interview with URN

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What is the name of your band? URN (the United States gothic/metal band)

How was the band formed? Dominic had finished his touring obligations with The Electric Hellfire Club and formed the band with some of his students

What made you form the band? A need to find a more constructive cathartic way of dealing with negative emotions.

Where are all bandmembers from?/Who does what in the band?

Dominic St. Charles - lead male vocals/guitars

Julian Umberger - bass and backing vocals

Christopher Migdalski - 8-string guitars

Liam Hamning - drums and percussion

April Montallan - keyboards, female vocals

Dominic, Christopher and April are in Florida, Liam and Julian are in Chicago

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? Primarily it was to just have a fun writing original material and touring as much as we could.  We are a band that really thrives upon playing live and touring.

Where was your first gig? Cleveland, OH

Where was the latest gig? New Orleans, LA

Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics?What are your songs about? Up to this point, Dominic has been the primary songwriter/lyricist in the band, but with the upcoming album it is being more of a collaborative process with all the current members.  Our songs have different muses, but common themes are pensive introspection, overcoming inner demons, seeking absolution for transgressions

Who has the best since of humor in the band? Liam the drummer seems to be the practical joker of the group.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers? We're strictly all original.  In 14 years of being a band, we've never performed a cover.

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?

Yes, we have 4 releases, 3 which are available in many major outlets such as (iTunes, Napster, FYE and so on):

Consecrated Ashes (2002)

Desecrated Ashes (2003)

Dancing with the Demigods (2006)

Scribings of a Forgotten Soul (2009)

We intend to have our new album "Epiphany" out in 2014.

Do you have any clips on YouTube?

Yes, we have three videos that can be viewed on YouTube at this time:

Cast in Amber:

Reckoning Hour:

Shadow Dancer:

What got you started in music?/At what age did you start playing? I had a friends who had and older brother that played guitar and once I tried it I was never the same, I believe I was around 12 years old at the time.

What year was the band started?  Officially in 1994

What places will you be playing in in the imidate future? We'll be doing a tour in Florida and then in the spring of next year, we look to return to Central America (Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, etc.)

Is it always the same set's live?/What songs are in your live set's? We usually have done a variety of different songs in different shows, but some of the "staples" that we try to perform are "Liar in Waiting", "Reckoning Hour", and "House of Glass".

Have you had any bigger tours from start till now? Yes, we've been blessed to tour with some great artists such as To/Die/For, Virgin Black and Tarja (formerly of Nightwish) to name a few.

How big crowds do you usually play for? It varies depending on the day and venue, but we've averaged between 50-400 people

How do you get psyched up for a gig? We usually tend to do more of warm-ups both vocally and on our instruments.  It also helps us keep our nerves in check just before etching the stage

What are your goals with your music? I feel that we can safely say at this point in our career, we've successfully achieved a great many of our career goals, so our main focus is to write our best album to date yet and continue to perform live to all of our fans in the world that are happy to share their time with us.

When did you decide to go all in for the music? I believe we decided to go "all in" about 14 years ago when we finalized this incarnation of URN.

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? Hard to say, our influences have been around for a long time so they were "modern" to us at the time.  Major influences on this band were artists such as Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, and Amorphis

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to? I personally enjoy traditional celtic music and some bluegrass from time to time.  I used to really be into big band or swing jazz, but really haven't been albe to listen to it as much as I used to.

Have you been in any other bands? I currently play 8-string guitar in Diabolic Intent, I also played bass and guitar in The Electric Hellfire Club many years ago.

How important are your fans? They are the most critical and essential aspect of what we do.  If it wasn't for their unconditional love and ongoing support this band would surely cease to be

Do you have any webpages?

Describe your show, visually and musically We put a great deal into our live show, we do rehearse extensively almost in the form of a "boot camp" where we spend exhaustive hours making sure that not only are the songs the best we can in terms of the musical performance, but also as to how we will also perform them live on stage.  We do put an emphasis on our stage costuming, as well as lighting and stage scenery to let the fans know that they came to an event that they can hopefully remember for years to come.

How do you view the music indusrty of today?

It is extremely different world from where we started out almost a decade and a half ago.  Back then, most people didn't have cell phones, much less smart phones, the vast majority didn't have e-mail accounts as most didn't have computers, so more and more people were willing to go out to shows so they could get the band's album on CD and that was the true mark of how successful a band was, how many albums you sold.

Nowadays, it appears that many will tell you that industry is "broken" and no one really has any solution to fix it.  Many people these days have gotten accustomed to digital downloads and from the consumer standpoint, it's an amazing revolution.  Tragically though, there are hundreds of thousands of people who illegally download songs and it leaves the bands completely bereft of financial income that would allow them to further their careers even more.   As time moves on even younger generations don't even view this as stealing as they have come to view that is the "common practice" of the music consumer.

It has allowed a lot of bands to gain access of getting their music to thousands who a decade or so ago could not have the means to do so, but this also has allowed for a major reduction in quality both in terms of songwriting and production.  As a result, with each passing year, at least in the United States, crowds have continually gotten smaller and smaller as more people would rather stay home and listen on the computer rather than go and interact with the artist at a live performance.  

I'm not saying that this is even wrong, I'm just saying that it is what it is.  We still perform as it is our passion and we focus on the people who do come out as we are extremely grateful that they chose to give us their time to support us in our musical endeavors,  Whether it's 20, 200 or 2,000 people we give the same show regardless and we've been blessed that we've played almost 1,200 shows in our career and have been able to perform live to thousands of people across the countries.

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