.R., John Mayer, David Gray

507: So, let’s start by having you guys tell us a little bit about yourselves.

We are a 6 piece band based out of Rochester. We have members that live in St. Cloud, Minneapolis, Winona and Rochester and we just released our debut EP called Sunrise.

507: How did you guys meet up and decide to start a band?

We all met each other in a confusing long story of accidents so here is the condensed version. We started a band in high school back in 04/05 because we wanted to have fun and just make music! Music was the common bond we had between us all and our styles just fit. We started The Morning Kings in 2010 as more matured and experienced musicians, knowing that we could really do something special with our new talents. Since we have played together back in the day it was a very comfortable fit. We set a goal to explore the depths of collaboration and improvement in ourselves as musicians.

507: Which one of you guys is the one always stressing out before the show, before recording his takes, etc. Every band has one. The total headcase guy…

The Morning KingsOverall we try to work as a team to make sure all things work out but Conrad and Drew are probably the shared head cases. They handle a lot of the background work with setting up and organizational situations. Sometimes in the music business the final details don’t quite fall into place until last minute and we have to scramble to make sure that things run smoothly. We are starting to get a bit more help now that we have great a booking agent.

507: Who wears the mom pants in the band? Making sure everyone is on time, where they need to be, and doing what they need to be doing?

Drew is wearing the mom pants for the business side of the band handling a lot of the background/organizational work. It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it… all the long email threads and annoying text updates to make sure everyone is aware of the plan and schedule. We hope we can find the right manager to do it someday.

In rehearsal Dan probably wears the mom pants He has an ear if something doesn’t quite sound right and puts some attention on the problem to fix it. We all collaborate in the music making process, it’s really an open forum.

507: Obviously you guys get a ton of chicks right?

Do we get a ton of chick’s only when we have instruments in our hands haha? Kidding aside we don’t really dabble in the groupie type thing but we are always receptive to talking to fans guys or girls.

507: You guys have been playing locally for a bit now, what are some of your favorite spots to play?

We enjoy doing the acoustic shows at the Wicked Moose and Big Brads on Broadway.. Full band shows are great at Kathy’s Pub and Wicked Moose!

507: What if you just want to go enjoy a show in town, where are you headed?

Kathy’s and Wicked Moose for sure!

Visit the store! 507: Rochester is admittedly not exactly a hot bed of music and music venues. What do you think we’re missing at this point?

Not having a formal four year college hurts a bit, which is where many music scenes come from. A lot of times that is where the talent will meet up as well as college music venues/bars will form. That being said the music scene within Rochester is growing with bands (like Push and Turn, Key Lime, Dogberry etc).. and there is a direct correlation to the changes that downtown has made. Downtown has to be able to harbor that creative stage, Kathy’s Pub and Big Brads on Broadway are great examples of this. Also venues like The Wicked Moose are establishing Rochester as a music destination. The city as a whole is embracing a better music culture with community events like Thursday’s on First , Rochesterfest Riverside Concerts, Mayo Civic Center hosting better shows (Wilco, Darius Rucker etc)…. They all play a part… Many people think music is only going on in the cities or at college towns and we need to remind the rest of the state that the 507 has a lot of people here with talent. We in the music community need to do a better job promoting ourselves and other local artist. Our goal as a band is to kick some dust, stir the pot and get the rest of the Minnesota’s to see Rochester in a different light.

507: You guys just released your first full length EP. I know you guys did some early recording out at the RCTC campus and then took to The Terrarium in Minneapolis. The Terrarium has been the proving ground of a lot of Minnesota musicians. They’re known, among a lot of other studios respectively, to be a big part of the “Minnesota Sound”. Having recorded Minnesotan’s, Haley Bonar, Mason Jennings, Trampled by Turtles, Johnny Lang, Owl City, and many more. They’ve also done a handful of national acts from Pink, Soul Asylum, Beck, Semisonic and a ton more.

507: A lot of people have no idea about the ‘black magic’ that goes into making a record. What was the process like?

Working with The Terrarium was an honor knowing all the great records that have been made there. We were able to work with Rob Osterlin who is from Rochester and a Century grad, it made the whole process a lot more comfortable. The black magic is coming into the studio as prepared as we can be and capturing the right take, feelings and moments on the record. The atmosphere in which a band records is very important it will change the vibe of a recording session. We were very happy, excited and upbeat throughout the process we think the EP reflects that.

507: How long did it take from your first day in The Terrarium until it was all finished?

The Morning Kings - Thursday's on FirstWe recorded Sunrise in February of 2012. It took 4 days total however these were 10+ hour days…. There are 6 of us in the band so we each had a lot of different parts to add to get the songs done. Rob is very efficient which helped us keep the ball moving. Sometimes artist/musicians can get distracted so we needed to stay in the zone as much as we could. We then worked with Greg Reierson at Rare Form Mastering and produced the album with Copy Cats Media.. We recorded in February, had our hard copies by May, and did a release party in late August. Overall, it has been a great experience however we are learning something new every day. There is a lot of legwork that goes into putting out an independent album.

507: Any immediate plans for a follow up?

Before going into the studio, we had a list of about 40 songs or so…and had to reduce them down to 5..Since then, we’ve written a bunch of new songs so we will be going through our list again and hopefully will be going back into the studio this winter….

507: How can our readers learn more about you guys?

Check us out at or

507: Well that’s about it for the questions for me. Anything you guys want to leave us with?

Our new album Sunrise cost $5 and it will be online for download soon. Come out to a show have a party with us!

Listen to the music video for ‘The Groove’

Check out a preview of The Morning Kings EP ‘Sunrise’

Are you in a band? Are you an artist or entertainer from the Five Oh Seven that would like to be featured here? Send us an e-mail and we’ll go from there!

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Dallas McLaughlin started Five.Oh.Seven. Clothing August 7th 2012. He set out to develop a brand that would capture all aspects of our lifestyles and showcase our unique traits in a visually innovative, simple, and creative way. Like many residents of the 507, he's inspired by art, passionate about life, intrigued by fashion, and music captures his soul.

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