Mind Equal Blown Interview: By Land Or Sea


June 18, 2010
by Joey Dussault

By Land Or SeaI recently had the opportunity to talk with chat with our friends Adam and Frank by By Land Or Sea (previously known as Frankie and His Fingers) about their newest release, transitioning names and whats to come from the band. You can check out my review of their album here orvisit their myspace here. Also, remember the name, because you will be hearing it again soon!

Mind Equals Blown: What was the mentality behind changing your name from Frankie and His Fingers to By Land or Sea?

Frank: To be honest, we never really liked the name Frankie and His Fingers. I had come up with it as a solo project name and Sammi and I couldn’t think of anything else when we turned it into a band. For the past 6 years we just never considered the fact that we could change it anytime we wanted. One day, on the way to the studio, we just started discussing it. We figured our happiness was more important than anything, and we weren’t happy with the old name.

Adam: We also had changed a lot as a band and we felt that the old name didn’t represent who we were anymore – we were basically a brand new band, and a new name was deemed appropriate.

MEB: I don’t mean to create any animosity, but some people, including myself, find your new name to be somewhat generic as opposed to your original name. Do you have a rebuttal to this sentiment? Do you think the name change has alienated many of your fans?

Frank: Like I said, we wanted to be happy with our band name. We figure that people who can’t understand that may need to evaluate their priorities and their criteria for liking a band. Though it was important enough for us to want to change it, it really should come down to the music we play and whether or not people like it.

Adam: I agree with Frank. I don’t think the name change has alienated many people, at least not to the point of hating us or something silly like that. Part of the reason for the change also was to remove all the emphasis on Frank as some kind of “band leader.” We all have an equal stake in the band and honestly everyone assuming that Frank did everything got annoying after awhile.

MEB: How has the inclusion of your new bassist, Adam Stoutenburgh, affected your songwriting process?

Frank: Adam joined the band in October of 2007. We actually all hit it off immediately and Sammi and I did our best to make it clear that his say in the songwriting process was extremely valued and equal with ours. He has contributed more than I could have hoped or forseen. He doesn’t play root note with half and whole step walk-ups. He songwrites on the bass. That’s wonderful.

Adam: I’ve definitely affected the songwriting process – I helped craft these songs with Sammi and Frank. We generally write as a team, all contributing ideas to create the final result. I’m not a bass player normally, so I think that’s helped me view the bass with a pair of fresh hands – I’m not restricted to all the things that many bassists do because I don’t know what those things are.

MEB: What does that process usually entail?

Adam: Someone usually has a basic idea (like a riff or melody) and then we all jam on it until we come up with a final song. Then, Frank writes lyrics and a melody. Some of the songs came together really quickly (I think we wrote “Fizz” in like an hour) but others we labored over for months before we felt like they were finished. “Children” took us forever to be happy with.

Frank: Lyrics are a whole other process. Sometimes they take forever. Sometimes they pour out of me. They’re extremely important to me, so I really like to make sure they’re saying what i wanted to say, how I wanted to say it. The lyrics on this album were especially taxing, due to the emotional events and attempts at soul-searching that inspired them.

MEB: Samantha (Niss, drums) has serious chops, and it’s pretty apparent on Hell Broke Loose [the band’s most recent release]. Good female drummers seem to be a commodity in rock music, and great ones seem to be even fewer and farther between. How did you find Samantha?

Frank: We met at Bennington College in Vermont, where we both attended for one year. A bunch of the musicians that lived in our dorm set up their instruments on the patio one night, and when she laid down a groove, jaws dropped. Needless to say, everyone wanted her. Somehow I got lucky.

Adam: Sammi isn’t just good for a girl, either. She’s damn good, period.

MEB: Speaking of your new album, are there any songs you’re particularly excited about performing live?

Adam: Well, we’ve been playing all of these songs live for awhile now, so none of them are exciting in that “it’s a new song” kinda way. But, I personally love playing “Wood/Lead” and “Hell Broke Loose.” Fun songs.

MEB: You guys are based out of Kingston, NY. What are your thoughts on the current music scene in the Woodstock/Kingston/Nyack area?

Adam: The music scene in Kingston kinda sucks. There are a few good bands, but there are basically no good venues. Keegan Ales has been great to us and we love playing there, though.

Frank: Yeah, music scenes in general are, sadly, a dying thing. We all need to fix that. Seriously.

MEB: Do you have good/bad relationships with other bands in the area (i.e. the guys from Fire Flies, Kiss Kiss, Dandelions, etc)? Any local bands you’d like to recommend?

Adam: Nightmares For A Week. They’re our friends and we play with them whenever we can. They’re also just a great band. Fire Flies are friends of ours too, but they broke up about a year ago.

Frank: Dead Unicorn. They’re a wonderfully nasty noice/punk duo of just bass, drums and vocals. Amazing energy. Great creative musicians and just awesome music.

MEB: Thoughts on labels? Do you have yet to be asked to join a label, or do you choose to remain unsigned?

Adam: We haven’t really been offered anything significant. If we were approached by a label with some kind of offer we’d absolutely be excited to consider it.

MEB: Are you already thinking about the future, as far as the direction of your band goes? Do you think that you will go with a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach with your music in the future, or will you continue to reinvent yourself like you have in the past?

Adam: Who knows what’s next? We aren’t the kind of musicians who like to do the same thing repeatedly, so I’m sure that new songs will always be going in a different direction. That’s the exciting part about being in a band to me.

Frank: Couldn’t have said it better myself. Music is to wonderful to force it in any way. Whether that means forcing oneself to do the same thing or to do something different. We just make music and try not to think about it TOO much.

MEB: Are you live show-oriented, or are you more of a post-Revolver Beatles studio type band? If the former, what about playing live “does it for you”?

Frank: We LOVE playing live. Its what rock and roll is. Our record is even kind of a snap shot of a live show. A sepia one. Tacked to an attic wall with blue lights on it.

Adam: Live for sure. We almost didn’t put any overdubs on this album at all. Kevin convinced us to do a few, but most of them are textural and are only there for “fleshing out” purposes.

MEB: Do you guys have any places you hope to play in the near future? Any east-coast tours in the works?

Adam: We don’t have any tour plans yet, but we’re always playing out. We’re going to try to focus on playing shows in the city I think, you can only play Kingston, NY so many times before it gets stupid.

MEB: How about Boston? You should definitely play in Boston. (Note: it’s difficult to convey facial expressions like shifty eyes via an email interview).

Adam: You know a place? Hook us up, man!

MEB: What would be your biggest guilty band?

Adam: I never feel guilty about music that I listen to. I’d probably be made fun of for liking Copeland, but I love ‘em.

Frank: My friends poke fun at me for liking a lot of sugar-coated whiny emo. But every know and then, I need a twinkie. If you get what I mean.

MEB: If you had the chance to pick three bands to tour with, to form the ultimate show, who would they be?

Frank: If death was not an issue: Nirvana, The Beatles and Elvis Costello.

Adam: Yeah, three current bands or just three bands in general? I’d pick The Beatles, Television, and Wilco.

MEB: Any last words? (Not before I kill you, before the interview ends)

Adam: Thanks for the interview, bub.

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MTV2 Headbanger’s Ball: Guest Blog: 3 Frontman Joey Eppard’s Life Changed By Hudson Valley UFO Experience

originally posted: March 10, 2008
by Joey Eppard

The year was 1983. I was 6 years old.

We pulled into the driveway and got out of the car. My grandparents seemed to freeze in their tracks, pointing into the sky. My brother Josh and I knew something special was happening. Our eyes followed their fingers to the end of the street where, just above the tree line, a massive object moved very slowly across the horizon.

This thing was huge, like a flying city. It was covered in multicolored lights and made hardly any sound. There was this sort of low hum, nothing motor like, but a faint and very deep rumbling. It wasn’t dark out yet and we could clearly see the solid shape of this thing. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before or since.

I remember thinking: “It looks like a giant beehive,” followed by: “It’s so close, I bet I could hit it with a rock.” I remember feeling happy, excited but not scared. I wondered why we hadn’t seen one of these before. Man, I had no idea how special this event truly was.

In excited voice my grandfather said, “I’m going to get the camera!”

I can’t explain what happened next. I heard myself scream, but I didn’t know why I was doing it. “No Papa! Nooooooooooo!” I was a quiet kid. I didn’t yell, I didn’t throw fits, but for some reason I had to stop him from photographing this thing. Crazy thing is, he listened to me. We stood there, the four of us, and just continued to watch as the object drifted slowly across the sky and out of sight.

The next morning there was a story about it in the local paper. The police had received over 300 calls about strange objects and lights in the sky. The government had issued an official statement saying that the “object” was a flight of 14 planes in formation. My grandparents and I had to laugh at that pathetic excuse for a cover up. Most people saw this thing at night, and therefore could only see its lights. For some of them (not many) this government statement might suffice. Not for us, though. We were some of the lucky few to see this thing before dark. There were no planes. It was one massive solid object. It was unearthly.

I remember feeling confused. Why would the government lie? The very idea that the newspaper was capable of publishing a lie was a revelation for me. I was still a kid, but I no longer felt that I could blindly trust the information I was fed from the media and from my school. I began to look at reality in a different light, and especially, to question authority.

Regular sightings have continued amongst area residents to this day, though I never had another sighting. In 1987, a book called Night Siege was published on the Hudson Valley UFO phenomenon. The book features accounts from only the most credible witnesses, culled from what is estimated to be over 7,000 sightings of these objects moving silently through the sky over New York and Connecticut between 1982 and 1995. The infamous TV show “Unsolved Mysteries” even did an episode on this subject called “The Hudson Valley UFO.”

Looking back, I’ve often wondered why I stopped my grandfather from taking a picture of the UFO, or why he listened to me. Perhaps nothing good would’ve come from it. Maybe such evidence could’ve put our lives in danger. All I know is that later in life I found these events to be a source of profound creative inspiration. The passion to know the greater truth behind the events of our lives, to dissolve illusions and to nurture an unprejudiced sense for the true nature of reality, have become driving forces behind my musical and lyrical explorations.

original location: http://headbangersblog.mtv.com/2008/03/10/guest-blog-3-frontman-joey-eppards-life-changed-by-hudson-valley-ufo/


Arlington Live Music Examiner: Keeping Funk alive

by Vincent Brown

FunkadelicWho is keeping Funk alive?  At least three funk bands were directly affected by the death of legendary Funk guitarist Garry Shider on June 16, 2010.  Funk stars of the seventies are getting old.  George Clinton and the P-Funk All-stars will be taking the stage without the man in a diaper.  They are keeping the Funk alive.  The Mothership has been in orbit and is going to land October 15, in Prairie View, TX.  Prairie View A&M University, you are now “Standing on the Verge of Getting it on” with George Clinton and the P-Funk All-stars.

The 420 Funk Mob is one of several bands that are connected to George Clinton and the P-Funk All-stars. They are based in Woodstock, NY.  When asked what the 420 Funk Mob is about, band leader Mike “Clip” Payne says, ” This is what we do on our off days from touring the Parliament-Funkadelic.” The 420FM has been everything between a stripped down six piece psychedelic funk band to an eighteen piece funk orchestra with horns, strings, five guitar players, and assorted background singers. Legendary Funk pioneer George Clinton had his first 420 FM experience in 2001 at New York’s historic club, the Wetlands. He came back to join the band for sold out shows at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ, the Haunt in Ithaca, NY, and a two show day at Bard and Vassar colleges in upstate New York. Sometimes the 420 Funk Mob brings in icons like Fred Wesley from the JB’s, jazz man Stanley Jordan, or Bad Brains founders Dr. Know and Daryl Jenifer to jam with them. 420 FM members include: Mike “Clip” Payne on lead vocals and bassists Lige Curry, Billy Bass Nelson, Skeet Curtis, Fred Cash Jr, and Derrik Davis; guitarists Mike “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton, Garry “Starchild” Shider (R.I.P.), Rickey Rouse, Dewayne “Blackbyrd McKnight, Ted Orr, Adam Widoff, Ron Priest Smith, Jeremy Bernstein, The Flash, Eric McFadden, Jen Leigh, and Joey Eppard; drummers Gabe Gonzalez, Zach Alford, Chicken Burke, and Gartdrumm; keyboard players Danny Bedrosian, Peter Keys, Greg Fitz, and Ross Rice; horn players Greg Thomas, Fred Wesley, Paul Henderson, Dave Cast, Dean Jones, and Shane Kirsch; vocalists The LAW, Avalon, Kendra Foster, Toshi Reagon, and Rock Attack 10.

Mike ‘Clipadelic’ Payne is the ring leader of the super-group DRUGS that included Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Garry Shider, as well as Rickey Rouse, Danny Bedrosian, and Lige Curry of P-funk; Adam Widoff, Fred Cash Jr., and Chicken Burke of Big Lovely; Joey Eppard of 3; Stephanie McKay; and Jen Leigh of Kelis . George Clinton joins DRUGS on on their track “Sanitation Engineer”. DRUGS has opened for George and the P-Funk several times. DRUGS is based in Woodstock, NY.  Their live performances are legendary. They debuted in Europe at the worlds largest new music festival, the Transmusicales. The band made an appearance at the 39th Super Bowl in Jacksonville Florida as part of the official ESPN/NFL Tailgate Party Band. In 2006 they were the first band to perform live on Sirius Satellite Radio’s first day of world wide internet broadcasting.

Danny Bedrosian and Secret Army invade Salvador Deli at 3215 North Davidson Street, Charlotte, NC 28205-1033 at 8 pm, on Saturday, October 30. Based in Florida, Danny Bedrosian is the current keyboardist for George Clinton & the P-Funk All-Stars, as well as a half a dozen other bands around the nation and the world.  He is also the lead vocalist, keyboardist, producer, chief songwriter, arranger and publisher for Secret Army.  The band includes Parliament-Funkadelic/P-Funk All Stars stalwarts Dewayne Blackbyrd McKnight on lead guitar, and Lige Curry on bass guitar. On drums is Rico Lewis, who is George Clinton and The P-Funk All-Stars’ main drummer, The guitar section includes Marc Munoz and Mike Maloney. Additional vocals are handled by Parliament-Funkadelic vocalist Kendra Foster, Teresa Jimenez, and Moon Child. They follow Charlotte with a show at The Court Tavern, 124 Church St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2002 on Tuesday, November 2, at 9 pm.

Cheers to the new and old bands that are keeping Funk alive in the DMV!  They hail from upstate NY, Virginia, DC and Maryland.  Below are some bands that have been keeping DC, Maryland, and Virginia funky.

The Godfather of Go-Go, Chuck Brown goes to Strathmore with the sound he created right here in Washington, DC. Deeply rooted in funk, jazz, Latin and soul, Go-Go’s syncopated beats and nonstop rhythms keep the crowd moving from start to finish. Chuck Brown announces, “Ticket giveaway contest time! We’ll be playing the beautiful Strathmore Music Center (5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852-3385) on Saturday Oct 30th. For a chance to win a pair of tickets, email me at chuckbrown@verizon.net with the subject CHUCK at STRATHMORE OCT 30. Good luck!”

Mambo Sauce is keeping Funk alive with The Five One at Jammin Java, 227 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180-4630, Saturday, October 9 at 7:00pm. Black Boo (Vocalist/Rapper), JC (Vocalist), Pep (Percussionist), Chris (Keyboard), Twink (Drums), and Khari (Bassist) continue their quest to take Go-go worldwide. Jammin Java is located at: 227 Maple Avenue East, Vienna, VA

Sophistafunk came through Whitlow’s on Wilson last Thursday, September 30.  They came all the way from Syracuse, NY to Arlington with that upstate funk sound.  A funky drummer named Emanual Washington, a keyboard player named Adam Gold and an MC named Jack Brown will make you shake what your mama gave ya!

Whitlow’s on Wilson featured the funky DJ Williams Projekt September 9 and October 1.  The Richmond based group consists of  funky drummer Dusty Simmons, DJ Williams on guitar and vocals, bass player Todd Herrington, Gordon Jones on sax and vocals and Joey Ciucci on Keys.  They showed off their original funk tunes from their third studio CD and kept the crowd grooving.

Funk U performs Friday, October 22, at Chief Ike’s Mambo Room, 1725 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009-2803. Funk U is a group of musicians who are dedicated to the Real Funk. Their goal is to bring back that old school seventies and early eighties sound and create that live party atmosphere. The members are Craig Stevens on bass, Alex on rhythm and lead guitar, Damien on vocals and guitar, and Mel on drums. The show starts at 8 pm

Back to Zero plays funk and R&B cover songs. Their next public performance will be Friday October 22, at Whitlows on Wilson, 2854 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201. This band keeps the dance floor packed!  Is Whitlow’s now the home of Funk in NOVA?

Please add your favorite funk band in the comments section.

original location: http://www.examiner.com/live-music-in-arlington/keeping-funk-alive

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The Dailyer Nebraskan: Silent Understanding: An Interview With Travis Stever Of Coheed And Cambria


October 5, 2010
by Jacob Fricke

Ten years and five albums into his career, guitarist Travis Stever thinks his band is the best they’ve ever been. It’s hard to argue with him. His band, Coheed & Cambria, have sold millions of albums. Their fifth studio album, “Year of the Black Rainbow,” was released in April to general acclaim. The concept album completes the story the band has been trying to tell since formation.

Now Stever, lead vocalist Claudio Sanchez, bassist Mic Todd, and drummer Chris Pennie are embarking on a tour that extends through spring 2011. The group will play the Sokol Underground in Omaha on October 11th. Talkative and jovial, Stever was kind enough to discuss songwriting, band relations, and keeping music fresh.

Dailyer Nebraskan: Drummer Chris Pennie has been with the band for almost 4 years now, how is the band dynamic with him in the relationship?

Travis Stever: It’s been great. We all get along; we all have similar outlooks and similar ambitions musically, in life, in traveling, in touring as much as we do. It’s just one of those things when you lock in with somebody and you’re able to just speak to each other musically when you’re together.

Chris joined and, especially after 4 years, his amp and his influences are really in the band.

DerN: The band has gradually shifted genres over the course of your 5 albums. Was this a conscious decision?

TS: No, not at all. Basically we’ve just gone with what is influencing us at the time. I feel like it’s been a natural progression with us as a band. On Year of the Black Rainbow you’ll find a combination of all the things we’ve experimented with throughout the years, and it’s kind of a perfect album in that sense for us, after all these years, to come out with an album that shows all the aspects of the band.

It’s like any artist or band. We’re constantly trying to find ourselves and move forward when we’re creating. I think that naturally, that is what Coheed has done, just by the kind of musicians we all are. We have also moved a bit quicker and further ahead when it comes to jumping from musical experiments. I don’t know whether I’d use the word “genre,” but I count it as all in the name of Rock. I count us as a rock band. There are all the different types of music that each one of us individually listens to, and it finds its’ way creeping into our music. It’s always been a natural thing, for us to keep progressing.

DerN: Did Chris bring any new influences to the band that you hadn’t had before?

TS: Definitely! If you listen to some songs off the new record, such as ‘Guns of Summer,’ there’s definitely Chris’s influence there. Any other drummer probably would not have chosen to move the song in that direction. The way that he plays off Claudio’s riff on there, it changed the dynamic for everybody. For me, playing these lead parts above it, or just texture bells and whistles that I’ll throw above certain parts, or above the melody, is all affected by how the drummer chooses to play.

One of the first songs we demoed for the record and recorded was ‘When Skeletons Live.’ It’s another song that’s got a Coheed feel to it. I could’ve heard that song, especially in the way Claudio and I interact guitar-wise, on one of our prior albums. But the way Chris plays on it makes it completely different. His stamp is on it.

DerN: Most people that I know who dislike the band don’t like the story behind the albums. How often do you encounter that sentiment?

TS: It’s definitely been something that has interested a lot of people and also something that has turned a few people off. To be honest with you, I think we’ve had that since day one. Our albums are all based on the Amory Wars concept.

Lyrically, people don’t realize half the time that when Claudio’s writing the lyrics, it’s coming from a real life experience just as much as it is the concept. This means that a lot of his real life experiences, day-to-day stuff which in turn is the bands experiences, are what he writes about. People just kind of push it aside because they don’t realize that a lot of real life experience is dictating what’s going on in the concept.

Throughout the years, it’s been a tough thing. We’re passionate about having it that way. In its’ own way, it’s been praised as an amazing idea, to mix up storylines that way. But with all the praise has come some really harsh critique, too. But it’s only natural. It’s tough for some people to wrap their head around, and people will definitely shun what they’re afraid of or can’t understand.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s been a blessing and a curse at the same time. The one thing I and the band would like people to know is that they can connect with our music as a normal rock band and they don’t have to be thinking about the concept. That’s another misconception. People saying, “we’re not going to deal with that, because we don’t know anything about the concept.” They give up on it too soon.

DerN: Speaking of Claudio, you and he are both very talented guitarists. Is it ever hard to find a compromise on songs?

TS: We’ve played together so many years, we’ve definitely had our times with butting heads on playing. He’s the primary songwriter, so for me I’ve always had a position where I have spaces to fill, and I want to fill them really well. But not in an egotistical way, I don’t want it to be “look at me, look at me!” I care about the song. I want to add to the song.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing stuff when he’ll have a skeleton to a song, he’ll give it to me, and I have a lot of room to grow on that and to make the song grow.

There have definitely been the tough ones, too. He’ll have this great idea, and I’ll just be like “eh.” If I’m going to play it, it’ll be different because I play different.

But really now, in our older ages, we’ve played with each other so many years and we’ve found this natural understanding and I think that we really have had the ability to really play off each other without having to try too hard or stress too much on things. It just comes naturally.

That’s how we started from the get-go. We were always had a silent understanding, and our playing and what came out of it was usually really good. I think when you have two guitar players in a band; it’s bound to happen. It happens both ways. You don’t stick together as long as we have unless there’s something there.

On the other side of the coin, naturally when people create together, butt heads at certain times. But it’s been great now; so what more can you ask for?

DerN: Especially on the new album, bassist Mic Todd has a huge part. Does he share your same vision?

TS: Firstly, we have the way that Claudio plays. Then you throw me on top of that, and Mic has to fill that. Really, for Mic, he’s more in the position of having to play off of Chris, and before that it was Josh [Eppard, former Coheed drummer].

His dynamic is really to lock up the rhythm section. He started as a guitar player too, when he was younger. I think that that definitely shows itself in his playing, because he will lock in with the drums. But at the same time, he’s filling spaces with some very complicated, sometimes even off-kilter rhythm parts that work perfectly with us. It’s very much his own style. He’s just as good at laying down a straight bass line. He’s going to lay down what the song needs. Usually it makes a Coheed song to hear Mic playing that bass.

DerN: Soon you’re starting the tour again. You’re playing Omaha on Oct. 11.

TS: It’s been a long time; we’re really excited to come there. It should be a lot of fun.

DerN: Your tour dates currently extend through March, is it daunting looking that far in advance?

TS: No, no, I’m actually really excited about a lot of the shows coming up. We’re playing with some really cool bands…. We have dates in Europe. And then the band has the holidays off. It’s all in good time with this, and we’re still really on the ball with playing all the songs and playing a really great set. You can’t stop too long when you’re locked in like we are. Maybe I’m just being too cautious, but you don’t want to lose the momentum. I’m excited, to make a long story short.

DerN: How do you keep shows fresh?

TS: It naturally stays fresh. We don’t switch up the songs drastically, or anything. Every show will be a little bit different, even if we’re playing the same song. You’ll find fans that are disappointed if they go to three cities in a row and don’t hear different songs, but we do tend to mix in different songs if we’re in a place that’s close to another show.

We like to give everybody a good show. That adds spice, because we have to stay on our toes. Every night feels different. On stage I find personally that once I’m up there, it’s a familiar feeling and it’s really easy to get lost in the different experience of every night. It’s not a bland, ”let’s get this over with” kind of feeling. We really enjoy playing together right now.

DerN: Our final question: How tired are you of playing “Welcome Home?”

TS: I’m actually not tired of it. It’s so funny; I think a lot of people are looking for us to seem tired of it when we play. There’s been a few shows where Claudio does some really interesting things. It’s funny, during the ending solo when we trade off, I’ll play different riffs. But do things like playing with his foot and dance on the guitar and crazy shit. It think people think, “he’s just doing that because he’s so tired of the song” but that’s not the case. That’s his way of keeping it fresh.

To be honest, those fans love seeing that, they love seeing something really interesting. For me, I feel like I’m just making my addition by experimenting with different riffs. Our fans love to see cool shit in every direction.

When it comes to guitar playing, we both have our own way of doing it, but we put on a good show. We do the best we can every night, and that goes for Mic and Chris as well. The music speaks for itself.

Travis Stever

Travis Stever

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The Latest From Mars

We haven’t written a proper news update in a while, but those who follow the A Thousand Torches tumblelog, twitter and facebook know that plenty has been happening within thefamily3.

3 - Loving the live room!

Gartdrumm's set-up in Applehead Recording & Production's Live Room

The band 3 sure has been busy!  They’re hard at work on their 7th record (4th on Metal Blade) Continue reading

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The Sound Alarm Interview: Andy Jackson


August 20, 2010
by Bekka Collins
Andy Jackson - Death In The Park

Photo By Sutherland Boswell

Bekka Collins: How did Death In The Park form, and what or who was it that inspired you to pursue a career in music?

Andy Jackson: It started as my solo project. Hot Rod Circuit was coming to an end, so anything I was writing at that time I would track. After I had a few songs, I recruited Ronnie Gardner, Aaron Holmes, and Joe Balaro to become Death In The Park.

Bekka Collins: Is there any meaning behind the name Death In The Park?

Andy Jackson: It comes from a title of a song by one of my favorite bands, The Archers of Loaf.

Bekka Collins: How would you personally describe your sound?

Andy Jackson: Melodic rock.

Bekka Collins: Your song “Fallen” features Hayley Williams from Paramore, how did that collaboration come about?

Andy Jackson: Ronnie our guitar player was doing front of house for Paramore and our drummer, Aaron is in charge of their merch. Also my old band HRC had toured with Paramore, so it just kinda happened.

Bekka Collins: Are there any other artists that you would like to collaborate with?

Andy Jackson: I love working with other people. I don’t know maybe Snoop Dogg! Haha.

Bekka Collins: What can fans expect from your album?

Andy Jackson: Solid rock and awesome artwork!

Bekka Collins: When it comes to writing how do you decide what song is for DITP being in multiple projects at the same time?

Andy Jackson: All of the DITP songs were written before Terrible Things. I haven’t really gotten to that process yet, so I’m not sure.  One of the tracks on the new TT album was originally written for DITP but just seemed to fit better for TT.

Bekka Collins: I see you’re playing acoustic sets at this years Warped! What do Andy Jackson: you think are the best and worst things about touring?

I love touring, but I miss my dogs.

Bekka Collins: If you could tour with anyone who would it be?

Andy Jackson: I think The Killer would be cool.

Bekka Collins: Three things we could expect from a Death In The Park show?

Andy Jackson:

1) Great live show.

2) Getting your face melted.

3) Sweet after party! Haha.

Bekka Collins: Ideally, where would you like to be in five years time?

Andy Jackson: Doing the same thing. Just making music.

Bekka Collins: Anything else you would like to add?

Andy Jackson: Be sure to go check out the new Death In The Park record and Terrible Things.

For More Information On Death In The Park Please Visit:
MySpace and Facebook
You can also tweet to the band by tweeting @deathinthepark

Curious if their self titled album is worth checking out? Read Bekka’s review here

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The Sound Alarm Interview: Terrible Things


September 22, 2010
by Michael Skehan
Terrible Things - Fred Mascherino

Pictured: Fred Mascherino of Terrible Things at the Minnesota date of the 2010 Vans Warped Tour. Photo By: Matt Nistler for The Sound Alarm

Mike Skehan: So how is everything going, dude?

Fred Mascherino: Oh, it’s awesome. It’s release day so there’s nothing more exciting than having an album come out. We’re running around doing some record store acoustic stuff and then a big show tomorrow night in my hometown out in Westchester, PA. We played Philly last Friday and we just played Josh’s hometown over the weekend. It’s fun, man. We have a lot going on and lots to be exciting about.

M: Is it a relief for the album to finally be released?

F: Oh, heck yeah. Relief is a good word. I started working on this record almost a year and a half ago and Josh and the guys got involved last fall. It was a mammoth project because it’s a concept album, which I’ve never really taken on before. Any album is a lot of work, but this was probably the hardest I’ve ever had to work, so to see it actually on a shelf in a store is amazing.

M: Definitely. Well let’s start off talking about the formation of the band.

F: I was on tour playing acoustic solo work with my Color Fred project and Andy was at the club in Alabama where I was playing. We had met before but didn’t know each other that well. After the set he came up and said, “Hey man, I really like your guitar playing and your songs, we should jam sometime.” He lived in Alabama and I lived in Philly so I didn’t think he was being that serious(laughs). The day I got home I called him and said “Did you really want to do a band together? I can send you some demos.” As soon as he started listening to the demos he called me back and said,“I’m in.” He basically flew up to my house and stayed for a month and we worked on songs. We played with a bunch of different drummers and bassists and finally convinced my favorite drummer, Josh Eppard, to get involved. That’s how the three of us came together and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a really neat thing because we all have a lot of experience but our experiences were all very different. We are sort of covering a lot of areas, as far as what I might be good at doing, Josh is better at something else. When we put it together…I’m working with two other songwriters who have ten years of touring experience. It’s been very awesome in that respect.

M: So would you say there was a bit of a learning curve adjusting to the different things everybody brought into the band?

F: Like any band, we had to learn to play together and we’re still learning that. In the beginning, that was where the producer came in. We actually recorded down in Alabama with Jason Elgin who recently did Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, who are friends of mine. He was just good at putting it together and using each person’s strengths and avoiding any fights because it can be hard to fit all of those pieces together. He had a good handle on what it was supposed to be and he was the referee and also the contractor to our architects.

M: So how did you end up working with Jason in the first place?

F: One of my best friends is Ryan Russell; he’s a photographer from Birmingham, AL.  He kept telling me that I needed to check Jason out. When I did, what I liked about it was that…a lot of the guys I knew up north were getting a lot of…the new, hip thing is fake-sounding drums. I didn’t really want that. Josh is one of the best rock drummers in the world, so to take him and put him into this digital, pro-tools situation of fixing up his fills and whatnot and making it perfect, it takes away from what he’s doing. Jason is a southern, older guy who…we would say, “Hey, we want this to sound like Tom Petty” and he would know all of these obscure Petty songs we’d never even heard of. He just brought a lot to the table with his knowledge and was able to understand that this needed to rock, not just have mosh parts to it or something like that.

M: So essentially an old-school, more natural sound?

F: Exactly! It was much more organic sounds. I think it’s really noticeable when you hear it. You’ll say, “Why do I like this?” and I think that’s where Jason comes in. He brings that timeless quality to it that you can’t get if you’re trying to compete and be worried about what’s going on currently. We went down south into this slower way of life and forgot all of that and said, “Let’s just make some good rock.”

M: So do you think that your surroundings while recording the album had an impact on how it turned out?

F: Yeah, definitely. We were fairly sheltered from the world while we were down there because we were recording from the minute we woke up until we went to sleep. Andy brings in a Southern quality to things. He’s got the thickest accent of anybody I’m friends with (laughs). He grew up on a lot of southern rock and country that I’d never heard, so that may have affected it. We were so locked up in the studio. Maybe the people that came in, too. One of Ryan and Jason’s friends, Jacob, played bass on the record. We had a lot of Southern guys around giving their two cents on the record, so that certainly affected it.

M: Will you guys be looking to add a fourth member in as a full-time bassist?

F: Yeah, we’re definitely gonna do that. Because of who were are…I don’t know, we’re taking our time with everything, basically. We’ve had one of Andy’s friends, Jake, playing on the road with us the last few tours. We want to find that guy who is sort of our equal, not just somebody filling the spot temporarily. I can’t wait to find that. It could even be Jake but we’re just trying to take our time with making that decision.

M: You’d said you’ve been working on this album a bit longer than everyone else in the band, so why not just release this as The Color Fred or some other sort of solo album?

F: I feel like all of us were in the same boat. With The Color Fred, I did get it relatively established. Let me start this over. I was most happy when I was touring with just myself and my guitar in that band. The rest of the time, I was basically touring with my friends playing on the instruments. I thought that it was my dream to ride around and play shows with my friends. The problem is a lot of them had never toured before or done any of the things we were doing with The Color Fred. That makes it a bit harder. With Andy and Josh, there are a lot of unspoken rules that we don’t have to go over. It works really well.  Another thing is, somebody like Josh Eppard…there aren’t a lot of people who can understand why I’d leave a band when they are at their peak. Every day I get asked “Why did you leave Taking Back Sunday?” Josh is one of the few people on this earth that doesn’t think I’m crazy. Even my friends have a hard time understanding. It could have gone on to become The Color Fred, but as soon as I met those guys and we started talking, [we knew]. I hadn’t gotten very far in the recording process but I was writing a lot. I said, “You guys have to get in on this and do it, it’s the only way.”

M: So what would you say that each of the individual members brings to the table?

F: Well, Andy is an amazing songwriter. He is bringing the same chops that I am, writing wise. Josh writes, as well, but he comes in and makes the music cool. He thinks of all of the little parts that you can throw in to soup up the song to take it from a good song to being something really great. That’s what I feel. As far as myself, I’m just trying to express myself when I’m writing. I don’t feel like I decide where a song goes, I feel that it just comes out. Luckily those guys dig where it goes.

M: How did the writing process go for this album? You said you’d already been writing, but when you met the other guys did you just get back into it?

F: I would have the basic foundation for the songs already mapped out and Andy had the same thing when he would bring in a song, since there are a couple of songs on the record that he wrote. Anything that we thought could make it better, somebody could speak up about it. I was very open, as was Andy, to any type of changes as far as trying it out to see which version was best. There were a lot of songs that I re-wrote all of the lyrics or maybe I re-wrote a verse because they would say“What are you trying to say here?” If I had to say, “I don’t know, it just rhymed.”, then we said it wasn’t good enough and did it the right way. We just picked it apart and did it the way we’ve all done in our past bands.  Saying “This has got to be better than all of that, let’s get it there.” If it was only as good as what we’d all done before, why would anyone listen to it?

M: Did you have a particular sound in mind when you started writing the album?

F: No. That was the thing. We wanted to play something that rocked and we weren’t that interested in sticking with any type of [sound]. I feel like with a lot of the emo we had played in the past, it was a lot about different or cool sounding parts; maybe a mosh part and a dance-beat. It wasn’t about saying something through all of your songs. That’s what we were always looking for. You can’t get that feeling by working at it. To me, it always has to hit me when I’m sitting at the edge of my bed with an acoustic guitar feeling very unsatisfied or trying to counsel myself through a problem that I’m having. Only then is that feeling cured. I put it to the music and the listener gets it out of that music. It can’t be faked. Although it is faked every day in a lot of the music that you hear and that’s why a lot of music….There are so many bands these days and all of them sound like every other band. If one band has some success then everybody does that style. With this we said, “We don’t want a style, we want songs.” I feel confident in saying that there’s no one out there doing what we’re doing the way that we do it.

M: That being said, was it hard ignoring past influences? Was there a conscious decision to, for example, say “This part sounds too much like a Hot Rod Circuit song, let’s change it”?

F: Actually there was one song of Andy’s called “Wrap Me Up,” which is one of my favorites, where that happened. The rhythm guitars, vocals and drums were done and it got to where I started putting some lead guitars down. I naturally wanted to do this country-ish that that Hot Rod always did, cause Casey from Hot Rod was a great slide player. I started doing some of that and when Andy heard it, he was like, “Ehhhh.” He didn’t want it to be something he had already done, he wanted it to be fresh and new. We went in and re-did all of the leads to make them what they are now. There was a little bit of that, but not too much with me. Since I wasn’t singing in Taking Back Sunday and now I am, there’s a lot more allowance. We were on Warped Tour and we met a lot of young people who didn’t necessarily know a lot of the Coheed or Taking Back Sunday music. Now it’s great because we can do anything we want if people aren’t expecting it to be a certain way. When we were in those bands we had to respect the prior music. With this, we really don’t. We can keep doing what we do. We did a song called “Conspiracy,” which I think we could have never done in our past bands. It’s a very poppy song and I’m practically rapping in certain parts of the song. People really love that song, though. It’s definitely my favorite song. It totally gets me out of my comfort zone, but I wouldn’t have been able to do that if somebody was expecting [something in particular].

M: I was listening to the CD for one of the first few times and that song caught my attention.

F: Yeah, see what I mean? That’s great. We want the listener to say, “Hey, I didn’t know that these guys could go there with this. That’s crazy!”

M: So this album is a concept album about a series of arsons that impacted your hometown growing up, correct?

F: Well the arsons happened in ’08 and ’09, but the arsons happened in the town I grew up in, yeah. Even now, I only live two towns over.

M: So how did that inspire you to write an entire album?

F: This fire started in 2008 and I first heard about it in December. They arrested somebody in December but January came and there were fourteen fires that month alone. They had arrested somebody but it was clear that they either had the wrong guy or there were multiple people doing it. February came, they arrested two people and those people confessed. They told us that it was over but two nights later there was another fire. At that point it was like, “When is this going to stop and why haven’t we stopped it already?” It was very scary and it made me angry and frustrated. That was when I wrote the first song. As it went on for a couple of more months, I had written a few more songs.  The first songs I wrote was called “Steel Town” and it didn’t actually make the record. I just kept going with it naturally but wasn’t really thinking about an album. It wound up after a while that I had four or five songs and I was thinking, “What is this? Is this an EP?” That was about the time I had started talking to Andy. When I met Andy, he’d actually had a fire in his house. His house burned to the ground and he lost all of his guitars and everything he owned so he said, “Hey man, I can totally relate to some of this.” He got involved and we just kept going with the concept of it. It became almost a fictional story about a couple growing up in a town that’s under siege and the fires are more in the background. It’s not all of the same facts, necessarily, but more of the feeling.  People couldn’t sleep at night because nobody knew if the fire was going to hit them.  The fires always came at 4 o’clock in the morning and they never knew where it was going to be, so the arsonists got away with it for months until the total was up to almost fifty fires.

M: I can see how that would be frustrating and terrifying and you’d want to get that out.  Had you always wanted to do a concept album, though?

F: Not at all, actually. I’d always thought that I wasn’t the type of person to do a concept album because I’m not really the type of person that focuses on one subject for months. It just became something that I was very inspired about and it gave the album a darker tone than some of the music I’d written in the past. It wasn’t just about my girlfriend or, you know, anything superficial. It was something that was right in front of me. We were on CNN and Time Magazine. I never thought anybody would have ever heard of my town and now it was on TV but not for anything that I’d want it to be.  As a writer, that was the way that I dealt with it.

M: At a certain point, do you feel that making a concept album forced everybody to be more creative?

F: We were able to take every aspect of that to fit on the album.  A song like “Conspiracy” didn’t necessarily talk about Coatseville, PA at all, [but it fits]. Jason Elgin wanted to make this album relatable to the average person. I might’ve had a lyric about the arsonist or something and it was very specific and he would encourage me to shy away from that because who can relate to that? No one. Only arsonists. Instead I tried to talk about the feelings that came about and get into the heads of some of the victims, at times. I was able to draw from experiences. My brother, he’s still living in the house that I grew up in. There was a fire right down the road and he actually saw one of the arsonists’ cars parked on the street. He reported it but it was long before they caught the person. Talk about close to home? This was literally close to my home.

M: You guys have this history of being in well-known bands, so is it weird going from these bands and starting new again?

F: I feel like that’s how it had to be. The hardest tour that we’ve ever done as this band was our first one. That’s because of what we’d been used to. I feel like the two years that we spent after leaving our bands were soul-searching times. For Josh in particular, it was probably the hardest time of his life. This is a real redemption story for him. People had really written him off but then we came back. Now we’re in a van, doing it how we did in our earliest touring days of being in small bands. It is a challenge every day. When we’re out working our own merch table on Warped Tour every day in 95 degree weather, it’s tough. The fact that we’d spent two years in between being unsure of what we were doing, at least knowing we are sure of why we are doing this. It’s so good to be playing again. When I’m in that heat, I think “I didn’t even know if I’d be able to do another Warped Tour,” so I’m just psyched to be able to be here again.

M: Do you feel any pressure at all, though?

F: We’re the type of guys that do pressure ourselves. We want to play in this band for ten years, at least. We love it so much. In one respect, that means we have to get along for ten years. On another, it means we need to be at some level of success that allows us to keep gas in the tank, you know? That’s where we pressure ourselves. As far as the writing, we want to write a song that goes beyond anything we’ve done in the past. We don’t really look at our past as a big, giant albatross. We look at it as being really great but there is a future, too.

M: You guys have your album out and you’ve been playing new songs but how has fan response been to the new material?

F: We played Philly last Friday and it was the first time we’d played since the music has been out there. It was the first time we’d seen people in the crowd knowing all of the songs. We felt like, “Wow, this is really happening now.” There were people stage-diving and crowd surfing, so it was a real show like we used to do. It’s been awesome. I really believe in these songs, we all do. I’m glad there are people out there that can be moved by it.

M: Which came first, the song “Terrible Things” or the band name?

F: The song came first. It was originally a song that I would play acoustic and solo. When we decided to name the band that, I re-wrote all of the verses to be our anthem, of sorts.  It’s about a lot of what we’ve been through.

M: What do you want for the rest of the future for Terrible Things?

F: We go out with Mae on October 1 and we’re planning to be on the road for the next year. We just want to ride this record all the way to 2012 when the world ends (laughs). We’re just taking it as we go, but so far we’re absolutely psyched. We encourage people to come out to the shows because we don’t sit backstage and drink beer; we’re out in the crowd meeting people. That’s the best experience you can get from us, beyond the record. Come see us live. We’re not a band that sounds way different when you see us live. We try to put on a great show.

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Metal Insider Interview: Codeseven Talk Reunion, Downloading, The Fray


September 20, 2010
by Bram Teitelman


Starting as a post-hardcore band in 1995, Codeseven released five albums before breaking up a decade later. After playing a reunion show last month in their hometown Greensboro, NC, the band got an offer to tour from their friends in Circa Survive. That tour, which also features Dredg and Animals as Leaders, kicks off on October 15.  We caught up with Eric Weyer to explain what led to their reunion, what fans can expect from the tour, and his thoughts on how the industry’s changed since they first broke up.

What was the spark behind you guys getting back together again?

Around New Years Eve, we were all just hanging out and we thought it would be fun to play some of these songs again. We kind of ended abruptly in Rhode Island on tour and we never really did a last show or anything. So it just started with that seven months ago and we’re finally getting around to doing it.

What was the main reason you guys broke up?

Financial, like most bands. If you’re out on the road, you’re trying to gain exposure. All labels and management want you to be on the road as much as possible because it’s better that your name is constantly seen, but at the same time when you’re doing support tours you’re not making a lot. It’s just one of those things, it’s grueling and it takes a toll on everybody after you do it for a while. It was just time.

What made you guys decide to make it official and not just go “Hey, we’re back! Here’s a show”?

Originally it was just going to be like “Well let’s just play a show. Let’s get back together and start playing again. Just spill it out,” because we miss it. We’ve done a few other bands, but we missed the songs and we did this for ten years. It’s a huge part of our lives. So we just, well actually Brendan from Circa Survive called and he had heard a rumor about us possibly getting back together and playing a show and stuff, and that just kind of lead into him asking if we would be interested in doing a tour with Circa Survive. They’re great people, we’ve known them since This Day Forward and it just sounded like too much fun not o do. We’re trying to do this for fun and just have a really good time, not get too into the business aspects of it, and if it gets too much after the tour, just take a break and calm down. Having fun is what it’s all about right now.

Are you playing any new music at all?

No. We’re learning songs that we haven’t played in over a decade, and our drummer Matt lives in Athens, GA now and we’re in Winston-Salem, North Carolina so it’s about a six hour drive. So we really only have enough time just try to figure out how to play the old stuff right now.

Do you have any plans to eventually record new music?

The plan is, yeah, I think after this tour. I don’t see us doing any more touring for a while after this.  If the tour goes great then I think we’re all pretty stoked to start writing and see if we can find a cohesive idea behind what the next album should be like. I mean, all things are pointing to that direction. There’s no guarantee of course, but that’s what we feel like would be the next step if it goes great.

It will be really interesting considering how different each Codeseven album was, not to mention the fact that there was seven years in between.

Yeah, we’ve been talking about what direction. Do we want to lose all the fans we just got from Dancing Echoes and just piss everybody else off again? We probably will do that to be honest with you, but we’ve talked about how to keep it moving forward and being creative and not holding ourselves back as always, and stuff like that. So it may be metal, may be a grind record. Who knows? It’s whatever we feel like at the time.

That’s awesome! Do you feel like the band has picked up new fans since you guys broke up?

It’s hard to say. I’m not really sure what really has happened, or any talk about us has been going on since we broke up. It’s just kind of revisiting stuff now. So I don’t know who remembers us or anything like that. I’m just crossing my fingers that there’re going to be a few kids every night on this tour coming up.

Do you feel that the new technology like Facebook and Twitter that wasn’t around when you were a band before has helped?

It’s different. Yeah, it’s totally different. It’s great. When you’re doing a show, especially a reunion show which the first one’s in a couple of weeks, we used to go blotter our entire town and the city and the cities over, and go to every school and put flyers up. I mean you couldn’t miss them. My grandpa knew when we were playing a club (laughing). You just couldn’t miss it. Now you don’t really have to do that. You can just go on the internet and create a viral attack. It’s pretty neat.

Are there any other ways you feel like things have changed since the band was around?

Well obviously the music industry is changing. It’s a positive and a negative. You don’t have that same feeling when you go buy CDs. You’d find your independent store either in, for us it was Greensboro, the next city over, and you’d make a road trip once a week and they had what you were looking for. You bought it, helped the bands, helped independent labels. And now it’s just, you know I download everything, I don’t buy anything! It’s just too convenient. It’s there. I downloaded all of our Codeseven stuff recently just to learn all the songs. It’s just too convenient, but it hurts the bands, it hurts the labels most, I guess. They’re the ones that pay for the recordings and stuff, but then again that’s changed a lot as well. We have our own studio because technology has caught up and we can afford to get a small studio that’s reasonably priced. It’s all changed.

I actually don’t know how to bring this question up because I was talking to a friend of mine in the office here, and he was like “I don’t know why, but whenever I hear The Fray, I think of Codeseven.”

(Laughing) Well I could see that. There’s a few songs on the last album we put out that has a pop sensitivity to it, especially a song called “Roped and Tied.” (Laughing) I could probably agree with that. I don’t like The Fray personally, but I could see where that could put in context with our music.

Well maybe you’ll be the next Fray. (Laughing) You might have a “How To Save A Life” in you yet!

(Laughing) You never know! We can write some pop songs I can tell you that. (Laughing)

Tour Dates (With Circa Survive, Dredg, Animals As Leaders)

10/15 Hartford, CT @ The Webster
10/16 Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony
10/17 Towson, MD @ The Recher Theatre
10/19 Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
10/20 Charleston, SC @ The Music Farm
10/21 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10/22 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues
10/23 Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
10/26 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
10/27 Houston, TX @ House Of Blues
10/29 San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
10/30 San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
10/31 Dallas, TX @ House Of Blues
11/4 Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
11/5 San Diego, CA @ House Of Blues
11/6 Hollywood, CA @ Avalon
11/7 San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
11/9 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
11/10 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
11/12 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
11/13 Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
11/14 Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont Club
11/17 Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze On The West Bank
11/18 Milwaukee, WI @ The Eagles Club
11/19 Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
11/20 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
11/21 Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues
11/23 Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Chance
11/24 Boston, MA @ House Of Blues
11/26 Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
11/27 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
11/28 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

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Making the Best Out of Some Terrible Things


September 17, 2010
by Jon Chattman

Terrible Things

The new band Terrible Things have enough of an interesting back story that success is almost irrelevant. Well, not exactly but the subject of their debut album matched with past experiences of two of its members sure would make one hell of a rock-and-roll themed afterschool special one day.

Fred Mascherino and Josh Eppard both left their highly successful bands at arguably the height of their fame. For Mascherino, lead guitarist for Taking Back Sunday, it was to pursue other creative endeavors. For drummer Eppard? He left Coheed & Cambria due to a drug addiction. Together with Hot Rod Circuit Andy Jackson, the duo have been recharged and ready for stardom with their debut album, which is about fires that ravaged Mascherino’s former hometown of Coatesville, PA. Not exactly the feel-good album of the year, but definitely a powerhouse.

I spoke with Mascherino and Eppard, and asked them to discuss their concept album, their formation of a new band, and of course, the impacts of leaving their previous bands at their respective peaks.

Josh, Fred…you both left your highly successful bands for different reasons. Why did Terrible Things make sense to join after those abrupt departures?

F: There aren’t very many people that know what it’s like to leave a successful band when it’s at its peak. I’m still being asked everyday why I did it. Josh is one of the few people on the planet that can relate.

J: Yeah, we’ve experienced those big ups and downs and this band is really a chance for us to build something from scratch and do it in our own way. We all talk about goals for the band but I would say a big one is just to be happy and proud of what we’re doing.

So were either of you gun shy from past experiences?

F: I think we were gun shy at the time we left those bands. We all, including Andy, spent two years after our bands doing different solo projects, but eventually we missed the social aspects of being in an actual band and playing with people you have a mutual respect for. By the time we met up, we were all anxiously looking for something that was going to fill a void.

Taking Back Sunday and Coheed and Cambria have completely different sounds from each other, as does Terrible Things compared to either of the two. Was it a conscious decision to just say the hell with it, and do something completely different?

F: We were definitely trying to get away from the things we were used to, or maybe sick of. I wanted to free myself from writing habits by getting out of my comfort zone. Our producer, Jason Elgin was a southern gentleman that didn’t know much about our pasts or the whole music scene up North, but he knew way more than we did about Tom Petty and Mutt Lange.

J: Yeah, that gave us somewhere to go with the songs. It didn’t have to be about those old bands, with the same old sounds.

F: It could’ve been that way coming from big bands but instead of letting the past intimidate us, we could evolve and focus on the future.

Did the three of you know each other beforehand? If so, how has the relationship evolved as Terrible Things?

J: Fred’s old band, Breaking Pangaea took Coheed and Cambria out on their first ever tour and they showed us the ropes. I was always a fan of his Fred’s writing and we stayed friends over the years. We didn’t know Andy as well, but Hot Rod Circuit was always around and we were all fans of each other.

F: It’s awesome now that we’ve done a few tours together. The fact that we all have ten years of touring experience behind us, we’re able to avoid some of the things other bands would have to break in.

So, why Terrible Things for a band name?

F: The name comes from a song on our album that I had written a while back. “We’re doing terrible things” is the chorus. When we chose it as our band name, I re-wrote all the lyrics on the verses to fit some of our story. “It’s just a cry for help, Damnation, Redemption, the cycle…”

J: It’s no secret that I battled with drugs when I was leaving Coheed. I should have died… That’s all part of my history. But this band really is about redemption. One minute I was on MTV, and the next, all my money was gone and I was painting houses for money. Andy and Fred are my brothers now and this is our chance. I really believe this is the best record I’ve ever been a part of.

Let’s talk about the record. It’s loosely based on Fred’s hometown. Can you explain

F: There were 49 arson fires in my hometown in a short period during 08-09. It was scary, frustrating, and sad and it seemed like it would never stop. I wrote a few songs dealing with it and we continued to use it as the background for the stories in the rest of songs. It gave us something to sink our teeth into and not just write about the same old boy/girl relationships.

J: Andy actually had a house fire a few years ago where he lost everything, so he helped to bring in that point of view with the writing.

F: Yeah, it was totally a group effort in the writing even though it was my town we based it on.

The album’s not simply about the fires though, I mean the lyrics latch onto other social issues, no?

F: Revolution is sort of the anthem for the town on the album but it’s meant to relate to anyone. The lyrics are “This is not a revolution, Until we say it is”. It’s all about the things we all see in the world that we’d like to change and how they won’t change unless we make it happen.

It’s not about a particular issue but I happen to love the outdoors and nature so I do different things to curb my part of global warming like I have an ’82 VW Rabbit that runs on vegetable oil. Whether it’s a subject we agree with or not doesn’t matter, the song is just saying, turn off the TV and computer once in a while and go out and live it.

Why’d you choose Birmingham, Alabama to record? Seems a bit odd given your rock histories…

F: Most of the recording experiences I’ve had up North have used replaced drum sounds and lots of auto-tune and we thought this band was good enough to escape that. We chose to work with Jason Elgin because he had an old school, rock history. It was also great to be far enough from home that we couldn’t run back and forth. We could stay super focused on the album.

J: The studio really became a second home for me. Fred actually has a key to the place and so we’ll still stay there when we’re going through on tour. I really miss Jason right now!

Lastly, is Terrible Things a one time thing or are you guys in it for the long haul?

J: I really hope this is the band we’re still doing 10, 15 years from now. These guys are all great players and singers. We put on a really great live show. I don’t expect to find anything else I’d rather to do.

F: Josh, you’re stuck with me for a long time.

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Q&A with Haden Brightwell, lead singer of Montgomery’s Evolett


September 17, 2010
by Ben Flanagan

Evolett Lead singer and Montgomery native Haden Brightwell opens up about the River Region’s music scene, its best venues and whether it gives artists an environment where they can grow commercially and technically.

Ben Flanagan: When is your next Montgomery show and where?

Haden Brightwell: The next Montgomery show [was] actually [last night] at Strange Days. But I’m sure within the next month we will have another show booked. Just check our FacebookMyspace or Twitter page for any updates on shows. (Evelott is performing tonight, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. at The Vineyard in Birmingham.)

BF: People often label your group as a Christian band, yet members would rather be known as a “rock” band. Describe the sound of Evolett.

Yes, we are a rock band. We’re all so young and very new to all of this so I think we’re still discovering our own “sound.” I like that we are heavier than the pop/rock female-fronted bands out there now, and we hope to continue writing that way in the future. We all grew up listening to heavy music so it’s just natural that we have that hard rock sound.

BF: Do your musical tastes tend to lean toward groups with female vocalists or frontwomen? Who are some of your personal influences?

HB: Honestly, no. I will admit that I enjoy bands like Flyleaf and Paramore, but they are not what encouraged me to sing in a band. I grew up listening to a lot of Underoath, Nine Inch Nails and The Used, just tons of heavy bands. I still love all those bands today but also have a big weakness for pop artists like Rihanna, Lady GaGa and even Ke$ha. (Laughs)

BF: Has music always played a role in your life?

Oh yes! I took ballet for almost 14 years, so I was always around classical music. Learning different rhythms and beats to put dance moves to has definitely helped me with understanding music I sing, too, today. I also started singing a lot in school and church when I was about 12, so my love for music has just grown from there.

BF: How do you feel about the level of quality in musicians around the Montgomery community?

HB: I think there are a lot of great local bands in Montgomery. Whether it’s a cover band or original band, there are definitely hidden talents in this small town.

BF: What’s your general opinion on the entertainment scene of Montgomery?

HB: I think Montgomery has a lot of hardworking bands and people with talent, but it’s hard to succeed in a town where sometimes people don’t give you a chance.

BF: What do you think Montgomery can do to improve its status as a cultural hotspot?

HB: Support more! If you like a band in town and want to see them play more, then start helping promote them and talk about them to anyone you know that would be interested! Plus our generation has a huge advantage now with all the social networking sites. Just because people don’t “Like” your Facebook status or comment them doesn’t mean they don’t read it. But it goes back to what I said about support. If you want to help out your local talent, then re-post anything you see about them. It helps a lot more than people think.

BF: What are your favorite venues to play?

HB: A few of my favorite places to play around here are Strange Days, The Blue Iguana in Prattville and Workplay Theatre in Birmingham.

BF: Do you think this community gives a growing musician what he or she needs to grow both technically and commercially?

HB: Yes and no. Montgomery has the right clubs and promoters. Every band in town, big or small, has fans that help spread the word, but I think the problem with Montgomery is sometimes it’s too small for a band to grow. It goes right back to the question before. Montgomery, if you want to keep seeing your favorite local bands play and succeed and branch out, then we need your help! Some people don’t like to spend money to go see only local bands play, but would people even come out if it were a free show? It’s all about spreading the word to the right people and supporting the whole way through.

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Woodstock concert pays tribute to guitarist Jason Foster (09.17.10)

Kingston Freeman Preview
published: 09/17/2010

It’s an oft-told tale and certainly not indigenous to the music industry. Still, a benefit tribute concert Sunday is one way to keep young musicians walking the straight, narrow – and sober – path to success.

The Jason Foster Tribute Concert at the Bearsville Theatre will benefit The Road Recovery Foundation, established in 1998, that’s dedicated to helping young people battle addiction and other adversities by tapping into the influence of entertainment industry professionals who have confronted similar crises and share their experience and knowledge, according to the website.

“All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the foundation, said Jude DeFalco, chairman of the Jason Foster Project. He said after Foster’s death of an overdose in September 2009, he and other musicians who knew and played with Foster, connected with his mother, Patricia, and brother, John, to form the Project.

He said Foster, like many talented artists, suffered from depression and struggled against the accompanying drug addiction for most of his life. He died at age 40.

DeFalco said the goal of the Project is to raise awareness of the dangers of depression and addiction that affect countless musicians of all ages and the importance of seeking treatment and rehabilitation so they can continue to be creative without the use of drugs.

“After we formed the Jason Foster Project, in November 2009, we knew we wanted to organize a benefit concert around Jay. But, it took us many discussions before we selected Road Recovery as the benefit recipient,” DeFalco said.

He said Project board members wanted a recipient in keeping with Foster’s generosity toward other musicians. “When we met up with Road Recovery, we knew it was an organization that Jason would have supported,” he said, adding that Gene Bowen, Road Recovery’s founder, will attend the concert.

Participating in Sunday’s concert are more than 60 performers, in nine bands, who had some musical connection to Foster. Foster, DeFalco said, at some time in his life, beginning at age 12, played in each of those nine bands, as well as many others.

“He was an exceptionally gifted musician. And, he lived for his music,” DeFalco said, noting that Foster was a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and friend and mentor to many other musicians.

DeFalco said he met Foster in home room at J. Watson Bailey Middle School in Kingston when both were about 12. “We liked the same music and traded band magazines that day,” he recalled. He said as the two got older, their musical tastes changed so he never played in a band with Foster. Nevertheless, he said Foster was extremely generous with his time and talent to other budding musicians they knew.

DeFalco said the purpose of the concert is two-fold: as a tribute to celebrate Foster’s life and the musicians who played with him and to raise awareness about depression that afflict artists and often leads to addiction, and, in some cases, to suicide.

He said the incredible line-up of musicians and bands, including local favorites, 3, Perfect Thyroid, Peacebomb, Lunchmeat, The Reptiles, Hysteria, Talon and Evidence, will perform, adding that Foster played in every one of them at some time.

“Several of the bands performing are reuniting after not performing for nearly 20 years for this one night only,” he said.

David Daw, who played bass with Foster, said he had known him for 27 years. “He was the greatest musician I have ever known. We met when we were 13 or 14. And, even then, he just blew people away with his guitar skills,” he said, adding that Foster could play a song he heard just once on the radio and get it down flawlessly.

“I timed him once,” Daw said. “He learned Van Halen’s ‘Run with the Devil’ in seven minutes flat and played it note-for-note perfect. He only heard it once. That’s how good he was.”

“WHAT A STAR!” said former band mate and drummer, Chris Gartman. “Jay was born to play guitar. His performances during the ‘80s are part of the musical history of Kingston,” he said, adding that he played in six bands with Foster beginning in 1991 with Peacebomb in its earlier incarnation.

Still in the band, 3, where Foster played as well, Gartman said he’s looking forward to getting together and playing with musicians he hasn’t seen in years, noting that one musician is coming all the way from Las Vegas for a 20-minute gig. “The number of musicians coming is a testament to how loved and admired Jay was,” he said.

Gartman said Foster never made a mistake on stage, and picked up for other musicians when they did. “He was solid. You knew you were in good hands musically with him.”

“THAT WAS AWESOME,” is how Foster would described a song he thought really rocked, said guitarist, songwriter and former band mate Joey Eppard. Eppard, who is also in 3, said Foster got him to write more and sing more. “Pretty soon, we were all singing together in three-part harmony. It was awesome,” he recalled.

“Jay really had a gift,” Eppard said. “He could really play and tell a story with his guitar. That’s when you knew his greatness,” he said.

“I really miss Jay. He certainly had his troubles and I think music was the best part of his life,” Eppard said, adding, “He’s making music wherever he is. And, he’ll be with us Sunday.

“And, the rest of us, we look at each other and realize we could be gone tomorrow, too. We need to look each other in the eye and be good to each other,” Eppard said.

DeFalco said Sunday’s concert would be hosted by masters of ceremony Jack Hammer and Andre Kane from WBPM 92.9’s Electric Morning Show. The evening will also feature a Jason Foster biography video presentation featuring live video footage and still photographs of Foster throughout his career. As each band performs, photos of their performances, back in the day with Foster, will be projected behind them, DeFalco said.

DeFalco said Foster, during his career, had recorded seven songs he had written. The Jason Foster Project board had the songs re-mastered and a limited-edition, Jason Foster CD, “Truth Serum,” will be available for purchase at the show, along with an event program.

DeFalco said the show would be recorded by HD video and audio so the Project could release a double CD and a DVD of the entire show.

Copy Hut and Angela’s Pizza are sponsors of the concert and DeFalco said the concert would not have progressed smoothly without their support.

In addition to general admission tickets, $35 VIP tickets are available that include a Jason Fostere Project T-shirt, awareness bracelet and keychain, the “Truth Serum” CD and an event program.

For more information about The Jason Foster Project, contact DeFalco at (845) 594-6034 or email uptown1026@hotmail.com.


What: Jason Foster Benefit Concert: Benefit for The Road Recovery Foundation

Where: Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker St., Woodstock

When: Sunday at 2 p.m.

How much: Advanced $15; $20 at the door; 14 and under, $5 at the door; VIP tickets, $35

Call: (845) 679-4406

ONLINE: www.bearsvilletheater.com/

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Jason Foster’s bands to (sorta) reunite

Jason Foster by Nicole Terpening

Jason Stephen Foster was once a member of 3.  Over the course of his musical career he also rocked in Perfect Thyroid, Lunchmeat, PEACEBOMB, The Reptiles, Talon, Hysteria, Evidence…

Sunday, September 19th, 2010 all of the aforementioned bands will share the stage of Bearsville Theater in memory of their fallen brother.  All but 3 & Perfect Thyroid are reuniting just for this one night.  The proceeds from the concert will go to the NY-based Road Recovery foundation in Jason Foster’s name.  Radio personality, Matt Pinfield, recently participated in a 35 mile bike ride throughout the boroughs of New York City (Rock & Ride) to raise money for this same foundation.

Bearsville Theater Marquee

Doors will be open at 1pm.  Admission for ages 14 and under is $5.  Advance general admission tickets are $15, otherwise it will be $20 at the door.  There is also premium seating available for $35 and includes a Jason Foster Tribute t-shirt, a Jason Foster Project Awareness bracelet and keychain, an event program, and a copy of Jason Foster’s CD Truth Serum.

The event will be hosted by MC’s Jack Hammer and Andre Kane from WBPM 92.9’s Electric Morning Show.

Word is the organizers are working on getting a film crew together to document the event to share with those of us who cannot make it to this end of the Catskill Park during the last weekend of the summer.

Jason’s musical journey began at age 11 as a drummer.  Not long after he became deeply enamored with the guitar…  and every other instrument that crossed his path.  His music was diverse and cited influence from Steve Ray Vaughn, Elton John & Bernie Taping, Jimmy Hendrix, Roger Waters, Vivian Campbell & Duo, Ozzy Osbourne & Randy Rhoads, Imogen Heap, Coldplay, Bad Brains, and Jane’s Addiction.  Jason Foster performed with many bands throughout his career, but really began to demonstrate the depth of his talent with his project, Donovan’s Dreamers.

2001 saw the debut of Donovan’s Dreamers with the release of MK-Ultra.  Former bandmate, Joe Cuchelo (PEACEBOMB, 3) provided bass and Nate Kelley (Shabutie, Pontius Pilate Sales Pitch) provided drums for the recording.

In 2009 Jason completed work on the follow-up record, Truth Serum.  David Bodie (Kayo Dot, Time of Orchids, Counterfeit Disaster, Divest) recorded some drums as did Josh Eppard (Terrible Things, Coheed and Cambria, 3).  Chris Bittner (Applehead Studio, 3) also provided some instrumentation.  The rest of the instrumentation on those tracks were done by Jason Foster.  The album was polished off by Michael Birnbaum at Applehead Recording and Production.

*top & bottom photos courtesy of Nicole Terpening

R.I.P. Jason Stephen Foster
September 22, 1969 – September 22, 2009

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Chris Pennie – the Metal Blade TV interview

Chris Pennie sits down with Metal Blade TV to talk about recording the new Return To Earth album “Automata”, as well as recording with Coheed & Cambria and The Dillinger Escape Plan.

If you’d like to help out by transcribing this interview, please let us know by leaving a comment below!

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Jason Foster Tribute Concert

Jason Foster, a former member of theband3, passed away nearly a year ago (R.I.P.)

September 19th, 2010 many musical projects that were important to Jason are banning together to perform at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY to raise money for the non-profit Road Recovery foundation in his name.

  • 3
  • Perfect Thyroid
  • Lunchmeat (reunion)
  • PEACEBOMB (reunion)
  • The Reptiles
  • Talon (reunion)
  • Hysteria (reunion)
  • Evidence (reunion)
  • And Special Guests

tickets: http://www.bearsvilletheater.com/events-calendar/jason-foster-road-recovery-benefit

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PropertyOfZack Interview: Terrible Things #2


August 30, 2010.
Posted: September 10, 2010

PropertyOfZack grabbed the guys in Terrible Things a few weeks back to chat the day before their released their debut album. Fred, Andy, Josh, and I discussed touring, their new album, as well as a bunch of other things like Warped Tour. Due to the length of the interview we thought it would be best to break it up in two halves. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for part two and read up on today’s!

For the record, could you state your names and roles in Terrible Things?
Fred: I’m Fred Mascherino and I play guitar and sing in Terrible Things.
Josh: I’m Josh Eppard. I play the drums in Terrible Things.
Andy: I’m Andy Jackson. I play guitar in Terrible Things.

The record finally comes out tomorrow. Are you stoked to finally have official material released?
Josh: Couldn’t be happier.
Fred: Yeah, best day in years. We really feel like by working together we were able to make something greater than what we could do individually. It’s the best thing I’ve been apart of in maybe ever.

The band actually released, starting in May, every song from the record. How did that idea come together and what were your thoughts on it?
Josh: I think it was a multitude of decisions, but nowadays, as soon as a record gets put out to get reviewed it ends up online somewhere. It’s much cooler to us to be able to put the songs out for people to hear and be like, “Hey, check this out.” As opposed to the whole thing just showing up. And we wanted to give people a peek at the record so they could hear the music and I think for me personally that’s why I was into it. There were a lot of different reasons. But it was cool for us to give it to someone…
Fred: Instead of it just popping up.
Josh: And that happens. I’ve read some people who have said that there’s no mystery to it, but there wasn’t gonna be. It was exciting for us to give it to people to hear.
Andy: We’re a new band and we’re trying to build a fan base and we want people to hear the stuff.

Do you think it helped for live shows in terms of fans knowing songs?
Fred: We played Friday night with Envy On The Coast in Philly and there were a lot of kids there that new the words and that amped us up. If we hadn’t done it it wouldn’t have happened.

How was the Envy goodbye show?
Josh: Amazing.
Fred: They played for two hours.
Andy: It was one of our best shows.
Josh: We’re such a new band. We want to be in this band for the rest of our lives. It’s been that great and it’s been that exciting, but as we become the band that we want to be onstage, this is still growing. We’re still evolving and it’s so exciting for us to see kids singing along. And that all goes back to putting the songs up. I think we were so excited about the songs. You’re just itching to put them out.
[Everyone Laughs]
Josh: I can’t play it for my girlfriend for the millionth time; I want new people to hear it. Kids were stage diving. The crowd was into it. It really felt like it was really starting to happen. It couldn’t have been better.

You guys have obviously all been in bands that have had a very important role in this music scene, but do you get that feeling of this being your new little baby project?
Full Band: Definitely.
Andy: What’s really cool is that when we play most of our shows people don’t even realize or know. Later on they’ll be like, “Is that Fred?” Literally, “You kind of look like this guy Fred.” That happens every day.
Josh: It’s so funny. Early on, the first couple shows, Fred would say, “Hey, give it up for Josh Eppard on the drums, Andy Jackson on guitar, and I’m Fred Mascherino,” and you see half the crowd getting on their iPhones and checking, “Is that him? Holy shit, that’s him.” One day a kid came up to me and told me that he hears a lot of Josh Eppard in my playing [Laughs]. It was at this little show in like Iowa or something and I was like, “Well, I am him.” I thought that he was kidding, but the kid turned like ghost white. I showed him my I.D, but it was rad because he liked the band for totally pure reasons and it had nothing to do with TBS, Hot Rod, or Coheed.
Fred: He liked the music.
Josh: So what a great compliment. To go back to the question, I’m surprised at how much it feels like a new thing. That excitement, I haven’t felt this in so many years. I felt it with Coheed coming up. I didn’t think I’d ever get to feel this again. It feels all our own. It feels like progress. It feels perfect. It feels like it’s definitely our baby, our band. We have progressed and evolved from those other bands and it’s all our own.

You guys are in town to start a string of in-store and record release shows. Is it always nice to switch things up a little bit?
Fred: Well, we’re doing three shows a day for the next couple days, so it’s a little bit nerve-wracking, but it’s very exciting. We were up earlier than we ever wake up today; we were at a diner at 3am.
Josh: Warped Tour you gotta get up at like 6 in the morning, if you sleep at all.
Fred: But this whole week is the best way to launch it then after that we’re gonna go home and just rehearse a lot for the Mae tour so we come out with a nice show.
Josh: I think it’s also worth saying, any time we hit the stage we’re really excited. We haven’t really played a lot of acoustic shows. We did one thing on a website in Denver and it was so fun and it came out so great. I liken that to I guess our years of experience. Honestly, we threw together a rehearsal before it, but it really had a special thing, so I can’t wait to do some of the acoustic stuff. Today I’m not gonna do anything, it’s just these guys, but we’re gonna do some in-stores and I’m gonna play along with them. I think that’s one of the great things about Terrible Things, there’s a whole other side to things. These guys are great when they play acoustic. I’m a big fan. I think it’s awesome.

You have been touring constantly since SXSW. How was the most recent run with Circa Survive?
Fred: They’re one of our favorite bands. Go get that record.
Andy: We wish we could just tour with them all the time.
Fred: It was great. Their fans mashed well with what we were doing and it was a nice, nice run.
Josh: They’re definitely like an ally. They’ve been so great to us. We can’t say enough.

Terrible Things will be heading out on a very long fall tour for Mae’s farewell. Is a music video a possibility before it kicks off?
Fred: We are starting to think about it.
Josh: We’re in the very beginning stages, but there will be a video.
Fred: Right now there’s about a dozen or so stations that started playing “Revolution”, which kind of blows our mind. We weren’t thinking about a video until that happened.

Last time I spoke to Andy, he said that the fans at Warped Tour have completely changed and had never heard of Taking Back Sunday, Hot Rod, or Coheed. You guys are heading out on a big farewell tour, but in the future a lot of fans you see at shows will be in that young category. Do you think it’ll be a different experience to play in front of those fans that compared to the past?
Andy: Yes, I think so. They’re young and fresh and eager to hear new music.
Josh: Yeah man, like what a great opportunity for us to not rely on the merits of those bands. I think that’s just perfect. I don’t think any of us were prepared. You didn’t see one TBS shirt, one Coheed shirt. Just a few years ago everybody had those shirts on. It makes me excited.
Andy: There were literally days, like I said when we did that interview, we had a few guys giving out stickers and we’d write down all the times we were playing and would be like, “Have you heard of Taking Back Sunday?” and that kids face would be confused and then, “Have you heard of Hot Rod?” and you’d hear a pin drop.
Josh: Or, “I think my older brother likes them.”
Andy: It’s insane to me.
Josh: That makes me excited because we get to play to fresh ears and we believe so much in Terrible Things, I think that’s a perfect scenario.

Terrible Things went into the studio down in Alabama. How was it doing it down there?
Fred: Well, for Andy it probably was…
Andy: Awesome!
Josh: It’s like an hour from his house.
Fred: Josh and I, I don’t think neither one of us have spent a significant amount of time down south, right?
Josh: No, no, just like you. In and out in one day. I’ve been in the south for upwards of six weeks, but never in one spot for more than a day off.
Fred: I was there probably six months. We have a friend down there, Ryan Russell, who takes pictures and we stayed at his house or at the studio. We were writing there. We were staying at Andy’s house. It was really good for me as a writer to get out of my headspace. Sometimes you can say that you want to do something new, but you have to actually change something about your life to get that. Going down there, it was neat. I was with new people that I didn’t know. Jason has a little crew down there that we hung out with everyday. They had different ideas than the people in Philly, where I live, and it helped to bring something fresh to all of us.
Josh: Sure.
Fred: Josh’s playing on the record, there’s a lot of stuff I’ve never heard him do on any other record and I’m a big fan. It wouldn’t have happened if we had just recorded at home.
Fred: I think it serves any band well to get out of their box. Anybody doing whatever they do. You’re never going to evolve and progress if you don’t get outside of your box, and Alabama was definitely outside of our box. It was perfect.
Andy: Plus a lot of bands just keep using the same producers, the same people.
Josh: The same snare drums.
Andy: It all sounds the same. So we wanted to do something a little more organic and real. It’s all real drums, real vocals.
Fred: This kit Jason had was such a mismatch of pieces. You’ve never heard this drum on any record.
Josh: Fred had already met Jason and Fred was working on the demos. This band came together in a really different way just because of all the past experiences, but just like Fred said, getting outside of the box. Elgin, I respect Elgin and think really highly of him as a producer and as a human being. He pushed us. I haven’t been pushed in a while. In New York nobody tells me what to do [Laughs]. I don’t want to sound like that, but I’ve made every record of any significance from Weerd Science to Coheed at the same studio. Some people had their different hands in it, but I always had that comfort zone. So here I am in Alabama with no safety net and I think it’s the best I’ve ever played on a record. I think, this is not to discredit Mike or Chris, but I think that this is the best sounding record that I’ve ever been a part of by far. By leaps and bounds. It had a lot to do with that studio, and Elgin, and us brining it out. It lived in us and Elgin pushed us and we pushed each other. We’re really proud.
How was it working together as a group compared to your previous projects?
Josh: Really different. Fred had a batch of songs and he could tell you better.
Fred: It was nice. I knew coming into this, once Andy and I started working, that I was with a like-minded, awesome songwriter. There aren’t usually two songwriters, but now there’s actually three. Josh has two albums of Weerd Science. Everyone was throwing in their ideas. I had a bunch of songs even before I met them, but Josh was always saying that “This lyric would sound better than this.”
Josh: We definitely added our flavor to it. Andy brought some songs to the table. Fred told me that the batch of songs he had done were the best he had ever done and I was like, “Eh, whatever, I haven’t heard them.” Just like I told Fred that “I’m better than ever” and Fred was like, “Whatever.” But as soon as I heard “Revolution” it lit a fire in me. I had to do this. So we moved to Andy’s hometown and locked ourselves in a room and there’s where we wrote some of the more bandy stuff, like “The Arsonists Wife”. We had worked out some of Andy’s songs. We were a band in a room. It was exciting. I think that’s gonna be the evolution of Terrible Things. Fred’s always writing songs. Fred is one of my favorite songwriters and always has been, long before I was in this band.
Andy: We had no boundaries. If I said, “Hey man, try this lick on the drums,” he’d say, “Why don’t you check out this lyric.”
Fred: Josh is one of the few drummers that will try anything.
Josh: I think that all goes back to experience on our parts. There’s no egos in a bad way. Fred, by his own admission, says he cares more about the drums then the guitars, which is funny coming from one of the best guitar players ever. That’s why this band works so well. We’ve been there and we’ve done that and there’s no egos. If Fred has an idea, I don’t just try it, I’m excited to try it. That gets me outside of my box. I’m playing things on this record that I never would have thought of and that’s just fun for me. That’s awesome. Needless to say, it makes you grow as a musician and maybe ever a little bit as a person [Laughs]. I’m just being silly.
Like you said, you locked yourself inside of Andy’s house. In your previous band’s you’ve all had expectations to come out with the record to beat everything. But because you were just able to be in a room and screw around would you say that’s how the record turned out the way it did?
Fred: It’s not that it wasn’t ever on our minds, but we were also trying to do something we had never done. Like the first thing that the tree of us talked about was Tom Petty. We had this song called “When It All Falls Apart” that actually didn’t go on the record.
Josh: Nothing to do with the song, it’s a great song.
Fred: It was so down that Tom Petty ally…
Andy: It didn’t really fit on the record.
Fred: We had another song called “The Beatles Song”.
Josh: Oh my god.
Fred: It sounded like it should’ve been on Sergeant Peppers.
Josh: I fought so hard for that song. You think if the drummers fighting for the song it must be really nasty, but it was like the best Ringo impression. Who knows, maybe something will happen with that song. That was in the time when we were locked in Andy’s house.
Fred: I feel like we needed to go there and let go and not just talk about some mosh part or dance beat and just go, “I don’t care what’s going on in the scene right now, let’s just do whatever the hell we want.” It seeped into everything.
Josh: Even just rehearsing that and playing that, it still lived in us. I never really thought of it like that, but that’s well said Fred. It was important to play that kind of stuff and not be concerned. It’s only true to a certain degree. It’s safe to say that every person wants to one up themselves and that definitely lived in me. I wanted to one up everything I had ever done, but it does have a fresh new take on it where there aren’t necessarily expectations besides with yourself to be at your absolute best and to be at your pinnacle.  I don’t know if that makes any sense.
The Mae tour ends around Thanksgiving. Will you guys be taking time off after that?
Josh: I thought it finished after Thanksgiving?
Fred: No, before.
POZ: You’ll get to eat some turkey.
Fred: We’re planning on just staying out after that on different tours.
POZ: Is a headliner a possibility?
Andy: I think we have to get some fans first [Laughs].
Josh: If we could and we thought it would be good. Our record isn’t even out yet. It comes out tomorrow.
Fred: We don’t know how that would be.
Josh: Hopefully soon, Zack. That’s what I’m hoping. That show in Philly, it’s not like we know these kids, and they’re onstage, jumping into the crowd and there were people singing and clapping along. I remember just feeling like that it’s starting to happen. Who knows. That’s a good question. I don’t think any of us know. The sooner the better. Maybe that’s why I thought that Mae tour ended after Thanksgiving, because we’re trying to stay out after a seven week tour.
Fred: We’ll go home for Thanksgiving.
Josh: I’ve missed like three Thanksgivings in my life.
Andy: I’ve only been home for one Thanksgiving in the past 13 years. I’m serious.
Josh: You know what my family does? They order like 10 pizzas the day before and it’s like a tradition. My mom puts the pizzas in the oven and she opens the oven and takes out the pizzas the next day like she made it. That’s no joke, that’s a tradition.
[Everyone Laughs]
Andy: That is awesome.
Josh: And Chinese food on Christmas. My mom does not cook basically. If it wasn’t that it’d be like Captain Crunch for Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the Eppards man. You guys are invited to our Thanksgiving party. We do do like a proper Thanksgiving, but it’s always like two weeks before, so I always miss it because very band I’ve ever been in has been on tour. I’m really happy to miss it. I’d much rather be on tour. I’ve been there the last three years. I’ve done my duty. I’ve done my time with the family and I’m ready to be on the road again.
Thanks so much for your time, is there anything you’d like to add?
Andy: Go pick up our record. We’re really excited about it.
Josh: We think you might like it.

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