|The Product: Charlie Jewell|
Hi Charlie, You guys released a new single titled "My Damage" on May 1st and you have a new E.P. titled "So Alive" coming out on June 5th. It sounds like these are exciting times for the band. Where will people be able to purchase the new EP? Is it available in hard copy too?
Brian is a great guy. We spent a lot of time talking about the state of the music business. We had a great time recording the record down in Nashville with him. It was awesome to get that outside perspective for the first time. It also helped us worry less about the overall picture and just make sure our performances were the absolute best it could be. It was an amazing experience just talking to someone who has accomplished so much in the industry.
What are some of the important lessons you learned from working with him? Were all of you really involved in the production of the EP?
BJ and I run our own studio here in Michigan called Wall Of Sound, so we record and produce bands as well. It was nice to see how a heavy hitter in the music industry did things. And as far as the production value goes, BJ and I were pretty involved in it. A good chunk of the “production” aspects to our songs were already in place before we ever got to Nashville.
How long did it take to record from start to finish?
We were in Brian's studio for about two weeks and had the added benefit of being able to track some of the extra stuff at home and send it to Brian. So all in all, there was probably a solid month of tracking.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has not heard you before?
I would describe our sound as melodic energy with a side of heavy. We've heard that our new single “My Damage” sounds like a good mix between Chevelle and Breaking Benjamin.
As far as songwriting goes, did you collaborate with anyone outside of the band? If so, which songs did they work on with you?
We had the opportunity to bring in Mark Holman (has written for many national bands including Shinedown, Halestorm, and Cavo) and Jasen Rauch (former guitarist for the band RED.) They worked with us on 3 songs, our single “My Damage”, “Light It Up” and “Memory.” That was an awesome experience as well to even be in the room with these guys, but hitting the pavement and working on melodies and tweaking riffs was an honor.
What do you guys tend to write about in your songs? Do you prefer writing about the good times or the bad?
Over the years, we've noticed that we tend to write about negative things with a positive twist. There's also usually the element of someone overcoming an obstacle in life.
What is your contribution to the songwriting process? Do you just write guitar riffs or do you help with other aspects?
How we write is as follows: BJ or I will bring an entire song idea to the table (recorded and fully arranged). Everybody will listen a few times and make notes if we think it's worth working on, and the writer will take the notes, make the improvements and spend more time with it until the band is in agreement that it's ready to record.
How many songs are on the EP?
There are six songs on the EP.
Which song has the most meaning to you personally?
“Ever After You” means the most to me personally, it's about trying to find love after having to part ways with the one that you thought was going to be the one. I think most everyone can relate to that.
What inspired the single “My Damage”?
“My Damage” is that someone or that something you can't live without, but also affects you in a very negative way. It’s the emotions, thoughts, all balled into the fact that no matter how much you know this is wrong, you shouldn’t do it, it’s only hurting you, and you keep coming back for more.
Is it getting radio play as of yet? What are the plans as far as that is concerned?
Yes, it's getting quite a bit of airplay when you consider we are an unsigned band. We've been fortunate enough to have two awesome rock radio stations in our own backyard that support us. 89X in Detroit and Banana 101.5 in Flint, MI. The Banana has this thing called the “cockfight” where they pin two songs against each other and have the people vote to decide what’s best. They would do this every night and the winner gets played the next night against another band. After winning ten of those, they retired us and we started reaching out to stations across the country that have shows similar to the “cockfight.” We've been in about 20-25 of these contests, and won them all. The states we've received radio play include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and all the way down in Texas! The plan is to keep going after these battles because we have some AWESOME dedicated fans that will vote for us. We've beaten Linkin Park, Evanescence, Hurt, Rains, Five Finger Death Punch, The Hives, Rush and a host of other bands, so we're feeling pretty good about our radio situation being an unsigned band.
Do you plan on making a video for the song? Will it be a performance video or will it have a storyline?
We will be shooting a video May 31st for “My Damage” with David Jelinek based out of Detroit. It will mostly be performance based and we are really excited to work with him.
The cover of the EP is really interesting. Tell me what it signifies.
The lady on the cover is on the edge of a tall building. She's contemplating life and whether or not she wants to continue living it. It's supposed to signify the struggle that we all go through at one point or another in our lives.
This is actually your second release, you released an EP prior to this one. Will you guys be working on a full length?
We are unsure whether our next release will be a full length or not. However, we've already written a few solid songs and hopefully by 2013 we are well on our way to another release.
What are your plans as far as touring for this release? Are you going to play any summer festivals?
We are going to be touring the Midwest very heavily with plans to expand out west and the east coast. We absolutely love touring and can’t wait to play everywhere. The festival we are most looking forward to is River Roar which is in Bay City, Michigan. We’ll be playing with our buddies Pop Evil and Finding Clyde. Last year there were around 8,000 people. We can’t wait!
Thanks so much for the interview. Was there anything you’d like to add or say?
Thank you so much Shauna for taking the time to interview us. Rock 'n Roll everyone!
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