Pulling from rock and jazz, Fauquier musicians reach across genres
By Beth Luna, Photos by Tyler Benson
If you live in or around Warrenton and enjoy frequenting favorite local spots like Molly’s, Powers Farm & Brewery, or Denim & Pearls, you may have heard the music of Fountains. Founded in 2019 after musicians Sean Stanton and Chris Drerenberger broke from their previous band The Bottle Shop, Fountains plays both originals and a curated list of covers from artists like the Beatles, Fleet Foxes, Steve Winwood, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and many more. Sean (vocals/guitar/keyboard), Chris (bass), and drummer Blayne Laures are planted in the area — writing music, safely rehearsing, working other jobs, and waiting for the train wreck that COVID 19 has created for live entertainment to clear so they can build on their momentum. We caught up via Zoom to chat about it all.
Warrenton Lifestyle: How did Fountains come together?
Fountains (Sean): Chris and I have been playing music together for a while — we had a band called The Bottle Shop and played in Maryland. I was the drummer at the time and really wanted to sing and play guitar, so we shifted away from that group. We got together with Blayne on drums for our first show at Molly’s a year and a half ago; when we first played with him at soundcheck for that show, we knew it was going to be a good thing!
WLM: What inspired the band’s name?
Fountains (Sean): I used to write songs under the moniker “The Fountain of Youth” years ago. When we formed the band, we wanted to use a similar name. It’s my little homage to music being a fountain of youth in its own right, keeping you young and bright.
WLM:Describe your sound for readers who haven’t heard the band
Fountains: Fountains is influenced by rock and folk with some jazz (Sean went to school for jazz drumming, actually). We play a lot of cover songs alongside our originals, maybe not super popular songs like “Don’t Stop Believing,” but by the time we are done playing an unfamiliar song, people love it even if they hadn’t heard it before. We cover songs by Foo Fighters, Steve Winwood, the Beatles, The Weeknd, Fleet Foxes, Radiohead, Kings of Leon — all over the map. When we play outdoors, and that is where we’ve been during the pandemic, we can rock out and be as loud as we want. Inside, we can take it down and do just fine set up in the corner at a tiny bar.
WLM: What is your writing process like?
Fountains: We write so many songs together during practice — kind of magic — we all come with ideas and play off each other. Writing a song is difficult to do, and Sean tends to do it by himself pretty often, but with the band our ideas flow and we all respect each other’s input. We have been writing more during quarantine, of course. Blayne is the rare drummer who has a huge ear and can write on guitar and piano.
WLM: What have the challenges been during COVID for you and for local entertainment, and how has the band weathered the pandemic?
Fountains: We felt like we were on a cool up and up last January and February. We had a ton of shows on the calendar, and then when the virus hit, everything came to a halt. Now, very few shows are happening for all performers, especially until the weather gets warmer and we can play outside. The first few months were difficult staying at home, plus Blayne has a daughter so we stopped rehearsing. Sean set up a studio, and Blayne has one too, so we decided it was a good time to concentrate on recording some original music. In April, Fountains released our first single “Difference To Me,” on Spotify and iTunes, and we were happy with the process we used to get it done — sending tracks back and forth and putting it together at home. Our initial plan was to release something every 2-3 weeks, but we pulled back from that. In August, we released “Say You Will,” a soft, kind of jazzy song that has received a really good response. We do have other work, but we are looking forward to playing out more as things start to open up. Sean teaches voice and drums virtually, Blayne does freelance illustration work while being a full time dad to his four year old daughter, and Chris cooks at the Natural Marketplace in Warrenton.
WLM: What are your favorite Warrenton area haunts to play?
Fountains: We were so happy with how Warrenton’s Main Street has been set up during pandemic time, closing to traffic and allowing the restaurants to have diners outside. We played at Denim & Pearls a couple of times, but really, we were playing to the whole street which was great! Molly’s is like home base to us, and Powers Farm & Brewery is awesome – we hadn’t been there before we played it, but they are nailing the outside thing right now – it’s the place to go. We do like the brewery downstairs from Molly’s, Altered Suds Beer Company.
WLM: While everyone waits for live entertainment to generally return, what is coming up for Fountains?
Fountains: The scene is still going on, people just need to know where to look for it. We are playing here and there but mostly last minute gigs. We’ll be at Old Bust Head Brewery in Vint Hill on March 27, and we hope that is the start of many more dates moving into the spring and summer. In the meantime, we are releasing two singles in February — “Off This Rock” and “Windows,” on all music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon, where you can find our other music, too. Join Fountains on Facebook and Instagram, where we’ll keep our updated schedule and information.