[CP – Colby Pitts, BH – Ben Harmes, NB – Nick Baumhardt, SW – Steve Wilson]
So, let’s get a brief history of the band, you guys started out in Nashville right?
BH- About 4 or 5 years ago Steve began writing songs and Steve is sort of the brain child of the band, and he always had this vision of something that he wanted to do, and he could never make it happen, his band took various forms, and we came together about a year to a year and a half ago, and we recorded a bunch of songs, we put our record out by ourselves and that’s what militia got a hold of about 6 months ago, and when we finally finished with them we got our release date on January 24th that we’re super stoked about and the record is new recordings and new versions of our old songs plus new songs like the record we put out our self, I think 4 of the songs are on the new record and there is also more new songs, so we’re freakin stoked.
What was it like playing shows in Nashville when you were starting out?
NB- Nashville’s a very, very hard market just because there are so many good musicians there and everybody’s a musician and everybody’s a critic, but its still a great city to play in.
BH- (laughter) Nashville is tough but we have been received by the people there and the shows are slowly but surely getting bigger, it is a slow process to win fans in Nashville, but we enjoy playing every time and seems like each time the crowd gets a little bigger.
You’ve spent some time on the road, any good road/tour stories?
NB- We often play shows with nowhere to stay and end up having to ask kids.
BH- I was talking about this to a friend where we show up in a town where we’ve never played before, we play a show and there’s always somebody in the audience cool enough that will let us stay at their house and we’re so thankful for that, we’re so grateful for those opportunities that I mean we’re just gushing over these people and we just end up making friends, but next time we go to these towns we have a friend to stay with, and its just awesome being out on the road and getting to meet people and getting to be a part of these scenes where there’s kids getting out and supporting shows and they make it possible for us to be out traveling and playing music.
CP – This isn’t necessarily crazy, but Ben and I kind of did something fun, in Florida, we got there and it was during hurricane Katrina and like the beach patrol were cruising the beaches making sure no one was out and stuff, and the parking lot was set on a hill that you had to walk up to get to the beach so Ben and I, and everyone else were like ‘dude I don’t know about this’ because the wind was like out of control, so Ben and I are walking up this parking lot, and as we top the hill, its like a Mahabi desert sandstorm, like sand is blasting, its blasting our tattoos off and beating the hell out of us, so when we finally get to the water the undertow is pulling underneath us, and we swim out way too far, and the beach patrol pulls up and they get out and they are looking at us and they’re like “What the hell is wrong with you?” So they make us get out, and we go back and get everyone and the storm calmed down and we all went out and it was a lot of fun.
BH- When the beach patrol didn’t let us go in the water, we sculpted a huge; I’m guessing 12 to 15 foot erection in the sand. We even sculpted a 3 dimensional scrotum.
CP- We patted it out until it was smooth.
Alright…Well about the militia group, how did that all come to be?
CP- A good friend of ours is actually buddies with Rory, the president of militia group and Rory came in town to hang out with him and while they were hanging out, Ben just met with our friend Ryan and kind of hung out with Rory and became friends with him and Ryan went back to California and that was kind of the end of it. Then word of mouth got back to Rory that Ben was in a band so we sent them a CD and he thought it was kind of cool, and he was like ‘keep me posted on what your doing and stuff’ so a couple months went by and Steve is actually a producer and he had produced a couple cool bands and did stuff with them, and that got back to Rory that Steve was in a band, so now it was like two people that Rory liked were in a band so Rory called and was like ‘So what have you guys been doing?’ and we told him that we had been playing a lot of shows and really trying to hit the road and working really hard, and he was really impressed with our work ethic so he pitched us a deal and we went through negotiations for several months, then he came out to Nashville and saw us live an was really stoked with what he saw and we went out to dinner and pretty much verbally finalized it that night.
NB- After pledging our first born children, we signed a record deal.
So, you’ve got a new record coming out, anything you want to say about it?
CP- Its called Touch This and Die it comes out January 24 th we’re really, really stoked about it, we’ve all put a lot of time into it, the lyrics are stuff that really hits home to everyone, there’s a lot of stuff in there about what we’ve went through and what Steve’s went through and we’re all really stoked about it and we all believe in it and we all want it to do as much as it can.
When your album comes out are you guys going to be touring with any other bands?
BH- In December we will be going out with a band called Jupiter Sunrise and in January we will be doing a big militia group tour.
What are some other big names on Militia?
BH- Copeland, Acceptance, Rocketsummer, Lovedrug, Cartel.
Cartel’s a great band.
BH- Yeah they are, we played a show with them out in Raleigh to a crowd of about 370 people and the room was packed, it was incredible.
So Steve, as artistic direction, where are you looking to head in the future?
SW- The future? I don’t know, we’re still exploring that, I feel like the next record is going to be different for sure. Lyrically I’d like the next record to be even more in depth just dealing with some pretty heavy themes, drug addiction and other stuff we don’t talk about that much. As far as the sound of the next record I think we’re going to explore more keyboards and stuff but I don’t know, I can’t say right now, we’re kind of excited to see where it goes, we’re hoping for it to go somewhere totally different, we’re open to any sound.
Concerning the songs coming out on the new album, where do those songs come from in your life, and where do you feel these songs reach people?
SW- I think overall this record is kind of a coming of age record, it deals with becoming an adult in your 20’s, like how you figure out what it means to be responsible and the thing that kinda scared me was I realized I was kinda becoming like my parents and that kinda freaked me out so I tried to change that and not listen to them anymore and keep doing music, so there’s some songs about that, there’s a couple songs about a friend of mine who I’ve been friends with for a while and she’s kind of gotten in a bad way and gotten addicted to drugs and I’ve just seen her turn into someone else and so kinda just telling her its not cool and I love you and your killing yourself, and I think overall that ties in to the whole theme of growing up and finding yourself and finding what your call to be and you know doing the right thing. So the next record may be more of an assured ‘this is what I am’ record, but it may still be dealing with these questions that I think we have always, we enjoy talking about those things a lot of it has to do with love because it’s a big part of our lives its not just marriage love, like a lot of the love songs are just friendship songs. I don’t want you to think they are .
BH- A bunch of sappy emo songs
SW- Yeah like our hearts aren’t broken in every song, we have hope, but there’s some broken hearts too.
CP- Except for anything I write, depressing…
SW- We like depressing stuff, I feel like that its good to admit that there are things that are hard and depressing and it makes us have hope and feel a little better.
CP- yeah well things are shitty, and usually work out in the end.