Issues - 09.19.12

Interviewed by
Issues - 09.19.12
A couple of weeks ago, I was graciously allowed to sit in with the members of newly formed Velocity/Rise Records band, Issues. This band is noted for it's inclusion of multiple original Woe, Is Me members (including vocalists Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn) -- in fact, this band has more original members from Woe, Is Me than Woe currently has right now. The band is far from a "Woe, Is Me pt. 2", as some people are quick to assume. The first thing that came to mind was that it sounded reminiscent of older For The Fallen Dreams instrumentally, with the familiarity of Carter/Bohn's vocals in the mix -- not necessarily a bad thing at all, if you ask me.

I sat down with some of the members of the band, as well as producer Kris Crummett, who is known for his work producing Alesana, Dance Gavin Dance, and Sleeping With Sirens records. This is the first at length interview with the band.

Check out the band on Twitter: @issues, @tylercarter4l, @therettes, @_hoorayjay, @_scoutLA ; @kcrummett
Check out the band on Facebook

First off, can you introduce yourselves and what you do in the band?

Micheal Bohn: I'm Michael, and I do vocals.

Tyler Carter: I'm Tyler, and I'm a vocalist and a writer.

A.J. Rebollo: I'm A.J., I play Guitar

Ty Acord: I'm Ty, and I do production and writing.

Kristofer Crummett: I'm Kristofer, and I'm a producer.

Can you give the timeline from quitting Woe, Is Me, to Tyler's solo EP, to now?

Tyler Carter: I quit the band due to personal vendettas, and I went solo in which I spent a year developing, and then I starting pondering the development of a hardcore project. Once that sparked, I had Ty, who was my touring DJ (with my solo music), and we wrote some pop songs together, and I decided to bring him on board with that. Later on, Micheal and some other guys quit the band, and I right at that moment that we had to partner up again, and that's how we got here.

As far as the band name goes, where did the inspiration for the name come from?

Micheal Bohn: Issues is definitely something everyone can relate to. It's a concept that Tyler had in the works before myself, Ben, and Cory came along. We definitely liked it...

Tyler Carter: It just basically represents everyone in the band and the issues we deal with, and the issues of our fans, and the industry altogether. We take that and we use that as our lyrics and our image. It's all about embracing the issues you have, and working for an outcome, and live your life. People can self-loathe, but we're just like "accept them, fuck it, just move on".

Micheal Bohn: Everyone has their own issues, and everybody is so closed minded about their issues, and they keep it to themselves. Why don't you make light of it, and know that the person standing next to you has their own issues?

Tyler Carter: We're all together, and music is the cure.

Tyler, I think some people might want to know if this is your full time project, or is your solo career your first priority?

Tyler Carter: Well, they go hand in hand. I'm definitely focused on my solo career, but there is just a lot more paperwork involved in pop as opposed to hardcore. Things take time. That's something that goes really strong in my heart, but I also have a heart for heavy and aggressive versions of myself, so you know, they go hand in hand. The band is going to help my solo career, and my solo career is going to benefit the band. Unlike before, everyone in this band is supportive, and we're a family, regardless of where the music goes.

What about the band's sound differentiates itself from what we heard on the Woe, Is Me album, Number[s]?

Ty Acord: Well, Woe, Is Me was metalcore and cool, and it was dope for the time, but since then a lot of things have emerged in the metal scene, a lot of things that A.J. and myself have been influenced by: the "djent/groovy" scene, the melodic hardcore scene, etc. So we like to put a lot of those influences in the music, keeping it current with what's going on in the metal scene. On the other side of things, Tyler and myself are really influenced by pop and underground electronic music, so this sound is a blend of all the different elements of all the different genres of music we're into. It's kind of really just has nothing to do with the sound of Number[s], it's just kind of completely new and different, it's just something we've come up with in our heads. It's weird, Tyler and I are sort of "musical twins" in a sense.

Tyler Carter: Yeah, obviously people will hear spices of the sound Woe had in the past, just because of the people behind it. It's definitely going to be "next level", and I'm sure Kris can touch base on the technicalities...

Kristofer Crummett: Well, it's pretty simple: it's way heavier than Woe, and it's way catchier and way more melodic than Woe at the same time. These are way better songs, It's two steps ahead of where they were before.

Tyler Carter: We take the best of both worlds: we take what's hot in the heavy scene, and what's hot in the top 40 scene. Granted, I haven't heard Woe's new record, so there's no offense to what the band is now, but we were just referring to when we were in the band.

So is it more-so what kids want to hear, or more indicative of your influences that you're ready to share with everyone?

Tyler Carter: I mean, I can't really say, because I know kids want to hear stuff from us. Obviously there's a certain amount of expected flavor to it, but when I went back to the hardcore scene and started to work on something, I specifically told myself that I was ready to take risks, because we have the talent TO take risks. I feel like we can re-invent the scene a little bit.

Do you feel like you're starting out at the very bottom, or that you've already started working from an established base?

Micheal Bohn: It's weird, in a sense we are starting at the bottom, but at the same time, we've already accomplished so much just in the time being.

Tyler Carter: We have the knowledge of a band that's risen to the top, but we have the heart of a starting new, and working our way back up. It's cool, because it's kept us grounded, but the knowledge has kept us motivated with what to do. We're working really hard, and it's definitely a hustle, but at least we have the fans that are craving stuff.

How have you guys grown as writers in the past year?

Tyler Carter: I mean I've grown a lot just as a solo artist, with session writing, and on the spot top lines and melodies. I bet A.J. can tell you how he's grown as a writer, as this is his first band that he's gone full force into.

A.J. Rebollo: Basically with this band, I'm writing stuff I've never really written before. Mostly everything I've written before was melodic hardcore stuff, like The Ghost Inside and Gideon. But with this, it sort of has it's own sound, so I've been taken out of my comfort zone of writing, and for this being my first band, I'm doing a good alright.

Kristofer Crummett: Yeah, you're doing a damn good job.

Tyler Carter: It's cool, you always gotta have somebody that's authentic. You take a kid out of a local hardcore scene, and put that real authenticity on the music. Obviously it's a little watered down, but we're going for more of a mainstream sound, but that's just come from practice. But yeah, he brings a real ground level of things onto it.

So I guess A.J. is coming from a melodic hardcore scene where bands like The Ghost Inside and Gideon are removed a bit from Woe's general metalcore sound. I guess it brings a level of authenticity to the sound, as opposed to a general washed up version of what people expect, right?

Ty Acord: There's familiarities from the sound of the metalcore scene and other popular metal music, I guess the key is mix that in with the more underground scenes and influences that's happening.

A.J. Rebollo: At times, you can hear the influence, there's breakdowns we have that have that Gideon influence, and we have some riffs that sound like older For The Fallen Dreams...

Ty Acord: and more "groovy" stuff, like Periphery, and Volumes, etc. But also, Michael, Tyler, and Myself were huge nu-metal fans, so we even have some nu-metal inspired stuff...

Tyler Carter: Yeah, I love Limp Bizkit, Slipknot...

Micheal Bohn: Sevendust, Korn...Nu-Metal is really coming back in...It's so much fun to play...

Tyler Carter: It's FUN, it's bouncy...Kids go to shows to BOUNCE.

Micheal Bohn: I used to listen to it as a kid, and kind of fell out of it, but coming back and listening to it, there's some really good shit.

Well, a band like Deftones is still extremely relevant, they still sell out large venues.

Tyler Carter: And that's cool, because like I said with the risks, we have the talent to re-invent those things and bring them back, and start a new revolution for the scene.

I guess with all these outside influences, do you feel like that opens the door with a wider variety of bands to tour with, such as The Ghost Inside, as opposed to being pigeon-holed into touring with bands like Woe and Abandon All Ships over and over again?

Micheal Bohn: We didn't want to limit ourselves at all in the band, and like Tyler said, we're taking risks, and we're not looking to be the...I dunno...

Tyler Carter: We're not looking to be the hottest thing on Warped Tour, you know? Which it'd be fun to do, but we're looking to...

Micheal Bohn: ...exceed that.

Tyler Carter: My top goal is to sell out arenas in other countries and stuff. Obviously it's going to take time to grow, and it could be a few years down the road, but we want to open for all sorts of bands, like Linkin Park, a band like that. Or we could headline a tour, and be able to bring out poppier bands. I just don't care, it's about the entertainment.

Micheal Bohn: Our sights are set so high, and we're not trying to limit ourselves, you know?

Is there really any way you can fail with what you're trying to do?

Kristofer Crummett: No.

Tyler Carter: I'll take Kris's side, confidence wise, no -- I don't think we will fail. Who's gonna tell themselves they can fail? But Realistically, we could, but that's part of taking risks, we just don't give a fuck, you know? We want to do something that we have the talent to put into it that I think is undeniable. It's all about taking that risk, and really not limiting anything at all.

Ty Acord: I feel like since all of us are here and have all this passion, if we all put 100% into this project, it's going to have SOME success.

Kristofer Crummett: There's no failure, you guys are way too good, failure is not a factor; level of success is, but failure is not a factor.

Kris, when presented with the opportunity to work with these guys, what led you to accept the offer?

Kristofer Crummett: When I heard these guys were going to be on a record again [Tyler Carter, Micheal Bohn], there's something you just can't say no to. Even when I said yes, I didn't have a full picture of what was going to happen when I was talking to Dave at Velocity, but it was one of those things where I was like "How could I say no to working with Tyler and Micheal?" It'd be idiotic not to. I'm glad I didn't say no, because this record is probably going to be one of the coolest and best things I've worked on to date.

Yeah, and you've worked with a variety of bands over the last few years, Drop Dead, Gorgeous, Sleeping With Sirens, and more. So to say that means a lot, and it's a big deal.

Kristofer Crummett: ...And it IS a big deal, you'll know when you hear it.

Tyler Carter: (in fake southern accent) awwww shucks, Kris!

I think now that we've identified the sound and it's influences, what can we expect as far as lyrics goes, and the themes behind the songs?

Tyler Carter: I mean, I know people think it sounds cheesy, but really our fans have created the stories for this record. Because to me, when I write lyrics, every song is a story, and it's not just a basic song. Sometimes it's universal to say that anyone can adapt it to their own lives or the way that they want, but every song really has a fully painted story.

Micheal Bohn: We don't just write a bunch of random lines that sound cool, you know?

Tyler Carter: Like we have specifics, and there are some songs that are about more provocative themes. Everything we write is real shit, you know? Whether it's about a kid that gets beat by his dad and grows up to be an alcoholic and turns on the world, someone, somewhere that song was written about them. I might not know that person personally, but everyone needs a song about them -- there's a song that goes with every situation. There's a song about sex -- who doesn't like sex, and who doesn't have sex? It's real shit. From beginning to end, every song has a full storyline and fully painted picture, and it's going to be cool, because that's what changes people's lives.

Any guest vocalists?

Fronz from Attila, and one more that's yet to be announced.

So would you say this album will still carry that "Never Lose Your Flames" mantra that people have adopted from your lyrics?

Tyler Carter: I mean, I don't see how it can't. When I go on twitter and I'm lacking inspiration one day, and I ask "What are you guys dealing with?", and my fans will give me answers, and that's what goes right into the song. When fans come up to me at shows and say "You changed my life" or "This song saved my life", I just kinda look right back at them and say "you helped write this song, you changed MY life". That's what the band's all about, taking those issues that everyone has and putting them into perspective, and to play with our own lives, and it's just full cycle.

Micheal Bohn: One thing for me personally, I feel really comfortable with this band, and I feel like we can truly express ourselves, and not hold anything back, and not be afraid to say something.

Tyler Carter: Just real people. There's really no gimmick here, which is a gimmick in itself, but there's no limiting ourselves to any certain image. Everyone's a diamond in the rough, we're all black clouds; the sooner you can just make light of that and live that, is the best way to overcome that.

What's been the general vibe in the room like when you've been recording?

Tyler Carter: The album's been turning out great, vibe has been great. I think you guys are the first to hear this, but our album is titled Black Diamonds.

What are the best things to give you guys when you are on tour?

Ty Acord: Reese's Cups are the best.

Tyler Carter: Reese's and booze.

Ty Acord: If you gave me a Razor scooter, that'd be sick.

Can it be used?

Ty Acord: Yeah, it can be used.

Who is the most irresponsible person in this group?

Ty Acord: Probably Tyler, he's wild and wreckless, he's a star and he knows it.

Kristofer Crummett: He vacuums up after himself...

Tyler Carter: I'm actually VERY responsible. We all just moved into an apartment together, and I completely organized the whole thing, picked up all the furniture and everything. I basically am the housewife of the apartment. I think the most irresponsible roommate is Ben - he's not in the band, but he's still family so we can talk about him, haha. He likes to have parties and invite a bunch of people over...and then go to bed, and let his company fend for themselves. So usually Cory will come home, and will have to cater to Ben's friends until 5am or whatnot. Ben's the least responsible, the lazy one, but he's the character of the group and we love him.

When can we expect to hear new music?

Tyler Carter: Hopefully late fall

By the end of the year then, for sure.

Tyler Carter: Oh definitely, way before. By the time this comes out, we'd have announced our first tour.

Any last remarks, comments?

Ty Acord: Can I tell a short story about A.J. and how he joined the band? When I was on tour with Tyler, he had this idea about this band, and we got to talking (Tyler Carter, in a playful tone: "Hey Ty, I have a great idea about this band"), and he asked him to help him write some of the music (Carter: "Can you help me write some of the music?"). I love heavy music, but I can't really play guitar, so I hooked up with A.J. here, cause he's from Pasadena where I'm from (Carter: "You love heavy music, but you can't play guitar, do you have anybody that you can bring aboard?"). So we wrote music together, and it was as far as it was supposed to go, but then eventually we were like "A.J. should just join the band" (Tyler: "ONE.MONTH.LATER"). So A.J. was just a kid in Pasadena I knew, who played in a local band, who wrote some pretty dope stuff (Carter: "Hey, that stuff that A.J. kid wrote is pretty dope"). THE END.

Tyler Carter: Realistically though, it was still in development, and we just recently decided that A.J. was made to be a part of this band. At first it just about writing music. We were just trying to create music. It was just about writing music, and then eventually created the band and the entity.

You guys have been writing for quite awhile though, right? It wasn't just something that you threw together, right?

Tyler Carter: Well, it's been like a two month thing. Ty Acord: It wasn't thrown together, but we wrote very fast

Tyler Carter: It kind of naturally just came together on it's own, which makes it easy to write, because we all just intertwine with each other as artists.

Anything else?

Tyler Carter: Nope, I think we covered everything.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
01:02 PM on 09/19/12
lets keep this circlejerk going.
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whenwefirstmet's Avatar
Very very excited to hear this.
01:30 PM on 09/19/12
Steve Alcala
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Steve Alcala's Avatar
Hard. To. Read. Through.
01:43 PM on 09/19/12
She wears hats above her ears
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HeyItsAllyssa's Avatar
So excited for this. Sounds like everyone is in the right place now.
02:22 PM on 09/19/12
what shape is punk?
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MikeyJam's Avatar
02:52 PM on 09/19/12
Registered User
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Ihaddreams's Avatar
Black Diamonds is going to slay.
03:14 PM on 09/19/12
Support local music!
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Jaimehere's Avatar
Riffs like Old FTFD, Periphery and Volumes?

You have my interest.
05:32 PM on 09/19/12
Up and crumbling
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blackmold's Avatar
I hate that Tyler keeps referring to the music he made/is making as hardcore. Because I have a strong feeling it won't be and that he probably doesn't even know what hardcore really is.
06:05 PM on 09/19/12
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No Avatar Selected
Woe, Is Me > issues

they're all hype. release some music or stfu
07:07 PM on 09/19/12
emo is a gang
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kkman99's Avatar
Something about Tyler Carter just.. annoys me. He seems like one of those guys you see on your Facebook that posts inspiring statuses and lyrics from shitty deathcore bands while channeling his inner swagfag and posting pics every other day of himself in a webcam with some sort of "yeah, i look high, but i'm not" face.

I don't know. It's probably just me.
09:53 PM on 09/19/12
That's not a nawyf. THAT'S a nawyf.
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ChristianLFTW's Avatar
metal and hardcore
10:03 PM on 09/19/12
Steve Alcala
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Steve Alcala's Avatar
Something about Tyler Carter just.. annoys me. He seems like one of those guys you see on your Facebook that posts inspiring statuses and lyrics from shitty deathcore bands while channeling his inner swagfag and posting pics every other day of himself in a webcam with some sort of "yeah, i look high, but i'm not" face.

I don't know. It's probably just me.

I'm dying of laughter.
10:39 PM on 09/19/12
Allez l'OL
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JuneJuly's Avatar
what happened to to the Ferris bros??
10:54 PM on 09/19/12
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xsinkshipsx's Avatar
I feel like they said a lot of things without actually saying anything. It wasn't the interviewers fault, they just are idiots. They are acting like having breakdowns and sounding like katy perry is a new thing, when it most likely will sound just like woe is me but with some shredding.

fucking scene kids.
05:18 PM on 09/20/12
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bobsheiskawy's Avatar
shouldn't it be "Michael?"

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