New to Hard Rock, Opening for Alien Ant FarmBy Devdoot Majumdar
Heading over to Axis this Thursday is a brand, spanking new band off of Dreamworks Records, Pressure 4-5. Made of the hard rock fiber that spawned bands like Creed and Godsmack, their new album seems MTV-destined, for better or worse. Lead singer Adam Rich took some time out to talk to The Tech.
The Tech: You guys are signed to a pretty big label there. Any warnings about the dark, underbelly of corporate music?
Adam Rich: All I have to say is that don’t take the first thing that comes across the table. You have to make sure that your assets and your back is protected before you make any big decisions. A lot of big labels will just sign bands like a write off. So you have to just be really careful and make sure that when a deal comes along, that it’s like the right deal for you ... not necessarily the most money, because you have to pay the record label that back in like record sales and stuff. You don’t want the biggest record deal as far as money goes, you just want to make sure that the people at the label really support your band and the music and stuff.
TT: You guys are touring with Alien Ant Farm -- what’re they like like?
AR: Those guys are great. As far as musicians go, they’re probably the best musicians out there. So far this tour’s been going amazing. They’re just a cool band to go touring with.
TT: Where are you guys right now?
AR: Uh. [pause] Cleveland. [Laughter]
TT: Tell me about your songwriting process.
AR: Well, our songwriting process is pretty collective. When someone comes into the studio with a riff or a part, it gets like criticized and diced up and and put back together by all the members of the band. We really try to make sure that the band writes the songs, not just one person. And then, you go into the studio and [Producer] Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm, Drowning Pool) makes it sound like a fucking freight train and it ends up how it sounds on the record. But the songwriting process is really a team effort.
TT: How does Pressure 4-5 set itself apart from all the other bands in the genre?
AR: Hopefully people can look at our band and see that we’re a heavy rock band. We’re definitely not a metal band, but we’re a band that focuses on meaningful lyrics and melody.
TT: How was Ozzfest?
AR: Ozzfest was great. It was like a a rock and roll bootcamp for us -- you’re out there will all these heavy hitters in the music world, getting to watch them every day and hang out with them. It was sort of like our introduction into this whole world because it was like our first major tour.
TT: Did you get to meet Ozzy?
AR: No. Ozzy would do funny things. Like he would jump rope every day outside of this little tent that they would build for him. I actually got to meet Tony Iommi on night at an after-tour party. It’s just a treat to be able to play with those guys and watch Black Sabbath every day.
TT: I read that you guys had a DJ in the band before. What’d it sound like?
AR: When we had the DJ, we didn’t really have our own sound. Our songs hadn’t really been developed in a melodic sense very much. At that time, we were sort of a mish-mash of all the other stuff there was out there at the time. Like heavy music and a little hip hop here and there. After Joe stopped doing that, it kind of gave us a chance to not only beef up our sound with another guitar, but also create our own sound. We just wanted to get as far away from the rap-rock scene as possible, because it’s been done and other bands do it better than us anyway.
TT: If you did a cover, what’d it be?
AR: Jennifer Lopez, one of her songs.