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True Punk Rock Goodness: We Interview “The Departure”

Ryan: Hello, and thank you for your awesome new EP “Gateways. How long did this album take to make?

Ryan DeBlanc: The entire process took about 8 months.  As an independent band, we couldn’t schedule an entire 3-4 consecutive weeks to record.  During the recording process last year, 3 members of the band were still in high school.  We also had jobs.  We had to schedule studio time around all of that.  I’d say that the total time spent actually recording probably totaled up near 3 weeks.

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Ryan: Were there any specific challenging moments that the band had to overcome while creating this EP?

Ryan DeBlanc: There were quite a lot of challenging moments.  Recording this EP didn’t go as smoothly as it could have, but we definitely learned a lot from the mistakes we made.  Schedule conflicts were tough.  We also didn’t do any pre-production before we went into the studio, so we ended up spending more time on takes and polishing songs than we thought we would. The pollution inversions in SLC were horrifying last year as well and it made us all a little sick, so getting good vocal takes was tough.  I drank a lot of water and tea in the vocal booth.  In the end, we made something we’re proud of.

Ryan: Band names are notoriously hard to choose. What is the story behind “The Departure”?

Ryan DeBlanc: To be honest with you, it just sounded cool.  It didn’t really mean anything.  People have asked if it’s because we’re “departing from the norms of rock”, which is huge compliment.  But in all honesty, it just sounded cool.

Ryan: The song “Gateways” is my personal favorite, does the band have a personal favorite as well, and why?

Ryan DeBlanc: Gateways is one that’s really close to me as well.  The lyrics mean a lot to me.  I’m glad you like it.  I think each member of this band has different favorites.  I personally like how “Incompetence” turned out.

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Ryan: Where do you gather inspiration from?

Ryan DeBlanc: Music is a massive part of my life.  Mental illness runs in my family, and I wasn’t born as an exception.  Growing up, music was the only thing that made me happy and kept me going.  At a really young age, I knew I wanted to channel how I felt into lyrics and return the favor that music did for me. Bands like Silverstein, Alkaline Trio, Sum 41, A Day To Remember, and Bayside made me want to pick up a guitar and learn to sing.  I’m also really into progressive bands like Periphery and symphonic bands like Nightwish.

Ryan: Is there a specific theme that runs through the EP?

Ryan DeBlanc: Lyrically, the EP is about struggling with mental illness and the problems that it can cause in someone’s life.  Topics like being medicated, struggling with relationships, and feeling disconnected from the world are all constant themes.  A few of the songs were hard to sing in the studio because the lyrics I wrote came from a very genuine and sometimes personal place.  I’m just happy that so many people are relating to the lyrics.  That’s the biggest validation in the world to me.   Musically, we were experimenting with a lot of different things, from pop punk to acoustic to symphonic metal.

Ryan: How would you describe your music to someone that has not heard it before?

Ryan DeBlanc: If we’re being specific, I would describe our music as a mix between pop punk, metal, and hard rock, with some symphonic elements and emotionally charged lyrics.  I usually just say “rock”, though.

Ryan: What advice do you have for new artists looking to make their own EP?

Ryan DeBlanc: Write a lot of songs and choose the best ones with some help from people outside the band to avoid biased choices.  Musicians obviously think differently than other people when it comes to music, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind.  Also, make sure you’re able to perform the songs well enough to be on a recording of professional quality.  Going into the studio with a “fix it in the mix” mentality usually isn’t the most productive way to do things.  Most importantly, enjoy it!  You’re making a record, and that’s really cool.

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Ryan: So we have the EP, any idea when we can expect the full album yet?

Ryan DeBlanc: We’re currently in the pre-production stage for a full length.  We’re hoping to release it mid 2017.

Ryan: Lastly, and thank you for your time. Do you have any news that you would like to share with your audience?

Ryan DeBlanc: No problem at all.  Thanks for the interview!  I don’t have any more news yet, but our audience should stay tuned for more news soon!

The Departure can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and their official site.

About Ryan Donnelly

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