First off, please introduce yourselves and what you do in Eyes Set to Kill.
Greg: Hi I'm Greg and I play guitar for Eyes Set to Kill.
Brandon: Hello, I'm Brandon and I play keyboard and scream for the band.
Alexia: I'm Alexia and I sing and play guitar.
Caleb: My name is Caleb and I play drums.
Anissa: I am Anissa and I play bass.
Right off the bat, I have to ask you guys a generic question: where did you get your name from? There has to be an interesting story behind it, right?
Alexia: Ha ha. Well actually the phrase, "when eyes set to kill" is a line out of a poem that I wrote in high school. When we were trying to figure out a good name, the only thing we didn't want to do is name ourselves something just because we thought it would sound cool. The poem is basically just about having our eyes set on a goal and not giving up on the dream for anything or anyone. I think it represents us well because we are a very diverse and unique band and we still have a lot of obstacles to pass in order to get to the point we want to as a band.
Myspace has been had a rather significant role in the bands' career. If not for the online success and subsequently, support ... do you think the Arizona music scene would have been enough to capapult you to where you are today?
Greg: I personally don't think any state's "scene" can catapult a band without Myspace. I can't comprehend how bands got big back in the day, without Myspace. It's the most wonderful thing for bands. Although, posting bulletins every day can get annoying to fans, it really makes a difference in the size of a show. Not to mention, the fact that you can reach out to so many people and spread your music very easily is huge.
How was growing up in Arizona? For a state that has given birth to mainstream pop-rock bands like Jimmy Eat World and The Format, where does Eyes Set to Kill fit in?
Greg: Growing up in Arizona was the reason I started playing music. It was so cool seeing Arizona bands blow up overnight, and to this day more and more AZ bands are still breaking out. Eyes Set to Kill fits in just like any other Arizona band; very single band out of AZ are super modest and very supportive of their friends' bands, no matter what genre. We just feel lucky to have made a name for ourselves so soon in our careers.
Name one band that specifically inspired and continues to inspire you each and every day.
Alexia: I have always listened to all styles of music since I was younger. Bands that have inspired me are bands who are unique and create their own sounds. Also, bands that have made an impact on my life through lyrics. Blink 182 was a huge inspiration to me because they introduced me to punk/pop. Thrice brought me into the hardcore/prog rock scene, which inspired me into writing more creatively on guitar. Even though we sound nothing like those two bands, I still feel like without their music in my life, I wouldn't be the person and artist I am today. I hope that one day a musician can feel the same way about us.
Do each of you have one specific band member - past or present - who has inspired you to play the way you do?
Brandon: I always look to everyone else on stage for more energy. If I see Greg going nuts, it pumps me up. Feeding off each other is huge for playing shows. I also admire Alexia's work ethic and musical creativity. She never fails to impress me when I hear new material she comes up with. I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say we all look up to each other. The band has made us family.
Now, you guys have a new video out for "Darling." Tell us the idea behind that concept and where it came from, and how it ties into the song.
Brandon: Well I don't want to give too much away, I want everyone to check it out for themselves. The guys who filmed it (MotionArmy) made the concept. In a nutshell, the concept for the video is pretty much a masked guy operating on a girl strapped to this table-like contraption. He sews her mouth shut (in a creative way that I'd like to keep a surprise) to represent the pain and lies she put him through. There is a little twist at the end too! It ties in because the song is about relationships gone wrong and what not, and most people can relate. It should be out in the next month or so!
Is there a particular process you go through writing songs? Lyrics first or last? Certain themes and topics you specifically enjoy covering?
Alexia: We usually write each song differently, process wise. Most of the time, either I will come up with a riff or Greg will come up with a riff and then we will build the song around it. Other times I will just write a simple chorus before anything and fit my own saved lyrics to it, then bring it to the band to develop. We love to write about common emotional experiences (like overcoming pain, relationships, love, etc.) because we like our fans to be able to relate to the things they are listening to. We want to write enjoyable and fun music but also, at the same time, write something meaningful to each and every one of the individuals that listen to us. I think singing about something that someone can relate to is the best way to make a memorable and intimate connection with an audience.
The fans want to know: give us a killer story from being on the road.
Brandon: Well there are tons of stories we probably shouldn't share ha ha, but the road is always interesting. From near death experiences behind the wheel to band drama, there is never a dull moment. We sleep in the van at Wal-Mart nearly every night, shower roughly once a week, and live off fast food. We have to find "creative" ways to use the restroom while driving to save time occasionally (i.e. empty bottles or plastic bags ha). I could go on for days about the good and bad of tour.
Are there ever any problems on tour, with two sisters and three guys all sharing time on the road? Or does that simply make it all that much more fun?
Anissa: Having my sister on tour with me definitely makes tour easier on me. Alexia and I are very close, not only is she my sister but also my best friend. I'm always there for her and she always has my back as well. If we do fight (which is rare) it's over something tiny, and we are over it in a minute. Being on tour with the guys is awesome. We all get along so well, and I love them like they were my brothers. The boys are so much fun and very respectful to Alexia and I. They make this band perfect.
So you guys are heading on the road to places you've never been. Tell about what you've seen, are hoping to see, excited about, etc.
Caleb: We are gong to a few places that we have never been before such as Wyoming and Montana. I'm not really sure what to expect in these new states but I am sure it will be a great experience for all of us. I know we all love see how diverse each state is, it's also a few more states we can say we went to.
Could you give us any details about what is going to be on the DVD coming out this fall?
Caleb: on the upcoming DVD, there will be interviews with everyone in the band, live performances from different venues, and of course lots of fun stuff that will help our fans get to know us a little better. It should be a great [release], and we want it to packed full of surprises.
What else does Eyes Set to Kill have planned for the future? What dons your list of goals for the rest of 2008 and beyond?
Caleb: In the future we just want to continue touring as much as we can, spreading our music everywhere and hitting more cities that we haven't played yet. We would really like to tour outside of the US, like Japan and Europe. We also want to continue writing more music for the next album. We've already started writing new material and we're all really stoked about it. But seeing as how Reach has only been out 6 months, we won't be hitting the studio til probable spring 2009 or later. When we do it will be awesome though!
Care to give the Absolutepunk.net readers any recommendations on what bands or albums they need to check out, right this moment?
Brandon: We tour with tons of amazing bands and become great friends with them. If you haven't yet, check out Foxy Shazam. They put on an incredible and unique live show. I am really excited about the new Underoath and Bayside albums as well!
Any last words for your fans?
Brandon: Obviously our fans are extremely important. We hang out at our merch table throughout every show and talk to all our fans. I want to say thanks for the undying support, and keep coming to the shows! We love to meet everyone. Keep an eye open for the release of the "Darling" video! Also, we have a full US tour lined up for the fall so watch out for those dates! Oh, and thank you to AbsolutePunk for giving us the opportunity to do this interview!
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Good luck out there on the road, and have fun!
I love ESTK. They write really sweet music. I didn't know they were planning on releasing a DVD. Wonder what happened to that. I can't wait for that cd this year! I got to see them live and met Brandon and Anissa. They were super nice and cool.