INTERVIEW WITH RAESHWAN GREENE aka ‘AWESOME RAY RAY’

Awesome Ray Ray Promo Pic 1

INTERVIEW WITH RAESHWAN GREENE aka ‘AWESOME RAY RAY’
BY STEPHANIE STEVENS

Raeshwan Greene is an artist and a drummer I met years ago when he was drumming for a band called YEAR OF THE LOCUST. I was honoured and able to meet this gentleman and his band when they toured with Starset. A rock n roll band that captured and moved you on record and onstage. Greene’s drumming was so fun to watch and his humbleness to his craft was noteworthy when meeting the band.

As our friendship grew throughout the years and I learnt he was more than an artist, he was a father, a goal setter, he ran with his passions and he was so diverse in the music world as the world is finding out in 2021 as he is bringing forth his solo work as ‘AWESOME RAY RAY’. Not just a drummer he is a songwriter, a singer, a spoken word and rap influencer. He is bringing raw truth about himself and the world to the forefront of his new music. So many avenues in the music world that he has a talent in and that, right there, is going to bring a special diversity to his solo work! If I could sum up in one word what this new chapter of his life will bring it would be the word adventure: for the listeners and for himself.

Just go listen to a track like ‘ON THE RUN’ and then skip to a track like ‘THERAPY’ so different but such epicness in their own genres; and that is where he stands out! He is giving you all that is in his heart n soul and he is portraying it in music, in a raw authentic way which leads to him traveling down different genres. That just shows that he is a lover of music, he is not fearful of change and putting himself out there in a variety of elements to do the best he can and right now from what I have heard he is killing it! Right there is RESPECT for anyone that is giving their all for the passion they have!

I finally got to chat with Ray, one on one, to find out more about his chapter in Year Of The Locust, his background in music and what he hopes to do with the music he is making now.

Q: I met you when you were in a band called Year Of the Locust, can you talk about how being in that band made you grow as a musician, how being able to tour changed your life for the better or worse and what being in a band meant to you?

A: I love those guys so much. Being in Year Of The Locust taught me so much. They taught me the true grind and hustle of the music industry especially in the rock world as it relates to being in bands. I learned so much about being on the road; how to work on a bus, and how to make the best out of even the worst of situations. It Definitely made me a better musician and It took me from drumming in the gospel, hip-hop/ R&B world, to the rock world as a drummer. Which was a totally different world then I was accustomed to. So, all in all it really helped sharpen all of my skills musically and as a person in all areas. What it meant to me was a level of brotherhood and friendship, Unlike I’ve ever experienced before. Those fellas are still my brothers and we definitely still keep in touch and still work on music together.

Q: How did you get into drumming and do you still play?

A: I’ve always been a drummer. I started banging on pots and pans around three years old. Then joined bands in elementary school, middle school and then went on to be the drum major of my marching band in high school. I’ve also played for multiple churches and other community entities and functions. I absolutely still play drums. I did the drums on my songs ‘My Way Home’, ‘No Regrets’, and a new song that I’ll be releasing here shortly in about a month.

Q: If you could take one song you wrote with YOTL that means the most to you which one would it be and why?

A: I would definitely have to say ‘Movin On’. It’s such an amazing song and it means so much for so many different reasons. Things are always moving and changing in life. In fact, that’s the only constant, and it’s sad that focus on the song but it is life and it does move on. Be it relationships, friendships, bands or anything else, everything has a season. I also directed and filmed that music video so there’s really a special place there for me with that song. And I absolutely have to give credit to Scot when it comes down to his delivery in the vocals it just touches your soul in such an amazing way.

Q: You have taken vocal duties in a diverse way so when did you decide you wanted to make your voice known and tell the stories you have created?

A: Before Year Of The Locust, I actually rapped for a pop punk band out of Virginia called “Escape The Armada”. So, I had a little bit of experience with being on the microphone and upfront for sure. But honestly, I’ve always been writing songs and producing/writing my own stuff with all the bands I’ve been in. Ultimately, I knew there was going to come a point where I had to do something with it on a solo front. I just had to figure out my identity. It’s always been building in me even since I was a little kid.

Q: Earlier this year you went through a real hard time mentally and emotionally and tracked a song about it, I felt everything you wrote about and your story you told because I have the same thoughts, for people struggling how did you get through it and how do you deal with it on the daily and what would be your best advice?

A: My faith, music, and my daughters. I would definitely advise others to lean on your close inner circle and find your faith if you already don’t have it. There’s no possible way any of us can get through some of the worst times of our life alone. Even though I wanted to be alone, I had to recognize that I was not alone.

Q: Do you feel you found god then? I have come into contact with a lot of people who have had breakdowns and god came to them in the past year, do you feel this was what happened to you or have you been with him for a bit?

A: I wouldn’t say that I’ve been with him. He’s been with me. I’ve always had faith and God in my heart and life, but there are times where we all stray away and I believe during the last year and a half I was made heavily aware of that. I was reminded that he is the ultimate healer, and comforter no matter what we face. And that is the storms as I like to call them, or dark times calm, they don’t last forever and the sun will absolutely shine again.

Q: One of my favourites is ‘NO REGRETS’, did you do all the music and the lyrics etc and how is it being in control of everything these days?

A: I wrote the concept for ‘No Regrets’, and some of the generic guitar sounds then with help from my buddy Scot from Year Of The Locust he took the guitar sound to the next level and I’m so appreciative of his help. He also helped out on the vocals on the choruses and throws on some screams. I did pretty much everything else 😊. It’s a double edge sword being in control of everything as a solo artist because you get to reap all the benefits when things are going great, but when things aren’t going so great and you realize you’re responsible for everything it can be a little bit over bearing but I do love it. I trust the process.

Q: ‘ON THE RUN’ is totally a 180 of other stuff you write. How was putting this track together and did you have any help in getting the right vibe for this track and how do you feel about the overall finished product of this song?

A: ‘On The Run’ came out first. That is the first solo song that I’ve ever done as Awesome Ray Ray. But yes, it is totally different from most of my other stuff. Just like my other tracks, I wrote it and made demos then took it to a studio out in LA and had professionals clean it up for me a little bit. You know things that I’m not too great with, guitars and other production. I also took it down to Nashville and had a very good friend of mine Brian Bonds who is in the video, (formally of Florida Georgia Line and Tantric) help me out with additional production and sweet guitar riffs layered on top. I’m so in love with the final product. That song and video will always have a special place in my heart for more reasons than I have time to explain right now.

Q: What are your plans now with your music and the songs you have been promoting and tracking? do you want to take this on the road?

A: I absolutely want to take those songs on the road for sure. I did an audit the other day, I have 29 unfinished songs. Things are about to get real LOL.

Q: A lot of people are going the route of self-employment in the music world and no labels. Are you one of them also and what are your views about it and the near future?

A: I totally understand that. For right now I’m independent and unsigned and definitely respect all the other underdogs out there. I also understand the function of a label and how it could absolutely be beneficial. For me? We will have to see. I’m not knocking it but I’m not exactly gunning for it. There’s a purpose and a plan for my music career even if I don’t know what all of it entails. I can say whatever happens I’m excited, thankful and blessed to be a part of the ride.

Q: Where do you find inspiration to write, it seems you look inside of yourself but there has to be more to this creativeness then just that?

A: I absolutely do look inward for inspiration. But I also look outward. I have a very overactive imagination, and I also have the ability to be able to listen to somebody else’s story and tell that story. So, I gather a bunch of different things when it comes down to songwriting, production and music videos.

Q: Who inspires you in the spoken word community and why do they, if you have someone that does?

A: There’s a lot of folks that inspire me. I would definitely say a lot of the southern hip-hop artist, and a few from out west. Rappers, singers and bands that I grew up on. To name a few, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, YelaWolf, jelly roll, Lecrae, Timbaland, Common, Jurassic 5, Cypress Hill, Black Thought (from the roots),Drake, Gary Clark Jr. Jill Scott, The entire Dc go-go scene. This list could go on for about another 20 or 30 pages.

Q: Vocally, what do you hope to improve on or learn throughout this new chapter in your life?

A: I hope to get better at my actual singing, and be able to increase my range, and harmonize better. I truly believe this is a journey not a destination, so there’s always room to improve and get better.

Q: Would you consider ever getting a band back into the works if the music called for it?

A: Absolutely. I have a very short tour and a major music festival coming up in the fall, and I definitely have a backing band for it.

Q: I feel like you’re a reader of books, if you are, do you have a go to book that you love if so, what is it and why do you love it?

A: Believe it or not, I’m actually not a big book person. I am intrigued though and would like to dive into some books. I’m more of a writer and watcher.

Q: What or who has inspired you to keep the passion you have for music and for people who give up on their dreams what would you want to tell them to stay the course and if they have given up do you feel they can get back on it and re build and re start?

A: My circle, my kids, my true friends, and the Fanbase that I’m building up. They love me and support me even on my darker days. I absolutely would encourage those who have quit to jump back into it. My biggest thing is following dreams. I whole heartedly believe when you give up on your dreams, you give up on life. it’s definitely not easy, but you got a hang in there. You have to keep pushing and believing. So, I wanna encourage others to follow their dreams, much as I can. Rather it be through my music or anything else that I can contribute.

Q:What does it mean to have people supporting you through all your music career paths and how it feels to know you have a special effect on people’s lives?

A: For me it means the absolute world. It’s the reason why I started, and why I keep going. Rather it be people in my DM‘s, telling me about their day, or people commenting about how cool my mohawk looks, or about how my music help them through a tough time. I’m thankful and grateful that I’m in a position to affect people’s lives in a positive way. I wasn’t always a positive person, and still have some negative moments of days. But I recognize that and I am ever trying to improve to be better today than I was yesterday, and hopefully that spreads.

Q: Anything else you want to add or I missed that you’re currently working on? Also, how people can keep up to date with your music?

A: I think you covered at all. I want to thank you and East Coast Romper so much for taking the time. I’m super thankful and grateful. I’m on all socials, and streaming on all music platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Amazon Music, Tidal and, most recently, I am now on iHeartRadio.

STAY CONNECTED:

‘On The Run’ (Official Video)

‘Therapy’ (Lyric Video)

Awesome Ray Ray Promo Pic 2

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.v

INTERVIEW WITH ZEBRAHEAD

Zebrahead Logo

INTERVIEW WITH ZEBRAHEAD
The New Chapter!!
By Stephanie Stevens

I am going to make this introduction a little personal because I feel like I have grown up and watched this Southern California band blossom and create so much insanely fun, quirky and amazing music since the bands start! ZEBRAHEAD started as a band when the explosion in the Orange County punk scene infected the music world. Signing with Columbia Records the band brought the world a piece of heaven with the debut album “WASTE OF MIND”, and the introduction that was given to me into the world that was ZEBRAHEAD. One listen to this album and I was hooked. The energy, the character in the music and just the overall fun & creative atmosphere made this disc an instant classic. It’s been 23 years and this album is still a go to listen when I am having an off day and need a bit of a pick me up. The bands whole discography could be used for that, who am I fooling, these guys just bring a light hearted, happy ambiance to the world of music.

With 2 million records sold to date, Grammy nominated and the survival of label and member changes the force that is ZEBRAHEAD is stronger than ever, which brings me to that next chapter of the band or as they love to call it ZEBRAHEAD 3.0! With new found excitement the guys, just recently, told the world about a new addition to the band in the name of Adrian Estrella. It took the guys not even a minute to realize who they needed when vocalist/guitarist Matty Lewis left the band. Estrella is no new comer when it comes to touring and recording and the band have known him for some time. Knowing how passionate and energized he was about music was a no brainer, but the inspiration infused into the atmosphere is what re ignited the band to create some of the best work in their arsenal to date, and that is going to be one gigantic amount of happiness all rolled up in one. Releasing a new single and Video at the end of the month the guys are ready to stimulate the diehard ZEBRAHEAD fans and make a ton of new ones throughout 2021.

I am honoured and so excited to watch these guys take the next chapter into this crazy and fun world they have created. I was able to catch up with Ben Ozz, bass player of the band, to ask him about his take on newest member Adrian, did he ever think in 1998 that the debut album would lead to the life they have, tour plans and if the live show will stay as fun and chaotic as ever?

Q: Tell The Zebrahead fans and the world what chapter 3 of the story of Zebrahead looks like from your vision and ideas that you have been making with the new music?

Ben: So far Chapter 3 has been really exciting. It has been kind of a whirlwind. We were caught a little off guard when Matty left but decided to try and pick ourselves up rather quickly once we had a band meeting about the future. Our first pick and only pick we came up with was Adrian. So, Dan reached out to him, and it is all history…a blurry one.

Q: Introduce us to your newest addition Mr. Adrian Estrella and how did you guys meet?

Ben: I met Adrian about 15 years ago when we were finishing up recording “Broadcast to the World”. At the time he was in a pop punk band and his voice blew me away…So, I introduced him to our management. They already had a manager but, Adrian was the kind of guy you just wanted to help out. Basically, wanted him to know if he ever needed anything we would try to help him out.

Q: What does he bring into the camp that you think had been missing or was never represented as much as it does now?

Ben: His excitement is completely infectious. When he walks into the studio, we could be recording any instrument and Adrian lights up with ideas. You see this excitement and it pulls everyone in…and reminds us how lucky we are to be doing this as a job…beyond lucky. And honestly his ideas are so new and fresh to us…such a different outlook on everything and it feels great.

Q: I’m sure when you are making new music with someone new, you learn things you never knew about each other! What do you feel you learned that surprised you about Adrian and also the rest of the members? What did Adrian learn about you?

Ben: Well, I can’t speak for him…but I know I have learned tons from him in the few short months we have been working together. He reminds me a lot of Dan with his ability to just keep throwing ideas out there. There aren’t many people that can spit out quality ideas that quickly and it is amazing.

Q: Can you describe what the new single is bringing to the latest chapter of Zebrahead and whether you could compare it to an older song in your arsenal? Also, when is it officially dropping and will there be an accompanying video?

Ben: The plan is for the single and the video to both drop on July 30th. We just finished mixing the song, so the next move is to start working on the video. This might be the first song in a really long time that kind of captures all sides of the band. It would be tough to classify it…it kind of goes all over the place and I love that about it.

Q: Who are you working with in regard to the production for the new full-length and when do you think that might be released?

Ben: We have been working with Paul Miner at Buzz Bomb studios for a while now. I have nothing but great things to say about him. He is very talented. His production work just keeps getting better and better.

Q: 23 years making music as Zebrahead (2 million records sold, Grammy nominated, survived label and band member changes)! Take a minute, if you can, to put into words how it feels to have been able to do this for so long?

Ben: Suprising! Honestly when we started it was a chance to see the world for a few years. None of us ever thought we would be lucky enough to still be doing this after all these years.

Q: I was introduced to the band way back in ’98 with your album “Waste Of Mind”, an album that, still to this day, is on regular rotation in my playlist! Looking back on that album, what are your thoughts about it now and, when you first finished it, did you think it would be the start of the special years to come?

Ben: To be honest, we didn’t know what to think. It was our first experience in a huge studio, our first experience with a giant record label. We were a little intimidated to say the least. The hope was people would like the album as much as we did…and we could travel the world for a few years and see what was out there. We were super proud of even making it that far…

Q: Your stage show was always so energetic and fun. Do you feel it will always be that way, even thought we are all getting older and we cannot do all the crazy things like we used to 20 years ago?

Ben: Well, the live show is still the best part of being in a band. So, there is no plan to change the chaos. The idea is to make sure everyone gets to escape a bit from the realities of the world and just smile for a bit. Being part of the show, it definitely works for us…hopefully it translates over to the crowd.

Q: Do you have any tour plans, once the new single drops and if so, is there anything you can tell us now about that?

Ben: Once the single comes out, so far, the plan is to keep writing and keep trying to record new songs. Our real big tour plans start in the summer of 2022. I know we are trying to push a few things along before that, like Slam Dunk this September in England…but so is everyone else…all bands have been home so long, people are frantically trying to book up every available room in every town. We are kind of sitting back and deciding to work on music…the rest will fall into place.

Q: Is there anything else you want to add that I didn’t hit on in this interview or anything you want to tell your fans?

Ben: Thanks for coming along on the ride for Chapter 3. We are excited to see you all out on tour soon and thank you for all your support throughout the years!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Chapter 3 – Welcome to the MFZB family!’

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH GEARS

See Me Single Cover Art

INTERVIEW WITH GEARS
Hard Rock Coming Out Of Miami
By Stephanie Stevens

Miami, FL has a hidden gem in the hard rock band GEARS. They indulge you with a heavy, groove laden, melody driven sound that will be a game changer for active rock radio.

The band just recently released a killer new track called ‘SEE ME’. A song that delivers a message along with solid melodic, rock attributes. The more I work with up ‘n’ coming bands, the more I love that they are putting some thought into their message and lyrical content in 2021.

Bands like GEARS have a huge platform to help people who might think they are alone or having a struggle with something in their lives and GEARS seem to want to get solid messages out to the world. Just take a listen to the new single. ‘SEE ME’. As band member Tripp Six explains, “is being wise enough to know that one’s expectations influence their perceptions. What we believe to be true about someone or a situation may be our perspective and not the actual reality” and that is just a powerful statement and is something everyone should think about.

With a knack for songwriting along with that monster sound of pure rock n roll and a live show that has been described as high energy and impactful GEARS has all the traits to be a force to be reckoned with in the Rock world.

I had a chance to speak with drummer Jimmy Wooten and found out how he views the Miami music scene, how they have impacted the local community, working with Corey Lowery and what made the bands influences such a motivating factor to them!

Q: Who are GEARS and what does your band bring to the table when it comes to sound and meaning?

JW: GEARS is a Hard Rock band from Miami, FL that just tries to write great, groove-based songs with an edge. We pair that with a high-energy stage show that engages the audience and makes them want to give their energy back.

Q: You guys are from Miami, FL what inspires you about the scene you have in the area?

JW: South Florida has a great rock and metal scene. I often think that its talent is overlooked and undervalued. There’s a certain attitude that is inspiring to me personally in the music that comes out of the area. It’s something that isn’t necessarily easy to explain, but I feel like when you see it at a show, you know it.

Q: What is one thing you think you have helped with being a band in the scene that has improved or made attention to the area or local community?

JW: We have done multiple fundraising/donations to organizations that mean a lot to us. A couple of examples from the recent past would be exclusive Merch items that benefited those that were devastated by the hurricanes in Puerto Rico. We also did an exclusive T-Shirt sale that benefited CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected children. We not only donated the proceeds from the shirt sales but also matched the amount that was sold. This was done to help raise funds during the pandemic as they couldn’t do any of their normal fundraising events.

Q: Your new single ‘SEE ME’; has a great message. What do you hope people walk away with after hearing it?

JW: I personally hope that the vibe and attitude of the song empower people to see someone or a situation for what they really are, rather than what they want them to be. From that, to have the courage to eliminate the toxicity from their lives in order to not let anyone negatively affect them.

Q: How was it working with Corey Lowery and what was the biggest thing he taught you guys about songwriting, finishing touches on a track, and the music industry as a whole?

JW: Corey is a great friend and producer. He has been involved with the band since the beginning. He breaks it down so simply, “just write great songs and crush it live.” I know that sounds oversimplified, but when you say it to yourself a few times, no matter what you’re trying to do, go back to this mantra and it will keep you on track.

Q: ‘SEE ME’; Is sort of the platform single for a new EP your working on. How will the rest of this disc relate to the sound of the new single? Any branches or diversity that will be surprising to your fans at all?

JW: ‘SEE ME’ is actually the 3rd single off this EP. It’s sort of a continuation of the songs from the sessions during which they were recorded. We didn’t do it intentionally, but we found after releasing the first two singles that they were very much connected, almost similar to the way a concept album is constructed. In addition, to the 4 songs from these sessions, there will be a few other tracks that some may have heard before from previous releases. It gets a little heavier in spots and more groovy in others. I think people will like it.

Q: I read your guys were influenced by Prince, Bowie, and Deftones. Three icons of their genres. If you could give one statement about each artist that would sum up what they did that moved, you enough to call them an influence?

JW: Prince was the ultimate musician and performer, PERIOD. Bowie was the only artist that could literally evolve and almost reinvent himself with each record and it never felt forced. It was always genuine and organic. Deftones put all of my favourite musical elements together. They take great guitar riffs and put them together with dynamic and powerful drums. On top of that, they layer these amazing soundscapes and interesting melody ideas with a great vocal performance to finish it out.

Q: You also have made some cool ‘n’ fun cover songs in your career thus far. How does it feel to put your twists on songs that encouraged and inspired you growing up? And your favourite song you covered so far?

JW: I like both of the covers equally, but for different reasons. The cover of ‘BORED’ was fun because it was taking a song that we had been covering live from the band’s first tour and getting in a studio situation where we could really work out some cool, different parts while trying to stay true to the original. With, ‘CULT OF PERSONALITY’, that was one of THE songs that got me into music. I mean, the groove, the vocals, the guitars, subject matter…everything about that song has made it a timeless classic. Add the fact the Corey Glover was into appearing on it, what’s not to love about that?!

Q: As the world becomes “normal” again what are a few things you are ready to get back into?

JW: PLAYING LIVE SHOWS AND TOURING.

Q: Have you guys talked about shows/tours and if so are there any dates or special events you want to share with the readers?

JW: As of right now, the only thing we have planned is CENTRAL FLORIDA METAL FEST on August 22 in Winter Park. We have a few more recording things to focus on, then we’ll look at touring on a larger scale.

Q: If your older music self could tell your younger music self, something to help them through either a struggle or growth, etc what would it be and why?

JW: “Just write great songs that you can believe in.” I think that that really is the best advice. Of course, that is an oversimplification, but if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, how can you expect others to? There is so much more to the business of music than that, but I feel you have to get that first step right to build a solid foundation for all the other stuff to matter.

Q: Acoustic sounds/or electric sounds and why?

JW: Depends on my mood, I guess. I think both have their place. A good mix and knowing where to utilize both would probably be my preference, ultimately.

Q: Any last comments?

JW: Thanks for having me and keep an eye out. We have a ton of cool stuff coming!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘See Me’ (Lyric Video)

Gears Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH FACE THE FIRE

Remember What You're Made Of Single Cover Art

INTERVIEW WITH FACE THE FIRE
Finding Strength With Their New Single ‘Remember What You’re Made Of
By Stephanie Stevens

FACE THE FIRE ignites your senses with all the hard rock vibes. Energy induced moments, power and fiery atmospheres. Melodies that stay in your head for hours after, these guys are going to rise up quick and I love being a part of the beginnings.

Their new single ‘REMEMBER WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF’ has growth written all over it. From the uplifting, highly infectious, chorus to the verses that ring with rock sensibilities and those vocals that just glide seamlessly throughout your eardrums. A song about remembering your strength when you don’t think you have anything else to give. It’s a pure package of honesty, positive vibes and that hard driving and melody driven tone, making it a heavy hitting single to gain the band a ton of attention as the music world gets ready to take back the planet in 2021!

If the bands new single gets you moving then you need to check out the band’s older arsenal like the songs ‘DROWNING’ and SUMMER SONG’, smash hits in my eyes.

FACE THE FIRE are from Chicago, IL and have been able to work with such artists like Morgan Rose of Sevendust, Jose Urquiza of 3 Years Hollow and Jordan Popp of Seven Day Sonnet; so, to say these guys are in good hands is an understatement! To create, learn and grow with people like this, then it’s no wonder these guys write some stellar kick ass tunes.

I had a chance to speak with drummer Mike Kozlick about new single ‘REMEMBER WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF’, the background on how he found music and what band he would have wanted to sit in on as they created one of their albums.

Q: Tell me the backstory about FACE THE FIRE and what made you guys take on this particular name for the band?

A: So, we formed as a band in the spring of 2015. we recorded an EP over at The Nook studios in New Lenox, IL. Honestly, our producer at the time, had asked if this project had a name, we all looked around, based off of a story from a prior conversation we came up with Face The Fire.

Q: I saw you worked with Morgan Rose of Sevendust and recently I just interviewed another band who had his help in their music, I love seeing him helping up ‘n’ coming bands and I’m sure him and Jose Urquiza of 3 Years Hollow had a lot of advice for you guys from a music and business standpoint. What do you feel was the most important thing you took away from working with them?

A: We love those guys! Being in a room with Morgan Rose and Jose Urquiza It becomes a very knowledgeable experience. You’re like a sponge and you just take it all in. I can’t really pinpoint one piece of information that was most important, I feel like the whole experience in itself and information they had given us, was important.

Q: Let’s talk about your newest single! The song ‘REMEMBER WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF’ hit home; in this song you guys talk about strength when you don’t think you have anything left to give, it really spoke to me and made me look within myself. How does it feel knowing something you wrote can have an impact in others’ lives?

A: Well, that is a great compliment! Thank you so much! It’s one of the most rewarding feelings. We can only hope someone can take away something from our songs. Whether that be the lyrics or the music itself. It’s a very humbling thing!

Q: Have you ever written a song that got you through a really tough time but when writing it you never knew it was going to open your eyes to helping you? If you haven’t written a song, has another artist’s song done that for you?

A: For me personally, I would say that I was going through a really tough time a couple years ago and an artist by the name of Bilmuri had a couple songs out that helped me through those times. I was able to thank him in person for getting me through those times at a show he played in Chicago. It was a really cool moment.

Q: What do you feel has been your biggest growth in songwriting since your debut album “BUILT TO BURN”?

A: I’ll say that our newest single ‘Remember What You’re Made Of’ was in my opinion, kind of a turning point with our songwriting. I feel like it’s a very well-balanced song where it can attract to different crowds.

Q: Are you guys more of studio “nerds” (in a good way) or do you thrive in the live experience and what are the biggest challenges in both atmospheres?

A: I would have to say the live experience. The biggest challenges, with playing shows, is making sure you’re really drawing the crowd in and getting that nice reception at the end. With studio, it’s just about wanting to be perfect and making sure everything is exactly what you want in the song.

Q: You released the single ‘DROWNING’ in 2020 while the chaos of life was happening. Plus, it has a more aggressive tone to it. Was this written from the perspective of being in lockdown and was writing something that got you guys through everything the world was going through?

A: So that song was actually written before lockdown. Nothing to do with it whatsoever. But when we released it, it just fell on bad timing. But still had a very good reception to it amid The chaos that 2020 was.

Q: Did you always have music growing up and when was it that you decided to take it seriously and try to make something of it?

A: Yeah, I had music growing up, my dad has been a musician his whole life, and I had a couple brothers growing up that also were into music and played some instruments. I started taking it seriously when I was about 17 years old. I then started joining bands from there and the rest is history.

Q: Who influences you from a lyrical standpoint and why do you think you are inspired by them?

A: I feel like there’s too many to choose from! That’s a tough one!

Q: If you could sit in on any band’s writing process what band would it be and what album would you have loved to be a fly on the wall for?

A: I would have to say Sevendust – “Cold Day Memory”. Top to bottom that album is just fantastic!

Q: Have you guys been able to talk about local shows or even a possible tour and, if so, can you tell us some info for fans who are craving shows and live interaction?

A: Thankfully yes! Saturday, August 7th we are playing at Bottom Lounge in Chicago. We just booked another show at WC Social Club in West Chicago on August 21st as well!

Q: For people just hearing about you now, what do you want to let people know about the band that will help you connect with others?

A: We are just 5 guys that love music. That love playing shows. We love when our music can connect with our friends. We try not to use the word fans, because if you’re supporting us, you’re a friend of ours!

Q: Anything else happening in the near future that I didn’t hit upon for you guys and any words you want to tell your fans that have been there since the beginning?

A: Right now, we’re just getting our new single ‘Remember What You’re Made Of’ to as many people as possible. We have the few shows coming up. You can follow us and find the most up to date on our socials:

THANK YOU so much for the continued support over the years, we can promise you, it does not go unnoticed and we are forever grateful!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Remember What You’re Made Of’ (Official Video)

Face The Fire Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH SILENT SEASON

Addiction Album Cover Art

INTERVIEW WITH SILENT SEASON
Boston’s Hard Hitting Rock Band
By Stephanie Stevens

SILENT SEASON Boston’s hard hitting rock/metal band is back with intensity, rage, aggression and a lyrical journey dealing with drug addiction in the band’s new song ‘ADDICTION’. These dudes never cease to amaze me with the emotion and musicianship as they grow every year in their career.

The band was founded by Jeremy Rae (vocals) and David Pappalardo (drums) in 2008 and the full line-up gelled in 2012. Since then, they have released a debut album entitled “BREAKING ME DOWN” and received rave reviews from a ton of radio stations including Sirius-XM Octane with the hit single ‘CHANCE’.

With a growing fan base the guys continued releasing singles through the years that kept levelling up each time! You can tell how passionate, dedicated and driven they are to make SILENT SEASON a household name.

If you truly want to get blown away (like I did)  then you need to take a hearty listen to their 2019 EP release “THE WAR WITHIN, VOL 1”. From the hard hitting blast in ‘THE NEGATIVE’ to the pretty and sensational sound of ‘STARS’, these dudes know how to bring all the elements of a good rock band to the centre stage each time they create a tune.

I had a chance to speak to the band about the new release ‘ADDICTION’, the positive outlook they bring out in their songs, the band name and where they think they have improved the most as musicians.

Q: I love the name of your band can you give me the reason you decided on the name and, through the years, has the name’s meaning changed for you guys?

A: When we first started a lot of the bands that we had  played shows with in previous projects started to fizzle out. The music scene kind of fell silent for a bit and we wanted to fill that void. So, we came up with the name Silent Season. I think though the meaning hasn’t changed we are still here to finish what we started.

Q: Being a Boston based hard rock band what is the biggest struggle and most positive thing being in the area?

A: The biggest struggle is that the rock scene is not as alive as it used to be. Venues that used to be hot spots have closed and it’s a shame. Luckily, there’s a lot of great local acts that support each other at the shows we manage to put together.

Q: You guys have been making music since 2008 and have had a gelled band member line-up since 2012. How do you get inspired to create music and what does it take to keep a line-up solid for so long?

A: Jeremy, Dave and I are the original three. The way we are just so comfortable with each other makes the writing process easier.

Q: Your newest single ‘ADDICTION’ deals with a heavy lyrical standpoint which a lot of bands have covered, when you started writing this song what inspired you to touch on this subject and how did you want to make it different from other rock tunes that talk about this subject matter?

A: We tried to make the song through the eyes of someone watching another person deal with addiction. I think it is more relevant now than ever with people being so depressed about covid and life shutting down. A lot of people chose to use again because of all that. We just wanted to shed some light on that and let people know they can get help and are not alone.

Q: The one thing I love about your music is you bring out the positive and try to help people through struggles. Is that something, on a personal level, you strive to do and also if you do on a personal level how does that differ than putting it to music?

A: I think growing up as a kid there were a lot of bands talking about some pretty dark subject matter. People can relate to that, but they also want to know that they can overcome all the crap that life throws at you. It was important to us to make it known that even though life gets tough there is always something you can do to make it better.

Q: What is the biggest improvement as a musician you think you have had since the beginning of the career as SILENT SEASON?

A: For me, I have gotten into recording and mixing, which helps when you have an idea you have to get down before you forget. And also, I’ve gotten into a lot in the live perspective. For example, when we play live, I handle our rack which handles our mics, in ear monitors, click tracks, samples and light show.

Q: Do you guys have new music as in an EP or full-length coming out in 2021 or do you feel the single releases are the way to go in this current music world? And how do you view both ways of getting music out?

A: With the way things are, being an unsigned band, we are currently just focusing on singles.

Q: What is the biggest thing you guys have missed in a live show atmosphere and why?

A: The crowd/fans. The way they react to the songs and the conversations we have with them after the shows. Many tell stories on how the music helped in some way. It’s really rewarding in a way.

Q: Do you have local shows gearing up or tours coming your way for the end of 2021?

A: We are starting to put together some shows now that things are getting back to normal. TBA!

Q: What does it mean to you that people take the time to listen and connect to your music?

A: Honestly, it means the world to us. I’m pretty sure that if it wasn’t for the listeners this all wouldn’t be worth doing for all these years.

Q: Anything else you want to let people know about your band or new stuff coming soon?

A: We are always making new music so don’t be surprised if you start to hear about the next single sooner than later! We are always on social media so stay tuned on there for any announcements.

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Addiction’ (Official Video)

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH ZERO THEOREM

Zero Theorem - Threat (Violent Idols Remix)
Zero Theorem – Threat (Violent Idols Remix) – Artwork

INTERVIEW WITH ZERO THEOREM
Heavy, Rock Chameleons of the music world!
By Stephanie Stevens

I always love hearing that ZERO THEOREM are coming out with new stuff or working on new music because this Los Angeles band always bring out fresh ‘n’ new aspects to their music and they grow on each new single or album they put out. This time around the guys in ZT collaborated with the Violent Idols to mix up and remix the hell out of one of their hard hitting tracks called ‘THREAT’. Bringing in that “industrial, electro” feel to the song really puts it on another level of interest. But the guys in ZT always bring that interesting vibe and the heavy hitting intricate memorization of music into everything they do; just give their song ‘JOKE’ a listen and you will get it! Then they can swoon you with a track like ‘AREA’ with its infectious chorus, it’s a totally solid track, or the darker and rocking vibe of ‘BECOMING’ with its impactful and massive vocal display. This band are the chameleons of the hard rock world and I am loving every moment of it.

I had another opportunity to catch up with lead vocalist Caesar about the work they did with Violent Idols, future collaborations, how they make some cool ass videos for their music and their up ‘n’ coming tour with Fozzy.

Q: First off, how Is the camp of ZERO THEOREM doing, getting back to some normalcy in life? And is your sanity still intact after this past year and a half?

A: It’s certainly great to begin returning to normalcy, and we’re especially excited to experience live music again. We all particularly enjoy live shows, whether we’re performing or part of the audience. We’d like to think our sanity is completely intact, but we’d probably be fooling ourselves. The virus has undoubtedly affected us all and may continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Q: Congrats on the release of the Violent Idols remix of ‘Threat’. This track has been a crowd favourite at your live shows – was this the main reason you wanted to put a new twist to it? What does the song mean to you?

A: Yes, that was part of it. It’s always been an effective closer and generated a lot of positive feedback. When we toured with Nonpoint, multiple people who showed up toward the end of our set told us they were sorry they didn’t attend earlier. The song was never a single, so we wanted to give it some attention in a different way.

Q: When picking a song to remix – do you guys have a vision of the “twist” you want it to take? Or was there more of a fluid collaboration with Violent Idols to get to this new version?

A: It starts with an idea, and ‘Threat’ seemed to lend itself to a more industrial or electronic interpretation. From there, Violent Idols began to work on the remix while continuing to consult and collaborate with us. We love what they did with it and how it turned out.

Q: In your years as music fans were you big on the industrial and electronic genre? If so, what do you find the most interesting about that way of creating music & songwriting?

A: We’re definitely influenced by those genres, including work by artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Fear Factory, Prodigy, and Static X. For us, the most interesting aspect is blending sounds that are more synthetic or mechanical with a traditional hard rock or heavy metal approach. It’s fun to widen the range of the sound spectrum and explore different textural possibilities in that way.

Q: Do you plan to keep working with other artists down the line on new material as ZERO THEOREM continues to evolve?

A: We had great fun collaborating with Violent Idols and will definitely work with others in the future. ZT will always be looking for ways to work outside the box creatively.

Q: Do you feel your songwriting grows more when working with other artists outside the ZERO THEOREM camp? Does that motivate you as a creator?

A: Others constantly inspire us, so having the opportunity to work directly with them is a genuine pleasure and definitely provides us more perspective and motivation.

Q: You also did a cool thing working with YouTube artist Goop Wizard on a really gnarly visualizer video. How did that partnership happen?

A:We were fans of his work and felt it would be a good fit for the remix. Thankfully, he was available and agreed to work together.

Q: All your videos are very different and pretty sweet to watch – is someone in the band into videography and how important do you feel a video is to a song on the whole?

A: The founding members of the band have always been heavily into film and animation, especially within the genre of science fiction. Zero Theorem is meant to be a multimedia project with the visuals offering another layer to the experience. Additionally, some of the newer videos we’ve created offer a stand-alone interpretation of the songs that connect to a wider fictional universe we’re building.

Q: Your EP’s “THE KILLING I” and “THE KILLING II” have been out for a while and brought your fans and music world some heavy hitting singles. You just recently put out a limited edition of this two-part series. Other than it including the ‘Threat’ (Violent Idols Remix) what did you do in addition for this special limited-edition release package?

A: First of all, thank you! We wanted it to be special, so we’ve made it available in physical form, both CD and our first ever vinyl, along with different pieces of art, which are the last of THE KILLING series.

Fans can also purchase a shirt made for the release.

Q: Looking back on both EP’s – what is your proudest moment of those songs you created (if you could narrow it down to one) and why does that moment stand out the most for you?

A: I think I’m most proud of the progression and how we’re continuing to expand the sound of the band. It’s difficult to pick favourites, and we all have different ones, but I’m a big fan of ‘Joke’ and ‘Swarm’ and can’t wait to play those live.

Q: Rumour has it, in September, you are back on the road with Fozzy. Are you guys putting an even more intense look into your shows with everyone having that live aspect missing for so long?

A: We’re going to need to contain ourselves a bit because we are beyond excited. We’re committed to busting that tour open every night.

Q: What’s one thing you’re going to have to brush the rust off of tour life when it happens?

A: Long drives become second nature once you’re out there, but since it’s been a while, those first couple drives might be rough!

Q: Has the band been writing for new EP’s or full-length album and if so – can you give the world a small hint into the sound or vibe you’re currently creating for new music?

A: We have! I think we’re really pushing the metal and industrial vibes with the new music. It’s our heaviest material to date along with some of the most personal. We’re also working on our first ever cover.

Q: Any last comments to your fans?

A: Thank you so much! Also, anything you can do – follow us everywhere you can and spread the word about ZT…it all matters! And don’t forget to come see us or shoot us a message!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Threat’ Zero Theorem & Violent Idols Remix (Visualizer Video)

‘Threat’ Original (Official Audio)

Zero Theorem Promo Pic (Credit Dead Level Media)
Photo by Dead Level Media

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH KINGDOM COLLAPSE

Unbreakable Album Cover Art

INTERVIEW WITH KINGDOM COLLAPSE
By Stephanie Stevens

The world is so much better with San Antonio, TX hard hitting band KINGDOM COLLPASE in it. The band features, Jonathan Norris (Vocals), David Work (Guitar), Aaron Smith (Bass) and Elijah Santucci (Drums) and they came together to make some prominent, exceptional hard rocking music. I got introduced to the band when I happened to find them on Spotify and heard there single ‘SUFFER’ which was appeasing to the ears due to the hard, diverse, melodically impressive tones and a storyline everyone can relate to, one way or another. The next thing I knew I had a press release about the band in my inbox and I was stoked to get to know them better. They are releasing a new single in their arsenal ‘UNBREAKABLE’, an anthem that will jolt you emotionally and bleeds with honesty.

They have just signed with Dynamic Talent International’s roster (which includes Red, Alesana, The Veer Union and more) and, with this partnership in hand, tour dates will be coming soon as life gets back to normal. So, once you fall in love with the sound of this band you can jump on tickets to see them kill these killer hard rock tunes live.

I had a chance to chat with Singer Jonathan Norris about the lyrical value in their music, how the band got together, videos and being on mainstream radio so early in their career.

Q: Introduce me to the world of KINGDOM COLLAPSE, how is it being a band coming out of Texas and how you all met?

A: How’s it going, Stephanie! Good question! Me and the guys grew up playing in several different bands and I knew everybody for a while before we actually formed this line-up! Aaron Smith and I go way back to our early childhood days. David Work and I played in an old band together and Elijah, our drummer used to play in another band in the Houston area that we would play shows with when we came to town. Being in a Hard Rock band from Texas is funny because everyone and their mother listens to country around here. So, we’re very much against the grain of what’s going in the area right now, musically-speaking.

Q: After hearing a few tracks it seems you guys are almost like the therapist Rock band, lyrically bringing out relatable and relevant topics in your music. How does it feel having fans being helped by your music and, for you personally, how does it feel to be able to write music that can be real and honest?

A: Thank you! That’s exactly what music did for me growing up. It’s always been a form of therapy and an emotional release. I write about real-life struggles and situations that left their mark on me. It’s been so awesome seeing our songs have that same effect on people and help them in a positive way. That’s something that is signature to Kingdom Collapse and we never want to lose that.

Q: Your newest single ‘UNBREAKABLE’ is keeping on track with the emotion and honesty. On a personal level, how has a past struggle helped you guys as a band get stronger and grow?

A: Definitely! ‘Unbreakable’ was written last year, (fun fact) shortly after I actually had COVID-19. I could hardly breathe for almost two months after the fact and had to really push my lungs back into shape to sing again. But to really dive deeper, the song was written about WAY more than that. It’s about all of the life struggles that we all go through from the time we’re born to the time we die. Loss, cancer, heartache, betrayal, divorce, financial disaster, etc. The list goes on and on, but it’s about those things making you stronger.

Q: When will or when did the new single drop and is this a teaser for a full-length or EP coming our way soon?

A: The single dropped Friday, June 18th and is available everywhere! This will be a single from the upcoming album. Still in the album process as of right now but this is the first taste of the new album, sometime in 2022.

Q: You guys always have some killer videos to go along with your songs. Do You think that, with the topics you write about in the songs, a video is very important to base the story around it and how do you all enjoy the video process?

A:We love doing our music videos! Kevin from Kreuked Media has been with us since the beginning and it’s incredible to see how much we’ve grown as a team since our first video, ‘Suffer’.

Q: You covered Saliva’s ‘Always’. What made you take on that particular song and band?

A: Good question! I always loved Saliva growing up and ‘Always’ was a favourite of mine. It started as something fun during the shutdown and then I went to the guys with the recording and was like “We got to put this out!”.

Q: What other artists or musicians inspire you guys and who were the first band that made you want to be a musician in a serious manner?

A: I would say the first band to really inspire me as a kid was definitely Creed. Love them or hate them, they were the SHIT back in the day! Tremonti inspired me to pick up the guitar in the first place. I know David would say the same thing! Haha.

Q: One song and video of yours I was very interested in was ‘Payback’. Give me a brief description of where the lyrical topic came from and, with all the videos you have done, how did the making of this one differ?

A: Yeah! “Payback” was written about the feeling of being backstabbed by someone that you thought was there for you and had your back. It’s just about immersing yourself in that angry feeling and letting it all out. Which is why it makes such an awesome workout song too! Haha.

Q: Being an up ‘n’ coming band on the scene, how does it feel knowing your music has been on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Top 40 and Sirius XM Octane? If you hear your stuff on the radio what emotions run through you?

A: It’s so surreal! We’re coming up on our third single that has gone to Sirius XM Octane and it’s crazy to see us wedged in between bands that we’ve looked up to for so long! The Billboard thing is nuts! It’s something that we always had our sights on and it’s awesome to see things consistently moving up and in the right direction.

Q: If you had any advice to people heading into the latter half of 2021, what would it be?

A: My advice would be too keep your head up! It’s been a crazy last year and a half but it’s awesome to see life somewhat return to a sense of normalcy.

Q: In May 2021 you signed with Dynamic Talent Int, one of the leading booking agents. Before this were you guys booking your own tours (Pre-Covid) and are you ready to become road dogs? What are you most excited about with this? Any Tours you can leak out or local shows you are gearing up for?

A: Yeah! Everything booked before this point was booked by us, DIY. With the success of our last radio single, ‘UPRISE’, that really changed the game for us so we’re ready to get out there and meet all of our incredible fans.

Q: Any last comments or words to your fans that you want to express before we end the interview?

A:Thank you so much for reaching out and having us do an interview with you! Looking forward to meeting you out on the road and we will see you soon! ‘Unbreakable’ is out NOW!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Unbreakable’ (Audio)

Kingdom Collapse Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH EMPIIRES

Empiires Logo

INTERVIEW WITH EMPIIRES
BY Stephanie Stephens

Dallas, TX hard hitting, hard rocking, energy driven sensation EMPIIRES are coming in strong with their latest single and video for ‘THROUGH THE FLAMES’. Fire riffs, hooks that pull you in with ease and the catchy melodic nature that slides in and out of the track just confirms these guys are going to be excelling in the music community in no time.

They are putting excitement back into the game of music bringing a unique approach of blending modern metal and hard rock soundscapes with groovy melody and ear catching choruses and dynamic, killer guitars that will pull you in and will leave you content to stay and enjoy.

I had a chance to ask the guys about how the band became to be, what the process is for songwriting and found out some fun facts about the members. Enjoy!

Q: I’m so excited to have you guys a part of the East Coast Romper, I pride myself in helping people get to know up n coming bands and you guys have such a catchy, high energy and relatable sound that I can’t wait to promote the hell out of you. So, on that note tell me How EMPIIRES became a band and what each member brings to the overall sound of the band?

A: We all knew each other and have worked together in some capacity prior to this band. We started talking about writing and that led to working on some ideas. The next thing you know, we’re making demos. Each member of the band has their own strengths but I think it’s the chemistry of the four of us together that makes it work.

Q: Being from Dallas, TX; how has that inspired you guys as musicians and just your look into the world of art in general?

A: There are lots of rock and metal bands from Texas so it’s an inspiring environment to be in as a band.

Q: You have a special spelling for your band name; can you tell me the reasoning and what the band name means to you?

A: We were looking for something to make the name stand out. Our graphic artist friend showed us a couple of logos with this spelling and thought that looked cool.

Q: Your newest single ‘THROUGH THE FLAMES’ is addicting. I have had it on repeat since I got introduced to it. How was the writing process for it? And was it a fun song to write because the sound makes me feel like there was hi-energy and a lot of positivity when it was all coming together?

A: Thanks for checking it out, it’s always great to hear someone tell you that they connected with our song. We did have a good time writing it! The riff and the lyrics worked well together live and we were hoping that would translate in the recording process.

Q: Along with the track being just badass, the lyrical content shines with overcoming obstacles in life. How do you guys pick subject matter to write about and with a song like this does it feel cathartic when it’s written and you listen to what you came up with?

A: The lyrics and the story just kind of wrote itself about fighting through adversity. We were thinking most people could identify with the feeling of going through tough situations.

Q: If you could look back on any song the band has written and take a lyric, you’re proudest of that you wrote, what song would it be from and what is the line?

A: I think we’re really proud of the chorus in ‘Through the Flames’. It tells the story of why we can’t walk away from situations even when they are really tough.

Q: Another single you guys released prior to this new one is a song called ‘LOVE OR HATE’, a darker side of the band. Do you guys pride yourself on being diverse in your sound and if so, how do you know when to pump the brakes about being overly diverse or does it not matter?

A: We’re always trying to write the best song that we can and not repeat ourselves. We write a lot of different songs and see which ones make it through the process that a band goes through with new material. It’s kind of like a dating show, the ones that stick around make it!

Q: In your opinion what makes you really go insane? Love OR hate?

A: I think they both come with their own level of insanity, just depends on what part of the process they’re in!

Q: With the singles doing well have you guys thought about releasing a full album or EP or do you feel that singles are the way to go in this day and age of rock music?

A: We’re thinking about creating some type of package once we have enough singles to put that together. Whatever format that’s on, we just want to make our music available to the listener.

Q: Mentally how did you guys deal with the chaos we all endured the last year and half and how does it feel now that life for the music world is slowly coming back to normal?

A: We dealt with it by focusing on writing and recording. We knew things would get back to normal at some point and wanted to be prepared as a band to go out there and kick some ass when it did.

Q: Have you spoken about touring and if so any hints or info you can share with the public?

A: We’ve been playing shows and talking about doing some touring. We’re just looking for the right situation and will probably have something put together for this fall. Looking forward to getting back out there on that level!

Q: What is one thing about live shows you feel will be the hardest to get the rust off personally for you?

A: Pacing ourselves and not getting too excited from the beginning of the show. That was the hardest thing about our first few shows. We’re ready to go out there and slay it because we’re excited about what we have to deliver.

Q:Three fun facts that people may not know about the band or band members you would love to share?

A: We worked on a TV show together. Toured in other bands together. Have written and recorded together for film and television.

Q: What inspires you guys when you think about the fans of EMPIIRES and has there been one highlight from a fan interaction that stands out for you?

A: When anyone tells you they identify or connect with your music, that’s really cool. Probably the best ones are when people tell you that they put on your music for workout motivation or to deal with a tough day.

Q: Anything I missed touching upon you guys are working on you want to share before we end this? (Plus, I just want to wish you all the best of luck, you have something really motivating and powerful in these tracks I heard)

A: We’re working on a video for our next single release, looking forward to that and playing more shows! We want to thank everyone who helped us put out our music and the people listening. Thank you all!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Through The Flames’ (Official Lyric Video)

Empiires Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH S.A.M.

S.A.M. - Remedy (Feat. Danny Worsnop)

INTERVIEW WITH S.A.M.
By Stephanie Stevens

Welcome to the world of S.A.M. (SAVAGE AFTER MIDNIGHT), a band that came storming into 2019 with a ton of fire and intention. “11:59” was the EP that drove the band into the ears, hearts and mouths of the rock world. With singles like ‘10 FEET TALL’ and ‘UNLEASH’, songs that penetrated with so much melody, elaborate groove and vocals that made you understand what diversity is! It was no wonder this band was gaining a fanbase at a powerful rate!

Just about the time that an explosion for the band was on the edge of hitting, a pandemic of the world hit and everything came to a standstill. The members of S.A.M. didn’t let this hinder or halt them from continuing to interact with fans and grow the bands fanbase more! They also created and, when I say creating, they did an outstanding job as they worked with friends Jack Fowler of Sleeping With Sirens and the one and only Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria to put together a new single that not only blows away their older work but showcases the strength in songwriting and growth this new band is achieving on a daily basis. ‘REMEDY’ fires on all cylinders; intricate, ballsy, energy packed and melodically enticing, It’s a track that’s addictive. This Memphis quintet is ready to hit it even harder in 2021 and I am absolutely stoked to be part of the mix supporting them for their future.

I had a chance to chat with band member JT about future tour plans, the new EP they have in the works, how ‘REMEDY’ took shape and the fun they had making the action packed video for the single.

Q: Welcome new fans of your band into the world that is S.A.M.! How did you guys form and what makes your band members stellar people to work with?

A: What’s up everyone, we always love adding new members to the S.A.M Fam! We formed a number of years ago and have evolved through a few different name changes through the years before settling on S.A.M. This current line-up of the band is pretty awesome! Most of us have a long history with each other from playing in various bands around Memphis – so it’s been pretty smooth to transition into this latest version of the project.

Q: You had some massive momentum going before Covid hit with your amazing EP “11:59”. With all the hype with the release did that keep you guys energized and positive during quarantine or was it an emotional time for you all?

A: Thank You for the kind words on “11:59”! Yeah, we kept positive through the pandemic, despite the pause in touring. We took the time to take stock and write a ton of new material with a killer group of collaborators! I think it was emotional in the sense that no musicians had the chance for over a year to connect with their live audience. That part was certainly challenging.

Q: During 2020 did you stay active on social media to stay close with fans? Or did you take the downtime to focus on making new music?

A: A little of both, the entire world had plenty of time to sit at home and do nothing, and we tried to stay as active on social media as we could. I think the hard part was we had nothing to promote – so at times it can be difficult to stay connected.

Q: The new single ‘Remedy’ is brilliant! How did the song take shape in your mind and how did both Jack Fowler of Sleeping With Sirens and Danny Worsnop from Asking Alexandria come into the fold?

A: Thank You!!! We’ve been blown away at the response ‘Remedy’ has gotten and we’re truly grateful. Both those guys are family to the band, so putting those collaborations together was actually sooth despite the pandemic. They both did such a killer job making the song what it came to be.

Q: With having both Jack & Danny work with you on the song – how did that change the creative process for S.A.M. and what was the biggest thing you learned from working with them?

A: Our process is a bit different and really works for us in the sense that none of the band ever gets too personal or territorial with the writing process, in fact we ADORE having other people come in and contribute to our music. We think that it adds to the diversity and growth of the band’s sound. As far as what we learned, we learned Danny can sing his ASS off!!! And Jack absolutely rips when push comes to shove. It was crazy how naturally that song came together!

Q: Most people ask band members what motivated them to be in a band. I want to know what motivated you or inspired you to compose and write songs? And do you feel you grow in knowledge with every song you create?

A: We’ve always been inspired by the song writing process in general. I think in the beginning stages for any songwriter, you call upon personal experience to create the song. Many years ago, we changed our approach to songwriting, and started writing based on characters of a story rather than what’s happening in our own lives. We found that approach has opened up a whole universe of concepts we can touch on now. Of course, you’ll always derive material from personal experiences, but we don’t feel as tied up with that as we used to.

Q: Lyrically with ‘Remedy’ what do you hope people take away after hearing this track?

A: To cut out those toxic people in your life that bring no joy, and serve no purpose other than to hinder your personal growth.

Q: Another cool aspect of your band is the amazing videos you put out. Do you feel making videos is as important as songwriting?

A: It’s certainly a different art form, it’s strange because you never want to assume that your version of the song means the same thing to every type of person, you always want to leave the door open for fans to create their own experiences and interpretations of your music…I think that’s part of the magic in art. With the video to ‘Remedy’, we swear Shi & Danny just wanted an excuse to make a 4 minute action film!! 😉

Q: How did making the ‘Remedy’ video test your creativity? How fun was it having Danny onboard for it?

A: Wayyy too much fun! The making of ‘Remedy’ didn’t necessarily test our creativity like a normal video concept would, I think it was more that we wanted to capture the essence of the moment. Danny and Shi were in the moment and doing things on the fly. I think that’s why the video came out so well, it was natural and just flowed.

Q: You have an EP in the works for later this year – how would you compare the vibe of it to “11:59”?

A: The vibe is different because we’ve grown as a band and as songwriters. We think we’ve also taken the production to another level. We’re excited to share more as the year goes on – because it shows the natural growth of the band.

Q: Being in Memphis/Nashville – have you been able to play locally yet? I’m sure you’re excited to get back to playing live!

A: Other than a live stream show we did for Amazon Music on Twitch a couple of weeks ago, we haven’t yet. But we hope to soon.

Q: Will you be touring in 2021? Any hints on who you may tour with?

A: There’s a lot of discussions in the works – but we can’t make any announcements just yet. Follow us on our Socials so you can see when we’ll be coming to your town! I think it’s safe to say that in 2022 we should be back in full swing again on the touring front.

Q: Any special words to your fans and the new people who will be hearing ‘Remedy’ for the first time and becoming fans?

A: Check out our stuff, and connect with us everywhere – we always love hearing from the fans. Be sure to go listen to ‘Remedy’ on Spotify and all the other streaming platforms. Most importantly – Keep your heads up, we’re almost past this Pandemic mess. Thanks everyone!!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

S.A.M. feat. Danny Worsnop – ‘Remedy’ (Official Music Video)

S.A.M PR Photo  - Credit Matt Bender @TheBenderMatt
Photo by Matt Bender @TheBenderMatt

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

INTERVIEW WITH SEASONS

Seasons Single Cover Album Art

INTERVIEW WITH SEASONS
Horror and Metal make a KILLER combination!
By Stephanie Stevens

Attention Horror fans, Metalcore fans and Heavy Metal music fans! As you may know, the latest instalment of the film series, Friday the 13th: Vengeance 2, will be released in the fall of 2021! What you may not be familiar with is a band who has been working their asses off, crafting the brutal and metalcore sound for the soundtrack! SEASONS is bringing to life the song ‘KILLING SEASON’ a track created by the band looking into the perspective of the fictional masked murderer Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13thfranchise. The song is loaded with references to different aspects of Jason and events that happen to the character throughout the movie franchise. The guttural roars and the screeching assaults vocally pummel you. From aggressive fiery musical verse elements to the captivating and searing melody induced chorus it makes the song an adventurous nightmare.

SEASONS formed in 2017 and are from Richmond, VA. Consisting of dedicated musicians that all have a strong passion for performing energetic shows and crafting top-notch influential songs.

I had a chance to speak with the band about working on a classic horror film soundtrack, a new singer and drummer, having a track for the wrestling community and the future of music for this killer band SEASONS.

Q: Give me a little insight on how SEASONS formed and how would you describe the philosophy of the band’s music and the personality of the band?

Nick GK (Guitar): Seasons formed in 2017 when original guitarists Matt Poe and Matt Gregory decided to form the band. Both musicians had been in and out of bands for years and they decided they wanted to give it a try again.

I think the personality of the band would surprise people.  I think we give off a really energetic and intense vibe in our shows and music videos, but behind the scenes I’d say we’re pretty laid back. That intensity is brought out when we play because we’re excited about our own music. But behind the scenes we’re pretty relaxed people.

Q: looking at the background of your band some cool shit has happened to you guys in the past, but the most recent and probably most iconic thing is you guys just released a song to be featured on the new Friday the 13th soundtrack coming out in 2021. How did that fall into place and had you already had part of the song ‘KILLING SEASON’ written?

Nick GK: The way we got the opportunity with Friday the 13th is that our bassist Matt (Poe) had been chatting with a guy named Peter Anthony, who had starred in another Friday the 13th film. Peter was the one who got us in contact with Jason Brooks, who is the director of the upcoming Friday the 13th movie. Matt reached out to Jason and basically asked if we could write a song for the movie, and Jason essentially told us to submit something and he would think about it. We didn’t have the song written ahead of time. We wrote the song with the intention of submitting in hopes that it could be included in the Friday the 13th franchise in some capacity. And we are so fortunate that it has been.

Q: What does it mean to you to be able to write a song about an iconic serial killer and where does your mindset have to be to kind of relive a character everyone knows and put your own twist to it?

Mark (Guitar): A lot of us are horror fans and Randall (Vocalist) loves Jason. I started the music with something that sounded brutal for obvious reasons into a softer, clean section to give you that calm before the storm. And then at the end my mindset was in the eye of the killer hence the guitar screeches as in a horror movie.

Q: Another new thing about the band is for KILLING SEASON, you put into place a new singer who used to be the drummer. So how did that all happen, and did you realize he had such a diverse vocal ability?

After discussing our options, we proposed to our then drummer, Randall Sykes, that he take over the duties as the front man. Randall has a great screaming voice and a lot of charisma on stage, and I think we all knew he could do it. We were so excited when he said he’d like to be the front man, and we got to work right away writing the songs that would feature Randall as the singer. We then spent a few months trying out different drummers trying to fill Randall’s old position. In the last month, Joshua Woolcott came in to try out on drums, and right away we knew it was the right fit.

Q: Going forward with the new singer how do you feel your music is going to evolve and change and what do you hope to experiment most with having this new asset to your brand and band?

Mark: Randall def has a different type of voice. His singing can get higher and his screams lower. I think our existing material and what’s to come will be more brutal but also more melodic.

Q: Have you guys been in the studio to record for an EP or full length or are you at ease just releasing singles for now since the music world is still up in the air?

Mark: We have recently been releasing singles, as they are mastered, but we are trying to work towards a more, big picture move, so to say.

Q: going back to other awesome stuff that has happened for the band you also had a 2019 track ‘VIOLENCE IS A VIRTUE’ playing in the wrestling world. How did it feel seeing that on TV and how was the song picked for that particular wrestler?

Mark: Matt had a mutual friend who hooked us up with AEW that made it happen, but it was pretty cool to see your song so pump that a wrestler wants to walk out to it. Took me back to childhood.

Q: you guys really take a solid focus on the technical side for sound when you’re playing as you can see in a lot of your songs. When you are writing for a SEASONS song what is the most important aspect the band agrees on before even getting into songwriting mode and how long does a general song take to complete for you guys?

Mark: Usually it starts with a riff and sometimes a theme. Matt’s strongest quality is being like a metalcore composer. So, we come up with the basic structure and he kinda Picassos it all together into what you hear as the finished product. As for time, we have worked on songs for months until completed cause sometimes we are like “squirrel” to another song and ‘Killing Seasons’ was basically written in a 3-hour band practice cause it just flowed.

Q: I love knowing you guys are also very diverse where everyone in the band comes to the table with the structure and writing of songs which I think would bring so much more diversity into the band to experiment. How does it impact you guys as creators and bonding with each other as a band?

Mark: We all like rock and metal but the genres, that we all like specifically, can be very different so a chord or scale progression that I would put in a song is completely different that one of the other guys would come up with. Also, it forces us all to listen to other music we otherwise wouldn’t.

Q: Where do you see the band’s biggest growth since your inception to the current day?

Mark: I came into this band right before ‘High Fives’ music video and since that was our first music video, I’ve seen a lot of numbers really go up since then.

Q: Have you guys thought about the day you can play a live show again and if so, how do you want to represent your band in a live aspect once things get back to normal vs. what you did in prior years?

Nick GK: Seasons takes a lot of pride in how we play live from both a technical standpoint as well as an entertainment standpoint. If you come to see us, we want you to hear the songs played as well as we can possibly play them, and we also want you to walk away thinking you got your money’s worth. If you come see Seasons, you will not see 5 guys looking at the floor strumming their instruments. We jump up and down, run around the stage, head bang, and jump off our amp cabs. We are excited about our music, we are excited to play it live and we want the audience to share in that excitement.

I think when we get to play live again the audience is going to get that energy but to a higher extent. We will be so excited to play live again that the audience will get the energy of Seasons from 2019 but in an even more extreme way.

Q: if you could help inspire one new musician coming into the scene what advice would you give to them and one thing you wish you knew when you were starting out?

Nick GK: The best advice I could give a new musician entering the scene is to just be curious. Learn from the other bands out there and from the other folks in the industry. Knowledge is power in the music business. If a musician comes into the scene hungry to learn and to improve themselves, everything will fall into place for them.

Q: if you could pick the brain of any musician dead or alive today who would it be and what top 3 questions would you ask them?

Mark:

EVH
– What drives you to be so creative and innovative
– What was the most important thing for you when writing the guitar structure of a song
– What was the secret to that awesome 80’s hair

Nick GK:

Sammy Hagar
– What was the craziest tour of your career from a partying standpoint?
– How many speeding tickets have you gotten out of from ‘Can’t Drive 55’?

Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein
– Max bench?

Zakk Wylde
– You have an awesome beard.
– Max bench?

Q: How has music influenced and impacted your life and what is one thing you can thank music for giving you this far?

Nick GK: To me, music has always been a consistent voice in my life, and I have found comfort in that. If you’re going through a hard time, I think there are always songs out there that can bring you comfort and help a person get through what they are struggling with.  Music can be a sort of saving grace to a lot of people in that sense.

Q: Inspire other artists and tell us someone who inspires and motivates you and why?

Mark: Trust me I am far from “making it” but I was 28 when I joined this band and was like “it’s too late I’m too old I should hang it up” and this happened. So, I’d say never give up, never stop playing, and never ever get rid of your gear. And I’m inspired by Jason Richardson every day because he reminds me no matter how good I am there is someone out there who can shred circles around you so PRACTICE!

CONNECT WITH THE BAND:

‘Killing Season’ (Official Video)

Seasons Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Stephanie Stevens and East Coast Romper, and has been released to Ever Metal on this basis. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.