Creating an EP with a full band can have its challenges, but doing it with a partial band can be even harder. That didn’t stop Ella Kaye, a metalcore band hailing from Arizona. Justin Chard and his fellow guitar play were left to create music after their band had split. The Arizona music scene came together and helped Chard and Ella Kaye create something that can all be proud of. Their EP release is just a few weeks away and it will be a huge step for the band in creating a fan base and showcasing their music.
Chard took time out of his day to chat with me about the future of the band and the negative sides of social media.
Infectious Magazine: What are the similarities and differences between “Plague of Angels” and “Comas Collide”?
Justin Chard: There are very few similarities between the two EPs. “A Plague of Angels” was written before I joined the band and I came in to write the lyrics and vocals. It was technical and very heavy but the songwriting seemed a bit immature. On “Comas Collide”, due to most of our band members exiting the group for one reason or another, I enlisted seasoned musicians/song writers to help with the writing process. Matt Good (From First To Last), Tony Pizzuti (The Word Alive) and Eric Lambert (Bless The Fall) to name a few. We consciously focused on song structure and making sure that there was some sort of “hook” that the listener could identify with, while maintaining a level of technicality and heaviness.
IM: Social media and websites such as Sound Cloud are great tools for bands that are working to get their name into the industry. While many bands and groups sing praises about this useful tool, what are some of the downfalls that you’ve seen of being so connected with technology?
JC: Social media is undoubtedly a staple for success in the music industry these days. It is great for sharing your music and getting your name out there but my observation as been that the ability to buy or stream a single on demand, as opposed to needing to buy a record to hear your favorite song, has taken away from the fan/artist connection. I remember when I was a kid, I heard a KoRn song on the radio and loved the single. So I mowed lawns and did chores and saved my money to buy the cd. Then listened to it on repeat for months and read all the liner notes and delved into it because I had spent my hard earned money on it and I really felt more connected to the band after hearing their entire album so many times. I became a huge fan NEEDED to see them in concert when they came. Today, if you hear a song on the radio that you like, you can just buy the single, or stream it on youtube or soundcloud whenever you want. There is no need to purchase the full album. And when they come to town, you don’t NEED to see them because you aren’t connected, you just like that one song. On a smaller, local level its hard to get kids to go to shows or pay for your album if all they know of you is that one song that they stream for free. They don’t want to get a ride to the show, wait in line, sit through all the opening bands and all of your set just to hear the one song they like. To wrap up my little rant, I think social media is great for getting a bands name out there but I think its also the reason the music industry is circling the drain.
IM: What is your biggest goal for the band this year?
JC: Touring. We’ve been through ups and downs as a local band and I really think this EP is something special. If we can convince enough people of that then hopefully we will have the opportunity to bring our sound and our live show to people everywhere.
IM: Explain the process you have when creating an album. Do you start with lyrics then melody or the opposite?
JC: I almost always start with the lyrics and find a way to create the melody or the pacing from there, though each song was different on “Comas Collide”. Some songs I was able to place lyrics I had written previously into the song that was being written, trimming or adding syllables or lines as necessary to fit the music. On other songs, if it was not working, I’d write all new lyrics to go with the music, using the mood and feel of the song as inspiration. My producer, Matt Good, was a huge help in this. He writes music with the idea that vocal melodies will need to be added later, which made my work much easier.
IM: If you could go on tour with any band, together or not, who would it be and why?
JC: Every Time I Die. Not only are they my favorite band but they are some of the coolest, fun loving guys who have a DIY attitude and have toured more in their career than most bands around today. It would be a dream come true and I think it would be a learning experience on how to tour the right way.
IM: What can fans expect from Ella Kaye in the coming months?
JC: Music videos, lyric videos, new merch, a new website and web store, and tons of shows in and out of town in support of this new EP. This is the record I’ve always wanted to make and I think it’s a launching point for us and we are going to do some big things following its release on February 8th.
Stay up to date with Ella Kaye on their Facebook and listen to their newest single “”Suicide Blondes” with Mike Barr from Volumes here. Their EP release show will be in Scottsdale, AZ at RockBar on February 8th at 8pm. Also playing the show is DED, The Fathers, So Loud and The Hidden Yards.