So how did you guys come together as a band?
Andy: Jake and I were working on some music with a friend of ours in Dallas, Texas after our previous band had split up. While we were on the road and far from our friends and families we had a lot of time on our hands to pin point the direction we wanted our music to go. When some plans ended up falling through, we swallowed our pride and came home to Ohio. Those long days and nights practically homeless in Dallas put everything in perspective and we knew that we didn’t have anymore time to waste not devoting ourselves entirely to our dreams. Jake suggested we ask our friend and his former band mate, Colin to play guitar and after trying out a few bass players we picked up our close friend Chris on bass. After that, things just started to fall into place.
How did the name come about?
Jake: My dude Billy threw out the name a few years back in high school when I was in a metal band. We didn’t go with that name at the time, but I always kept it in the back of my mind. When Andy and I decided that we wanted to start this band naturally it made the “potential band name” list. I thought the indie rock sound with the “hard” name would make an interesting contrast. Once we started finding our sound as a band we realized the name matched the harder and softer dynamics in our music.
You don’t hear to many bands coming out from Ohio with your sound, what was the inspiration behind it?
Andy: We all grew up listening to and playing a lot of punk and metal because of strong bands from our local scene like Miss May I and The Devil Wears Prada. But as we started getting out of high school, broadening our horizons, and being more open to other styles of music our influences started to change. We started listening to anything from City and Colour to Tupac, to Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. With all of the new, more diverse music in our brains we just started writing and this is what came out.
For your new EP, can you give us a little insight in to the process of compiling the songs?
Jake: When I (Jake) was writing the lyrics for songs like Composure, According to Plan, and Overdramatic I tried to tap into a reoccurring emotion, idea, or feeling and put the listener in my shoes to try and relate. I went into writing this hoping someone else would feel the same way as me so I knew I wasn’t crazy, but hopefully it can help people get through those kinds of situations better than I did. Songs like Mama and By the Ocean are obviously stories from more specific times in my life. As far as putting the whole song together, we kept fine tuning each song until we were satisfied with all of the instrument and vocal parts.
Is there one song in particular that was more difficult to write?
Andy: Mama was probably one of the more challenging tracks both lyrically and musically. For Jake, the words are about his parents divorce growing up and is definitely an uncomfortable subject. Musically this was our most adventurous song. We were writing to create a specific space and emotion to match the serious subject and words.
So final question, what does music and your fans mean to you guys?
Music is everything. It’s what we talk about, it’s what we dream about, it’s what we think about constantly. Our fans are the only reason we can do this professionally and with direction. We’re just trying to relate.
Check out this track-by-track by the band!
1. By The Ocean – What release would be complete with out a song about a girl in California? None! That’s what “By The Ocean” talks about. A few of us have spent a decent amount of time soaking in the California sun which inevitably means we’ve had our “Cali-crush”. This is an ode to the beautiful woman of California. Most of us see ourselves spending most of our lives by the ocean, hence the name.
2. According to Plan – This song actually is a first hand experience from one of our lives. It focuses mainly on that sickening moment when you realize a relationship has come to an obvious end and has run it’s full course, but you are mortified to say anything about it for fear of losing years of hard work. And even worse, being alone after being with someone for so long. Everyone has felt this way and we decided to put this on the EP so that you could understand how we feel about this.
3. Composure – The second to last song on the EP talks about a lingering love for someone you’ve lost, and the struggle to get that person back. Specifically when both people know that they still care for the other. It also dwells on the uncertainty in your hear when you feel as though nothing can the love back together.
4. Overdramatic – “Overdramatic” is primarily about bad friends. There are a lot of people who will tell you that their shoulder is always there to cry on. That’s nice, but this song is about when those people make you feel like an idiot for confiding in them. We don’t think it’s cool to be afraid to come clean or tell the truth. The truth is most important. The song is kind of stressful sounding in the verses but has a very “4-on-the-floor” beat to the chorus.
5. Mama – We decided to end with a powerful, rock and roll ballad to Jake’s mom. “Mama” was written from Jake’s perspective dwelling on his parents divorce and how it has effected his families lives. He wanted to tell her that through all the hardship and all the struggle that it may have incurred in the past, he still loves his mother. It was meant to be a song of comfort and forgiveness. Joe really stressed that this track be included on the EP and we strongly agree! We all love playing this song and feel an individual connection to it.
For more from Violent Kind, you can buy concert tickets or purchase a CD here.
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