How do you usually write the lyrics for your songs?
I spend a lot of time questioning things and observing the world. I live downtown so I walk more often than I drive, which gives me the opportunity to get lost in thought quite frequently.
I write what I’m passionate about, & the things around that move me. I think it’s important to dig a little deeper and really say what you mean.
Rock music today is extremely watered down, with producers & writers that are focused more on ‘selling’ & appealing to a wide audience, rather than artistic integrity.
I never want to cheapen who I am and what my music stands for. I strongly believe that commercial success can happen without sacrificing individuality.
What is the main difficulty/challenge while writing lyrics?
Sometimes it’s hard to just cut out all the noise and write.
My creativity is very on and off, like I’ll just be off grocery shopping or something, & then a song will hit me.
Then i’ll have to stop in the middle of the store or wherever I am, pull out my phone notes & voice recordings & make sure I get every ounce of creativity down while it’s flowing. Songs rarely hit you when it’s convenient.
Whenever I sit down and think “Okay, I’m going to write a song today” I sit in front of my computer for hours just staring at the screen.
What is the best verse you ever wrote?
I really love the first verse of “Ungrateful”
“Things aren’t always what they seem, now that I’m so aware. Maybe I’m just dreaming, if I am it’s a nightmare.
We painted pictures in our heads, only wishing we would grow.
But we’re burning up instead, so little did we know. I just need you to leave, you silenced me as I fell numb.
You’ll be only a memory. When did we learn not to love?”
What is the soundtrack to your childhood?
Growing up with country radio as a kid, the early years were all Shania Twain & Rascal Flatts.
Once I hit middle school it evolved to burned CD’s with anything from Avenged Sevenfold to Good Charlotte to Linkin Park.
I remember listening to “Anthem Part Two” by blink-182 & “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd an excessive amount from about 12-15 years old.
And I feel that we can all relate when I say “Yeah” by Usher would throw ANY of us right back to middle & high school dances.
What was the first record you ever bought?
When I was about 6-7 I got a Beach Boys cassette tape for my birthday that I played so much that the actual tape wore off of it.
Stuart Little soundtrack was the first CD I ever bought. If soundtracks don’t count, then it was Shania Twain’s “UP” album when I was 9 years old.
What has your journey in the music industry been like up to now?
A more accurate question would be “what HASN’T it been like?”
Because it’s everything from the most amazing thing to ever be a part of, & it’s also this soul-sucking dungeon of fake, passive-aggressive people who you’ll never be “good enough” for.
So it really depends on the day & who you’re dealing with. When it comes to dealing with the music itself & our direct relationship with our fans, it’s absolutely everything I could have dreamed of.
I love being a part of people’s lives with our music & I love that they allow us to be a part of theirs. It’s so humbling and I don’t care about struggling financially or living in a van half the year, it’s a great life.
It fills my soul & that’s everything I aspire for.
The business & industry side is a bit more complex.
It’s all kind of a big game of dick sucking & the “who’s who” like high school never went out of style.
I fu##in hate that.
To us, rock music should be easy.
It’s all about telling the world to go fuck itself, while offering an alternate lifestyle & living up to your full potential. It should be as simple as writing a song about how you feel and building a brand around who you are.
But instead, if you want to get ahead in the industry, it’s about working with the ‘right’ people, and writing fake-ass music that doesn’t actual say anything, and being generic just so you can get on the radio or impress the ‘right’ label.
Thank God it’s 2018 and the era of the independent artist is completely taking the world by storm. It’s now easier than ever to release music to the masses at a low cost. And this new era is only just beginning.
Is music something that runs in your family or are you the first one?
Well, my older sister played clarinet in middle school band so…. you could say it runs in the family 😉
What inspired “Ungrateful”?
I wanted to paint more imagery with my words, & have people question themselves.
So it’s asking the question of: is love something that we learn to do, or is it ingrained in us from the start & we unlearn it as we get older?
I’m very calloused and cold as a person so it’s also me questioning myself and how I got this way.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Censor This”?
Absolutely. We were so fed up with some of the people we were working with in the industry at the time.
Literally nothing we did was good enough. So when we really started trying to please them, everything just came out shallow and generic. We realized we had lost our identity as people.
So we went back to our roots and remembered WHY we do this.
Why we are in rock n roll, and what this lifestyle means to us. And I spilled it all out on paper, the guys put their music on a track, and there it was.
Our first single to ever chart on radio.
Are you ever scared of releasing aspects of your personal experience to strangers through your music?
No- I wouldn’t be in music if I was.
You can either run from the bad things, or you can embrace them & share with the world so others can relate.
Why have you selected to cover “Pardon Me” by Incubus?
It is straight up so much more relevant today than it ever has been. With all the political unrest & chaos around the world, sometimes the only thing that can truly bring people together is the love of art and music.
We also wanted to go with something that was different and original.
We didn’t want to be the 19203984th band to cover Crazy Train or something, ya know? Pardon Me is truly different and inspiring, & I LOVE that we were able to capture the original meaning, yet still make it or own without losing any of that impact.
What is the best show you ever played?
We’ve played around 400 shows so it’s kinda hard to pick just ONE. Last year we were selected to play the main stage at Rock Fest & Rock USA.
That was extremely surreal just to play the same stage as Ozzy Osbourne at Rock USA.
I remember watching him on E! TV when I was a kid, I never imagined I would be playing a show with him. But as fun as those huge festivals are, I really like getting down and dirty at small clubs.
When you play a sweaty, sold out cap 200 room and people are losing their minds, those are when you can really feel it.
I remember playing a show like that in Jerome, ID @ Diamondz and the crowd was CRAZY. We definitely need to go back there.
What are your plans for 2018?
First we are going on the “Turn it To 11” Tour with Echo Black. May 25th we are at Rocklahoma, then we are releasing our new album in June, and will tour off of that for the rest of the year!