Brian: Well we've been playing together as a band since were about 12 or 13 years old in middle school. All of us went to the same school, same grade our whole lives besides Joe who moved to Bangor, PA from Hackettstown, NJ in the summer before our Junior year. First day of 11th grade Joe came up to me because I was wearing a Glassjaw hoodie and we started talking about music, and he joined the band 2 days later. Since then we've just been writing, playing shows, and promoting as much as we can. We recorded our demos with Rob Freeman from Hidden in Plain View at his studio in his basement. The demos ended up in the hands of Howard Benson and he really showed a lot of interest in working with us which was amazing due to the fact we were all huge fans of his work. From there we had a lot of labels asking about us and wanting to see us play so we just went with it. We're two years removed from high school right now but we actually signed with Geffen at the end of our senior year.
What made you pick Geffen over another label?
Brian: It seemed that Geffen got the whole big picture of what we wanted to be and were into it. The people there are amazing and very dedicated. A lot of people vilify them because of everything that went down with Drive-Thru. And a lot of that is understandable…must have been hard to start working with new people when you're already well into your career and have always been with the same familiar faces. But a lot of that didn't solely rest of the shoulders of Geffen. We've had the opportunity to work with them from very early on and it's been great….wouldn't change a thing
Before getting signed was Geffen the only label looking into you guys?
Brian: No, we actually showcased for a bunch, both independent and major. It was cool because we got to meet a lot of people that work in the industry, whether from a major or the awesome people over at Fueled by Ramen. We showcased for a label or two a week for about a month and a half. We traveled multiple times to New York and LA for showcases. One of the labels even came to watch us play in my basement. We released our EP through Rock Ridge Music but decided Geffen was the place for us.
Is there any meaning behind the album title?
Rick: STAY INSIDE was the one song that I think, from the day we demoed it, we all knew was going to be something. More or less, the song's about the irony in life and how it can be difficult to make something of yourself when you're constantly bombarded with such negativities. And in the end, the strength that it takes to be able to shut out pessimists and step outside your comfort zone. It's something a lot of kids have to deal with and it's usually not a comforting time in your life.
I suppose that's kind of a round-about way of explaining that one without going off on a tangent.
What was it like working with Howard Benson?
Rick: Howard was actually really cool and relaxed to work with. I don't think any of us knew what to expect going into the first day of preproduction, but once we got started, he really opened our eyes to some things we weren't seeing and it all fell into place. Mostly small things in the song writing process that can make an "ok" song change into a "good" or "great" song; those were the changes that made the biggest difference. There were really no MAJOR changes in any of our songs besides the "keep the chorus more in the pocket" or "work on that one lyric there" type of comments. It was really nothing like the preconception that a lot of people seem to have of major labels and big producers. Howard was really all about making us do the work and figure out how to fix the problems. And looking back on it now, it really made us a much tighter band with a better grasp on the grand scheme of things
Do you feel with the cd leaking months in advance it can help you guys rope in more fans given that you're not really that big?
Brian: hell yeah dude, we heard it leaked and no one was bummed about it. I mean we're trying to get our name out there as much as we can. If someone is going to download it and show their friends that's cool…if they dig it hopefully they'll go out June 12th and pick it up. It's not going to be too costly either so we're hoping that a lot of people will get to hear the musicianship involved, know that it's solid all the way through and will show some support.
How do you usually go about the song writing process?
Rick: Since we had so much time to write for this album, and wrote so many songs, we almost went at each song differently. Maybe in some respects it didn't change, but songs were birthed from just about each person in the band or a combination of two or three. Occasionally I'd play around with a melody idea or progression on a keyboard and take it to one of the other guys and it would go along that way, or maybe Brian and Colin would sit around and work through an entire song until it was done and then show it to the rest of us. We just found it's easier and more productive if everyone is constantly working on something. It kind of keeps everyone fresh. If you get sick of working on one song you can go and work on another song with somebody else and come back to it later.
What's your favorite song(s) on the record?
Brian: That's a tough one…I'd imagine it's like telling a parent to pick their favorite child. Unless one of the kids is a little bitch I'd think that'd be a pretty tough decision. The ones we really loved hearing were the songs we demo previously, because it was the first time we got to sit down and hear them played back to us. Picture Perfect definitely comes to mind as a song that when I was hearing it for the first time I couldn't stop smiling.
When did it first set in with you that this was going to be your career?
Rick: Personally, for me, it was the second I heard the first rough mixes of "Suffocating" and "Fact or Fiction" in the studio. We were all SO anxious to see how it came together, and then once we did, it was like the feeling that a parent gets watching there kid go off to school for the first day or something haha. Like, "you did it, you fucking did it." And even if it didn't end up being my career for the rest of my life, (knock on something), it feels great knowing I have this whole period of my life to look back on and feel great about.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Brian: 10 years….lets see, we'll be in the year 2017. I'll be 30. I'd like to see myself still making music for a living and touring with my friends, playing in front of people that enjoy hearing my band. You honestly can't ask for more than that. It's a blessing that we have the opportunity to be doing what we are right now. I'm just excited for everyone to hear this record. It'd the record we all wanted to make, solid from the first song through the last.
When you first started the band did you ever think it would get this big?
Brian: Not in the slightest dude, my brothers were in a band back then that was the "big thing" in the area and we just wanted to be like them. When we started we've been playing our instruments for awhile so it was a blast to finally be in a band, especially at that age. But we played everything…from friends' birthday parties, to vfw shows…even our 8th grade school dance. Definitely didn't play dance music, I think we had some pits going and some kids got kicked out…. I hope to god no one has pictures of that.
Any plans to shoot a video in the near future?
Rick: I know that a video is in the near future, but we haven't actually started that process yet. We do know it'll be for "Suffocating," but as far as a date goes, we're not really sure if it'll be before or after the album hits stores. I'm sure you guys will be the first to know about it.
If you had to tour with 1 band for the rest of your life what band would it be and why?
Brian: I think I can speak for the other guys and myself when I say Incubus. That is one band that we admire so much. Every album is so different from each other yet so catchy. Even if I had to see them every night for the rest of my life I don't think I'd mind.
What does 2007 hold in store for Sound The Alarm?
Brian: tour, tour, tour, tour tour, and some more touring. If it was up to us we'd be on the road all the time. Good times and fun stories happen on the road. The record comes out June 12th and we're just going to try to hit every city multiple times in the next year and a half or so.