Brandon: Bass guitar/ backup vocals
Dan: Screaming vocals
Corey: Keyboard/Clean vocals
My first question is how did the band come together?
Corey: We were actually in two separate bands originally. These two (points to Dalton and Dan) weren’t original members. The bands kinda broke up. It was just a few guys and I at my house eating Starbucks® sandwiches, talking about starting the ultimate band. Then after a month or so of planning we started practices in August of 2006. We started writing emo music (everyone in the room laughs), and that’s where we started.
Where did you guys come up with the name Aneirin?
Corey: We had been a band for about three or four weeks before we even came up with a name. The task of coming with the name fell on me. I wanted a person’s name because I view that as more personal. A person’s name kinda just sticks with you more. So I went home and for the most of the night I was on babynames.com type of websites. Just typing in meanings and the website would pull up names that are associated with those meanings. I would type in stuff like “poetic” or “poetry” and this name Aneirin came up among a list of others. And I showed the other guys and they were like, “well we like that one.” Originally, I wanted it to be Aneirin’s Chapters because I liked the idea of it being a diary of a person’s life. But that didn’t fly so we took Aneirin. I researched it further and it is actually the name of six century Welsh bard. He wrote poems about a war he was a part of. His most famous work is Y Gododdin which is Welsh for I dunno whatever . . . that is. He was one of three survivors, so we thought that was interesting and that made us like the name even more.
Do you know what the name actually means?
Corey: Well it’s such an old name that it doesn’t really have a specific meaning. There are actually two separate ways of spelling it and pronouncing it.
You recently got a new band member, how did you come to the decision to choose him?
Dalton: I’ve been friends with Daniel for like ten years. And I knew he can scream.
Corey: He also came on our winter tour with us. He hung out with us through that. The question kinda came up along the way. We were like, “Hey dude want to join the band?”
Brandon: Our front man at the time had decided he was leaving, and that’s whole reason Dan even got asked.
Dan: I left right after the fall school semester ended. I went on the road with them and about four days in their old front man was like, “Hey I’m leaving.” He finished out the tour and did a couple more shows. It had crossed my mind but I was like, “Well I’d have to drop out school to do it, so no, I can’t do it.” Then I thought about it more, talked about it more, and prayed about it. Like Dalton said, I’ve known him forever. We were in a band together. And I’ve known all these guys when they were in their old bands for a long time.
Johnny: A lot of it was just prayer.
Are you guys a full time band or do you guys have jobs and go to school part time?
Johnny: Technically, we are a full time band because you only have to play three months worth of shows in a year, but we still have our part time jobs.
Jered: I think we’re in a transition period.
Johnny: Yeah, we’re definitely in a transition period. We are doing two three week tours this summer. Then after that I think we are going to take that step of being completely full-time without any jobs or anything.
Corey: At this point we like to consider ourselves more of a regional band instead of a local band because we’ve been playing more along the east coast in general. We’ve played pretty far north and as far down south as Florida. We’ve covered most of the east coast. It’s a matter of dropping everything at the right time and just touring as much as we can. It’s just hard with jobs and with payments.
What are your influences as a band? We’ll start with music and then we’ll branch out.
Dalton: I’ll go first because I already know. Sophia, As Cities Burn, Christ, and Life In Your Way.
Dan: Life In Your Way, Means, Five Iron Frenzy (everyone laughs and agrees). That’s about it musically. Anything else I guess would be Jesus, my friends, and my family.
Brandon: I’m not much into the new age stuff. New Age metal not so much.
Corey: Overall though, all of us try to listen to pretty much everything we can. We have a lot of old 50’s big band jazz stuff. And I know Jered gets down with that stuff. As far as writing our new material we’ve tried to incorporate a lot more than hardcore screamo influences into it. If we want to have funky singing, we’ll put in funky singing. If we want to have a guitar solo, we’ll put in a guitar solo. So as far as musical influences we try to draw from everything imaginable.
Do you guys have any plans for new recordings?
Dalton: I think we were talking about hopefully doing some recording in September. Maybe do some demoing.
Brandon: Like tonight we played our two new songs. We’ve just been working on new material. Depending on what happens within the next few months, a record label or whatnot. If that were to even come up. We’re definitely working on some new material to have before the next step does come.
Corey: We had some loose concepts for writing we were working on but those kinda fell through. Now, we’re just writing as it comes.
Dan: We write as a band. The songs are written when everyone is in the same room. A good bit of it is at least.
Brandon: Well it’s good because there are six of us. And if one person doesn’t get a say or if one person dominates a song completely, other people start not to like parts of the song. All the newer songs were written together [as a band] because it makes it more of a complete song.
Have any record labels been looking at you guys?
Brandon: We sent press kits off to a couple of labels. We haven’t heard anything back as of yet. It will be a little easier when we are full-time.
Jered: We are also just praying for the right one for us too.
Faith is an important aspect at IVM community. How is your faith important to you guys as a band?
Dalton: We wouldn’t be a band if it wasn’t for it. (Everyone nods in agreement)
Dan: Basically, that’s the whole reason right there.
Corey: I mean if you want to talk about member changes. We have two or three member changes. At one point I left the band. Our last front man was originally our guitarist and we asked him to lead and that’s when we picked this guy up (points at Dalton). As far as member changes go we’ve had to rely on our faith. We actually went on hiatus right when we were peaking in our local scene, and actually getting to the point where we could get out more and be more of a regional band. So taking a three month hiatus was the last thing we wanted to do. We prayed a lot about that’s actually how we became a six piece. That’s what God wanted us to do.
Brandon: If we wouldn’t have done that I think we would have broken up. It was so crazy for a couple of months.
Johnny: We almost ended when we were a four piece for a while too just cause of faith. Every decision we try to make, we base it solely on faith and trust in God. Every new member we got, we never tried anybody out. We just prayed and saw who came to us. We’ve never felt lead to try anybody out.
Jered: God has always brought that person to us.
Johnny: Right now we’re having huge van problems and we’re going on tour in little over a month. We’re trying to sell our van and buy a new one all before this tour. That takes a lot of faith, to get all that stuff done in a little bit of time. Faith has a lot to do with this band, definitely.
Where do you see God taking you guys in the next few years?
Dan: Anything could happen. If it did end God would give us peace about that. God would give us other avenues to go down if the band ended. None of see that happening or have that feeling really. So Lord willing, we’ll be full-time and on a record label and out on the road a lot more.
Jered: Just talking to people; we got a lot of confirmation from people saying we need to do this. So Lord willing, full-time.
Brandon: Eventually, we want to make a profession too. If it at all possible. Most of us are on the brink of the mid 20’s. We’ll have to start thinking about families too.
What is your view on the current Christian music scene?
Dan: First of all, a lot of us grew up on Christian bands like Relient K, OC Supertones, DC Talk, Newsboys, Project 86, and Pillar. When you are younger you are kinda are just in it for the entertainment, you just like going to shows. Speaking from personal experience I was like, “Oh yeah, I get to see such and such band tonight.” As you get older you start to see the real dirt in the music scene, who is in it for the right reasons and who is in it for the money. It is a shame just to see what goes on and who’s real and who’s not. We’ve seen it happen with one band, we won’t say anything, but we saw them loose a member and we found out the real reason later. They’re a big band. It was really disappointing. They’re a lot of bands out there that won’t say they’re a Christian band or their faith doesn’t get brought into it. That’s not what you’re supposed to do, you’re saying you’re a Christian but you don’t talk about it or your lives don’t match what you are saying. There is so much of it that is done for the money, and it pisses me off and pisses everyone in this band off. It’s really hard to just find people who are going to put their all into it. As far as Christian music goes, I don’t like when Christian music gets kept in its own bubble. Because if you just spend all your time playing with Christian bands, what are you doing? You know you got to get out there you gotta play with the bands. For example, Impending Doom plays with White Chapel tons. White Chapel hates God, Impending Doom loves God. They’re being a light in that darkness, as cliché as that is.
Dalton: Every band is a Christian band now. Every band is like “we do this for God” and they give the “McGospel”. Personally, I’m disgusted with the Christian music scene, like half and half. You go to a show every band says the same thing. I’m a Christian so it’s even worse, it’s not like they shove it done your throat, but I like bands that go out of their way to love kids.
Brandon: I’m the “new Christian”. It’s only been about a year since I’ve accepted Jesus. We’ve been doing this band for three years and I’ve always felt something but I never acknowledged it. Last summer, I had just recently become a Christian, and was still learning all this new stuff. We went to Cornerstone Festival. That was my first glimpse at the Christian music scene outside of Frederick, Maryland. I am utterly disgusted at any band that claims to be Christian but doesn’t act it. I saw literally close 150 to 200 bands at Cornerstone that all they wanted to do was compete with each other. They gave a thirty second Jesus talk, the “McGospel”, then went on to bash another band for their style or what members they had, or do anything they could to bribe someone to come to their show. Which you have to take with a grain of salt because you have to sell yourself a certain amount if you want people to like you, but at a Christian music festival of that caliber I was totally put off. We’re not going this year, partly because of how that made an effect on the six of us. It feels like for every band that is really just on fire there are thousands who just aren’t. It really has to make us watch what we say because there are kids who have never even thought about God. They see band that says this from the stage [the Gospel] then light up a joint back behind a trailer after the show or go away with a bunch of girls and do Lord knows what. I feel like believers really need to step up. Currently, popular Christian music is not doing it for me.
Johnny: My main thing is you see a lot of these bands that start out Christian. They truly are at first. The main thing that hurts them is six months down the road they get signed or whatever and they just back down on the faith, just completely change. They don’t have anything backing them. They don’t have anything helping them grow. They’re just there saying that they love God but not doing anything to grow in the faith. If you’re a Christian, you need to continually study and have a relationship with God. A lot of these bands don’t think about that. They end up losing their faith because of that. They just sink; they don’t keep their heads above water. They fail at what they are trying to do. It sucks; it sucks to see it happen. We’ve seen it happen so many times with bands that start out Christian then we’re like “Whoa, wait, what happened to you guys?” All we can do is be there for them and be their friends and help them out. That’s what I’ve been seeing lately.
Corey: Not to be degrading or anything, but if they are supposed to know we are Christians by our love then we are doing a bang up job. All we care about is getting signed or making an album that gets stuck in people’s heads. But none of us have health insurance. None of us are going to have jobs to come back to. Going by faith and the calling we feel God calling us and pulling us to do, or it’s second guessing everything. At that point, it is putting aside yourself and being part of something that is much bigger than your future. Some of us have debt out the wazoo. Some of us still have huge payments, and some of us just have nothing at this point. It’s all God’s calling on our lives now. Along the way we can learn how to love. That we would be believers in Jesus Christ that would be recognized for our love.
Dan: The world really is watching. We played with a band called the Terrigen Mists in South Carolina at this place called Ground Zero. They opened up. They are a really heavy straight-edge metal like deathcore, brutal as crap. They were the only non-Christian band on the bill. He was like, “You know a lot of you bands are Christian here tonight and that’s cool. But don’t stand up here and say you do this for Jesus Christ and go out back and light up a joint.” There’s proof that the world is watching and they do care what we do. I think he even said, “Yeah, everybody’s a Christian band these days.” You know, you don’t hear that that much but they are watching. The Bible said we will be known by our actions.
Jered: He pretty much called out every Christian that night.
Dan: I thanked him for it.
Thank you guys. Do you have any prayer requests that the IVM community can pray for?
Everyone: A new van.
Dan: Lord willing, get on a label, and tons of money for all of us. Just free money to all of us.
Jered: I would say pray for unity.
Johnny: These past three weeks, I said this as a joke earlier this week but I was actually kinda serious; I felt like we broke up. We weren’t hanging out. We’ve been so busy getting ready for tour and we hadn’t been playing shows much. I guess pray for brotherly love, bromance, a relationship with each other. I mean we’re definitely close. As six guys we are definitely close. After we went on tour last year being apart kinda sucked.
Dalton: I think I cried.
Johnny: It’s worse than being apart from your girlfriend.
Everyone: It’s way worse.
Johnny: It’s way worse than being apart from your girlfriend.
Any last words before we go?
Brandon: I love Indie Vision Music?
Everyone else: Actually we do!
Dan: Actually I do. I bought their t-shirt.
Brandon: Yeah, we were on that sampler from you guys. Thanks for that!
Jered: I know at least me and Dan have gone to that site for awhile now. I’ve heard about it a long time ago. I love it. I was actually surprised when Dan told me some guy from IVM was coming to interview us.
Thanks to Aneirin for pushing back their spaghetti dinner and their Call of Duty all-nighter to talk with me.