|People Like Us enjoy coffee and living rooms.|
So a few weeks ago I had the extreme luck and pleasure to stumble across a nifty little band from Canada called People Like Us. I think I was just searching bandcamp for prog rock or prog metal or maybe just prog, and two album covers, you'll get to learn more about them below, really caught my eye. I decided to click on one of the covers and spend some time listening. Initially I was pretty floored at what I was hearing. People Like Us are a blend of progressive post hardcore and metal, with complex song structures and a surprising amount of melody and harmony. They sound like a mix of Protest The Hero and Coheed and Cambria, which is a good combination if you ask me. In mid-May these guys released two albums, A Nightmare and The Royals for FREE, or pay what you want via Bandcamp. They were kind enough to conduct an email interview with me. I encourage you to go grab those albums immediately, turn them up, and then read my interview with the guys from People Like Us.
The Drawer: How long has people like us been together in it's current form?
PLU: This 5 member lineup has been running strong since about 2010, so 3 years. Two current members, singer Shane and guitarist Bradley branched out from the founding band Cellar Door adding drummer Benjamin around 2006 and later bringing in guitarist Jordan and bassist Mark in 2010.
The Drawer: Where are you guys from/currently located?
The Drawer: You recently released two sort of longish EPs A Nightmare and The Royals via bandcamp. First off, why two releases at the same time? It seems like there was enough material for just one record, but you guys broke it up, why?
The Drawer: The song titles seem to suggest that there might be a concept behind both records. Can you give me any insight into what A Nightmare, and The Royals are about?
A Nightmare is about a man who is unsatisfied with his daily life and finds more enjoyment in his dreams. He approaches a Doctor for help and the Doctor’s interest and curiosity leads him to take his experiments a little too far. This collection of songs includes a peculiar love story that details the patient’s dreams and nightmares from the perspective of both doctor and patient.
The Royals is set in a society that has been plagued with corruption throughout all of history. Finally, one citizen decides to stand up and make a change. He forms The Deathmachine: a collection of fellow citizens whose goal is to start a revolution by kidnapping The King. Little did they know that The King was merely a puppet to The Advisor: a dark, malicious man. As the Deathmachine attempts to change history, things do not go according to plan.
The Drawer: Over what kind of time period were the records written? Was there a process of "hey guys, let's make a record." or did you just sort of come in with a bunch of material already written?
The Drawer: Is people like us a collaborative thing or is there sort of one driving force behind the song writing? Walk me through the process for putting together a song.
The Drawer: You made the records available for free/pay what you like. Was that a tough decision and why did you choose to basically give the records away?
The Drawer: I stumbled across you guys on bandcamp just searching for prog rock or something. How large of a role does your internet presence play in what you're trying to do as a band?
The Drawer: Are there any plans to make physical copies of A Nightmare, The Royals available?
The Drawer: How do you feel about digital vs. physical media? If it were up to you would you rather someone hear your record on vinyl or cd as opposed to an mp3 file or does it even matter as long as someone is listening?
|The Royals Cover, featuring the perfect vulture head.|
|A Nightmare Cover|
The Drawer: When I listen to your records I'm reminded of groups like Protest The Hero, Coheed and Cambria and even early Thursday, I guess the whole "progressive post hardcore" melange. So, who has influenced you stylistically and do you mind being compared to bands like the ones listed above?
The Drawer: What are you guys listening to at the moment? Any albums you just can't get away from?
Bradley: Drugs to the Dear Youth - Tera Melos
Benjamin: Everything Under the Sun - Jukebox the Ghost
Jordan: The Afterman: Descension - Coheed and Cambria
Shane: 20/20 Experience - Justin Timberlake
Mark: Stay What You Are - Saves the Day
The Drawer: Are you associated with a label, looking for one, or content to self release stuff?
The Drawer: Are you currently touring or are there any plans to tour behind the records in the works?
The Drawer: If you could tour with anyone currently living who would it be?
The Drawer's Note - I would totally go to that tour because there are never enough Coheed shows.
Speed round: Brought to you by Pizza, Coffee, and Tera Melos
Favorite album: Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV Vol. 1: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness - Coheed and Cambria (Another note from Me: This might also be my favorite record, I think these PLU guys are pretty smart.)
favorite food: Pizza - every band practice has pizza.. and coffee..
favorite movie: Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
favorite book: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
favorite zoo animal: Elephant
favorite amp: Orange amps are cool
favorite place to play: Any house party / outdoor bonfire
There you have it. Please check these guys out, especially if you're into story driven prog metal, both albums are concepts, or short stories as the band described it. They deserve to be heard by more people.
Also, if you're going to be in the Toronto area June 21st, go check out their show, they'll be playing
|Fun with mirrors.|