How would you classify your new music on your just released ‘The Emergency EP’?
- The first couple of tracks ‘Brace Yourself’ and “A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Called LA’ are Post Hardcore/Pop Punk, then rest evolve to more Rock/Active Rock…. What I call Fresh Core, haha.
Who are your top 5 musical influences?
Early on it was country music like Garth Brooks and Vince Gill. Then it was Grunge, I was and am still really into The Smashing Pumpkins and Sound Garden. After that was my intro to Punk
NOFX and Strung Out, Lagwagon and No Use For A Name. I’ve always drawn influence by great story telling, and powerful energy.
Can you tell us about the origins of your new single ‘Is This The Real World’ and tell us a bit more about the EP?
-The song (and most of the EP) were originally on a mixtape of demos that our drummer and mixer (Jon Espy) and our lead guitarist (Josh Burke) were working on outside of Red Jumpsuit. I heard an early version backstage one night in Australia and I liked it, but the arrangement needed work. I waited over a year before mentioning it to them. They finally forked over the music and I produced a Red Jumpsuit Apparatus type structure and boom — ‘Is This The Real World’ was born. This was the first time for all of us trying a song together in this manner so I’m pretty happy with the outcome.
You written a LOT of songs over the years, and you recently passed a major career milestone with 1.3 Billion verified plays of your music on streaming platforms. Why do you think your songs resonate with so many people, and what’s your songwriting formula?
I think the music resonates with people because we’ve always tried to be honest and true to ourselves. From the beginning we’ve been a band that has tried to encourage to do the right thing. I think that’s what resonated with so many people. The songs on this new EP are as real and brutally honest as anything we’ve ever done. I pour my heart out, and hope it connects with fans. My formula is to start songs on an acoustic guitar. With the newer songs that can be hard to figure out with Josh’s riffs sometimes — but I find my way. Sometimes I track the whole song acoustic and then add the band and delete the acoustic guide. Seems to work for me I guess. It starts simply and raw, and we build it from there.
When did you know you were destined to make music as a career?
My brother Randy (Rhythm Guitar/Screams/Backing Vocals) and I have been composing now for over two decades. We knew when we were young and in our early teens. We made a conscious decision to pursue music and stuck to it, no matter what.
What is the best concert you have ever been to? What do you like most about playing live?
I saw Thirty Seconds To Mars every night for 3 weeks straight when we opened for them in 2006 and I was blown away every time. It was the height of their single “The Kill” and they were more on point than almost any band I had seen live… So It stayed with me this whole time. My favorite thing about playing live is searching the crowds faces for the ones like me singing it full out, with all of their heart. That’s the greatest feeling in the world.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
People draw their own conclusions and we’ve always known that. People take different things away — because everyone is different. We just be as honest and real as we can be. At the end of the day the best that I can hope for is that they have fun and enjoy the listen.
How have you evolved as an artist over the last year — especially given the Covid19 quarantine? Has it shaped the songs you’re currently writing?
I don’t feel much different artistically because most of the week I’m changing diapers for my 3 year old before I even start singing, LOL. We were fortunate enough to get most of the EP written and recorded while touring in late 2019, before Covid-19 shut everything down. We actually did one song on the EP called ‘Please, Unfriend Me’ that we wrote and recorded from different locations while in quarantine this spring. It was a unique and ultimately fun experience to do everything via technology and not all be together in one studio putting it together. We were socially distanced for that entre process — which we’ve never done before. We adapted to the circumstances and made it happen!
If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have coffee with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I can definitively say that would be Keanu Reeves. K Dog, if you are somehow reading this I am dead serious — let’s jam!
You have a large Social Media following, and you are very active in engaging with your fans. Has playing live on platforms like Facebook been cathartic for you during the current lockdown, and how have your live performances on Social Media been received of late? Do you think you will be able to get back to touring in 2021, or do you think it will take longer?
At first it was really strange playing live on Social Media, because it was so sudden for me…. To not be able to go out and tour. I was not a heavy Live streamer pre Covid-19 because we were always playing live on the road. 17 years of touring straight, no break up or hiatus. So, once I got the feel for it I stared having fun instead of wondering wether or not I was doing it right (compared to artists who were far more experienced with OBS, etc.) As for touring in 2021, I honestly have no idea. Everyone is guessing but so far there is no clear path to follow. I presume we will — but at this point I just want to survive 2020.
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End of Interview