Friday, April 19 2024

Today, we’re excited to catch up with Adam, Rob, and Mike of Into the Light, following the release of their epic, eponymously titled debut EP. The Rochester-based band brings a unique blend of influences, from ’90s grunge to modern hardcore, creating a sound that is both catchy and eclectic. Produced by the talented Steve Sopchak (known for his work with Motionless in White, Ice Nine Kills), their self-titled EP is a testament to the band’s evolution. Join us as we delve into their history, creative process, and the journey so far…

Hey guys! Congratulations on the release of your debut EP, ‘Into the Light.’ Can you share some insights into the decision-making process behind choosing ‘Camera Shy’ as the lead post-release single, and how it represents the evolution of your sound?

ADAM: So, we mostly picked ‘Camera Shy’ because it sounded to us like the most accessible song. You don’t have to be from any certain indie or punk sub-genre to ‘get it’. To me it’s just a melodic guitar driven pop song without pretense. While some of the things we might like, or, be inspired by, could be considered slightly obscure, to us this song sounded inviting to people from different musical backgrounds.

ROB: I’m a fan of all styles of music. Especially mainstream music. This particular song just has that pop hook that The Beatles made famous. I’m not saying we’re The Beatles, just that our goal is to write memorable songs like they did. 

MIKE: To me, ‘Camera Shy’ always felt the most fitting as a post-release single and was a solid representation of our sound continuing to evolve. Where ‘Manuscript’ introduced our more atmospheric and rhythmically driven side, and ‘Bridge’ showcased our love for some straight-up heaviness, ‘Camera Shy’ was our honest attempt at some good, old fashioned, catchy rock ‘n’ roll. Also, Adam kept a lot of tricks up his sleeve until we hit the studio, so once I heard his hooks and melodies unfold in-studio, I went from “having a feeling” that it was the right choice to being sure of it.

The EP features a diverse range of influences, from post-hardcore to ’90s rock and shoegaze. How did the collaborative songwriting process within the band contribute to the fusion of these different genres, and were there any challenges in maintaining a cohesive sound throughout the EP?

ADAM: I’m glad you hear a lot of things that inspire me and that I’m a fan of in music. We have a bit of crossover, but my favorite anecdote for the diverse range of influences for each band member manifests itself in the fact that we cannot agree on almost any song to cover. We did a Sonic Youth cover at our first show, but one member secretly agreed to it to be a team player. As far as songwriting goes, we all shape the songs and are able to play producer with songs and riffs that Rob and I bring to the band. Rob will demo out an entire song, and send us a pretty high quality recording of his ideas, and each song is usually given the name of a color for his process. When I bring songs and riffs to the band, I send them no recordings, which puts everyone on their toes a bit, and we just kind of see what happens using our collective intuition and collaboration. For my songs, I think the band has made them all much better than when I originally conceived them, which is why I like to go in with a clean slate. My mind and my creative process is much more chaotic than Rob’s. In the end, I’m a huge fan of what everyone brings to the table, and we took about a year and a half to find our sound before we started playing shows. This is my first band where I’m the lead singer. I’m much more used to being a guitar or bass player on the side of the stage, and the guys in the group were really patient with me figuring out my approach. I think I’ve learned a lot from some of the awesome singers I’ve gotten to play and record with over the years.

ROB: I am currently reading “My Effing Life” by Geddy Lee, from Rush. In the book he talks about how all 3 members have such diverse musical identities that when they all play together, their individual styles make that cohesive sound happen. I think that’s us. Even if a particular band influenced the writing of the music, when all of us come together it becomes a whole different thing whether we want it or not. 

MIKE: I’m with Rob on this one. We’ve said it before that we came in wanting to have a very ’90’s Quicksand-ish vibe, but the more we dug into our tool chest of influences, the more we explored how those bands shaped our playing and writing process. These dudes I’m playing with have a hell of a history as musicians and I trust their process 100%.

Working with producer Steve Sopchak, known for his work with bands like Motionless in White and Ice Nine Kills, must have been an exciting experience. How did his expertise shape the recording process and contribute to the overall sound of ‘Into the Light’?

ADAM: Steve is incredibly talented and kind to boot. I’ve already recorded 3 different projects with him, and I strive to always have something that we’re working on together. I’ve learned a lot from Steve, and I’m stoked to keep it going. My technical recording skills are not the best, but he really understands me when I describe things with bizarre adjectives and hand gestures. It really helps that Steve is into bands that inspire me too from multiple different genres, from hardcore and punk to much more accessible music we would hear on the radio in the ’90’s.

ROB: I love recording with him. I learn so much about the actual process of making a record when we’re there. I often think I’m driving him crazy with all of my questions. 

MIKE: Steve is what you’d call the “total package”. An experienced musician, a killer producer, a top notch problem solver, and remarkably kind to boot. And as a drummer, being able to work with a producer who is able to lock down the EXACT drum tone I was looking for… that’s the dream.

The album was recorded at More Sound Recording Studio in Syracuse, NY. Can you share any memorable or challenging moments from the recording sessions, and how the studio environment influenced the final outcome of the EP?

ADAM: Honestly, the whole experience went very smooth, and it starts with our drummer Mike (who’s also my brother) and is one of the most solid and consistent drummers I’ve ever played with. He also hits his drums harder than God. Rob and Jay did an excellent job, and worked very quickly. For most parts, Rob is pretty much a one-take guy which is super impressive. The only difficulty was that due to everyone’s work schedules, I was the only band member that was able to be in the studio every day. This being our first record, I had a little anxiety about making certain decisions, even with Steve’s expert guidance, without the whole group there. It all worked out great though, and I think all 4 of us had a really good time making this record.

ROB: The only challenging moment was where do we put all of our gear. It’s a pretty small studio and we have a lot of gear. Steve has a lot of gear too, so we were sitting on and around amps, pedal, and guitars. Overall, Steve is fun to work with, honest and easy to work with. 

MIKE: There are almost too many memorable moments to count, but one that stands out was watching Rob and Steve hold a full-fledged conversation while Rob was in the middle of tracking ‘Midyear’. Rob’s a freak. A guy like me would tank the take if someone drew my attention away from the task at hand. One of these days I’ll figure it out, but at that point, I was just cracking up watching it unfold.

The band was formed in 2022, and within a relatively short period, you’ve released a debut EP with plans for future releases in 2024. How has the band evolved since its inception, and what can fans expect from your upcoming material and live shows?

ADAM: I think right now we’re going to focus on playing shows in our area and try to spread the word and continue playing with like-minded bands and musicians. For me, making records is my favorite part about being in a band, but I also really enjoy playing gigs, reigniting old friendships because I lived most of my adult life in Seattle, and meeting new people that are inspired by similar things. As far as evolution goes, I think we’ve laid the foundation for our sound, but we won’t be penned in by genres and I think we’ll just continue to follow our creative intuition.

ROB: Compared to some bands I’ve been in, that’s a small amount of music since our inception. I’ve been in bands where there was 1 maybe 2 releases a year. These 6 songs were perfected over a long period of time. But honestly our songwriting has gotten easier as of late. I think since we’ve evolved to a specific overall sound writing has become easier. 

Into The Light Band

OK, time for the ‘Fun Question’ – With influences ranging from ’90’s grunge to modern hardcore, if ‘Into the Light’ could create a dream tour lineup featuring any bands, past or present, who would be your top three choices to share the stage with, and why?

ADAM: This is a fun question, and I need to preface my answer with an acknowledgment that we don’t deserve to play with any of these bands, and that we’re just beginning. The most realistic answer for me, since they still tour a bit (even though it’s far-fetched at this stage), would be opening for Quicksand or Rival Schools. Again, since we’re dreaming here, the other 2 I’d pick that have been very influential to me would be Failure and the Catherine Wheel. The songwriting and singing for both of those bands sets such a high bar, and it’d be really cool to see those bands together.

ROB: I would want bands that compliment us well. I’ll say Cave In. They are one of the most sonically diverse bands. They’ll write a super heavy hardcore song, then they’ll play acoustic pop ballads and they fit perfectly together. I like that ability to stay yourself as a band but write songs that can sound like anything. 

MIKE: Two of my favorite bands of all-time are Deftones and Dredg. Deftones have LONG been a massive influence on my drumming, as well as a passion for melding styles and different feels in the music I make. Dredg’s album ‘El Cielo’ sits up on high as my favorite album ever, so if we were ever given the chance to play with both (or, even just one of them), I’d die a happy man. 

Lastly, thanks for the interview.

It’s been a pleasure guys!

As they continue to evolve and plan for future releases in 2024, it’s clear that Into the Light are a force to be reckoned with in the Rochester music scene and beyond. Keep an eye out for their upcoming shows and releases, and be sure to check out their debut EP, ‘Into the Light,’ available on all major platforms.

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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