You guys recently release your new Ep "Pedestals," can you briefly describe the writing and recording approach that you took for this record?Derby: ‘Pedestals’ was our first real opportunity to sit down together with the purpose of writing an album, and our first time working with a producer. We wrote all of the music and most of the lyrics at home; our practice space at the time was Ben’s parent’s basement - unfortunately we are too broke to rent out a practice space elsewhere. The rest of the lyrics were finished up in the studio. Our producer Greg Altman hooked us up with some old colleagues - Nik Tyler and Josh Unruh - who put us up in the studio built in the basement of Nik's giant home inBaltimore, MD. We are very happy with the way the record turned out.
How would you say it most differed from your previous release "Stand Tall"? What did this album specifically bring to the table, that the previous record did not?
Derby: In comparison to ‘Stand Tall', 'Pedestals' is definitely of much higher production value, the songs are more emotional, personal and heartfelt, and the music is catchier and more in-your-face. It's definitely a more solid representation of us as a band, and the direction we intend to take with our music from this point forward.
I was specifically a big fan of "Sycamore," can you tell me the inspiration behind this song? How did it specifically come together?
Kotin: Sycamore is about my life before I was in this band. There was just a lot of pressure to go to school and take a path that I was not really interested in. After I joined Such Gold it just seemed to make sense that this is what I’ve always wanted to do and I’m so much happier as a result. “Sycamore” is also about the people who were a major part of my life then, i.e. parents, friends, girlfriend and how I’ve always trusted those people but they don’t always know whats right for my life. -Ben
How did you guys come about getting Kenneth Vasoli (Person L / the Starting Line) and Karl Buechner (Earth Crisis) involved with the record?
Kenny worked with our manager R.J. on a Person L release through R.J.'s label Academy Fight Song, and 'Pedestals' producer Greg Altman is an old friend of Kenny's as well…so the word about us was spread to Kenny through a couple sources. When we got word that Kenny was really into us we decided to ask him to sing on the record. As for Karl Buechner - our bass player Devon's brother Scott is a founding member of Earth Crisis so for him it was as easy as asking an old friend.
How did you guys decide to release the album digitally, before the physical release?
Derby: Well when a rough copy of the record was leaked a couple weeks before the official announcements were supposed to go out we really had no choice but to make the official release available to kids as a form of damage control. The digital release helped keep the spread of the rough leak relatively contained.
What specifically attracted you guys to 6131 Records/Mightier Than Sword Records? How did it come about?
Derby: MTS was the first record label that contacted us - when we put up our 3 song demo on Myspace in March 2009, MTS contacted us a week later expressing interest in putting out an EP, which became 'Stand Tall'. R.J. who runs the label is a close, personal friend and team member of ours, and is now our manager as well. As for 6131 - we also hooked up with them via Myspace…label owner Joey Cahill contacted us about doing another EP, which became 'Pedestals'. We definitely consider ourselves a hardcore band so we wanted to stick with a label closely involved with the genre and felt 6131 was a good fit. Joey has done a lot of good for this band and we are extremely happy with the choice we made in working with 6131 on the release of 'Pedestals'.
Were there any specific bands/artists that you guys were listening to specifically during the making of this record, that may have influenced the sound of the record/specific songs?
Derby: Definitely the newest Propagandhi record, Strike Anywhere, Third Eye Blind, Bigwig, The Progress, Boys Night Out.
Who are some of the bands biggest influences, both past and present?
Derby: Oh boy - tons of bands…The Movielife, Marathon, Lifetime, At The Drive In, NoFX, Propagandhi, Boys Night Out, A Wilhelm Scream, Hot Water Music, Fall Out Boy, Saves the Day, Kid Dynamite, Green Day, Snapcase, Northstar, This Is Hell, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, The Progress, Shai Hulud, Gatsby's American Dream, Ambitions, Transit, Paint It Black, Polar Bear Club, Damiera, Fire When Ready, AFI, Crime In Stereo, Attack In Black…the list goes on.
What about bands/artists that you look up to as far as live performance goes?
Derby: For live performance, we look up to bands that have a lot of energy on stage. As well as a solid and tight stage sound and performance, and also meaningful commentary and interaction with the crowd.
How do you guys feel about file-sharing?
Derby: File-sharing is a double-edged sword. It has gotten us exposed to an extremely wide audience in a very short amount of time, but has done little to fix our financial woes. All-in-all what counts is that we get our music out to as many people as possible, regardless of how they acquire it.
How important is social networking to artists like you guys?
Derby: Unbelievably important. Social networking has completely changed the way we connect with our fanbase, and the bands, people and companies we associate with, as well as the way we do business. Twitter and Facebook are so essential for us to spread information to those that follow us, and to connect with people in a heartbeat. When you break down all the ways that we use social networking sites, it is insane how important they have become to us.
Perfect day, driving in the car with the windows down, what are you guys listening to?
Derby: Saves the Day - Through Being Cool, Hot Water Music - A Flight and A Crash, The Progress - Merit, New Found Glory - Sticks and Stones, The Anniversary - Designing a Nervous Breakdown, Product of Waste - You Won’t Take Me Alive, Dangers - Anger, Propagandhi - Supporting Caste
What do you guys have coming up next? Touring? Full-length in the works?
We're currently on tour on our way down to the Fest 9 in Gainesville, and on the way back we'll be touring with Into It Over It and Koji. in late Nov/early Dec we tour with A Loss For Words and Lions Lions, and we are doing 5 Northeast dates with Hit the Lights in December, before Christmas. January has us touring out to California where we'll fly out to do dates in Australia with a TBA headliner into February, with more US dates to follow that. In the Spring - possibly UK/EU and another US tour. We'll more than likely have a full-length out by Fall 2010, with a couple of TBA splits in between now and then.