Interview submitted by Crewys Lane // contributing writer
Amends are an alternative/experimental band from upstate New York who kept themselves busy during 2013. I had a chance to speak with Aj (vocals), Alex (drums), John (bass), and Brandon (guitar) and discuss their favorite moments of 2013 and their future plans as the new year rolls around.
What bands got you into playing music?
Aj: The biggest influence to why I’m doing what I do, as lame as it’ll be is the song “Saturday” by Fall Out Boy. It motivated me to learn how to do the cool part where Pete yells and when I was 12, that was the coolest thing in my book.
Alex: Type O Negative, Trapt, Pantera, and in my teen years early The Acacia Strain and Dream Theater
John: Bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Mudhoney, Alice in Chains, and Black Sabbath. Stuff my dad listened to when i was younger.
Brandon: August Burns Red, as weird as that may be.
Where did you guys come up with the name Amends?
Aj: NOT the Touche Amore song. Haha. I came up with the idea through the concept that I needed something or some way to get closure with life, music was always my go to. And with that, I’m making “amends” with all the loose ties.
You guys just had a new EP come out, could you tell us more about it?
Aj: We recorded the EP with Josh Swagler of S&S studios in Auburn, NY. A fellow musician and friend of ours, he drums for the pop punk band “Storm the Bay”. These songs are collectively from the past year of us being a band. Some were written closer to when we started recording, and some were already a year old. We just really wanted to let go of all the bad things life had brought us, and show people the potential of 3 insanley talented musicians and myself can do in a room. I’m very lucky to be apart of a group of people so talented. We just wanted to write something people would understand.
Alex: It’s a 6 track EP, with literal blood and sweat. I can’t say how many times i painted my drum heads with my hands. Other than that it’s something we’ve all put our lives into, i’ve never worked so hard on something in my life. The rest of the guys always know how to push me and i think that shows at times in the EP. I’m personally very happy with the work we have done, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of dudes to do it with.
John: I think the EP is a good balance of a lot of different things. And i was happy with the way it turned out. It was a good stepping stone in the right direction.
Alex: I’m surprised and glad with what I could actually do with great musicians like my dudes.
Where can we pick up your music?
Aj: Bandcamp, free of charge! Or a physical copy can be grabbed through Hockomock Records, a new label that branched out and we were lucky enough to be their debut release.
What was your favorite part of last year? And what do you have planned for this coming year?
Aj: Either the weekend we did with Night Terror in February, or the day we spent in DC this summer on tour with Crookshanks and our pal Dave Beyerlein. Just the best times with some unreal amounts of laughs and smiles that came together and made a lot of memories I’ll never forget. With the new year, we plan to do a split, play out a lot more, especially in the north east. And record another EP or possibly a full length.
Alex: My favorite part of last year was touring with our good friends Crookshanks. For the coming year I plan to bring a different complexity to my drumming and something that will push the rest of the guys further along with their writing. Also for this coming year, I plan to work on a bit of a solo project that i’ll do along side of full-time Amends writing, touring, and shows.
John: Hanging out with all the different bands we played with, and tour was good. Looking forward to traveling and playing new places with cool bands and always meeting new people.
Brandon: Tour by far. And jamming in the dirty south. Hoping to write even better stuff and tour more.
What is your favorite part of the holidays?
Aj: Not huge on them personally, but I enjoy the film “Eight Crazy Nights” too much and I save it for this time of year. Funniest cartoon ever made.
Alex: My favorite part of the holidays is family. It’s super cool to sit back and talk to someone that you don’t often get to see. Also, who can deny a plate full of heart attack.
John: The decorations and just overall vibe of the holidays is what i look forward to.
Brandon: Food and time off work haha
How is working at forever 21? Do you pick up lots of girls?
Aj: It has it’s pros and cons, the butt game is unreal haha but I don’t even know the first step in saying hi to an even relevantly decent looking woman.
What is your absolute go-to pizza place and what do you order?
Aj: White garlic cheddar broccoli pizza from Pontillo’s is my Holy Grail
Alex: Jerry Arenas. I get onions, sausage, peppers, pepperoni, cheese, covered in BBQ sauce.
John: I have celiac disease so i usually just make my own pizzas. And i keep it simple with just cheese.
Brandon: Main street pizza mother fucker. Chicken wing pizza with mild sauce haha