Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with The Great Flood Catastrophe

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with The Great Flood CatastropheGood music is hard to find. There are so many bands out there producing stuff these days that no one can stand to listen to. I won’t name any names, but what everyone now considers to be “popular” music is simply garbage. There isn’t a song on the radio that I would listen to again if I had the choice. Regardless, I still have to stay abreast of all that is going on in the industry. Needless to say, I am always trying to find the next big thing when it comes to good, live, local music. That is when I met these guys. From the second I heard their sound I knew they were going to be something big. They have a video that deserves to be on every television station in the nation, and their sound is unbeatable. I would throw them in a genre, but it’s nearly impossible. Take a listen and you will see what I mean. I love their name too. I just hope these guys turn out to be as big of a success as I think they will. It is my pleasure to be sitting with the guys in The Great Flood Catastrophe.

What a great band name. Where did that come from?

We were looking for a name that was recognizable when you saw it, but had a serious tone to it. It needed to have an urgent, almost apocalyptic, feel when you read and spoke it. The words could not only look good on paper or in a typeface, but audibly it had to flow. When people hear the band name they tend to assume we are a metal band. (Laughs)

Where are you guys originally from?

The band has always been spread out; with Sam and Seth living in Fort Wayne, Ryan in Indianapolis, and myself in Syracuse. It makes for a lot of driving time for practice and shows, but hanging out and playing music with your best friends makes it all worth it.

How did you all meet?

I was the central hub to us all really. The rest of the members were all mutual friends of mine, and when the band was conceived and looking for members we all came together in Syracuse.

I love that photo on your MySpace page. Where was that taken and who took it?

We took that at Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne, Indiana right after an acoustic show at Hot Topic. Sam was deathly ill with the flu, but it was still a fun show. My girlfriend, Kara, actually took the photo. It was really funny, because we all had to dodge the people ducking in and out of the shot, and every once and a while people would just stop and stare at us like. “What are you doing?”

Are those Toms you are wearing Aaron?

Yeah, they’re the classic red Toms. I paid for two pairs, and the second one has yet to show up, I’m not sure what’s going on.

You guys are on Twitter, Facebook, iTunes, YouTube; the list goes on. How do you keep up with everything on all these social sites?

We split it up. Each of us has our own area of responsibility, and you can really see the individual personalities come through on each social networking site. Which keeps it very fresh and interesting.

Do you have a favorite social network?

Xanga! (Laughs) It is easily the most accessible and legitimate networking site right now. No, Facebook is definitely the choice site for communication with fans for us; it’s so stripped down and simple. You should definitely look us up and talk to us on there.

Describe your genre in one word.

I would have to say phantasmagorical.

You guys are all really young. Have you always wanted to be musicians or did it just kind of happen?

(Seth) I always wanted to be a professional soccer player when I was really young, then I moved into artistry at a university.

(Aaron) I either wanted to be a studio engineer or somehow be involved in film. I still do actually. I’ve always had such a strong interest in those fields. For a while I really had considered being a homicidal detective.

(Ryan) Dude, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do when I was a little kid, let me think… (shakes head) probably a secret agent or something.

(Sam) Either an architectural or electrical engineer, I always had a knack for putting things together and investigating how they work.

Do you guys have jobs outside of music?

“Sure do! See you later!” That was Seth, as he walks out the door for work. Sam and Seth really do absolutely everything together, they both work at Aldo together. Sam works at Sweetwater Sound too. I (Aaron) work at James Townsend & Sons; you need to look it up, it’s real crazy. I know Ryan puts boxes of hunting boots into bigger boxes of hunting boots and throws them into trucks. (Laughs)

What would you be doing if you were not performing?

Writing the next record! That’s what were doing right now as a band.

(Aaron) If I wasn’t doing music, I would probably be pursuing something in screenwriting and/or directing.

(Sam & Seth) I don’t know what I would do if I was not in music, probably revert back to my engineering days. Finish college with an engineering degree then move on to wiring buildings. Seth, I would definitely go full time into school as well to work on a degree in music technology. I would love to get involved in that, even though that dodges the question a bit.

(Ryan) I would go back to college. No, no, wait. I would go into full time zombie defense, join a militia and take on the zeds! (Laughs as Sam rolls his eyes!)

Tell me a little bit more about Godspeed, Godspeed.

It was our first release, first full length, the first songs we ever released. Sam and I first started writing at a pretty young age together and just matured musically together. At first we just wrote whatever we wanted at the time, the first thing to pop into our head. As we grew older we sorta, we shaped our writing process too. Godspeed, Godspeed became a big concept record for the band. Which for a freshman release was, for us, an immense project that we are still proud of.

What is the biggest crowd you guys have ever played for?

About 300 kids, so we’re getting up there with Queen and the other greats. (Laughs) Not really anything to be proud of, but you have to start somewhere.

The smallest?

Excluding members of the other bands, 2 or 3. Phew! Oh man, never go to this place in Highland, Indiana. It was one of the first places we played; it was so long ago. The venue really could be a cool place if they had a good draw.

So your video for Ice… whoa. Where did that come from? It’s creepy, first off. But I love it. Who came up with the idea for the video?

(Sam) That was Aaron’s baby.

(Aaron) I wanted to mesh sci-fi with a dance video, sort of a galactic noir video. We rented out this coffee house and designed the set ourselves. We went out and bought everything and started putting it all together the night before. Did some test runs and reworked a few things until we were satisfied. When we got there for the shoot the first thing we did was get into costume and had all the extras prepare themselves. When we began to film one of the first shots we needed I said, “Alright, all the girls around Ud!” (Laughs) Ud was our old drummer. It turned out to be a lot of fun really. We were able to knock out most of the filming in a day.

Do you know all of the people in the video or did you just collect a bunch of teenagers?

Nope, every one of them were our cherished friends. We had everyone from cousins, siblings, and friends to come out for the video and dance. We had all the guys bring all their super nice dress clothes and gave them gas masks and welding goggles. For the girls we had them dress real classy as well and actually painted their faces, but you couldn’t see it in the video. Which was a bummer, but it turned out really well. I’m still so happy with it. Bringing everyone together like that was one of the things I really loved about the filming process. We had a ton of fun with it.

If you could live anywhere, where would you go?

The shrine!

What kind of merchandise do you guys have? I need a shirt with your logo!

Were working on some new merchandise right now to be out with the new record. Right now we have tank tops, a v-neck with the China artwork on it, ladies fit tee, a few other things like stickers and the like. Our merchandise has always been extremely important to us. We have a webstore online which has most of our merchandise.

You don’t have any shows coming up. When am I going to be able to see you guys performing live?

Were taking a break from shows right now to really work on writing the new record and of course, searching for a new drummer. Look for us live again in early summer.

Who writes all the lyrics?

I write the majority of the lyrics myself, but people throw in their ideas too. Just works that way for us right now, which is cool.

Where do you get inspiration for a new track?

(Sam) Everything? Could be anything, something that recently happened, something out of the blue, could be something someone said, a mood, a new amp, new guitar, just new music toys.

Speaking of inspiration, who are some of your biggest inspirations?

Duke Ellington; big jazz names. John Mayer. Deftones. The Roots. Tycho. Hans Zimmer!

You guys have a free download for your track Ice. How do you think being able to download music has changed the music industry?

Access to music online is a double-edged sword. In some ways it is a huge help. Look at Radiohead. Kid A released at number 1 on the Billboard Top 100, and all the marketing was done online by the band themselves. Anyone can put their music online, and to a certain extent that is a great way to get noticed. On the other hand, that is what kills a lot of bands. MySpace has over 11 million bands, which makes it very difficult to stand out. I don’t think you can sum up the subject to being either bad or good, it’s all in how you use it.

Speaking of the music industry, are you guys on a label? Do you think they have changed the business as well?

Not on a label yet, but labels definitely play a huge role in being successful in this industry. We’re definitely looking for label support right now. It’s the type of boost that can really get the ball rolling, which is really important because if you lose that enthusiasm that should be at the root of music writing, you lose a huge aspect of what people are looking for. You lose that “x-factor” aspect that all world-class bands have.

What’s this China EP all about?

Our goal with the China EP was to create a themed piece of art. Ultimately we had a few songs and decided last minute to put out some new music for the fans. We placed a release date of June 25, 2010. We set that date on June 2, 2010. We started recording June 4, and got all of the recording done in a week. (Laughs) It was quite a task, and we were really crunched on time because of the other aspects too. Things like artwork, production, and merchandise. It was a really fun project though, spontaneity is always good. It keeps you on your toes as a musician and artist. Overall we were really pleased with the whole feel of everything, I think it turned out really well.

If you could only perform one song for the rest of your career, what song would you choose?

The Roots, The Next Movement! (Laughs) Such a good song… Oh man.

What is the best concert you have ever been to?

(Aaron) The first time I saw Deftones in Detroit. They were amazing.

(Ryan) Dream Theater in Columbus; five of the best musicians in the world, all together in one band.

(Seth) The Jonas Brothers. The production was absolutely flawless.  They put on a good show. No matter what people say, those guys know what they’re doing!

(Sam) I saw Incubus a while back in Indianapolis. Michael Einziger their guitarist is a hero to me… He does things with the instrument that are ground breaking, and inspiring. He shows that there will ALWAYS be new ideas and elements of guitar to be explored. Yeah… Incubus was awesome.

What does a typical Friday night look like for you guys?

We try to get together at least once a week, it’s kinda hard because of how spread out we are though. But it’s really important to maintain a friendship beyond just being band members. So no matter what we do, we always keep it fresh so to speak. (Laughs) We just try to have a good time. Whether it be writing and recording, going out to eat, watching a movie, or just talking. It’s always a ton of fun being with your best friends.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I think we all feel the same about this one; every one of us really does desire to make a career in music, particularly in this band. The way we gel, and interact makes this the group of guys I want to work with. Each of us plays our part, and if we do get signed, and make it “big” so to speak, I couldn’t see myself with anyone but these guys.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

I think we would all like to be remembered as guys who wrote great, thoughtful  music, set an example to fans, treated everyone with respect and never took the ability to perform and write music for granted.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

We just want to thank everyone who has helped us out and supported us in the past. We can’t wait to get back out there and make new friends and play more shows. Keep in touch and be sure check us out on the Internet! We would love to get to know all of you!

Note that all comments below will be entered to win a copy of the new The Great Flood Catastrophe disc Godspeed, Godspeed as well as a chance to win a copy of their China EP. Check their official Facebook page for more details.