With the release of Dino Droppings, Sound Drown brings a fresh feel to some classic genres. Lush with addicting progressions, an edgy pop vocal approach, and persistent alternative undertones, the record boasts the aesthetic of pop-punk anthems.
Sound Drown was originally formed by founding member Brandon Wiseman. Having songs written for the band, Wiseman began putting together the lineup with himself sticking to bass and lead vocals. Agreeing to test the band’s chemistry by playing covers to start enabled him to find the right people for the band. Wiseman ended up going through numerous lineup changes and several shows before finally finding drummer Drew Neathway, lead guitarist / backing vocalist Nick Ryan, and rhythm guitarist / backing vocalist Justin Goss. It wasn’t long before they were able to release the debut EP, “Dino Droppings” and the record is a testament to where the band is with their sound right now.
I first wanted to take the time and thank you for doing this interview with me today. For our readers who haven’t heard of you yet, can you tell us about yourself and anything about the band you’d want us to know? Who have been your major influences in your writing style?
Hey, my name is Drew. I’m the drummer for Sound Drown. I started playing drums when I was 14 and I’m heavily influenced by Rob Bourdon of Linkin Park.
Hi, I’m Justin. I’m a guitarist/vocalist/songwriter from Saint John, NB. I’m the rhythm guitarist and a vocalist for Sound Drown. I’ve been playing guitar for 10 years and I’m heavily influenced by Jerry Horton of Papa Roach.
Hey, I’m Nick. I’ve been playing guitar for 10 years as my main instrument, but I also play bass, drums, piano, ukulele, etc. I’m originally from New York and I’m the lead guitarist and a vocalist for Sound Drown. Some of my big influences are Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance, Eddie Van Halen, and Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders.
My name is Brandon Wiseman, I’m 29, and I’m a vocalist/bassist/songwriter also from Saint John, NB – originally from Bathurst. I formed Sound Drown as a solo project, but then turned it into a full band performing covers and the odd original. After writing for the next year, the band was reinvented when Drew, Nick and Justin came on board. Some of my influences are Tom DeLonge from Blink-182, Steve Harris and Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden.
For Sound Drown, our most prominent sound would be labelled as “pop-punk”, but we also are dabbling in hardcore, alternative and pop-rock, which keeps our setlists lively. Our overall goal is to connect with people outside of our circle and to bring people closer together with our music and character.
Let’s talk about what you currently have going on. Any new music or new tours in the works? If you were to say one song of your own perfectly sums up what you are all about which song would that be?
Absolutely! We’re currently working on new covers, new material for future releases and a possible summer tour. It’s definitely going to be a busy year for us but we’re excited for the evolved material that we’re going to release!
(Bittersweet) Fault Line would have to be our choice for a song that currently sums us up. It has catchy melodies and high energy, and that’s what we’re all about when performing.
When you write any new music, can you tell us what the process is like? Describe to us what happens in a typical writing session.
So, for the process of a song, the idea usually starts with Brandon. He’ll come up with the skeleton of a song and where it should lead. After that, he’ll bring it to the rest of us (Nick, Drew, Justin) and we’ll all sit down with it and listen to it, talk about what we hear, and discuss where certain parts could go. Once we’re all satisfied with our individual roles in the song, we each grab a demo copy and learn/write our parts. Once finished, we bring it together and practice it, record a full demo take and listen to it again to see if any parts could be reworked. Rinse and repeat until the song is finished and we’re all happy with how it sounds.
So, a typical writing session would only be a small chunk of the overall process. But, whenever we get together to write, we like to come up with ideas and tab/compose them on a program called “Guitar Pro”. It sort-of streamlines the tablature process for each instrument and allows us to consolidate all of our parts, keeping the process tidy. Whenever we want to try out new parts for songs, we can easily write it, listen to it, and change it if it doesn’t work the way we wanted it to. We usually spend 3-4 hours at a time per session, picking apart and re-writing songs until we’re content with where it is.
With the music industry always changing and evolving, what are the things you like and don’t like about it? What aspects of the industry do you feel have hurt or helped your career? If you could change anything about it, what would it be?
We like the idea that there’s a ton of new music genres, new styles, new ways to play music coming out and that it’s incredibly easy to access now more than it ever was. As a band, there are a few things we’d like to lightly touch on: When music switched formats to be all digital, we started to lose the feeling of putting a CD in and flipping through the tracks. From there, music has this “throwaway” feeling to most of it, becoming the flavor of the week, and gets disposed of for something new. Overall, we hope that music starts to move away from the “Singles Exclusive” market. The fact that music is so accessible is definitely helping us gain a following. The digital market is helping us push some of our more-popular songs which gets more people to check out our band. I think the biggest change that we’d really like to make is to make the music experience a little more intimate. Everyone is so disconnected from people they enjoy listening to, but it’s hard to keep track of everything that they’re up to. Other than that, just getting paid more. We feel that a lot of professions in the music industry are underpaid for what they create.
Do you or any of your band members have any side projects? If so, what are they?
Nick is currently the only member that has any side projects going on. He is the bassist for another New Brunswick-based band called “Melonvine”.
When you’re preforming how do you handle any mistakes on stage if they ever happen? Do you have any stories that stand out to you that you had to make a memorable recovery?
We handle most mistakes pretty well when they happen and most times the crowd will never know that it happened. HOWEVER, there have been a few pretty memorable mess-ups, most notably gear issues. Whenever there have been musical mistakes, they usually pass by without much notice. Gear mistakes usually throw off the entire song and we have to pause and restart. Some of those mistakes include: Justin’s strap breaking, Justin’s strap breaking, Brandon’s strap breaking, Drew’s double-kick pedal separating several times, cymbals falling over, mic stands breaking, mic stands hitting us in the face, pedals not operating correctly, and amps/wireless systems not working/correctly set up. We love this job.
How do you decide which songs go into a set when you perform live? Do you change up the sets or stick to a regular set list? Do you have any covers?
Our setlist is never random. Whenever you hear a song proceeding another song, it’s been carefully thought-out. We like to look at setlists of our similar-sounding influences to see how their flow of songs is laid out, and we also look at the bands we are playing with that show. It is also based on what the theme of the show is. For example, our Suicide Awareness Benefit Show setlist contained some songs that were emotionally closer to our members because we wanted to be emotionally raw for that show. Our sets usually contain a 50/50 mix of originals and covers, sometimes a 60/40 for covers. We have a list of roughly 10-12 covers that we pick from and insert in between our 7 originals (soon to be more).
If you had a choice to go on any bands tour, which tour would you pick and why?
DREW: If I could tour with any artist, for a personal inspiration I would pick Linkin Park. But in terms of career success I would pick Waterparks or Too Close To Touch.
JUSTIN: I’d say either Papa Roach, Waterparks or 30 Seconds To Mars. They’re all big influences of mine.
NICK: I would love to tour with Dance Gavin Dance, Chon, or Trivium, as they are some of my biggest influences.
BRANDON: Touring with Blink-182, Angels and Airwaves, Sum 41 or Iron Maiden would fulfill one of my lifelong dreams.
Do you have any advice for any upcoming artists? What’s the best piece of advice someone gave you when you realized you wanted to be a musician?
If you want to be professional in this business, your personal relationships don’t matter. You have to be ready to drop everything you’re doing right now if you really want to pursue being a full-time musician.
Any last words?
Thanks so much for having us! If you want to see more from Sound Drown, go like, follow and subscribe to all of our social media sites! Stay tuned for more content in the near future!