Updated: May 10
On April 2nd, the Richmond, Virginia alternative rock/pop-rock trio released their debut EP, Drift. Roughly a week shy of the release of Drift, I had the opportunity to pick the brains of vocalist/guitarist Nick Gargiulo and bassist Will Beasley to discuss the new EP, their musical/songwriting influences, why the band chose Beasley to produce the debut effort, and more.
You are releasing your debut EP, Drift, on April 2nd via Open Your Ears Records. Do you have any remarkable memory of writing or recording the EP? Will: We finished writing all the music right before COVID hit the US, and it was interesting because the lyrics started to take on new meanings, as well as the music. One of the coolest memories of recording was when we stumbled upon a street musician looping his guitar outside near the studio, it was super trippy and beautiful sounding, so we ended up using an audio clip of him playing for the outro of the last song of the EP.
Has your musical journey so far taken a deliberate direction, or did it simply gradually evolve in the direction it has found? Will: It has been a slowly evolving process. The main thing we’ve tried to focus on is how we can do something unique and true to ourselves. We just try to write music that best represents the emotion we are feeling and appeals to our strong suits as musicians.
After listening to the EP, I can say it’s amazing that each song has its own vibe, but I have to ask, the lead single, “No Filter,” there’s a clear similarity with Nick’s vocals to Patrick Stump. Is there a strong Fall Out Boy influence for you guys that bled into the songwriting? Will: Thank you! Nick’s tamber certainly has moments of Stump-isms, but I wouldn’t say we were listening to them when we were writing. “No Filter” started as a thirty-second demo of just the chord progression with the chorus melody an octave lower, so when we decided to raise the vocals to the high falsettos and louder vocals, it took a new form that started to have that alternative rock vibe. That’s just how his voice sounds. Fall Out Boy certainly knows how to write amazing songs with anthemic melodies, and that is something we are inspired by.
Are there any other bands or artists that you have long listened to that have helped influence the band’s sound? Nick: During the writing of this EP, we were really digging Catfish and the Bottlemen, Kings of Leon, Alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Tame Impala, Foster The People, The Strokes, and other alt-rock bands.
Is there any particular reason that Will handled all the producing/mixing duties, rather than outsource to an outside party to help collaborate? Nick: We aren’t against outside parties at all, but we’ve tried it before and have yet to really get what we were looking for. Will is insanely talented, and we take pride in trying to do the best we can do on our own, but I’m sure we’d all be open to working with someone in the future, it’s just gotta gel.
If you were given the opportunity, is there any musician or plural, musicians, that you would like to collaborate with? Will: Would love to collab with Foster The People, Kings of Leon, Dave Grohl, Kevin Parker (Tame Impala), Gary Clark Jr., Dominic Fike, and The Police. Nick: All these people and bands have such a unique quality to them that is instantly recognizable.
Are there any songs off Drift that you’re looking forward to performing live in front of a live audience? I personally feel like the EP’s title track will be a fun one live. Nick: We all have our favourites on the record, but choosing a favourite live track will be interesting. As of right now, we think the track “Drift” will be really fun cause it has a real head boppin’ groove, and it gets a little rowdy in the bridge section. Plus, there is a guitar solo! Also excited to see people’s reactions to some of the more emotional tracks like “Back and Forth” and “The River.”
How has the band been keeping busy with all the downtime over the past year? Besides readying Drift. Will: We’ve all kept busy in our own ways. We all have been working a good amount, but also a lot has changed in our personal lives. It’s been a year of reflection and sudden change, but we’ve all adapted and done the best we can to keep ourselves occupied with music, family, and friends.
I’m sure it has been stressful trying to release the album during these unprecedented times, did it impact the process of releasing Drift in any way? Nick: We finished recording in March of 2020, and we were expecting to put something out in late summer, but it just felt a little too soon, so we decided to wait, like many others. We also signed to Open Your Ears Records in that time frame, so it gave us time to get everything sorted out the best way we could rather than rushing anything. So it kind of worked out.
Lastly, what is one thing you want listeners of the EP to take away from it after they get to hear it in full on April 2nd? Nick: We hope you dig it! The songs have a lot of heart and we hope people can resonate with the music and the lyrics.
Thanks for the time, Will and Nick! I hope you two and Clayton are staying safe! Is there anything else you want to add before you go? Will: Please check out our social media and share with a friend if you dig the music! We also have merch available at oyerecs.com! Thanks for your time!
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