“We always are advancing our material & writing style, keeping things fresh. We listen to other bands we like and they make us want to strive to be that great. We definitely have to push ourselves, that comes along with all of us wanting to be the best. Trying to put as much feeling behind our music so we are not that band that just pumps out tracks with no feeling. All our songs have an effect on our personal lives and we hope on our fans lives too.” -@theculturalistb
GETTING TO KNOW THE CULTURALIST
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
We always are advancing our material & writing style, keeping things fresh. We listen to other bands we like and they make us want to strive to be that great. We definitely have to push ourselves, that comes along with all of us wanting to be the best. Trying to put as much feeling behind our music so we are not that band that just pumps out tracks with no feeling. All our songs have an effect on our personal lives and we hope on our fans lives too.
3 ways we challenge ourselves…
1) Critiquing each other, we look on each other to help each other.
2) always pushing each other to do our best we can whether our band life, job life or personal life.
3) We strife to be the best we can. Make or break it, international or bust, we strife the most to be make the best music, if we don’t like it we won’t play it.
Tristan: when I can go out in public & somebody recognizes me & my band. That is my personal satisfaction of knowing we have succeeded in music.
Jake: being able to make this my job & be known for my music & getting a nice sponsorship from a company
Austin: Being known for my music & being able to make money on what I am doing, that is the biggest making money. That means people want to pay to hear you.
Josh: I think our first time stepping out on stage to a sea of 500,000 people that is the ultimate success.
JB: My personal definition of success is doing something and being happy with yourself with it
Goals and musical career…
Tristan: I want to be inducted into the music hall of fame for playing guitar. I want to live music.
Jake: my goal is to be able to be profitable, to help out everyone who has helped me, help my mom who supports me and to be able to support myself. I want to be known for being a unique musician and a role model that they want to play my songs.
Austin: Profitable to be able to leave my current job & help my dad retire and pay amends to those who have helped us get where we will be. I don’t want to be that musician that flaunts his money, I want to be modest and have extra cash as a safety net. I want to be set and secure.
Josh: I was going to be a cop, if the band does ever break up then that is what I will do, but as a musician I want to be an idol to be looked up to. Helps me guide my own way.
JB:my overall goal for life and my career is playing music and touching people’s lives the way music has touched mine
Tristan: The first time I got into Metal was when I got the Ozzy Osborne CD Ozzmosis, my favorite track was Thunder Underground, then I started listening to Pantera, I got my first guitar on New Years Eve when I was 14 & I realized it was a great way of expressing myself & lot of people don’t have the patience to learn to play. I am self taught!
Jake: One Christmas my dad got a guitar & he gave it to my sister & she didn’t play it, it just sat there & I stared at it all the time. When she was not around I would play it & tried to learn all the songs I could. My mom bought me a guitar at a pawn shop. I joined a couple of bands as a vocalist with JB. In one band we were bored & I saw a 4 string in the corner with stickers all over it & I started playing it. It was the first time I played a bass & I really could feel the music. I always listened to metal & I wanted that sound.
Austin: first time I touched a guitar I was at Dale’s house on spring break we were all bored just hanging out & he asked if I wanted to learn to play guitar & the rest was history.
Josh: Writing was always a way to express myself & taking it to lyrics was just another step up. Plus 4 years of theater in HS, I love being front & center on stage.
JB: I loved playing PlayStation 3 & Rockband!
The story behind Raising the Bar…
the song is about a personal growth to raise up to the challenge. Josh wrote it after a hard breakup, it sent him down far to the pits, rock bottom if you will, I was in love with her & I drove 600 miles to see her all the time. It kind of made me be alone & fight for myself. I wrote the song & my family, friends & band helped me pull myself out. It’s about never admitting defeat, it brought me out of the slums on the path to redemption. Its about challenging ourselves, It’s our band’s milestone as we raised the bar for other metal bands in the area. We wanted it to sound as musically technical as we could then end it on one of the heaviest riffs.
What to expect from the new music…
Permanent answer – It’s about suicide awareness, Josh wrote it during his dark period after the breakup. Robin Williams had just died & several others around that time had also committed suicide. Our buddy Kevin had taken his life at the time & it was before our first show.
Josh: I had attempted suicide twice. It was one huge story of what was going on in the world. “Suicide is a permanent answer for temporary problems” words of Robin Williams. The song tells that there are others going through crap out there & this tells people there are others out there going through the same thing & you’re not alone.
Austin: I wrote the music & Josh had gone through a break up as well & he just sat around playing his guitar & it just felt right, it has so much emotion behind it. It’s a song we all know & love with deep meaning. JB says it’s the most challenging song we wrote, it also brought the band together & made us gel.
Living in North Carolina…
China Grove/Kannapolis/Salisbury, NC Very limited in our towns, but we find mostly heavy metal or rock bands. North Carolina is filled with Metal-heads. The hub for local music is in Charlotte, NC. Places to go in the area are Lake Norman- huge lake, Amusement parks, bars, hookah bars, venues like Chop Shop & Amos. We like taking small road trips & goofing off, playing cards against humanity & meeting new people.
The music business…
is always changing but an ever growing pond. The music industry used to be about respect for the bands & venues & now it’s about who makes the most money. Yeah we all want to be paid for what we do but in reality for some it may never happen. Small venues have you sell tickets to play to cover their expenses of having us play, this can be annoying, but we understand they are in it to make money too. It’s tough to get a label to take you serious or to risk it to record you.
JB: I feel the music industry should be about sharing music and expressing yourself with your music. Being able to play with bands and being able to recognize each other and respect other bands for what they do as well. We overcome the pitfalls by playing our music every chance we can as much as possible for our fans and we work as a team.
Cons: having to pay to play or sell tickets. A band shouldn’t have to pay to share their music. They shouldn’t have to sell tickets for a venue. Short & sweet it sucks, when you are at the low level no one is watching out for you, the only one helping is your band mates & other bands at this level. We rely on each other to get our names out there to get promoted.
Pros: A lot of smaller bands are starting to see how the industry has become & are working together to help each other out & help get better known, the scene is getting better. We are reaching out to other bands & making friends up the ladder of the industry, being in connection with multiple producers, promoters & venues to get our feet in the door. It’s great meeting everyone we come across, new bands & fans. We like to meet people & share experiences.
We like that it is the easiest way to connect with fans & let them hear our music. It lets new fans get to know us & our music as well. It helps to be able to post the lyrics so fans know what the songs are about. It can be tough to reach some fans, since some sites make you pay to reach our whole audience, but we do what we can & sometimes do pay just to test the waters on a site.
Singles vs. album…
A single is like a trailer to a movie, it’s the prequel to the album. A small taste of what’s to come, it’s easier to release a single first than an album. For new bands in the industry it helps to take your time on a single rather than an album, this helps test the water with what the fans will buy later. We will be using social media to get our single out, using SoundCloud, ReverbNation, iTunes, etc to reach as many new fans as possible.
makes or breaks the artist, if your name doesn’t get out, you’re not getting anywhere. We have found with the different social media channels we use to get out there we pick up new fans so that is great. Our marketing theory is that we place our music where our target customers can locate it, we are researching the different methods for placing our music such as do we make a CD or just place MP3’s on iTunes or SoundCloud for sale. We want to make sure we price it so our fans can afford it, in some cases we even give a song away to gain a following. Then we also do other advertising, social media to assist with the sale for a song or tickets to a concert. One promotion we are currently working on is for every ticket we sell to a certain show we will donate $1 to Notes4Cancer charity.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
Tristan: Dime bag Darrell, he’s an idol & a great listener now, just to get his thoughts on the industry today
Jake: Dominic La Pointe – he was in Beyond Creation band – he is my favorite bassist. His technique is great & he is like a teacher & incredibly talented.
Austin: The entire I declare War band – past & current members, one of my favorite bands found searching on YouTube. I get a lot of my influence from them, they are heavy and devastating and their songs have personal meanings. Getting them to critique our band would be helpful.
Josh: Mitch Rucker from Suicide Silence. He was my inspiration into music, who I wanted to sound like, he was the reason I sound the way I do.
JB :I would love to have 5 minutes with the fall of Troy because they where the band I looked up to the most
Yes there is way too much emphasis on being current & trendy these days. With so many different types of music choices for fans, our fan bases can be small. It’s difficult for local bands to break into the mainstream these days, unless you are on a talent TV show. We think we found a balance, our music is kind of a mixture of multiple genre’s, so we have a little bit of choices for multiple types of music fans.