|Day Above Ground|
Shauna: We are here at TRIP in Santa Monica, California for your CD release party. How does it feel to be putting out a new record?
Joe: It feels fantastic, it has been a long time coming, but it's basically right on time. It feels good to finally put it out.
Drew: Ridiculous! Just knowing that all our friends and family are here to party with us, means so much! One of the best feelings in the world!
You had put out an EP prior to this one.
Joe: Yeah we did, we released something earlier this year. It was a quick release and something that we were happy to do. To follow up with this LP feels amazing. But there are still a few songs on the EP that are very definitive regarding the band in its early stages.. Creepin', Dream, & Far were our first songs, and I still love 'em.
How long were you writing this record?
Drew: It's been a couple years that we have been writing it collectively, but the thing is, a couple of them on the record came out within a month or two before we went into the studio. So, there are a few old songs that are revamped, as well as some brand new ones.
Joe: Also, a lot of the songs had been structured musically before I came in, so like Drew said, we had to revamp a few things to bring new elements into the work. And since we've had the current and final line up together, songs have been flowing effortlessly; it's a relief, that doesn't always happen.
How long have you guys known each other?
Drew: I just met this guy last week. Hahaha!
Joe: It's kind of a complicated story, but long story short, Mike was my neighbor at our lockout in Vernon, LA's lovely City of Industry. I was in another band next door to him. He asked me to join the band after they fired the other singer. At the time, I was living in my rehearsal space, so I was able to make the time to put a lot into Mike's proposition. So I went ahead, took the instrumentals (actually the EP songs I mentioned before), and spent some late nights putting them together. We eventually jammed them together and they asked me to join.
Drew: We had to go through a few drummers to get to Steve. Just to touch a little deeper about that, I've known Mike the longest. My business partner and I own a tattoo shop together. He was tattooing him years ago and we would talk music every time he came into the shop. Eventually he threw out his CD and said "Hey dude, check out my stuff." I was like "Wow! This is exactly what I was looking for." I hooked up with him, and that's about the time we met Marcello, who we call "Marsh". I met Marsh at the studio where we were actually recording our EP tracks. Steve, our drummer and I go way back.. because we're cousins, haha. We went to high school and were on the same basketball team together. We were also in a band together before, but it didn't work out, obviously. We brought him in for this project and it has been great ever since. We went through a lot of drummers before I asked him on, cause man, it fuckin' sucks finding the right drummer.. but when you do you know.
The record is titled High View. I was looking at the CD cover and it is a picture taken from somewhere high up. What is that a picture of and what is the story there?
Joe: It is a picture of what I believe to be the 110 and 105 Freeway exchange in LA. It's a birds-eye view and it's also one of those old, fish-eye photos. "High View" was a track that we had recently written and thought that title to be a strong choice for the album. We came across the photo hanging on a wall in an old restaurant on the PCH. We asked the manager if we could use it for a project and he said, sure, he also told us it's one of the first real photographs taken after the main freeway interchanges were built in LA.
Drew: Yea "High View" is about the journey of the soul, you know, getting outside of your body. The highest view is that in which you take a trip outside your body. To see the world from a different, higher perspective, outside your physical boundary. That's the "High View".
Joe: I don't have anything against the personal freedom of experimenting with drugs. It has lead to some of the most life-enhancing music of all time. So "High View" means to do what ever it takes, drugs or not, to reach that level of ascension, to see from a higher place in your mind.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
Joe: We can't hide from the fact that it's rap/rock, but it's not Linkin Park. It's closer to Perfect Circle meets Deftones meets something you never heard. I add a lot of early 90's and I love classic rock as well. There is also some heavy, melodic stuff that lends itself to Tool, and to me, they're like the modern day Pink Floyd, and I am a huge Floyd fan. But Steve is a hardcore drummer, he is in a hard core metal band, so he plays heavy and hard.
Drew: Yea, It's pretty much a Molotov cocktail of rock, rap, and groove! Being that our influences are all over the board lends to a great mix of music. There is a definitely something for everyone in our album.
There are two vocalists in the band. Do both of you write lyrics? What are the topics that inspire your lyrics?
Joe: We both write our own lyrics. We help each other out with our parts, because ultimately, the songs power is most important. It's definitely a trade-off. Drew writes a lot of the verses, but there are definitely songs where it changes and I have verses, and then songs where we intertwine. As far as the concepts, it can come from anywhere. He might come up with something and I'll run with it, or vice versa. It's definitely collaborative between the two of us.
Drew: As he was saying, we both do it together. But also, if I am writing something, Mike will be like "Oh, well why don't you incorporate this?" Even though it might be off the wall because that is Mike we consider it. Everybody kind of has a say for the most part. The process is much better this way! I love working with my boys and bouncing ideas off each other. The process is not always a smooth, but it's damn fun!
Mike: Money so tall, the hoes just fall...
Are there any guest spots on the record?
Drew: The only song where we had a guest spot was "Asian Girlz." The guitar acoustic solo was our buddy Joe Fick. He is a tremendous guitar player. We had a good friend named Carlos Perez doing percussion. Darian Cowgill recorded and engineered the record, and he did the rhythm track on that song. Everything else was DAG.
Who produced the record?
Joe: I'd like to think that there wasn't a whole lot of production because these songs were solid from just us writing them. The credit on the CD says that it was produced by Darian Cowgill and Eddie Ponce, but it was mainly self-produced by us from the start. So, as a band, we also credited ourselves as producers.
You say that all of you come from different musical angles. How does that work out when it comes to the writing process? Do you ever find that you cannot agree on a direction the album is going?
Mike: We all have different musical backgrounds, but still, everybody is really passionate about what we do.
Drew: We definitely have a wide range of influences. We are a very diverse band, but that is what makes us Day Above Ground.
Joe: We have had plenty of differences. Mainly, I am the one who doesn't want to go the way of the "write to the audience" route. Because the audience doesn't want what you think they do. I'm here to make sure minds are being blown with every step we take. And that means writing from the fucking heart!
Do you find that you attract fans of all different genres?
Joe: I think our specific market of fans is anyone who is willing to open themselves to great music. I think we reach people old and young and from all different realms of musical taste. There have been no boundaries as far as the positive feedback that we get. People are just loving the album, to my girlfriends 82 year-old gardener, to Mikes 16 year old cousin and his friends.
Where is your music available to purchase?
Drew: Worldwide, son, hahaha!!
Joe: On iTunes, all over the world, so Drew's right! We are basically set up on the biggest digital music sales sites out there, so you should have no trouble finding us!
I take it you are a do it yourself band. Are you looking for a label?
Joe: We want to keep doing it ourselves, but of course we would like to get a management deal first and then take it from there. But you never where the train is going to take you once it starts rolling. Doing it yourself is really hard! It's hard keeping it all together on top of being creative with other creative minds and talents. Having a band is like having four ugly girlfriends with penises that refuse to blow you, haha.
Drew: We would love to just focus on our music and not have to worry about what we need to do. It's just frustrating sometimes, so yes, we would love to be signed to a great deal with a great label. Of course we wanna be livin' the rock'n roll life on a major label, but first we gotta keep puttin' that work in!
Who are some of the bands that you feel you would be a great match for on tour or to play shows with?
Drew: Well, Linkin Park is of course the first band that pops in my head, but we could fit with many different line-ups, I would love to play with Deftones.
Joe: I think bands that are coming up as well, but they would have to have a unique sound and style that's not to far off from what we are doing. Is there anybody out there...??
What are the plans as far as touring goes in support of the new record?
Drew: It has to make sense, as far as doing a tour, it wouldn't really make sense to go out and play everywhere and spend a bunch of money for no reason. It would be great to be set up to where we can open for Incubus or someone like that. That would be ideal.
Joe: We want tour but not before we establish some key elements of support, but touring is the goal!
Thank you so much for the interview. I look forward to watching you play tonight. Is there anything you'd like to add or say?
Joe: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us. Please check us out online: You Tube, Facebook, etc.. (don't forget the "like"!!) and please check out the music. Our website is www.dayaboveground.com. We are sure you like it, and hope you will love it!
Drew: Thank you so much Shauna for comin' out tonight for the interview, and for those who are reading this, don't sleep on Day Above Ground, it might be the best thing you never heard!! Peace !
The Band Is:
Joe Anselm-Lead Vocals
Drew Drumm-Rap Vocals