Your latest record, titled “Motives,” came out back in 2016. How has it impacted your career since its release just over two years ago?
Chris (guitar/vocals): It's been a quiet release to be honest, nothing we had planned for that album came to light due to losing members during the recording of the album and other personal things. People have shown their support for it though, just wish it had a better turn out than it did.
How would you say your songwriting process has changed or evolved in between writing your debut, “Visions,” and writing “Motives?”
Chris: I think it went from “how many cool riffs I can fit into a song” to “how many cool riffs I can fit into a song and it actually flows” lol. Visions was more all over the place where as Motives had more structure to it as well as having a darker vibe to it. The same can be said about the lyrics, Motives had actual themes, Visions was simply just that, your vision on what the songs meant to you.
Are you currently working on new music and if so, what can people expect from it?
Chris: We're starting to write new music for the next record, I have a few demos recorded. I can't really get into what to expect since it's still very early in the stages but I think we are going to try a lot of things we've always touched on. It will be a different album for us but we're excited to see what comes out of it.
You guys have been playing a lot of shows in recent months. What do you look forward to the most about playing shows?
Chris: For me personally, it's playing in front of people that haven't seen or heard of us before.
What’s one place that you haven’t played a show at yet that you really want to do so at?
Chris: Playing an arena show, just to say I've done that.
What can people expect from Goodbye Blue Skies in the future?
Chris: We have a new lineup, so we're looking to play a lot of shows this summer, and to also continue writing for our next album. Maybe releasing a song or two to give an idea what's to come from us. We're excited for what's to come!
Your new EP “Better Health” is out. Is there a meaning behind the title and if so, what is it?
Chris: I think that this record as a whole is about self progression and finding the positive side in bad situations.
What can people expect from it?
Chris: You can expect a big, in your face sound. A lot goes out to our producer Seth Henderson at ABG studios with such a smooth recording process, he his literally a genius when it comes to recording and producing.
How would you compare it to your last two EPs?
Chris: I would say it’s more mature than our last releases. We have definitely grown so much as a band since then and matured as people as well.
You went on tour with Intervention. What was the tour like?
Chris: Hands down the most successful run yet for The Weekend Classic. The dudes in intervention are some of the best guys I have had the opportunity to meet/tour with. They are incredibly dudes and insanely talented and some of good friends!
Any favorite shows in particular from that tour?
Chris: The best show with intervention was definitely the house show we played in Jacksonville it was our last day with them and they went out with a bang. We also played another house show on that run with The Happy Alright in Edinboro, PA that was super sick, definitely our best crowd of that tour.
What can people expect from The Weekend Classic in the future?
Chris: We are definitely planning to hit the road hard, focus on writing a lot and connect with new fans and make new friends!
What first made you interested in music journalism?
Alex: Well, I first got into heavy and alternative music around 12/13 years of age from being exposed to bands like My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Rise Against, Blink-182, Slipknot, Underoath, Escape The Fate and In Flames. Through that I then picked up drumming as well. As for what I do now, it’s kind of a boring answer, but there was never really an epiphany or any one singular moment that sparked me to do writing - I just wanted to do it. Though, the seed was probably first planted by my parents, many years ago, when one of them said I should put my love of writing and music together. To which I probably half-heartedly replied “Oh yeah, maybe”, so you could more or less blame my folks for this whole thing.
Once I fully decided on something writing-wise, I was driven by a combination of a few things. This ranged from: loving creative writing as a teenager, wanting to read and talk about and music any chance I got (I read far too much Rock Sound back in the day before it moved online and went to shit), and as anyone of my friends will tell you, I fucking LOVE the sound of my own voice and having it being heard.
I started out doing written work for smaller Australian music websites back in late 2012 when I was 17. Namely for The 59th Sound (who took their name from what is OBJECTIVELY the best Gaslight Anthem record), as well as another site called Sludge Factory which was later rebranded as SF Media. The first album review I ever did was for the latter site and the release in-question was Your Demise’s ‘The Golden Age’, which was a good record despite how many of their fans didn’t fuck with it because it wasn’t an exact copy-cat of their previous album, ‘The Kids We Used To Be’. (Which, yeah, is the band’s best work). As for the write-up itself, the review is fucking abysmal – I’m sure there’s many out there who’d say nothing’s changed for me - and I would’ve written that piece SO differently if I covered itnow. And y’know, if Your Demise were even still a bandtoo (RIP).
How did you start writing for Kill Your Stereo?
Alex: Back in late 2013, I sent an email to the site’s previous editor, Kane Hunkin, putting forward my interest in contributing to the site in some way, shape or form. My younger brother, Matty, had been writing for KYS (and you’ll notice I rarely ever refer to the site in its full name) for a few months by then and always had good things to say about it. Of course, Kane got back to mesaying the usual, generic email response: “hey, if anything comes up, we’ll let you know, but we’re all good, thanks bye”. I then contacted him again in the very early days of 2014 and he said that he’d totally forgotten about my last email. So he got me on board right away with the website. Never forget: sometimes it really pays to send a follow-up email. (Now that I think about it, I probably wouldn’t be doing this now if Kane had never replied to me. So cheers for that one Kane, wherever the fuck you are in life now, mate).
The first big thing I did for KYS was actually my first ever over-the-phone interview, which was with Sam Carter and Tom Searle (rest in peace) from Architects. I was the last one on that particular press schedule so I scored some extra time with the pair and I look back on it fondly now. I keep all of my recorded interviews saved on my phone for reference and emotional prosperity and I re-listened to that particular interview back in late 2016 when Tom sadly passed away as some form of personal closure and I can still hear my voice shaking insome of those questions.
What has been a highlight of your career so far?
Alex: Well, first off, I don’t actually think of this as a career. Sure, I spend a lot of my time organizing, writing, thinking about and doing things for KYS and while I make a little bit of money from it here and there, it’s fuck-all in the grand scheme of things. But then again, I would probably just do it for free, anyways.
Because whether I trash a band or record or not, obviously I do this because I love the writing and because I love the music at the end of the day. And thatlast part is the driving mentality of countless other people in this so often fickle and shit-show of an industry. Whether they’re in bands, apart of the media, work at labels, our promoters, run venues, and so on.“You love it, you hate it, but you love it more than you hate it” was something the frontman of Mayhem told me an in interview last year and it was so applicable that it physically hurt.
But I digress! For there have been some amazing highlights over the years. Through KYS, I’ve been able to get access to some great shows, experience some very cool things, and meet and speak with some genuine and interesting people across the industry over the years too. And through all of those conversations, experiences and interviews, I’ve been able to learn so much and listen to so many great stories too.
Getting a review pass for Soundwave Festival 2015 (the final Soundwave no less) was insane for me at the time. Then getting to write about it in a review was the cherry on top. (Something that’s happening again with Download Festival Melbourne happening this week too!)
In that same year of 2015, being one of the very first people outside of their label, family and management to listen to Parkway Drive’s ‘Ire’ nearly five months in advance was fucking crazy too. Hell, as I do up these answers for you right now I’m listening through my advance stream of The Wonder Years newest album, which is pretty dang cool. And the best part? ‘Sister Cities’ is a fucking amazing! Diving deep with a lot of great local artists out here in Australia, some who I’m lucky enough to call friends like David De La Hoz (Belle Haven), Nicholas Simonsen (caution:thieves), Josh Collard (Earth Caller), Chris Gebauer (Deadspace), and Dylan Gillsons (Gravemind), have all been fantastic and rewarding too.
Chatting with Refused’s Dennis Lyxzén and Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain multiple times over the past couple years has been very cool as those guys are people who at one point in my teens I’d never thought I’d ever have any kind of communication with. Speaking with Jon Theodore from Queens Of The Stone Age backstage at their Melbourne show last year about his time in The Mars Volta and his drumming in general (also my favouriteinstrument of choice) was something I won’t ever forget. Interviewing Anthony Green from Circa Survive back in 2015 up in the green room of Melbourne’s 170 Russell is another one I’ll never let go of because of how well spoken and straight up he was when talking with me. He also rarely blinked while we spoke and that honestly freaked me out a little bit. Getting to meet Pete Wentz and Andy Hurley from Fall Out Boy earlier this month while they were in Australia recently for an interview was so sick and scored me the envy of more than a few mates. I also recently chatted with Mike Deuce from Lower Than Atlantis, who someone that I’ve wanted to interview for years now, and it was such a fun, random and candid chat. Last week I just found out that I’ll be running an interview with Ray Harkins from Taken, who is a real fucking legend for underground hardcore music, so I’m pretty stoked.
I’d say that the top highlight has been the only interview I’ve done where my heart was racing for the entire time: a 20-minute phone call with Frank Iero from My Chemical Romance. I’ve never been THAT nervous before in an interview in my entire life – not at that time nor since. My Chemical Romance was my first musical love and where the band that inspired me to learn drums and to get into so many other bands. So to be able to talk with a member of MCR, someone who I’ve looked up to for years, just blew my fucking mind. I honestly cannot thank Janine Morcos (Iero’s publicist out here in Australia at that time) for getting me in – you rock Janine! Plus, I didn’t even mention MCR’s break-up or them reuniting like most other fucking interviewers did in that round of press and I will be forever quite proud of that fact.
Any advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in music journalism?
Alex: Yeah, I do have a few bits of advice so stick with me here.
1. Just be yourself and just be honest in your personality and in your writing. That’s the most important thing I’d say.
2. Find your niche, find your audience, and then work that shit hard if you must to get where you need/want to be.
3. Work out what you’re gonna do early on with your writing, your website and just your work in general. Are you gonna go for click bait, listicles and memes only? Or are you gonna do news, features, reviews and interviews? Will you try and do both of those things? Or will you try to do something completely different? Will you make it a spare time gig or will you try and make this a full time job? It can be a very tricky thing to fully iron out, and I’ve had some pretty hard moments thinking about where I’d like to take KYS (I still do). But once you do work it out, the vision becomes much clearer. Not necessarily easier in work load or effort but perhaps easier to merely plot out and plan.
4. If you like and support something, than say so and back it. We’re all fans of music at the end of the day so be sure to act like one when you really fall for a band or fall for a certain record. On the flipside, if you dislike and disagree with something, then don’t censor yourself and hold yourself back from offering up your thoughts and critiques. Don’t sugarcoat your reviews, basically. On that note, a fellow writer friend told me a few weeks back that while my direct and upfront nature wasn’talways desired, she knows that I’m real and honest; that I won’t ever bullshit her. Which she said she also really appreciated. And I’m sure that many others of my peers and friends feel the exact same way - they just haven’t said so directly to my face yet!
5. Always remember: there is no music media without the actual music so never act like you’re owed anything. Even for this small-to-mid-tier Australian website that I run, I’m still in a privileged position and I like to remind myself of that. As I’ve seen some other writers act as such over social media and it’s not a nice look from the outside.
6. Also, don’t go up your own asshole too much. Some bands and certain people probably think I’m like that because I didn’t think that their mediocre-as-fuck metalcore album was the second coming of Jesus Christ or because I have a lot of opinions that I like to share, but I actually don’t think that way about myself. I have plenty of negative reviews online for people to read and agree or disagree with, but by the same token, there’salso plenty of bands and releases that I’ve spoken VERY highly of too. (Everyone needs to hear the new records from Rolo Tomassi and Møl ASAP!) I do think I’m okay and competent enough at writing and journalism, but I’m definitely not perfect at it nor do I think that I am the best in the world. So, yeah, be humble where possible but also be honest too, and just try to keep growing and learning over time. Basically, keep in mind that you can always improve is my message here, I guess.
Are there any bands that you haven’t interviewed yet that you want to interview and if so, who are they?
Alex: This is a question that a lot – and I mean A LOT - of my friends and family have asked me over the years and I never really know what to say. I know a lot of other media types who want to talk to all of these insanely popular musicians and rock star types and all I can think is: “What would you even fucking ask them that they haven’t been asked or dealt with before? What a waste of time.” For me, Gerard Way is one of those people. I’d love to meet him and interview him but I honestly don’t even know what I’d ask the dude at this stage in his lifethat wouldn’t just rehash someone else’s conversation or annoy him with topics that he’s already discussed. So I’d probably just say “Hey man, your music changed my life for the better, thanks” and leave it at that.
However, to actually answer your question, I can list a couple!
I’d love to talk with Joe “Hardcore” McKay, the guy who runs This Is Hardcore (TIH) over n the States about the festival and about hardcore in general. Likewise, Sunny Singh (AKA Hate5Six.com), who films pretty muchevery TIH show and who documents a ridiculous level old and new footage of hardcore gigs and the genre’s deep history. He just really seems like he’d have a shit load of cool things to say and talk about.
The Needle Drop’s Anthony Fantano is a really big one for me too – that dude is the biggest music reviewer in the world and I’d love to pick his brain about a wide array of topics. It would never ever happen, but Max Martin because he’s a pop-song making machine and a genius in so many ways. Then there’s Will Putney, a well-known metal producer and engineer from America who also plays in two awesome bands: END and Fit For An Autopsy. He’s worked with an insane list of clientele over the years; Northlane, Thy Art is Murder, Four Year Strong, Knocked Loose, Greyhaven, Like Moths To Flames, The Amity Affliction, and countless others. I’d also like to interview AJ Maddah (the guy who ran, started and then eventually killed off Soundwave Festival) about his drug issues, business decisions, pastwork and his life now. Definitely not because I like the guy or that I at all aspire to be like him – I don’t think anyone does – but because he’d have some very interesting things to say about the it all and the Australian. Which is kinda the core thing with most interviews: finding the interesting story and the humantale right at the core of it all. Even if it’s from people that you don’t like or from those you don’t agree with. There are few other people that I’ve wanted to interview but I’ve actually already made steps towards some of them all happening, so hopefully that shit goes ahead and drops soon enough and so I also don’t look like an idiot for saying so here.
Oh, and of course, Julien Baker is also on that mental interview list. Mainly just so I can have the chance to thank her for her latest record, ‘Turn Out The Lights,’ which pulled me out from the gloom and stopped me from taking my own life last year.
Are there any albums that you enjoyed that you wish you reviewed for the website and if so, what are they?
Alex: Some of my all-time favourite records I’ve thought far too hard about and way too long enough about that the reviews would be the living-breathing peak of pointless, trite self-indulgence. Plus, those particular records are popular or old enough that there has been more than enough reviews and articles about them over the years. That being said, I’ll probably still write about From Autumn To Ashes’ final record, 2008’s ‘Holding A Wolf By It’s Ears’ because that fucker turns ten in a couple months and I feel like not enough people know about how wickedly good that thing is. Jesus Christ, I miss that band! Excuse me but I need to go put on ‘Daylight Slaving’ now…
When you’re not working on the website, what are some things you do in your spare time?
Alex: Spare time doesn’t really exist for me - just ask my partner! I’m always writing things, responding and checking emails and am always listening to new or current releases. Sometimes, certain pieces just never make it live onto the website for one reason or another – either I’ve come to hate them, don’t think they say anything worthwhile now, realise too late that they won’t yield a strong response or won’t secure us the right kind of traffic I’d like them too, etc. But if I’m not staying up too late/sleeping in too much, working at my warehouse day job, then I’m usually playing video games in whatever spare time I have. (PUBG is a broken mess but I love it; Dead Cells is the best retro rogue-like title in years; Far Cry 5 looks pretty neat and that Dark Souls 1 remaster cannot come soon enough).
What else can people expect from you in the future?
Alex: That’s an easy one: words and opinions. Lots of words and lots of opinions.
Your new EP came out late last year. What was the writing & recording process like?
Alex (vocals): We recorded it in Always Be Genius. We recorded the EP a year ago and we were out there for 8 days. We put it out on November and we’ve been touring in support of it.
What has the reaction been like so far?
Alex: It’s been pretty good. I think a lot of people like it. It’s different, every song is different. That’s one of the biggest reactions we’ve gotten from people. It’s definitely a more mature work from the last thing we put out.
You toured with Broken Field Runner and Riviera. What was that tour like?
Gabe (guitar): It was our first time going across the US but we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout for every show. Everything went as planned.
Alex: It was really good. Everything went smoothly.
Any favorite memories from the tour?
Gabe: We went to California for the first time. We got to meet a ton of people and make new friends and I’ll never forget how well people treated us out there.
Alex: I’d say the same type of thing. From Denver through California, that was the best part of the tour.
What can people expect from Young Culture in the future?
Gabe: More shows.
Alex: All the typical things. We’re going to be playing a lot more shows this year, hopefully releasing new music. We’re focusing on playing shows right now and seeing where it goes.
Your debut single is called “Emptiness.” What about “Emptiness” made you pick it to be the debut single and the lead single off of your upcoming album?
Rob (bass/synth/vocals): Coincidentally, “Emptiness” was the first song that we had completely finished during the process of writing/recording our debut album. It was just somewhat fitting that we were releasing it first. Also, before debuting as THRILLCHASER in late 2017, the three of us used to be in a band called American Wolves. From the beginning, “Emptiness” just felt like a natural candidate for bridging the gap between the old and new.
What was the writing process like for each of the singles on the record? Was it different for each song or was it similar?
Rob: I’d say that each song came about somewhat different from the next. Some tracks sort of just seemed to happen instantly like lightning in a bottle from a spur of the moment idea, while others had been writing/re-writing for over two years since the American Wolves days.
What song on the record are you most proud of and why?
Rob: I personally am the most proud of “fivetwentyfive.” I feel that it’s one of the more genuine and unique songs on the record. From an instrumental standpoint, it’s very bass/synth driven, so rehearsing it, as well as performing it, is always fun for me.
What’s a goal you’re hoping to accomplish with the record?
Rob: To become everyone’s favorite band.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to start a career as a musician or be in a band?
Nikki (guitar/vocals): Choosing a career path in music takes perseverance, dedication, and sacrifice. It is not for the faint of heart. Surround yourself with great artists and musicians and support each other. Practice and play live as much as you can to perfect your craft. Song-write as much as inspiration allows. Network and meet with as many people as you can in the industry. Learn about the business side to music, always be smart and vigilant with the choices you make and people you work with. Be open to criticism while always staying true to your vision as an artist. Most importantly, get ready to fail, and fail often. Embrace failure as it will ultimately prepare you for success. When the going gets tough - and it will - keep going.
What can people expect from Thrillchaser in the future?
Rob: Without giving too much away, you can definitely expect more music videos, shows/tours, merchandise, and even a single that’s not part of “A Lot Like Love” in the not-so-distant future.
How did you first get into music?
Dakota: Going to a lot of shows with family and friends.
Your new single is called “Gold.” What was the writing process like for the single?
Dakota: It was kind of a collaboration between me and my friend CJ. I wrote the lyrics ahead of time before getting into the studio. My first single “Paradise” was recorded out in Saint Charles, Missouri with another producer named Jake & featured a guest appearance by my good friend Kris Alexander, you can expect him again in a future music release for sure someday soon. Almost everything was written & ready to go into the studio with C.J., so it has been a very smooth process. My first concert was September 5th at venue called Fubar and I performed the “Ghost” EP in full. I'll also be another concert at Fubar performing the “Ghost” EP again in full again, but this time supporting Michael Barr.
How would you describe your live shows?
Dakota: Pretty hyped up. I like a lot of crowd participation and a lot of interaction.
Is there anything you can tell us about this upcoming EP?
Dakota: I’d been recording with my friend C.J. from a band called Wide Awake and the EP is called “Ghost” and it’s set to release in the spring, but we’ve been working on it since “Gold” came out.
If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be and why?
Dakota: Iggy Azalea because I’m a big fan and it’s kind of like a guilty pleasure.
What can people expect from Gossip Machine in the future?
Dakota: Hopefully a lot of music and a music video. More shows. More merchandise. I think I’d really like to start doing vlog type stuff. I have a clothing line called Geekx & Freakx; new clothing designs coming soon. Expect a headliner in the summer or fall with the theme of the show being "2 Cool 4 School". I'll be self booking & renting out the venue plus headling all for the first time. I've never booked a show, so you bet I’ll have some of Saint Louis's best upcoming new artists supporting me to join the party! The “Ghost” EP is coming this spring to Spotify, YouTube and all leading music platforms. Thank you for your support!
How did you all meet each other and form the band?
Jack U: We all met in Boston at Berklee College of Music. Jack and our bass player had been friends since we were little. I was friends with Jack’s roommate, so that’s how I met him. Nick just kind of showed up at practice.
Jack C: We tried out a bunch of drummers and Will was the best one we tried out, so I hit him up and he showed up at practice.
You put out three singles in 2017, writing process like for them?
Jack U: Normally someone comes up with an idea and bring it to the table and there’s no real structure to each one. We’ll then work on it, we’ll write around the stuff that isn’t done yet. That’s how “Under My Skin” and “Bacalar” went. “One Month” was a song that I wrote for my girlfriend and the rest of the band liked it a lot so we released it.
Will there be an EP or an album to come following these singles?
Jack C: We’re supposed to be doing an EP next year. We’re trying to take it to the next level and get a good producer on board.
What’s something that you’ve learned from writing your two previous EPs that will help you while making this new music?
Jack C: I think with writing it’s the biggest and most endless learning process you can ever imagine. I’ve personally learned that you can’t write a great song or finish a great song without being completely invested in it. If you’re going to write, you have to be invested in it.
If you could listen to only one album for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Jack U: Probably A Rush Of Blood To The Head by Coldplay.
Jack C: Joshua Tree from U2.
What can people expect from Dead Poet Society in the future?
Jack U: More music. More content. We’re all going to be a little bit taller.
Jack C: We have a lot going on.
How did you first get into music?
Joe: My dad played guitar when I was a kid and I started learning to play on his. I used to always fall asleep listening to old blues music. I really loved the way that the music made me feel and I never really considered doing anything else.
What was the writing process like for Your Your Name?
Joe: It was quick. I’m sure it came together in one sitting. I’ve written maybe 30 songs since then and I wrote it a couple months ago.
With the single out now, is there another EP or potentially an album coming in the near future?
Joe: If things go well and I’m able to record a full-length album, I would because I have plenty of material. I’m just waiting for everything else to fall into place.
What have you learned about songwriting since writing your past two EPs?
Joe: I try not to think about songwriting. I try to just let it happen, as cliche as it sounds. I think I’ve gotten better at knowing when something’s true inspiration and when to shut down something that seems forced.
What song(s) would you say capture that sound the best?
Joe: Definitely Your Name. I think that’s my best work to date and it’s exactly where I want to be as an artist and what direction I want to go, even though I want to go a lot of different directions.
If you could collaborate with one artist or band for a song, who would it be and why?
Joe: The Red Hot Chili Peppers are my favorite band, but they don’t do collaborations. Maybe I’d have a jam session with them,
If you could create your dream tour with any three bands or artists, who would they be and what would the tour be called?
Joe: Most of my favorite artists are ones that wouldn’t sound like me. If I could open for, like, Jack Johnson, that would be super cool. Harry Styles, as well. As far as a tour name, I would say it would be one of their national tours; I’d be lucky to just tag along.
What can people expect from you in the future?
Joe: I’m going to continue to make the music that I want to make and ideally, the only difference will be the number of people I’m reaching. That’ll ideally be growing a lot in the near future.
You released an EP earlier this year. What was the writing and recording process?
Alex (vocals/guitar):It took a little bit. When we started having the money together we started writing more songs and settled on seven. We’re currently working on some songs for an eventual full length. Hopefully it doesn’t take as long as the EP did, but maybe it’ll take that or longer.
How is the new music coming along what can people expect from it?
Anthony (drums): It’s diverse.
Alex: We’re not trying to put ourselves in a bubble. If we like it, we run with it.
Dallas (vocals/guitar): If it sounds good, we like it and if we don’t, we throw it away.
Alex: We’re not saying “does it sound like us” or not.
If you could create a tour with any three bands, who would they be and what would the tour be called?
Alex: Blink, Sum 41, The Wonder Years, and the tour would be called Goodbye Gloria’s Excellent Adventure… & Friends.
Are there any goals you want to achieve as a band and if so, what are they?
Alex: I personally would want to be able to make a comfortable living off of music. That’s the ultimate goal, to have music paying the bills.
What can people expect from Goodbye Gloria in the future?
Alex: Music. A lot of music. Stupidity. Maybe some behind the scenes stuff from that.
Dallas: Music videos.
Alex: Tours. We’re trying to get on the road here pretty soon before putting out an album.
What was the writing process like for “Brick And Mortar”?
Samir: The writing process on "Brick and Mortar" was quite different from what we had previously done on our previous EP and stand-alone single. Instead of being three of us writing with an acoustic guitar and only after finishing most of a song we would translate it to an electric environment. This time it was five people - finally a full lineup - playing loudly in a messy practice room. It was tough to understand what we really wanted to do, but when we did it was a smooth ride and we're definitely ecstatic about the result.
What did you learn from writing the last two EPs that helped you when writing this one?
Samir: One of the tentative names for this EP was "Trial & Error", and it could have worked really well. We tried a lot of things with our first two releases, and that's probably what made them so heterogeneous. For "Brick and Mortar", we began writing with a clearer idea of the direction we wanted to go with, and we could have never figured that out without doing what we had done before.
How would you say your songwriting process has changed since then?
Samir: As I mentioned before, it's completely different: there's five of us now, and we're plugging our guitars into amps and edging out our new songs all together. We do approach writing in a similar way, I have lyrics for a song ready, I have an idea of how it should be structured, the mood it should have, and then my bandmates start playing parts that they think would fit, and that's how we usually take it. For the future, we want to try out more new things and go about it in different ways.
Which song would you say captures the sound of the EP best and why?
Samir: I would probably say the opener, "Nothing Changes In Baltimore", is the best track to showcase what "Brick and Mortar" is about. It's got it all: the twinkly guitars, the groovey spoken word parts, melodic choruses and we managed to fit in a heavier bridge in it too. It's a ton of things for just one song but I don't think the song suffers from it.
What has the reaction to the EP been like so far?
Samir: Wonderful! We've had great feedback from awesome magazines and websites, people seem to be reacting well to it and the few shows we've played after the release were all awesome: we love playing the new songs live and people seem to enjoy them too. We also finally have enough songs to switch the setlist up a little bit, so it makes it more interesting for us too. Can't wait to play these songs in new places too!
What can people expect from sittingthesummerout in the future?
Samir: This new EP took us 6 months to release after we first went into the studio to record the songs. Playing the new songs live is great, but it also feels old somehow, if that makes sense. We're excited to start writing again, we've already begun actually, and we want to get a ton of songs ready for our upcoming release, as our plan is to release another EP, but to have more songs to choose from, in order to narrow out the best tracks we could possibly write at the moment. And while we do this, we don't want to stop playing shows, hopefully reaching new shores before summer comes by and we "hibernate" as we tend to do during the hotter months, hah.