Interview: We Spoke With Tim Leftwich (Co-Owner of Serpent & Co.) About Their New Fall Collection and More
Serpent & Co. is a UK & US clothing brand co-owned by Ben Bruce (lead guitarist in Asking Alexandria) along with Tim Leftwich. What's cool about this clothing line is that they don't just want to be another brand that releases a couple cool designs and fades away, they wanted to create something so amazing that their customers couldn't help but come back for more. And that's exactly the goal that these two guys have been achieving since we last spoke.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Tim again and chat about how touring on Warped Tour went, the new Serpent & Co. Fall collection, new features coming soon on the website, and more! Check out the interview below.
The last time we spoke to you, you were just heading onto Warped Tour with Serpent & Co.! How was that experience?
Tim: Warped Tour was a fantastic experience, it's a long 7 week tour because of the itinerary, but we were very well received by everyone there, bands, crew and fans alike. It was a great way to grow Serpent & Co. and have some face to face interaction with our customers, which I personally think is a great way to get to know who is enjoying your products.
What would you say were some of the best and worst moments about it?
Tim: There aren't any specifically bad things about it, but it's just a very grueling tour because of the long hours and heat. A typical day for me would involve being up at 7a.m. to do several heavy runs carrying the tents and products for set up and be ready for when doors open and then obviously work until around 7p.m. before packing down for a couple of hours. Then repeat for 50 days in a row! Everyone on the tour works incredibly hard every single day, so there is a lot of respect for that. We built up some fantastic relationships throughout the tour though with other companies and bands and I personally hadn't seen Sum 41 play since I was 15 so that was great for me!
Did you have fans giving you any ideas for the line? Did any of those ideas end up coming to life?
Tim: We had a lot of fans make suggestions and I wouldn't necessarily say we've used them because we have always had a very clear picture in our mind of where we would like to take the brand, but it is definitely interesting to hear what people like obviously seeing as they are the ones buying our products.
So lately you guys have been teasing a Serpent & Co. Fall collection. What did you and Ben do to brainstorm the looks you wanted in the collection?
Tim: I'd like to say something incredibly rock & roll like we got hilariously drunk and created new visions for the brand, but it's just not the case. We basically sat there and broke down the elements of the brand and pictured where we would want to take it in the future and how we want people to see our company. We decided that we don't want people looking at Serpent & Co. like any other band merchandise or as just another clothing line set up by a band member. We have a much more long term vision than that so we tried our best to consider that.
Were there any specific inspirations for this line? You mentioned rock & roll last time being a huge inspiration overall. We're loving all the edgy rips on the hoodies you've been teasing.
Tim: This collection is much more fashion conscious, there is still obviously an element of rock & roll involved because that's where the idea for the brand came from, but it's more about being unapologetic. Unapologetic for wearing what you want to wear, that there is no judgement with what we are creating and what we plan to create. We decided to incorporate what we'd call fashion rips because it reflects both Ben's and my style as well as hitting a trend you can see across the fashion world right now.
Can you hint to us what other new products we may be seeing for the Fall collection? We noticed Ben "possibly" wearing a newly designed tee.
Tim: We did leave a hint about the new tee and that's something you'll see. We won't be releasing everything at once because we want to merge our collections together so people don't feel like they have to spend all their money at once and can save as they see more and more items over the coming months. We're starting to think more about complete outfits.
What was it like transitioning Serpent & Co. to just to you and Ben after you lost your distributor? Was it difficult or was it an easy transition?
Tim: This was a very difficult transition. It's hard to go into all the details otherwise I'd be here for days but we went from having a complete manufacturing, packing, distribution and shipping infrastructure to running it with just two people and just trying to get hold of previous stock, reduce shipping costs and handle the sheer volume of orders with two people was almost impossible. We can only say that we are very grateful for people baring with us during this time, we know there have been a few delays and hiccups as we've tried to cope with the volume as well as international shipping and customs protection. So we do apologize if any people have felt let down, but now as we are beginning to grow from scratch it should be much smoother for everyone.
What would you say you and Ben overall learned from that, from a business prospective?
Tim: I think we knew what was coming and that it wouldn't be easy but it helped us to plan out how we would like the business to be structured and how we want our customers to be treated. We know it can be frustrating for customers, but we hope they understand it's probably more frustrating for us when there are any issues with orders because sometimes it can be out of our control once it's shipped. So we hope to streamline the process and create a really strong customer support network.
Can you share with us some of the new site features you guys were planning on? It sounds exciting!
Tim: Once we have the staff and hours to man it, we intend to have a live support chat on our website for anybody having problems with their order or the site, or any questions about the products so that we can cut out the email process and make it much quicker for everybody. We are also hoping to add an entirely new blog section with some fantastic regular features soon.
So you've also had Sam Bettley [bassist of Asking Alexandria] involved with Serpent & Co. when he created some exclusive paintings and skate decks for you guys. Who's idea was it to do this?
Tim: Obviously we are very close with Sam and he is a fantastic artist. Ben and I had spoken about doing some custom art in limited runs, so the natural move was to ask Sam if he'd like to use his unique process and apply it to our logo.
Did you guys tell Sam what colors you wanted for the pieces? Or was it solely up to him?
Tim: We had a rough idea of what we wanted but we let Sam have some freedom with it seeing as it's his specialty and he really nailed it! We loved the colour schemes both individually and as a set. The reception to them was brilliant and it's something we'd certainly consider doing again in the future.
Do you think you'll be working on a Winter collection as well? Serpent & Co. coats would look awesome!
Tim: We are definitely working on Winter items. As I mentioned earlier we intend to release items regularly so that people don't have to feel limited at one time and we'd like to add new options. We want you to be able to build an entire outfit from our store!
Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Tim: I'd just like to add that both Ben and I are incredibly grateful for the reception we had to the relaunch of the site, and that we appreciate everybody's patience with it. We know it hasn't been easy at all and the continued support has been incredible. We have some truly fantastic things coming up over the next couple of months that we can't wait to share with everyone, so the support and sharing of our brand is always so greatly appreciated as we try to build this into a formidable company.
Interview by Melanie Gomez
Want to grab some Serpent & Co. merch right now? Click HERE to check out the store!
You can also follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: @serpentandco
Between touring with Sleeping With Sirens on the End The Madness Tour and recently being on the Vans Warped Tour, Waterparks (Awsten Knight, Otto Wood, and Geoff Wigington) has been a busy band this year. To top it all off, the band also released their debut album titled Double Dare.
We caught up with Waterparks' lead vocalist, Awsten Knight, and discussed their new album, their latest music video "Stupid For You," how the band got their name, and more. Check out the interview below!
Every person has a reason for pursuing a music career, when did you decide music was something you guys wanted to get into and why?
Awsten: I've been playing and writing music for so long that it honestly didn't seem like anything else was really an option which I'm totally fine with. I did some college to make my parents happy because I get it, it's scary for your kid to be like, "I'm not going to school because I'm gonna be in a band." If my kid said that, I'd shit myself out of fear that they'd be broke forever like a lot of band dudes end up. To get back to the question, it's corny but whatever, entertainment is the only career path that really makes sense to me.
What inspired your band name? (Aside Awsten’s hair being constantly as blue as an ocean lately.)
Awsten: Love this one. We all had our first public boners at Waterparks and it was an embarrassing thing for each of us at the time. However, we see it as growing up. We see it as a new chapter in our lives full of growing hair in new places and trying desperately to keep up with shaving it off. Waterparks represents puberty.
So you’ve just released your debut album Double Dare via Equal Vision Records. What were some of your favorite and most difficult moments writing the album?
Awsten: We did. The fun part of writing the album was the freedom around the lyrics. There were so many demos that it felt like I could say whatever I want because the songs might not get picked for the album anyway. Then when it came time to actually make the track list it was like, well damn, a lot of these uncomfortable songs are now gonna be heard by the world, alright I guess.
You also just released a new music for “Stupid For You.” What inspired the “boy band” themed music video. We couldn’t help but smile the whole way through!
Awsten: Thank you! Honestly there's not deep metaphorical stuff behind our videos, it's just like, "what do WE wanna spend a day doing and how can we get someone to give us money to make it?" And that time we wanted to pretend to be a boy band because that's tight. I wanna be in a boy band so I can dance and buy a house and stuff.
Which song and lyrics off of Double Dare mean the most to you and why?
Awsten: They all mean the most in different ways because they're about different important things in my life. Some songs are me at my happiest, and that means a lot for me to be able to capture because that feeling is rare sometimes. Others mean so much in more negative ways that I don't even listen to those songs because they ruin my mood. This question is like me having 13 kids (yikes) and asking which means the most haha they all mean the most to me in different ways.
What would you say makes you stand out from other bands when it comes to your live performances?
Awsten: Have you seen Geoff's ass when he wears his show pants?
What’s been your favorite song to play live lately and why?
Awsten: "Hawaii" is the most fun to sing, but it's a close call between that and "Stupid For You" because I freak when people are singing along and usually that song gets a looooot.
Do you see a headline tour in your future? Our readers are looking forward to one!
Awsten: I don't know. If enough people buy Double Dare, yeah haha. I'm really just trying to see that HEB or Whole Foods sponsorship in the future WHAT UP. Praise Larry Keel. Follow me on Twitter.
Strife: Psst... if you're reading this... which we know you all are... Awsten's Twitter is @awsten... ;)
As of now, you’re on tour with Sleeping With Sirens, Tonight Alive, and State champs! What has been some of the coolest moments on the tour so far?
Awsten: I threw a basketball at a wall and it went in the hoop twice in one night, that's all that really matters. I've been able to pet dogs all around the country, that's nice too. Meeting people after shows is cool too.
Speaking of meet people after shows, we did hear you’re doing meet and greets after Sleeping With Sirens’ set. Is this true? Do fans have to buy anything to meet you guys?
Awsten: Super true. And nah, we just hang out, play with Snapchat filters and talk shit on our bassist, Blake.
What are some of the most rewarding things a fan has told you when it came to your music? (If any, or multiple fans).
Awsten: A good amount of people have told me it's "saved their lives" but I don't really like hearing that to be honest. If someone's mentally not well, I don't want them to rely on us for a temporary fix, I want them to go get actual help. My favorite thing to hear is "I didn't know who y'all were but I loved your set so much I got the album" because that means we don't suck live and we work pretty hard to avoid the whole "sucking at our career path" thing.
Do you have any advice for your fans who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
Awsten: Take your time. Compare what you're doing to your favorites. If what you're doing isn't as cool as what they're doing, keep working. Because no matter how hard you promote it, if the songs and recordings aren't there people won't be into it. Don't rush anything. Be honest when you write and think outside the box. It's 2017, who am I kidding? Make some melodyne-heavy YouTube covers and get good at Vine before they shut down. Also buy Waterparks merch, I heard it's lucky.
Interview by Melanie Gomez
Be sure to check out their new record Double Dare available NOW.
You can also follow the band on social media via @Waterparks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!
If you haven't heard of Natalie Claro yet, you're really missing out. Need a reason why? Well for starters, she's a strong and unique young woman who doesn't let anything stop her.
We got the chance to speak to Natalie and discuss what how she got into the music industy, how to deal with bullies, who inspired her sense of style, what you can expect to hear from her musically in the future, and more.
What inspired you to get into the music industry at the young age of 17?
I’ve always been involved with music since I was a kid. Musical theater, orchestra, you name it. I even wrote songs as a kindergartener. After years and years my mom finally said, “Natalie I don’t understand why you don’t want to do this as a career!!” and I just sort of shrugged it off like, “yeah right”.
Then in 8thgrade I saw Paramore in concert, and my whole mindset changed. Hayley Williams to this day is one of my biggest inspirations because of how she commands the stage. I saw her running up ramps and flipping her hair and I thought, “okay yeah wow I want to do that”. It took a few years before I really got into the position to be able to perform that way but I’m finally here. My mom’s always right.
Congrats on your new EP! Do you have a favorite song off Atychiphobia so far? If so, which do you like most and why?
I kind of have favorites based on how they affect me. "Mountains" and "My Calling" are probably my two favorites songs to perform, while lyrically I love "Daisy" and "Shower of Roses." "Baby Bug" is a personal story so it feels like more of a sentimental attachment.
How did you come up with the EP name Atychiphobia? Is there a special meaning behind it for you?
I can’t even remember how I thought of it, I think I googled what the fear of failure was so I found that. The concept reflects my growth as someone surrounded by goals and obstacles all the time… I used to struggle with writing and making music because I was so critical of myself. I just wanted to be the best and I let that sensation tear me apart. I couldn’t even listen to my own recorded voice.
But as time progressed, I started to use the fear of not succeeding as a fuel to tell myself I HAD to succeed. I’m a workaholic who never stops to breathe because I want to be the best I can be, always striving to out-do the Natalie from yesterday. I ran to my computer as soon as you sent me this interview. I rain-checked my plans for a theme park just to answer these.
If you could have one musician on your next album or EP, who would it be and why?
Nobody because I want to go platinum with no features. Just kidding, well not really, but I already have my album planned out and the track order sort of represents an experience of my life. The album title ties into it. I can’t see another artist singing those lyrics, you know? But in the far future I might collaborate.
We love your style when it comes to your appearance, and we know we get our style inspo from a lot of our favorite celebs in the entrainment world today. Who would you say inspired your sense of style?
Thanks!! Zella Day 100%. Now if you google her, at first you’ll think, “What the hell… Nat dresses nothing like her” but that’s precisely the point. This girl has zero limits when it comes to what she wears. For Coachella she wore a custom romper covered with fish patterns.
Sometimes she wears sequin pants or giant platform heels. I idolize her individuality, as she’s the person who motivated me to do whatever I want. If I like something, I buy it and wear it. It doesn’t matter if it’s considered trendy or not, because it’s what I like. I hope I can motivate other people to be that way too.
You shared via Facebook saying that “Baby Bug” off of your EP is about how you were bullied to extent that caused you to have depression. What advice would you give to other people dealing with that?
Ahhh this sucks to talk about, but it’s so important because it happens to so many people. The world is full of jerks. I seriously for the life of me cannot stand when people pick on others or make them feel bad about themselves, (which is why I’m such a big LGBT and minorities advocate), but unfortunately these people are everywhere. I’ve learned that telling the world not to be bullies doesn’t do a damn thing.
It’s the strength within you that’s what makes you rise above. Pick a hobby, anything, work on it and make it blossom. Find out how you can be successful with it one day!! Prove to yourself that one day you wont be a small insect that everyone can stomp on; you will grow wings and fly. Soon enough all the bullies or the road ragers or the unsupportive family members or the rude co-workers will fade away. Your eye is on the prize. It worked for me so I know it can work for you too!! Make everyone be sorry for not sticking by your side, and then use your strength to help others find it too. Let’s make a movement.
Are you already thinking of or already making new music? If so, what kind of sound can we expect to hear?
I’m in the studio again to start my album January 3rd, it will have all the songs from my EP, plus the rest that I’ve given a lot of teasers for during shows. Expect a story, and a lot of metaphors. Expect everything from hype and heavy bass lines to calming lullabies. The album will be called DISCONNECT. I have some puzzles for you.
For the people who never saw you live, how would you explain a Natalie Claro concert?
I guarantee you I will not leave you bored for one moment. I don’t just perform my songs, I create an experience. Backbends, drum battles, running through the crowd. Crazy lights and screaming. I even bring people on the stage if you have the guts. I want every last person in that crowd to go home wanting to do it all over again for more.
What are some of the most rewarding things a fan has told you when it came to your music? (If any, or multiple fans)
If I’m being honest, I hear on a weekly basis that I help people feel happier with my music. It’s insanely stressful because of how responsible I am for others now. If I have the power to make people feel confident and happier then I have to always be on my A game. I think the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been told is that I made school easier for someone. They used to come home feeling sad and stressed but once they put on my music they felt better… like HOLY COW it made me want to cry. I’m glad I can do that for people.
Do you have any advice for your fans that want to pursue a career in the music industry?
It’s very hard, but extremely rewarding. Don’t be turned off by the idea of tedious things, okay?? It’s the most crucial part. Start small, I mean, my first gigs were open mics at restaurants and my first write ups were small indie blogs made by teenage girls. Any exposure is exposure.
One person in a crowd of three people can make a huge difference. They could be an agent for all you know. Never give up. Cancel a trip to Busch Gardens to answer an interview. Do what you gotta do. Also don’t jump into any record labels arms, do your research and put yourself first. Be safe guys.
Interview by Melanie Gomez
Check out one of her music videos below:
Living in the 21st century, to come up with a band that simply blows people’s minds and differs from a whole heap of identically sounding bands can be rather challenging. However, this doesn’t apply to Amaranthe - modern melodic metal band originated in Sweden/Denmark. They are not afraid of either pushing the boundaries or mixing controversial musical genres. The combination of metal with pop elements and outstanding vocal trio that has no competition helped the band get to this point – they're about to release their fourth studio album Maximalism. You can now dive into its (and the band's) philosophy and more interesting stuff in the following interview with lead vocalist Elize Ryd. Enjoy the following lines and if you´re not familiar with this spectacular band make sure you give them a listen. Loads of energy, uniqueness and massive addiction are guaranteed.
I don’t find it very pleasant for musicians to label their bands, but for our readers who have never heard your music, can you describe Amaranthe and your sound in 5 words?
Thank you, no, it's always a bit hard, especially if you don't focus on the label while you write the music. But actually we have metal in the bottom and then we add euro-disco, pop, rock and death metal. That´s 5 words, I guess. ;p Kidding, here they come: energetic, heavy, uplifting, theatrical and futuristic.
Let’s start off by talking about your new album. ‘Maximalism’ comes out October 21st via Spinefarm Records. Can you compare ‘Maximalism’ to your previous albums?
Ehm, it might remind some of our second album The Nexus, but on the other hand we brought in some new elements like old school rock, which is very new for being Amaranthe. It's our most diverse album so far. Some who have heard it already are saying that it's the most poppy album we made and some say it's the heaviest. So I guess it's individual how you measure the amount of something in music. It's gonna be very interesting to see how people are gonna receive it. :) Our goal was anyway to make a more diverse and organic album that stands out and brings people to the fun!
I’m not asking which new song is your favorite, but if you had to choose only one song from ‘Maximalism’ that is the most outstanding one for you personally, which one would it be and why?
'On The Rocks', because it's about having fun and it's not like any other Amaranthe song.
So far, you have released one single called ‘That Song’. I have to admit that my first reaction was: Is that Elize or Rihanna singing? Judging from the reactions I´ve read, I am not the only one who can hear this similarity. Was it your intention with this song? It seems like you’re not afraid to experiment at all.
Haha, no, but when I sing that kind of melodies, in that voice mode I guess I sound like Rihanna. I did hear that the first time when I was 16 years old. We haven't written any melodies like that before and that was intentional of course. To bring in some blues. I'm surprised this is the first time people think I sound different. :) It's fun to experiment and no, I or we are not afraid of anything.
Do you already know which song will be released as a next single? Within your band, is it hard to agree on one particular song which will get more public attention than the others? Or is it up to your record company to pick one?
The first single is up to the record company to pick. On the last three albums the band has gotten very surprised by their choice. But now we trust them a 100%, because so far, they have obviously done great, picked songs that really helped the band grow. So we are very grateful and happy with their work. Within the band we try always to keep a positive vibe by involving everyone and their thoughts. On this album it's gonna be hard to decide on the third and fourth single since it's very diverse. The band has a big say in those ones. I have 3 songs I believe in a lot, one of them we just released as the second single. It's called Fury.
I haven’t heard ‘Maximalism’ yet, but there's one song that caught my eye. It´s called ‘Limitless’. What‘s the meaning behind this song? As a band, do you feel limitless?
As a band and as people. Yes, that's a very beautiful song and the message is to feel limitless in life, no matter gender, sexuality, music, style, background. As a band together with our fans, we want to tell them that we feel and we're allowed to feel limitless. That's what we believe in, what we allow ourselves and what we make others to feel. It's part of our religion "Maximalism".
Overall, your songs are full of energy and life. Besides a few ballads, you write mainly fast and catchy tracks people can dance and jump to and in general they can go wild. Where does all the energy come from?
Within, haha, I love energy. I always loved energy. The energy represents a lot who we are and our philosophy of happiness. You don't need a lot, positive energy is everything. At least, that's what carried me forward and made me survive all hard times in life. So among all things we can give, that's what we love sharing the most with our audience. A little bit of energy creates more energy. It's like a domino, so once you started the sharing it won't stop until you do.
Your Maximalism European tour with Sonic Syndicate and Smash Into Pieces starts in a few weeks. I believe you will play a bunch of new songs. Are you nervous to play new material?
Yes, I'm always nervous starting off a new tour. It's like starting over again every time. And once we started, this is the show we are gonna live with the next 1,5 or 2 years. But it's, of course, mostly very exciting and fun!
Since you tour a lot, I believe that playing new songs has to be a truly refreshing feeling. What new songs are you really excited to play live?
I can't wait to play Boomerang! That song makes me wanna jump and smile. It's about stubbornness, never giving up.
Before embarking on tour, what are your rehearsals generally like?
Usually we rehearse 1 day before. But for this tour we are gonna rehearse 2 days because we have a completely new production. The live show is gonna be more diverse and well planned than ever before.
Do you make mistakes during live performances? How do you handle them?
Yes, I do. In Tokyo I sang the wrong lyrics on "That song" live on the radio with a couple of million listeners. I'm very bad at handling mistakes. I think about it a lot and punish myself in my head until I just get too tired of thinking about it. It can take weeks, sometimes months. But one good thing is to just do it perfect the next time. :) Even though it might be a while until we visit that radio show again.
Is there a particular song that never fails to move you emotionally? You can choose any band or artist.
Oh, "Total eclipse of the heart" is one of my favorite songs, I've been crying a lot to it. It's very powerful and it moves me a lot. Also I have to mention "Who wants to live forever" by Queen.
You’ve come a long way since your beginning. What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
To stay out of drama. :)
Besides Amaranthe, do you have any side projects you’ve been working on recently?
I have only been co-writing with different songwriters and producers in Stockholm for other artists a few times. "Maximalism" has been main priority since December last year, so I haven't had any time to focus on any guest or solo performances. I´ve been rehearsing a little bit Christmas songs for the upcoming Christmas shows I'm doing with Raskasta Joulua in Finland straight after the European Tour.
Any last words for your fans and our readers?
Yeah, I really hope to see you on the road! Remember that you are what creates the fun, thanks a lot for all the inspiration. Together we are Limitless! ;) We love you!
Thank you for your time and best of luck with ‘Maximalism’ and the tour!
Thank you very much, Veronika!
Interview by Veronika Valachová
Amaranthe's new album 'Maximalism' will release tomorrow!
Heavy music deserves a heavier message, and that’s what Fire From The Gods, consisting of AJ Channer (vocals), Jameson Teat (guitar), Drew Walker (guitar), Bonner Baker (bass), and Richard Wicander (drums), deliver on their debut album Narrative via Rise Records.
We were lucky enough to catch up with AJ Channer and chat about how Fire From The Gods got their band name, the lyrical meaning to one of their songs, how it was creating their new album Narrative, and more. Check out the interview below!
1. What inspired the band name Fire From The Gods?
First off thank you for taking the time to interview us. The original line up got it from the movie "The Wizard." There's a line in the film describing the Nintendo Power glove as "The Fire From the Gods." It isn't referencing the old Greek mythology story of Prometheus stealing fire from the gods and giving it to man or anything like that. Although we do plan to make reference to that some time in the future.
2. When did you decide music was something you wanted to pursue?
I personally decided that I wanted to be a musician early in life. I made a few pit stops on the way but I am exactly where I need to be right now. This is the most comfortable I have been with my decision to be a musician. I believe the same goes for the rest of the band. We pretty much started pursuing music from early ages and we are still going.
3. Some may describe your music as rap-metal, which we found interesting! To us, that makes you guys stand out. Do you agree with that genre label? Why or why not?
When it comes to genres and labels I find that in order for listeners to relate to your music they have to familiarize it with something they have heard before. Hearing "Excuse Me" one would immediately say this is a rap metal band. But listening to "Inspite of Doubt" you would get the vibe that we are a metalcore band. And further listening to songs like "End Transmission" and "Lifeline" you would get the vibe that we are a melodic hard rock band.
So to answer your question we are flattered that folks have made compared us to rap metal bands especially some of the good ones. I don't think we are a rap metal band. We are influenced by hip hop as well as so much more, which I think helps us really stand out.
4. Congratulations on your debut album Narrative! What were the hardest and easiest parts of creating the album?
Thank you again. Narrative was a difficult record for the simple fact that we were on a bit of a time crunch. The opportunity to record with David Bendeth came about through a series of fortunate circumstances the only catch was we had to finish writing record and track the record 40 days. So we had our work cut out for us. The cliche goes there is nothing easy about recording music but I think the way the writing process flowed was probably the easiest thing about creating Narrative.
5. In the song “Excuse Me” off the album, some of the lyrics such as, “Life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, equality and justice for all. Now you know you lying,” seem to be describing equal freedom. What inspired you to write such a powerful song and what do those lyrics mean to you? (Or just sing if you didn’t write it.)
I did write it to clarify. FFTG (Fire From The Gods) writes all our music. We collaborate with a producer but we write our music. To touch on the lyrics in "Excuse Me", we live in very turbulent times here in the States. Narrative touches on a lot of those issues. "Excuse Me" in particular talks directly about the prison industrial complex, racism, police brutality, and an antiquated justice system. Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are supposed to be basic human rights especially in our country. I feel some people are being robbed of that no matter your sexual orientation, race, social standing or religion. That's where those lyrics and most of Narrative comes from.
6. Which lyrics from that song mean the most to you and why?
The bridge where I'm saying "Excuse me Mr Officer....." as well as the following verse. We wanted to also portray and support unity. Non violence but making a statement that we are fed up with the system.
7. If you could sing with anyone on your next album, who would it be and why?
That's a very difficult one there are so many artists I would want to collaborate with. Maynard from Tool. He has one of the best voices in rock and metal. Probably Scott Vogel from Terror. He is a dude I have always looked up to.
8. We heard you’re going on tour with We Came As Romans and Counterparts! What songs could we expect to hear at those shows? Do you have a favorite? If so, why?
All new joints off of Narrative. I like "Diversion" the best live. Its pure energy start to finish and any one that has seen FFTG knows we put on a very energetic show. Diversion has everything you want a bit of a hardcore sound as well as a ton of groove.
9. What would you say makes you stand out from other bands when it comes to your live performances?
There are a lot of bands out there that put on super high energy shows and we do as well. But in our case we are a very dynamic band so there are just as many lows as there are highs. We try to keep that balance throughout the set in an effort to create a very good live show.
10. What are some of the most rewarding things a fan has told you when it came to your music? (If any, or multiple fans).
Touching back on some of the things I said earlier about our influences and how people have received FFTG the most rewarding things folks say is you remind us of a certain band. Well like hearing that because it is most likely a band that influenced us. Also those fans that write us and tell us that the music had a profound effect on their lives. As a band you strive to impact your listeners and Narrative seems to be doing just that.
11. Do you have any advice for your fans who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
Be smart and do want you want. Work hard. Do not try and take the easy route because it doesn't exist. What you might think or perceive to be success might not actually be success. Write music, tour and sell your music. PEACE!
Interview by Melanie Gomez
Check out Fire From The God's video for "Excuse Me" below:
Within the past year and a half Issues have been touring almost constantly going around the world and back home. As if that weren’t impressive enough they also released their second album. If there ever were a perfect chance to snag a chat with them now would be it, so we managed to have a conversation with Skyler Acord. He answered questions about the new album, touring, and did a small 'would you rather?' with us!
Q: What motivates you the most to keep making music and touring?
Sky: I just absolutely love music and making it. There wasn't and won't always be a living for me in this industry but the love of it keeps you going.
Q: Is there anything that sets the band back or hinders you from achieving what you want?
Sky: Sometimes I feel like some of the musical choices we make keep us from most mainstream audiences, but that's just who we are. We're weird. Being weird worked for plenty of other bands much bigger than us like System of a Down, Depeche Mode, Incubus etc. so I don't see an immediate need to tame our sound.
Q: If you were to create a dream tour for Issues who would it be with?
Sky: I'd love to tour with The 1975. I feel like our lighter songs would be a super cool mesh with their live show.
Q: If you could be a member of any other band who would it be and why?
Sky: If I got an offer to play with Allen Stone I'd be on the next plane out!
Q: Are there any artists you'd like to work with and write a song with?
Sky: We had talked about collaborations with our friends in State Champs and One Ok Rock, both of those would be super fun to get into.
Q: Each of you bring unique talents to the band, does anyone have any other special or cool talents?
Sky: We all are pretty good at super smash bros. Nobody can beat us!
Q: What are some of your biggest inspirations in the creation of Headspace?
Sky: Different songs have different stories. Chon was a pretty significant influence in our incorporation of more advanced harmony and chordal extensions, and we love the vibes of bands like TesseracT and The Contortionist, so we played with some things like that. Both of those elements added a lot more emotional content to the songs.
Q: There was an amazing amount of support for Headspace. What were your expectations for the release and did the response meet that?
Sky: The music industry is greatly different from when we released our last album, so we were admittedly a little disappointed with our initial sales because we didn't understand how to read the numbers. All the new music streaming services threw us off. We weren't sure how people actually responded until we played our first warped tour show and saw how huge our crowd was, it was insane! We were so happily surprised. People are really into our weirdness.
Q: Do you ever see Issues tackling more political issues like in Blue Wall in future songs?
Sky: so if the feeling hits us, but I don't see us becoming a largely political band. Blue Wall is just very relevant to us because of our diverse roots and the effect of police brutality on all of us directly and indirectly.
Q: Touring has to be exhausting at times. What are some things you do in your free time while on tour?
Sky: We play a LOT of video games and hang. If you see us, bring your 3ds if you want to get your ass kicked at Pokemon or super smash bros!
Would you rather….?
Have extra days in between shows or get tours done quickly?
Extra days for adventures!
Play a festival or headline a tour?
Headline a tour!
Have an intimate show or rock a stadium?
When you have a lot of one you miss the other... So I'll say rock a stadium!
ISSUES put out their latest album 'Headspace' later this year, with which they toured Europe, UK and attended all of Vans Warped Tour with.
Stream their album below!
Music anno 2016 is as genre and label-less as it can be.
Everywhere bands are pushing boundaries, breaking the cycle and combinining genres up until the point that we have no clue what to call it anymore.
One of the prime examples of this phenomenal is Bad Omens.
Bad Omens are a relentless force you're bound to have heard off by now!
The band signed with Sumerian Records and will release their debut and self-titled album 'Bad Omens' tomorrow.
Prior to this release, we want to share with you the extensive chat we had with frontman Noah Sebastian who's responsible for most of the lyrical content of the band.
When we first asked for this interview, we were convinced we were about to get acquainted with an extraordinarily drivven musician, however we could not in a million years have anticipated the extent to which we've been given the answers to our (many) questions.
The result is a rather personal interview with an extraordinary individual aswell as a talented musician.
We hope you enjoy reading this as much we enjoyed conducting this interview!
You are about to release your debut album 'Bad Omens' on Sumerian Records. Hearing the songs it's quite understandable that you got picked up by a big label so quickly but we do wonder.. how did this happen?
Well basically after I finished recording our first EP and we got picked up by our current manager/management (Jason Malhoyt/Imperial Artist Management) we shopped it out to various labels. But Jason our manager had worked with Sumerian in the past and had just so many great things to say about them and their work ethic so we were pretty convinced from day one that that was the label we needed to be on so we pushed extra hard in making that happen and luckily for us they were into it!
You've released four songs so far and have gotten quite the incredible response. Any particular reason why these four songs were released as singles? Was the success anticipated?
We really had no idea how well the listeners would respond to the songs, but I can say that the order that we released them and the reasons why was very deliberate. We really wanted to showcase the fact that our album has quite a few different styles of music on it and that we aren't a one-trick-metalcore-pony haha. It was also very important to us to show our fans that we don't care about genres or labels and that we make music the way we want to no matter how extreme it may feel going from a track like "Exit Wounds" to a track like "The Fountain". One thing that myself and the band have always wanted to promote is open mindedness when it comes to music. There's way too much of a high school "clique" mentality in our music scene between genres and we want to play our role in eradicating that and not allowing fans to feel isolated or ashamed for liking a certain kind of music.
You have a guitarist all the way from Sweden, how did this happen and does it affect you in any way?
Well our bass player Vincent and Joakim (Jolly) have been best friends for about 10 years now and when the band was in it's earlier stages we realized we needed a second guitar player so Vincent made that connection between the band and Jolly. Obviously getting a guitar player from another country is not ideal but once Jolly displayed his impressive skills as a musician/songwriter/producer I was convinced that we needed him on board. He's a great leader and has irreplaceable value not just in our music but as a positive influence on the band. Outside of Bad Omens Jolly has been my partner in all kinds of musical projects so I'm eternally grateful to have met him and have him in my life and in the band.
Bad Omens started out as a solo project. Why did you decide to make it your main focus?
I've just always been very passionate about music and never taken "no" for an answer when it came to pursuing it. So once the EP was finished and so many people we're saying how much potential the project had I decided to take it to the next level and that's when management came into the picture.
You guys are embarking on a huge tour through the US supporting Asking Alexandria this Fall. How do you think that'll be? Is this the first time you'll be touring with a band this big or on a tour this big?
I am beyond excited and I think the tour will do amazing. The first two Sumerian Anniversary tours we did obviously went really well but I think this one is for sure going to be the biggest of them all between the line up, the cities, and the venues we'll be playing. Not to mention how close we've gotten with some of the bands on the package doing two tours this year already with Born Of Osiris, After The Burial, and one with Upon A Burning Body it just feels like one long off day on a massive tour haha.
Are there any plans for some shows in Europe?
None yet but I am really hoping we get to go there next year! We also really want to go to South America.
The four songs you've released so far are all accompanied by a music video, will we be seeing more music video's from other tracks on the album?
Absolutely. At this point in time it's our intention to shoot one for every song on the album.
How many songs did you originally write for the debut album?
We really had no set number of tracks planned for the album. Basically the writing process before we went to the studio was us locking ourselves in a basement for a month straight reworking songs from the EP, and also writing new ones for the album and we ended up with 12! But had we had more time I'm sure we would have had even more.
Who or what inspired you to become a musician?
Well I had a very strange upbringing. I bounced between living with my grandparents which was a strict, religious, republican, school focused household haha and living with my mom who was the polar opposite and introduced me to rock music and R rated movies at a very young age. I was even named after the singer of Skid Row (Sebastian Bach) whom I got to meet when I was really little while he was doing Jekyll and Hyde on broadway in New York City, so that was really cool for 8 year old Noah. But I guess the short answer is that I've always really gravitated towards music (rock and metal in particular) and been romanticized by it. I got my first guitar when I was 10 and ever since then music has been the one consistent thing in my life I always turn to that makes me feel okay. Creating music makes me feel like I have a purpose in the world I'm living in, instead of just "living in it" if that makes sense. I also think the state of the world would be much more positive if there was more creators than consumers. I'm not trying to push some political anti-corporation agenda or anything, I just think that human beings would be happier and healthier if they took that big leap and followed their true callings and passions. Relentlessly.
The album artwork for 'Bad Omens' looks incredible. Is there any story behind this? Why is the artwork the way it is?
Honestly we had nothing to do with the making of it. The guy that took the photos is a friend of the graphic designer at Sumerian who showed us the photos after we told him the general vibe we had in mind for the artwork. Once we saw it, it just really spoke to all of us and we immediately knew that was the one. Not to mention the red fabric ties in with previous elements we used in the Glass Houses music video so it just all kind of came together really organically and totally unintentionally haha.
How would you describe your music to someone who has not listened to you before?
I would say that it's a tasteful and mature approach to contemporary heavy rock music that remains loyal the genre, but isn't afraid to dance with any foreign elements or instruments. The thing that strikes me as the most dynamic about Bad Omens is that our songs are a taste of something that is both familiar and new to the listener at the same time. We take a lot of risks sonically and content-wise that I don't believe you hear or see in modern metal-core music.
Does the album have any specific theme?
When discussing our album it's impossible to pinpoint one central focus because it tackles a variety of subjects and themes. It's worth noting that every single song comes from a real experience and very personal place. If any, I would say that the most recurring concept of the record comes from perpetual introspective thinking. We not only as a band but as people do our best to actively spread open-mindedness and self-awareness because people don't take responsibility for their actions or emotions as often as they should. If this album says anything it's that you have to face and accept yourself before you can truly grow into the best person you're capable of being.
We work with a lot of unsigned artists who try to make a name for themselves in this industry. Do you have any advice for them?
I could honestly talk about this for days haha but my best advice right now is PRIORITIES. It starts and ends with the music. Too many bands get distracted with gimmicks, logos, and trivial things like matching outfits that they forget about the actual music itself. More people want to "BE IN A BAND" than actually play or write music, which are two very different things in my opinion. So my best advice is keeping your priorities in check. All the bells and whistles of being in a band are great but cool lights and contact lenses won't write good songs for you, and they certainly won't compensate for the insane amount of work that's required to be in a successful band. Last I would say staying grounded and doing your best to maintain a good positive attitude. You never know what one bad experience/encounter with a fan or peer can do for your career, so don't be a dick.
Bad Omens' debut album will release tomorrow (August 19th).
They'll be on tour through the US supporting Asking Alexandria later this year.
Grab your tickets for the tour, stream or buy their debut album and jam Bad Omens as loud as you can starting with 'The Worst In Me' right here below!
Although many bands are currently busy at 2016's Vans Warped Tour, we were lucky enough to catch up with one of the band's on the tour, The Color Morale! We spoke to lead vocalist Garret Rapp and discussed their upcoming album Desolate Devine, their latest music video "Walls," their amazing fans, Warped Tour, and more. Check out the interview below to find out all that and more.
How was the process like creating your upcoming album Desolate Devine? Was there anything you guys did to keep yourself focused?
Garret: We're a very diverse band with many different hobbies and interests. I would say for Aaron and Devin it was T-25, Mike and Steve it was NHL 16, and myself it was finding new comic/toy stores in the area. Anything you can do to maintain sanity while spending 2 months creating a record.
Aside from your single “Walls,” can you tell us what your favorite song off Desolate Divine is so far and why? Do you think that it’ll be the second song you guys said you “might” add to your Warped Tour setlist?
Garret: Well, we added "Clip Paper Wings" to the set list daily and it's been a blast to play live. The response to "Walls" has been INSANE. I think my favorite track on the record is "Broken Vessel." It almost has an indie vibe.
What was your personal inspiration behind the video for "Walls?" Was there any other ideas you had in mind before the final outcome? If so, what?
Garret: Filming for "Walls" was extremely stressful. We did the live performance in Chicago and the acting was filmed in Hollywood the next week while we began Warped Tour. Sam [Halleen] did an amazing job with the video. The lyrical content deals with keeping yourself away from vulnerability so we wanted the video to express the same message alike. The importance of face to face connection was the focal point of the music video. In my experience, as long as we're connected to another...we are set up to succeed and push through any problematic situation in life. It's when we leave ourselves stagnant and secluded that we are vulnerable to our own shortcomings.
Do you think fans will like that you're going to focus more on clean vocals rather than unclean vocals for the new album?
Garret: Absolutely. At first you will have your group that complain about it (as with "Know Hope"), but eventually it settles in. Aaron is a beast and enjoys screaming vocals while I haven't really enjoyed doing them since "Know Hope." Right now as an artist, I prefer singing as my form of expression for this record. But who knows, maybe next record we'll fire out 8 tracks like "Silver Lining" and have Aaron yodel.
We heard that you wanted to focus on unclean focus to relate to a bigger audience, but was there another reason behind it as well?
Garret: Not at all. I wanted to focus on singing because I enjoy singing. It's my current preferred technique of the voice. I don't enjoy screaming, I originally did it because it's what came out. Aaron and I didn't plan things, we wrote what came out emotionally. He and I grew a ton on this record as songwriters and it really shows in these songs.
What do the lyrics, “I feel at home with shadows from ghosts of the living / I dance along to melodies as silent choirs sing / I’m sick of always giving when there’s nothing left to lose / This place we’re in is breaking / It’s trying to break me too,” from “Walls” mean to you?
Garret: You can only use things for so long, especially excuses. I've turned my back on great people these last couple of years when it comes to intimacy in relationships and dating. I got to a point this last year where I found myself at the bar daily while we were home just to come to terms with the life I was living, which is extremely detrimental to healthy living...a place I got to after "Know Hope."
7. So we know you’re one of the many bands playing the Vans Warped Tour this year. Is there anything that makes The Color Morale unique compared to other bands when you play live?
Garret: I would like to think that every set we play, I try to find something unique to the day and/or area that impacts another. Maybe it's a conversation after our set, maybe it's bringing a 6-year-old and her daddy on stage because security was going to make her get down off her dads shoulders while they were watching us. I always try to be extremely aware and mindful of the people and places around me.
Is there any band/bands you’ve gotten closer to on the tour so far?
Garret: Warped Tour is always a great place to meet new people! SO MANY! Super stoked on Oceans Ate Alaska, In Hearts Wake, Wage War, Capsize, Real Friends, Emarosa, Too Close To Touch, and so on....so many new friends!
What are some of the most rewarding things a fan has told you when it came to your music? (If any, or multiple fans).
Garret: There hasn't been a day on this tour I haven't seen a tattoo inspired by our lyrics. I'm also given letters and art inspired by what we do. It's absolutely rewarding to receive artwork from others inspired by you.
Do you have any advice for your fans who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
Garret: Start a band, connect, make friends, play shows every weekend to the other bands because no one shows up...do this for a few years and embed in your marrow the reason your an artist. At that point you are set up to never take no for an answer and remain thankful for every single person you get a chance to inspire.
Interview by Melanie Gomez
Be sure to check out their new record Desolate Divine Aug 19th on Fearless Records.
Follow the band @thecolormorale and me @garretrapp for updates and daily shenanigans! Thank you! - Garret Rapp
With their fifth studio album Helter Seltzer, New York’s Indie-rockers We Are Scientists delivered the perfect album for the upcoming summer. Most of the songs on it, like “Buckle”, “In My Head”, “Too Late” or “Waiting For You”, are extremely catchy. Believe me, I haven’t been able to stop listening to the album for weeks now. So, in case you didn’t catch the drift by now: you really have to give it a listen if you haven’t already! But before you start (remember you won’t be able to stop listening for a while), read our interview with Keith Murray, one half of We Are Scientists below! He chatted about the recording process of Helter Seltzer, its crazy album cover, touring life, if they ever thought about quitting and so much more:
Strife Magazine [Melissa Wilke]: With Helter Seltzer you wanted to create an all out pop album. Why did you choose this direction for the band?
Keith Murray: It's just what we were interested in, at that moment. We've made five albums of increasingly poppy music, so it seemed like a fairly natural progression for us. We've certainly not given up on our love for writing hard rock bashers, but it felt like it would be a fun experiment to try to shoot for a more pop-centric sound than is usual for us.
SM: Did the recording process from this album differ to the last? If yes, how?
KM: Every record has been different. For the last record, we spent three weeks in the New York City's legendary Magic Shop (sadly, the studio has since closed, not directly because of anything we did - I think!) and then finished up in our producer's subterranean studio. This time, we took a more holistic approach - we rented an empty space in a warehouse in Brooklyn and built a studio of our own. We went in there every day for three months and treated recording like a 9-to-5 job. It was a refreshing change of pace, not having to heed the time-sensitivity and financial burden of being on a third-party studio's clock. It let us be a little more experimental and to feel less under-the-gun than is usual for us, when recording.
SM: Do you have a favorite song on the album? What makes it special to you?
KM: I like them all, really, but Too Late is a big favorite of mine. It feels especially poppy to me, what with all of the bleepy synth sounds and largely electronic drums. Plus, it's got a killer melody and a fun middle-eight breakdown.
SM: We love the album cover of Helter Seltzer! Can you tell us the story behind it? How the hell did you come up with it?
KM: We wanted a cover that would reflect the "helter skelter" aspect of the title, so we just made a jumbled list of inspirational elements we wanted to include - it's got Illuminati-grade intrigue, Eyes Wide Shut-style sleazebags, and the helicopter from the beginning of The Running Man. It's got alcohol and cats and acrobats. Pretty much everything we like.
SM: You’ve been a band for 16 years now, that’s quite a long time! How did you manage to stick together for all those years? Has there ever been a moment when you wanted to quit?
KM: There hasn't been a moment when I've wanted to quit, no. I suppose there have been times when I wondered if we *should* quit, in the name of maintaining our financial, emotional, and physical well-being. But being in a band with your best friend makes it pretty easy to get over the difficult hurdles and plow forward with the more exciting and rewarding aspects of being in a band.
SM: You’ve been on tour since April this year, and you have shows scheduled until mid-October (so far). Do you enjoy the touring life or do you prefer the creative process of writing and recording new music?
KM: Both have their benefits. It's pretty great to be able to travel and see foreign lands and have people applaud for you. That said, it's also pretty great to be at home with your loved ones, not living in your own filth.
SM: How do you pass the time when you’re on tour and traveling a lot? Do you have any wild hobbies or maybe even some stupid games you invented?
KM: I'd estimate that we spend about 80% of our downtime searching online for the best places to eat and sleep. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Google, this one physical book we have called Road Food - all and sundry are mined in an effort to maximize our touristic experience. Sometimes it pays off - we spent a day off on this last European tour eating tapas, slurping sangria and swimming in turquoise waters below an ancient fortress in Tossa De Mar, Spain. Sometimes, we fail - on the very same tour, we waited until the last minute to find a place to sleep in eastern Switzerland, and so, at about 3:00am, we spent way too much money on a single, hostel-style room for the whole gang. There was no hot water and the streets outside of the hotel were - according to our tour manager - lousy with muskrats.
SM: What have you planned after the shows in October? Will there be more tour dates?
KM: There will probably be a few more tour dates, but I expect we'll slow down a bit and start focusing on writing the next record. We're hoping some random touring will present itself - we've got our eye on India -but it's been over a year since we recorded Helter Seltzer, so I'm getting the itch, again.
SM: You are celebrating the 10th anniversary of “With Love And Squalor” with a special performance at the El Rey on July 16th. What can we expect from the show? Do you have anything special planned?
To us, the fact that we're playing the entirety of that album is pretty unusual - we had long ago left three or four of those tunes for dead. We did a similar show in NYC in May, and I was really impressed at how awesome the second set - full of all of the post-With Love and Squalor hits - was. I think that second set on its own was my favorite We Are Scientists show, ever.
SM: Do you have a certain fond memory of that album era which you want to share with us?
KM: It was just really fun to be a new band, totally wide-eyed and naive about the music industry [n.b. - my phone auto-corrected that to "them suck industry"], slowly finding our footing and building a fan base from scratch. It was exciting to go from total anonymity to playing on festival main-stages in a matter of months.
SM: Which artist or album do you have on repeat currently?
KM: We're all really into the new Mitski album, and, of course, we're always excited about PAWS, who released a great new record just this week.
SM: Can you recommend any new upcoming bands to our readers?
KM: See above!
For news, tour dates, media and social links, check out We Are Scientists' homepage here.
Written by Melissa Wilke
Post-hardcore act I Prevail put themselves on the map when they released a cover of Taylor Swift's song 'Blank Space'. However, soon after that, it became clear that besides covers, I Prevail are good for a lot more.
With their debut EP 'Heart VS. Mind' the guys proved that their popularity was more than justified and it did not come as a surprise that the band got picked up by Fearless Records rather fast. Each and every song has been streamed over 1 million times, and Blank Space even up to an incredible 19 million plays. I Prevail are embarking on a huge tour through the US in a couple of days, which they are headlining.
We were asked if we were interested in having a chat with the guys prior to this tour, being the I Prevail fans that we are, we could not say no. We had a lovely chat with vocalist Brian Burkheiser about their upcoming tour, the very anticipated upcoming debut full-length album and much more. Check it out!
First of all, congrats on the huge tour that's coming up! Everything about it looks amazing.
Are you guys stoked?
Thank you! Definitely stoked to get back on the road. We've been locked in the studio making the album for the last six months, so it's time to get back out.
Any specific cities you're really looking forward to?
We're looking forward to them all but obviously Michigan shows are always great with that being our home state. Denver is like a second home to us. Then Pittsburgh and Madison are always killer. But we have high expectations throughout the entire tour.
The openers for the tour, The White Noise, My Enemies & I and Bad Seed Rising, have you guys worked/played with them before?
Never have played with any of them before, but we definitely think all of them are unique and will bring their own energy to the show. I'm really stoked about the lineup.
In comparison to the debut EP 'Heart VS. Mind', what can we expect differently from the upcoming debut album?
I think we stayed true to our sound, but really just matured a lot in our song writing. The hooks are bigger, the heavy parts are heavier and we really have a focused message. We took a couple risks that were outside the box as well. I'm really proud of what we created.
What has it been like working with Fearless Records for your first album?
It was great. They added a lot of value to the process. It was our first time working with a label in making an album, so we didn't know what to expect, but they definitely delivered.
When can we expect more information about this album?
Pretty much any day now! (This info has arrived, check here for details)
When you first released the amazing 'Blank Space' cover, originally by Taylor Swift, was the success anticipated?
Definitely not to that level. We had some goals in mind, but needless to say we had no idea what was coming. We've just stopped asking why and started rolling with it.
It appears you guys can play brilliantly live plugged in as well as acoustic, will we be seeing any acoustic tracks on the upcoming 'Strike The Match Tour'?
Yea definitely. We like our set to feel like an emotional roller coaster, so we take the energy up and down. No better way to take a break from the pit than by holding up a lighter and singing a ballad or two.
Are you guys planning on touring Europe anytime soon?
I hope so. There have been some talks in our camp of that being on the radar. I would love to be able to get our fans over there. They are great and we need to make that happen for them.
So far, what is your favourite track to play live?
My favorite was always the title track off the EP, Heart vs. Mind. Has a lot of right from the intro and just has a good blend of heavy and melodic parts. Kids always go hard to the breakdown live so that helps any song you're playing.
Will we be hearing any unreleased tracks on the upcoming tour?
Definitely playing some new songs on this tour!
Do you guys have any advice for starting bands?
Obviously spend a lot of time developing your sound and putting out a quality recording. That is always step one. Beyond that, make sure you have your image dialed in and are learning how to market yourself. You will always be able to reach the people you want to better than anyone else. You'll always care more as well. I think we're in a time where bands need to be more self-sufficient than ever before.
And finally, do you guys have any pre-show rituals?
Yea we do actually... a little hard to explain, but I'll try! So we all stand in a circle while one of us says very sings, "ancestors protect us" The other five guys respond in unison, "may they protect you." Then we go through a series of very complicated handshakes. If you've seen the movie Hot Rod, you'll get it. If not, this will seem very stupid. It's worked for us so far though!
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