Hiya folks! Thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Rob – I’ve always been a creator. I’m also an artist so make visual and audio. Art is such an important part of who I am.
Mike – Full disclosure, the main reason I decided that I wanted to be a musician was because of my brother, Adam (ITL’s singer!). Back in our teen years, he was already leaps and bounds ahead of other musicians I knew, and damned if I wasn’t the least bit jealous. His passion for music was no secret. It was plastered on his forehead and I admired that. I knew I needed to see if I could give it a shake. And here we are!
Jay- Looked cool.
Adam – Wow, Mike’s response kind of blew me away since I have a very similar answer about him, and I always joke that Mike got all of the musical talent in the family even though we’re technically step-brothers). I think the other reason for me was that I wasn’t the best communicator, particularly when I was younger, and music is obviously very expressive. I’m also with Jay too – it looked cool.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.
Rob (Guitar) – I’ve been playing music since the 90’s and been in a few touring bands. Most recently a band called Achilles.
Mike (Drums) – Similar to most of us here, I’ve been in a handful of bands since the 90’s. Unlike the others, I actively contributed to the Nu-Metal era with my first band. Depending on how you feel about that genre, “I’m sorry…” or “You’re welcome!!”. These days, I am drumming for two bands: Into the Light and The Silence Broken.
Jay (Bass) – I’ve been playing and touring for a long time. Hope to stop soon.
Adam (Vocals/Guitar) – I’ve played in too many bands, and in a ton of genres mostly spinning off from the punk/indie rock umbrella, in particular, hardcore punk. Jay and Rob have played in a bunch of hardcore bands as well. However, whereas Rob has played in, and gravitates towards, more technically proficient musical hardcore bands, and I still love Chain of Strength.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
Rob – Rush – Moving Pictures, Kiss – Destroyer and Mastodon – Emperor of Sand
Mike – Dredg – El Cielo, Deftones – Around the Fur and Alice in Chains – Dirt
Jay – Nick Cave – Push the Sky Away, The Cure – Disintegration, Autolux – Future Perfect
Adam – Swervedriver “Mezcal Head”, Quicksand “Slip”, and Teenage Fanclub “Bandwagonesque” (this changes daily for me)
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Rob – In the late 80s, I saw “One” by Metallica on MTV and it changed my life. From then on, I wanted to learn all there was to know about music.
Mike – There were a lot of songs that made me envious of the experience of being a musician, but the first I can remember thinking that this was something I had to actively pursue was the first time I listened to the song “It’s What You Do With It” by Pennywise. Such intensity and speed on that drum kit!
Jay – Smashing Pumpkins – “Today”
Adam – When I was really little in the 80’s, it was various songs from Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen through my parents and watching MTV. In the early 90’s when I started to listen to music more on my own it was Nirvana “smells like teen spirit”
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in. How do you feel you are doing?
Rob – Most of us have been touring in bands for years and doing the music industry thing, so I think we’re doing a decent job navigating it.
Mike – We’re a very new band, so it’s hard to gauge our progress just yet, but from the small number of previews of the material we’ve shown to people, they really seem to dig it! As for the difficulty of putting ourselves out there in this industry:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott
Jay- Real bad. I’m still broke.
Adam – I’m a stranger in a strange land.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
Adam – I don’t think we’re the right people to answer this question since we’re all cisgender males in the band. To other men, it’s pretty standard advice, but we just need to step back, listen, not be defensive, admit our own mistakes, and confront each other when our peers’ behavior is unacceptable.
Mike – I couldn’t have said it better myself, Adam!
Rob – 100% agreed!
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials, in what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Mike – I’ve only recently started heading up social media management for the band, but I think the key is to keep things fresh and visually captivating. To draw interest, include a little snack of what your upcoming song/album will sound like, but don’t spoil too much. Save that big moment in your track for their first listen. They’ll love you even more for it!
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
Rob – I’ve met Kiss. I’ve met Eminem. I’ve met Beyoncé.
Mike – I’m allergic to bees, I have a son named Gavin, and the first time I tasted squid (calamari) was in science class.
Adam – I’ve spent the night in Kevin Bacon’s house, I own Leprechaun 2 on DVD, and I’m friends with Kevin Shields
What are your thoughts on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
Mike – This is a tricky one… I’ve been a user of Spotify for over a decade and it has helped me promote my projects and learn about hundreds of new bands I may have not learned about otherwise. On the other, the Spotify stranglehold is absolutely a thing that every musician has had to (or will) deal with in their career at some point. The optimist in me hopes that Spotify comes to their senses and revamps their business model to fairly compensate artists for their hard work. Until then, buy merch directly from the bands to keep their dreams alive!!
Adam – I’d love to see these platforms evolve to one day enable musicians to support themselves through their art.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Rob – Just tons of recording equipment and guitar pedals. I need all of it. *Wink*
Mike – An overabundance of video games that I ended up playing half of before I started the next.
Adam – I bought like 7 used amps, but I need them all.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Rob – Having the singer of my past band step on my pedals.
Mike – There was this venue that I played in with my other band (The Silence Broken) a few years ago, where the drum riser was unusually small, so I was super cramped up there. While trying to re-adjust my drum throne, one of the legs slipped off the edge and I tumbled backwards. Luckily it wasn’t mid-song (Whew!).
Adam – One time when I was a 15- or 16-year-old confused rocker I played a show shirtless.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Rob – I think people would be surprised that I co-host a Disney World podcast. I’m a little obsessed with the place. The podcast is called the Dis-List.
Mike – I’ve got a few webbed toes! Not sure if it ACTUALLY helps at all with the drumming, but I like to think it does.
Adam – I still don’t understand what pickle ball is, or how it works.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
Rob – I think songwriting. Quality songs and catchy hooks and melodies are the secret to good rock songs.
Mike – Think I’ll have to echo Rob’s statement again on this one. We all have one or two similar influences between us, but beyond that, we tend to listen to some wildly different music. I think this is what makes us so capable of writing fresh sounding material whenever we start a new song. Our individual perspectives, when added up, amount to some cool sounding stuff!
Jay – We rip pretty hard.
Adam – We’ve got Mike Barnes on the drums, and our bass player has a beard.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
Rob – This song took a full year to write. Good art takes time.
Mike – Manuscript will be our 1st official single for Into the Light, with our 2nd one releasing a couple of weeks after. Each is vastly different from the other, but this was intentional, as we wanted to paint a broad picture of what we have in the chamber
Jay – It rips pretty hard.
Adam – Mike and I are brothers, and this is the first time we’ve recorded music in 23 years. Suffice to say, I think this single is way better than the last thing we recorded together.
STREAM // DOWNLOAD HERE