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INTERVIEW: No Alarms

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

Lately, I’ve been super busy and super happy that we’ve finally hit the ground running! We started 2018 by releasing our debut single, and it’s been a roller coaster ride since. We’ve got a lot more coming soon as well!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Right Is What’s Left”?

Right is What’s Left is our debut single, and I think it gives listeners a great doorway into our sound, and the world we’re trying to build. It’s a neon soaked, synth laden, propulsive indie rock song that channels the sounds of some of my favorite bands with it’s own spin. The reception’s been great so far and we’re really happy to give people a taste of what’s to come on the EP coming in March! We’ve also been fortunate enough to collaborate with some great industry contacts early, and the song was featured on an episode of ABC’s “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World” last week!

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

While the song is bright and positive, the perspective sings of wanting to make their true self known to those around them. It’s about a realization that honestly is the only foundation on which to build a relationship. The overall inspiration for the song, and really the upcoming self-titled EP as a whole, came from the struggles some of my hometown friends had with serious drugs. Right is What’s Left is about the ways we twist, convolute, and contort our self-images to try to get what we want, and how hard it is to regain our original shapes.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We actually released a lyric video for the song a few weeks back! It really helps convey the core inspiration for the song and gives fans a great introduction to the band, and the world we’re creating by letting them sing along!

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing for Right is What’s Left came together relatively quickly. For a long time, I’d been looking to craft a driving, danceable, synth-centric track that rode on the backbone of a clear, ringing guitar tone. I’d been listening to a lot of Silent Alarm, and to a lot of The Killers, so that informed and inspired some of the initial production and structure choices.

The backbone of the instrumentation came together in about an hour as I was outlasting the Detroit winter in a garage studio(I’ve since moved indoors)! Once I had the main clean guitar line that seemed to have a lot of momentum to it, everything else fell into place, including the vocal melody. I recorded everything for the debut EP myself, and then sent it over to my mix/master engineer in London, Sefi Carmel. Sefi’s a rockstar, and has worked with the talents of Massive Attack and Phil Collins in the past.

How’s your new EP coming along?

The debut self-titled EP has actually been finished for almost a year, we just wanted to make sure that our live show was up to our standards, and that we had something special planned before we were ready to release! We have been continuing to write a ton of new material as we’ve been preparing our live show to fill out the set, so that will be on display as a treat for anyone that comes to see us play live for the first time. I’m really happy with the new material, so more info on that later in the year.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

The EP is self-titled and is a great introduction and hint to what kind of sounds we want to play with and forge. I’m someone who doesn’t want to write the same song twice, so that gives me a lot of creative latitude, and I think that we really captured that with our first release. It’ll be available everywhere 03.30.18.

How did Texas and Detroit have been influencing this record?

The first seeds of this record came from finally realizing what my sound was going to be, and the contrast against the musical tastes of where I was living. I realized that synth-soaked indie rock/electronic pop was where my heart was taking me. At the time, I was living in a medium-sized city in West Texas, and the oil capital of the US. Musical tastes down there drifted heavily towards country and classic rock, which I have nothing against, but definitely weren’t even in the same zip code as my current musical direction. I think this initial isolation was crucial and reinforced what I was doing. Because I didn’t have a direct outlet to get feedback on material or play meaningful shows, I got the opportunity to make something that was truly my own!

Step two was to move to Detroit and find some talented musicians to develop a killer live show. I met up with 4 great Detroiters and now I have people close to me who are passionate about making music together and a whole new city of passionate potential fans.

Any plans to hit the road?

We are most definitely hitting the road soon! I’m still of the belief that the best way to make fans is one by one at a live show. I love that social media has given us all a way to find new fans across the planet, but I still think that the best way to make “superfans” is the old fashioned way, to affect someone on a personal and visceral level. Detroit has a killer electronic scene, so I’ve been to a ton of dance music shows and witnessed how important killer visuals are to the modern concert experience. As a band who’s trying to bring people into our neon-soaked world, visuals are a crucial piece to conveying that aesthetic. We just finished building some awesome LCD displays that are disguised as amp cabinets! I think it’s a perfect play on our intended balance between the analog and the digital. We’re also building an 8’ x 16’ pixelated 8-bit style LED wall that is going to be a sight to behold. We’ve forgone plans for any other lighting rigs, because this thing’s going to be just about visible from space. We’re targeting late spring for our debut tour!

What else is happening next in No Alarms’ world?

So like I hinted at earlier, we actually have around another EP’s worth of material finished at the moment. We’ve been continuing to write more as well, and I’m really excited about the direction of the tracks. We haven’t decided exactly how that’s going to be released yet, but I’ll just say that you’ll be hearing more from us this year.. Next up, we just announced our second single, “Amateur Telephony” is going to be released March 9th, we’re really excited for that one, and have a lot planned for that release. Again, “No Alarms EP” is out 03.30.18, and we’ve got a lot more coming so stay tuned!

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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