VENTS: Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
ABNJ: How’s it going! We’ve been great! Very excited.
VENTS: Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Sir Rock”?
ABNJ: “Sir Rock” is a cool song because it’s about more than it appears to be. The lyrics are meant to point out how terrible drunk driving is. However, the overall theme is that we are tired of seeing kids waste away their lives being uninspired. There’s a lot of negativity in this world, and it’s very easy to be sucked into a pessimistic life. The message of this song is that the world gives you a lot to be excited about; you just need to seize it.
VENTS: Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
ABNJ: Well actually, the first verse lyrics of this song were written by our guitarist Josh almost six years ago. The song was originally written about a specific person that we went to school with. That person was the epitome of the problems that we see in today’s young generation.
VENTS: How was the film experience?
ABNJ: It was seriously amazing! We shot the music video at a basement venue called The Meatlocker in Montclair, NJ. We had an amazing videographer named Eric DiCarlo, he directed the entire process throughout the night, he was such a smooth operator and knew exactly what he was doing behind the camera lens. We packed the place with a lot of old friends and new faces that we only met recently at Starland shows, it was a surreal experience seeing both groups of people mingle and have a good time being in the video.
VENTS: The single comes off your new album So We Live | So We Die – what’s the story behind the title?
ABNJ: The title itself was really a shot in the dark, we were all thinking of names and having some trouble for a couple of days. All of the songs have different meanings regarding around the essence of life and death. We wrote about sacrifice, mistakes, heartbreak, manipulation, corruption, depression, and warped those ideas into the eleven tracks on the album. So We Live | So We Dieare both lyrics in the last track of the album, and really how we felt about life at the time collectively.
VENTS: How was the recording and writing process?
ABNJ: The writing and recording process were both really challenging and fun at the same time. All of us knew that we were going to make something special, at least in our eyes and we really put our heart and soul into the record. Writing wise we were popping out ideas left and right, we had skeleton ideas of what we wanted the songs to sound like and that in itself was awesome for us. Putting the finishing touches on, different story. We recorded at Barbershop Studios in Hopatcong, NJ with Kevin Kumetz. He was really great to work with during the tracking process because he was so patient and meticulous with us, re-tracking every little thing we possibly could. It definitely made us better musicians.
VENTS: As you grow, would your music showcase this maturity?
ABNJ: That is definitely the goal! We feel that we matured with this record since our initial release of our first EP, we took our time with it and did not settle for what just sounded good off the bat. We wanted more.
VENTS: Does NJ play a role in your music?
ABNJ: A lot actually. One of the bands that we are continuously compared to is My Chemical Romance. They are a Jersey band that has always been a huge influence to us in the fact that they are theatrical, powerful and grungy. We also consider ourselves a creation of the NJ music scene that raised us.
VENTS: Would there be any deep lyrics on this track or it would be all about YOLO?
ABNJ: We definitely think about what we write, no question. Hopefully the listeners can interpret our lyrics and ideas in more ways than one. One track on our album, “Gentlemen” deals heavily with the issues of rape and sexual abuse overall. Nick, the bassist wrote the lyrics after being inspired by one of his friend’s comeback stories of being raped, and how this friend moved on in life and how, “these gentlemen get away.”