Tim Reed (vocals, guitar)
Max Hampton (bass)
Tony Robles (drums, vocals)
1. How did you get your band name?
Tim (vocals, guitar) came up with it. It has a lot to do with personal growth, musical process, and the changes involved in life. Most people always ask if we are huge Nirvana fans though, ha ha.
2. How did this band get started?
Tim was working on some group and solo projects for a couple years after his old band broke up. He recorded our current demo and started searching for other members. He found Max (bass) and Tony (drums) on Craigslist, which I think is hilarious. I had known Tim from high school in Corvallis where we played in different bands. We both moved to Portland at separate times and we started hanging out at the gym a bunch. I had listened to this stuff he had recorded and thought it was awesome. After a few months I got up the nerve to ask to try out for the band since I had heard he was looking for a fourth member. After that everything happened really fast.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
All of the members in the band have a really diverse taste in music. We are all influenced by a lot of the same bands like Jimmy Eat World, but if you checked our car stereo you'd probably find a huge range of stuff. Tony listens to a lot of harder bands like Tool and Coheed & Cambria. Max is into stuff like Muse and the Beatles. Tim's stereo would probably pleasure your ears with the latest Taylor Swift (I'm not joking) and almost always U2. In my stereo you'd probably find stuff in the likes of Hit The Lights, Anberlin or Senses Fail. Aside from that we all have the same goals for our music and just each throw in our individual personal favorite style to change things up a bit.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I am sure we would all agree that Jimmy Eat World would be a top pick for us. They are a huge influence of ours and write amazing songs of all styles.
5. If you were a furry animal, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
Chinchilla. I never realized how soft those things actually are. I was holding one in a PetCo store and made a comment about how I could understand why people make clothes out of them. The PetCo employee promptly removed the animal from my hands and put it away. *note* I don't condone wearing animal fur, I was just making a comment, ha ha.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
I think my band writes very honest songs. I am not saying that other bands don't, but we can't put a song out there and expect our fans to buy it as "us" if we don't believe it ourselves. Tim said in another interview "...just because lyrics are honest doesn’t make them good, but if they aren’t honest they will never be good." We all work really hard and never settle on anything in the band. We will work for hours on a song and if we can't get it right we will stop playing it for a week or two and then come back and try writing some more stuff and see if anything clicks. We try to be hands on in everything that involves us even if it means a little extra work for us. I think you can definitely see the difference between a band that is working hard every day to help themselves get somewhere and a band that just writes songs and plays shows and expects stuff to get handed to them.
7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
Oh man, I love Rock Band, but believe it or not, I can't play guitar on that game. I always opt for the drums. The guitar is just so different than real life. I would say that "You Sew Me Up" would be my first pick for a Rock Band song. It has a catchy riff and vocals that I could imagine in an epic arena rock song, it would definitely get the game going. It also has a lot of sweet parts for drums fills. It probably wouldn't be that hard to get a 5 star on expert but I would just hope that the game would hold true to how the song is really played with the two different guitars.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
We would thank anyone that helped us along our musical journey. Some of us would thank God. We'd also thank venues, large and small, for letting us play shows. We would thank any bands that hooked us up with shows whether local or far away. We would thank our girlfriends/ wives/ family members for the support that they have given us and putting up with us at times too.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Oh boy. I don't want to sound like a hater or anything. I just want people that decide to start a band for the wrong reasons to know what is really going on. There seems to be a glamorous facade over parts of the music industry and being in a band that should probably be cleared up. This isn't a get rich quick scheme. If you aren't in it for music, fans, and sweaty venues, you are probably in it for the wrong reasons. Of course there are many successful artists out there (ideas of success vary, but we are on the topic of money). I am sure it is completely rewarding if you can make a suitable living playing music, but think of how many bands there are that aren't successful. Again, I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but I have run into people that seem to have their musical priorities all mixed up and they probably need a reality check.
10. Memorable tour experience?
I fail this one. Ha ha, I have actually never been on tour before. I am going to pass this one down to Tim because he has a great tour story that he just told in a recent interview.
“…On a tour a while ago, my band was on an overnight drive from the Bay Area to Los Angeles. I was at the wheel, it was about 4am and we were just starting to get to the Grapevine. The sun was coming up, I was tired and we needed gas. I stopped at a gas station to fuel up and get some coffee. There were four or five cars at the gas station and as I got out of the van to head into the mini-mart I saw that everyone was staring at something. I went inside and saw what they were staring at. It was a large man that was overweight and was sweating and bleeding. He was also completely naked. All I could think about was episodes of COPS where there is a dude that is railed on PCP, butt naked and looking for someone to eat or a glass door to run through. Everyone in the mini-mart was silent, even the cashier. The man walked around, took candy and some chips off the shelf, filled up his car and
left without saying a word. Not even the cashier said anything as he left without paying for any of the stuff. Once he left everyone acted like he hadn’t even been in! I have no clue if he really was on PCP, but I thought to myself as this was happening, ‘Only on tour would you see a fully nude man that is sweating and bleeding at 4am at the same gas station as you.’”
11. What does AP.net mean to you? Well, I feel like I am probably not alone when I say this: There are so many bands these days that I get lost over when my favorite artists are coming out with new CDs or going on tour. Absolute Punk helps me keep track of the bands I already listen to and also helps me find new bands to check out.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
Oh man. I would have to say our opening track on the CD is my favorite. It is called "Familiarity" and it’s a super fast paced, short,
sweet, and to the point pop-punk explosion. It varies slightly less than some of our other songs in the way it sounds but I think I love it so much because it shows that you can keep a high energy pop-punk vibe without compromising sincerity and honesty.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Well I have only technically been on vacation twice in my life. The first time ever was Mexico in 2009. I loved going to Mexico. It was amazing seeing the culture outside of what you learn in the classroom and I REALLY love Mexican food. Everyone was so kind and generous even though many of them are not even as fortunate as I am. I was able to see an ancient Mayan dance that involved someone "sacrificing" their body to a flame. It was amazing seeing something that existed hundreds of years ago reenacted and be able to experience that passion they had for their heritage.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Ha ha, I feel like millions of other people could say this, but Enema of the State is the first thing to come to mind. The first time I
heard "All The Small Things" I honestly thought it was Smash Mouth. Third Eye Blind's self title album was something I listened to a lot when I was younger too; it is just an awesome CD.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
I think there are a lot cooler powers, but I would totally down to be able to fly. It is simple and it can't really be abused in a negative manner. I am sure the FAA wouldn't be so stoked about it though. I think it would be rad to just fly everywhere and I would probably never get stuck in traffic.
16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
Everyone has their own idea about when their band has "made it". I would love to be able to get my music out there to as many people as possible. I think we have a lot of uplifting songs, and positive messages for people. I don't think my band has made it in my mind yet, but I feel like with this upcoming release and our future plans we are definitely on the right track!
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Well, I am left handed, but I play guitar right handed. Everything else I do left handed except playing guitar. My mom told me that if I learn guitar right handed it would make things easier for me in the long run and she was right. I am also kind of a nerd, in multiple ways. I love learning and I am really infatuated with history and I also know a fair amount of about electronics and computers (building and buying) which could be considered nerdy but at the same time I think it is just stuff that any consumer should learn.
18. What's your favorite holiday?
I would say Halloween is my favorite. I love seeing people all dressed up and just the creepy aura around it. I am not really into scary movies but I love haunted houses and corn mazes. It is the one time a year when it is acceptable to be just a little abnormal and get away with it. It lets you live in a different world.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am really into cars. I love working on and detailing my car. I do a fair amount of aftermarket performance modifications to it and,
although I don't do it often, I love auto crossing. I am not really into the whole street racing scene or anything like that though. Just like probably anyone else my age I like playing video games too.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
I can take care of a cat better than anyone you know! Ha ha. I guess I have a pretty good throwing arm. I played quarterback and pitcher positions in elementary and middle school sports but I never really kept up with it. I guess it would be a hidden talent because I don't do it often enough for anyone to know. I can also type pretty fast. :)