Hate on it all you want, pop music is a guilty pleasure for all of us. The After Party may not be a band you're proud to like, but you'll definitely remember their boy-band style of pop-rock. Thanks to Alan for taking time out to do this.
1. Introduce yourself and your role in the band.
My name is Alan Bell, and I play drums in the band.
2. Can you give a small background on the band?
The four of us met in high school, and were about the only kids in our rural hick town school who were into playing music and going to shows. After playing in a few different bands throughout the years and going through multiple member changes, we finally realized that we were the only guys we knew completely dedicated to a career in the music industry. The four of us started The After Party shortly after, and we haven't looked back since.
3. Can you explain the process of writing and recording your debut EP?
The writing process takes awhile, we don't rush through anything or try to force ourselves to write. It's also a collective effort, everyone has their role in the process. A song will usually start off with Kenny, he'll come up with the melody or hook, who then take it to Brandon who writes the basic chord progression of the song. Once they have something good going, they'll bring their ideas to Andy and I, and we'll give feedback, write lyrics, and basically help polish up the song until it's complete. Recording the EP took 3 different trips to two different studios, and about 3 weeks of work. We'd wake up early and be working by 9 am every morning, and finish the day around 7. We track each instrument individually, so once you're done with you're part you have about 5 days to play PS3 and try to find ways to entertain yourself. Hearing your songs come together into a complete product is extremely exciting, but at the same time sitting in one room ten hours a day for 10 days straight can be monotonous.
4. Let's not beat around the bush, you guys are very poppy. What do you have to say to people who will hate the band for the poppy songs and lyrics?
Oh haters, what would we do without them? Let's face it, no matter what genre of music you play or how talented of a musician you are, there are going to be people out there who will dislike your music and be sure to tell everyone that they know how terrible you are for this reason or that. People say that we're sell outs and that we're just trying to make a quick buck off of young girls, but that's no where near the truth. We play pop music because we enjoy it and because that's what our fans want to hear. I mean sure, we want to make money while we're at it, but who doesn't? Our band is a business, and a business is not successful unless it is profitable. If you want to hate on us, feel free, we just hope that you'll be able to respect us as people and as musicians.
5. What do you consider to be your influences? Are there any oddball ones?
Our influences are largely mainstream pop acts; they have millions of fans around the world, so they've got to be doing something right. We're influenced by everyone from Lady Gaga, to Kesha, to Justin Beiber. Believe it or not, we're extremely influenced by the boy band era as well. If you listen through our EP, you'll hear a lot of the big vocal productions and 4 part harmonies that all the boy bands were doing in the late 90's.
6. What are your plans for the rest of the spring and summer?
We are going to be extremely busy through the spring and summer! We'll be touring from coast to coast, as well as getting back into the studio in June to cut another single. We have dates posted for our Spring Fling Party Tour with Joy Island, Rocky Loves Emily, and Freshman 15, so go check them out!
7. We've seen the landscape of the industry change so much. How much are you relying on online presence to get out there instead of building a buzz solely by playing shows?
With the way the industry has changed and evolved over the years, an online presence is crucial to gaining fans and recognition as a band. We're constantly interacting with our fans on social sites, such as twitter and facebook, sometimes for 3 or 4 hours a day. With that said however, I feel that people sometimes underestimate the importance of touring and playing shows. You have to take the fans you've made through online outlets, and get them to come out to your shows where you can meet them face to face. A fan who has met the real you will be ten times more dedicated than a fan who has only spoken with you online. Having a large online presence and touring both go hand in hand; the more you can do of each one the more successful you'll be.
8. How would you describe the band to someone who has never heard of you before?
The After Party is a 4-piece pop band who writes catchy songs that will instantly have you dancing. Whether you like to bump in the club or get groovy with your bad self, you'll find song after song that you can't live without.
9. Anything else to say?
We'd just like to give a huge shout out to all of our fans! We couldn't do what we do without you guys, and we love each and every one of you with all of our hearts. We can't wait to get back on the road and hang out with all of you this spring and summer!