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INTERVIEW: My Excuse

Hi Stephen, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

It’s really a pleasure speaking with you. I’ve been very busy with my first release in the UK and very excited about it – it’s been a long time coming and a lot is riding on this for me but I’m very optimistic. A long year of difficult organizational changes and finding new band members is finally culminating in the best of ways! I’ve been getting great reviews, some radio play from the BBC so things are looking good!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “In Disguise”?

“In Disguise” is for me the ultimate My Excuse anthem. It sums up my emotional state throughout the years of writing the last album. It is one of my favorite songs and I’ve been pressing for it to be released as a single for a couple of years. I really like the way it ended up sounding and had a great time shooting the video in Greece.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There are several undertones throughout the song. The facade we all have to put forth in order to fit in and excel in a pretty much predetermined lifestyle. The pressures this creates within, the feeling of knowing how you want to live, what you aspire to be but not finding acceptance in social cirlces and outlets to express it. This song is about the stalemate the youth around me in Greece have reached in the midst of the economic crisis, this is about growing up in a small town with little opportunity. And it’s about how everything suddenly opens up when you take the very difficult step to just be yourself.

What were your inspirations and thoughts behind the video for the single?

I tried the best I could to depict how at our core we are all alone on a journey into the unknown.

How was the recording and writing process?

I never finish a song immediately. I’ll record an idea on my phone and then just jam on it for months. A lot of times with little progress. I do procrastinate a lot, and most of the final touches are done last-minute. That’s just how I work, but in the end for some strange reason the result is always exactly what I had envisioned, and I’ve learned to work inside this chaos. The recording was awesome, I had never worked in a studio of that calibre before, and recording the whole album live on tape was amazing. It’s hard to understand if you’re not a musician, but after years of mediocre recordings, finally getting to hear your music the way it’s supposed to sound is a dream come true.

What was it like to work with Ron Saint Germain and how did that relationship develop?

Growing up in bands you imagine eventually getting to work with a famous producer, who will love your music, who will realise its full potential, in an awesome studio, somewhere in the woods, for weeks, away from it all, just focusing on the music and having great times. That’s what this was. Ron is everything you would hope for, an incredibly talented producer and wonderful human being who totally gets it, he’s the guy the makes you feel like you’ve been on the right track all along when everyone else was telling you that you couldn’t do it.

The relationship developed through two years of persistence. Just a band from nowhere with nothing to lose taking a long shot and not giving up. My Excuse was a ten year project before I met Ron. I was lucky he liked the material and wanted to work with us but I worked very hard to get there.

How much did he get to influence the album?

We didn’t have a lot of time, the songs were pretty much ready. Ron was able to put everything I had in my head on tape sounding great, and gave them that extra edge, and that made all the difference. It sounds easy but only Ron could have done it, haha.

How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist?

I grew up in Greece, in an American family. I got to travel to the States very often and was very in touch with what was going on in music over there. But that was not the case back home. I think that the scarce musical opportunities and kind of non-existant scene in Greece made me work even harder and become stubborn enough to do this for life. It continues to motivate me.

Does your new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Most definitely. I am always writing and there is a lot of unreleased material. The next single has been chosen and I’m really happy to announce that I’ll be working with producer Tom Mcfall (Walking on Cars, Snow Patrol) on this one.

Any tentative release in mind?

Hopefully late December-early January.

Any plans to hit the road?

Hopefully I’ll be touring the UK in the Spring and Summer of 2017, it’s a country so steeped in musical heritage, I’m so looking forward to it.

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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