(Adrian) - My friend told me a story of when he was high how he reached his "beta state" and saw a tree rise up from the ground. That term caught my ear, and I looked it up to find that he didn't have the right definition of the phrase "beta state". Turns out that "beta state" is actually a state of mind you are in when you are awake. "Theta state" is when you are in between being awake and hitting R.E.M., and "delta state" is R.E.M. I thought it was cool that "beta state" had a good meaning because it basically means a state of mind where you are awake, in the moment, alive, etc. I thought it was fitting for our band because each song is a snapshot of how we were feeling at that exact moment in time.
2. How did this band get started?
(Adrian) - Our guitar player Ryan and I just got through a band breakup and decided to start a new project on our own. Justin, our bass player, was one of the first people we called to join the band. From there we wrote and posted instrumentals online in search of a singer. After HUNDREDS of auditions and a year of passing on decent vocalists in search of "the one", we finally were sent an audition from Matt McDonald. We fell in love with his takes on our songs, and we quickly got him to audition live. He exceeded all our expectations and we finally came together and wrote and recorded what would be our debut album "Stars".
3. What bands are you influenced by?
(Matt) - I grew up listening to a lot of soul music. I've always been drawn to deep, honest lyrics and powerful melodies. A few bands that have really influenced me over the years are: U2, Mercy Me, Fleetwood Mac, The Used, Cat Stevens, The Fray.
(Adrian) - More recently I feel like we draw most of our songwriting influences from U2 (as Matt had said), as well as Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Taking Back Sunday. We are all different though and listen to many different things. I personally am listening right now to a lot of rap and EDM music.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
(Matt) - U2. They have such powerful and moving songs, and they have always inspired me, even before I began writing songs. Plus, it would be fun to watch them play every night!
5. Best food to eat on tour?
(Matt) - PB&J sandwiches and apples. Healthy and cheap!
6. Why should people listen to your band?
(Adrian) - People should listen to our band because we give great hi-fives.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
(Matt) - Tiger Woods (Pre-2009). Get paid THAT much to hang out and play golf everyday? Count me in.
(Adrian) Probably Danny Way. That guy rips on a skateboard.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
(Matt) - I would first thank God. Then I would thank my family for believing in my dreams even in moments when I had lost faith in them.
(Adrian) - I would thank everyone behind the scenes: producers, mix engineers, mastering engineers, publicists, label, etc. because without them a Grammy wouldn't be possible. Hopefully one day we will have that chance to win one!
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
(Matt) - Right now, it's really hard for up and coming bands to make it to the next level. I have friends touring the world yet still are forced to work multiple jobs while not touring just to scrape by on bills. They lose money every time they tour. These artists have sacrificed everything for music and get discouraged when they can't take care of their families back home. These are artists who are extremely talented and deserving. If you enjoy a band, go to their shows. Sing along. Buy their record that they put years of hard work into. Tell them they made a difference in your life. You may think these sound so simple, but even the smallest support can change everything.
10. Memorable tour experience?
(Matt) - About a week into my first tour, we were passing through Chico, Ca, and decided to pull over at a rest stop to sleep. (Earlier on, we had run into a tree and shattered one of the rear windows...but instead of fixing it, we decided to patch it up with good ol' duct tape and cardboard). Everything was fine for about an hour, until my arms and legs became really itchy. All the sudden, everyone started itching and slapping at their arms and legs. I turned on the light and saw hundreds of mosquitos hovering around the van...on the ceiling, on the walls, on the seats. Everywhere! What do you do when you're sitting in a mosquito infested rest stop? Start the engine and drive as far away as you can, right? Not us. Our engine wouldn't start, and we were stuck there the entire night!
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
(Matt) - It's an opportunity for bands who aren't at the top of major press headlines (but equally as deserving) a chance to have their music heard.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
(Matt) - "Nobody Knows". Most of our songs are upbeat and energetic, but this song is so emotionally raw and honest. Performing this song is like therapy for me.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
(Matt) - Newport Beach, Ca. The ocean is the most calming place in the world.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
(Matt) - I used to rock out to AC/DC when I was in diapers. Still one of my favorite bands.
(Adrian) - I used to hide an Easy-E mix-tape under my bed because my parents wouldnt let me listen to that.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
(Matt) - The ability to stop time. That way I could procrastinate without any consequences!
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
(Matt) - I chew gum during every performance...I don't know why exactly, it just calms me.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
(Matt) - I always loved music, but I didn't start playing music or singing until after high school...I was actually a basketball player my entire life. One day, I was singing along to the radio and realized I could sing everything that came on...then I decided to give up everything and pursue music.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
(Matt) - Radio stations are reactive. They play what they think the masses want to hear. It's the fans who are the ones with the power to change the radio industry. That being said, I believe rock music is making a comeback, and I believe that we have a great chance at being a part of that.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
(Matt) - Play basketball and hangout with my dogs.