Races to April
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Races to April

Band Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"October 04, 2004"

Races To April//The Syntax In Everything

Harrisonburg, Virginia recently gave birth to a great indie-rock powerhouse who are aimed at taking over the music scene one ear at a time. Only the second release for PA's Tinted Amber Records, the young label and band hold high aspirations and bigger plans to make everything work out. Races To April's debut 'The Syntax In Everything' is a testament to everything that is great about indie rock, technical guitar lines, melodic vocals, poignant percussion and driving bass lines.

Starting out with the lyrically amazing piece, 'Time Like A Ghost,' the band captures you with vocally-intense lines like "Put your hands where I can see...," the band quickly moves into a moving piece entitled 'The Top Half of the Everglades' which showcases the moods of growing up and coming of age. The song also features background vocals that really set the mood during different moments in the song. 'Kill The Lights' and 'My Attempts To Sleep It Off' demonstrate the same type of emotional feel while starting out slowly and then quickly building into a solid work. 'Neil Armstrong' captures your mind with just one line, the quirky 'I love you like Neil Armstrong loves the moon,' which leaves you thinking, did he just say that? It's like I love you like a fat kid loves cake, or the TBS-coined I love you like a fat man loves steak. However, the melodies of this song shouldn't overpower the one line, with an almost spacey mood to really fit the title, the band makes good use of guitar effects to create a perfect picture. The album closes out with a building track, 'This Song Is About Halo,' which starts out very simple, but fools you as it builds into a layered instrumental piece that tears your emotion right out of your heart and stomps it into a bunch of shards too sharp to ever touch upon again.

It really is too bad that this is only an ep, because the band leaves you completely satisfied with what they fed to you, but also leaves you hungry for more of their goodness. Happily however, there is a great acoustic bonus track which showcases the spectacular guitar abilities and composition skills of this band. - DISFIGUREDidentity

"May 10, 2004"

Interview with Robin, Brandon, and Nate

E: Races to April has been slowly gaining more and more exposure on the scene, and fans are awaiting an upcoming record. How long has this album been in development?
Brandon: Since we started--this is our first record. And it's long overdue.
Robin: I think it's fair to say we've been working towards it since we started... we've finally settled into a style we're comfortable with.
Nate: The idea has been around for quite some time. We have had some unfortunate cases in which studio time fell apart, and it pushed back the recording process.
Robin: We started recording in February...
Nate: ...but the actual recording process for the record was spread thin, due to schedule conflict and finances.
Robin: We're sending it off to get mastered now.
E: The EP was originally set to be titled Who We Are Is Only What We Fight For, but its name was recently changed to The Syntax in Everything. What exactly happened that resulted in this change?
Brandon: Indecision... we're full of it.
Nate: I think Rob can best answer that.
Robin: Well, we had settled on Who We Are..., and Schuyler had objected, so we decided to change it. We're democratic people.
Nate: Both titles were relevant to the album. Syntax just won the contest.
Robin: We tried to keep the title in the lyrics, so after we recorded "Neil Armstrong," we picked The Syntax in Everything.
E: With all the songs for the new album completed, how long until you plan to begin writing more?
Robin: We've already started writing more.
Brandon: We're pretty much always in the writing process.
Nate: We are constantly writing... we have some great ideas in the works.
Robin: Songwriting happens in spurts with us... we'll go for a few weeks with nothing, and then something big happens. The first song of the EP, "Time Like a Ghost," was written in a day... we recorded it on a whim, and it's one of our favorite songs.
E: What is the first thing you plan to do once you receive the fully completed copies of the album in your hands?
Brandon: I thought it would be nice to all listen to it together for the first time... we don't get as much quality time as we would like.
Nate: I'll definitely want to show it off. I'm really proud of the work we have done. From the musical content to the artwork, all the details are our own. It's gratifying to have an end result to our time and effort.
Robin: I think it'll be nice to sit down and take a breather. It's been exhausting, putting it all together.
E: You guys are one of a small number of bands on the label Tinted Amber Records. How do you think being on such a closeknit roster differs from being on a larger label?
Robin: Well, it definitely lets us talk to the label guys a lot more. We talk to them on a more or less daily basis.
Nate: The guys from TA are very dedicated. It's nice that they can devote so much time to their bands.
Brandon: And it's nice to feel like more of a priority.
Robin: Definitely... we're not just one of a hundred bands that a bigger label needs to promote.
Nate: I would imagine that we have a lot more creative freedom than if we were on a larger label... but then again, I've never been on a large label. Either way, we are very happy with Tinted Amber thus far.
E: How has playing shows been?
Nate: Playing out is amazing. It's great to meet new people, hear new music, and see new places.
Brandon: It's been great... I think we all look forward to shows almost like vacations. We get to travel, and see old friends and make new ones, which is always fun.
Robin: Playing shows has definitely been a very positive, helpful process... it's always nice to see how fans and other bands respond to your music.
E: Is a lot of the band lifestyle still a new experience for you?
Robin: Well, we still haven't spent an extensive amount of time on the road, so a full-length tour will definitely be a new experience. The three of us live together, so we're emmersed in the business-end of the band.
Nate: I think the "band lifestyle" is constantly new, even to a seasoned, touring band. People often observe bands as hellions... I hope that I would be the same person I am now even if I wasn't in a band.
Brandon: I never really thought that we were living a band lifestyle until I realized that the people we are around the most are friends that we met through the band, or friends that have just really supported us and [who] always come out to shows.
Nate: Brandon makes a good point--we have met so many people who have become the best of friends, all because we play music.
Robin: Bands like Brand New Disaster and Skyline Awake, who have become our best friends.
E: What do you hope to accomplish over the next year?
Robin: Expand our fanbase.
Nate: I really would like to see us tour as much as possible in support of the album. Continue writing and performing to the best of our ability, and push the hell out of the record.
Robin: Absolutely.
E: What sort of opportunities does being in a band give you?
Brandon: It's a good excuse for when people ask you, "so what do you do?" Especially when you're not in school and [you] don't have a job.
Robin: Our band gives me the opportunity to write music with my three best friends... I couldn't imagine playing seriously with anybody else.
Nate: So many opportunities... how many people can actually say they are or have been on tour? It goes back to the lifestyle question--we have made lifelong friends.
Robin: I mean, playing in a band gives us the chance to live the most interesting life we can imagine. Our job is to go on tour... and what is that? A combination of playing music and camping.
Brandon: And it's really nice to do something different than what a lot of people our age are doing.
Nate: Most importantly, it gives the four of us the opportunity to play music that is meaningful to us and is slowly becoming meaningful to others.
E: Alright, well, it's about time to wrap this up. Anything else you'd like to say while still on record?
Robin: Personally, I'm just excited to let everyone know what we sound like.
Nate: I always like to make sure everyone knows how important this is to us, and how much any bit of support means to us.
Brandon: And I just hope everyone thinks that the time we took to record the album was worth the wait.
Nate: And to you, thanks for interviewing us! It was fun, and you are doing a good thing here. - Euphonia Online


EP: "The Syntax in Everything"

"Time Like a Ghost" receives radio airplay on several college radio stations along the east coast.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Influences: Ben Folds, Counterfit, Hey Mercedes, Coheed and Cambria, Billy Joel, Benton Falls