MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
Introduce yourselves, what are your names and rolls in the band?
- The Petersens: Thanks for having us! It’s an honor to talk with you. We will start with the siblings first…We have Katie on the fiddle, Ellen on the banjo, Matt on the guitar and Julianne on the mandolin. The newest addition to our band is Emmett Franz on the dobro and we also have our lovely mom here with us on the bass.
MuzicNotez: You’re a family band, so I know how you all met up. But how long have you been doing this? What started it?
- The Petersens: We started playing music while our dad was in the Air Force. We were on a family road trip and stumbled across a bluegrass festival. Our parents saw families of all ages hanging out together and sharing something together besides watching TV or playing video games and were sold. We met Emmett in 2017 when he filled in for us for a couple shows and he was so talented and fun to be around we knew we needed to have him join us full-time.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the band you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- The Petersens: Alison Krauss and Union Station is probably the band we all share the love for the most, but we also grew up listening to a lot of John Denver. We each have individual artists that have influenced us as well.
MuzicNotez: You’ve done a lot of great live shows, what’s the most memorable concert to date?
- The Petersens: The first time we played music in Ireland will always be memorable. They appreciate music and artistry so much and it’s fun to share our American roots music with another culture.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for your band to achieve in your career? Any particular message you wish to send?
- The Petersens: There are definitely some venues like the Grand Ole Opry and Red Rocks that are on our bucket list to perform in. For now we are just so thankful that we are able to support ourselves and play the music that we love. We are so humbled by all the messages we received from people who watched our YouTube videos and listened to our music during the lockdowns. Our prayer is that our music and content will always be uplifting and bring people together.
MuzicNotez: This pandemic has had a big impact on the entertainment industry, how has it affected you? How has your band adapted?
- The Petersens: Our band had our heaviest tour schedule to date heading into 2020 and, just like everyone else, all those shows were canceled. We quickly refocused all our efforts to uploading content online and started a Patreon page for our fans. We also came out with live albums from our YouTube videos and recorded a Christmas album. Our online content kept growing and we received over 70 million views on our YouTube channel in 2020 alone which is crazy for a little family band in the Ozarks. Now that our show in Branson, Missouri has reopened, it has been so fun to meet all the people that watched our videos last year.
MuzicNotez: You have pushed a lot of videos on YouTube and built up over 500k subscribers and over 100 million views. Did your family ever imagine things would come this far?
- The Petersens: Definitely not! We have just always prayed that the Lord would use our music to encourage people and it has been so fun hearing stories from people who have started family bands because they saw us on YouTube or finally picked up that banjo their grandpa handed down to them after watching a video. It’s motivating that what we have put out there has generated such positive responses.
MuzicNotez: Outside of your latest YouTube videos, your latest release is the Christmas album ‘Christmas with The Petersens’. It’s a really beautiful album and will definitely be making it on to my Christmas playlists moving forward. The album charted on the Billboard Bluegrass charts for a while, how does it feel to have your hard work pay off like that?
- The Petersens: We were thrilled, of course! The Christmas album has been our favorite project to date and we loved getting all the pictures and videos on social media of families setting up the Christmas tree or opening presents while listening to our music.
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- The Petersens: Julianne just got back from her first year in college and we are excited to put more YouTube videos out again! We also are touring with Bass Pro’s US Open Fishing Tournament and at a few other venues in California, Colorado, and Texas. All of that fun info can be found on our website at www.petersenband.com.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- The Petersens: Thanks for having us on MuzicNotez! We are just so grateful to everyone that supported us and other musicians through 2020. We are all in this together and look forward to being a part of putting wholesome and uplifting music out there for people to enjoy.