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Interviews

Whether your favorite bands play punk, pop, metal or anything in between, you'll find an interview with them here. Always honest, occasionally hilarious, mildly intrusive and quite interesting if we do say so ourselves, we promise to deliver only the best interviews with the hardest rocking bands in the world. 


**Interviews By Emillie Marvel unless otherwise noted.

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Get To Know The Lost Boys with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on July 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

It's time to declare our love for The Lost Boys. The Ohio based band rest their reputation on remarkable pop punk beats that show plenty of love for the punk rock heritage of the genre, with dual vocalists thrown in to ensure comparisons to Blink 182. But a badass sound isn’t the only thing the band have to their name - they also have an energy like no other. Five minutes of chatting with the guys who make up The Lost Boys will open your eyes to the excitement surrounding your life. Why is that, you wonder? Because they have so much enthusiasm for everything they’re doing, and it’s a trait that will certainly help in their quest to rock the world. At the Detroit stop of this year’s Vans Warped Tour, we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Lee Weiss, vocalist/bassist Josh Hall and drummer Brandon Koflowitch to chat about Warped, the band’s new EP and what’s next on their schedule. It turned out to be one of our favorite interviews of all time, and we're beyond excited to share it with you! You can check it out below, then pick up the band’s debut EP Sleepless Nights here!

 


So how’s Warped Tour been going for you guys?

Lee Weiss: It’s been incredible. It is the most fun a band can have.

Josh Hall: This is the happiest I’ve ever been to be this tired and sweaty.

Weiss: If you would have told us like three months ago, you’re gonna be half dirty, half wet all the time and just be disgusting, but you’re gonna love every minute of it. You know we’ve always heard the stories from our favorite bands, but to actually experience it, it’s a hundred percent right. It is the most fun you can have in the summer.

 

That’s awesome!

Brandon Koflowitch: It’s really surreal to be out here.

 

I’m glad to hear your enthusiasm about it! You don’t hear that enough from bands.

Weiss: Because of Kevin Lyman, this institution still exists and allows bands like us to be discovered and found, and kids to have an outlet. For me, for the Warped scene, like I believe in Kevin and this tour so much because my favorite bands blew up from this tour. I came to this tour to discover bands. If it wasn’t for this tour, you wouldn’t have the success of Taking Back Sunday or Fall Out Boy or Blink because-

Hall: Mayday Parade!

Weiss: Or Mayday. It’s like all of our favorite bands just started here, and it’s always been kind of this like legendary thing you hear about from all of your favorite bands. Since I was fourteen, I’m like “I wanna be on the Warped Tour one day.” It’s my dream, and to be here at twenty five doing it, it’s incredible. I never would have believed it.

 

With the first days of the band, besides the Warped tour, what were your biggest goals?

Koflowitch: Meet as many people as possible, get the music out there, get it into kids hands.

Weiss: The way that our band is is that we write from personal experience and things that have happened to us, and whether we say names or not, it’s all about our lives and our experiences and to share that with kids that are going through similar situations is kind of the biggest thing for us. Because like I said, the bands that we all grew up were like on this tour, did the same things for us. So like Brandon said, 100% right, just get the music out there.

 

It’s like coming full circle.

Weiss: Exactly! Exactly.

 

What’s been the coolest thing you’ve done on Warped so far?

Koflowitch: Honestly just playing. It’s so unreal to be on stage, playing the Warped Tour. Like, if you asked me ten years ago if I would ever play the Warped Tour, I’d say probably not. But being here today is just such an honor and it’s so surreal.

 

Hall: My favorite thing that I did today - and I haven’t tried this yet, but I did today and I’ve always just wanted to pour a can of water on people and them be really stoked about it. [Laughs] Normally I’d get punched, but today everybody loved it.

Weiss: I’m on stage watching and I’m like “Wow, this is great”.

 

This is like the one place where you can throw water on people and they don’t get mad.

Hall: I can’t do that at home!

Weiss: I think for me, the coolest thing today has been being between Teenage Bottlerocket and Neck Deep. It was really cool because for the first time, you see bands like Real Friends over here, Every Time I Die over there, and then our stage, it’s two really great punk rock bands, you know, and we’re sandwiched between. It’s like, we couldn’t be in better company.

 

You have your Sleepless Nights EP out, right?

Weiss: We do.

Koflowitch: It came out two days ago.

Weiss: Five songs. Took us the last year to record, and we’re super proud of it. And anyone [reading], you guys should pick it up.

 

What song are you most excited for fans to hear?

Weiss: That’s like asking me who my favorite child is, like, that’s asking a mother that.

Koflowitch: I don’t think I could pinpoint it to one. I have three that I really enjoy playing, which are “Overreaction”, “Day → Ftl”, and “Bad Names”. They’re just fun songs to play.

Weiss: [To Hall] What about you man?

Hall: The one I’ve always been showing people in the lines or when they come up and check out our band, I always show ‘em “‘Reaction”. It’s because it’s really fast paced. I mean all our songs are fast paced, but it’s like really driving and it’s kind of one where people start foot tapping, their head starts nodding, they smile, then they’re like “I’ll take it.”

Weiss: “Bad Names” for me. It’s one of the harder songs that we play, and I mean like technically for us because it’s so fast and it’s just back and forth vocals between Josh and I the whole time, so we really have to be on our A game, but it’s so much fun to play and it just gets me so pumped up.

Koflowitch: Yeah, I remember the first time we practiced it together. I wanted to cry because it was so fast and I was just like… [Laughs]

Weiss: By the time we were done with practice that day, it was like a four hour session, Brandon’s like “I can’t move my arms, please take me home.”

 

What’s next for the band, after Warped Tour?

Weiss: We’re gonna get back, we’re gonna finish recording. We have six or seven songs that we’ve recorded that aren’t on the EP, and our goal is to get a full length done before the end of the year. Either get it out by the end of the year, if not the first of the year. And definitely tour in the fall. East coast, Midwest, down to the South.

 

 



Get To Know The Northern Light with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on July 27, 2014 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

The Northern Light have something special, a fact evident in every facet of their two year career. Formulating interesting beats composed of stellar instrumentation and backed by indie folk fueled vocals, there's no question that TNL put out something you'll want to hear again and again. With the right momentum and a few more wonder filled jams, the band will soon find themselves in venues across the world, and in the headphones of all those who appreciate a uniquely flavored music experience. Recently, we checked in with Rory Maclean and chatted about the local music scene, show day routines and his preferred music format.



How does your local music scene play into the sound you create?

 

You're only as strong as your support system, and Saskatoon has a pretty tightly woven music community. Those bands that you play with and organize with just rub off. Muskwa Lerat, who engineered most of our upcoming EP, happens to be an MC in a rap group called Unsatisfied Poets. When one day we had this funky kinda hip hop jam come up in a rehearsal, where otherwise that kind of musical digression might just be forgotten, we thought, “why not ask Musk if he’ll rap on it?”

We’ve had a lot of support from local record label Sound and Silence Collective, and members of the bands they work with. People are always willing to lend a hand in the studio or on stage. We've been recording this one track for our upcoming EP where I had a vision for this big finale -- cello, violin, tuba, trombone -- I wanted a big, skronky, orchestral sound. We got some help from a few of our pals and label-mates in Minor Matter, Wizards, and Wolfen Rabbits. It sounds epic. I’m really grateful to be able to call on such talented people for help.

 

 

What’s your best memory from being in the band so far?

 

Sometimes we just have shows that make me remember exactly why I play music.

I’ve always loved performing a lot more than recording. A performance is fleeting, the music comes out of you then it’s gone. So the people there listening and dancing are sharing something with you that will never be repeated.

There was a new club that opened in Saskatoon this year called the Capitol. We played there in its first month of business and the venue was untested. I was nervous that people wouldn’t come, or the vibe would be off. Later, looking upon a capacity crowd brimming with friends, family and strangers alike, and the crowd of people dancing, joyful, I just thought, “this moment. This is what I’m looking for.” When I can see so many people responding positively to the racket we’re making, there’s no better feeling.

 

Tell us what a typical show day is like for The Northern Light.

 

It’s pretty routine. If the show’s at night (and it usually is) I’ll start get into show mode sometime after dinner. We’ll load into the venue and kind of get our bearings, see who’s doing sound and who we talk to about payment, rough the gear into place on stage, set up drums and whatever. After that most of us will typically share a joint. It’s never a good idea for me to do that right before we perform, but it’s kind of a way of getting everyone on the same level before sound check. If for some reason I’m nervous about the show I’ll ask Alex (who plays keys, guitar and also sings) to do some vocal warm ups with me. Our trumpet player Paul skitters off into a quiet corner or alley to warm up his lips, which he’ll often do right up until the point when we take the stage. After that we just kind of let it rip. I’m pretty much always nervous before taking the stage but once we start that just melts away.

 

When, and why, did you get started in music?

 

I’ve been playing guitar for 15 years now but I don’t think I really got into music until a few years after that, when I got involved with my first band. We had three guitar players and a drummer and wanted to start a band, so I decided to take up bass. During summer holidays we would smoke pot and go to my drummer Ian’s house to jam almost every day, for hours and hours. He had this wood panelled basement with red shag carpet and a reel-to-reel system. We would record our jams to cassette tapes through this rinky-dink boombox. Just going over blues forms in different keys, cycling them around until they melted into weird psychedelic jams. That’s where I actually learned my instrument. It made practice way more interesting than sitting at home alone practicing scales.

 

What album do you have on repeat right now?

 

I have been listening to a lot of Doug Hoyer’s record Be A River. He’s this guy out of Edmonton that I think is Canada’s answer to David Byrne. He’s got a really nice funky style that’s injected with a healthy dose of weird. Check out the tracks One Foot and Bulgogi Pizza on his Bandcamp.

 

CD, vinyl or digital?

Digital is obviously the most practical medium when you’re on the go, hands down, but I do love records -- the sound of the needle touching down, actively changing the sides of the record, not to mention just the sheer size of the album art. It makes an album feel like a collector’s item. CDs just feel disposable and a little antiquated now, but cost wise it’s hard to beat, unless you’re joining in on the whole cassette resurgence thing that’s happening. I have some strong reservations about this move to cassettes, but it is the cheapest option for physical copies. For the average consumer, if you have a CD for $10 and a tape for $7 -- and you get the download card for the album anyway -- why not just buy the tape?

 

What does the future hold for The Northern Light? What do you have planned?

 

We’re releasing our debut self-titled EP in September, which is really exciting. We’ve put tremendous effort into it and I can’t wait to share it with the world. I’m also in the middle of shooting a music video for one of the tracks called Gravity. I’m shooting it all on actual film with a Super 8 camera. I want it to feel really summery, upbeat and psychedelic: sun fun through a 60s lens. All that footage has to be sent away for processing before I can edit it so the timeline is not really firm yet but expect that to come out sometime in the fall. From there we’ll just keep working our way out west for shows and start working on the next record over the winter. We’re brimming with new songs that are ready to be immortalized.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Merci beaucoup pour votre temps. 



Get To Know Chunk! No, Captain Chunk with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on July 25, 2014 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)


Chunk! No, Captain Chunk are on top of the world. The band have conquered multiple continents since their 2007 formation, and they've really only just began. A band formed on the foundation of having fun, their mission to recreate the genre of party rock has caused their career to skyrocket in record time. Part of the credit is due to Chunk!'s latest release through Fearless Records, Pardon My French (Deluxe Edition), which hands over popcore tunes that'll soon find their way into your heart. Another sizable contribution to the undeniable achievements seized by the band comes from the Vans Warped Tour, which is exactly where we caught up with vocalist Bertrand Poncet. Check out our conversation with the frontman on Warped Tour extracurriculars, music from the 90's and the time of the emo.

You’re from Paris, right?

Yes.

 

So what’s the culture shock like? I know you’ve been coming back and forth for awhile now, but what was the initial opinion of America?

Opinion? When we were kids we all grew up with the American culture, so it was not such a big surprise. It was actually a good surprise. We are not that kind of French guys who talk shit about Americans. I know this is like a stereotype, I know some people just don’t like America for some random reasons. I mean for some reasons I guess, but it’s just I feel this is very stupid. There’s like stupid people everywhere, so...

 

There’s no time for that, no time for hate.

Yeah, that’s it. So we’re like, we love the United States. Everytime we play here it’s a blast. Warped Tour is the best tour ever, so I cannot complain. Even coming from France, we enjoy the food. This is good. We love touring here.

 

What’s been your craziest Warped memory so far? Like not just the shows, but all the activities that happen afterwards?

We did this bowling thing, which was pretty fun. So the idea was to — every band has a fan with them, and we had this girl who showed up with her mother. And her mother was like very fun, you know, and uh… she started to drink.

 

And then she got even more fun?

Yeah, yeah for a moment. At the end of the game, she was wasted and we felt bad for the daughter. That was pretty funny, I think we called a cab to bring them back. That was a good memory.

 

How’d you do with the actual bowling?

Oh, we sucked. We lost. That was kinda bad. I’m kind of tiny, so every time I threw the ball, I was like falling down. It was fun, it was a good time.

 

What’s the best crowd so far on Warped?

California was amazing. I was surprised, yesterday in Cleveland was maybe one of the best shows. But I think crowd-wise, the biggest was Cincinatti. Which is weird, but it was a very, very good surprise. Every show in general, every show’s been pretty amazing.

 

You were just on the new Punk Goes 90’s 2 comp, and you did “Allstar”. How’d that come to be?

So we love the song, honestly, and I feel like the song kind of fits to our band, which was pretty cool and it turned out actually good. We actually had a whole list, and we gave the list to the label and we asked them to choose for us because we couldn’t really decide. “Allstar”, Spice Girls, it has to be from the 90’s you know so… “Barbie Girl”, Aqua. The last one was Venga Boys.

 

90’s music is awesome anyway.

Yeah, there’s some very good stuff. We had some good stuff in France actually. I thought it could have been famous here but it didn’t work out. We had to choose an American thing. But I’m very glad we covered “Allstar”. I think that was the best choice.

 

You have Pardon My French (Deluxe Edition) that just came out. What went behind the decision to release a deluxe edition rather than another EP or another album?

We could have released an EP, that’s right, but I feel like the first release of Pardon My French needed to be more complete. I think the first release was good but, for example, we had no acoustic songs, so this is something we wanted to do. The new songs are slightly different from the rest of the record, but I think it completes the whole thing.

 

What was the first music moment you had in your life that it really clicked? You wanted to be in music.

I first started with piano. Piano is good for writing music. You can do pretty much everything. When you play guitar, you can just play chords. With piano, you can do pretty much everything and it gives you a general idea of how it works. I started learning piano, and then I started to do my own thing, you know? Like, writing songs. I showed my songs to - I was doing just for me, for myself at first, and then I showed my songs to my family, my friends, and they were like that’s good, you know, and you should do something, and this is how I started a band. My first band, before Chunk!, had a piano in it so I could play piano at the same time, which was actually interesting. There was a good mix. And yeah, it’s worked out. I think the reason why I’m still here is just because everything we’ve done kind of worked out, and we had always a good support.

 

How has the experience you had in your first band played into this band, now?

It was a long time ago. The first show with my first band was like in high school. I played in front of the whole high school. It was pretty impressive.

 

You were the rockstar of your high school.

And we were like... this was the whole emo time. You know, dark hairs...

 

I wish it’d go back to that!

I’m pretty sure that it’s gonna come back, somehow. Maybe not the same way.

 

Some area of it.

We’ll see. Yeah, this is how we started, but it was [a] totally different style. This band was like more... emo. Chunk! is more party, fun, stuff like that. So it’s different, but I’m glad we moved on. This first band helped the one that I am [in] right now because it was a good practice for shows, [writing] music.

 

It’s cool you’ve grown up in the music industry. Growing through all your bands and all your experiences.

I mean, our first real experience with the whole music industry is with Chunk, obviously. Because in France, there was like no way to get something bigger. I’m glad we got signed here, I’m glad we’re touring, we’re very lucky and very thankful to do what we like, actually.

 

You’re on a pretty cool label, too, Fearless.

Yes! I love it.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

[Tell] everyone to check us out on Warped Tour. We still have, I don’t know, maybe twenty shows left. It’s gonna be a blast. Every show is getting bigger and bigger, so it’s very cool. I recommend also everyone to check out the new Pardon My French deluxe thing, and the new songs, and I hope everyone will like it.




Get To Know The Homeless Gospel Choir with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on July 21, 2014 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Pittsburgh's own The Homeless Gospel Choir is coming to a pair of headphones near you with vibrant, outspoken, indie-folk tunes that'll make you shout along in agreeance. The most recent of the one-man-band's collection is I Used To Be So Young. The album is dying to invade your music collection and become your most played disc. Before you become completely infatuated with the sounds THGC is cranking out, get to know the man behind the moniker, Derek Zanetti, a little better. We chatted with Zanetti about the new album's lyrical content, Pittsburgh's influence and two toned sunglasses.


How does Pittsburgh play into your sound?

Well, that's a great question. Pittsburgh is not only my home but it's also the greatest city in the world. I'm continually inspired by the local music scene here, and by the wonderful friends, family, and topography that surrounds me on a daily basis. Pittsburgh is known the world round for its inventions and creativity, it's hard for me NOT to draw from that. 

What's your best childhood memory involving music?

I was about three or four and my Aunt Robin and Aunt Judy made a music video on their brand new over the shoulder VHS cassette video recorder of me singing money for nothing by dire straits. They spiked my hair with shampoo and gave me a pair of sweet two toned sunglasses.

Your lyrics tackle everything from preppers to materialism. What draws you to these topics?

It's hard to look at the world and not see that things are drastically changing. Wars, landfills, political and religious corruption, Walmart, Fox News, the fact that Ann Coulter exists, and disposable diapers. If I just sat around and thought about this shit all day, I'd probably go crazy. But I try to approach these topics with a lighthearted flavor as to not bum everyone out. I've tried to write love songs, but that bores me pretty hard. Politics make me angry, anger is always good fuel for good song writing. At least for me.

Why are you using the moniker "The Homeless Gospel Choir" as opposed to your name?

I never really liked my own name, my dad said he wanted to name me Dante, or if I was a girl he thought about Rebecca. I got stuck with Derek, so I just made up a name for my guitar songs.

What's the most important thing you've learned so far in your music career?

Honesty is the most valuable ally you can have. A lot of very talented, "showy" guitar players are amazing musicians, but can only make what they've seen or heard. Even if you are an average guitar player and an average singer, but you really mean it, it's way more valuable. At least in my opinion.

What is your ultimate goal with your career?

My goal is to play shows to people who like to experience music and art in a unique and interesting way. That there ARE sustainable ways of making a living creating art and music without playing into the hand or big business. Ultimately I want to try to be free in creating the music I want to make, and hopefully people enjoy it, and want to hear it.

Where are you going from here? What's next?

Well, I'm currently out on tour all of July on the new record with Listener and '68. Which rules extra hard cause we have all [been] buddies for a long while. I'm in the middle of sorting out a European tour this winter in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'm super stoked to get to play a ton of shows with my big brothers in AntiFlag next year. Other than that I'll be constantly out doing long weekends in people's basements attics, bars, clubs, everywhere. I'm booking a living room tour for the fall where we'll be filming some house shows and whatnot.

 


Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Yes! Listen to the new '68 record In Humor and Sadness, Chris Stowe's new record Hollow, go see Ramshackle Glory live this summer, their live show is fucking amazing, listen to the newest Listener record Time Is A Machine, read Buddy Wakefield (everything he's ever put out). Oh yeah #upthepunks.


Get To Know Hotel Books with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on July 9, 2014 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Porterville, California's Hotel Books believe in love. This isn't the only thing they put their belief into, but above all, they believe in love. It's the underlying emotion in every square inch of their career, and the fact is abundantly apparent. This isn't a band that's in music for anything other than the purest of intentions, which is what makes their music so significant. The newest addition to their discography is the double EP, I'm Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel At Home, a collection that puts the band's poetry style lyricism and vocal delivery and grunge/hardcore sound aestethic on the highest pedastool. When we caught up with frontman and lyricist extraordinaire Cam Smith, we chatted about the album's mood, preferable lyrics and his vinyl collection for what became one of our best interviews yet. Check it out, then pick up your copy of the double EP here.



You just released I’m Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel At Home. Tell us about the writing and recording process for the double EP.

 

The album was mostly written on the road. The lyrics, which I wrote, were basically the result of daily journaling. The music was composed by Jordan Leal, and then he and Dan, our drummer, would find downtime on tour and figure out arrangements. We would just kind of set up wherever we could.

The first EP, I’m Almost Happy Here, was recorded in Phoenix, AZ by our friend Hiram Hernandez. We did the full EP in two sessions across December and January. The second EP, But I Never Feel At Home, was recorded at the house my grandparents lived in when I was younger, and where my mother lives now. We wanted the album to be a representation of where I had come from, so we felt it necessary to record in such environment. The drums were recorded by Dan in Massachusetts at Kennedy Studios, near his home. The album was mixed and mastered by Jay Maas, who did a fantastic job.

 

 

A lot of the influence an album has on a person is the mood it puts them in. What mood(s) did you originally hope to create with the music? Did they change at all?

 

 

That’s a tough question. I never really go into a song with the expectation of creating some sort of mood, especially with But I Never Feel At Home, but I do feel the album(s) convey a strong somber tone to them, which is fine with me. We never sat down and were like “Let’s write sad songs,” but we do intentionally do what we can to silence any emotional reserves someone might have. I guess our goal is to remove the listener from any sort of social or emotional walls so they can just experience our record free of stigmas or expectations. I don’t know if we have mastered this, or even gotten close, but that goal will never change.

 

 

What’s the story behind the album art?

 

We found the photographer on Instagram, believe it or not. The artwork for I’m Almost Happy Here was a photo of a girl’s naked back with a crown of flowers. We wanted to convey the image of Eve, from the Garden of Eden, but then expanded on that concept with the new artwork. We wanted to take that image of a girl’s back, and place it in present time, with a mirror reflecting, as one reflects on the past. We wanted to take that idea of Eve, a simple person with flaws and weaknesses, and plug it into today.

 

 

I’m Almost Happy Here, But I Never Feel At Home will also be released on vinyl. What does your vinyl collection look like?

 

My vinyl collection is fairly small these days, but I am proud of it. My most recent additions are the latest xLooking Forwardx EP, Everything is Debatable by Hellogoodbye and a first pressing of Sad Sappy Sucker by Modest Mouse. Beyond that, I have a few more hellogoodbye records, a couple Black Flag records, several Modest Mouse records and releases by My Iron Lung, Jars of Clay, Thursday, Death, and a few others.

 

 

What is your favorite lyric from the double EP?

 

I’m not entirely sure what my favorite lyric is, but I really like the line “Scream hallelujah until you cough up blood” from the song "Lungs", as well as the lyrics, “Sometimes we are weaker than what we create, what does that say about our love and our hate?” but my favorite overall song, lyrically, is probably "Nicole".

 

 

Where does Hotel Books go from here?

 

We’re already mapping out a full length album, as well as planning out some new tours. At this point, we are just seeing where God leads us, as well as building a team to help us along the way.

 

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 

I would like to thank you for this interview. Also, I would like to thank InVogue Records for all of the support and for making our EP a reality. We had worked so hard on these songs, and we’re so blessed to have the InVogue family along for the journey. Also, we are very appreciative of the Hotel Books family who has been with us through going to our shows and listening to our songs.




Get To Know White Noise Owl with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on July 1, 2014 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Californian rock band White Noise Owl have been busy with the release of their latest EP Until We Meet Again. The collection has created plenty of buzz in the music industry, and it's well deserved. The band have taken to crafting a stellar quality of music over the past, and with the assistance of producer Ben Grosse they've managed to do exactly that - to the tenth power. While we could go on and on bragging about the group's stylistical brilliance, we also realize you'd probably like to read our interview with bassist John Fahnestock. So we will stop our endless praise (for now) and let you dive into the conversation about the EP, previous musical experiences and bass lines.


What can new listeners expect from your EP Until We Meet Again?

A Big Rock Sonic set of Balls!

 

What was it like working together as a band without knowing each other first? Do you think it’s easier or harder for a band to create an album/EP this way?

I thought the organic meeting of us becoming a group as the songs was recorded to tape was a mutual experience of respect and trust for each other's talents. We all was aware of each other's skills but still trusting that each other would compliment the songs as a whole unit.

 

Where does your main inspiration come from when creating bass lines?

I try to create a bass line that has a series of notes introduced as a hook within the melody of the song.

 

How has all of your previous experiences with other bands helped in the creative process of White Noise Owl's EP?

I enjoy playing different styles of music, and by doing this it has taught me how to approach a song by playing with emotion. Love Anger and Happiness can all be created by the way you attack your instrument.

 

What was your favorite part of recording Until We Meet Again?

I enjoy working in the studio with Ben Grosse and the other guys, tracking bass searching for that ultimate tone and watching the riffs evolve into songs

 

What’s next for White Noise Owl? Any tour plans?

We are rehearsing for showcase shows in Los Angeles & NYC the tours will follow....

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Real music created from the heart and not the wallet is a rare find anymore in this fast becoming commercialized world. White Noise Owl is one of the last bands to Breathe pure honest music to the masses, enjoy "Until We Meet Again" before real music is lost and gone forever.



 

Get To Know Homemade Crazy with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on June 30, 2014 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s safe to admit we’re all a little crazy—so this one’s for anyone not in denial about that fact. Homemade Crazy are a four-piece hailing from McCook, NE, and they describe themselves as indie electro punk—now there’s a mouthful. But in the age of genres and labels, maybe Homemade Crazy have it all figured out. The genre-hopping group defy any expectations, so you’ll have to go try them out for yourself, something we highly recommend if you’re up for something utterly original. We caught up with the band to talk their new album ‘Synergy’, influences, and more!


Tell us about Synergy. What goals did you go into the studio with?

Koby Blake: My goal for ‘synergy’ was to recreate this sound I had boiling in my head the last few years and to get it on a record so everyone could hear what I’ve been talking about for so long. We just wanted the album to sound as good if not better than it did live. We wanted a professional album that could be taken seriously and it was scary cause we had a really low budget, but we are proud of what we've created.

What did you learn from the experience of creating this album?

Max Kugler: I definitely learned that it is more than just playing the song into a bunch of microphones... The click track was my biggest challenge, I'm used to keeping the time in my own head so I was fighting the metronome a lot... In the end I left realizing that I needed to practice with a click track and that has helped me immensely .

Aaron Paiz: I learned that it's better to have all if the pieces put together well in advance. Get your album art, track list, album name, mastering engineer and schedule worked out before you enter the studio. It will save you time and a headache.

You describe yourself as “indie electro punk”. That’s definitely interesting, where does your inspiration for such a unique style of music derive from?

Breezy Ortega: All four of us are into different types of music. Each of our styles coming together makes for an interesting genre. Our good friend DJ Sammy Marz actually gave us that label. He came to one is our rehearsals and just through it out there. We always had a hard time describing ourselves and he figured it out without hesitating.

Kugler: Indie electro punk is pretty much just the best way to describe our sound. We have a pretty diverse selection of music that all of us listen to and that is what you hear when we create a song... Picking a genre, to me, is so hard because we wouldn't like just writing songs in that genre but it mostly comes from our heavy guitar riffs and driving rhythms with a lot of synth overlaid for a nice poppy sound.

What was the first album in your music collection?

Ortega: My first vinyl was The Doors self titled album and my first cassette was Sublime's.

Blake: The first record I ever owned was sublime's "second hand smoke". I stole it from my oldest brother and from there I was hooked. I used to stay up late at night listening to it over and over again in bed with my head phones on so he didn’t hear it or would of knocked me around a bit lol I just loved the fast pace and high energy and those smooth hooks sublime is so known for!

Kugler: The first album I remember getting was the "blue album" by 311. It was a hand me down from my sister. I was always stealing it from her so she gave it to me so from then on I did little chores around the house to fund new additions to my cd collection.

Paiz: "Inner secrets" by Carlos Santana. My mother was always my biggest influence. I listened to all of her albums.

How did Homemade Crazy form?

Paiz: Koby and I started Homemade Crazy in 2012 about a year and a half after we walked away from our last project Kaleidoscope Eyes. We stopped playing together for about a year. Until Koby's marriage started to collapse he pretty much stopped writing all together and eventually he couldn't hold it in anymore. There was so much stress and emotion building that he had to let it out so he finally gave in and wrote "time bomb". I liked his material so we showed him some of Breezy's songs and it just kind of happened. A few weeks later our old buddy and original junior high drummer moved back to town and hopped on the opportunity to play with us again. We got our set together and started playing local gigs and just started branching out from there.

What’s next for Homemade Crazy?

Blake: Touring and promoting this album to as many ears we can sing into and to get our merch catalog where it should be.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, email us nice things and most importantly....Stay Crazy Everybody!




Bio; Alex Bear

Interview; Emillie Marvel

Get To Know Pop Evil with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on June 16, 2014 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Where we're from, Pop Evil aren't just a badass rock band — they're also hometown heroes. Straight out of Grand Rapids, MI, the band have spent the last thirteen years on the road, and occasionally in studios, to build the respectable reputation they now hold. While their impeccable discography isn't something to be taken lightly, one of the most known facts about the band is their road dog status. Their upcoming tour schedule shows no signs of slowing down, either. The band were just announced for Rockstar's Uproar Festival, where they'll be touring the country alongside Godsmack and Seether, amongst others. Before they embark on the epic trek, we caught up with drummer Chachi Riot before a festival performance right here in their homestate of Michigan. We talked about Pop Evil's intense touring habits, what measures success in the music industry, the undeniably great Michigan music scene and plenty more! Check it out below!




You guys tour a lot.

Yes.

 

You have the most insane tour schedule I’ve ever seen.

It’s nuts.

 

What keeps you sane?

I think it’s so important, like our daily routine. When I hear bands like, “Oh yeah, being on the road is so hard and challenging.” And I’m like, “You guys are on the road like a hundred and ten days a year.” We just did — this year has been a little more relaxed, but the year I joined, before Nick was in the band, you know 2012 [or maybe] ‘11, we had like 200, almost 270 or 275 shows. So we were on the road like 310 days. You have to find something to cling to. Mine is the daily routine. I’m pretty into Crossfit and fitness stuff, and anything to keep me busy and keep me feeling like I’m progressing somehow. Because you can’t just do the music thing all the time, it won’t work.

 

And you guys definitely tour a lot to have to have something to keep you sane.

Yeah, you gotta find some other hobbies, you know. I think sometimes people are saddened by that. All they want to talk about is music, and I’m just like "You know, I can talk about just about anything else. For the past seven weeks that’s all that I’ve done." [Laughs] But we’re still just normal people. I mean, I love it and we’re very lucky to have this job, but it’s still a job.

 

What’s your first tour memory?

My first tour memory is probably the day I met up with these guys, as far as touring with Pop Evil. I knew the guys years before I came into the band, and I’ll never forget Dave calling me. It was like on a Sunday night, going into Monday at like 1AM, and I was like “Dave’s drunk dialing me, what’s going on?” And he’s like “Hey,” he just kind of small talked. Then he was like “How would you like to play drums for us?” I’m like, “What are you, what? What are you talking about dude? Where are you going with this?” And he was like “Well, we need somebody to come in and play with us, Dylan’s not gonna make the next tour and you’re the first guy that I wanted to call. Can you be on a train at 7AM Tuesday morning?” So he gave me about 27 hours notice, and he’s like “Hey, be on a train to Chicago to leave for tour.” At this time “Last Man Standing” had been released, but War of Angels wasn’t even out yet. They were playing most of the songs off War of Angels live, and I had never even heard them. There was no way for me to hear them, the songs weren’t released. So I was like, “I don’t know your songs, I’ve never played to a click live.” I lied and told ‘em I had. That was one of the first questions, they were like “Can you play live to a clicking track?” I was like “Yeah!” I knew if I said yes, I would at least have a shot to fool them, and if I said no I knew I wouldn’t even get to swing the bat.

 

Well it must have worked out.

Yeah, and it was.. the first four days was really scary, really hectic and a total, like, “Show up, here we go.” When I came out, our first show was in Arkansas, and we had nine days in a row with no days off. And on a show day, practice is pretty impossible because there’s other bands in the venue and we were out at the time with Crossfade, so we had to share the stage. Once we were set up, we got a soundcheck. We had like a ten minute window, and then it was time for them to be on the stage. We couldn’t sit and rehearse, so it was scary.

 

It’s awesome, though, that you like stepped up to the plate. I mean, you miss the shots you don’t take.

Exactly, I’m a huge huge believer in that. You know, I would rather try it and realize it’s not for me than spend my life wondering.

 

You gotta just go for it. For you it worked out!

It’s workin’ out, it’s workin’ out. I mean it’s still a long road, we have a long ways to go, but we need each other. It’s not a one person show. Just keep writing the songs and keep touring. Hopefully that’s what pays off.

 

And when you have like super long drives, what do you do to keep from being too bored?

Drive days are pretty rough for me. I’m pretty high energy, and I get cabin fever pretty quick. I’m the one on the bus that goes to bed earliest and gets up the earliest, so I usually get up before the bus is stopped and that is already hard. If I have an hour or two to wait, I get super antsy. And people are like “‘Why? There’s like video games, there’s TV.” I’m like “Yeah, but I’m stuck on the bus.” I think it’s a mental thing, knowing I can’t get off is hard to deal with. We actually were just talking about that outside. In July — June? End of June? Our last show is in Idaho, and I was like “So what’s the plan after that?” Chris [tour manager] is like “We’ll play that show in Idaho, then we’ll drive home.” And I was like, “Dude that’s like a three day drive.” It’s gonna be twenty-four hours or close, and our driver can only drive so many hours a day, legally and physically. So immediately I was like “What can I do for twelve hours straight awake on the bus?” And I read quite a bit, I watch music videos whenever I can. Country, ‘cause that’s all that usually comes on. GAC still plays videos. And we play hockey on PS3 quite a bit together, most of us are all sports fans. Just try to stay busy, try to find something to do online. If we have WiFi access, social media; there’s always more that can be done with social media. Reading about something online.

 

Always growing your mind, because that’s how you’re gonna progress anyways.

Yep, absolutely. I’m always trying to further myself mentally or physically.

 

What’s your favorite tour you’ve been on?

I think, in terms of the bands we were out with, probably 3 Doors Down and Theory of a Deadman. It was us three together, and I really enjoyed every single person on that whole tour. I was still pretty new at that time. That was my first arena tour so I was out of my mind excited and young and new, but even looking back it was still one of the greatest. I love the guys in Theory of a Deadman. We’ve become really close friends. I really love the guys in Black Stone Cherry, John Fred [drums, backing vocals] and I are really close. It’s really hard to hold onto that kind of relationship with people when you’re on the road. I love touring with Sevendust, those are some of my favorites for sure.

 

It’s good to have friends on the road.

It’s hard. ‘Cause you think that you’re both in a band, so you must have so much in common but really you just have the same job. It’s like going to your job and thinking that you have so much in common, but really you might not have anything in common at all. It can be challenging. I can’t think of a time where I’ve had really like a terrible experience with another band.

 

That’s lucky!

Yes, yes, we’ve been pretty lucky.

 

And then when you come home, you have the support of Grand Rapids. You’re like hometown heroes.

I’m a huge local, Michigan guy. Local business, local bands, the local scene.

 

Well I love how everytime you guys have a tour, I see you coming back to like The Intersection and The Loft.

We don’t play ‘em enough! Honestly. I was just telling the security guy, I’m like “I wish we could play Michigan every month.” Somewhere in the state, I don’t care if it’s the East or West side.

 

What’s the coolest thing that Grand Rapids, or West Michigan’s, done to support you guys?

Man, that’s really tough. I feel like we get a lot of love. When we played Summer Celebration two summers ago, the city of Muskegon named July 1st I think was the day, Pop Evil day. That was pretty insane. It’s just a great area to be from, and to be a part of. I mean, Scott at The Intersection has been so amazing to us from day one. Even myself and my old band, before Pop Evil. He always treated me like I was a rockstar. You know with so much respect and dignity and he’s never swayed from that.

 

That’s really great.

Yeah, it’s really, really awesome. The Intersection definitely has a very special place in my heart, as the people that work there and as a venue. A lot of firsts for me there.

 

It’s great to have that connection there with people who are actually helping people out, because in the music industry you’ll notice a lot of people who aren’t.

They’re just out for number one, always. It’s so rare that you find a place where there’s a city, a venue and a radio station that work together. They understand that the venue wants to book these bands, so the radio should play those bands, and when you do that and support each other — or you know, “The radio’s playing them, so we should book them,” — everyone wins. Flint does a really great job of that. Flint people I think are afraid of or are nervous, you know it’s got a bad reputation, but The Machine Shop is an amazing venue. Kevin Zink is one of the best business owners I’ve ever met in my life. He gets it; he gets how to treat people, how to work hard, how to support other local businesses.

 

It’s like a united front.

Everyone wins! I don’t know why more cities can’t figure that out.

 

Well it’s ego.

Exactly! Put your egos aside and help each other.and everyone gets bigger. Bands will want to play there more, because the shows will be better. The venue will make more money.

 

The music industry should be a team effort.

It’s really not a competition, everyone can win.

 

So what do you think a band should know before starting out on touring, or really being a full time band?

It’s a thousand times harder than you think it is. Even if you think it’s hard, you still have no idea. I’ve learned so much, and continue to learn everyday. When I was in my old band, I was like “If we could get a song on the radio, that would change our lives and everything would be so different.” And here we are now, and we’ve been lucky enough to land three number one singles in a row, four songs chart[ed] off the last record, and I still don’t have my own apartment. It’s not the 80’s and 90’s. One song today it’s pretty rare, in rock music, that it’ll totally change your life. That’s only monetarily speaking, you know, and it’s not like I’m starving to death. There’s times where we felt like we were close. I lived in a van for like two years in my last band, and those are some of the greatest times of my life. I learned so much at that juncture. I think one piece of advice that bands really, really need to listen to is that if you’re gonna make a CD — you’re gonna go, you’re gonna make the recording, you’re gonna do it, you’re gonna show your CD to somebody — take the time to go to a real producer, spend the money, and get a pro recording of your best one or two songs. I know how frustrating it is as an artist, you wanna just record eight songs and make a CD and get a CD out, but it’s not gonna help you. People don’t have time for that, and I mean people in the industry, I mean fans, I mean everybody. You might have two hundred friends at home that’ll buy it and listen to it. If that’s where you want to end, then that’s fine, but I wish somebody would have told me that sooner. Go to a producer. It sucks and it shouldn’t have to be that way, it should be about just the song but it’s not anymore. The quality of the recording, the production, the songwriting, is so much different than it used to be. If you’re a new band, spend the money, take the time, make a song. And then, there’s no shortcuts, man. You gotta play shows, and you have to build a following. If you’re good, people will eventually respond.

 

A lot of it is talent, but most of it’s work.

I think that success in the music industry is gauged more on longevity than it is on peak. A lot of bands had one smash song, but like… versus a band like Sevendust. Sevendust has been around and they're not writing number ones, they’re staying around for like fifteen years. I love those guys.

 

Which is hard, because stuff changes so fast.

It’s so insane! And I guarantee you will not find a more respected band out there than Sevendust in terms of the music industry, like from musician to musician. Peer respect.

 

Plus that shows dedication to their craft, that they're not just in it to try and get the number one single.

And it’s not easy for those guys, you know. I’m close with Clint, and I’ve talked to Morgan. When you start in a band, you’re eighteen years old. You’re young and dumb. You’re hungry and ready to do it all. But then you get older, and now it’s a job, it’s a career and it’s what you do for a living. You have a family, you have a woman or a wife, or you might have kids at home and you miss them everyday. It’s hard. You really age and grow and change in a band, and that can be really challenging to learn how to deal with. So any band like that, that’s shown that kind of longevity in their career, I think is what I admire.

 

You hope to keep going that same path?

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’re not here to make music for five years and disappear, and then have to go get a different job and start all over again. In the real — I say the real world, but I guess in any job — it doesn’t matter; music industry, you know if you want to be an accountant, if you want to work at McDonalds, when you start over, you still start over. You start at the bottom, and you have to climb that ladder again.

 

So you hear a lot about the worst parts of tour. And I don’t really like that question. What is the best part of touring, besides the shows?

Oh, man. Probably meeting fans. Being able to play every night. We can majorly affect people’s lives, and I think we take that for granted a lot. Just really genuinely affected by that [song], and we were a part of that. That’s pretty special.

 

So do you believe in the "music saves lives" thing? That’s a big debate right now.

I don’t know how it could be debated. Absolutely. I don’t think it saves every life, by any means, but it’s a major emotional affecter. Whether it’s for the better, or the worse sometimes. People listen to music that enhances their mood, whatever their mood is. People are angry, they wanna listen to angry music usually. People are sad, they listen to sad music. When you’re happy, you listen to happy music.

 

 

I think that’s really cool, that people have the opportunity to go to your record and go, “You know what, this song inspires me, so it’s gonna change my whole day.”

People do that for us still. It’s hard sometimes, like when I get sent a new song. Our manager will be like “Check this song out by this band you’ll really like.” I have like two modes. I have musician mode, I’m analyzing the song, and I am blessed to just turn it off and just enjoy a song. People are like “You think that’s a good song?”. It doesn’t matter if I think it’s a good song. I like it. I don’t overthink it, I just sit back and let the music play and enjoy it.

 

So what do you listen to then?

I’m all over the place. I go through big phases. If I go through my phone and look at the artists, obviously it’s gonna be alphabetized but that’ll give you a pretty good idea of how insanely diverse my listening is. I mean I have ACDC, Adam Lambert, Adele, Adelita’s Way, Aerosmith, AFI, Alabama, Alan Jackson, Alex Clare, Alice Cooper, Alice In Chains, Alicia Keys. I think lately I’ve been in a huge Lana Del Rey kick, I really like her music a lot. The Parlor Mob is probably my favorite band, they’re kind of a Zeppelin-y rock band that had initially announced hiatus and now they’re releasing a record this fall, so I’m super excited for that.

 

Maybe you’ll get to tour with ‘em.

They’ve played with us before! It’s really a terrible fit, as far as line ups go but I fanboy out. I mean, they’re my favorite band. They’ve only made two records, they were on Roadrunner and they got dropped. They’ve just had a really rough time, but it shows in their songs and their second song, “Dogs”, is a lot about the struggles of life and a lot of it is very easily relatable through music. I’m a musician and I know that they are, so I hear what they’re saying. I can cry when I listen to their record, it’s just so brutally honest.

 

What’s your favorite song from the Pop Evil discography?

Maybe “Torn To Pieces” is pretty special. And I’ve always really been partial to “Somebody Like You”. Those two songs, for very different reasons though, have always really been a big part of me and the band. Obviously, I love “Trenches” also, that’s a pretty inspirational one.

 

“Somebody Like You” is really a raw song.

Yeah, it was really early, you know? It’s just very easy, there’s no hidden artistic message. It just speaks right to the point.

 

Is there anything else you want to add?

Just thank everybody. Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are. We promise to keep workin’ hard. If everyone keeps supporting us, we’ll be forever thankful. We’re not gonna go anywhere soon.

 

What’s next for the band?

Throughout the rest of the summer, we’re gonna be headlining and doing festivals, popping in and out, a couple fly dates. And then in the fall, we’re jumping on a pretty large tour.






Get To Know Wasi with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on June 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Introducing Wasi; a fresh faced, California (and part Switzerland) grown three piece. While the band are still relatively new to the music scene, they seem to be well versed in the art of being a dynamite band. Take, for instance, the fact that their sound would be equally welcomed at the garage show next door and the Top 40 radio chart. Or that they've just entered studios with legendary producer Matt Squire for their debut EP. And to think that this is just the beginning for the young band — doors are opening left and right due to their fun attitude and explosive music. Recently, we asked Wasi a few questions about the music they make, the influence of California and the meaning of riot pop. Check it out below!


You’re self described as “riot pop”. What does that mean to you?

 

WASI: We're really influenced by the riot-grrrl scene .... Defining ourselves as "riot pop" lets us carry that kind of riot-grrrl, enthusiastic energy into this poppier sound that we're about.

 

You recently entered studios with Matt Squire. How have the sessions been going?

 

WASI: Awesome! He's so cool, really chill and incredibly approachable. He really understands what our vision is about, which is really important to us.

 

What have you learned from the esteemed producer so far?

 

WASI: Be open, share, help and the favors will come back. It's hard to succeed in the music industry, but if you are nice and in it for the right reasons, people are likely to help you. This is very much our opinion too, so we're happy to hear that he has the same mindset. It's an industry based on best friends.

 

What was the music scene like in your town when you were growing up?

 

Cosmo & Jess: We're from Orange County. The scene is cool in that there are still some poppin venues that create a space for OC bands to be noticed, and the OC Music Awards helps out alot. Growing up, the coolest venues you'd want to tell your friends you were hitting up after school were The Alley and Chain Reaction, which is funny because we met Carlo at Chain Reaction right before his show with a band he was on tour with from Boston. We were selling CDs for a previous project, got to talk to him for a few minutes, and have kept in touch ever since. While the OC scene is really cool and supportive, we didn't really figure out our sound and what we were about as artists until we moved out to LA and started touching base with the East LA punk/riot-grrrl/DIY scene.

 

Carlo: I grew up in a small town in Switzerland with a very small music scene. If you wanted to play a show you had to put it on yourself. It's one of the reasons why I moved to the USA and specifically to LA: To find a vivid and inspiring music scene. I still think DIY is the way to go, but it's much easier here than back home.

 

Cosmo: Personally, we're all into different kinds of music. I got into punk/post punk stuff at a really young age. My all time favorite band is The Clash while Jessie's growing up was Blink 182.

 

Jess: Blink 182 was the band I listened to growing up that related to me in EVERYTHING I had going on. Their incredibly simple and catchy melodies is still a huge influence in our songwriting.

 

Carlo: Growing up I listened mostly to my mom's Beatles and Led Zeppelin records. Later on I was introduced to pop punk, which had a big influence on me. Nowadays there's many different styles present in my drumming.

 

How does that play into Wasi?

 

WASI: We didn't realize we had an OC/So Cal sound until other people from outside Cali told us so. It totally makes sense to us now! So this "So Cal" vibe mixed with letting ourselves expand to our punk roots really reminds us what we're doing music for. We write lyrics and melodies that mean something to us, and make sure that what we're screaming about can be seen and felt in our live show.

 

What’s your best show memory to date?

 

WASI: I think overall the most fun shows are these house-parties we do... where everyone is so tuned in with each other's energy. We love the intimate shows where we just become one with the audience. A recent fun one was a GSA Prom we did out in the Inland Empire at a DIY venue called Blood Orange Info Shop. The students host their own prom catered to the LGBTQ community... and when kids come to shows and safe spaces like this, they're ready to go all out.

 

What’s next for Wasi?

 

WASI: We're working a music video with our friends at Heart of Art Gallery (www.heartofartgalleryla.com) and of course, our debut EP! You can hear our current double single produced by Pete Mills and Donal Finn at wasi.bandcamp.com.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

 

WASI: You can check us out at wasiband.com or facebook.com/wasiband.

 

This message will destroy itself in 3 seconds. Good luck on your mission!

 



Get To Know Framing Hanley with Punk Nation!

Posted by punk-nation on June 11, 2014 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Five years ago, Framing Hanley were a band you couldn’t escape. Everywhere you went, their songs were on the radio, their faces on your TV screens, and they had the world at their feet. And suddenly, they disappeared before they could even get started. But the silence has been worth the wait—their new album, The Sum Of Who We Are, shows that the Nashville rockers are still just as capable of taking over the airwaves. And this time round, they’re older and wiser—so you can rest assured they won’t be going away any time soon. We chatted to Kenneth Nixon about influences, studio magic, and more!



So today’s your first day of tour. That’s awesome!

Yeah, excited about it. Played a couple of shows last weekend to kind of get the kinks out so it should be exciting.

 

When was the last time you were on tour?

The last real tour we did was last October in the UK, but even that got cancelled early because there was an illness in the headlining band so we played like three shows on that. So you know, the last time we consistently toured was well over a year and a half ago.

 

What are you most excited about for this tour? What show, or what aspect of touring?

Really the overall just getting to play these songs for people that have been patient with us. I love touring as a support act on a tour like we’re doing with Three Days Grace because for a lot of people they will be hearing Framing Hanley for the very first time because they’re Three Days Grace fans, so it’s always cool to create new fans or just see if you can win a crowd over or not by the end of the show. That makes it a little more of a challenge and more fun on our end.

 

Tell me about The Sum Of Who We Are. What should fans expect from it?

I think any band that doesn’t look to evolve is kind of selling themselves and their fans short. So I think there’s definitely, you know, you can hopefully hear maturity in our band now. We don’t want to keep making albums if we feel like we’re making the same albums over and over again. You know, bands like Thrice, Incubus, Foo Fighters, those are bands that I am a huge fan of because the very reason that they continue to evolve with every album and that’s kind of our goals. When we feel like we have nothing left to say and when we feel like we’ve kind of become the band that just puts out the same album that’s when we’ll stop doing this. I feel like this is definitely our strongest album to date.

 

It’s good to not be so predictable. Bands get boring real fast if they keep making the same thing over and over.

Yeah, and you need to do that I think so that it’s like… It makes it maybe more fun. That’s what delayed this album, quite frankly, so long. We felt like the songs could be better. We felt like we weren’t getting the end result that we wanted and we weren’t gonna put that out there until we did. Finally we reached that and I couldn’t be more excited.

 

That shows a lot of your values too, with music, that you didn’t put something out that you didn’t believe in. Definitely very respectable.

Ah, thanks.

 

So what’s your best studio memory from the recording of The Sum Of Who We Are?

For me it was probably “Castaway”, the recording experience for that song. It just kind of happened, we had a shell of a song going into the studio with it and when we laid it down it was one of those where it was just, I don’t know… magic. You know it was the right song. That song basically is about… we’ve experienced a lot of hardships with this band and I think every band does. But we have a group of people out there that believe and are fans of our band and that’s pretty incredible considering the lofty dreams we had when we started this. To have obtained any fan was awesome, but we’ve obtained a number of fans and in various places of the world so it’s cool to know that that’s something that’s never gonna change. As long as those people are there, we’re gonna continue making music and go down with the ship, as the song says. There’s not another song on the album like that song stylistically I think. I dare say that we haven’t had a song in our discography that is anything like that song. And it was also cool because with writing about the bond within this band and with our core fan base, we actually did a UStream while we were recording that song. A lot of fans, I don’t know if they were even aware of what that song’s about, so UStreaming while we were recording, working on our song was pretty special as well.

 

So let’s go back to the beginning. What initially got you interested in music?

I think when I was younger I would have denied this, but now at an older age, having a son I can see it in him already. My dad was a country musician so I think it was just in my blood. I shied away from that when I was little. It was something that I found always in life was what made me happy was writing, and you know singing. And just recently actually, finally getting into guitar because I felt like I kind of ran away from that ‘cause my dad did that when I was younger, so I didn’t want to be like dad. [Laughs] As far as rock, you know with my dad playing country, the first time I was introduced to rock ‘n’ roll my uncle left Appetite For Destruction, Guns N’ Roses first album — cassette tape actually — over at our house and Axl Rose won me over. Then there was no looking back.

 

 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given on your career?

Oh, man. I don’t know. I don’t know that I’ve ever been given advice per se. It’s kind of one of those industries where it’s just you live and you learn. Different for everyone you know?

 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned then?

There is no easy road to the top or anything like that. I dare say that it’s not even possible to know that you have a stable career ever in this industry. I think that weeds out a lot of the bands because that’s not why a lot of bands do this. They don’t do it for that anymore, they do it because their passion. When people ask me if I have any advice for any other band I always say there is no get rich quick scheme. It’s like, if you’re doing it for that reason, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. I’m lucky to be in a band with four other guys that just love writing and playing music. And the fact that we have people all across the world that, again, will come out, support us live and see these shows, that’s an amazing thing. That’s a reward in itself.

 

You guys definitely gotta love the music a lot to stick it out.

Yeah, man. It’s the only thing that we, again, the only thing that we having passion doing. Or else trust me, it’d have been really easy to walk away from this over the years. [Laughs] But you know, this is… again, going back to what I said earlier about the tour dates. Finishing the album finally after two and a half years and being able to go out and tour and support the album. We’re giddy like children around Christmas right now.

 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

As far as anything to add, just if we come anywhere near you come out to a show. Stay in tune with framinghanley.com, we’re actually gonna start doing a lot more video content so people can see what it’s really like touring. You can check that out on Youtube, Facebook, framinghanley.com.


Bio; Alex Bear

Interview; Emillie Marvel


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