"Since October toured with Disturbed, Sevendust and Judas Priest." - Interview

Since October is a Florida based Christian group with obvious influence from bands like Sevendust. Currently Since October is heading out with Sevendust and 10 Years on the “HardDrive Live Tour.” They just released their second album “Life/Scars/Apologies.” Recently I got a chance to sit down with guitarist Luke Graham to talk about “Life/Scars/Apologies” as well as touring with some of their childhood heroes.

Q - You released your second album earlier this year. How would you describe the new album?

A - It’s a lot like the first one; we like to keep things in the same vein. We don’t like changing things up completely. It’s definitely more mature as far as songwriting goes. It’s very heavy hitting as usual and there is some radio friendly stuff and there is also some really heavy stuff on there. We like it, we worked really hard on it, we’re proud of it.

Q - What is your songwriting process like, do you have a designated songwriter, or do you write as a band?

A - Me and Ben, the lead singer, we do most of it. I’ll send him guitar parts that have structure like maybe first chorus, bridge, chorus, verse, you know. I send him guitar parts and he writes the lyrics and the melodies to those. From there it’s cake after that.

Q - Where do you like to write? Can you write on the road or do you prefer to be home?

A - Every now and then I’ll think of something on the road and I’ll slap it down on my phone or something like that. Most of the time I do it when I’m at home, that’s when I’m most inspired to do it I guess. The road is super busy right now.

Q - You have a pretty cool version of the Alice in Chains song “Don’t Follow.” How did that come about?

A - Our manager had a lot to do with Alice in Chains. He was really responsible for them breaking on rock radio. He’s been in the rock industry, especially the radio industry for a long time. He loves that song and we’re big Alice in Chain fans. He said, ‘you know this song is crazy cool and it never got the face time it should have gotten; what do you guys think about doing a cover?’ We said, ‘yeah we’ll do it.’ That’s how it came about.

Q - You’re heading out on the road with Sevendust and 10 Years shortly. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

A - It’s the “HardDrive Live Tour.” It’s about four to five weeks long, starts in October. It’s Sevendust, 10 Years, us and a band called New Revolution. It should be cool. It’s all over the country, from one side to the other.

Q - What can your fans expect from your live show?

A - We bring it live. We’re all about performing. We like to give fans something to look at, not just stand there and listen to. We’re pretty active on stage, very over the top kind of showy, crazy running around like fools really (laughs).

Q - You guys have played with some great acts like Shinedown, Saving Abel and Judas Preist. Has there been a favorite show or tour?

A - There’s been a couple. We’ve done some really big shows with, like you said, Judas Preist and all those guys. Those are crowds of 20,000 and up sometimes. We did a show in Syracuse, New York that had 35,000 people; it was for some big radio show. The coolest shows that I’ve found the best so far are kind of the bigger theaters that seat about 2,500 people; it’s packed out, killer sound, killer production. Those have been my favorite shows. We did one like that with Theory of a Dead Man and it was really cool, one of my tops. We did a show in Indianapolis with Disturbed called “May Day.” That was really cool, that was an outside big event though.

Q - How is the preparation different from a small crowd of a couple thousand to a large crowd of 10 plus thousand people?

A - We use all the same gear, you just have a million watts behind you at the bigger shows. The bigger the show, we’re usually there a lot earlier. There are a lot stricter schedules. At this time for this interview, sound check at this time. The bigger the show the more preparation and the earlier you get there that day.

Q - Who are some of your early musical influences on guitar?

A - I love Rage Against the Machine, so Tom Morello of course. I’m a huge Sevendust fan, we all are, so we’re stoked about this tour, so Clint Lowery. Those are my top two guys. If you listen to my riffs you can hear it all over. I’m a big fan of Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, etc (laughs).

Q - Who are you listening to right now?

A - Right now, hmmm. The latest record I’ve got is the newest Sevendust record (“Cold Day Memory”) and I’ve not even really listened to it yet.

Q - It’s really good, you’ll have to check it out.

A - yeah, I went through it once. I listened to all the tracks one time the other day. It takes me a few times to figure out what I like.

Q - Before you guys started to see success, what kept you going, because this business can be real stressful?

A - I think we just all knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish and we were all very committed to it. I mean we’re the same four original members. We’ve been playing together for almost ten years. We’ve been touring full time for close to four, or a little over four years. Just perseverance and focus on why we’re doing what we’re doing and concentrating on all of that has really kept us going.

Q - You mentioned that you’re the four original members. Most bands go through a series of lineup changes early on. How did you guys manage to stay together?

A - Almost every band that we’ve played with and toured with, like you said, no one has a story like that, that we’ve met. I think a lot of it is that we’re from the same home town, a tiny place, there’s nothing to do there. There are cattle and orange groves; it’s just a swamp of a place in Florida. Just growing up there together, we’ve all known each other for twenty years, we’ve known each other since we were two or three years old. Our parents are friends, they play music together. It was a natural thing for us, we’re all on the same page, and we think a lot of like. The fact that we know each other so well helps us get along on the road and all that stuff. As far as making decisions for the band we’re all usually on the same page without much debate at all.

Q - What advice would you have for an up and coming band trying to get to where you’re at?

A - I would say don’t get into the music industry (laughs). Those that tell me to piss off because I said that, those are the guys that should stick with it. It’s really tough, but it’s also the coolest thing in the world. The advice I guess that I’d give is get out there, don’t wait on anybody to do anything for you. Do it all yourself and when things start rolling, that’s when things start to fall into place. You can’t wait around for that phone call; it doesn’t happen like it does in the movie…most of the time. (Laughs) Lightning strikes sometimes, but usually you have to get the ball rolling yourself, get out there and tour, write songs, throw songs away, write ‘em over, write, write, write. It’s a relationship kind of business, remember that.

Check out Since October at http://www.sinceoctober.com/ for tour dates and news.


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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