Last week I sat down with the rock band Otherwise before they hit the stage for their headlining show at The Roxy in West Hollywood, and chatted with them about the band’s upcoming new material, Aftershock Festival plans, and see what movie the band thinks one of their songs should be featured in a film.
Alex: You guys are playing Aftershock Festival, and so are In This Moment… Can we expect to hear The Promise?
Corky: We get that question a lot.
Alex: Yeah, it’s a popular song. It’s one if my favorites, too.
Corky: Yeah, it’s a good song. We’ve always been interested in that. When In This Moment did their essential reorder, you know, replacing essentially everyone but Chris [Howork] and Maria [Brink], they got the new guys up to speed on everything they were planning on doing on the tour, and since we weren’t touring with them, the promise wasn’t on that list of songs. So, up to this point, it hasn’t happened specifically because they haven’t been playing it. So, it’s always a possibility, but it hasn’t happened yet and it hasn’t happened for a reason. It’s more logistical reasons than anything.
Alex: You guys have been touring aggressively, when can we expect you guys to take a break to write a new record or has the writing process already begun?
Corky: Well, our break just finished. We had a whole three weeks off in which we spent a good 2 of the weeks recording stuff for what is hopefully an acoustic EP that will come out before the second official record comes out. We’re always writing. Both Andy and I actually are pro-tools nerds, so, we both have pro-tools on our computer and are able to record at any point in time. We have a large number of demos on a hard drive with bus-background noise in the back and people shouting and whatnot, but we are getting the main ideas down. You know, we’ve always heard how bands can go in the studio with like 30 or 40 songs written and always sounded like an impossible or extreme goal to reach, and now we’re realizing that in the amount of time that we’ve had on the road and the amount if time since the last record, we’re actually gonna end up with 30 or 40 tunes going into the next record and picking which ones seem the most appropriate.
Alex: So, you said it’s an acoustic album, is it new material or most material from the current album?
Corky: There might be one song from the current album, but everything else will be brand new.
Alex: You’ve toured with bands like Stone Sour, Lacuna Coil, Papa Roach, and many others in the past. Have you built a strong relationship with any of these bands and can we expect to see any collaborations in the future?
Corky: Yeah, it’s funny. Collaborations always seem like scheduling issues more than anything; more than like not wanting to collaborate or not being able to collaborate. It’s either a record label versus record label issue, or it’s a scheduling issue… one or the other. Yeah, man, the best part about being on tour with so many different kinds of bands is they’ve all been friends and mentors at the end of each tour. We pick up tips from each other, we’re always hanging out in each others buses or kicking it back and forth by the end of the tour every single time. Anything is possible, I mean there’s even some possibilities on some collaborations on this upcoming acoustic EP if it all gets put together. We are gonna be essentially finishing it on my computer and Andy’s computer while we are on the road on the first month of this tour and if we are able to pull it off, we might be able to turn it in within the next month. So, it’s tight, but we’ve never done it before and we’re hoping for the best.
Alex: So, what i was saying about Aftershock earlier, What else can we expect from you guys at Aftershock? Maybe like new material? I know it’s in September.
Corky: Going back to the whole mentoring thing, we got a good piece of advice from Pop Evil, actually, they just had a new record come, like what? a few weeks ago? They were rehearsing material before they ever played it live they’ve only play stuff live before it was released on record. Specifically so, the people’s first impression of the music was how they intended it to translate it largely because of cell phones, you know, everything that you get on YouTube these days is the audio is such a bad quality, they didn’t want a new song to be posted out there and see a bunch of people with that as the initial impression. So, very likely, we’ll take that advice and won’t do it until it’s actually released and then people can hear it live.
Alex: Yeah, a lot of the times on youtube, a lot of new song videos and the quality isn’t good, I’m like “naw, I rather not hear it.”
Corky: Exactly, exactly. The beauty we’ve had with this band is that actually had an EP that came out a couple years ago, and we’re able to play things off that and it sounds new because people haven’t heard that EP, they know True Love Never Dies, but if they haven’t delved into the back catalog or heard or purchased the EP, we’ll play songs off of that that sound brand new but have been kicking around the band for a few years.
Alex: What does playing on the sunset strip mean to you guys?
Corky: Do you wanna answer that Andy?
Andy: What’s it like playing in the sunset strip? Man, it’s awesome. Especially growing up in a town like Las Vegas, we hear all about L.A. and Southern California and it’s the place to be for the music scene and all the big artist play on the Sunset Strip like at the Whisky and The Roxy, and the Viper Room and the Key Club, so being to actually play here… We’ve actually played here before, which is actually cool. Being at the Roxy and being the main headliner is pretty fucking awesome.
Alex: Yeah, you guys played here a year ago with P.O.D., right?
Corky: That was almost exactly a year ago in July.
Andy: that was July 10th. I remember that because that was the first day I started working for Otherwise as their sound guy before I was, as everyone says, “demoted” to rhythm guitar player.
Corky: He wanted to make less money, so he decided to play guitar instead of do sound. It’s cool actually, we love playing here. The Roxy has actually been like our home base here. We played the P.O.D. show here last year, a few months ago we played with Tremonti here. We actually got signed to our record deal off a show playing here on the same stage. This place feels like home when we come back, so it’s always cool. Living in Vegas,I’ve been in Vegas for 12 years and grew up in Seattle, the same thing [as Andy said], and like you see videos of bands kicking it up and down the sunset strip all the time on tv, so to be here and playing here is always something special.
Alex: The song “soldiers” is such an amazing song. I can’t believe it’s not on a movie soundtrack.
Corky: We cant either.
Alex: If you had a choice, what movie would you want this song to be featured in.
Corky: We thought it should of been in the movie The Avengers. There’s a Samuel L. Jackson quote in there where he goes something like “we’re not super heros, we’re soldiers,” something to that effect. It would of fit perfectly with that line going into..
Alex: Going into your song…
Corky: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! The song is such a metaphorical song that it could be used for so many other different types of things, like a movie about a high school football team or actual soldiers in combat, or super heroes. We figure that one of these days someone’s gotta pick it up, man, and we just don’t know when it’s gonna be.
Andy: I thought it would be cool on the HBO series Pacific. That would be cool.
Corky: Ohhh! That would have been cool!
Alex: Who have been your biggest supporters?
Corky: Damn, that’s a good question!
Andy: My mom! My mom thinks we rock!
Corky: We’ve been on the road for almost non-stop a year and a half, now, with a few weeks off here and there, and there have been a lot of people from the beginning that have supporting us that actually knew of Adrian and knew of the band from when he did The Promise with In This Moment, you know what I mean? It’s been cool to see them still keep that interest and still want to be a part of what we are doing; that’s been super, super cool. Our biggest supporters tend to be the people who are in love with rock music and enjoy the passion that we bring out in stage every night. We get notes or comments most of the time like “we can’t believe how much you put into your performance” and that translate very, very well to the fans that keep coming back to show, after show, after show. We know people who have seen us four times, six times, nine times, eleven times over the past year. They’ll drive 4, 8, 12 hours to come see us. Every time we’ve been excited, surprised and shocked all at the same time it’s just been a cool run.
Alex: I’m one of those people, to be honest. It’s my 3rd time seeing you guys tonight, and I’m going to aftershock, that’s why I’m asking you all these aftershock questions. So, when I saw the line up and I saw saw you guys, I was just like “yeah, that’s perfect!” I’ve always wanted to see you guys in a festival setting. It’s always fun to see you guys play!
Corky: Thanks a lot, man.
Alex: Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years?
Corky: 5 years… Is that time for the 4th record to come out? Is that a 5 year cycle from now? The second record is suppose to come out next spring…
Andy: We’ll be celebrating the 5 year anniversary of you guys asking us that question!
Corky: That’s right!
Alex: I’m expecting a special thanks on that record.
Andy: Oh, we’ll order a plaque!
Alex: What drives you guys to keep going?
Corky:Well, I’d say with like any artist or musician, it’s half torture and half joy, right?
Andy: Pretty much.
Corky: It’s getting over the torture of whatever’s bothering you and the joy is what comes out in the other side of that. I think that it’s not easy being in that bus all the time, driving to the next show, staying up all night, you know, go in the next day. It’s literally the 5 guys in the band and 1 crew guy at this point, so we are all doing jobs that are above and beyond just rocking the stage and playing music. Whether it’s dealing with merchandise, or dealing with the actual equipment, or driving the bus, or finding out where the hell we’re going or finding the clubs or the shows, or getting us to the radio station on time to do those appearances, there’s always something else going on without someone else having to pick up a new job. It’s tuff, but seeing the fans come out and seeing the music translate to the people is why we all so it, you know?
Andy: Yeah, yeah. Like he said, it’s a 24 hour day with 23 hours of suck with that 1 hour of awesomeness that completely overshadows the 23 hours of suck.
Alex: There’s gotta be more awesomeness than that 1 hour.
Andy: Yeah, there’s times where we are playing with most of our idols and we’re still in doubt like and geek out like “oh shit, is that Billy Corgan?” It’s like “oh, hey man, it’s nice to meet you,” and then 10 minutes later its like “oh my god it’s Billy Corgan!” To be playing and sharing the stage with people we idolize since we were in high school, and even before that is definitely the icing on the cake.
Corky: It’s kinda like that scene in almost famous where he’s walking into his first show like he’s a nerdy little freshmen who doesn’t know anybody and by the end of the night he’s walking out saying hi to all the crew guys. Yeah, it’s been like that this last year (laughs). I’ve been playing that scene over, and over again, nightly.
Alex: Is there anything else you guys wanna say before we leave?
Corky: Man, just thanks to everybody that’s listening and watching where we’re at that are coming out to the shows. Please keep telling your friends and family and supporters and we’ll do our best to give everything we can to come to your city and give 110% every time we see you.