Drifter
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Drifter

New Brunswick, NJ | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

New Brunswick, NJ | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Metal Hardcore

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

May
23
Drifter @ Championship Bar & Grill

Trenton, New Jersey, United States

Trenton, New Jersey, United States

May
18
Drifter @ Elliot's Barber Shop

Toms River, New Jersey, United States

Toms River, New Jersey, United States

May
17
Drifter @ The Meatlocker

Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States

Lakehurst, New Jersey, United States

Music

Press


"AC/DC SOUNDTRACK ‘ROSEANNE’ OSCAR TRAILER, PLUS NEWS ON CHICAGO OPEN AIR, VENDETTA RED + MORE"

- Up-and-comers Drifter have released a video for their crushing new song "Black Mamba." Watch the clip here and look for the song on their new EP, The Howling. - Loudwire Magazine


"Video Premiere: DRIFTER – “BLACK MAMBA”"

New Jersey’s DRIFTER may be a new face on the scene but if their new EP, The Howling, is any measure of a band’s future, then this 5 piece, led by front-man and founder Mike Monto, has a bright future ahead of them. The New Brunswick crew decided to team with AntiHero to premiere the official video for the lead single off of their new EP, “Black Mamba.” An aesthetically blended video of darkness and light, “Black Mamba” cries out to be recognized in the realm of semi-melodic thrash metal as Drifter efficaciously takes the course less chosen to create a stir among rock, metal, and general music fans across the spectrum. And, as Monto states, “There’s a thunder we all know.”

Thrashing through the melodic metal scene, Drifter is breaking out with their debut EP The Howling. After months of writing and recording in their home studio, based out of New Brunswick, the band is an ideal monument of DIY innovation. From tracking and producing, to graphic design, photo shoots and video production, and marketing, the band has grabbed the bull by the horns thrusting them into the spotlight.

Crawling from the local Jersey scene, Drifter is a five-piece, cinematic wonder. Drifter’s crisp rhythms are held tightly together by drummer Mark Kairelshtein and bassist Filip Halajko are complimented by the boisterous, dual-leads from guitarists Jon Plunkett and Joe Derogotis. Sealing the band together, vocalist Mike Monto contributes his own flare to the seasoned genre.

After running through several line-up changes throughout the years, Drifter’s grown to final form. Ready to hit the road, take over stages, and shred ‘til they’re dead, the band plans to play the final Warped Tour along with other headline dates throughout the summer, promoting The Howling. - ANTIHERO MAGAZINE


"Madness To Creation Converses with Drifter on “Black Mamba” and New Jersey!"

Editor’s Note: One of the joys of this job is that we get to discuss things with bands, help them get to that next step that they need to get to. Drifter is just that with their hard hitting sound with the attitude that fits New Jersey. They have been featured in major outlets such as Loudwire and little ol’ outlets such as Madness To Creation! They are riding the wave of “Black Mamba” with “The Howling” EP that was a recent release! Go pick up a copy of the EP and fans can find Drifter at the following locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrifterNJ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drifternj

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drifter_nj/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r-WX9dASdE

Madness To Creation: How has 2018 treated the band so far?

Monto: 2018 has been really great for us so far. We obviously just released our debut EP and its doing pretty good, we couldn’t be any happier.

Madness To Creation: What is your single biggest influence in how you got into music?

Fil: Personally my dad, but as a band that’s a pretty tough question! We all listen to pretty different music but if i had to pick it’d probably be bands like Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, or Underoath.

Madness To Creation: How has the reaction been to “The Howling” so far?

Joe: Everyone we’ve talked to has been really supportive of it. Our general reception on the internet has been great too.

Madness To Creation: You are starting to get featured on major outlets such as Loudwire, does it feel pretty surreal?

Mark: It’s an extremely insane feeling to be honest. I remember being in middle school and high school listening to all these different bands that I would later end up reading about on Loudwire and to be featured in that same outlet now is just incredible.

Madness To Creation: Tell us about the music scene in New Jersey, and one band from there we should check out!

Mark: The music scene in Jersey is pretty diverse but the most prominent genre right now is probably hardcore. A couple bands you guys should check out from NJ, that we’re also friends with, are Noravilla and Blackwolf.

Madness To Creation: What does the rest of 2018 look like?

Jon: Were going to be focused on promoting this EP as hard as possible. Were planning on playing a lot of shows, writing new material, and putting out a couple of videos.

Madness To Creation: Tell us about the music video and the song for “Black Mamba”, what was the message behind the song and inspiration behind the song.

Monto: The song in a nutshell is about revenge and redemption. I’ve been through the ringer of people trying to keep me from my goals, just like everyone has. A symbol was needed to fight against, so the outlet became this “Black Mamba” figure which is the sum of everything that has tried to tear us down. This way I had an actual figure to get my frustrations out on. I used to be a really nice and innocent person, but over the years, I’ve became darker and more ruthless because of the way people not only treated me but each other. The video portrays “The Black Mamba” figure laying out someone’s fate before them with the tarot cards. I’m bound with my hands tied behind my back, but I’m still yelling that I’m coming for it’s head and everyone else that is against me.

Madness To Creation: Most gratifying moment in this band and most embarrassing moment on stage.

Fil: The most gratifying moment was probably having our EP written about in places like Loudwire and just the general reception of our EP. Our most embarrassing moment was hands down our first show. We were extremely unprepared, the mics kept cutting out, bass guitar cable kept popping out and it was actually the first time Monto and Joe did vocals live.

Madness To Creation: What do your fans mean to you?

Monto: Our fans mean the world to us. Everyday we get more and more people hitting us up on social media telling us that they love our stuff and its really gratifying seeing that people are into the music that you make. We have a bunch of great reception out of the states and we hope to play to all our fans abroad, regardless of what it takes to get to them.

Madness To Creation: Tell us where we can find you guys(on the internets, not where you get groceries).

FB: https://www.facebook.com/DrifterNJ/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drifternj

IG: https://www.instagram.com/drifter_nj/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r-WX9dASdE

ICYMI: Check out our review of “The Howling” by Drifter here! - Madness To Creation


"“The Howling” by Drifter, boding well for the future!"

There was something interesting brewing at Interlink Studios. It was where Ryan Cooper got together with Mike Monto(who was in Alterations and Monday Night Heroes), and decided to pound out a sound that is reminiscent of early Bring Me The Horizon mixed with Maylene and The Sons of Disaster, and created Drifter. Choosing to go the indie route, Drifter released their EP on February 23rd.

Drifter is composed of Mike Monto on vocals, Joe Derogatis on guitars/vocals, Jon Plunkett on guitars, Filip Halajko on bass, and Mark Karlstein on drums. Drifter personifies hard work as judging by their sound, they’re a band that pays attention to the details. It may not be the lead guitar solo or a particular scream, or a chorus, it may be that layer that you have yet to discover when you put Drifter on repeat.

“The Howling” starts off with some intricate guitar work that almost has a Spanish flavor to it, then the thundering drums come in with a heart attacking inducing bass and the gutteral screams. That was the first thing that we noticed about Drifter is that there are intricate parts that make this band out of New Brunswick, New Jersey make them begin to stick out in a very saturated metalcore/hardcore scene. The guitars in the title track are succinct, subtle in the harmonics yet it adds to the dynamics of Drifter. The trade-off between the screams and clean singing between Mike Monto and Joe Derogatis is essential for some quality metalcore.

The second track entitled “Vicious Cycle” sounds haunting and brooding and is reminiscent of old-school Underoath in their “Lost In The Sounds Of Separation” days. In this track, Drifter showcases that they are able to put together a catchy chorus that is infectious to the listener. The sudden tempo changes and progression changes are pretty seamless for the most part, which showcases that Drifter are very talented musicians, and the difference is that they don’t just do the tempo changes just to be doing them, it fits the music, and in this genre, that is a solid compliment for the band.

In sports, we often talk about “dark horses” and “sleeper picks”, those that fly under the radar. Drifter is that dark horse in metalcore, they could be surprising some people with their hard-hitting tracks, gutteral screams, while adding intricate layers in order to make the recipe that is Drifter be extremely palatable for the listener. Madness To Creation rates “The Howling” by Drifter a solid 9 out of 10 stars. Here is the track listing below.

The Howling
Vicious Cycle
00Savage
Black Mamba
Nocturne

Check out the music video to “Black Mamba” below! - Madness to Creation


"The Bucketlist with DRIFTER"

*In this series we pose the age-old question to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music, most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them*

Here at Metal Nexus, we always welcome newcomers to the music scene and love to hear new music from bands all over the world. When we first hear about a band, it’s pretty interesting to sort of follow the band’s career as they gain more and more success from playing local shows to playing some of the biggest music festivals. With that, New Jersey natives Drifter have been showing up in several independent media outlets in the recent months and one listen will have you understanding why.

Drifter is made up of Mike Monto (vocals), Joe Derogatis (guitar/vocals), Jon Plunkett (guitar), Filip Halajko (bass), and Mark Karlstein (drums). Collectively, these five individuals deliver intense, hard-hitting djent-inspired metal with a thrash/hardcore twist. The band’s latest release, ‘The Howling’, proved to show some real promise for Drifter’s future, gaining support from media sources like Madness To Creation who spoke highly of the album:

“In sports, we often talk about “dark horses” and “sleeper picks”, those that fly under the radar. Drifter is that dark horse in metalcore, they could be surprising some people with their hard-hitting tracks and gutteral screams while adding intricate layers in order to make the recipe that is Drifter be extremely palatable for the listener. Madness To Creation rates ‘The Howling’ by Drifter a solid 9 out of 10 stars.”

Recently, Metal Nexus spoke with the band and asked each member for their very own Bucketlist and this is what they had to say:

Monto

Norma Jean – “They’ve always been one of my favorite bands. They just have this unique raw style.”

Underoath – “I’m actually stoked they just got back together for another album. Underoath has always been a major influence on me.”

Bones – “ He’s just a unique rapper, I just like his dark style and his productions. Always wanted to see him in concert.”

Mark

Avenged Sevenfold – “ They’re basically the reason I play drums and enjoy music.”

Dream Theater – “Super technical, they’re the reason I furthered my drum skills and got more into designed music.”

Jason Richardson – “Luke Hollan, is my favorite drummer and has been a huge inspiration for me when it comes to drumming.”

Jon

Norma Jean – “I’ve always been influenced by their really raw style of guitar playing and I really want to see if their energy matches their live set.”

Stick To Your Guns – “I just missed their set at Playstation Theater when I went to go see Architects and I only recently just got into them but I’m a huge fan. It was kind of a bummer missing ”

The Rolling Stones – “I grew up listening to the Rolling Stones with my dad and it’s one of the main reasons I picked up the guitar.”

Joe

Original Misfits (With Danzig) – “ Misfits are my all time favorite band when I heard they were getting back together for shows, it was like a dream come true.”

Veil of Maya – “ I love guitarist Mark Okubo. He does all this crazy live looping and the way he blends heaviness with melody is tasteful. “

Ichika – “ He’s this crazy Japanese guitarist whose written some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. ”

Fil

Jakub Zytecki – “Showing support for my Polish bro. He is a crazy shredder with some delicious tracks.”

Plini – “He is a God.”

David Maxim Micic – “His music is extremely creative and innovative. I would love to drift off to his tunes live.”

Be sure to check out Drifter on social media for updates and shows near you! The band is planning to compile material for their first full-length album and even hinted at some possible touring this summer. In a recent Moshville Times interview, when asked about what fans can expect from Drifter in a live setting, bassist Filip Halajko asserted,

“We tend to go pretty berserk during live shows and try to keep the energy as high as possible. Monto swings the mic around, sometimes we play dodgeball with the crowd. Definitely wear some headgear if you come!” - METAL NEXUS


"Album Review: Drifter ‘The Howling’"

How the sounds of thrash/metal and semi-melodic blend themselves to hash out a crunch that is even possible has found its way into the line scored and settled by this Jersey band known as- Drifter. Their EP ‘The Howling’ is lit and powerful.

Having released a music video “Black Mamba” there is something deeper and more intrinsically sacrificed across the rock n roll presence of Drifter. In a word beautiful when the songs all of the sudden break into an unexpected melodic blend, it is so surprisingly unexpected because it fits like it was always meant to be there! This is a solid lineup of five cutting-edge metal blasters that are ready to munch.
Let’s see what comes next… horns in the air we are ready!

Track List:
1. The Howling
2. Vicious Cycle
3. 00Savage
4. Black Mamba
5. Nocturne - Music Matters Magazine


"Unsigned Spotlight: Drifter"

Unsigned Spotlight: Drifter
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.

Mark Kairelshtein - Drums

Mike Monto - Vocals

Jon Plunkett - Guitar

Joe Derogatis- Guitar/Clean Vocals

Filip Halajko - Bass Guitar

For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Drifter? How long has the band been around?

Mark: This is Fil and my first serious band, even though with played with countless other acts. Jon’s currently in another band, Noravilla, and Joe is also a part of two other projects, Blackwolf and BloodTouch. Monto has been a part of Alterations, and Monday Night Heroes but right now Drifter and another band called No Dice is what he’s got going on.

What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?

Joe: Drifter has always been our name and our vocalist thought of the name a few years back. We picked the name just because we thought it was a really good representation of our music and how we look and sound.

Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?

Fil: I’d say its a pretty big collaborative effort between all of us but the main song writers would definitely have to be Monto and Joe. Monto mainly writes the lyrics, which talk a lot about betrayal from loved ones causing major dissent in personal character. The lyrics are about the process he went through. Vicious Cycle hits home with a lot of people because its about overdosing on drugs, mainly heroine. Monto’s said he wanted a song for people who are addicted to know that no-one is going to bail them out but themselves and he wanted to inspire them to do just that.

What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?

Monto: There are a lot of different bands that inspire us such as Bring me the Horizon, Architects, Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada, Pierce the Veil, Mr. Bungle, Dance Gavin Dance, Fall of Troy, Chon, Dillinger Escape Plan, and many more.

Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?

Mark: Its pretty different for all of us. For me it’d definitely have to be Avenged Sevenfold. I remember being 12 years old listening to them watching shows and thinking that this is the only thing i want to do with my life.

Monto: I listen and love so many types of artist. I would say the most inspirational to me growing up were The Fall fo Troy and The Bled. I really loved the creativity and aesthetic these guys had in their songs. I always wanted to have the chance to share the stage with them.

What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …

Mark: We like to keep a pretty regular practice schedule and play shows as much as possible to keep ourselves fresh and practiced. As for right before the show Joe and Monto do some vocal warm ups. I like to just get a practice pad and warm up my hands. Joe and Jon just noodle around on the guitar until they feel comfortable. Fil bounces around until he’s hype.

What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Joe: By far our biggest highlight was being featured in Loudwire. Thats a really surreal achievement for all of us and really made us look back and go “holy shit”.

If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?

Monto: This is going to be a pretty weird line up but it would probably be us, Bring me the Horizon, Mr. Bungle, Underoath, My Chemical Romance, Nirvana, The Fall of Troy, The Bled, and Rolling Stones.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Jon: Be sure to check out all our social medias Facebook, Instagram, etc. Also a music video for our single Black Mamba is on youtube. Be sure to check out our debut EP on Spotify, iTunes, or Amazon! - Kill The Music


"DRIFTER Release Official Music Video for “Black Mamba”"

New Jersey Metal act DRIFTER has released the official music video for the single “Black Mamba” off of their new EP, The Howling. Originally premiered on AntiHero Magazine, “Black Mamba” was Directed and Produced by the band’s front-man, Mike Monto. - Chimera Magazine


"SINGLED OUT: DRIFTER’S BLACK MAMBA"

New Jersey metallers Drifter recently released a music video for their track “Black Mamba,” which is a single from their new EP “The Howling”. To celebrate we asked frontman Mike Monto to tell us about the song. Here is the story:
Creating the Music: I think every band goes through stages of trying to find “their sound” and I think “Black Mamba” was the song that made it all come clear what Drifter is. When working on the song with the guys in the pre-production stage, I wanted to create something that was chaotically organized, as much of a paradox as that is. I wanted to take elements from bands such as The Chariot, Pantera, Underoath, Everytime I Die, and a few other old favorites and create something unique and innovative.
When creating every song, including this one, the guys and I always think cinematically. I want the listener to feel like they’re watching a very detailed movie, loaded with dynamics and parts that leave your jaw dropped. There’s also an abundance of beauty using dissonance. I’ve always been a fan of creating beautiful, flowing pieces blended with dark elements. I feel like it has this contrasting yet complimenting aesthetic I’ve always vibed with.
The one breakdown in the song with the singled-out hits and flickering camera frames was originally conceptualized from the perspective of someone laying on the ground seeping in and out of consciousness, while someone is above them throwing haymakers in their face. I wanted to create something punchy. I feel like bands lack in “Oh Sh*t” moments within their music the past couple of years, and I want to bring back those climatic moments. “Black Mamba” has all these elements, making it the flagship song for the record encompassing what the project is as a whole.
The Lyrics: When writing the lyrics for “Black Mamba” and the album, the vision began with a story centered around an ominous character; raw and dissonant. The personality had to be adaptable to different situations, like how most people are in life. Different personalities come out at different times. Similarly, I’m a very dynamic person. I used to be an innocent person in my younger years. Trying to be as much of a genuine person growing up as I could be, I became progressively angry as to why friends and family would betray me, why people are so greedy, lack love or humanity for each other. With the song, I wanted to address the wrongs with society that aren’t justifiable, but reinforced positively.
“Black Mamba” is an abstract song about redemption and revenge. Being in multiple projects coming from a town with a competitive scene, everyone pretends to be your friend face to face but talk sh*t behind your back. On the other hand, my family pushed for me to just get my degree, find a job, start a family, then die. I was never ready to forget my passion or let go of my dreams. I earned my masters and I’m searching for a job now, but I don’t want to be stuck in some office forever. I want to tour and travel, inspiring others to inspire. “Black Mamba” is basically symbolism for everything that is trying to tear us all down, saying that we’re going to persevere despite the odds stacked against us. The snake has always been symbol of evil through tales or even the bible which is why I chose the name “Black Mamba” for this track. I needed an antagonist. Something that I could destroy. Something I could crucify. - Q94.5 ROCK


"Q & A With Drifter"

XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news?
Mark: We’re mostly going to be playing shows around the area, but we started writing new material for an album.

XS ROCK: How long has band been together?
Joe: Roughly around two years. Monto used to play guitar for a totally different line up. We wanted to scrap that old image though and rebrand the band with new members and its new image.

XS ROCK: Motivation for being a band?
Monto: We’ve all been inspired by music since a young age. I think we’re all drawn to metal because of the sincerity in the music and the raw talents it posses.

XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Monto: I’ve been playing guitar since I was eleven and became a vocalist in my early twenties. Audio engineering sparked my interest when I was in my late teens from being in and out of studios with my earlier bands. This lead me to take classes at Rutgers for engineering and theory. I also picked up piano, bass, and ukulele the past couple years haha.
Fil: I’ve been playing guitar since I was eleven. I took classes throughout high school and college for theory and engineering. I also play a little didjeridoo. I think it’s funny that I play bass now considering I’m a guitarist at heart.
Jon: At the ripe age of 9 my father figure pulled down a dusty stratocaster from the attic and played a couple power chords and from then on I was hooked. I proceeded to learn scales and old classic rock tunes and it’s been a wrap ever since.
Joe: I was raised on 80’s thrash and speed metal, from Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc. Later on I fell in love with The Misfits, MCR and anything with dark and theatrical undertones.

XS ROCK: What image does your music convey?
Joe: I think we convey almost this outlaw, gunslinger style of metal. We like keeping things melodic with a dark element, while having fast paced excitement.

XS ROCK: What are your music goals?
Fil: My musical goals are to be able to do music full time and get to the point where fans are singing our lyrics back at us. –
Monto: Same as Fil honestly. I also just love having a reason to travel.

Q & A With DrifterXS ROCK: Do you prefer playing live or recording?
Monto: I think there’s elements to both I love. Being able to create in the studio is something I always found fascinating. Just hearing your vision come to life is cool. Live there’s just that excitement and adrenaline rush that I always enjoyed. I bring a Chariot/Letlive/TBS approach to our live set because I enjoy the spectacle of playing live and making a show out of it.
Fil: I prefer playing live because its a lot more cathartic and energy driven than recording. But I agree with Monto, creating something in the studio is pretty magical.

XS ROCK: What are your lyrics about?
Monto: I’ve always felt like I’m a very dynamic person and I believe everyone is to some degree. We all have different personas depending on the environment were in or who we’re hanging out with or what we’re doing. I used to be a very pure person when I was younger. Growing up that changed; I was betrayed by people I would consider family and life long friends, things in the news and politics concerning greed stroke a chord in me, society lack of love for each other angered me, and basically my younger brighter view of the world became darker. I sort of channeled this anger into this character I created for Drifter. This album basically speaks about becoming this darker person. I always loved characters who seem like their bad guys in shows and movies but once you really dig into their story your perspective changes on them. This is because you actually understand why the way they are and their cause is not actually evil but in fact good. Think like V for Vendetta.

XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories?
Mark: We once played at an abandoned military base to a crowd of five people. We played dodgeball with the crowd during our set.

XS ROCK: Strangest request from a fan?
Jon: Some dude is emailing us right now about playing his wedding! lol.

XS ROCK: Are your friends and family supportive of you guys?
Monto: My parents are not really all that supportive they basically want me to do just work a desk job with the degree I got from Rutgers. But if music pays the bills maybe they’ll change their mind.

XS ROCK: What advice do you have for new bands just starting?
Jon: Work on your marketing! I’ve heard so many good musicians and bands never go anywhere because they don’t focus on marketing.

XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Mark: Vicious Cycle and Black Mamba because they’re full of energy and the crowd seems to vibe with those two the most.

XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform?
Fil: For me it would definitely have to be Metallica because they always had incredible showmanship and you always got your money’s worth when you saw them.
Monto: The Fall of Troy, the guys in there have always been inspiration to me as musicians.

XS ROCK: Dream tour bill?
Mark: It would hands down be a tour with us, Architects, Bring me the Horizon, Knocked Loose and Trash Talk.
Monto: Any combination of Architects, Norma Jean, Underoath, Bones, Post-Malone, Bring Me The Horizon, The Fall of Troy, Saosin, and The Weeknd.

XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
Mark: We’re still a fairly new band so our biggest accomplishment thus far would have to be the EP we just put out. We’re all really proud of how the songs came out and the reception has been doing pretty well so far.

XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what career would you have?
Monto: I have my Masters in HR and BA in psychology. I run a studio on the side though called “Burning Wick Studios” where we do music videos, recording, graphic design, ect. So something probably concerning one of those elements.
Fil: I have a degree in journalism so i would probably pursue that but being in a band is obviously the dream.
Joe: I’d probably go with wildlife photographer or genetic engineer.
Jon: I’m working in construction now so probably something along those lines. I like working with my hands.
Mark: Something with computer science. That’s what I’m going for my degree now.

XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use?
Monto: I use an E935 Sennheiser microphone that I taped up because I swing the mic around like crazy live.
Jon: I use a Line 6 Helix Amp Modeler with an Orange halfstack for power with a Chapman guitar.
Joe: I also use a Line 6 Helix Amp Modeler with a Randal half stack for power and a Gibson SG 1961 Reissue guitar.
Fil: Axe Fx Ultra amp modeler with a Peavey amp for power and Fender Aerodyne bass.
Mark: Pdp x7 drums, Sabian cymbals, and DW hardware.

XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Mark: I think that music overall is thriving in a lot of different sub-genres of metal you just have to find your niche and excel in it.

XS ROCK: For anyone who doesn’t know what would surprise them?
Joe: Im not sure if it comes off in our sound but we all listen to pretty different types of music and take influences from way different sources for the most part.
Jon: Most of the tracks were tracked and produced in Monto’s basement and room. We sent out the tracks for mixing and mastering to James Perry who did I Prevail’s records.

XS ROCK: Is there anything you’d like to promote or say to your fans?
Mark: We just put out a new EP called “The Howling” and we put out a new music video for our single “Black Mamba”.
Joe: Hit us up for tees, the EP, or just chillin with us! We love interacting with fans and we promise we don’t bite. - XS ROCK


"BAND OF THE DAY: DRIFTER"

Another new (probably) band for you, this one from the US of A. Kick back and read as Drifter tell us all about themselves…

Where are you guys from?
Joe: Were based out of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

How did you meet?
Mark: I met Monto and Jon from working at a music store and he asked us if we wanted to join his band. I knew Fil and Joe for a long time from high school so I asked them if they wanted to complete the roster.
How long have you guys been a band?

Jon: Roughly two years. Monto used to play guitar in previous line-ups, although we’re re-branding the band and want to start as a clean slate.
Where does band name come from?

Monto: We wanted a name that captured the aggressive, dark, and southern nature of the band. We felt the name Drifter captured just that.

What are your influences?
Fil: Metallica, Pomegranate Tiger, Trash Talk, Smash Mouth, Revocation, Plini, TSA, and David Maxim Micic.

Monto: The Fall of Troy, The Bled, Norma Jean, Architects, Bones, The Weeknd, The Blood Brothers, Fear Before, Chiodos, Saosin, Some Girls, Blink 182, and Taking Back Sunday.

Jon. Architects, Norma Jean, Stick to Your Guns, The Wiggles, and Bring Me The Horizon.

Mark: Mr. Bungle, Bones, Oceans Ate Alaska, Architects, Bring Me The Horizon, Rise Against, Dream Theater, La Dispute, Pantera, System of a Down, and My Chemical Romance.

Joe: In my childhood’s years 80s thrash and speed metal, Megadeth, Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc. since I was born. Later on I fell in love with The Misfits, My Chemical Romance and anything dark and theatrical.

Describe your music what makes you unique?
Monto: We feel like the market is oversaturated with progressive djent bands. Which is not a bad thing, we all love progressive artist. We just feel like breaking the expected mold by mixing some elements of older metalcore with some of the newer production techniques. We also try to be colourful through dissonance, which gives us this dark and contrasting but complimentary vibe.

Do you have lyrical themes?
Monto: Most of the album is about becoming darker as a society. There’s themes of betrayal, revenge, redemption, loss of loved ones from substance abuse, and many more darker themes.

What’s your live show like?
Fil: We tend to go pretty berserk during live shows and try to keep the energy as high as possible. Monto swings the mic around, sometimes we play dodgeball with the crowd. Definitely wear some headgear if you come.
Whats the wildest thing you’ve done on stage?

Mark: We throw dodgeballs at the crowd sometimes.
What kit/ guitar/ equipment do you use?

Monto: I use an E935 Sennheiser microphone that I taped up because I swing the mic around like crazy live.

Jon: I use a Line 6 Helix Amp Modeler with an Orange halfstack for power with a Chapman guitar.

Joe: I also use a Line 6 Helix Amp Modeler with a Randal half stack for power and a Gibson SG 1961 Reissue guitar.

Fil: Axe Fx Ultra amp modeler with a Peavey amp for power and Fender Aerodyne bass.

Mark: Pdp x7 drums, Sabian cymbals, and DW hardware.
What are you promoting at the moment?

Joe: Our new EP The Howling and music video for our single “Black Mamba”.

What are your plans for 2018?
Monto: We’re just going to keep playing shows, promoting this EP, and potentially start writing a full length album. We want to also possibly do a small tour in the summer. - The Moshville Times


"New Jersey Metal act DRIFTER has released the official music video for the single "Black Mamba""

Thrashing through the melodic metal scene, Drifter is breaking out with their debut EP The Howling. After months of writing and recording in their home studio, based out of New Brunswick, the band is an ideal monument of DIY innovation. From tracking and producing, to graphic design, photo shoots and video production, and marketing, the band has grabbed the bull by the horns thrusting them into the spotlight.
Crawling from the local Jersey scene, Drifter is a five-piece, cinematic wonder. Drifter’s crisp rhythms are held tightly together by drummer Mark Kairelshteinand bassist Filip Halajko are complimented by the boisterous, dual-leads from guitarists Jon Plunkett and Joe Derogatis. Sealing the band together, vocalist Mike Monto contributes his own flare to the seasoned genre.
After running through several line-up changes throughout the years, Drifter’s grown to final form. Ready to hit the road, take over stages, and shred ‘til they’re dead, the band plans to play the final Warped Tour along with other headline dates throughout the summer, promoting The Howling. - Christopher Crouse


"5 SHOTS!!!!! with Thrash Metal Band DRIFTER"

Five Facts:

Mike:
1 . I think I have synesthesia
2 . One time I funneled rum and fell down two flights of stairs.
3. Send me IHOP chocolate chip pancakes I’ll love you forever.
4. In undergrad I catfished thirsty dudes pretending to be a girl on Yik - Yak.
5. I have a Masters degree in Human Resources

Five Favorite Albums
Architects : Lost Together, Lost Forever
Underoath : Lost in the Sound of Separation:
The Fall of Troy : Doppelgänger
The Blood Brothers: Young Machetes
Blink 182 : Self Titled

Five Facts:

Mark

1. I teach drums to children with Monto at a music school.
2. Born in Russia boiiiiiiii
3. Grew up listening to punk rock mainly.
4. I play hella computer games
5. Currently going to school for computer science.

Five Favorite Albums

1.The Devil Wears Prada : Zombie EP
2.Mr. Bungle : Self Titled
3.Avenge Sevenfold : Self Titled
4.Bring Me The Horizon : Sempriternal
5.Rise Against : Siren Song of the Counter Culture

Five Facts:

Jon

1. I’m a carpenter who renovating houses and company offices all over new jersey.
2. I know more about the history of Volkswagen than most people should.
3. The three things I mainly do are working, music, or Call of Duty.
4. If I could go to bed at 7 PM every night I would.
5. I see dead people

Favorite Favorite Albums
1. Architects : Lost Together, Lost Forever
2. Wage War : Blueprints
3. A Day to Remember : Common Courtesy
4. Stick to Your Guns : Diamond
5. Parkway Drive : Killing With a Smile

Five Facts:
Joe

1. I’m a huge black metal fan and have a black metal project.
2. Anything outdoorsy I’m with it.
3. One Day I want to get my pilots license.
4. I destroy everything I touch.
5. I destroy everything I touch.

Five Favorite Albums

1. Collection I : Misfits
2. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge : My Chemical Romance
3. Ride the Lightning : Metallica
4. Newborn Sun : Chon
5. Dandelion Gum : Black Moth Super Rainbow

FIL

I. I have a degree in journalism/psych
2. My cats name is omLIT
3. I’m Polish and enjoy traveling there to visit fans.
4. Currently I work at Starbucks, but I don’t drink coffee.
5. Season 6 of Shameless is where Im at right now.

Five Favorite Albums

1. Plini : Sweet Nothings
2. TSA : 51
3. Metallica : Master of Puppets
4. Childish Gambino : Because the Internet
5. Tyler the Creator : Flower Boy - BANGS


"The New Jersey Sounds of Thrash Metal Band Drifter – Check Out Our Interview With The Band!"

by Luna Rodgers
RAPMM: Thank you Drifter for taking some time out to speak with us at Rock All Photography. Are all of you from the New Jersey area?
Monto: Thank you for having us! Yeah we’re from all over New Jersey but right now we’re all based out of New Brunswick.

RAPMM: There have been tons of bands come out of NJ. Springsteen, Frank Iero a mix of rock, punk and so on… what sound were you all into when you were young and in high school?

Joe: We all listened pretty different bands growing up it ranges anywhere from Mr. Bungle to Misfits and then all the way back to My Chemical Romance. However one thing we all had in common is that we all listened to a lot of metalcore growing up. As for New Jersey bands we listen to all the greats like Dillinger Escape Plan, MCR, and Senses Fail.

RAPMM: How did you all come to your own sound? As it seems to mesh a couple together.

Mark: I would definitely attribute it to our varied inspirations. For example my favorite drummer is Luke Holland meanwhile Jon’s biggest inspiration is Rolling Stones. Joe and Fil listen to bands like CHON or Plini, while Monto takes a lot of inspiration from Sam Carter. When you put that whole mix together you get Drifter.

RAPMM: Your album cover art for ‘The Howling’ is interesting. What does it signify?

Fil: Our good friend Jeremy Zaleski did it for us, whose actually also featured on our song 00savage as a back-up vocalist! As for what it means, Monto’s lyrics throughout the album tell a story of becoming a more withered person. A loss of innocence. We felt the dagger going through a white rose was a good representation of this change.

RAPMM: It is always fascinating to hear about artist and bands process they go through to create an EP or album even. Can you describe the process of how this album came together, and what it has meant to all of you. (Please each person responding start by placing your name before your answer)

Monto: We spent a lot in pre production perfecting the songs and working on maturing the sound of the band and we wanted to make sure that we were really happy about every part and making each take was perfect but still trying to keep it raw.

Joe: There were a lot of long nights slaving away in the basement to the point where we took shifts recording while the other person was sleeping. So it really means a lot for it to finally be done and I’m really happy with it.

Jon: The recording process was really huge for us. It took nearly two years because we didn’t have all the funds and equipment right away and we obviously wanted it to be as perfect as possible. Because of all that I honestly feel like we grew with this EP.

Fil: I actually came in towards the end so it was really cool to see the whole product coming together from the perspective of someone who wasn’t there since the start. I got amped to be a part of something great.

Mark: For me the process was really fun but it was also a huge challenge. I was constantly writing parts that would be difficult for me to nail but it pushed me to progress further in my skills. In the end, this EP made me a better drummer for sure.

RAPMM: Looking back over a project, how satisfied are you all with the final product? Any notes of things you might change or try differently next time?

Monto: It’s pretty much as close to perfect as we could have gotten it in our eyes. We spent a lot of time writing the songs over and over and re-tracking everything until we all thought it was perfect. We also had a lot of help from James Perry because we got him to mix all the songs and put a few finishing touches. As for things we would change, we definitely want to make our sound a bit more organic next time around and add more variety to the elements within our songs.

RAPMM: Spotify and YouTube seem to be the two most important places for musicians to be seen and heard nowadays. What elements did you put together as you were story-boarding for your first music video off the album “Black Mamba?”

Monto: The storyboard is based off the theme of the lyrics sprinkled with a “witchy” vibe. The video has a trippy, hexed feeling which I was able to achieve after learning Adobe After Affects and Premier the previous year. As I was directing and producing the video, I knew how it was going to put it together in post. Videographers Jay Dekony and Jon Reino were also a major help with capturing the footage with their cameras. 80-90 hours of editing was put into this to make it perfect. The goal was to make sure that our video stood out against the over saturated market.

RAPMM: Certainly most bands are already planning a year or more ahead. What are some things you as a band would like to develop? Songwriting-wise? Instrumentally wise?

Mark: We don’t want to give too much away but we definitely want to try to evolve and mature our sound with every release that we put together. We want to constantly be innovative with the metalcore genre, standing out amongst the rest.

RAPMM: Out of this process of emerging what so far have you all found to be the most valuable lesson that you have learned?

Monto: I would say being innovative, hard-working, and paying attention to marketing. You have to be ahead of the curve, strive to be perfect, and let everyone know it. - Rock All Photography


"Album Review & Interview"

Pages 5/132/133 - Vents Magazine


Discography

2018 - "The Howling"


Photos

Bio

      Drifter is a modern metalcore band packed with theatrics and explosive energy in their live sets. As an emerging metalcore band, Drifter stays innovative by pulling together elements of blues, thrash, and rock and roll into their writing.

      Their recently released EP, The Howling was tracked and produced by the band, along with their DIY debut music video, Black Mamba. The project as a whole is a DIY testament matching the drive of the band to achieve their goals. Black Mamba premiered on Antihero Magazine. Since then, Drifter has been interviewed and featured in Loudwire Magazine, Madness To Creation, Metal Nexus, Vents Magazine, along with a slew of other magazines. Drifter has  also interviewed live with the UK based radio show Ancient Visionz.


Band Members