Now you all were in previous bands/projects before OCTW, right?
Alec: Pretty much yeah. Not to get specific with names or anything, but I was in a shitty “Pop Band.”
Cameron: I was in more of a post hardcore band playing bass. We were like a less good version of “Hands Like Houses.”
Alec: Austin & Andrew were in a pretty locally big post hardcore band and Ervin was really good friends with them but still doing some pretty hardcore garage band type stuff.
So how did you all end up coming together?
Alec: Andrew, Austin and Ervin pretty much knew they wanted to do something together then they found Cameron.
Cameron: They saw me after I had started doing vocals for that other band and they were like “Yo, come be in our band!” We met in a McDonald’s parking lot, super sketchy haha.
So Alec you were the final piece to the band?
Alec: Yeah they decided that they still needed a singer and I turned out to be a good fit because I play guitar as well.
Ok so you’ve all come together, how would you describe your sound?
Cameron: One Direction meets Metallica. Everything we do though is inspired by Lil’ B, the Based God.
Alec: Haha gotta thank the Based God, obviously. But yeah a little poppy with some hooks and a heavy ass metal sound.
Do you think the Asking Alexandria show you guys played made you “take off?”
Alec: I’m not really sure what made us take off, you know? The Asking show obviously was a huge opportunity for us, but local bands open for bigger acts all the time and go nowhere.
So it must have been the fan girls then.
Cameron: Oh definitely. We are nothing and every band for that matter is nothing without the fans.
Alec: I would say the music video we put out played a big part for sure.
You’re talking about “The Lost Ones.” Who filmed that by the way?
Cameron & Alec: A friend going to school.
Cameron: Haha, well the thing is we had someone planned to come and shoot it. Booked the flight, made our down payment and then the day before he sends us some bogus email about how we never stayed in contact with him, so he didn’t think it was happening.
Alec: The guy was legit too, like he did the videos for Jonny Craig. But like Cameron said, he flaked on us.
Cameron: It was scary because in order to play the I See Stars show, we had to have a debut video. So we scrambled and luckily found our friend. It’s one of those things where we’re grateful to have had someone to help us out, but at the same time it was REALLY rushed.
That raises a good question though. Without web presence and a real following, how did you land a gig like I See Stars?
Alec: Bobby Olson was and continues to be such a huge help to us. He knew we were committed and he knew that if we were given an opportunity we wouldn’t squander it or take it for granted.
Bobby Olson huh?
Alec: Yeah, I know people like to talk shit about him, but the guy is a businessman. If he gives you a chance, you’ve got to work your ass off because he is sticking his neck out for you. We’re not super stars by the way, we can’t sell all of our tickets to each show either. Like I said though, you can’t take this shit for granted.
Fair enough. So did he help you out with Asking Alexandria as well?
Alec: He did. We also had management helping us out.
So Royal Division helped you out. How soon did they come into the picture?
Cameron: A few months after our I See Stars show. They saw that we had presence and were able to get shit trending on Twitter haha. That was another one of those things where they recognized that we were willing to put in work.
Alec: Our management team has been amazing. They take care of every business aspect and they haven’t asked us to commit to anything more than we can handle right now.
Cameron: They’ve flown out to meet us and just hang out too. Great group of people.
Are they from North Carolina?
Cameron: Nope, no we go out to NC because our producer is out there (Drew Fulk). He’d worked with Austin previously, that’s how that happened.
Alec: Since Austin, Fulk has worked with guys like Motionless in White, Apollo 9, and others. So it was great to be able to work with him again.
So you guys were paying your own way out just to work with Falk?
Alec: Yep, we’ve invested thousands of dollars into our band. It’s one of the reasons we all work so well together. We are motivated and committed 100%. We didn’t say, well what can we afford at this point in time. We saved up and made sure that we could work with someone we trusted and that could help us record these songs the way we wanted.
Cameron: Flights, gas, food, we foot the bill for everything.
Alec: We were all “that guy” in our other bands. Did what was expected of us because we wanted it to work.
This was all before I See Stars?
Cameron: Well we’ve gone down 2 times now.
Alec: Yeah after the second trip, that’s when we decided to do the cover. We might even be re-recording though. We’ve gotten a lot of shit for being really “generic,” which I’m sure you’ve heard.
Nope. Can’t hear anything over the sound of thousands of teen girls screaming.
[Alec & Cameron laugh]
Alec: Performing though and just all of the work we’ve done, we’re starting to find a little more of the sound we want to have. Not a huge difference, but we just want it to be more us. If that makes sense!
You guys are pretty much the epitome of a “social media band.” Is that fair to say?
Alec: Yeah, for sure. I think beyond that though with Cameron, myself, and Austin, we’ve all dealt with depression. So helping people through music is really important to us. I don’t know if people see that or realize it, but we’re not here to just make music. We genuinely want to help people. So being a social media band, the fact that we have that kind of reach it just makes it easier to try and connect and help our fans.
Cameron: Dude and we’ve still been dealing with shit coming into the scene with this band. “Look at their hair, look at how they’re trying to be this or that.” We’ve never been welcomed into the local scene.
Alec: Everyone in the local scene thinks that we are just in it for the money. That we walk around with our noses up. They just don’t think we give a shit about our music.
Cameron: Obviously that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Alec: And they say shit like, “Oh they don’t want to hang out with us or anyone else.”
Cameron: Yeah the people that talk shit, then see us and want to hang out. Like dude we’re not dumb, we see all of the shit you say, so don’t expect us to be all “Bro” with you when you approach us.
Were there any people you were surprised to lose as friends?
Alec: Man, some of the biggest offenders were our closest friends. Calling us douche bags and saying we’re dicks. It sucks.
I’ve met a LOT of douche bags. I know you are good dudes. Sorry you’re having to go through that. Moving on! What is your next move now that you’ve figured out how to grow and maintain your fan base?
Alec: We want to put out another music video. A GOOD music video this time! We’re trying to decide just how big we want to go with it.
Cameron: We watch all of these videos of these amazing crews and think “We should go with that guy!” Costs a lot of money though. If we had a label involved… Haha, I’ll just say it would be nice to have a bigger budget.
Who is all involved with the writing aspect? Cameron: All of us, definitely.
Alec: We will all go to Austin’s house and give him ideas and then he plays them and we go from there.
Cameron: As far as lyrics go though Alec and I write them ourselves. Usually one of us starts, then we will build off of each other. I write a lot of stuff on my phone without music and I will send that to Alec. I’ll change some stuff around to better fit the music and Alec writes the melody.
Alec: We try to not only play music that we all love, but we want that “hook” if you want to call it that, so our fans can sing along at shows. So that’s where the poppy side of it comes in.
Now I couldn’t believe it when you guys told me that you’ve only played TWO shows. Tell me about those 2 shows and what it felt like opening for those bands.
Cameron: Yeah I still can’t believe it some times, the way things have played out. But since we’ve all been in bands before and played shows, it wasn’t like the first time we EVER played. You know what I mean? It was our first gig as OCTW, but we’ve all played live before.
Which one of you had to sleep with Bobby to get that show?
Alec & Cameron: Austin. [both laugh]
Cameron: Yep, Austin takes care of all of the “sluttery” for us haha.
Alec: That whole show was a mess though man, it was crazy.
Cameron: The show sold out before we got to the venue.
Alec: Bobby even said he was nervous because he could not believe how much people were freaking out as we were walking on stage. It was a blast, regardless of how sloppy it was haha.
Cameron: Everything that could go wrong did.
Alec: The drummer’s click track went through the PA haha. So as we’re about to start we hear through the PA “Dee-doo doo doo DEE doo.” There was a collective “Noooooooo!!!!!” from everyone in the band! Shit went down at the AA show too! My monitor wasn’t even on so I had to say “Hey man can you turn my monitor on?” after the first song because I couldn’t hear myself! Crazy, but the fans made it an amazing experience both times.
Cameron: I think the whole venue was just having so much fun. I don’t think anyone realized the little fuck ups.
Where is your fan base mostly?
Alec: Probably like 20 – 30% are Minnesota, but then the rest are scattered across the globe. Probably 50% U.S, but then we have a ton of fans in the UK and even Australia.
UK and Australia, metalcore scene is definitely huge out there.
Alec: The funny thing is, is that 5 Seconds of Summer has actually had a lot to do with that.
Cameron: Oh yeah. They promote a lot of the bands in our scene for sure. Guys like Sleeping With Sirens, they are bringing people to our scene and showing just how amazing it is!
Ok first of all, who the fuck is 5 Seconds of Summer and why is 1 Direction involved? Alec: Ok so 5 Seconds of Summer used to do a shitload of covers and they would cover guys like A Day To Remember, Sleeping With Sirens, you know guys from our scene. A member of 1D saw one of those videos and said “We need to bring these guys on tour with us.” After that they became huge. 4 million some fans signed to Capital, but they will still do things like tweet @kellinquinn and promote new music coming from our genre. Love it or hate it, it’s been so good for our scene to have that kind of exposure.
Cameron: They write with the guy from All Time Low too.
I see I see! I guess I’ll check them out… Maybe. Well what can we expect from you guys in the future then? Full album? EP?
Alec: I wish I could tell you guys! All I can say for now is that there will definitely be a new music video and you can trust that we will be bringing you some big news this fall.
Cameron: There is a lot going on behind the scenes for OCTW. So be patient for just a little while longer everybody!
Well thanks you guys, look forward to seeing more of you!
Alec: Thanks for the interview man and a huge thank you to Bobby Olson, Royal Devision Management and of course our friends and family. People who have stuck with us knowing who we are and loving us no matter what, you mean the world to us!
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