Passion and improvisation, the recipe for sweet harmonies

When Joel Tomkinson,25, his brother Nate, 28, and their friend Ryan Hsu,29, were sitting in their driveway strumming their acoustic guitars and mandolin waiting for their Jimmy John’s delivery, they didn’t have any thoughts of a band name. However, when the delivery man asked them what their name was, Joel unthinkably responded with “Fruit Smoothie Trio”.

When asked where he found that name, he responded: “It was from my head…but like….straight from God.”

From that point on, these three gentlemen, along with former ‘My Name is Hero’ drummer Scott Sheldon,23, began their journey as an officially named band.

           Fruit Smoothie Trio has recorded seven albums, one of which was recorded professionally. The band would regularly record in Hsu’s basement and up to this point, they have produced one of their seven albums. The band has a “girly folk” sound, with lyrics that usually revolve around relationships or other sentimental things.

Joel and his brother usually write the lyrics for their songs. However, a lot of their sound comes from improvisational “lispression”. According to Joel, lispression is using words like “kookookachoo” to make the song that much better.

“[We are] best at lispression,” said Joel. “We don’t really play any instruments good…or well. But we do lispression really great. When we take our lispression to the next level, we will take ourselves to the next level.”

           Anyone who has ever seen the Fruit Smoothie Trio knows that they cover songs regularly for their crowds and are usually open for requests. They know many songs, but even for those they do not know, they use their ear to play it. In fact, the Fruit Smoothie Trio is a very relaxed band.

“We don’t take a lot of initiatives….[we have] no manager, we don’t practice…we like practiced once for something we didn’t get paid for,” said Joel. “We just rely on natural talent.”

Their love for music is what makes this group great, for they don’t focus on the aesthetics, but rather the heart of their sound.

           “I think we could take over the nation or the world,” said Joel. “Easily. One football arena at a time. But for now we are playing at a bunch of crappy bars in Winston Salem.”
If you wish to help the Fruit Smoothie Trio’s dreams come true, you can catch them at Finnegan’s Wake on October 27th in Winston Salem for their third straight Halloween Bash, or pick up their self-titled album on iTunes. Also, be on the lookout for their new album, ‘Me My Brothers and You’ to be released soon.

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.