Interview: In The A.M.
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Alex: Music has always been somewhat of a coping mechanism for me. Yes, I’m a songwriter and it helps me deal with a lot of trauma to write, but I’m also a music consumer. I listen to so much music and it is really my therapy. I’ve always been drawn to grungy guitars, and that rebellious sound of rock n’ roll. If I didn’t have music in my life, I’m not sure what I’d be up to or if I’d even be alive. My life seems pretty pointless without music. I’m sure I’d find something to do.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Alex: When I’m not playing music, I watch movies. I’m a television consumer for sure. I love a well-produced film or tv show. It is an art just the same as music. Not everyone has the ability to direct camera angles, and adjust lighting correctly, and I respect the grind to reach that level of perfection, because I do the same with music and visuals.
How long has your band been around?
Alex: This band has been around for about 2 years now. I’ve led other music projects in the past, but this one was created with a specific intent to grow and make a mark professionally in the music industry.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Alex: I’m based out of Indianapolis. I’ve had to be in a city to have access to the right recording engineers over the last couple of years. But I grew up in a small town and I really miss that life. I’m pretty sick of the hustle and bustle of the city. The small town influences me much more than the city ever could.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
Alex: I was looking for a name that was marketable when I came up with In The A.M. But I also wanted it to be something that had a more personal meaning behind it. I also thought it would be sick if the name was a phrase that people say a lot on a conversational basis. So In The A.M. came up in my mind. People definitely say it a lot, and it includes my first and middle initial (A.M.). So I went with it.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Alex: When I think of my favorite show, I think of the time I opened for Framing Hanley in high school. They are an all-time favorite of mine, so it was a cool experience at 15 years old. But also, the crowd was big, the theater sounded great, and the energy was invigorating. It was the show that made me decide, “I want to do this forever”.
The worst shows I’ve ever played were probably the shows that were booked by a local booking agent here in Indy. We payed for the service and the booking agent just kind of threw us on anything he could find, and the crowds were small, the opening bands on the bills were complete garbage, and we didn’t make much to play. It was barely enough to cover costs.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Alex: My favorite venue ever is probably the Ohio Theater in Lima, OH. It isn’t a venue anymore, but it was a sick place to play a show. The room acoustics are incredible and the sound system was always on point. I miss that place. And Ohio really has always had a great local music scene.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Alex: Oh damn. I’d have to go with this: It would be an all day festival style show. My band would open, Motionless in White, Beartooth, I Prevail, Staind, Breaking Benjamin, Of Mice and Men, Sleeping With Sirens, Falling In Reverse, Bring Me The Horizon, Alter Bridge, and Foo Fighters.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Alex: Buckle up, Buttercup. This is a hard business. There are a lot of moving parts and revenue streams to learn about. It takes tenacity and motivation and you’re going to have to be willing to go through tough times to make it work. It f***ing sucks some days, but you’ve just gotta fight through it. There are a lot of snakes in the grass, so get out your lawnmower.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Alex: Focus. And when you think you’ve focused enough, focus some more. Don’t get distracted by women, or money that will never mean anything to you when you look back later in life.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Alex: My song “What Have I Become” probably means the most to me. It’s a new track on this EP that I’m releasing through 2021. It’s about life struggles and people, and how whether you want them to or not, those things and people change you as a person and it’s not always for the better.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Alex: My favorite song to play? I love them all. Quit yelling “Free Bird” at shows though. We’re all sick of that shit.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Alex: The creative process for me as a writer usually starts with the instrumentation. I will develop a riff, or beat and start to formulate words and vocal melodies with it. People inspire my music…People suck.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Alex: You’re not alone. That is the most important thing I want to emphasize. This is a f***ed up world, and it’s easy to let it get to you. It’s hard to trust, and I think a lot of people feel alone. So my goal is to help those people. Even if it’s just for three minutes at a time.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Alex: Hell yes. I have had disagreements with temporary members and their want to “run” the band, or write more on the songs, I have disagreements over the financial side of the music, there’s been a disagreement for just about everything. But I know what I’m after, and those people don’t have the tenacity that I do. So at the end of the day, f**k them.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Alex: The future is bright. I plan on being relentless with new releases and eventually touring when the world comes back from the shithole it’s become in 2020. The new music is great. I’ve put a lot of time into it and I think it’s going to grow massively. I can’t wait to see everyone at shows and get out and play these new songs!
The new EP will be released through 2021 in singles. So keep your eye out, cause this time around it’s different.
Also, thank you for the opportunity to interview with Volatile Weekly. It means the world to me and I appreciate the opportunity. Stay true to you. -Alex