The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

INTERVIEW - SINCE OCTOBER

 

By Todd Jolicouer

 

One of the few bands getting tons of play on my new favorite satellite radio station Octane is Florida’s own Since October. Their single ‘Something About The Way You Move’ has been in the Big ‘Uns 15 for weeks now. As I listen to their sophomore disc, "Life/Scars/Apologies", there seems to be a recurring theme through the disc that sets an unusually positive vibe. While researching these guys, I find out they are one of the newest Christian metal bands on the scene today. Have no fear… no Bibles being thrown into the crowds here and no scripture readings in the songs. This disc is chock full of sonic goodness able to please most hard rockers who appreciate not only the journey of metal, but where it has arrived in 2010. I get the privilege of chatting with Hollywood, the lead singer of Since October

 


Todd: Well, thanks a lot for speaking with The Rock Pit. Just so you know, the Rock Pit is based out of Australia.


SO: Cool. Nice.


Todd: There get a little…a little something down under going.


SO: Yeah, yeah, sweet.


Todd: So, tell me about the tour. How’s the tour going?


SO: Tour’s been going great. We’re about… let’s see, we’re about a week and a half in I think. Almost two weeks in. And, um, it’s awesome. Ya know, we’re big Sevendust fans. And they were a big influence on us when we started playing and so it’s pretty cool to like… to go on tour with a band that you’re a real fan of. You know, it doesn’t happen a whole lot. You’re just out with bands and you become friends with them but friends is different than being like a fan of ‘em, ya know, so we find ourselves most nights, we’re out there watching the set just while they play so, um, it’s just really cool to be able to do that.


Todd: Oh, cool, awesome, awesome. It’s good to see that you guys still can drop that whole rock star persona and be a fan of music.


SO: Aw yeah, man, we um…we’re music lovers, ya know. That’s why we do it so…a lot of people forget that but, ya know we’re fans just like most people. It’s just, it’s cool when you get to go out and hang with the bands like that.


Todd: Okay, cool. Let’s hit the white elephant in the room. You guys are tagged as a Christian metal band in a lot of different blogs, Wikipedia, whatever.


SO: Yeah. Right.


Todd: You guys get that tag. Is it something you guys kind of wear proudly or is it something you guys just kind of sweep under the rug and don’t worry about?


SO: No, it’s definitely in the open. I mean it’s something that we’ve always just, we were honest with from the beginning, ya know. We grew up in the church our whole life. Uh, me and Luke, the guitar player, are brothers and our parents were ministers in the church so, that was a big part of our life. It still is, our faith so… that’s what we write about, ya know, and it’s never been something that we like push on people. We’ve never been that kind of band. It’s just, we go out and play music and kind of just tell people how we deal with issues, ya know. A lot of people drink or do drugs or, ya know, whatever to deal with whatever they’re dealing with and we just use our faith instead and that’s really all it is. Um, but yeah it’s pretty open. We never got any kind of slack for it. We’ve never been heckled or anything like that, ya know. I think the honesty part of it is just it, ya know. If we were to hide it, ya know, then it comes out. Then it becomes more of a story about ‘oh, this is what they are’ and stuff. It’s just always been something that we said and it’s just…it’s just how it is, ya know.


Todd: Right. Well, I…the reason I said ‘white elephant’ is…when I talk to friends and I say ‘check them out’, and they google you or whatever and of course they automatically think Stryper.


SO: Right, exactly.


Todd: Ya know what I mean. When you get to be my age that’s the reference. (laughs)


SO: No, that’s true. And we’re the first to admit that most Christian bands sound… sound cheesy. It just is. It’s cheesy, junky music, ya know, and we were just that band. We grew up listening to the stuff. And we’re just like, man, why can’t we, ya know, make some music that’s up to par with just mainstream acts. Just have more of a positive kind of vibe to it, ya know, that’s really what we do. We try to take that next step up and not cut corners on certain things and stuff like that, and it’s worked well. We’ve done really well at mainstream rock radio, ya know. We’ve had two singles that have gone really well. We’ve been on a lot of big tours.


Todd: You’re all over Octane right now.


SO: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Octane’s been great. They’re great about playing new bands.


Todd: Well, they’re great about playing you guys.


SO: They are. They are.

 


Todd: I can appreciate that. I know you guys are busy but… [a young lady approaches while we are chatting…]


Girl: Can I have your phone?


SO: What’s that?


Girl: Can I have your phone?


SO: I don’t have it with me. I’m sorry.


Girl: What about yours?


Todd: Mine’s in my car.


Girl: Really?


Todd: Can I finish? I’ll get it out of my car if you let me finish my interview.


SO: Or there’s…


Girl: Oh you’re doing an interview? I’m sorry.


SO: It’s all right.


Todd: It’s cool. It’s cool.


SO: But there’s a security guards right over there by the club. They probably have one.


Girl: I don’t want them to see me.


SO: Oh, they’ll help. They’re nice though.


Todd: Yeah, they’re nice guys.


Girl: Okay, listen, they just kicked m
e out because I’m only twenty.


SO: Aw.


Todd: Is this a twenty-one show?


Girl: And I was drinking.


Todd: Ohh


Girl: It’s eighteen and up but they took my beer out of my hand that my uncle gave me and like… everyone I’m with is twenty-one and up and I’m stuck outside.


Todd: That sucks. I’m sorry.


Girl: Well, they really didn’t like literally kick me out, but I’m not getting caught.


SO: Well, there’s a couple other people in our band that are right over there, packing their stuff up. They probably have their phones on ‘em.


Girl: Okay.


SO: Tell ‘em you talked to me, the guy with the dreads and they’ll let you…


Girl: All right, thank you.


(laughing)


Todd: Perks of being a rock star, eh? Where was I? Getting back to… you hit on something that I picked up on… how you guys weave a story using your faith.


SO: Yeah.


Todd: From the front of the album to even your cover of Alice in Chains…


SO: Yeah.


Todd: Which, by the way, is phenomenal.


SO: Yeah, you like it?


Todd: Let me tell you. Fucking phenomenal. I love it.


SO: I’m glad you that you know it’s a cover.


Todd: Oh my God.


SO: You wouldn’t believe how people are like ‘I don’t know what these guys were thinking. On their last song they did some off the wall acoustic thing with the harmonica…’


Todd: No


SO: I’m thinking ‘you don’t even know…’ It’s like an Alice in Chains song.


Todd: So, it was cool for you guys to play it, it really tore it up. But I like how, like you said, and if you can expand on it, the fact that you guys… you’re not doing like the Alice Cooper thing where you’re telling a story of a goofy thing…


SO: Right.

 

Todd (centre) with Since October


Todd: But you’re just, like you say, you’re kind of telling a life story… just moving through.


SO: Yeah, and that’s why we named it, the record, “Life, Scars, Apologies”. It’s just this, ya know, our first record was in that same kind of vibe. We’re very honest in the lyrics, um, I do all the lyrics and so I’m always writing about something I’m going through or maybe someone else in the band is going through. It’s always a real issue and I think that’s where you…you get that honesty kind of story vibe that comes through and it…it’s not like we’re just creating songs, ya know, to do something. Ya know, ‘I’m gonna write this song so it’ll be on TV’ or whatever, ya know. It’s just always been, ya know, this is what we’re dealing with right now so I’m just gonna write about it, see what happens and…and people are attracted to it I think, ya know, and it sticks out, um, in the songs because we get stuff, emails and stuff all the time about how ‘this song really spoke to me this way,’ and I didn’t even write it for that reason…


Todd: Mm hmm.


SO: Which is still cool to see how that works but, ya know, we’ve always been just about that and just being honest and just telling the story and how we deal with things and stuff.


Todd: That’s great. So, what’s on the horizon? What’s next for you guys? Obviously, you have the rest of the tour.


SO: Yeah, well, this tour for another I guess three weeks or so. Then about a week off I think and then we’re gonna do a tour with Trapt.


Todd: Really?


SO: Um, that goes all the way up to like the 18th of December. Then we’ll probably take the rest of the year off and hang out a little bit. Hopefully a new single will be coming out, ya know, early next year to radio and then…


Todd: You have a preference (on a single)?


SO: Um, I don’t know. Ya know, I really like a song on there called “Believe”. It’s like one of my favorite songs on there. Um, it actually went out to Christian rock radio which is a very, very small market.


Todd: Right.


SO: But it did go out…it did very well and it’s just a song that… that really just kind of says what we’re all about and I think the song’s great so if they went that route, that’d be sweet but I think they really like a song called “The Show” which is just this kind of crazy song and we kind of just wrote it about how we continue to fight and struggle through this business and continue just to, ya know, throw punches as long as we can… not gonna go down without a fight kind of vibe and it just worked out cool to, as like a cool radio song too but WWE used it for Wrestle Mania. It’s got that kind of sports anthem vibe kind of, party songs.


Todd: The next Saliva (laughs)


SO: Exactly. It definitely reminds me of Saliva…a Saliva song.


Todd: Yeah, it does. Well, listen, I know you’re busy so I just got a couple more questions for you. One song…


SO: Yeah.


Todd: In the history of music…


SO: Ooh


Todd: That you had nothing to do with, but if you could say ‘I wrote it. I produced it. I played on it.’ If there was just one song… most artists can’t tell me one song, I’ll be honest.


SO: Right. Man, yeah.


Todd: A lot of interviewees guys struggle. But if you could pick even an album that just resonates with you as you wish you’d had a piece of it.


SO: Yeah. Man, I’ve got two albums that probably made, really made me start playing music. One of ‘em was by Bush, “Sixteen Stone,” which is… I just love it. I mean, it… it was at a time in my life when I really didn’t know what I was gonna do. I was in college and I wasn’t even playing music. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and I just had this record and I don’t know. That’s when I really started to fall in love with music and stuff so that had a big part of my life. The other one was Offspring “Smash”. It’s way up there for me too. I don’t know why. That time of my life I guess. It just kind of showed up and really spoke to me on a lot of different levels in just the music part of it so… I don’t know. There you have it.


Todd: Cool. No, two great choices. Two I haven’t heard yet. So, um, my favorite question, where just talking to you I got a feeling you’re gonna be able to jump at this one. What’s the meaning of life?


SO: Ooh, man.


(Todd laughs)


SO: See…


Todd: To you, personally, forget the band.


SO: Yeah.


Todd: Forget everything for a minute… to you, what’s the meaning of life?


SO: Yeah, to me it has a lot to do with my faith. I mean that’s the main part of… that’s why I live. That’s why I play music. That’s why I believe I have a great marriage, ya know. Ya know, I have a great job, great family. Just continue to be positive and live in that kind of lifestyle. Um, just trying to take a step above, ya know, taking the good route on most decisions, you know, and that’s kind of how I’ve always lived. The other guys are the same way and we just take pride in that and that’s kind of what we hold on to.


Todd: Very awesome. Well, again, I know you guys are busy and, like I said, thanks a lot for taking time out for The Rock Pit, man.


SO: No problem, dude. Appreciate it, man


Todd: Appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

 


There you have it… not much left to say. Faith – no matter what or where you derive it from – can be a powerful force in any life and its successes… just ask Hollywood.


Thanks to Steven Karas at SKH Music and Chuck Peoples, SO’s tour manager for getting me in front of these guys.