You released a new EP titled “Bend/Break.” What was the writing and recording process like for the EP?
Jase: The writing process differed from the last EP. With “In The Back of My Mind”, we all met up and wrote together. With this EP, I wrote the majority of it in my home studio. We went to The Ranch to work with Neil Kennedy. It was a really great experience and I think Neil helped us to maximise our potential!
How does this EP compare to your debut?
Jase: It’s definitely darker in theme. I feel like this is record truly represents who we are as a band and where we want to go.
What goals are you hoping to achieve with this release?
Jase: I think we’d just like to be able to play as many shows off the back of this release as possible! It’s already exceeded expectations, hitting 70,000+ streams on Spotify in just 3 weeks.
You’ve been doing a lot of shows in support of the EP. How does it feel playing these new songs live?
Jase: I love playing the new stuff live! The reaction has been incredible. To see people singing along to the new stuff, especially far away from home, is incredibly humbling and we’re really grateful!
How would you describe your live shows?
Jase: Energetic and hopefully a lot of fun.
What can people expect from MAYPINE in the future?
Jase: We want to play as many shows as possible in as many places as possible! And then we’ll knuckle down and write some new music. We’ve also been working on some stuff that will be out sometime in the near future!
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You released a new single called “Witch Hunt.” What is the meaning behind the title and the lyrics?
Greg: The song is pretty much inspired by a feeling of hysteria. A “who can you trust?” scenario. It’s very scary to see the ugly sides of people, especially when it blows up in the media.
Hope: Yeah, it’s a combination of how we’ve collectively felt in response to the current states of both the entertainment industry and in politics. We’ve both questioned who we can actually trust in society now, so we just took that and made “Witch Hunt.”
What was the writing process like for the song & how did it come together?
Greg: We wrote this in the studio with ZK Productions. All we had was the lyrical concept, the rest came from scratch.
Hope: Total scratch, man. We had the title, and lyrical concept, like Greg said, but everything else was done in the studio on the spot. That was hard as hell. I feel a ton of pressure whenever that type of writing is done, but it pushes you past so many internal limits.
How would you compare the songwriting process for that song to those on your debut EP?
Greg: It was different because with the EP (“Long Live”)we had some more time to think about what we were doing, and go home to try stuff out. Both methods can work fine, it depends what you’re going for.
Hope: Yeah, this was the opposite from when we did “Long Live” and also from when I was working on “VERSUS,” the first VISTA record. With “Long Live,” everything was pretty mapped out, we worked on stuff in between studio sessions. But here we didn’t have that. Greg and I would stay in the studio past session and try and fill in the gaps best we could to make use of our time, but we really went in with nothing.
You’re about to go on a summer tour. What are you most looking forward to about it?
Greg: Being in new cities! Hopefully meeting new people. I love that.
Hope: Yes, The Bloodlust Tour! It’s 25 dates, which is our longest tour yet, so I’m looking forward to going to states I haven’t been to yet. Never been to Texas, so I’m stoked to eat some good food there. I also love getting to meet new people like Greg. Especially when it’s someone I recognize from social media, seeing that come full circle is the weirdest, but coolest experience.
What can people expect from your set on this tour or at a VISTA show in general?
Greg: Lots of energy. It’s really therapeutic for us. However, I will say that the more hyped the crowd gets, the hype-er we get.
Hope: For sure. We put out a lot of energy
and always hope that it’s reciprocated back. On this tour in particular, we’re going to be playing “Witch Hunt’ every night. Now that it’s out, I hope we get a good response. We had been playing it live since March, but it wasn’t released, so nobody had any idea what it was. A lot of songs off of our last record “Long Live.” Our set is just longer in general, so a more in depth show.
What can people expect from VISTA in the future?
Greg: Definitely more content. Nothing to announce yet but we will keep you posted!
Hope: We always post a ton of content on tour, so even if we aren’t able to hit a certain city, state, or country, people can still follow us and see exactly what’s going on. We just filmed a music video for “Witch Hunt,” but have no clue when that’ll be out. I think we’re aiming for before tour or right at the beginning of tour. We’ve also been in the studio recently, but no plans for another EP or an album yet.
Your debut EP “Mood Swings” was just released. How does it feel finally getting to release it?
Sean (vocals/guitar): It feels like scratching the biggest itch imaginable. We’ve had all these songs written and recorded for ages and we are so grateful that we were finally able to release them to everybody.
What has the reaction to the EP been like so far?
Sean: It’s been incredibly positive from all of our friends and family and also from people online. All the comments we’ve received from comments and reviews have been overwhelmingly positive and we couldn’t be more grateful.
What was the writing and recording process like for this EP?
Sean: The writing process always starts with our guitar player, Josh, bringing us a riff, verse, and a chorus typically and then we all work together to flesh it out into a full song. We recorded 'Mood Swings' in San Tan Valley at Tuff Tones studios with Mike Oliver. He’s a very talented recording engineer. The recording process is always fun, we’re weird in that we always all show up to each recording session even if it’s only drums or something but we feel it brings a more collaborative feel to the whole process and we think it adds to the overall sound, having all of our ideas present at all times.
Any favorite moments from making the EP?
Sean: My favorite part was definitely when we were recording the bridge of "Life’s Overrated" and it wasn’t seeming to really build into what we wanted it to compared to the rest of the song. So Josh says “Why don’t you just scream that last part Sean?” So I did, and it was the first time I’d ever screamed in a song, but it was really fun to let loose in the studio and not have to worry about ruining my voice for the day because it was literally the last thing we recorded off the whole EP.
Which song off of the EP would you say stands out the most and why?
Sean: I’d say "I Forgot You" stands out the most purely because of how raw it is. It’s our angstiest by far and we purposely recorded it in as few takes as possible and left out any synths or extra computer stuff to reflect the emotions it represents.
What goals are you hoping to achieve with the EP’s release?
Sean: We’re hoping to catch someone’s attention or gain enough cred to score some touring opportunities over the summer. We’re dying to see more of the world.
What can people expect from Divided Minds in the future?
Sean: We’ve already been in the studio working on some new tunes. And I can already say the songs we’re working on now ou catchier than anything we’ve ever written. We’re already proud of them and barely anyone has even heard them. We’re also hoping to tour the US. This June we’re heading up to Wisconsin to play Music Fights Back Music Festival with Saliva and others. Then after that, we’re going straight back to work on our next album.
You recently released your new EP, Insulince. What was the writing and recording process like for the EP?
Mark: I wrote most of the songs during the making of the album I put out last year, Learned Helplessness. Because of a myriad of tech & scheduling issues, that process took about 8 months, and in that time I wrote another 8 or 9 songs I was proud of. But I knew I couldn't get in over my head with another full-length, so I split up the tracks into 2 EPs to do over the course of 2018. And 4 of them tied together nicely into this indulgent little concept EP. The timing couldn't have lined up more perfectly for recording. Daniel Bourget came on my radar as a producer through my connections to the Orange County Music League, and I spent the better part of my winter break between semesters at his home studio in San Marcos. Great little space, I felt like more of a pro musician there than ever before really.
What is the concept and what is the meaning behind it?
Mark: I thought it'd be interesting to write about my Type 1 Diabetes, which I was diagnosed with in 2015. Not the #1 most debilitating chronic illness out there, but it conjures up some darker ideas if you go down enough mental rabbit holes. I knew I had to hit a balance where such a niche topic didn't come off like a gimmick, so there's a range of specificity with how I tackle it. Like "40 at 4" is very clearly about a blood sugar crash, but "Tend to You" has more of a broad double meaning. Then there's the last 2, which came in the wake of all the crap going on with our healthcare system in this administration. I'm not normally super-eager to go political, but I felt pretty attacked with that stuff. Really hit the emotional core I knew a project like this needed.
What are some goals you want to achieve in the EP?
Mark: I suppose, beyond any themes from the music itself, just getting some kind of audience. This is the first release I think is genuinely palatable. Not just the neat little Bandcamp project my buddy Mark made. If I can get a live lineup going, I really think Insulince could be my first major step forward.
What song on the EP would you say captures your sound as a musician?
Mark: I'm honestly not sure. I did make "Tend to You" more or less the single, just because it's the most accessible track on there. And I do love that contrast of mixing timeless Beatles-ish songwriting sensibilities with crunchier alt-rock tones. I really gravitate towards.. Whereas the weirder structures on some of the other tracks came from getting out of my comfort zone. My personal tastes kinda go everywhere, and even if Insulince is my most cohesive project yet, I do like reflecting that range. That next EP has been mostly written for a while, and I'd say that leans more on the singer-songwriter side than the straight rock on Insulince.
If you were to collaborate with any artist or band on a song, who would you collaborate with and why?
Mark: Write the music with Rivers Cuomo, then write the lyrics with Aesop Rock. Maybe have him do a verse too. You heard The Impossible Kid? Dude sounds great over a rockish rhythm section. And I feel like I'd just become smarter at putting words together by proxy.
What can people expect from Fully Involved in the future?
Mark: Right now I'm planning a track-by-track dissection series of Insulince for the YouTube channel. Think Song Exploder meets Genius' Verified on a Bandcamp budget. Also making reaction videos as reviews for it come out, which so far has been a lot of fun. Like I said, I do plan on recording the next EP soon, like within the next few months. In the meantime, I really wanna get a live lineup together. Me & backing tracks is just not gonna cut it. So once that's figured out, I'll start playing wherever I can in the SoCal area.
Your most recent single is "Plaster City." What was the inspiration behind that title?
Kelly: I wrote it about a time a while ago when someone was being really petty with me and trying to undermine what I do. I wanted to write an anthem for those times that basically talks about what someone's future will be if they continue down that road and doing that to people. Eventually your friends will get tired of it and leave you behind for it. "Plaster City" is a metaphor for a place that's crumbling and impossible to get out of once you get there.
What was the writing and recording process like for the song?
Alex: The writing and record process for Plaster City was really smooth, productive, and enjoyable creative process. Kelly wrote this song a while ago, and working with everyone to flesh out remaining parts was fun.
Kelly: The lyrics and chords were written a while ago, way before the band became a thing. It was originally going to be a solo song. But then Wave Break came together last year and it just made sense to have this be one of our songs. Once we filled out the entire band we had to go back and re-record some parts, but it ended up coming out even better.
How would you compare it to your debut single?
Kelly: It's definitely a lot punkier. I don't want to identify us as a straightforward pop punk band because that's not what we are - but this song is definitely one of the most “pop punk” ones off the upcoming EP, whereas a lot of the other material, including Deadlock, is slightly more alt rock leaning. But this one is definitely my favorite just because of how energetic it is.
Alex: Compared to our debut single, this song has more of a hard rock vibe and it is a really good song that conveys a lot of our influences.
You're currently working on new music. How is it coming along and what can people expect from it?
Alex: Our new music is already written and sounding awesome! We can’t wait to share everything we have worked so hard on with everyone.
Kelly: We finished recording our EP a few months ago and it's almost through the mixing phase, so it should be ready to put out and announce soonish. There's a mix of different alt rock and pop punk influences; one song reminded some of us Rise Against in some aspects, one is very Jimmy Eat World-ish, while I'd personally describe Plaster City as a mix of Paramore and the Foo Fighters. You'll be able to hear a ton of different stuff on it.
What word or phrase would you use to describe the band's sound and why?
Kelly: We're catchy, energetic, and have meaningful and well thought-out lyrics. But if I had to choose one word to describe us… it’d be “unapologetic.” Most of our songs are about standing up for yourself against someone about something. There’s definitely some level of fierceness and badassery in our music.
Alex: Our band has a unique alternative rock sound that is accompanied by melodic, yet heavier instrumentals that assist in driving the band with high energy female fronted vocals.
What can people expect from Wave Break in the future?
Alex: In the future, people can expect more high-energy shows, and even a soon to be released music video!
Kelly: We should be putting out our EP by the end of the spring or early summer, and after that we should be playing a few shows across New England to support it. After that, we're still not sure, but we'll definitely be getting back to work on more new material!
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.