The Cajuns would call Noel Sandberg lagniappe.
Ryan Cron and Erin Haley, both 27, have been playing acoustic, folk-pop music together for many years in Salt Lake City. The now-married duo first met one another as they both played music for no money in coffee shops as teens, with “angsty, awkward, heart-felt” tunes, as they call it.
But the band came alive when Noel Sandberg, also 27, was hanging out at work and singing to herself, when she caught Haley’s ear.
Sandberg agreed to join the band, and Bullets & Belles was born.
“[I’m] completely third-wheeling the Cron-Haley music-love-train,” Sandberg said.
Sandberg and Haley, both University of Utah grads, and Cron, a Salt Lake Community College student, talked to The Tribune about their self-described “vocally driven, harmony heavy, acoustic,pop-doo wop-folk mashup,” their inspirations, and what song they would perform for President Oback Obama.
What are your inspirations?
Haley: I am inspired by long-lasting unconventional relationships, strong, soulful women, catchy melodies, breaking rules, and the battle of being human.
Sandberg I am inspired by moments that wake you up from the every-day mundane. I love elements of drama and depth that remind you of how complex we all are.
Cron: I’m inspired by those who are willing to take chances to see their visions through.
What is the goal for your album, to be released at your record release show at The State Room?
Haley: I hope that the album helps at least one person feel better about a trial they’re enduring or have endured, and they look around and feel glad anyway. The final song has the line “If you seek beauty, you’ll find it. There’s love along the way. There’s music — it has something kind to say.” I want our musical words to bring some beauty, love, and kindness to a person that is in need of it. Hopefully over and over again.
Sandberg: One goal I think we had was to make the album fun. We toyed a lot with tempos, harmonies and instrumentation and I think that playfulness comes through in the sound. I would want everyone who hears it to feel like they are playing with us.
Cron: Sonically, we wanted to take the sound we got on [our]“Curried Rice EP” back in time. We were also able to spend more time on production and arrangements, so we were really able to dial our sound in.
What are your most memorable experiences in music?
Haley: Several years ago, the first time Ryan and I completed a song together — via e-mail —I listened to it weepy eyed with headphones on and I knew my life would never be the same again. I was right.
Cron: Going over to Erin’s house to play music with her for the first time.
If you could list one or two things on a tour rider that must be backstage at a show, what would they be?
Band: We’re pretty easy-going. Probably Red Bulls and Champagne. And pizza. In a perfect world, it would be dog beds and toys for our four-legged companions, as we like them to come to as many gigs as possible.
What is the most musical thing in the world?
Band: A human being.
If you could perform one song for President Barack Obama, what would it be?
Band: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long ( To Stop Now ),” by Otis Redding .
What are your musical new year's resolutions?
Band: Go on tour. Play at The Depot, and open for Dr. Dog.
What would you name Princess Kate Middleton’s child, and why?
Band: Who’s Kate Middleton?
What are you most thankful for?
Band: We are thankful for our families and friends and all of the support that’s contributed to our successes. Like being able to play music with friends at an awesome venue like The State Room on January 4.
— Record release show
Bullets & Belles with Triggers & Slips
When • Friday, Jan. 4, 9 p.m.
Where • The State Room, 638 S. State St., Salt Lake City
Tickets • $10 at thestateroom.com