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In The Now Magazine Interview

Do you remember how the idea of forming the band first came up?

Speed: As a child I was always fascinated with music and performing. I played in a few cover bands as a bass player, but my friend convinced me that my stage presence was more of a lead singer. I started auditioning for cover bands as a singer. My first show was in front of my entire school. I love watching people have a great time as the band and I blare out loud rock and roll music.

How long after you formed was it until you played your first live show?

Speed: It was about 6 months before we performed our first show. We wanted to rehearse for a few months before we cut our teeth live.

What are your memories of the performance?

Speed: I remember how scared we all were, trying to concentrate on not messing up. First and foremost we consider ourselves to be a live band. From that first show was and still is about meeting and making fans. It’s the fans that give us the best memories.

What is your latest album and why should people buy it?

Speed: Our latest release is called “Out Of The Box.” If you’re into high-octane rock music, that takes you on a roller coaster ride, and you can relate to life’s experiences…the good, the bad and the ugly…then this record is for YOU !

Where did record your latest release at?

Speed: All the tracks except “Never Too Late” were recorded at Wright Way Studios in Baltimore, MD. We did “Never Too Late” at Dylanava Studio in PA with David Ivory.

Producers are a very important factor in recording a good record. Who did you use to produce your record?

Speed: Steven Wright produced all the tracks except “Never Too Late” that was produced by David Ivory.

Tell us about your experience in the studio recording the new record? Was the band comfortable in the studio?

Speed: This was a very different record for us. In the past, we always had all the music ready and went into the studio and recorded. This time it was different. We worked side by side with Steven Wright. We were determined to think ‘out of the box’ and try new ideas and ways of recording. We got Steven involved at the beginning as we were writing material. We tried different use of melodies and riffs, mixed with some awesome orchestration and sounds.

Did the band have any goals to shoot for before the recording process began?

Speed: We had only one goal - to write better songs then we had in the past.

Did you feel any pressure when it came down to writing and recording your latest record?

Speed: We didn’t feel any pressure writing. If we had any pressure it was from ourselves because we had so many different ideas and that’s one place Steven came in and helped us sort things out.

Describe the transformation a song undergoes once lyrics are added. Even though the music is the same, the lyrics can make it sound happy or dark or angry, etc.

Speed: Actually, this release had many different approaches. Some of the tracks came simultaneously, whereas on a few of the tracks the music came first. On the tracks where the music came first, I let my emotions take over as I wrote the lyrics. Our music and lyrics come from our life experiences. That’s one of the great things about the four of us writing together, we never know where, when or how the next song will come about.

At what point in the recording process do you start working on the album art?

Speed: The artwork came late in the process. We were so caught up in the writing process, that we didn’t even have a title for the release. The title came from our manager, David. He kept saying “think out of the box” on everything we were doing. Once we had the title, the artwork followed soon after.

Every album comes with its own set of challenges. For you, what was the most challenging part of recording your latest record?

Speed: For me, it was singing. I wanted to try new ways to sing the same note and sound better than I did on our last release.

Do you remember the very first time you heard the final mix of the new record and what you were thinking?

Speed: I believe the entire band were a bit taken back by the first mix. It sounded so different from what we have done in the past - better sound, better approach, better dynamics in the tracks. I remember all of us saying, “This is great…but, what can we do to make it even better?” We ended up adding a few more guitars and vocals where we thought it could had some flavor, and BAM! It worked!

Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?

Speed: Yes we all contribute, one form or another.

How do you feel the band has evolved musically and personally over the last year?

Speed: Musically we have grown a lot ! Which means we will continue push ourselves even harder. Personally, I think the band has also become closer in some ways. We all have our demons…not meaning drugs. No one in the band even thinks about drugs. I mean all the things around that affects us. When one of us is going through issues, it affects us all. Our brotherhood has become. Plus I believe we challenge each other to be better.

How would you categorize the style of the band?

Speed: Rock music has so many categories and labels, to us it`s all just rock ‘n’ roll. We try not to put ourselves in a category. Most think of us as a hard rock ‘n’ roll band.

Can you share with us one or two of your favorite moments with the band?

Speed: My favorite moments to date…the growth of the band, winning two Maryland Music Awards (Best Heavy Metal and Breakout Artist of 2016) last month, the two Billboard Awards for having a Top 40 Mainstream Rock Radio Chart singles, hearing our music on radio…wow, after thinking about it’s been quite a few.

Why do you think people are into your music?

Speed: We have an original sound mixed with familiar Rock and Metal tones and vibes. Our lyrics are about life experiences. We’ve found that many people have gone through the same things. Some of our songs have helped fans get through tough times in life or just day in and day escape. I believe we just connect.

What does the next year hold for you and your band?

Speed: I see a lot of touring, more videos and singles.

Would there be any one band or musician that would surprise us that you are listening to them?

Speed: Eminem. He has some great lyrics.

In your opinion which Heavy Metal Band really started the genre?

Speed: Black Sabbath was the first and the originators of the genre. The fact that they are still valid 40+ years later speaks volumes of the legacy they’ve created.

Which band musically introduced you to Heavy Metal?

Speed: Metallica

At what age were you when you first started listening to heavy metal? Are there many sub-genres of Heavy metal that you listen to such as Black Metal or Death Metal?

Speed: I was 14 or 15 when my uncle introduced me to Metallica. I listen to all metal and Rock. There is so much to learn from all sub-genres of metal and Rock. I think closing off any outlets is dangerous to any artists growth.

Where can our readers find your band on the internet?

Speed: If they go to they can reach us on all of our networks from there - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, iTunes.

How has Social Networking (Facebook,Twitter, etc.) impacted your band?

Speed: Social media has impacted us tremendously. It enables us to stay connected with more fans. Plus it’s helped us to reach more new fans. It’s given us the opportunity to grow before we hit the road. When play live, we like to hang out after the shows and we can share that with our fans because of social media.

Thanks for answering these questions. Do you have any last comments or words of advice?

Speed: Thank you for taking the time to do an interview. If I could give a shout out to our fans, “The TungNation.” They are the best! If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to continue to record and tour.

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