Interview w/ NJ's Major League
Have an interview today with one of New Jersey's hottest known commodities, the band known as Major League! These guys have been crafting quite a name for themselves with a heavy dose of youthful punk rock and a strong lyrical frame of mind that is reiminiscent of the slew of acts that were omnipresent in the area around the early 2000's. The guys were awesome enough to take some time to sit down ad talk how the band got started, the process behind the making of their new album, and where they see the band moving forward. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
My name is Brian and I play guitar and sing for Major League
Matt and I play guitar
I'm Kyle I play bass.
Hi, I'm Luke and I play drums. ( I also like to party)
How did you guys all meet and when did the band form?
Brian: Matt and I knew each other in high school and little by little we all met through friends of friends to create what we are now.
Matt: I met Brian in high school, we both met Kyle through previous members and we found Luke through the internet. The band formed in south jersey.
Kyle: I believe the band formed somewhere around 2009, I joined a couple years later. I knew the guys from my other bands playing with them and eventually they needed another member and I was lucky enough to fill the spot.
Luke: I met the band through mutual friends and through facebook. They needed a drummer so I sent them a video of me playing and then we all met up and it was all good from there.
When was your first interest in music and how did it help you prepare for current roles in the band?
Brian: I started playing guitar and writing songs very young because of my dad. He's a guitarist. I originally wanted to be a drummer but once I picked up guitar the rest was history. I always knew I wanted to do this. I was always into having a frontman and having the Taking Back Sunday vibe but once we split with our old singer and the opportunity presented itself it felt like it was time to be the band we were meant to be.
Matt: The first show that I filled in for major league was my first show I ever played. So after that night I was kinda hooked and knew I wanted to play music wether it be with this band or if I had to start my own. I was fortunate enough to secure the the spot of second guitarist for major league.
Kyle: I started playing music at a pretty young age but I would say my first actually interest in music came up when I started playing drums when I was 11. Drums really helped me with my timing when I play. I think percussion is an important area of music for every musician to learn.
Luke: My first interest in music was guitar and the ramones. I always loved how johnny down picked really fast. I then picked up drums because I wanted to start a band, but everyone at my school couldn't play drums worth crap.
Growing up in New Jersey, what was the early '00's music scene like, it must have been an awesome time back then, what are some of your memories of those times?
Brian: It was honestly some of the best memories I have. So much of my adolescence and teenage years are instilled in those early years of going to shows and becoming involved in the scene. It 100% made me who I am.
Matt: I went to a lot of ska shows, and then the scene quickly turned to a shitty crab core/ metal core music scene. We didn't really fit in with what the rest of south jersey seemed to be doing but the shows were always fun. Most of the memories I had were all the local shows at the skating rinks by our town.
Kyle: I grew up in Delaware but I imagine the scene was somewhat similar. My favorite memories back then are just going to shows. I was lucky enough to see bands like Halifax and The Sleeping before they broke up. Additionally, I was lucky enough to see bands like Bring Me the Horizon and Paramore at a small venue by me before they got really well known. I love going to smaller shows so those are my fondest memories.
Luke: Uhhhh... (From Pittsburgh)
What are some of your musical inluences that have helped shape this band?
Brian: Like I said, my dad played guitar so I grew up listening to and playing mostly classic rock until I was old enough to buy my own records and find my own niche. When I was 7 my Aunt Angel was babysitting me and put on In Utero and I was hooked. I listened to everything from Frank Sinatra to ACDC/ Earth Wind and Fire to Foo Fighters and Nirvana.
Matt: I think it ranges from the foo fighters, jimmy eat world, blink 182, senses fail, saves the day, and mxpx. It didn't really shape the band into what major league is now, we all just listen to a lot of diversified music and we like to keep our records sounding different and not have every song sound the same. Listening to different types of music definitely helps broaden your musicianship when it comes to writing.
Kyle: I love bands with "different sounds." I loved bands like As Cities Burn and Oceana that used some really cool chords and structures in their songs. When I write I like to see if a certain chord or riff can be brought to the table a little differently. I want to present my song or part of a song in a way that has been really thought through and in a way that might surprise someone.
Luke: Literally everything. We all have a pretty broad music taste. But, to name a few I would have to say The Foo Fighters, Taking Back Sunday, The Ramones, Brand New, and Kings Of Leon.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of being in a band together?
Brian: Getting to watch my band mates grow. It's an incredible feeling that's completely indescribable when we sit down to write after months and everyone is leaps and bounds better than they were the LAST time we sat down and wrote. They're constantly growing and learning and pushing their limits and it's truly inspirational and motivating.
Matt: I get to be with my best friends and share the stage with them every night.
Kyle: I get to travel the world with my best friends. Nothing could beat that.
Luke: Just being able to play music. It's really all I could ask for. Being able to tour, put out records, and meet new people/travel the world is rewarding enough for me.
Take us through the recording process for "There's Nothing Wrong With Me" and what that whole experience was like for the each of you?
Brian: it was the most beautifully ugly process I've ever experienced. I went through a huge transformation and none of it was possible without these three guys and Will Yip.
Matt: Will worked us really hard in the studio but in the end we all came out of it better musicians. I feel like everyone stands out individually with this record and you can really hear it.
Kyle: The recording process was new, fun, frustrating and fulfilling all at the same time. I really felt like our producer, Will Yip, helped us all grow as musicians. Will really wanted us to create the best finished product possible and I think we got that. Of course there were tough times, but you gotta get through those to really appreciate the art that you've created.
Luke: For me, working with Will was amazing. He really helped me become a better musician. But, we all would come in, do pre pro for a couple days to clean up the songs, then track them. It was an extremely laid back experience. I only got frustrated once and that was on me.
What are some things you like to do in your spare time away from making music?
Brian: I like going to shows in the city (Philadelphia) a lot. That's where I spend most of my time. I'm real into reading and historical documentaries as well.
Matt: Skateboard, snowboard, play video games.
Kyle: Honestly I don't love too many other things the way I love music. My main hobby is what I call "netflixing." I think it's self explanatory.
Luke: Pwning noobs online in NHL 15. Practicing drums, going to shows, hanging out with friends I don't get to see while on tour, eating jioios pizza.
What's on tap for the band for the rest of the year, any upcoming shows you'd like to talk about?
Matt: I'm very excited for the Silverstein tour we have coming up.
Kyle: Absolutely, we have a tour in support of Silverstein. I am so excited for the tour and I hope to see some familiar faces.
Luke: We're also playing a holiday show with our friends in the spacepimps on December 20th in Pittsburgh at Altar Bar.
Lastly, what advice would you give to people looking to start a band?
Brian: No matter what, always keep in mind that if it's not you, it's going to be someone else... So why not you? "If you're going to try - go all the way. Otherwise don't try at all." -Bukowski
Matt: Don't give up.
Kyle: Never give up, and work hard. There will be plenty of times where it seems impossible and where it seems you'll never get people truly dedicated to join your band. It takes time but get out there, participate in your music scene, find new musicians and get started as soon as you can. At first, your band is gonna be small and may not be liked. But, it doesn't matter because you're working towards making more music with your friends. That's the most important part, if you love making music then do it. Never stop.
Luke: Practice a lot. I don't how much I can stress this. Don't play shows until you practice a ton. Wish someone would've told me that when I started. Also, don't let people get to you, start a band, practice, play shows locally here and there, then if you get a buzz, start to tour. It's gonna be a lot of work, but totally worth it in the long run.
Thanks once again to Brian, Matt, Kyle, and Luke for being so awesome in taking some time out of their hectic schedules to do this interview! I fell in love with these guys the moment I heard them, and they really are beginning to cement their legacy in the New Jersey scene joining the likes of Thursday and The Early November in a long line of bands that have a direct connection to the music scene and the youth that represent it. To check out their latest album "There's Nothing Wrong With Me", you can download it on iTunes right over here and for more info on Major League, 'Like' them on Facebook here and follow them on Twitter over here.