What is the name of your band? Underlined.
What does the name "Underlined" stand for? Nothing really. Its more about the summation of every subject in my life that "drives" me to create our music. As Chad Hanks (American Head Charge) said: "Nobody ever asked what a Led Zeppelin was."
What made you call the band "Underlined"? Originally, i was heavily inspired by bands from the 90s / 00s; Crossbreed being one of them. But over time, as i've matured since i began releasing music under this name, the reasons for maintaining the name "Underlined" have changed countless times.
I think its healthy to find new meaning in things, as time goes on.
How was the band formed? I had the name in the back of my head since 2006... But nothing really took form until i moved to Tampa in 2009-10ish (my memory sucks with dates, forgive me) and formed a working relationship with Kem Secksdiin & Ian Hall, where i would have Ian put electronics over some songs and i would perform vocals with Kem over a song called "The Suffering" then release the studio versions of said songs as the name Underlined. However my funding went dry (plus, being a damn teenager didn't really help much. Haha.) & i was forced into releasing the record TRUTH AND DENIAL in mostly demo form.
By the time i wanted to form a live band, i was finally writing more expressive material (songs that would be apart of the botched debut album DEADTIME STORIES), so i believe thats really when i formed the first true version of this band.
What made you form the band? When i turned 16, i was overwhelmingly disgusted with South Florida's unsupportive attitude towards ANY sort of band that wasn't wearing skinny jeans, playing breakdown after breakdown & poorly pig squealing into a mic for half an hour. And since i was a kid, with only afew years of experience, i started writing Underlined's music with various contributers, musicians & long time friends.
At the time i had no "focused" way of expressing myself, so my warped little mind wanted to make something that would really confuse the social circle i felt bound to. I hated that everyone was literally a copy of a copy, i hated that every band sounded JUST LIKE each other, and i hated my local scene for how unsupportive it was towards being they were not. Therefor i did something i didn't really see anyone else around me doing.
Can you briefly introduce your band and who you are? My name is H7. Underlined has always been my "project" where i get to write music with various people who've inspired me throughout the years & the few artists that have clicked with our overall sound and image. In the past, i've tried to create the illusion of an actual band (like most groups do), but its been borderline impossible for me to find a group of like-minded weirdos, that want to be apart of what Underlined actually is. A double edged sword. A band that not only plays the music, but is actually able to put on a memorable stage show in the way that Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson or Mushroomhead do. You know? Bands with theatrics.
Where are all the band members from?/Who does what in the band? A live line up for our new ep &THEN is actually being formed now, And has yet to be announced. But the core members of this "new" version of Underlined i've been slaving over are myself and Edward :MARAX: Batchelor (Guitarist for Underlined & Kuza).
What were the ambitions of the band when you started? Originally, to confuse and upset our local scene. Currently, to leave behind a body of work that is a honest expression of self. Music that never holds back emotion & doesnt restrict itself to one genre.
Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you? I use to say the term "Horror Metal" alot, because thats what we were. But despite how much as i hate those made up sub-genres that bands like to pull out of their asses now adays... I guess i would call it experimental industrial metal? Eh. Im sure someone will try to come up with a label for it once we put out our single "Eight Three One".
Where was your first gig? THAT SHOW NEVER HAPPENED! *dives through a plate glass window* Heh, sorry. Our first show was this horrible little self-booked event at some local venue in West Palm Beach. But we just act like that show never happened. Wink wink.
Where was the latest gig?
Revolution (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Opening for Gwar, Devildriver, Cancer Bats & Legacy of Disorder.
Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics? Eddie and myself do 90% of the writing & the other 10% is done by my cat randomly pushing buttons. I write the lyrics.
Who has the best since of humor in the band? It really depends on the day. Like i said before, we're all weirdos. Haha.
What's good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are? Oh boy... Strap in everyone, we're going for a ride! We've been fucked over by the industry in literally every single way imaginable. Signed to record labels & managers that not only drop the ball with our releases, but refuse honor our contracts, withhold our music then release it before its even sightly finished & slanders us when we go public over being bent over a metaphorical table like a damn gimp. Its funny how the few times i've let someone else completely handle anything to do with my band, its been ruined in the most ridiculous of ways. Hell, our whole issue with our most recent record label was ONLY due to miscommunication. Thats it. But when things got so bad & our manager had totally abandoned us, we got swiped under the labels rug. Despite still having a legally binding contract with them...Anyway. What else? Oh, we have horrible luck with keeping a line up. Because i was so desperate to play live...I use to make the mistake of filling my live band with inexperienced kids with instruments& not the like-minded musicians i needed (but couldn't seem to ever find). Which made our early live shows go horribly.
The fact that i started this band as a kid & have been focusing on it since then, had at one point ruined my personal life so badly where i pretty much crippled myself with drugs and alcohol. But as i've grown up and matured...i've learned from my mistakes. So i guess all the negative stuff has actually done some good, in the bigger picture. The good? Our fans. Pure and simple. And the fact that im finally writing the kind of music i want to write. I can only hope that our live band situation gets better, because playing this stuff live is whats really going to boost the "good things" about being in this band. Genre wise, i dont really feel like actually Underlined fits into any one genre. So much has changed over the years, im not even the same person i was when this band started. Thank fuck.
What are your songs about? The lyrics for DEADTIME STORIES (although we do not support that record) were all re-written right when we got to Studio D in Ohio, while i was in the middle of a complete mental breakdown. My sons mother had just left me, we just went through a whirlwind of traumatic bullshit that neither her nor i were able to handle & i ended up doing all i could to outlet everything i was going through, so i wouldn't just say "fuck it" and jump off the studio's roof. &THEN takes place where deadtime left off; Both feet in the grave, lost with zero desire to live any sort of life, no management, no label, no live band...nothing. The record is a collection of 3 new songs & 3 deadtime songs (that were re-done in the fashion we originally wanted them) So lyrically the 3 older songs haven't changed much. But the 3 new songs are more lyrically targeted towards what most would call my "muse". In a nutshell, i met someone who literally saved me from myself and now our weird little story is the core influence artistically driving me. Fun fact: Shes even on the damn cover of the record. Psychos in love.
Do you write your own material or mainly covers? I like covering songs a little too much, so i stay away from it as much as possible. The only cover song we've released is "Act of Faith" (by Ramallah), but on our record ALTRUISM there will be a cover of a cover of a cover of Willy Nelson's "Always On My Mind". Its so weird... i love it.
Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?
TRUTH AND DENIAL - A collection of mostly demos.
DEADTIME STORIES - Our fucked up "debut" record that we're trying to ignore.
&THEN - An EP due to be released before the end of the year.
ALTRUISM - Our first "real" full length, Due out in early 2014.
Do you have any clips on YouTube? A bunch of our stuff can be found on Youtube or any social networking site.
How old are you? What got you started in music? I turn 22 on December 4th. And i believe the idea was first put into my head when i lived in my hometown of New Orleans, listening to bar bands, eyehategod & any other metal/industiral/punk/goth/hip hop/jazz/voodoo band that came into town.
At what age did you start playing? 13, i think.
How old were you guys when you first stood on stage? I was 14. But i looked 20 & had a full beard, so no one asked any questions. Haha.
What year was the band started? 2006 (sort of).
How old were you the first time you saw a live band play? I was most likely still in infancy.
How old were you at your first gig?/Best/worst gig you've played? 13. I was simply thrown on a stage after writing 6 songs for another band. Our worst show was, without a doubt, our first one. But i would like to think our last show was our best. Performance wise.
What places will you be playing in in the immediate future? Right now im remaining focused on finishing &THEN and ALTRUISM, while i put together this live line up.
Where have you played from then till now? Too many venues to name. I dont even remember them all, actually.
What songs are in your live set's? Fan favorites & whatever we know will leave an impression on the new people hearing / seeing us for the first time. Now adays people have the attention spans of goldfish, so shouldnt really hold back with your live shows.
Is it always the same set's live? We've never ever ever ever play the same sort of set twice. Which i guess most people find odd.
What has been the best/most promising gig so far? This one our own band member / promoter fucked us out of playing. Granted it wasn't all his fault & the venue was a nightmare for us all.
We were direct support for Psyclon Nine, Dawn of Ashes & Die Sektor... It was literally a dream gig for me and it was stomped out, even though we were the only South Florida based band to bring any people through the door. Fun stuff, huh? But just being there was a memory worth holding onto.
Have you had any bigger tours from start till now? All we want to do is tour. But its a little hard to do that without a drummer or 2nd guitarist.
How big crowds do you usually play for? It honestly depends on the event. No two crowds are the same.
What are the plans for the rest of the year?
Finish &THEN and ALTRUISM.
Find a drummer & 2nd guitarist.
Film a video for "Eight Three One".
Where do you usually play? Where ever will have us. We're not picky.
How do you get psyched up for a gig? By putting myself in the most unstable mental state possible.
What are your goals with your music? To create an honest expression of self that people can relate to & use to help them through the times when they feel like all is lost.
When did you decide to go all in for the music? I dont think i've ever NOT been "all in" with this.
Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? Im not easily inspired by modern music in the least bit. But the few "newer" bands i like are Kuza, Gemini Syndrome, The Witch Was Right & im sure there are afew more im forgetting...
What are your sources of inspiration? Most of Underlined's inspiration simply comes from life. I use to target wrong doings and the selfish things people do onto other, but im more onto this whole "muse" topic now and im not looking back.
What's the first step when making a new song? Normally, a song only works if i can imagine it completed in my head before its even recorded.
How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? I actually hate it. The art of the CD package is beyond lost & almost seen as nothing more than a novelty now. I might as well only release our records on cassette tapes. El oh el.
What would be your dreams for the band? Consistent, self supported touring & recording. I just want to be able to perform this music how it should be performed. Thats my core goal in life.
Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to?
Im sure i'll forget someone, but heres a random list of what i mostly listen to:
Tim Skold, Michale Graves, Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, American Head Charge, Rob Zombie, Bush, Dope, Staind, Fuel, Mudvayne, Tool, Blue October, The Misfits, Ill Nino, A Perfect Circle, Black Light Burns, Cold, Motograter, Ramallah, Gemini Syndrome, Kuza, Oomph!, Devildriver, Everlast, The Witch Was Right, Doyle, Hurt, Institute, Alter Bridge, Ben Moody, Septicflesh, The Cure, Ghost Machine, Shotgun Messiah, Brian Head Welch, Seether, Slipknot & Tiger Army.
What do you hold most dear? For the sake of not publicly fucking up other peoples lives, ill just say "someone" & my music.
Have you been part of any other projects? Yes. But i spent awhile avoiding being in other bands, until i've been pouring my efforts into becoming a live bassist or electronics guy for another band, because i believe in their artwork.
Have you been in any other bands? Yes, in the past.
What do you work with outside of the band and the music? I honestly have more medical problems than most could ever imagine, so i dont work with anything outside of art & staying alive.
What would you do if there was no music? I would have thrown in the towel on my life years ago.
How important are your fans? Our fans are the fuel that drives this machine. Without them, we are nothing.
They mean the world to me.
What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you? Oddly enough, all of the exchanges i've had with fans have been amazing. It'd be impossible for me to pick just one.
How often do you rehearse? Before shows, we'll get together twice a week.
Where do you rehearse? South Florida.
Name 2 of your own songs you like at the moment?
"Eight Three One" off of &THEN .
"Vitriolic" off of ALTRUISM.
What do you feel is the best live band you've seen? These New Orleans locals i saw when i was a kid. I never found out their name, but they played this this creepy voodoo metal & i loved every second of it.
What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? Staying grounded & focused on your goals.
Do you have any webpages?
Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there? Dont have a plan b, or you'll use it. And if a recording contract looks too good to be true, it is.
Would you like to add anything else? I actually feel like this is the most insightful Q&A i've done. Haha.
Describe your show, visually and musically We are literally a wrecking ball of aggression, smashed instruments & broken bodies. The fact that each show could very well, be my last is one hell of a fun thing to have in the back of your head while you're losing your mind in front of a crowd.
How do you view the music industry of today? Poorly.
What advice would you like to give other bands? If you have a goal or a dream, dont allow anyone to compromise it. You deserve to be heard and if anyone tells you otherwise, raise your middle fingers high.
What are the biggest obstacles for a band? Getting publicity & touring seems to be the biggest obstacles in todays industry.
How would you describe your sound in one sentence. One big fucking train wreck of emotions peppered over weirdo metal.
What is your favorite crappy instrument? My live electronics rig. Its been on its last leg since 2009, yet always seems to work. Haha.
What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band? When we were supposedly "released" from our contract with our most recent label. My entire live band, besides Eddie, ALL jumped ship on me & that pretty much left with absolutely nothing.
I spent about a year not playing shows or doing anything besides focusing on "rebooting" Underlined...and one year later, here i am. Getting closer and closer.
What wont you spend money on? Myself. Ever. All my money goes into this band, and that might as well be nothing.
What do you feel a band/musician should spend their money on? First, get the gear you need. Next, buy your own recording gear and learn it like the back of your hand. Lastly, get a van to ease the focus of playing shows & selling merch.