INTERVIEW: Afterimage

Photo by Evan Middleton Photography

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

(Casey) Hi, we’re doing well, thank you! We all just finished up a busy semester at Keene State College. Happy to be relaxing for a little bit while on our winter break!

Can you tell us more about your latest single “Locust”?

(Griffin) Well, Locust was the first time we really put forward the effort to produce something professional. We recorded a live EP a little more than a year ago, but we understood the limitations of releasing something with such a lack of polish and fidelity. “Locust” on the other hand was nearly the exact opposite, and we were really excited to see what people would think about our sound with a higher standard of production and gear. From what we have heard so far, the effort was well worth it.

(Casey) Yeah, and also I think there was a higher level of musicianship on our end as well. Mixed with the high production value, I think we really captured something special in this track. 

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

(Griffin) Bad people doing bad things. Manipulation and filtration for agenda and bias. I’ve come to terms with aspects of how the world works, but I’m sure as hell not happy about it. This song was a ventilation of that.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

(Griffin) We have ideas, lots of them. But five dudes in college can’t toss out the funds to make something to a standard that we would find satisfying to not just our listeners, but also ourselves. We do have a lyric video up right now, that we think came out really well. But the expectations for lyric videos versus music videos are much larger than one would initially think.

(Casey) We had one concept for a music video that we were tossing around for months. But it got to the point where we were just sitting on the unreleased single without taking any action due to a lack of time and funds that we just said “Screw it! We’ll release a lyric video instead”. We spent so much time without releasing any new content that we got to the point where we just wanted it out there. Luckily, I’m a film major, so I had access to some nice video editing software at school. I created the lyric video over the course of a month in between classes. I’m happy with how it turned out.

How was the recording and writing process?

(Andy) As a band, we practice 2-3 times a week, and play 1-3 gigs a week. In addition to that, some of us play in other performing groups together, so we have spent hundreds of hours making music cooperatively. This musical connection we have constructed over the years allows for a smooth writing process (most of the time). As people get setup for rehearsal, we tend to noodle, and it turns into a full group jam by the time everyone is setup. The core elements of “Locust” were written one night during one of those jams. We then broke it down, experimented with some ideas, and boom, we had the song. Many of our songs go through a painstaking revision process as we try to morph them into the best possible product, but sometimes everyone’s creative juices are flowing in just the right way and we happen upon something truly amazing. My part of the recording process involved me playing along to a 1/1 clicktrack while singing the song in my head in order to ensure I was in time. It was pretty boring to be honest, but it all paid off in the studio when I didn’t have to waste time redoing chunks of the song because they were out of time.
(Griffin) We wrote the song in one night, in pretty much an hour to be honest. The lyrics were worked over after the fact, but I can solidly say that 80% of the song was done the night we started writing it. Which is funny, some things just flow like that I guess.

What role does New Hampshire play in your music?

(Casey) In terms of writing our own music and our overall sound, nothing. As much as we love the bands in our local scene, we really don’t want to sound like any of them. That’s not meant to be a jab towards anyone by any means. If every band sounded the same, nobody would make it! I think it’s refreshing for us as well as many other bands in the scene to see some diversity. That way we’re not fighting for each other’s spots as much. In terms of live performance, however, I do think we’ve been influenced a bit in terms of our energy. When we first started out as a band we were all pretty static on stage. Once we started to see how our peers performed as we entered the scene, we started to loosen up a bit. Now I think we’re just as crazy as a metalcore band, despite having different sounds.

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

(Andy) Yes! Anyone who’s been to a few of our shows knows that we have a large repertoire ready for the studio. We are getting those songs recorded and produced shortly, so expect to see new material in the future.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

(Casey) I don’t want to give away too much. We do have a concept for an EP, and we hope to release it by the end of 2020. We’re going to the studio shortly to record it. In the meantime, however, we have a goal of releasing a new single before the spring. It all depends on how the mixing process goes. If all goes according to plan, we’ll have new music out sooner than later.

What aspect of mankind and hate will you get to explore on this new material?

(Griffin) A lot of the new material we have been working on has been much more aggressive, which goes along with the themes of the lyrics. I tried to make the song topics a mix of introspective and subjective takes on my current situation in life, and the lives of those I have observed and had a 3rd party viewing of. I think I’m just in this part of my life where harsh realities are making their way into my frame of mind. It’s been a pretty hard adjustment, and it’s come out in the music. But what those themes and specific frustrations are, is up to the listener to decide for themselves. The more a person can put their own experiences into a song, the more it will connect and resonate with that listener. So a song that I wrote can mean something completely different to me than the person listening, and that’s a cool experience that I wouldn’t want to take away. But the general themes can be rounded down to things like politics, religion, abuse, cheating, lying, and being forgotten. Being friggin grumpy.

Any plans to hit the road?

(Casey) That is definitely a goal of ours in 2020. First we’re gonna need a van. The whole “driving to gigs in five separate sedans” thing is definitely getting old. Before we do that, though, we’re gonna need to make some money to be able to afford a van. A personal goal of ours is to buy one (hopefully) this summer. Once we do that, we’re absolutely going to try and get out of New England.

What else is happening next in Afterimage’s world? 

(Andy) Well, we’re all graduating from college this year, so we will all be making the shift from full-time students to full-time professionals, and I have no doubt that there will be an adjustment period as we learn to balance our personal lives with the band. We all want to keep moving forward as a band, and we’re hoping to make next summer our best yet. We have brought this band through thick and thin over the past 3 years, and we have no intention of throwing all that hard work away once we leave school. We are going to continue to propel forward and continue to meet and work with new and amazing people along the way.

(Casey) Andy, that was really beautiful. We should get you to do interviews more often.

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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