By JAY KENNEY
Hailing from Blackstone, Mass., The October Accord is an alternative/pop-punk band consisting of founding members Kerri Gross (vocals) and Holly Desautels (guitar), as well as Josh Remillard (guitars), Austin Eskeli (bass) and Taydon Kennett (drums). The band was founded in 2010 and has established itself as an “energetic” live act with a loyal following throughout New England. They were semi-finalists in this year’s annual WBRU Rock Hunt and will be performing this Thursday, July 10th, on the Break Thru Music Stage at the Vans Warped Tour in Mansfield, Mass. We recently caught up with Holly Desautels who was kind enough to answer questions for us on behalf of the band.
Limelight Magazine (LM): The October Accord is going to be performing on the Break Thru Music Stage at the Vans Warped Tour in Mansfield, Mass., on July 10th. How excited are you about being able to play this highly coveted concert?
Holly Desautels (HD): We are beyond excited to be playing the Warped Tour this year in Mansfield! When we got the news that we were invited, we basically went crazy for a few days. We had to keep it a secret for about six months. That was hard [because] we just wanted to tell everyone! It’s so amazing to be playing alongside of some of our favorite bands!
LM: Earlier this year, you were selected as a semi-finalist in WBRU’s annual Rock Hunt. Although you didn’t end up winning, what was that experience like for everyone in the band?
HD: WBRU Rock Hunt was such an honor to perform in. It was so cool for us knowing that we were chosen out of so many bands because people genuinely liked our music. I think that was probably the biggest thing for us, knowing that we were playing a show where we had earned a spot through the hard work we put into making our songs as likeable as possible. It was awesome to be able to meet [WBRU Program Director] Wendell Gee and the rest of the BRU crew and also the other bands playing! They are all such great people.
LM: While we haven’t seen the band perform live yet, we’ve heard the word “energetic” used a couple of times to describe The October Accord. What sets your live performances apart from other local bands?
HD: We try to be really fun on stage. That way the crowd wants to have fun with us. Our drummer Taydon really helps us out with that because he plays with such energy. It really lets us and everyone else feel the beat. We also have some really cool new effects that we will be using on stage starting at our next few shows, but everyone has to be there to find out what they are!
LM: What do you like most about performing live?
HD: Performing live is just really fun over all. The best part though is when the crowd shows us that they like what we are doing and they sing, or dance, or jump along with us. It really makes it worth the energy we put into it ourselves.
LM: The band has been together for a few years now. How did the band originate and why did you decide to call yourselves The October Accord?
HD: Kerri and I had talked about starting a band ever since middle school when we used to take guitar lessons at the same place. It all really started when we found out our friend Jesse could play drums. For a while we just played in my basement with either Jesse and I while Kerri was away on vacation or all three of us. Sometimes we would invite other people to play too. Eventually we found two other people who we really liked to play with, and they stuck around for a pretty long time. We had our first show in October (2010) at a Halloween party in my back yard and that was when we finally decided to be more serious about being a band. We all agreed that we all wanted to see where we could go with it, hence, The October Accord!
LM: You’ve had a few line-up changes, but things seem to be consistent now. What makes this line-up of musicians work?
HD: This line-up has been so good for us because we are all so similar and we are all really good friends. That’s honestly probably the biggest thing that makes this line-up so perfect for us. Being close friends makes it easy.
LM: You released a video on Jan. 1, 2014, for the song “Better Off Without You.” Why was that song selected for a music video? How long did it take to make? Did you have fun making it?
HD: We chose “Better Off Without You” because we had just recorded it as a single at No Boundaries Studios with Chris Piquette. We loved the song so much that we decided to release it in the form of a music video, as well as on iTunes, Spotify, and many other websites. The video was really fun to make. We worked with Mitch Gamache, who I met during my first week of college. He was so fun and friendly to work with. Overall, the music video was very fun to shoot and only took us a day to film. Mitch stayed up the entire night and had the whole thing put together for us the next day!
LM: What are some of the band’s immediate plans after the gig on July 10th?
HD: Two days after Warped tour we are playing an acoustic set at The Middle East with The Stolen! Then we will be at the Lucky Dog in Worcester on July 24th and we also have some really cool shows coming in August too, like Cumberland Fest. We’re finishing up our EP the two days before Warped Tour, so we will be releasing that soon after as well!
LM: What are some of the band’s long-range plans?
HD: In a few months, everyone will be heading back to college, but we still plan on keeping up with the band. We will travel from school to play any bigger show opportunities that we get. We still plan on working to get the band to keep moving forward and getting our music as “out there” as possible, even if it takes a bit longer.
LM: Lastly, what’s the best part about being in this band?
HD: The best part about being in this band is definitely who I’m in it with. Whenever we are together, I can always count on many laughs and a good time. I couldn’t ask for better friends to be doing this with.