Interview With Marcus Simonini of Another One Down!
Hello, how are you doing today?
Marcus: Doing well!
Would you say that the new tracks on the forthcoming deluxe edition of A Bitter Descent are an evolution for the band? M: For the full band tracks, certainly. I think "Betray A Friend" is a good example of the progression in our sound towards more mature topics. I think the re-recording we did of our old song "Good Grief!" is also a prime example of our evolution because you play the old version side by side with this new version, and it's like a night and day difference. We've gotten so much better as a band since the original release of that song, and we wanted to showcase that with that re-recording of our favourite old song.
When thinking about your career, what moments stick out to you as the most satisfying? M: I think by far the most satisfying was the story of how we got to play Warped Tour. I went to Berklee College of Music, and during career week, there was a contest to submit your band for the Massachusetts date of the 2018 Vans Warped Tour. I submitted Another One Down! and when we got to the event there were a few industry professionals talking about a business that they started that had gotten them work with a bunch of big names in the industry. So they knew what they were talking about for sure. At the end of the event, they talked about how there were about 80 submissions of bands, but the one that won was by far the clear choice because of the quality and professionalism in their music, videos, and socials. Sure enough, we were their choice. It felt really good to be recognized by people working in the industry, and it felt even better to play the amphitheatre where I saw Green Day, Blink-182, and My Chemical Romance play as a kid.
What inspires and influences you? M: I think the thing that has always inspired me most is seeing artists grow from nothing into something huge. One example that really has inspired me is Hot Mulligan. I have been a fan of that band since 2017, and I watched them play for maybe 40 people in a local venue with hardly 15,000 monthly listeners. Now they're the band no one in our scene can stop talking about with sold-out tours and over 800,000 monthly listeners. That is insane, especially for a band like that. And that's just one example: I saw the same thing happen with Neck Deep, Knuckle Puck, The Story So Far, etc. Watching things like that happen in real time motivates the fuck out of me to keep going.
What keeps you going musically? M: I just literally don't know anything else like I know music. I couldn't stop if I tried. It's everything to me.
After releasing a few EPs and your debut independently, what was the exact thought process in signing to a label for the deluxe edition of your debut record, instead of just releasing it independently once again? M: Well, there were a few different thought processes. I had seen bands drop records independently and then have it reach a broader audience with a label signing, kind of like Hot Mulligan with their Opportunities EP, so it was always something in the back of my mind. It really came down to timing, I would say, because even if we hadn't signed to Open Your Ears, we were already in the process of planning and recording the bonus tracks and doing a deluxe version. It just so happened that OYE hit us up, and we got into talks, and it just logistically made sense for us to start off our signing with a second push of the record we had just dropped.
Were these new songs on the deluxe that didn't make the cut for the record that are now seeing the light of day? M: "Betray A Friend" just barely didn't make the record. We just didn't finish it in time lyrically. The rest are either re-recordings or re-imagined versions of old songs.
Do you have any particular favourite songs off the album? Either new or yet to be released on the deluxe version? M: I think my favourite song off the album has always been "Chump Charity," it's a sleeper for a lot of people, but I just love it. As far as the new songs, I really am so happy with how the new version of "Good Grief!" came out, and I'm really excited for it to drop.
Are there any plans to celebrate the release of the forthcoming record in any way? M: I might take the boys to Olive Garden. Good ol' soup, salad, and breadsticks. The whole nine.
In 2019, you did an acoustic EP of tracks stripped down to their core. Do you think you will do that again with the tracks off of A Bitter Decsent at all? M: Well, we do have two acoustic versions of "Stuck In The Wake" and "Headspace" from the album on this deluxe version. I'd love to do more for fun one day between major releases. We have some demos of acoustic versions of "Something Left To Save," "Chump Charity," and "Exeter." I think it would come down to if people cared enough to want it because, with that acoustic release, people didn't really seem to care as much about our originals as much as they cared about our Death Cab For Cutie cover, which makes sense because it was a new song versus an alternate version of an old song.
You have played shows with an assortment of pop-punk/emo artists like Four Year Strong, Metro Station, nothing,nowhere., Broadside, Meet Me @ The Altar, and even played the 2018 Vans Warped Tour. If you were able to book your own tour right now, what would that dream lineup look like? M: I think my dream lineup would be Paramore, Four Year Strong, The Story So Far, and us. Those have been just the most consistent bands in my life that I have never stopped listening to. Recently on social media, everyone has been talking about no mosh pitting at concerts, what are your overall thoughts on this debate, as people probably mosh at your shows? M: Moshing can be really fun. I get why people want to ban it because, at its worst, it can really injure people. I've been there, I got knocked out moshing at my own show once, and another time got hit so hard at a Knocked Loose show I bit through my lip. But even that being said, I think it's part of the culture and in most cases, all in good fun. If you don't want to get hit, I'd say stay out of the pit, but also, that being said, if you're going around crowd killing random people, you're just a fucking asshat who probably has some issues to work out in therapy.
Finally, besides the upcoming album release, do you have anything else planned in the near future? M: We've got an east coast tour in June and a big show later this summer with Driveways. Other than that, just writing new music and getting prepped for whatever comes next.
Thanks for the time today, Marcus! Is there anything else you want to add before you go? M: A Bitter Descent (Deluxe Edition) drops May 26th and you can pick it up on vinyl on the Open Your Ears website!
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