News Story Project 2 Notes
The story will cover The Vegan Llamas and their musical performances at Liberty. It will cover their previous musical performances, future plans, what the name is from, and what kind of music inspires them. I will interview Noah Felten, the bassist, and the “keytarist” of the group Connor Denton and hyperlink to their performances, Facebook page and any news I can find on them.
Questions for Noah Felten:
1: When and where did the Vegan Llamas begin?
We tell a different story every time. But honestly it started spring semester last year, and there was a comedian that came to convocation, and he randomly in his bit mentioned vegan llamas and made a joke about how people will probably make a Facebook page about it and some friends of ours did make a Facebook page about it, and it happened to be the same day we were auditioning for coffeehouse and couldn’t think of a band name so we were like ‘Vegan Llamas’ and so that’s how we got our name.
2: What would you say are the group’s main musical influences?
Honestly, we’re pretty hick as far as music is concerned. So country music primarily. Also a good metal influence I would say. Myself, I actually grew up with southern gospel, so we kind of range all over the place. Our keytar player is a classical pianist so we range every direction.
3: How many performances have the Vegan Llamas had?
In coffeehouse we’ve been three times. There’s spring last year, Christmas, and then this one.
3.5: Which one was your favorite?
I loved the Christmas one a lot. This past one was a lot of fun but I just like the other one more.
4: How long have you been playing and performing music?
I started with music and worship in my church in the 10th grade, so I guess now almost seven years or six years.
5: What influences your groups song choices for what you’re performing?
We look for something that people will enjoy. We want to put on the best show for the people to enjoy the most. If when we’re thinking about songs we think about ‘what are people going to talk about/enjoy and have the most fun with’? Like with the Grinch we were trying to think of a song that people know, that’s not like a “rinky tinky” Christmas song that we just re-harmonized or something, but something can connect with people, that people can have fun with, and the Grinch is just a fun character in a chirstmas story. Our goal is to be the most fun.
6: Has the group written any Vegan Llamas originals?
Yes, we actually have several songs and they haven’t been released yet, but we’re working on them.
7: What’s the most rewarding part of being part of the band?
I just enjoy being friends with the guys. They’re some of my best friends here at school and sharing experiences like coffee house and the work that it takes to get there really shows a connection with people, and I can see them on campus or wherever and say ‘sup’?
8: What’s your fan base like?
As or right now, we started a Facebook group after Christmas because people enjoyed it so much, and there’s just over 500 likes after this past weekend. And it’s usually slowing. This is when we either just tell people by word of mouth or stuff like that. I would say as far as a consistent following that wants to see something happen, I would say probably 100-150 people really want to see something happen.
9: What are the future plans for the Vegan Llamas?
Okay so, we have school still, we’re all juniors, but we’re thinking the summer after graduation trying to set up our own tour. It may not be a big or important tour, but it could be something that is just fun for us to do. Whether it’s just playing in a bar or small shows or kids camps or something like that. It could be lots of fun.
10: What genre would you put yourself under?
I would say we have synth rock going on, it can be progressive, it can be classic 80’s rock kind of, but definitely rock. It’s hard to define because we’re still trying to figure out our specific sound, especially with our original songs being written, but it will definitely be in the rock genre.
Questions for Connor Denton:
1: How did you personally get involved with the Vegan Llamas?
I was friends with Noah, the bass player for the Vegan Llamas, he was my SLC actually when I was at the Annex (B-2, whoop whoop!) and he knew I wanted to get involved in coffeehouse and he said actually his group, they were doing a song but they didn’t really have a full sound and he was like ‘hey, I know you have keytar (cause he knew I had a keytar) and he’s like ‘do you have an organ sound on that keytar, and I was like ‘ I do actually’ ‘do you wanna play with the Vegan Llamas?’ and I’m like, ‘sure, lets do it!’ so that’s kind of how it happened. He knew I had a keytar and he knew that I could play, and so I just hopped in and they’re like ‘yeah this guy’s cool… lets do it’ thats basically how it happened.
2: How long have you been playing piano?
3: When did that progress into the keytar?
I forget when I first knew what a ketar was, when I first discovered them, but like, I saw it, and I knew I wanted one. but I think I’ve been doing keytar for like, maybe four years now? It’s hard to say, I bought my first one online from ebay and I recently got a second one. The one I have right now, the one I’ve been using for the last few coffee houses is a Rolland X Synth and then the other one I have is Core condfjvnvfdj.
4: What’s been your favorite Vegan Llama performance?
I think the Grinch *Tallent nods in agreement* the grinch was so far I think. That was our peak. I think Freebird was very close… (Tallent: You don’t say that! You don’t say that!) Unison: It wasn’t our peak. Denton: The Grinch was my favorite. Definitely my favorite.
5: What’s been the most rewarding part of being in the band?
It’s really fun to be able to play with musicians who both have a very similar skill level and also very similair drive. they have the same ambition, because it’s really hard to find that. I think that’s the one thing. Play with guys who are dedicated and very skilled, and I think the other thing is also putting on entertaining shows. Playing shows you know people will get hyped up for. Shows that entertain people. It’s so much fun.
With Nick Henretty (lead vocals) and Jacob Tallent (lead guitar)
6: What’s your fan base like in terms of demographic and size?
Henretty: One of the girls in my sister hall said that we’re fairly popular with the Eagle Scholars, which I don’t know too many of them but… (Tallent: random people. (Henretty: Yeah, it’s very ecclectic. (Denton: I know as of last coffee house we brok 500 likes on our Facebook page. I think we’re at 560 now. That’s pretty cool. (Henretty: As compared to some bands at at like, 5 million, 500 is a big deal for us. (Tallent: Especially because we’ve done like, three things.
7: What do you see in the future of the Vegan Llamas?
Denton: I see the future as we’re going to do our best to stay together. We gel very well as a band, so we’re going to play next coffee house, and we’re gonna play the next coffee house after that.
Tallent: If they let us.
Denton: Hopefully we’d like to get a concert here on campus with student activities. i think that’d be awesome.
Henretty: We’ve been talking a little bit with Jake Ziegler and his band, and he wants to do a show together next semester. That’d be really exciting. We want to get our stuff together and maybe go on tour after we graduate just for the summer to get our feet wet.
8: What genre would you say the Vegan Llamas are?
Tallent: Rock. Rock. (Henretty: I’d say prog-rock if anything becuase I mean like, we’re writing stuff it could be just straight rock with key synth. We got some stuff in order for the banjo (Tallent: Butal. (Henretty: I think prog-rock
Vegan Llama viewer:
1: What was your first impression of the Vegan Llamas?
2: How would you describe their music?
3: What was your favorite performance by the Vegan Llamas?
4: What do you think makes the Vegan Llamas unique?
5: What would you like to see from the Vegan Llamas in the future?
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/veganllamasofficial/?fref=ts
Christmas Coffee House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MuY_tFrVu4&feature=youtu.be
Spring Coffee House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EO9oEGRcuuc&feature=youtu.be
Champion Article: https://www.liberty.edu/champion/2016/04/legendary-performance/
“While all the performances showcased incredible energy and talents, the last act of the night astonished listeners with its musical ability. The Vegan Llamas ended the evening with a legacy all their own after the group’s mind-blowing guitar solos during its cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird,” according to Liberty student Will Grahams.
“I cannot even put into words how incredible their performance was,” Grahams said. “The riffs from the bass guitarist left me absolutely speechless. I don’t know that it’s possible to play “Free Bird” better than Lynyrd Skynyrd, but if it is, they definitely did it.””