Tom had the chance to chat with Brandon, vocalist of harcore punk band ‘American Standards’. Tom talks to them about their recently released album ‘Anti- Melody’, their unique recording set-backs and their long- term goals.
Tom: Thanks for chatting with us today.
Brandon: It’s a pleasure! Thank you for having us!
So firstly, your new album “Anti-Melody” came out earlier this year – what’s the reaction been like?
It feels like we did something right. People seem to either love it or hate it and I’ll take that any day over luke warm response.
What is your favourite song from Anti-Melody?
That question is always like having to pick your favorite child (or in my case, dog). I love them all and they each mean something a little different to me. Where songs like “Writers Block Party” and “Carpe Diem, Tomorrow” were chose to be the singles early on, I’ve grown a fonder appreciation for songs that we play live less often such as “Churchburner”.
You seem to take a DIY approach to music, do you find this beneficial?
It’s definitely the more labor intensive and time consuming route but there’s just something appealing about knowing what you get out of it is a direct result of the work that you put in. I think that every since I was young I kind of strayed away from trying to be a part of something that was already established and well defined. I always wanted to build something new that was my own. The band and taking the DIY approach is probably just another manifestation of that.
How have you evolved your music to its current sound?
I’d like to think it was an organic process of melding all our influences while also being open to new ones. We’ve been a band for almost 6 years now and over that time we’ve all grown and changed as musicians. I feel there’s a lot of truth in the saying that if you don’t evolve, you die off.
You suffered a big couple of set-backs during recording. Tell us about them.
We did face some unique set backs in recording. After scheduling time at Kingsize Studio in LA (Bad Religion, Letlive, Mars Volta), we lost our founding guitarist to suicide. Soon after, my father suddenly and unexpectedly passed to cancer. Being a somewhat political band in this new climate of division, it forced us to take a new and harder approach of writing much more personally, using the the music as therapy to deal with the experiences. We did so while balancing the message we wanted to get out about what was going on in the world around us.
Have you got touring plans?
We’re always out on the road as much as life will let us be. You can keep up on our socials or by following us using the bands in town app.
What is your favourite part of playing live?
It’s one part the almost out of body experience you get from the energy of the crowd mixed with the humbling feeling of connection when you realize people are alike all over. There’s no better way to see the world then from a van with your best friends.
If you could tour with one band right now, who would it be and why?
Ah, that’s tough. If we were to keep it to bands that we’ve yet to play with, Cancer Bats, Alexisonfire and Poison The Well are all high on the bucket list.
Who did you grow up listening to?
Mainly the stuff that my older brother listened to. It probably started with a mix of Beastie Boys, Pantera and Rage Against The Machine. In the late 90s I got bit by the Nu Metal bug and started jamming bands like System Of A Down, Slipknot and KoRn then in the early 2000s I stumbled across hardcore.
What are your plans for 2018?
We’re already writing new songs which I’m excited to get out early in the year. I think this time around we may do an EP or maybe a series of singles with videos to accompany them. More then anything, we just want to try new things and get creative with how we connect with people.
What are your goals as a band?
The same goals as any band… to try to take over the world. Or at minimum, to create something that lasts a bit longer then the fleeting moment that we’ll be on this Earth for. If that something can positively impact or influence someone to do the same, that’s really all that matters.
Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Nothing more than thank you for the support. Your eyes, your ears, your time. That’s more then we deserve and we appreciate it.
And finally, would you rather fight 10 Eagle sized Elephants, or 1 Elephant sized Eagle?
100% the 1 elephant sized eagle. It’s always better to have a central focus and build around it.
Keep up to date with all things American Standards here
You can buy ‘Anti- Melody’ from American Standards merch here