You just released your debut-CD for
Tooth & Nail Records. Personally I like the way you combine metal and punk rock. Like
the first song makes you think you're a metalband at first. How do people seem to respond
to this combination?
Great question. Our younger fans initial
reaction is that of, "You guys must be joking" but after two or three songs
they're totally into it. We love metal (Pantera, Metallica...) and why not combine
metal with punk? Our style of punk is rooted in metal, from the distortion sound of
the guitars to the sound of our drumset. When we play now it's cool to see kids
backing the metal style. Don't get me wrong, we're not a metal band, but anyone who
listens to us can see where our influences come from.
The way you combine those styles sounds very
natural. The outcome is attractive for both punk rock fans as well as metalfans I think.
Off The Record started some years ago. Was this the combination you started with or did it
The Off The Record you hear now is definitely not
the OTR we once were. When we first started out we were very melodic. I played
guitar back then and could only do simple things (basic riffs and octaves), this held back
our music a lot because our other guitar player (Ryan) was so good. Over a year or
so Ryan progressed a lot with his guitar skills. Within no time he blew me out of the
water. He was listening to a lot of Strung Out and Pantera, which got him into the
metal sound, and over time he just started combining the two styles. Once I saw that
he was the man I knew I should step aside as a guitar player and bring in someone who
could accompany him. This of course was Dan. Dan has a ton of skill and he
adds a lot to the band. Dan is more into the melodic punk which is great because it
adds a uniqueness to our band. We played with this line up for 7-8 months before we
When I listen to the guitars I hear that they sound
very metal, not only because of the sound of the distortion but also because I hear all
those harmonic sounds, and that great solo in Good Times. Am I right to conclude that one
or both guitarists grew up as a musician playing metal?
Actually neither of our guitar players grew up
playing metal. Ryan was a huge Green Day fan and that's all he played (this in his
early teenage years). Dan has pretty much been into melodic punk (Lagwagon/No Use
For A Name). It wasn't until recently that our guitar players started getting into
When hardcore is combined with metal, they call it
metalcore. How do you feel about calling your music metalpunk?
Um metal punk is cool I guess. I really don't think
we're that metal. I think the guitar distortion and the drums is what gives people that
impression. Metal has definitely shaped our music. It's funny because some people don't
really consider us punk. I think it's because punk has become so poppy. Somewhere
in-between lies Off The Record. I wouldn't feel comfortable giving my CD to Pantera or
Metallica and saying "Yeah, check out my band, we're metal." They would listen
to it and laugh! On the other hand a lot of fans of Slick Shoes or MxPx listen to our CD
and say we're not punk, we're metal. So, whenever someone ask what do we sound like we
just say The Supertones, they're popular aren't they?
That's a good one! Something else now. I received a
promo-copy of this CD with no booklet, so no lyrics. Can you tell me what the lyrical-side
of the band has to offer?
I write all the lyrics and my lyrics usually deal
with my own convictions. I'm real into theology and philosophy and if you were to label me
then I would be Reformed (Calvinist). The majority of my lyrics deal with total depravity,
how without God ruling your life it's impossible to do anything good. I'm sure when I say
that it makes a lot of people mad. But these are my convictions. None of my lyrics say
Jesus, God.....but they are all rooted in scripture. Our desire as a band is show people
Christ through our actions. We don't feel called to be an evangelistic band like POD or
Supertones, that's not our style. But we do want to show people who Christ is through our
actions. The first letter of Peter says, "without holiness no one will see the
Lord." When people read our lyrics they will know that we are Christians and
hopefully our lyrics will challenge them to understand that they are nothing without
Okay. If you could tour with any band from the Tooth
& Nail or Solid State roster, what band would you like to pick?
I don't know, who's popular? Supertones? We just
want to play in front of people, and of course the more the merrier! Seriously though,
playing with Living Sacrifice, Zao, and Project 86 would be pretty cool.
In the next few months you will be promoting the CD.
What may people expect as it comes to touring and playing festivals?
They can expect to hear some crappy music!
We really put an emphasis on playing tight. We won't play a song if
there's any doubt. For example, don't expect to hear Another One. We can't play that
tight. I don't know why we just can't. We really don't care about that
song though. It was written as a joke. It was written when everyone was getting into
Blink, so the whole structure of the song (drumbeats/chorus/style of singing) is a spoof
on Blink. We're not dissing Blink, we all like them, we just thought it was
funny. People can also expect to see a very energetic live show. Too
many punk bands just stand there and try to look cool. We don't want to be like that.
We do all the cheesy jumps, mostly myself and the bass player. We're always jumping
over each other. We also joke around with the crowd a lot. We always
point out the big jock who's knocking over the little kids in the pit and make fun of him.
We try to create an atmosphere on stage that shows how we live off stage. Off
stage we joke around a lot and bag on each other so why wear a mask on stage? Too
many bands disassociate themselves with the crowd but we want to make ourselves venerable