The Interview

GAIN, and bands just like them are why Music Speaks Magazine exists. We love getting to know the men and women behind the tunes we love to rock out to in the car, or laying in bed escaping the day. Here’s what they had to say about a few questions we thought would help you get to know them.

-Can you provide a brief history of the band and its formation?

The four of us started jamming and writing together in the fall of 2017. We started GAIN with the sole intention of playing music that we all enjoyed and could really let loose and have fun with.  While we’ve all played in various projects together over the past 17 years with other musicians, this was the first time the four of us had actually played together with this particular lineup.

-Please describe when and how each member became a part of the project and why.

Jared, Jeff, and Brett had most recently been in a four-piece pop-punk/alternative rock project.  That band eventually parted ways but after about 5 or 6 months, we began talking about starting a heavier, metal-based project.  We knew that we would need a frontman not only with solid pipes but also an explosive stage presence. We brought in our lead vocalist, Lenny, to jam with and right away we knew he was going to be the perfect fit.

-Which famous musicians inspired you to become a musician and why?

The list could go on and on, but the likes of KoRn, Sevendust, Queen, Limp Bizkit, and Blink-182 were all among some of the bands we were into at a very young age. Seeing some of these larger than life acts is enough to make any kid say “Hey, what they’re doing is pretty awesome, I want to do that.”

-What first got you into music?

For many of us it was finding a few bands when we were younger and really feeling like it was something that we could relate to. Especially at that age, it felt like it was something we could hold onto personally that would always be there for us. The great thing is that feeling doesn’t go away the older you get.

-What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?

Anytime you get a group of people involved with a project, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is always going to be who gets the final say in big decisions. This could be anything from songwriting and what direction the band wants to go to how the band wants to promote itself via recordings or shows.  The four of us have a very professional outlook on this though and while it took a little while to get there, we treat these decisions as any business would and always keep what’s best for the band in mind.

-What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate most?

As with any form of art, being able to have an outlet or a way to express yourself in a non-conventional manner is an incredibly liberating feeling. Being able to play out and find others that appreciate and relate to all that hard work makes it all worth it at the end of the day.

The hardest part is writer’s block. It can be a really defeating feeling to come to the group with a killer idea but just finding that one part to bring the song together can often lead to re-writing the whole song. Sometimes even that doesn’t cut it!

-What are each of your favorite pieces of personal gear you like to use on stage and why?

Jared – Line 6 Helix FX Pedal – Not only does the thing drastically reduce the amount of gear to haul around, but the tonal possibilities are endless. Being able to have a set of predetermined tones and effects for each song at the push of a pedal means more time focusing on performance and less time doing a river dance on stage.
Brett – 21” Zildjian A Custom Ride Cymbal – This thing is the bread and butter of my live performance.  It really glues the rest of my K Custom cymbals together.  It’s my go to crash for riding and it’s incredibly versatile and responsive. Plus, it’s one of the best sounding cymbals I’ve ever used.
Lenny – Sennheiser EW100-E945 Wireless Mic – Has a lot of great built in features which add up to a great sounding mic right out of the box.
Jeff – Ibanez SRFF805 Bass and Darkglass B3K Pedal – This combo gives every bass player what they need. Crunchy clarity and absolutely killer low end. As a four-piece band, this really helps fill the void that another guitar would possibly fill.

-What is your creative process like?

Honestly, it’s really all over the place.  Many songs are started with ideas from guitarist, Jared.  When he gets a new riff or song, he’ll typically track it right away and send it out to us.  Because there is a bit of distance between us, drummer Brett will then lay drums on top of these ideas and then bunce them back and forth.  Once we get to rehearsing, we’ll typically feel out what’s working and what needs to be changed and go from there.  We are very much a quality over quantity band so in some cases it might take a few months to really dial in the song we’re trying to write.

-Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Rick Rubin. Not much needs to be said there but he’s been some incredibly legendary records over the course of a very long period of time. What’s there to say, the guy is a legend.

-If you could go play a show with any artist who would it be?

Sevendust and Architects

-What is one message you would give to your fans?

With the recent release of our new EP, WHITE NOISE, and our music video for “Paralyzed” to go along with it, we have been absolutely overwhelmed with the positive response and support all of our fans and friends have sent our way.  Truthfully, if it weren’t for them, we would just be making noise in our practice space. If there is anything we would want to say, it would be thank you for giving us an outlet and believing in what we do.  Most importantly, thank you for listening!

-What is the most useless talent you have?

Dad jokes. Most of us have one or two little ones running around at home so it eventually came naturally with the package.

-Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

“Anyway You Want It” – Journey

-Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?

We have typically been playing in Green Bay, Two Rivers, Sheboygan, and their surrounding areas.  Our hands down favorite venue is the newly reopened Phat Headz II in Green Bay.  The venue and the people there are some of the most kind and supportive we’ve ever met. The venue is great, the sound there is some of the best in the area, and the place just screams “Rock and Roll” the second you walk in.

In terms of least favorite, we aren’t the type of band to throw shade at other bands or venues in the scene.  We have definitely  played some questionable venues though.  There is one that always stands out.  We won’t get into names but we played there on one of the hottest days in the summer of 2018.  The place was so humid that as the show went on the four of us slowly started shedding layers of clothes. Also, the place reeked of cat piss so that certainly didn’t help either.  Regardless, we still had a blast as we always do.

-Do you have any upcoming shows?

We have a few shows in the works which have not been officially announced, but currently, here is what we have lined up:

2/8 – Music is the Cure 7th Annual Charity Event – City Limits Bar and Banquet –  Manitowoc, WI

2/14 – The Back Bar w/ FLAW – Janesville, WI

3/13 – Phat Headz II – Green Bay, WI

We keep our Facebook events page up to date with all confirmed shows as well.

-How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

The internet and technologies involved have made a huge impact on the way local musicians do their business.  In our case, we’ve been able to distribute our music globally via Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and pretty much any other major streaming service.   When we were all first playing in bands, we would be lucky to find a way to get that type of distribution.  More specifically for us, the ease of transferring files from one person to another means we can do a lot of our writing and even recording remotely.  In many cases, it’s become such a necessity to have that ease of access.

-What is your favorite song to perform?

This one is particularly tough.  We always tend to write our songs with the live performance in mind.  If a song is lacking the live energy or “bounce” as we often call it then typically it doesn’t make the cut.  Our most recent single “Paralyzed” probably takes the cake on that one.   It was one of the first songs we had ever written in this band and between the heavy verses and the big open chorus, this is one we always really throw down on.

-What’s next for you?

Since we just recently released our new EP and music video, we will be putting a lot of our efforts into promoting those and playing out as much as possible.  After that though, we have a batch of roughly five new songs we’ve been messing around with so we’re going to hammer those out while keeping our next recording in mind.  Currently we have no set schedule for a new release, but the goal is to start planning ahead for that as well.

-Is there anything else you’d like to add?

First off, thanks to everyone at Music Speaks Magazine for reaching out for this interview and giving us an outlet.  This project has been an absolute blast for the past two years and being able to work with folks like you is always a pleasure.  For anyone reading, thank you for taking the time to read our endless blabbering and if you end up checking us out, we would love to see you and hang out at a show!

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