An email interview with Texas In July who will release their new album I Am on September 15th (it’s on iTunes now).
First off, since you’ll be new to most of our readers, can you give a short back story of the band?
Texas In July is a metalcore band that formed out of Ephrata, PA in early 2007. Our goals as a band were to play music we enjoy, have fun while doing so, and to praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Some of us had played in prior bands and the others were just played for fun. One day we all got together to jam and everything just clicked – a few months after that we began playing shows.
Can you share the names of the members and what they do in the band?
Alex Good – vocals, Ben Witkowski – bass, Adam Gray – drums, Logan Maurer – guitar, Christian Royer – guitar
I read that the members were pretty young. Are you all still in high school? If so, when you graduate do you plan on going full time?
Logan (17), Ben (18), and Christian (17) are all graduated. Alex (16) and Adam (17) are now seniors. We’ve tried to do as much touring as we can on our limited schedule, but once school is over for those guys we plan on touring full time.
You guys are from Lancaster, PA not far from where other popular bands like August Burns Red call home. How is the scene there?
The scene is fantastic! The fans have supported us through our journey as a band and the fan base only continues to grow with the band!
Describe your overall sound.
Thick and heavy with a lot of brightness and melody mixed in.
Who are your bands biggest influences?
Growing up, we looked up to bands like Haste the Day, August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, and so on.
The guitar work on I Am is pretty sweet. Who are some guitarists that have inspired you to play?
To be honest, we try to inspire ourselves through what we wish to hear come from a band. We actually try to avoid listening to other bands during our writing process so their style does not rub off onto our writing.
You released the Salt Of The Earth EP last year. How was the overall response to that album?
The response was awesome and we’re very grateful! With Salt of the Earth, we gained a lot of respect, not only from our fans, but from other bands as well. We feel that it got our feet in the water and warmed us up to go even deeper with I Am.
Do you feel like you guys have grown as a band and as musicians since releasing that album?
Definitely. We feel that writing I Am greatly improved our musical abilities. It’s a much more complicated album between the fast riffing and the technical drumming. So, in writing parts that pushed ourselves, we feel that we have grown both as individual musicians and as a band.
You recently wrapped up a new album called I Am, which is releasing in September. What can we expect from it?
Catchy breakdowns, fast riffs, sweet melodies, and powerful Lyrics.
Where did you guys record the new one? Had you worked with them before? How did the recording process go?
We recorded I Am with Carson Slovak at Century Studios. We had recorded Salt of the Earth with Century and we were very pleased with the outcome, so we didn’t hesitate to go back. As a whole, the recording process went very smoothly. We were a little rushed having to record the CD in a limited twelve days, due to release dates, and wanting to have product available for tour. At the same time, we feel that everything came together as well as it possibly could, and we are ready to share the music to the world!
How does your songwriting process go? Is it a group effort or do you have a main songwriter?
Adam and I do all of the song writing, he’ll write all the breakdowns and work on song structures while I come up with the riffs and melodies.
How about lyrically? I’m assuming Alex handles those. What are some topics that you cover on the new album? Is there a meaning behind the album title?
Surprisingly, Ben handled the writing of the lyrics! With I Am, we wanted to reach out to our fans lyrically as well as musically. From the song ‘Lancaster’ – which is lyrically dedicated lyrically to our fans and all their support, to the song ‘Satellites’ – which expresses a more religious view point, our lyrical goal on this album was to reach out to kids and express that life will have its ups and downs, but in the end you are who you are, and I am who I am.
As a vocalist/lyricist where do you draw influence from?
Alex has always looked up to Vincent of the Acacia Strain as a vocal influence and Jake from August Burns Red for his stage performance.
Are you planning to tour at all in support of the new album when it releases?
Unfortunately, schedule-wise the album will be coming out while Adam and Alex are in the midst of completing their senior year of high school. We plan to play as many weekend dates as possible throughout the East Coast and Midwest. Fortunately, we did a good bit of touring this summer to try to get people excited about the new album.
Speaking of tours, you guys were on a summer tour with An Early Ending which resulted in a bad accident. Has everyone recovered completely from that?
We were in the middle of a 5 week, 23 state, summer tour with An Early Ending when the accident occurred. It happened on July 10th in Lebanon, Missouri and we were forced to cancel the rest of the tour. Fortunately, everyone has been home for a little while recovering, and we’re playing shows again.
How were people responding to the new material on the road?
We couldn’t ask for a better response! So far, everyone seems to love the new material and we are happy and truly thankful about that!
Who are some bands that you’d really like to hit the road with?
We would love to hit the road with our good buddies August Burns Red and Gwen Stacy. We would also love to hit the road with some bands that we look up to such as Between the Buried and Me, The Devil Wears Prada, and Everytime I Die.
Do you view TIJ as a ministry or just a band made up of Christians?
Texas In July is a band made up of Christians that aims to reach out to kids through the ministry of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our goal is to be out there showing kids that we are just like them and that following your dreams is possible with God’s will.
What are some goals you’d like to achieve with the band?
We would love to do some larger tours – such as Warped Tour, eventually tour the whole world. For now we just want to see our fan base grow continuously, and to never take for granted where we’re at. We’re the type of band who doesn’t want to be complacent about wherever we are, but rather, constantly work towards doing everything we can do to make ourselves better as individuals and as a band.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Please go out and buy a copy of I Am! It is available in stores Sept 15 and you can get it on iTunes now! To our fans – your support means the entire world to us and when we’re in your town we would love for you to come out to our shows so we can meet each and every one of you!
Before we wrap up, give our readers a good reason to check your music out.
One good reason to check out our music is that it will give people the heaviness they desire without a lack of catchy melodies.
Don’t forget to check out the exclusive free download of Texas In July’s brand new song “Elements” right here on IVM!