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Tampa rock band One Mile Final talk about blending covers, originals

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One Mile Final are a genre-jumping pub-rock band that blend a mishmash of styles, ranging from folk to alternative to hip-hop to jam band … the list goes on. You can catch them on any given weekend at local venues such as the Brass Tap, World of Beer, Market On Seventh or Fly Bar.

They began as a cover band, but have recently been focusing on writing original material. Now that the band has released its debut EP, the four members are looking forward to getting back in the studio.

One Mile Final is Brian Spotts, lead vocals and rhythm guitar; Chase Wilder Collins, bass and backing vocals; Tim Burke, lead guitar; and Josh Davidson, drums. We spoke with the band's rhythm section.

Where did you come up with the name One Mile Final?

Collins: The name's a piloting term. Our lead singer got his (pilot's) license about 31/2 years ago … It's exactly what it sounds like to pilots: one mile final; they have 1 mile left to go in before they land.

How do you relate to the name of the band?

Collins: What it means to me is there's always room to move forward; there's always room to grow. If you look at the graphic on our CD, it's a paper airplane that's flying into a fan: you're never gonna get there.

Davidson: Always looking at the finish line, but you're always pushing forward as well.

How have you used this mindset to your advantage?

Davidson: We recorded the EP … we got our stuff on Rhapsody, Spotify, iTunes, Pandora … kinda decided to monetize it as well as do originals (as opposed to covers).

Does your ratio of originals to covers weigh heavier on originals side?

Collins: No. The thing about that is, you play enough of those shows, and you kind of get bored of the 20, 25, 30 covers that you know, so you start learning new ones, just to fill the time at those shows to pay the bills. We probably have 250 different covers in our repertoire.

Davidson: Originals, I'd say we have eight or nine.

Collins: And eight or nine more …

Davidson: … on the burner

Do you find your songwriting is influenced by the crowd's reaction to covers you perform?

Davidson: I'd say a little bit, at least.

Collins: But not a lot.

Davidson: We cover all sorts of different, not typical cover songs: Marvin Gaye, Jay-Z.

Collins: Dr. Dre, Outkast

Davidson: So yeah, when you get a good response to that, it will definitely point you in the direction.

Collins: A lot of our originals really do come from something we wrote; it's really not branched on "that kinda sounds like that song." We really try to stay away from that and (not) be too elementary.

What influences you?

Collins: Bob Schneider, he's an artist outta Austin, Texas. He's probably the heaviest influence on the band. His influences are so eclectic that it shows in his music, (and) that kind of translates to ours. We have some hip-hop, some Spanish-sounding acoustic rock, some basic radio rock.

Davidson: We adapted some of his style by playing some of his songs.

What is your songwriting method?

Collins: We all kind of write and try to bring it together. If it sticks, it sticks. If it doesn't, we scrap it. It really just depends on the song. If I have an idea that sticks with me, that kinda lingers long enough for me to remember it, I'll bring it to Brian and maybe it will morph into something.

Davidson: The songwriting does come from all different angles. We never try to leave it to one style or one way, as not to alienate anybody or put us in a box.

One Mile Final

The band will perform with Dropin Pickup at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Ringside Cafe, 16 Second St. N, St. Petersburg. No cover. For more on the band, see

Tampa rock band One Mile Final talk about blending covers, originals 01/15/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:43pm]
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