Side Stage Magazine: Hi How are you doing?
Ben Lionetti: Doing fine, and you?
Same and thanks…. I wanted to speak to you about the EP. Do you feel that this is a fresh start? More specifically that the music is different, and perhaps a sort of a return to your roots, so to speak?
Yeah. I mean, with this, with LakeShore and this EP, we really just wanted to get back to our roots, whether it’s heavy music, or you know this song “Kings”, a heavier track, kind of along the lines of that Emmurer type thing. But you hear songs like “History” and stuff, which is more rock and roll. We just try to touch on just different aspects of it, really, because we grew up listening to bands like Aerosmith and our dad was in a band. So it’s like the stuff that was ingrained with us since we were little. With Emmure, I mean, we felt a little pigeonholed, because we wanted to be the most brutal band, whatever, and now it’s just like we are throwing all concepts of what the genre standard should be, and we’re just writing whatever feels good, whether that’s a song like “History” or a song like” Kings”.
Why now? Does it feel like this was the right time, or is this something that you’ve been thinking about for a couple years now, to form a band and do it on your own terms?
After a Emmure, I jumped on with Suicide Silence for a while. I just felt I was just done with music. It’s just like a crazy little rat race. Then again, as time goes on, you get that itch again.
Music …it’s always calling.
Yeah ( laughs). As I mentioned before, my father was in a band, so this music thing runs in my blood, me and my brother’s blood. It just felt like the right time. It wasn’t even really a thing where like we felt like it was the right time. It was more of a thing that we were just fucking around, and we wrote some cool songs, and we were like, “Okay, this could be something.” Then we just dove head first into it. We felt the game was getting a little stale, with bands, a lot of them sound the same, their songs sound the same. There’s not many bands out there like the Deftones that can morph and just do whatever they want but still they’re the Deftones. That, we felt, was kind of along the same lines of an Aerosmith, who they have songs like “Walk This Way “or ballads for big movie blockbusters and they also have these rocking songs and stuff. That’s what we felt being a band is about. We want to just be musicians, really.
Are there any plans to release a full length? Perhaps you had music that didn’t make the EP?
We have a shit ton of music that is just sitting on the back burner right now. Things are progressing on the business end of things, behind the scenes, that obviously that nobody really sees. So we’re really just playing it by ear. We’re looking for things to fall into place. I mean, we’ll definitely be releasing a full length. I’m not sure when, but yeah. This EP isn’t even out yet, so we’re trying to capitalize on these songs, get the word out there, go on tour, just make the rounds with this, and then once we find the label, that’s further down the line.
If I’m not mistaken, I think there are plans to do another video. If so, which track?
Oh, yeah. Actually, it’s funny you mention it, because I’m literally texting the director right now. He sent me back a first version of the “ Kings” video, and that should be out within the next two weeks, maybe week and a half. I think maybe the 10th or 11th that’s going to come out. I mean, we had the “History” video which was more touching upon our history, obviously.
What was the recording process like, and how long did it take to record?
Well, I probably did about five to six months of pre-production. When I’m writing a song, I go to the home studio, I sit down, I kind of either come up with a beat that I want to hear, or I have this idea for a guitar lick or whatever, and I sit down and I just piece it together, and just whatever comes I just lay it down. Then once I have a full song that I feel confident in, I bring it to the rest of the guys, and they’ll put their two cents in. Once it’s there, we obviously come up with a subject matter or a melody that we like. Yeah, so I ended up writing maybe 30 songs, just pre-production. Then we take the best six and went to record the thing.
Oh wow 30.
It’s definitely a big undertaking, but it’s a very peer reflection of who we are as artists. We’re not trying to be anything. We’re just being who we are, and that’s it. That’s pretty much what it it.
Which song was the most challenging to work on?
I’m going to say “Control”, just because “Control” is … I don’t know how to explain it. But it’s not a normal song. We have these heavy verses with these big epic vocals over it, but then with the chorus, it’s kind of the opposite … I don’t know if you understand … If you listen to any song, usually the verse is kind of the mellow thing, and then the chorus is this big epic thing.
With “Control”, it was like we had these bouncy, chuggy versus, but then we had this open chorus where there’s no, it’s really just a mixture of all these sounds from a mandolin, we just had layered in octave chords, and then another guitar lead thing over it, and then we layered an orchestra under it. The challenge with that … I mean, it’s just so much fucking going on with it, and to actually get it to sit right so it wasn’t like when the chorus came in it was still powerful and just as big as the rest of the song, but we’re not using these big power chords and stuff. To get all that stuff to sit right was pretty crazy. Also, another thing, we used this like funky … I don’t even know where this beat came from. But it’s like this funk beat that we break into. I don’t even know. Ken compared it to some. He said that beat hasn’t been used since the 80s or something. I forget the fucking name of the song. Yeah, “Control” was definitely the most challenge.
Which one is your personal favorite?
I love Imagination, and I love that song because it’s big and epic, it has a real positive message, and the guitar solo at the end is something that I don’t think people really even do. I mean, some people can do it, but I haven’t heard something like that since like Pink Floyd. I don’t know. It’s cool. It’s just a good vibe all the way through.
Are there any plans to tour or play a few dates here and there?
We just got offered a tour with … I can’t mention the band yet, I don’t think. But that will be in the fall. It’s definitely a good tour. We’re waiting for this thing to actually drop. We’ll probably do a small pre- or post-release party show at some point around the tri-state area. All that stuff, all the shows and tours, that’s all in the works. We just have a bunch of ducks to get in a row.
What is your message to your fans and those who are in their own bands?
This is kind of a two or three part answer, but it’s definitely one that I love answering. It doesn’t matter what you sound like. It doesn’t matter. There is a market for everything, and you just have to make sure that you’re writing from the heart, you’re not writing to appeal to anybody. I mean, you do have to kind of walk a fine line of appealing to people but still staying true to your sound. But one of the best pieces of advice I ever got is “If it’s real, the world will feel.” If you write from the heart and you really believe in it, then you can make it happen. And it’s definitely a frustrating thing to be in a band and not know. Just your whole life is hanging by a thread, but you’ve got to spend the money. You really do
If you believe in the project and you believe you can do it, you need four or give other people working and spending the money, doing it right. I can’t even tell you how many thousands of dollars we’ve dropped into this band, we don’t even give a fuck because we know where it’s going. But then again, that’s something that breaks us apart. When we want to record a music video, we spend the money.
When other bands want to record a music video, they go, “Well, were can I do it the cheapest and the fastest,” or “We need to save money. We need to find the best deal and just get something out there. It’s like, no, spend the money, do it right, do it right the first, believe in yourself. I mean, the other inner workings of marketing and scheduling and things like that definitely help, too. I know it’s cliché, but if you can dream it, you can do it.
That’s certainly true for anything you do in life.
Even I still get discouraged every now and then, but you just keep on keeping up. I mean, with Emmure, I knew. I think I was probably one of the only … Me and the four other dudes were probably the only five people that believed in Emmure. We would play in front of nobody, we would play in front of two people, for years, and spend the money and tours in this shitty van. We got fucking laughed out.
Well you showed them. As I always say ignore the naysayers.
Anybody else can do it, too. Just keep your head up, keep doing it.
Well thank you so much for your time and wish you all the best for this upcoming EP.
Yeah, absolutely thank you so much. I appreciate it.