For those of you who are unfamiliar, A Step Ahead is a Pop Punk/Easycore band out of Mesa, Arizona. The band released their second EP, entitled In It To Win It back in February, and have just recently signed with fellow label, Arkaik Records. I hope you enjoy my chat with Colin from the band!
Firstly, can you state your name and role in the band?
Colin: Colin Becker. I play guitar and do some of the vocals.
Give us a little background information on the band - how did you guys start off? How was the band name chosen?
Colin: We started the band in late 2007. Just some dudes wanting to play Pop/Punk. Nick Johnson (vocals) and I are the only original members. Patience and touring have claimed many ex-members. We are still great friends with everyone. When coming up with a band name, we were throwing names around and Cesar Velasquez [ex-keyboards] came up with A Step Ahead. We all agreed that the name felt right... No crazy story, haha.
So back in February you guys released your second EP, In It To Win It - what's the reception been like for this?
Colin: It has been great! We have had a lot of positive feedback.
Have you had a chance to write any new material since the EP release, or have you been focusing on other projects for the time being?
Colin: We are always working on new ideas and songs. Nothing officially done yet, but we gotta stay busy when we aren't touring.
Overall, how has In It To Win It compared to your previous EP, All Or Nothing? Surely you've learnt a few things along the way, having also become more established since then.
Colin: Yes! We recorded In It To Win It with Producer Curtis Douglas (The Maine, This Century, Brighten). He really challenged us vocally. He knew what we did with All Or Nothing and wanted to fine tune and polish it. We spent a lot more time on the little things.
The band's sound remained mostly similar across both EPs - how did the writing and recording processes compare with one another? How much did your musical and lyrical influences evolve?
Colin: Lyrically we have always written positive messages. If you're a downer... our music isn't for you. Writing has always been a collaborative process. The writing process for both EPs were about the same. The only difference was having a producer help us develop our sound, and the addition of guitarist Ruben Daniel.
How would you summarise the goals you set out to accomplish with In It To Win It?
Colin: This might be the toughest question... We don't really have a specific goal for the record other than getting it to as many people as possible. We love touring the country and cant do it without the support of our fans.
I understand you've also been looking into shooting a music video - what can you tell us about this? Have you chosen a song for it yet?
Colin: Yeah! We are in the works of shooting a music video for the self-titled track In It To Win It. We had our first meeting with the director today. No time frame on when it will be released yet.
Colin, what's it like working at Arkaik Records while being in the band? Do the duties ever overlap?
Colin: Everything is just starting up. It is good to know first hand what we have planned for A Step Ahead. Nick and I will be on all of this Summer's Vans Warped Tour with Arkaik Clothing. Come visit us at the Arkaik Clothing Tent and grab some A Step Ahead and Arkaik merch.
Speaking of, you guys were recently announced to be part of the new Arkaik Records band roster, congratulations on that. Was this something imminent or a sudden opportunity?
Colin: We had been talking with Jordan Abidor (Arkaik Clothing owner) for the past 6 months or so about it. It's all in the early stages and we are developing it. This summer we are focusing on spreading A Step Ahead and Arkaik Clothing.
You also recently played at the Arkaik Arizona Summer compilation CD release show, with a few other local bands - what was the turnout like for this? I imagine you guys would attract larger crowds at local shows.
Colin: It was a great show. Our hometown fans are great and many of them have been listening to us since the beginning. We also have a whole new group of fans, since we played with Four Year Strong a month ago. Gotta represent the Arizona Easycore scene.
Off-topic, what's your favourite joke?
Colin: What do you call the musician that broke up with his girlfriend... homeless...
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Colin: I'm not a comedian.... Check out A Step Ahead and come keep us company in your city on this Summer's Vans Warped Tour. You know where we will be (at the Arkaik Clothing tent).
Today we're premiering Shotgun No Blitz's first studio release since early-2011; their new 7-song EP, titled Letters To Myself. The songs will be digitally released on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. this Tuesday through the Pennsylvania-based label, Painted Ox Records, which is also home to Run For It (ex-Bangarang!) and Dugout. SNB's pop punk/indie sound brings […]
Fans of melodic hardcore acts such as The Ghost Inside or Hundredth should particularly enjoy this. Today we're featuring Motives' brand-new single, "Provenance", which is one of We Are Triumphant Records' latest signees. The Cleveland, Ohio natives' second EP, titled The Champion Heart, will be released on June 11th through the label.
Greylines is a punk/indie band from Lock Haven, PA and today we're happy to premiere the band's new single, "Asphyxiation", which will be featured on their upcoming split with Menace. The 3-song 7-inch, titled Poetry For The Damned, will be pressed by Cryptic Times Collective in early to mid-July. If this leaves you wanting more, you can also download the band's […]
Rooted in Norwich, CT, Angry Bears recently wrapped up their time at Small Hill Studio with Nik Bruzzese in New Jersey. With plenty of experience in his own band, Man Overboard, Nik was tapped for producing duties, which made for a smooth experience, inducing noticeable growth in the band. The still-untitled EP will be the follow-up to last year's Stay Gold EP […]
Calling all fans of emo-influenced punk/hardcore, today we're happy to announce the details for Sweet Weapons' debut full-length, titled All Of My Friends Are Dogs, which will be released through Escapist Records on August 13th. The Albuquerque, NM group recorded (and re-recorded some of) the songs with Ryan Bram at Homewrecker Studios in […]
Since 2010, Barrington, NJ's Count To Four has been constantly growing with their light-hearted and well-rounded brand of pop punk. A week from today, the band will be releasing it's debut full-length, titled Between Two Cities, which was recorded at 37 Studios in Detroit, MI with Matt Dalton (Chiodos, I See Stars, For The Fallen Dreams). Physical and digital pre-orders can […]
Times New Roman is a band that we've been covering and supporting for a long time, so it makes us happy to be premiering a brand-new single, titled "One Of My Own". You'll also find the single on the band's forthcoming EP, A Place To Rest Your Head, which is set to be released on May 21st. The songs were recorded with Mike Bridgett at The Monster House in […]
Splits have been around for decades and we all know that they're a great way of finding new music and for bands and labels to exercise their comradery. Today we have something slightly different from what we're used to; a three-way split between Shirts Vs. Skins, Sunning (Either/Or Records), and Cut The Brakes. Engineered by Tom Kelly of Broadcaster, Sunning and […]
New Jersey's post-hardcore veterans, Senses Fail, are gearing up to release their fifth full-length, titled Renacer [Spanish for "to be reborn"], on March 26th, and for many of us the excitement is at an all-time high. As the new singles have proven, the band has taken a different approach this time around, but it's nothing short of remarkably limitless. Below you'll find my […]
Olympia, Washington's Four Minute Mile has come a long way since releasing their debut EP, Indian Summer, in late-2011. The band has established itself as one of the more common names within the scene, and it's nothing short of being well-deserved. Today we're proud to be premiering their new 4-song effort, titled Bridges/Streetlights, which officially […]
Featuring members that have dabbled in bands such as Mountain Man, Four Year Strong, and Last Lights, Foxfires is the culmination of their past experiences in a whole new light. With a timeless hardcore punk sound, to the tune of The Suicide File, Reach The Sky, and American Nightmare, the Worcester four-piece delivers a passionate and earnest thirteen and a […]
Tonight Forever is an up-and-coming pop punk band from Jackson, Mississippi, which formed in early-2011. After going through several line-up shifts, the five-piece is now gearing up to release their new 5-song EP around June. In an effort to expose the band to our readers, we're happy to premiere their new single's music video for "Sunsets", which will also appear on the […]