Decatur (Band Interview)
Today we chat to Decatur.
What’s the history of your band?
Decatur started while recording our debut record “Badder Than Brooklyn” with Joe Duplaniter at Silver Cord Studios in 2016. We had originally gone there to record under a different name. It was going to be the 5th record released by Jay “Beard” Sarrazin’s old band. But while recording the record the sound that was being created was nothing like Beard’s old band. And since the members that were now playing in that band were completely different and all new members, it was suggested by Joe Duplaniter, Taylor Bingley and Johann Meyer that maybe this would be the best time to start fresh. The members were different, the sound was different, the mentality was different and the attitude was different. So it was so clear to us that this band was different. That’s how we decided to become Decatur.
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
Out of the 4 members in Decatur, Liam is the only professionally trained musician. He graduated from Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. The other 3 of us grew up loving music and were all self- taught aside form maybe some lessons at the beginning of our musical journeys. But the majority of our learning came from listening to music, dissecting it and just trying to emulate what we heard and play along with all the bands we loved. Even though Liam graduated from MI, this was also his approach. On top of that we all sought out help from friends and other musicians and learned that way.
So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)?
Our latest album was a huge growing process for us. Not only as a band but as individual musicians. We started writing the record and it progressed in writing all the way until the very end. We really wanted to push our own limits and boundaries as well as step outside of our normal comfort zones. It was a very vulnerable process for us. We really wanted to create our own sound and own style. We have so many influences music wise and we tried to put as many of those influences into a cohesive sound that made Decatur. In a time where so much has been done we really wanted to create an original sound, to venture into undiscovered territory and we feel we hit the nail on the head in that regard.
How did you go about making it?
This being our first record together it was definitely a feeling out process. Beard came with a lot of songs and riffs and ideas and it took us some time to really iron out all the details. We really wanted everyone’s styles to come through on this record and yet keep it a cohesive sound. We recorded the record on our own and sent it off to Joe Duplaniter and his team. They gave us some pointers and tips and we went back and refined the songs some more. Once we got to Brooklyn, NY we did even more refining and tightening. We really wanted all hands on deck to make the best record we could. After all the music was recorded Beard and Joe recorded the vocals for the record and in the process finalized what was needed and what we thought we didn’t need. We made some final adjustments, pulling some parts, changing some parts and it turned into the final product you hear today.
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
To be honest, it would take pages to tell you what we learnt in this process. Having Joe Duplaniter by our side during the record really helped us see a fresh look on our music as well as the possibilities that it could have. When you’re working with someone who is such an artist, they can really help open your mind to such different things you never thought about or in ways you didn’t think about. Being the artist that he is, it brought our album from music to art. That coupled with having Johann Meyer as an engineer gave us such confidence. His work ethic and knowledge is something we have never experienced before. He has such an ear for music and was able to not only show us so much but explain it to us so well and help take us to the next level. It really built our confidence in the studio. He is definitely a patient individual. Also, having Taylor Bingley in studio with us was so important. He kept us all level headed and comfortable from day one. Setting up literally everything we needed to make this record succeed. He helped us keep our mind on recording and making an awesome album and took care of the rest. He also has such an incredible taste for music and knowledge for music that he could help us through struggling moments and add things to really bring out the music and parts of the songs.
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
We have always been a band that believes less is more. We really wanted to be able to perform the record live the way you hear it on the recording. So we didn’t use much in terms of technology or anything really out of the ordinary. The best instrument that we had to work with is definitely the team that surrounded us while making the record. Joe, Johann and Taylor were such a help for us and we couldn’t have gotten luckier. We also had one of the best mastering guys in Raphael Bovey from MyRoom Studios that was able to really make this record a serious force and weapon. So those are the things that we really believe took this record to a different level.
Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?
For us we are always about learning and growing. We made this record and are so proud of it and what it represents but hopefully we will have another bag of tricks for the next record. We are the kind of band that is excited about learning and trying new things and getting out of our comfort zone.
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
At the present time all of us are 100% focused on Decatur and are just getting started. We are excited to take this band as far as we can and hopefully 20 years from now we are all still going strong together.
Any plans for upcoming live shows?
Yes, our debut record “Badder Than Brooklyn” drops on October 6th, 2017 and we are kicking it off with a full Canadian tour called the “Out Of The Sewer Tour” It will be hitting a whole bunch of cities throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. We couldn’t be more excited to start playing this material live.
What do you see as a musicians role in society?
That’s a tough question. For us, we all grew up with music as an escape from the world. Music was something that helped us all through good times and bad times. It was the soundtracks to our emotions and lives. The role we want to play in society is helping people. We would really like our music to help anyone get through anything and serve as something positive for people. For it to maybe bring people together or even give people in need a safe place to be. Just like so many bands did for us as we grew up. It’s important that musicians stay honest and true because we can be a voice for so many that need to be heard.
How’s the scene different in your country to what we’re familiar with? Anything unique to your country?
Canada is a super tough market. It is such a huge place and so little people in that regard in comparison to anywhere else in the world. It’s definitely a “cool kids club” mentality. If you’re not in with the “cool kids” it is tough to break out or make some noise. We have never been in any kind of “cool kid club”. In fact quite the opposite of that. We have always believed in ourselves and believed in being real and honest. We don’t believe in begging for something or devaluing ourselves to get something. We love our country very much, we love living here and the fans here are literally some of the best in the world. It’s full of great bands as well but as far as the industry is concerned it is a tough go. There is a lot of things that need to change here if we want to be a country that puts out great bands and show the world of music that we have something to offer them. But it starts with the business and industry side because the bands and fans here are incredible and not only do they deserve it but the world deserves to hear these bands and see how awesome Canada is when it comes to music.
Where do you stand on music videos? Do you see their value in today’s world?
Ya, music videos will always be something that is valuable. It allows you to connect with your audience on a different level. It gives the fans something to enjoy. It also gives the fans a chance to not only see what you look like as a person so they can put faces to the band members but it also gives them a look into your style and what you represent. Things like lyric videos give your audience a cool way to learn your lyrics as well. When a band can make an original video as well, it makes for something to talk about and share with your friends.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Everything. The music industry is built on business these days. It’s numbers and dollars and styles and sales. The music is becoming further and further down the list of what’s important. It seems to be going in a direction of making money off bands and most bands making less than you could ever imagine. So the thing that should change is the love for music on the industries part. Because they love money and not bands it seems.
Any advice for new bands?
The only advice we could give is stay true to yourselves, don’t worry if someone hates you and your music because that is inevitable and don’t wait for someone else to do the work for you. You can tour, make music, have fun , make money and live the dream on your own terms if you are willing to put the work in. None of those things come overnight or in the first year but over time it becomes easier and easier to be a musician. Forget about getting a record deal or making millions of dollars. Do it because you genuinely love it. Because you need to do it.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
If we had to choose it would be Star Wars. But we are more into Sports like NHL, MLB, MMA and WWE. Also let’s not forget going to concerts and watching killer bands.
Sci-Fi or Fantasy?
Definitely fantasy. We love epic storylines and crazy twists that leave you hanging as well as some things that are not possible. Creativity is something we love and lets be honest, aliens are real 😉
We are definitely into Horror movies. They bring that element of surprise and that fight or flight mentality. Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw, IT and basically anything made by Rob Zombie is a must.
Books or Comics?
Beard is the only guy really into comics. He has a huge collection that spans lots of titles. His biggest collection would be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, both the original Mirage run by Eastman and Laird and the new IDW run. He is also big into the Marvel universe and even some music collections like the new Slayer comic and the Megadeth Cryptic Writings series and so so so much more.
Trump or Putin?
Neither! We aren’t much into politics. Just good vibes, respect, love and equality.
Anything you’d like to tell our readers?
First off thanks so much for reading and getting into Decatur. We really hope to see you guys on the road and really hope you dig our sound. Keep an eye out for us on all social media under Decatur Metal as well as our website www.Decaturmetal.com. Love each other, support each other and try to be the great person this world needs every day. Thanks so much!