Shockwave Magazine contributor Cody Place recently reviewed the new CD by Phinehas, Dark Flag, and it got the rest of us listening! A few weeks ago Bryce Kelley (bass) agreed to a little Q&A with Cody.
Shockwave Magazine: Since this year is going to be the last Warped Tour is there any chance of seeing you on it for the last run?
Bryce: We certainly hope so. I think it’s safe to say that Warped Tour has had an effect on more people than not in our little corner of the music world in some way. We would be honored to get to be a part of sending it off.
And what’s a dream tour for you? Fantasy and Reality!
Reality: Creed, Bruce Springsteen, and Creed.
Fantasy: Lamb of God, After the Burial, Veil of Maya, and August Burns Red.
What advice would give to aspiring bands that are trying to get their foot in the door?
Be humble and be prepared to work hard. Don’t think that you deserve something more than someone else for any reason. If you want to be on this or that tour, or sign to your favorite label, etc. you have to go out and work for it. Book your own tours, sell your own records, prove your worth, and be prepared to still see no results. No one is just going to give you a tour or sign your band because you think they should. This world is a grind and it can take a long time to see results, but that’s what you’re signing up for if you want to be in a “touring band.” Don’t get me wrong, it is a lot of fun and well worth the effort but I see a lot of young bands that don’t understand that touring is an 80 hour a week job. A job that can take a long time to build a financial return on top of that.
Sean’s (McCulloch – vocals) speeches on stage tend to be motivational and inspirational. Have you met anyone or had an experience while touring that’s inspired you, or changed the way you look at what you do in a different light?
Every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as small as someone saying, “Good set” after you feel like you played terribly or as large as someone sharing something that altered them at their core. It all stays with you and has an impact.
How do you keep your sound as a band growing for the better? Do your influences change?
I don’t think it’s ever intentional. As we grow, change, and experience things in our own lives our music naturally evolves with us. When we sit down to write a record, what comes out is a culmination of all those things. Some influences are constant and some are always changing. We can only hope that our fans appreciate and enjoy who we have become since the last record.
What band are you a fan of that no one would expect?
My favorite band is Jimmy Eat World.
Diversity in a band is so important. I like how you come out with an album as heavy as Till The End, then a year later put out an acoustic EP like Fight Through The Night. Is there any chance of another one?
There absolutely is. It may sound selfish but the two acoustic EPs we have done were just as much for us as they were for fans. We all love metal but it would be a bold lie to say that’s all we enjoy. Our EPs give us a chance to explore our musical interests in other ways.
Dark Flag is such a solid album. Are there any songs on it that are specifically meaningful to you? Which is the most fun to play?
It would be hard to narrow it down to one song on this record since the album as a whole was a single concept. They are all equally meaningful in one way or another. Without going into pages of detail, the album is about the Kim dynasty and what it has/is doing to the people of North Korea. Not from a political standpoint but from basic human rights and the lack there of. We want to encourage people to become aware of what’s actually going on over there and that it’s not just a news story. It’s very real and there are millions of people suffering in unfathomable ways.
Some artists have songs they say it took them a lifetime of experience to write. Do you have songs that you’re waiting on?
There’s been a handful of songs or parts that I’ve had in my pocket for years that have turned into some of my favorite Phinehas songs. Musically, “Seven” and “In Meaningless Names” are two of them off the top of my head. Lyrically, “Burning Bright” is a song I couldn’t have written without knowing my wife. But to answer your question, I can tell that there are still songs that I’m waiting on because I don’t feel like I’m “done” yet.