My name is Kody Ferrin and I'm an advertising student at the University of Missouri-Columbia with a strong interest in music. I will be writing things such as album reviews, concert reviews, and things that go on in the music industry. I don't aim to make this some super professional sounding blog using words that no one understands; I like to write this content as if I were talking to a friend about it, since it's just an outlet for me to have some fun writing about something I love. Thanks for reading!
Welcome back everyone! Today, I’m going to introduce you to one of your new favorite up-and-coming pop-punk bands and tell you a little bit about their new EP Real American set for release this Tuesday, November 21st. Hailing from Lubbock, TX, the band are proving that both the genre and the Texas music scene are alive and thriving, mixing familiar pop-punk elements, a splash of soul, and bringing it all crashing down with heavy-hitting breakdowns.
The new EP can be characterized by a bright and sunny sounding brand of pop-punk, but don’t let that distract you from the very real lyrical topics explored within the tracks. An album created from raw, unfiltered twenty-something angst, this EP is meant to explore the feeling of growing up and coming into your own in a world that you just don’t seem to fit in and you feel misplaced.
“Passionfruit”, the third track on the EP and the heaviest, opens with a punch in the face breakdown followed by hands-down the catchiest chorus on the EP that’s sure to get you singing along in no time. The lyrics explore the idea of being there for someone through their tough times and trying to be the reason that they see life a little bit differently. “21st St.” explores the idea of urban decay and how the world has left some things behind and left things to be forgotten in our modern society. Opening track “Sad Endings!” talks about trying to figure yourself out and figure out who you are when you thought you had no idea who you are.
Real American will be a game-changer for the band, showing everyone what they’re truly made of. It has something enjoyable for music listeners of all types. Be sure to check it out when it drops on Nov. 21st and check out a brief interview with the band below!
Tell me a little bit about the history of the band and how you guys came together.
“Downtown City Radio started in 2016, and we started writing and playing lit local shows, which led up to our first EP, Hazy Nights. This last year, two of our members graduated from college and decided to move on, so we added two guys who had written and toured with us during the past year, Caleb (guitar) and Travis (drums), to fill their spots. We all really gel together, so we were able to put together this latest EP as an A1 team with the old and new line-up.”
Your new EP Real American comes out in just a few days on November 21st. Can you explain a little bit about the story behind the EP and what kinds of topics are explored lyrically?
“The title, Real American, is kind of a tongue-in-cheek jab at the middle-class lifestyle, as told by twenty-somethings looking for a place to fit in. Lyrically, we wanted to write about the people around us and how they pursue the American Dream. ‘Sad Endings!’ is an ode to getting your headspace right. ‘Alicia’ is sort of a spanish Romeo and Juliet story. ‘Passionfruit’ is our version of Same Love (by Macklemore). Finally, ‘21st St’ talks about urban decay and the culture it creates.”
What does the EP mean for the band and what are you most excited about leading up to the release?
“We’re super proud of this EP, and finally being able to record music we love was awesome. We had a sort of rough experience on our first EP, so going into the studio with the guys at Blackdoor was a great experience because they really helped us make our sound happen. Literally since the moment we finished recording we have been dying to release it.”
Is there anything specifically you hope people will take away from the EP after listening to it?
“We absolutely hope that when people listen, it stands out to them as something different. The style we built is pretty different from what you hear in the scene right now; we kind of married our pop punk roots with breakdowns and R&B melodies, which is definitely not something most bands are working on. I think overall, we hope people take home new ideas and it opens doors that inspire them in some way.”
Any specific plans in the near future after the release of the EP?
World domination. Also, we’ve got an upcoming tour we put together ourselves that will take us through Texas. Around that same time, we’ll be taking some demos we’ve been working on and heading back into the studio.
Sink In are currently gearing up for the release of their new album Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things, due out on September 29th via Standby Records. This will be their first full-length as well as their label debut and believe me, they brought their A-game, and have no intention of slowing down. With extensive touring experience under their belt, a new partnership with Standby Records, and one of the best pop-rock albums that will be released this year, you don’t want to miss out on this band.
Newly released single Higher is the perfect showcase of the talent and incredible musicianship that exists within the band. This song is characterized by the most powerful and catchy chorus of the year, smooth technical guitar riffs that drive the song, and the soulful and dynamic voice of frontman Tighe Eshleman. The track sets the tone for the whole album giving listeners only a taste of what’s to come. Other notable tracks include Get Out!, a song that will instantly grab you with its striking chorus and delicate but entrancing guitar riff, and Love Lust, striking listeners with its robust energy and compelling dynamics.
All in all, this album is the perfect introduction to this band as they begin to move forward into the next chapter of their career. Characterized by powerful guitar riffs, soaring choruses, and unmatched musicianship, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things will easily be your favorite album of the year, making Sink In the new face of pop-rock. Read a brief interview below with the band as they discuss some of the specifics of their new album and check out Higher, the newly released single.
For those who may not know, tell me a little bit about Sink In and the history of the band.
Tighe: “Sink In started after my former band split up. I knew that I wasn’t done with music, and I had no choice but to fully “Sink In” to this dream of playing music by basically selling everything I owned and hitting the road. The band was pieced together fairly quickly from guys that I had met while on the road. Its pretty awesome that because of that, this band is made up of members from all around the country.”
Cobrette: “I was actually at college at the time with Brett and decided it was time to drop out and pursue this career 100 percent.”
You guys just released “Higher”, the first single from your debut full-length “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things”. What made you guys decide that “Higher” should be the first single released?
Cobrette: “Higher was the first song we wrote for the new record and it was really the start of defining our sound and the sound of the record.”
The band also just wrapped up the Ordinary People, Extraordinary Things extensive summer tour…what was the overall experience like for you guys?
Cobrette: “The tour was incredible and it has been amazing watching our band grow across the country. We hit a few sold out shows for the first time which has been very exciting.”
Moving on to the new album, tell me what the significance of the album title is and what it means to the band.
Tighe: “O.P.E.T. is actually a bit of a concept album. The songs are written from the eyes of many different characters. I wanted to be able to write from the vision of these different minds, kind of like an animated film. I didn’t want to write within the confines of my own life for this record. There’s a recurring theme where even though each of these characters live fairly ordinary lives, they are presented with an opportunity to do something extraordinary.”
Are there any specific tracks that have special meaning to you as a band or any member in particular?
Tighe: “Tell The Kids is an emotionally draining song. It touches on the topic of drug abuse, but from the eyes of the drug abuser’s child. Every time I read a news article about someone overdosing, I can’t help but think about the other people in their lives. What if there is a wife? A husband? A child? What is running through their mind right now? This song explores that thought, and I really hope it can help someone who has gone through that scenario.”
What are you guys most nervous/excited about as you prepare to release the album?
Cobrette: “Since this record is our first release on Standby Records we are both excited and nervous to see how that partnership will go. We have certain goals set on our end for this record and are very excited to see what Standby Records does with it.”
Does the band or anyone individually have a favorite track from the album?
Cobrette: “Get Out!” for sure…it has a fun, high energy guitar riff”.
If you could pick one thing that you want people to take away from this album, what would it be?
Tighe: “Be great at what you do. An ordinary person can do extraordinary things, if they fully sink in and devote themselves to whatever is necessary.”
Welcome everyone to another artist feature! Today, I introduce to you McPherson, Kansas natives, From Dust To Beating Hearts, an indie/post-rock band that formed in September 2014. They recently released their new album Consume Me on June 19th, an album that the band describes as a narrative of self-discovery and doubt that comes from their own struggle and questions in life.
For fans of Foxing, From Indian Lakes, and A Great Big Pile Of Leaves, the album aims to carve out its own niche in the indie-rock genre, characterized by swelling dynamics, somber guitars, and powerful, emotional vocals that aim to not only make the listener understand the lyrics, but also understand the feeling behind them. The most powerful of this collection of songs is the title track, Consume Me, that builds up to the biggest moment on the album, started by lead vocalist Kole Waters screaming some of the defining lyrics on the album:
Is there something more satisfying? Is there something great on other side? I’m killing myself every night.
Other notable tracks on the album include Come Back, one of the more upbeat tracks featuring intricate guitar riffs and an underlying pulsing drum beat that explains the feeling of abandonment and loneliness, as well as Doubt Reassured. The perfect bookend on the album, this spoken-word track showcases spacey guitar riffs and some of the most honest and heartfelt lyrics on the album:
Then I can’t help but taste every lie and curse, Every inclination to run or bury myself in the earth. Despite everything I have and haven’t heard, You are my doubt reassured.
Stream the album below as well as read a brief interview with the band:
Tell me about the history of the band and how you guys came together.
We all met while attending Central Christian College of Kansas. We we’re all part of the music department, and some of us were roommates. Finding five guys who wanted to play the same music was pretty rare in a music department of only 20 people or so. After our fast jam session, we knew that we could make something good together.
What’s the meaning behind your band name?
Kole (lead singer/rhythm guitarist) and Jake K. (bassist) came up with the name. “From Dust To Beating Hearts” is basically a symbol of our growth as people and how life changes us.
You guys recently wrapped up a tour with my friends in Boys Home…what was the experience like?
Kole: “Our tour was a roller coaster of ups and downs. On the third day of tour, the van broke down. We missed to dates in Arkansas while it was getting fixed. The first show after getting our van back was in Shreveport, LA. That was by far the most energetic show we played. The whole crowd was making the floor shake. It was definitely what we need after a discouraging few days. While we were in Oklahoma City, we set up to play a show. I strummed two chords and the the power went out. We had to tear the stage down without playing anything. The timing was just uncanny. It was really great to be with our dudes in Boys Home for a couple weeks, though. We never got tired of their set. If anyone reading this hasn’t peeped their album Wishbone, they need to as soon as possible. It’s so good.”
Moving on to your new album, tell me a little bit about the story behind it and what kinds of lyrical topics are explored on the album?
Kole: “I wrote all of the lyrics on the album. The album was written over a year and half of time, so it covers some diverse topics. The central theme to our album is doubting what we know to be true and trying to become better people than we were yesterday. We covered topics from lost love to self-worth. It’s a pretty vague description, but I could write on our lyrics for hours.”
What has the response been like so far?
Silent Film has been our favorite song to perform. Even though the song is lengthy, it seems to connect with the audience the best. There’s something about large dynamics that people can really get into. It’s been amazing to see people on tour jam out to songs they haven’t heard before.
Do you guys have a personal favorite from the album, and if so, why is that particular track your favorite?
Everything is our all around favorite. I think it just connects to us and the doubts we have about what we believe. There is something cathartic about shouting, “Could you be everything we are not?”
This is truly an exciting day for my friends in Rain Check. I did an artist feature on them a few months ago when they first mentioned they were getting ready to record their debut EP and I knew it was going to be awesome, but it really blew me away when I finally got the chance to listen to it. Hailing from Abilene, TX, Rain Check have been quickly building a name for themselves in Texas, bringing listeners a modern pop-punk sound, but with their own influences and different musical perspectives to create their own twist on the genre.
The album is characterized by a familiar sound of energetic pop-punk but has twist and turns that make the listener really hone in on the lyrics that are the driving force behind these songs. The main idea of this EP is what it’s like to experience the feeling of growing up and realizing what comes with that, talking about topics such as realizing the effects of a bad relationship, understanding the feeling of being alone no matter where you are, and learning how to move on after being abandoned by someone you truly cared about.
This EP is really going to set the stage for the future of this band and I’m excited to see where it takes them. Check out the full stream of the EP below and a brief interview with the band.
Tell me a little bit about the story behind your debut EP Things Change and what the writing process was like.
We feel the EP speaks a lot to what we want this band to be. We are all in our 20’s and with getting older you have a little more life experience to draw on. We wanna bring those experiences to the music we write. The writing process was very collaborative. We all pitched in with different ideas not only musically but lyrically as well. We just kind of wrote whatever we felt like. It was really nice to write that way and just let ideas flow.
What have you guys been most nervous/excited about leading up to the release of the EP?
I guess the main thing would be just seeing what people think. We really feel we bring something a little different to what most people know modern pop-punk to be and we hope its something refreshing for people to hear. A good friends of ours said that after seeing us and hearing the songs that he could tell the bands we are influenced by but that we don’t really sound like any of them specifically. We take that as a huge compliment because thats exactly what we want. We want to cut out our own little sonic space.
Do you guys have a personal favorite from the EP? If so, why?
To be honest, I don’t know if we have just one favorite. The second song “Stuck” has been a favorite from the beginning but as we have played the songs and listened to them more some of the others have really started to stand on their own.
How was the overall recording process for this EP? Did the final product meet your guys’ expectations?
The recording process was really smooth. We went and recorded with Luke Garrigus at Black Room Studios. He was great to work with and we knocked out the songs pretty quickly. We had spent a lot of time working on them before we went so we didn’t have to do a lot of tweaking in the studio. We are really happy with the way it came out. It’s always a surreal thing to listen to something you created when its done. We think people will enjoy the final product and hopefully look forward to what we do in the near future.
With the release of this EP, do you guys have any other plans in the future such as touring or playing new shows?
We are always playing shows. We like to stay busy. We have some plans for touring here in the near future but there is still some details that need to be worked out. We feel like we have a good group of songs and we wanna get out there and show them to people.
If you could pick one thing you want people to take away from this EP, what would it be?
We want people to connect with it. The reason we love the bands we love is because in some way we connect to what they are saying or what they have been through and we want to people to be able to connect with our music in the same way. Lyrically we feel there is plenty for people to relate to and musically we feel our songs cover enough ground that most people can find something to jam.
Thank you so much for reading, and buy this album! If you can’t buy it, follow this band on Spotify and show them some love.
Hello, everyone! I know it’s been a little bit since I’ve gotten to write one of these but I’m happy to say that I graduated from the University of Missouri on Sunday and finishing up this semester has been pretty intensive, but I can finally say that I’m done.
Anyways, enough about me, let me introduce you to this band called Traveler from St. Louis, a band looking to reinvent their sound as they begin to grow away from the pop-punk sound that defined their last release. The band formed back in December 2013 and is now gearing up to release their new concept album Resist. The band recently released their new single “Islands” that showcases a shift into a more post-rock/emo sound (citing influences such as Brand New, The Beatles, and My Chemical Romance). You can stream the song/ check out the interview below:
What’s the story behind the formation of Traveler?
Originally the band was a joke called Earth, Wind, and Fernandez. The band’s initial function was to just perform at a Battle of the Bands at Marquette High School (two of the members at the time attended the school). Eventually, the band solidified into Traveler as something more serious with Lyle taking the lead bringing in friends/members to write and record our debut release To Growing Old and Getting By which was released September 21, 2014. A decent amount of shows were played on that to promote it and get the word out. We ended up taking a hiatus in the summer of 2015 but eventually got back together to write and record the EP Something Blue which was released on August 10, 2016. We played shows on that and started writing again pretty quickly and here we are now with a full length coming next month.
You guys just released your new single “Islands” off of your new album Resist that is due out June 10th…what has the response been like so far?
The response has been overwhelming. We weren’t sure how the new sound was going to be received at all. Plus, the track is over 5 minutes and is without a true chorus. But, everyone has loved “Islands” so far and they can’t wait for the rest of the record.
I understand that your new music is a big shift away from what your music style used to be…what was the reason for the change in sound?
It’s not pop-punk like we used to be; we ended up being influenced a lot more from post-hardcore, post-rock, and emo. It wasn’t an incredibly conscious decision at first, it was a very natural progression for us. You can look back on certain moments on Something Blue and get little hints on what we’re doing now. We didn’t want to do another pop-punk record and be confined to just that. There’s a lot of genre blending on the new record. There’s some somber emo/indie rock, really aggressive post-hardcore, moody and atmospheric post-rock, and even a sludgy post-metal song. We were also really inspired by the Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” type of production used on the 60’s girl groups, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys, so this record is far more nuanced and layered than anything we ever did on To Growing Old and Getting By or Something Blue. There’s definitely some hints of pop-punk catchiness but it’s much different this time around. We think when people listen to the record it’ll make sense in the narrative story it follows – being a concept record.
What’s the story behind the concept album and where did its inspiration come from?
Everything we’ve done has been concept or theme driven. To Growing Old and Getting By and Something Blue followed a continuity of themes more than a narrative. We wanted to really jump into a true concept record and tell a story. With the caustic divide and political/social climate we live in – we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to explore that. The narrative essentially follows a protagonist who is not directly effected by the problems of the world around him. He recognizes them and understands them – but he feels too small and insignificant to do anything. There is an authoritarian “1984” type of government in place that acts as an extreme of the right side of the political spectrum and is in place. Our protagonist has, essentially, everything stripped from him causing him to want to take a stand.
He joins a resistance full of different characters explored in different songs that represent different issues and themes. So essentially, the record reflects problems we’re going through now but with a semi-dystopian lens. The record is not to be taken as an anti-Trump record because we do not wish to alienate our fans – but there is some of that in there. The record more becomes about what we all have to do to reach the common goal of a functional and peaceful society. It’s more about the conversation that has to happen between two parties instead of a device to drive us further apart.
We really wanted to create something timely and timeless that could still translate years from now – in the same way that Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On did in the 70’s and it’s still just as prevalent 46 years later.
Who did you guys record your new album with and what was the reasoning behind that?
We have always self-produced in the past. Lyle is a great producer and really has a unique ear for mixing and mastering. We toyed with the idea of hiring a producer or working in a studio like Gaslight or Shock City but wanted to stay DIY. We all had a hand in producing more on this record since we all had the same goal as far as how we wanted things to sound. But this record we kicked it up a notch and bought better programs and gear to achieve that goal. We love the DIY aspect of us getting our hands dirty as well as learning new recording, mixing, and producing techniques. It’s challenging and fun.
What is the band most excited about in anticipation of the release of the new album?
We’re really looking forward to seeing and hearing everyone’s reaction with what we’ve created. It is always such a humbling experience to see and hear people say they love or enjoy something you made. It makes it all worth while when you look out on an audience and they know the words and can really get into it. Other than that we’re just really looking forward to playing these songs live.
Wrapping it all up, what does the future look like for the band? Any specific plans?
First our record release show on June 10th at The Firebird with Mariner, Union Grove, Church Key, and Secondary (which everyone should come – tickets are only $10). But playing some more shows and maybe trying to do some touring? We’re not 100 percent sure at this point. We kind of plan as we go.
Spread the word and make sure to follow us on Spotify, Facebook, and Twitter to stay up to date. We hope you enjoy the new record and we really would love to see you all at some shows this summer. It’s going to be a blast.
Hello, everyone! Today, I give you my interview with pop-punk/alternative band Rain Check from Abilene, Texas, the youngest band that I’ve gotten to write about so far. They have just finished up recording their debut EP, citing sound influences from The Story So Far, Citizen, and Balance and Composure. Ever since forming this past December, they already have big plans for themselves and have shown to have a promising future. Be sure to check them out and be on the lookout for their debut EP!
How did the band initially come together? Where did the inspiration for the band name come from?
The four musicians in the band had been in another band previous to this one. We wanted to go a different direction musically so we parted ways with the singer we had and formed Rain Check. We added Tyler for vocals and we are really happy with the direction we are going. The band name itself actually just came by chance. We were tossing around ideas and that one stuck.
Does the band have any big plans for 2017? Are there any specific things you want to accomplish before the year is over as a newer band to make a name for yourselves?
Well first thing is to put out music. We are so excited about the songs we have and what they bring. We are influenced by a lot of bands but we definitely want to carve out our own niche. After that we want to do a small tour and just keep writing.
I’ve come to know a lot of awesome bands from Texas…what is the local music scene in Texas like? Has it felt like a good place to start the band?
The Texas scene varies a lot depending on what city you’re in. Abilene is weird because population wise it’s pretty good size but there isn’t a huge music scene. Most of the bands are either country or hardcore/metal so we are an anomaly. That being said overall the scene is pretty awesome and Texas has so many different cities and scenes that you can play for a lot of different people without leaving the state.
What’s the story behind your acoustic track Closure? Does the song have any special meaning to anyone in the band specifically or the band as a whole?
Tyler: “When I first wrote closure it was when I was deployed overseas and I could not get over the nauseous feeling of my relationship ending so I just decided to try and write some lyrics depicting exactly how I felt to get it off my chest. They were nothing flashy. Just raw and honest lyrics. It ended up helping me get through one of the toughest times in my life being so far away from my home and the people that I love. The reason I make music is to give myself an outlet of pure emotion that people can relate to and hopefully my words resonate within someone and makes a difference.”
Who will you guys be recording your debut EP with and why did you choose them?
We are recording with Luke Garrigus at Blackroom Studios. Luke has worked with friends of ours and all of his work is really top notch so we are excited. He has done bands with a variety of sounds and our music has some range from standard pop punk fare to darker more alternative sounding stuff so we wanted someone that can cover a lot of ground.
What kind of topics will the band be exploring lyrically on the EP?
Tyler: “My lyrics on the EP are basically me going through a grieving process. With Cauterize it’s the initial pain I felt. Ghost talks about how I can’t stop thinking about how I want her to come back. Life Lessons explains how I’m coming to terms with it and how I’m learning from my mistakes. Stuck is mainly how I couldn’t move forward. Pieces talks about how I beat myself up about it and viewing myself as a bad person and eventually contemplating suicide.”
Welcome, everyone, to another artist feature! I’m super excited about this one as I talk to this awesome band called Rose Gold from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to perform with them yet, but hopefully that will change soon, because these guys are super talented. They just released their newest EP The Beginning Is Near, and it’s incredible. If you do anything after reading this, listen to that EP. With some touring experience in their pockets (and more planned) and this new EP, this band is only going to keep growing and getting better.
Keeping up with the tradition of past artist features, tell me about the beginnings of the band, how you guys started, and where the name Rose Gold came from.
Rose Gold came directly from a band called Paper Planets that had just had too many member and sound changes after a year and a half of complacency. We were asked to come record an EP in California and we sprung at the chance. While we were there, we talked about changing the name because the sound was so far from where we were before. We actually threw around names for a couple of months while we patiently waited to get our mixes back.
We had some names that we were alright with, yet at least one of us vetoed the top picks, but it wasn’t till I brought up Rose Gold that we were finally all starting to agree on it. I was listening to “Body Work” by Pusha T from his album Fear of God II: Let Us Pray and heard the lyrics “…rose gold on my wrist, this Rolex is like devil’s piss…”. Rose Gold stuck out because it’s a unique type of metal and the combination of “rose” and “gold” to describe something just sounds really cool and interesting. I brought it to the guys, we put it to a vote with the other contending names and Rose Gold came out the victor.
Now that I think about though I should have suggested Devil’s Piss…that would’ve been tight.
You guys wrapped up your first tour of 2017 with avoid. at the end of January…what was your guys’ experience like on that tour? Did that tour have any special meaning to the band?
The tour with avoid. was very successful for us. We hadn’t toured as Rose Gold yet, so that was the band’s first tour. Meeting avoid. was kind of awkward at first because we had never met them before this tour so we didn’t know what kind of people they were. Needless to say we bonded immediately with them and became best friends. We’ll never hear the words “dude, hell yeah.” the same again.
The shows were all great. Every show we at least sold one piece of merch or had one person who was stoked on our set…that was at the least. The rest of the shows went even better, we moved a lot of merch and had tons of fun playing. That tour was special because it showed us that touring is definitely something we should focus on due to the reaction at the shows. Being a newer band, touring seemed a little unnecessary because we’re still trying to garner a solid local following. We still get people asking us to come back to their town every now and then. After a first tour, that’s a great message to receive.
I noticed that you guys made a Facebook post about using a fill in bass player for a number of shows, which you said allowed for the band to remain a four-piece band but have the sound of a five-piece band. What’s the reasoning for wanting to stay a four-piece band? Are there plans to add a fifth member in the future?
So, the four piece thing came from our experience with the last member we let go. We learned that the four of us were on the same page and one of our members was really holding us back in a lot of ways. Once we became a four piece, we did take the time to try a few people out to be our permanent bassist but no one was feeling naturally right. After we finished the try outs, we started focusing less and less on filling the spot and more on the fact that we were making great writing progress between the four of us.
Anytime we got together after that was just reaffirming that we didn’t need anyone else to move on. We were just concentrated on making our new music the best it can be. Austin and I switch between rhythm and lead all the time so writing bass parts wasn’t difficult with the work being bifurcated. He and I have a very mutual aim for what our sound (guitar-wise) needs to be and we refuse to give up that harmony for something we can do ourselves. At some point, we do want to have a full-time bassist so we can tour and play shows without having to worry about a fill-in but for now, we’re crafting our signature sound.
Since your second EP The Beginning Is Near has been out for almost four months, let’s talk about that. What has the response been like so far?
The response has been very great. We had a lot to prove on this EP after our folly on the self-titled EP and this was us fighting for our identity and sound. I think the greatest response we’ve had from The Beginning Is Near is our own. We’re finally happy with a project and it sounds like we wanted it to sound and we’re proud to show people and say “this is us.” Locally, the reception was cool because we had played two new songs live and people were very impressed at how much we stepped it up from the last recordings we put out. That’s when we knew we were headed in the right direction. The praise was very confirming not only because of our last EP but because of the band we were even before that.
Where did the title of the EP come from? Does it hold a special meaning to anyone in the band specifically or the band as a whole and how?
The Beginning Is Near is the last line in the last song on the EP called “Shadowboxing”. The song is about realization. It’s about realizing that you cannot change people, you can only change yourself and hope that other people see your positive transformation and take initiative themselves to become a better person. That was a huge epiphany in my life in every aspect. After I grasped that idea, my whole world changed and it was like a new beginning. Thus, The Beginning Is Near, was a new beginning for us after we absorbed all the knowledge from the lessons we learned, the mistakes we made. It’s a statement on what we can really do after realizing who we are.
Your first self-titled EP was great, but the new EP feels like a more overall cohesive process and I can feel that when I listen to it. How did the writing process differ from the self-titled to TBIN, if any?
The self-titled was not written with the intention to put out an EP. It wasn’t until we had an offer to record that we scrambled to tie up the loose ends of song ideas we had. It had probably been two years since we released any music and we were coming to practice to rehearse our set even when we didn’t have shows coming up. We were being ignorant of what we needed to do. So when song ideas came up, we would somewhat explore the option and then go right back to practicing our old songs. I think we were just in a really bad place as a team that we were avoiding writing so that we didn’t have confrontation. This was a big part as to why we are disappointed in that self-titled release. It was aimless, careless and we were only putting out music because we thought going to a good producer would be enough to take us to the next level.
Afterwards, we slimmed down to a four piece and had a good talk that put us all back on the same page. With confidence in each other we started crafting what would eventually become TBIN. This time we focused on honing our sound to still be diverse as we explored some new sonic territories. A majority of the songs we were pumping out started to surprise us by how natural and easy they were to write. Once the music was polished, I began putting some lyrics to each song. Typically what I do is swing back and forth between personal songs and external songs. By that I mean that the self-titled’s lyrics were inspired by things outside me. The self-titled lyrically was about my learning about people’s various mental illnesses that I had not known of till I was 21. It was another one of those realization moments where I had to change my life because depression, stress, and anxiety were such a deep factors ingrained in my friends. On TBIN, I went the opposite way; I went really personal. I wrote about my relationship with my father, ungrateful, spoiled friends, and self-motivation. The songs had individual moods to them so lyrically I really wanted to match that vibe.
The end result is a product of the four of us being completely happy and comfortable with what we were doing. When we focused on how we got along as friends, the songs just came with easy. That’s why you hear a cohesive product that doesn’t sound forced.
Scaling it back a bit, I saw that you guys just celebrated being a band for one year in February. What has the overall experience been like for you guys so far? What is your overall perspective of the last year as a whole?
To be honest, it kind of snuck up on us. I think Max was the one that mentioned it and we were all stumped by how fast it went by. We released two EP’s, did a weekend run, played a very successful headlining show in our hometown, and toured the Midwest in that year. We were still caught up in the work that we didn’t sit down to celebrate what was a very good year. We hope to keep that same trajectory.
Looking ahead, what does the future, and more specifically 2017, look like for the band? New tours, any plans for new music or anything?
2017 is going to look even better for us. Without spoiling anything, we have a couple new songs ready to record for a short concept EP and a separate few songs we’re saving to record after that. We’re definitely looking at bigger and better shows and of course we’ll have to take advantage of this summer for another tour. We have a lot up our sleeves but we prefer to do rather than say so just make sure to keep a close eye on us.
We also want to say thank you to everyone who supports us, we’ll never get tired of thanking you guys for letting us do what we do. Thank you to all the new friends we met on our tour with avoid.
Please follow us on Spotify. That really helps us achieve much more on that platform that most people know. Follow us on our social media platforms by searching “RoseGoldOK” to make sure you’re up to date with new music, shows, and merch.
Shouts to Tamia and Brianna for shipping me my luggage after I forgot it in Iowa.
Check out my favorite track from their The Beginning Is Near, “Cascade” (buy it here):