ERA 9 (Band Interview)
Today we chat to ERA 9.
Let’s start with this: What’s the history of your band?
The band has been together for 6 years, but we found our sound in 2016. Jona, Marco and Joe met in high school, all sharing the same passion for music, and that progressed to the start of a band, and lead us to where we are today. Lalla was in a “rival” band from our city, so we all knew of each other in the MTL music scene. Joe and Jona had actually seen Laurie perform with her old band years before she joined Era 9, through mutual friends. We all had a passion for music since we were kids, and that brought us all together.
What’s your musical history? (Trained or Amateur)?
We’ve all been playing music from a young age. Laurie took piano, guitar, drums, violin and vocal lessons all at a young age; Lalla took guitar lessons, and then picked up drums, bass, and singing on his own. Marco took piano and drum lessons, and Joe also took piano lessons, while Jona had a natural talent and learned everything by ear in high school.
So what can you tell us about your latest album? (Inspiration. Sound. Style.)
What inspires us most lyrically is usually how we’re feeling and what we’re going through in the moment. Whether it’s struggles, love, heartbreak, anger, or society, etc, we all have emotions and stories to tell. It’s more of genres of music that inspire us most, rather than just bands. The core of our music will be hard rock, with heavy riffs, but we enjoy changing up the basic usual structure of songs to an EDM/Trap type of structure. We’ve put all styles we love together, including Hip-Hop, EDM, Trap, RNB, and Hard Rock, creating what we call TrapRock.
How did you go about making it?
Usually we’ll come up with the base idea, with just guitars, bass and drums, and our drummer, who does our programming, will then add his flavour of EDM and hip-hop elements, and then lyrics and vocal melodies. But sometimes, he’ll come up with the initial idea and we’ll build around an EDM/Trap song, adding the rest of the instruments and vocals later.
Anything you’ve learnt as you’ve gone along? Or have you simply tried a bit of everything to see how it works?
We’ve learned that it takes a little more time to write a song in our style, compared to writing a regular typical rock song, but that’s what makes us different. Taking risks and meshing all these genres together, and hearing people say “I’ve never heard anything like it” is exactly what we’re aiming for.
What sort of technology and instruments do you work with?
We love using the latest type of plugins and technology when it comes to writing and recording music. We’ll use everything from virtual synths, hip hop percussions, to straight up heavy guitars. Whatever inspires at the moment will be used!
Anything you’re keen to use on your next album?
Nothing in particular that we’d really like to use on the next album, I just think Joe would love to get a dingwall bass that has a really long scale length on the lowest string so that we can tune even lower without compromise. 😉
Any future plans for your solo work, or do you have other projects on the horizon?
We all have our own skills up our sleeves. From Joe being a sound engineer, Marco an electronic music producer, Laurie a vocalist, Jona a filmmaker and graphic designer and Lalla a song writer and all around awesome dude who gives great moral support. Rather than take these and do solo work, we combine them and fulfill our united project. The horizon holds more ERA 9, which means more music, more videos, more art.
Any plans for upcoming live shows?
We’ll be releasing our full length album “Gravity” in Montreal at our show on April 28th, and we’ll be heading out on a North American tour as of May 10th to promote the official release.
Let’s have a few general questions now.
What do you see as a musicians role in society?
The role of a musician or any artist is to be an example of how to channel inner peace, to show the world that you don’t have to conform or format yourself to society’s expectations. Happiness comes from within and extrudes outward, just like music and art. It all starts from your mind or heart; no one can see it or hear it but you. Until you find the artistic means to manifest it and show it to the world.
Where do you stand on music videos? -Do you see their value in today’s world?
We think associating visual content to the audio is very important and enhances the entire experience of music. Not anyone can sit down and listen to a song; extrapolating every part with their eyes closed. It’s much more interactive and understanding when you can see the symbolism of music happen as your listening. Especially in today’s world, where we have developed this miniature attention span; music videos are the eye catching entertainment we need to get pulled in to actually listen to a song.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
The only thing the music industry lacks is honesty. It seems like every decision or opinion is siphoned through this funnel of superficial expectations. The core meaning and deep emotions musical truth and art are lost. The industry needs more honest listeners who can decipher between passion and ego.
Any advice for new bands?
Don’t expect anyone to do anything for you. If you have an idea or plan simmering in your brain, you need to get creative and find a way to do it yourself. Everything else will fall into place.
Let’s have some generic questions.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
Sci-Fi or Fantasy?
A bit of both.
Books or Comics?
Any last words for our readers?
We’ll be officially releasing our full length album, called “Gravity”, May 5th, and heading out on tour to promote it. Check out our new Music Video for “Hero” on YouTube and make sure to follow us on Twitter. Join 9gAng now at our website to receive updates on upcoming tours, and release dates of new music.