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MUSIC Spotlight: A Decade Apart

a decade apart

Music can be somewhat difficult to categorize. How would you describe A Decade Apart’s style?  hardcore/metalcore?

I would describe our style as (EHC) or Electronic Hardcore/Electronic Post-Hardcore It is a high energy music with catchy transitions and memorable choruses Our goal is to have people be able to participate in our show easily the first time seeing us. 

In the grand scheme of things, the band is still quite young.  Have you been surprised by the level of success you’ve achieved so far?

We have absolutely been surprised by the level of success we have had. Columbus has a great scene with loyal fans. We could not be able to be where we are without them. We contribute our success to hardwork, but not just with music.

The scene is a family and we are always out at other shows supporting, networking and having fun. Probably 25% of the work we put is about our own music. We use the hashtag #weareallwehave to signify that it takes each other to grow, to succeed, and to become more.

a decade apart

Based on my limited knowledge of central Ohio (I sit across from someone at work who is from Ohio and happens love the same kind of music), the area seems to have a pretty healthy hardcore scene.  What bands have inspired you both as individuals and as a band?

 We have a great scene here in central Ohio. We have a very strong Metal Scene and a very strong Punk/Rock Scene. There are not as many Hardcore or Post-Hardcore bands as we would like, but there are some new ones in the works. I am very excited about. The scene is growing and it’s an exciting time

Being inspired by bands is kind of tricky. Some of the bands that inspired us to become musicians are not necessarily the bands that have a strong influence on us anymore. Some of our individual influences are: Donnie (Blink182, The Used, Story of the Year); Travis (Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria); Sean (Killswitch Engage, A Day to Remember); Josh (Senses Fail, Killswitch Engage); Tim (Travis Barker and some close friends Brandon Harris and Shawn Minchin ).

As a band and as we have grown, our influences have changed slightly. Influential bands now are: (Miss May I, I See Stars, Fail Emotions, Parkway Drive, etc.) The list really could go on.

I’ll give a plug, but one of my biggest influences in the last year has been Mike Liorti or the band ROSEDALE.

We played a show with ROSEDALE (who is one guy by the way) and I was absolutely blown away. Every aspect of his show was fantastic (I’m not going to explain more you just need to see him!). We have similar influences on music, but play much different genres now. ROSEDALE (from Canada) tours North America non-stop 200+ shows a year and Mike’s passion for what he does has been one of the most influential things in my music over the last year.

You talk a lot about reconfiguring your sound over the last couple of years, especially after the band’s lineup changed a bit. How would you classify where your music is now vs. then? 

We are much more mature and full. Before we made some much needed changes we sounded empty. The music didn’t flow like we wanted and there was no creativity in the songs. We were also very sloppy. 

Now I feel we are writing much better music all around. Stepping into the digital realm and being able to add more layers to our music have helped us grow, become more creative and tighten up. The new stuff we have written and the music we are currently working on is pushing us and making us grow as musicians.

Any new music on the horizon to tease at the moment? What’s coming up for the band?

Our goal to release a 6 song EP this fall (part. 1) with a follow up release of 6-8 songs in the spring of 2019 (part 2)

We have a few tours coming up this summer, a couple festivals and a lot of weekenders in other cities. We are trying to expand our reach in the Midwest to grow our fan base outside of Columbus. We have been fortunate to get to play some shows already with Parkway Drive, Bad Omens and The Word Alive already this spring and we look forward to some other shows (that I can’t discuss specifics) this summer and later this year.                      

Josh - For people who may not quite realize what goes into singing the way you do, could you describe what kind of vocal exercises you have to do, and how do you prepare yourself and your voice for a show/tour/etc.

Josh: “I limit my caffeine intake and sugar intake before shows. I also don’t like to drink a lot of alcohol before I sing. I feel that I have a better voice and more clarity in my singing if I don’t. Throughout the day of a show I will also do various types of breathing exercises”

Sean/Donnie/Travis - In my experience, recordings rarely do justice to the live shows you and your peers tend to deliver. Shameless product plug here - but now that your band and ESO have connected, can you describe how the ESO Strap has helped so far in delivering the intensity without feeling like you pushed a boulder up the side of a hill?

We have a very active stage show. We believe that you go to a concert or a show to be entertained through more than just your ears. If you only wanted to listen to music then just sit in your car or throw headphones on. You go to a show to see a performance. ESO Strap has helped significantly with our performance aspect. ESO is literally the most comfortable strap we have worn, but it doesn’t grab and stick to our shirt material like other straps; which is important when throwing our guitars around. Another thing that ESO has made easy is taking our wireless body packs on and off because it isn’t ridiculously thick. We can easily switch our body packs during a show to another guitar and be ready to go in seconds. We will (and have) recommend ESO to every guitarist we know.

Sean/Donnie/Travis - We always like to close out our interviews with some straight up “favorite new gear” talk.  Besides ESO Strap, of course, is there any pedal or amp or anything you’re currently geeking out over?

Sean and Travis are not really gear nuts, but I (Donnie) definitely am! The biggest geek out thing right now is probably our In Ear Monitors. They are not really “new” to us, but I am always trying to improve our sound. We run our own sound live to the FOH and in our ears. I am always changing things and figuring out how to be more consistent and sound better.

Another thing we are geeking over as a band is lights. We have spent a lot of time and money on being able to run our own light show. We have trusses, LED bars and about 20 other lights that we set up for our shows. A good light show adds to the performance value and gets all kinds of senses and emotions going.

We have been inspired by a quote by Maya Agnelou which says: “…..People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This quote is what we put so much effort into our gear, music and performance. We want people to FEEL good during and after an A Decade Apart show.





1 comment

  • Kirk Bolas

    This interview contains the best kind of high level summary advice on “How to lay a foundation for success” that I’ve read just about anywhere in my 38 years as a musician. What follows is related to the parts of the interview that some may interpret as “Why help the “competition?”. I’m hoping my interpretive expansion will connect the dots for what I see as an incredulous number of our “at large music community” who have never practiced this style of altruistic behavior in the context of the music biz; this expansion is informed by almost four decades of my personal experience and observations working in various facets of the biz.

    I apologize for the length, but there’s no adequate shortcut to describing the manifold, behavior-related benefits. It boils down to mutual cooperation. I appeal to the reader to bear with me and to see each numbered group as a conceptual stand-alone.

    1. The larger the audience, the greater the door take and merch sales that are represented as dollars /pesos/ euros/rupees/rubles, etc. and show up in the band’s account. Promoters take note of these relational metrics and almost exclusively put their time and effort into the bands that have a sizable following. Every serious artist learns this at some point.

    2. The seminal AC/DC tune from that band’s Bon Scott Era, “It’s a Long Way to the Top (if ya wanna rock and roll) is a decent and short description of the steep and arduous climb that just about every act has to engage in as part of paying their dues. It’s a lot easier if an act has developed symbiotic relationships with other like-ambitioned artists working together on the climbing journey.

    3. When sharing a common load and goal-set, helping their neighbor on the “cliff face” by lending a hand or a rope that pulls their neighbor up to the next shared ledge, this division of labor in an informal confederation is what allows the band more time to hone their “product” and refine their “brand”. Don’t think that this mutual “paying it forward” kind of altruism isn’t noticed by the folks who are the proverbial movers, shakers and monetary pipeline managers in a very competitive biz. It is and generally results in the receipt of desirable attention.

    4. This kind of altruism displayed is one of the primary indications of just how easy a band/artist is to work with, i.e., how low or how high maintenance a given act is. See, when it comes time to enter the relatively expensive commercial studio to record that first truly professional, polished and record label financed album, complete with real engineers and a (usually) top shelf producer, then hitting the road and playing in places that indicate that “we’re not in Kansas anymore”, no one wants to have to be the handler of an artist or band of self absorbed, petulant, ever-demanding, all take and never give, narcissistic prima donna.

    5. Sure, there are artists that have been successful by self-publishing on their own label or a small, relatively unknown indie label and organizing their own promotional tours. Social Media and the Internet makes that possible here in the 21st century and the former model of needing to be signed to one of the big labels “in order to get ones music to the masses” as the only road is dead.

    6. Formerly and for all intents and purposes, the labels were the sole curators of what got recorded, mass distributed, played over the radio w/heavy rotation, aka collectively what got heard. Today’s hybrid model is the most common and it requires most bands/artists to do what the labels used to do at an earlier stage in the climb. If for no other reason, supporting ones peers and networking with as many other bands (which generally includes their external, ancillary support and related “partners” in the biz, e.g., the venue owners, booking agents, local commercial studio owners and their engineers, successful producers in the region, potential endorsement providers, contacts within the music streaming and digital music sales part of the biz…to name a handful) as possible is worth its weight in a bought and paid for United States Senator 😆.

    7. There is an intangible benefit to helping ones fellow artists, when one is engaging in the same climb. It serves to create a quality that pays substantial dividends in the long run; that quality is genuine respect. Genuine respect from ones fan base, fellow artists, venue owners/operators and the various “money-men/women” within the biz creates genuine loyalty and integrity. Integrity and loyalty create honesty. Integrity, honesty and loyalty are three indispensable sensibilities; historically, the music business has been and is bereft of these qualities. It doesn’t have to remain this way.

    8. Whether one subscribes to the “What comes around goes around” Karmic sensibilities or “What you plant is what you’ll harvest” from the Wisdom of a certain Jewish carpenter, get out there. Lend a hand and do ones best to bog ones smartphone down by filling the RAM with biz contacts. Discerning generosity begets its like in return.


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