Who are Lockeland and where the heck did they come from?
Mark Vikingstad and Michael Boris come from different spectrums of the Empire State, while Kyndon Oakes hails from the “Land of Oz.” In their travels—following the yellow brick road to “somewhere over the rainbow” in Music City, Tennessee—the trio met in the middle to “lock the lands” and thus, Lockeland was formed. What brings these friends together is their love of life, humor and the mutual passion to create music that recalls pages from the past and captures memorable moments of the here and now.
Lockeland is straight-up contemporary country with a throwback twist; the trio’s blend of talents complement one another naturally and instinctively. The group’s polished; easy-does-it dynamics, intricate three-part harmonies and simplistic, meaningful storylines are its signature. With a captivating, subtle, sneaking energy, whether in an intimate acoustic setting or a rockin’ full band show, Lockeland stakes its claim on the map to create a memorable experience like no other.
Since the launch of the trio’s debut single, “Til The Cows Come Home” (March 2019), which landed in the Top 40 on the MusicRow Country Breakout Chart, Lockeland has appeared on the CMA Spotlight Stage (CMA Fest 2019), opened for Big & Rich on two separate occasions in 2019. The group recently embarked on an international tour (canvassing England and Scotland) where the trio provided direct support for CAM at Millport Music Festival and shared the stage at the Long Road Festival with other artists such as: Kip Moore, Josh Turner, LANCO, Morgan Evans & Logan Mize. We had the opportunity to sit down with Lockeland for a Rapid Fire Round interview- check it out!
If you were a musical instrument, which one would you be?
Kyndon Oakes: Guitar
Mark Vikingstad: A guitar
Michael Boris:I’d like to be a big ole’ set of timpani drums. They combine my two favorite things… epic drumming & melody.
What is your post-show drink of choice?
Mark Vikingstad: Jack Honey
What is your favorite television show/movie?
Mark Vikingstad: The Office and anything Disney for movies!
Michael Boris:If I have to pick just one…The Office.
Kyndon Oakes: Norsemen, It’s always sunny in Philadelphia
What is your strangest/most embarrassing show or tour experience?
Mark Vikingstad: Falling up the escalator stairs in the U.K.
What is your favorite meal?
Michael Boris: To celebrate my Italian heritage, my mother’s homemade sausage sauce (spaghetti sauce) with turkey spinach meatballs. To celebrate my Ukrainian heritage, homemade halupki & pirohi.
Kyndon Oakes: I love going to Braums when I go home to Kansas and getting the hot fudge Sundaes!
When was the first time you felt like you made it in the industry?
Mark Vikingstad: I still feel like we are getting there!
Kyndon Oakes: Once I feel it, I want to keep that feeling going.
When and where do you do your best writing?
Michael Boris: I tend to get very creative late at night when sitting at my keyboard. Though throughout the day, I’ll have little melodies and riffs floating through my head. That’s when the “Voice Memo” app on my phone comes in handy.
Kyndon Oakes: At home or In Colorado
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given about working in the music industry?
Mark Vikingstad: Get a job and network as much as you possibly can.
Kyndon Oakes: Never do it for the money, Do it because you love to do it!
Did you have a musical mentor when you got started? What is the most important thing they taught you?
Michael Boris: I have MANY people whom I consider musical mentors growing up. My father, Peter J. Boris, was my first drum instructor/mentor. Aside from the obvious wisdom and life lessons both he and my mother taught me, as a musician, he always told me to always have a teachable spirit. He would say, “Mike, no matter how skilled you become, remember that there is always going to be someone even more skilled than you right around the corner. Don’t be envious. Learn from them and grow.” These wise words continue to suit me well up to this present day. My other percussion instructors include wonderful and talented souls such as Joel Smales, Todd London, Todd Kemp, Derico Watson, Dr. Christopher Norton and a man whom I consider my good friend and mentor, Zoro. In addition to drilling me in the principles of technique, R&B and groove, Zoro and I would have great heart-to-heart conversations about faith, life, the music industry, and the challenges it would bring. He showed me through example what it meant to go the “extra mile” in whatever I do in life.
Kyndon Oakes: I have had multiple mentors for multiple reasons but one of my friends, who is a professional musician told me over ten years ago that if I am serious about music I need to move to Nashville. So I did!
Which of your songs gets the best crowd response?
Mark Vikingstad: Either “Cows” or “Drive”.
Kyndon Oakes: Til The Cows Come Home or Blackberry Whiskey
If you had to choose between a private plane or your own yacht, which would you choose?
Mark Vikingstad: Yacht
Michael Boris: Plane.
Kyndon Oakes: Private Plane
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Michael Boris: Wake up early, find a nice local coffee shop, and explore the town/city I’m visiting at the time.
Kyndon Oakes: Write or go hunting
If you had to choose a different stage name, what would it be?
Mark Vikingstad: Yukon Cornelius
Kyndon Oakes: Stud Muffin 🙂
What’s the one song (from any artist) you wish you had written or sung first?
Mark Vikingstad: Friends in Low Places
Kyndon Oakes: Name by Goo Goo Dolls
What is the most memorable thing a fan has done for you?
Mark Vikingstad: When we played in Scotland the fans had brought blow up cows for our song “‘Til The Cows Come Home.” They knew every word and we’ll never forget those ladies.
Michael Boris: There is a wonderful fan from the United Kingdom that took a selfie of her and I at one of our shows and made it into a fan t-shirt! So sweet!
Kyndon Oakes: Brought inflatable cows to our show.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Mark Vikingstad: Mind reading
Kyndon Oakes: Flying
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
Mark Vikingstad: Believe it or not, a marine biologist.
Kyndon Oakes: A Banker
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
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 any time of the day. I also used to ride horses quite a bit in high school and even did a few minor competitions.
Kyndon Oakes: I collect old coins and money.