Lockeland is a country trio that brings you straight-up contemporary country music with a throwback twist. The 3 members of this band are Mark Vikingstad, Michael Boris and Kyndon Oakes.
Lockeland has a new single, “Keep Us Young,” which will be available Feb. 14th. Lockeland charted in the top 40 with their debut single, “Til The Cows Come Home” in March 2019 and the band was recently ranked in the top 8 of Maverick Magazine “Artist To Watch” in 2020. Read the full exclusive interview with Lockeland below, there is a big chance that we will hear a lot more of them this year!
Why country music ?
Kyndon Oakes: Country music always tells a story. It has just been the type of music I have always been able to relate to.
Mark Vikingstad: When it comes to writing, we are storytellers and country music naturally lends itself to a good story or a heartfelt meaning/idea. Kyndon and Mark grew up with country music so when it came to writing we were very familiar with the genre.
Michael Boris: The stories and the messages behind the songs, I believe are a unique staple to the genre.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
Kyndon Oakes: Little Big Town and Diamond Rio….Can you imagine those Harmonies!?
Michael Boris: Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind and Fire, and Peter Cetera of Chicago.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
Kyndon Oakes: All of our songs mean the world to us but for me Keep Us Young and These Hands mean the most to me. Both for the same reasons and different reasons, Keep Us Young tells the story of old love and the growing of love. These Hands is about new love and holding on to love.
Mark Vikingstad: It’d have to be our latest single, “These Hands.” Not only does it have a great story behind the writing of it, but it was also the song that brought us together in the studio. It was the song that started Lockeland.
Michael Boris: That’s a difficult question to answer, because each song has something uniquely special about it, but if I had to pick one song to date, I believe it would be “These Hands”. This is the song that actually was the catalyst for the official forming of our band, Lockeland. Kyndon had hired me (Michael) to come into the studio to produce/arrange the song that both he and Mark had written. Though the three of us had been friends and performing music as separate business entities in the past, we decided after much time in the studio and working out the harmonies that we should combine our efforts and come together to form ONE entity… Lockeland.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
Kyndon Oakes: Vince Gill or Goo Goo Dolls.
Mark Vikingstad: In a town of so many incredible writers it’s really hard to choose.
Michael Boris: Honestly, I’d be honored by anyone who wrote a song with Lockeland in mind.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
Kyndon Oakes: I have collected old coins and money since I was a kid and have a very large collection.
Mark Vikingstad: I can sing the alphabet backwards!
Michael Boris: I’m colorblind, a Trekkie, love to cook, love history, I play the fife and if offered, I’ll always eat breakfast food at anytime of the day. I also used to ride horses quite a bit in high school and even did a few minor competitions.
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
Kyndon Oakes: I would be ok if Cruise by FGL never played again but that’s just because I have heard wayyyyyyy too many times.
Mark Vikingstad: “Before He Cheats” – it’s just one of those tunes that’s had it’s day. We get it he cheated, we get it you’ve got you’re revenge haha.
Michael Boris: I personally do not care to hear excessive programming and pop elements in country music. While I do love the pop genre and do not have a problem with any type of crossover, sometimes I can’t discern whether I’m listening to a pop artist, or a country artist. I’d like to see more of a return to country music retaining elements of the traditional roots. Storytelling, thought-provoking topics, steel guitar, fiddle, etc.
Describe the ultimate recording studio.
Kyndon Oakes: We record at Blue Grotto Sound and love it! I think the ultimate recording studio isn’t about the facilities, its about the sound you create and the chemistry you have with the studio and producers.
Mark Vikingstad: A facility which housed all natural reverb.
Michael Boris: We do most of all our recording at Blue Grotto Sound with Sean Spence. This is a gorgeous, professional studio with all the resources to craft quality music. I believe that in addition to having the necessary gear and construction in a studio, the people are what make a great studio experience. When you are comfortable with the producers, engineers, and musicians “behind the glass”, that’s when the real studio magic happens. We feel fortunate to have this at Blue Grotto Sound.
Johnny or June ?
Kyndon Oakes: I don’t think you can have Johnny without June. So, I pick both!
Mark Vikingstad: Johnny because “The Man in Black.”
Michael Boris: Both. June was the rose to Johnny’s thorns. Can’t have one without the other.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any “rituals” to calm you nerves.
Kyndon Oakes: Depending on the show, sometimes we get nervous but a good prayer and preparation go a long way!
Mark Vikingstad: Yes we do. We pray before every show right before we hit the stage and also, to get hyped we tell each other, “Remember! It’s a party. So party party party…”
Michael Boris: I’ve performed all my life, and I always have a feeling of anticipation before I get onstage. It’s less of a “nervous” element, and more of an excitement and adrenaline rush. The three of us say a prayer before every show, and remind each other to “party, party, party!” I also do some deep breathing right before I take the stage. Always helps set things in focus.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
Kyndon Oakes: I have too many to count but opening up for Big and Rich was pretty memorable, along with our UK tour!
Mark Vikingstad: Getting to open up for Cam on our U.K. Tour. That was just an incredibly responsive and loving crowd. They won us over with their commitment to the music and genuine honesty of getting to know who we were.
Michael Boris: I’ve been blessed to have many incredible moments in my musical career thus far. One that sticks out recently is performing our last song in Millport, Scotland on the Maverick Acoustic Stage. I’ve never heard a crowd respond as fervently and as passionate as they did to our music. They boldly demanded an encore. This touched all of us so deeply, because it was a moment when we realized that the songs we write, the production, the marketing and all the various business decisions, MATTER. Sometimes in the midst of building the “business” of Lockeland (or any artist entity), it’s easy to lose sight of how what you’re doing affects others. This was a great reminder of WHY we do what we do.