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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Drew Hatcher (vocals) - We all came to it in different but similar ways. My brother and I (drummer and singer respectively) listened to a lot of classic rock and alternative growing up. As teens, we picked up instruments and started playing Weezer and Say Anything covers in our basement whenever our parents weren’t home. We all have regular jobs, so we would probably just be playing a lot more video games if not for the band.
James Pier (guitar) - I moved to a new town for high school, had access to old guitars owned by my uncle, needed something to do for the summer, and wanted attention from girls. If not for music I'd probably be playing ultra competitive Stardew Valley against other mega nerds right now.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music, and how does that influence your creativity?
DH - I enjoy reading. I think reading is very important for any type of writer. It keeps the mind sharp and the vocabulary diverse. I don’t like to use the same words over and over.
JP - I make my own guitar pedals from premade circuit boards and obsess over guitars and amps. It's really nice to have something stimulating to do to give me a break from playing and really stir up my creativity. I've come up with several riffs spontaneously while working on other things, where I just stop what I'm doing and am like "that's it!", then grab the guitar and work it out. Wild how that works.
How long has your band been around?
DH - We have only been active for a year, and we have only existed in our current form for 6 months or so. We have been slowly collecting members along the way, but I think we’re gonna stop at 5.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
DH - We are from Chicago. We love our city, and I’m sure that it’s influenced our music in more ways than we can know. But we aren’t writing songs about eating deep dish pizza and riding the L train. I think it can make the music inaccessible to people from other places when you’re dropping too many regional references.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
DH - We debated seemingly forever on what to name the band. This is the first option we could all agree on. We are all a bit introverted and value our time alone with our games, books, tools, guitars, etc. We don’t have a collective case of agoraphobia. I can go outside anytime I want.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
DH - They are the same show because we have only played one as a group - a livestream concert we did a couple days ago in collaboration with The Bunker on Youtube. We made a surprisingly minor amount of mistakes during the set and had a blast playing. It was my first time performing original songs in front of an “audience,” but not having the audience in the same room definitely took a lot of the pressure off.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Dave Koslovsky (bass and vocals) - We haven’t had the opportunity to play out yet due to COVID, but from previous bands I really enjoyed playing Beat Kitchen here in Chicago. Burlington Bar is also a fun joint to do shows at.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
DH - I want to go on a world tour with Ween and Incubus. There are so many other fantastic bands that I would be honored to play with, but for some reason those two popped up first. The other guys will probably not agree with me on this.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
DH - Don’t be afraid to suck, and have fun. Write music you like. You can’t expect anyone else to like it if you don’t.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
DH - “Keep doing what you’re doing.” All of our experiences and failures led us to this point, and we couldn’t be happier with our current situation. So I wouldn’t do anything different.
DK - RELAX dude and let go of that ego! I used to get very worked up (sometimes still do hah) about shows and everything being perfect or an exact version of what I am hearing. Definitely learned to let go of that and enjoy the collaboration. Music is way more enjoyable that way.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
DH - To me, “Get Through” is the most personal and meaningful song I’ve written. I wrote it when I was dealing with the death of a friend, and it’s just an attempt to sort out those feelings. Anyone can bring a song to the group - our bass player Dave has written a lot of our songs too, so I’m sure he would give you a different answer.
DK - of the songs we’ve released so far I’d say “Rise Above” means the most to me. I’ve had that song for awhile now, and it was amazing to finally get that recorded. Had a lot of fun building the various layers as well. Most of the vocal ideas came after we did the initial recording so it was exciting putting them all together.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
DH - We have a few unreleased projects we are working on, and those are probably our favorite songs to play. Most of the songs on our first EP were written before the band even started, and our more recent work is way more collaborative. We have started finding our sound as a band a bit more, rather than just being players on a song that one of us wrote. Of the songs on the EP, “Perspectives” is my favorite to sing.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
DH - Someone will come in with a riff, and then we will build on top of that and polish it until we have a song. I just sing nonsense while I work out the melodies, and then I sit down with our bassist to work up lyrics once we know how many syllables we need for each line. Most of the songs on our first release are autobiographical in nature, but they deal with experiences that most people go through.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
DK - I don’t know if there is a specific message we’re trying to get across. I would view our songs more as telling the story of our experience as city dwelling millennials (and one Gen-Z’r ? Levi). We feel like there are a lot of folks around our age that are having a very similar experience or feeling and we’re just trying to tell that story a bit more.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
DH - Whenever we disagree on an issue, someone usually poses the question “Does anyone feel strongly one way or another?” If someone DOES feel strongly, then they usually make the call. If no one cares that much, we just vote on it. Very handy to have five people in the group for this method. We have yet to have two people disagree AND feel strongly about something. That will be the day the band implodes.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
DH - We are just going after every opportunity that comes our way. We have more releases planned for the near future and are excited to start playing shows once we get that herd immunity going. We are also going back in to record some more tracks soon. For now, I would definitely encourage anyone reading to check out our first EP, Cleaning House Pt. 1. Also check out our live recording from the Bunker on YouTube.