Friday, August 31, 2012

Dispose of Your Optimism: An Interview With Ever Forthright's Billy Anderson

Keeping the interview momentum going, this is probably one of the funniest interviews I've done to date.  Say hello to Ever Forthright from NYC!  OK, well to be honest I found out about these guys because of Chris Baretto.  Since being a fan of Periphery and Chris' previous work in the group, I was curious as to what band he was involved in now.  Enter EFR.  These guys are truly masters of a craft.  What the craft is...I have no idea. haha

Just kidding.  First track experience was the "All Eyes on Earth Promo" video (see later in the article) and since then I was hooked, as usual.  The band brought with them a fresh sound to what now seems a very watered down genre, filled with seven and eight strings, 320bpm, cocaine.....sorry, am I straying off here?  Anyways, get the bio below to grasp the who, what, where, when, how and if you're lucky...why?

"Ever Forthright is a progressive metal band from one of the most musically diverse places in the world, New York City. Artfully fusing modern jazz, progressive metal, hip-hop, electronica, and other styles of music into an auditory landscape is one of the reasons why Ever Forthright are quickly becoming known as true architects of modern music.  Most of the members have attended and/or graduated from some of the top jazz performance schools in the world. A wide range of musicians/groups fuel this bands sound, such as Meshuggah, Kneebody, Cynic, Deftones, Wayne Krantz, Suicide Silence, Jill Scott, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and many others. No filler, no rehashed riffs, just pure, original music.

Shortly after their debut release, Ever Forthright gained a solid, ever-growing fanbase and were instantly known as masters of their genre. Fans instantly recognized their natural ability to blend a wide range of styles and concoct an amazing display of technical genius that set them apart from all others.

Ever Forthright is currently endorsed by Warwick basses, Invictus Guitars UK, and Toontrack."

(Photo courtesy of Anthony Tafuro and EFR)

Ever Forthright consists of:

Chris Barretto - Vocals / Sax | Nick Llerandi - Guitar | Billy Anderson - Guitar / Production | Jon Llerandi - Bass | Jerad Lippi - Drums | Kevin Theodore - Keys

Now since these guys seem to be very approachable (who isn't when you're from NYC haha), I decided to give em a buzz and see if we could do a small Q&A.  Turns out the Q&A got a lil bigger, but very informative.  Billy Anderson was kind enough to sit down and hash out these questions for this interview...

Billy, much thanks to you and EFR for doing up this interview for AFGM.  Since you guys seem to be a fresh face, let's start with how you guys all get together to form EFR?

Well it all started one day in 2008 when our friend said that Dragonforce was really amazing and mind blowing.  Nick went ahead and wrote a song (An alias perspective) to prove that it was actually really easy to do.  The song turned out really well so we decided to go ahead and turn it into a project.  We ended up recording a whole album in my studio and later released it as our '08 demo.  As the years went on we found the right members; Nick knew Jerad and Kevin from college, and Jon was nicks brother.  In 2010 we were looking for a singer, but we had no luck so we posted a Craigslist ad looking for the right guy. Chris's friend, Brandon, found it and told Chris about us. That's when Chris contacted us via MySpace and asked if he could record over a few songs.  So that's how it all started.

Why do you feel that New York City is one of the most musically diverse cities in the world?

NYC has such an extremely mixed culture and that leads to great new things.  Whether it be hot dogs, shawarma , hot dogs with shawarma, pandas eating hotdog shawarma sandwiches on a Sunday afternoon in lounge chairs, smelly kittens, time machines, or just some good old Mexican space judo classes staring Hugh Jackman as your trainer (personal favorite). The same goes for music, many cultures mixing and creating a wide variety of new sounds. There's lots of people in NYC too, so it's very competitive; you have to be original to be heard!

OK, so what's the deal with the Julliard credentials? haha

Well, let's take a look at the education section on my facebook page so we can get a better understanding of my education.  It seems I went to graduate school at Julliard at the ripe old age of 1 year old.  I majored in Marine Astrophysics, tits, and acting.  Then in 1996, I graduated again from Julliard (not graduate school this time) with a doctors in Musical Arts, More Plucking (whatever that is), and a degree in Jazz Piano (move over Kevin Theodore!)

Then again in 2009, I graduated from graduate school again with a degree in Astrology, Ballet and Acting. Boy am I talented!  I'd have to say that my extreme amount of knowledge that I have somehow managed to gather from this school has contributed close to nothing the music I write today.  Except if it's Piano (but I never do that)... by now you may have realized I never went to Julliard.

Besides the obvious (aka metal, hip-hop, electronica), are there any other genres do you try to incorporate into EFR?

We try to incorporate absolutely anything as long as it sounds good. We all listen to some different genres so we're sure to come up with many different sounds.

You guys state influences ranging from Cynic to Meshuggah to Deftones.  Any specific reasons why these guys stuck out as major influences?

Cynic because we share a similar sounding  harmonies and melodic elements, Deftones because we love their heavy groovyness!

Do you guys find yourselves to be on quite the musical pedestel when being refered to as "masters of their genre"?

We try to not let that stuff get to our heads, but we definitely appreciate that people feel that way though!  It's always great to hear people who are enthusiastic about our music thought, it totally keeps us going!  Although.... it seems to really get to Omar's (our merch guy) head.  He feels pretty bad ass.  The only thing that gets to his head more than that is when you call him Papi, or Big Daddy Omar.... just kidding, we love Omar.  He's the best!

So what about "production" do you take care of?  Basically, other than guitar, what other duties do you perform for the band.

I recorded and mixed the full length.  I also deal with programming our gigantic live rig, making every "technical" thing we do work, web related stuff, print related stuff. it's an incredible amount of work.

How'd you guys come around to landing a deal with Myriad Records as your label?

We offered the owner, Jamie, $3 and an iced mocha latte if he'd sign us.  He gladly accepted...

Actually he knew Chris for a while and he had sent us a proposal when our CD was almost finished. After looking over all our deals/options, we had decided Myriad was the best to go with.

Where is the recording sessions being done at?

We recorded the full length in my room, and in Nick's room, haha.  Hopefully we'll be doing our next full length at something like Audio Hammer Studios or Sundown studios, as I've been a big fan of their work.

Ever Forthright's full length debut was released on December 13th, 2011 via Myriad Records

1. All Eyes on the Earth
2. Latency and Tendencies
3. The Little Albert Experiment
4. Lost in Our Escape
5. Screen Scenarios
6. Spineless
7. Reflections
8. The Counter Shift
9. Infinitely Inward
10. City Limits
11. Dispose of Your Optimism
12. Clockwork

What equipment are you using lately for you guitar rig?

We've been using Axe-Fx Ultra for guitars and line 6 POD HD500 for bass. We also have this awesome thing called the Seelake AudioStation that we've been using (mainly for live use) that controls all of our patch changes, vocal effects, keyboard vst's, kick triggers, and in ear mixes. It can also be used as a DAW so we can record new ideas on tour.

You guys looking forward to hitting up north of the border with Intervals?

Yes, Intervals is awesome. We're all definitely on the same wavelength when it comes to music. It's definitely going to be great.  A band called Mandroid Echostar will also be with, and they're absolutely awesome.

Have any of you guys ever played in Canada before?

Nope.  Hope we don't get attacked by bears and moose.


What's a goal that you guys are setting for yourselves that you have not attained yet?

Well, I guess just touring Europe. But we might be getting to that in early 2013.

Any words of encouragement for aspiring musicians/bands out there making their way in the music world?

Try hard, make the band your life and it'll pay off.

What's the next move for EFR?

Next move it to tour tour tour tour. and when thats over, do another cd.  We just shot a music video, so I guess promoting that and getting it out is another move.

(Photo courtesy of Anthony Tafuro and EFR)

Give us a musician (and/or band) you'd want featured on a EFR track?

Paul Masvidal from Cynic!

If you got yourselves pick of the litter, can you name off a band or two you'd love to tour with?

Katy Perry, Lights.... wait that'll never happen haha.  I'm going to say Corelia, Meshuggah, Cynic.

Thanks again Billy for doing the interview, always a pleasure and see you in Toronto!

No prooooooooooob! Thanks for the lovely time, see you soon.  I like turtles!


So, I hope by now you've gotten a fair amount of info on these guys.  Without a doubt, you'll want to go check them out when they hit up Ontario.  If you're in the Toronto area, then I'll see you in the pits. Members of EFR will also be doing lessons while on tour.  Check em out at their BANDHAPPY link.

Cheers and don't forget to check out their official links, as well as the tour dates.:

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