As a company based out of the West Coast we enjoy finding the variety that comes from opposite ends of our own country as well as all over the world. American Caskets is one of those culminating bands that brings an even blend of West Coast and East Coast into their music. Planting roots in Long Island, NY, the trio was placed into our attention via our favorite music sharing site, Bandcamp.
On Facebook the band describes themselves with these words: "Welding the elements of Progressive Metal and Melodic Hardcore, American Caskets brings the technical and emotional attributes together to create a new and unique style with a myriad of influences." American Caskets will seize your attention if you're a fan of Polyphia, Chon, Napoleon and/or Being As An Ocean.
Alleen: Who are the members of American Caskets and what are their roles in the band?
Zach: Drew is our vocalist, (originally who started out on drums) who instantly gravitated to vocals and this was his first EP and project he ever recorded and performed as a vocalist.
Joey is our drummer and our social media expert. He's the guy behind the computer and phone anytime he's not behind the kit, making sure people can see us and our music. More importantly, he lights a fire under our behinds when things need to get done.
My name's Zach; I'm the guitarist, bassist, singer, engineer and sometimes programmer. I write and record a big percentage of the music and started the band just this past year.
A: How would you describe your musical genre?
Z: I like to joke around and tell everyone we're "Soul Metal." I love to use lots of jazz chords and neo-soul progressions with tech-metal influenced rhythm sections but musically we've already expanded those horizons within the EP and what's to come in the future. So I guess we have to settle for Progressive Metal.
A: Give me a little back history of you guys as a band. How long have you been together and what started it all?
Z: I met Drew through Facebook looking for a drummer to start a death metal band and we had no luck with finding people to commit. Eventually I gave up, scrapped the demos and started writing what would be the EP today and Drew asked if he could try doing vocals on it instead. So we gave it a shot and I instantly fell in love with that he did on the demos for "Next Chapter" and "Evaluate." Only then did it take almost 7 months to find Joey after it being just the two of us. He came in contact with me immediately after posting play through demos on Facebook in search of a drummer. We met Joey in January of '17 and he picked up the music so quickly and helped us get on our feet to finally start playing.
Alleen: Who are your musical influences as a band or as members individually?
Drew: Back in the day when I started going to local shows and even big headliners, I was really adamant about doing something; such as what I am doing now. I've been playing drums a majority of my life really, but when I saw bands like Norma Jean, I Declare War, WCAR & Underoath it really pushed me to pursue a spot as a frontman. Even though I still have a huge passion for drumming I'm equally enjoying the role as a vocalist.
Zach: I got a lot of my writing and singing influence from listening and writing pop music. I loved Michael Jackson since I was a kid and really appreciated his music. A lot of my general guitar atmosphere, choice of tone and playability came from stealing my Dad's Def Leppard and Van Halen cassettes. I idolized Phil Collen and Eddie Van Halen so much just from the stage presence, choice of guitars and most importantly the guitar tones. Something about the 80s gave 'Arena Rock' bands such a beautiful glassy Marshall sound to everything so I always tried to model my sound after that type of sound.
Joey: Aaron Gillespie of Underoath was always one of my biggest influences which pushed me into playing heavier music. The energy of the band and the drum tones were always the two things that made the band stand out to me. Seeing them live a few times they are still one of my favorite bands to date. Adam Gray of Texas In July was one of the drummers I've always watched and just been mesmerized by. His extremely quick double kick playing and fast fills made my inspired to want to want to play even heavier music. The stick tricks were the original way I found out who he has when scrolling through YouTube videos years ago.
A: Tell me about the current music you have available at the moment?
Z: We have a self titled EP out, "American Caskets" featuring 5 original tracks available on Spotify, Apple, Google, Bandcamp, YouTube and a few others to mention.
All 5 tracks were tracked, mixed and mastered by myself. Drew performed all the lead vocals on these tracks, and all the singing you hear in "Next Chapter" is me as well. I did all the guitar and bass tracking, and had Drew's help in the process of finalizing drums.
A: Your newest video will be out on the 26th for Day Dreamer, what can we expect in the video?
Z: Day Dreamer was shot with Nick Zinnanti of Zin Records, who is remarkably talented by the way. The music only features a piece of who we are as a group. We went for a much more welcoming approach with a lack of subject in the video itself, so we can let the viewers base judgement more off the music rather than what we look like and how we come off based on themes or culture. It tends to scare people away when it's the first bit of media you drop. You can expect a little more character and our "wild side" in the future though.
A: Do you have any upcoming events, shows or tours planned at the moment?
Z: We currently do not have shows lined up but we expect to keep ourselves busy once we're ready to go. Currently we're still trying to push our first package of media out to everyone and produce merchandise so that we can physically hand people stuff from us after a show.
A: What do you guys enjoy most about the East Coast music scene?
Z: Some of us have made a lot of friends from the bands out here and we really like to give reciprocating support as much as we've gotten back. We actually hang out with a lot of kids from our scene on a weekly basis just discussing life. It's not always about music and I think we all appreciate good company and honest friendships.
A: What are some final words you want to say to our viewers about your band and why they should give you a listen/follow/share?
Z: First off, if anyone has already heard us and is actively still bumping the EP we're giving big virtual high fives to you right now. Anyone who's a fan of melodic hardcore, metal, progressive rock and even fusion I think will appreciate our grooves.
We're finishing up a cover from a very popular song in the 90s this week which we'll have a video up of soon. If you follow us you're bound to see us performing in our studio; a couple of covers every once in a while in the style of our music. Following and engaging with us and making us suggestions always helps us crank out something fun for us and our fans.