Interview: Gone By Daylight

I’m pleased to welcome Massachusetts rock band Gone By Daylight to the PUMP Sessions Interview Series. Wish a smoking hot single out, an EP on the way, and a month-long residency at New York’s Arlene’s Grocery this month, the boys are gearing up for a monstrous 2013.

I’d like to kick things off by saying, GO YANKS, Boston sucks. Sorry, force of habit. Baseball is almost as important as Rock n Roll in this world. Almost.

First off, Nothing is more important than Rock N Roll. Some People may need to be reminded of that.  But thats why we're here!  Secondly, everybody knows New England has the best Baseball, Basket Ball, and Hockey teams!!! 

Ha! Now that I’ve rudely gotten that out of my system, kindly introduce yourselves, gentlemen.

Jordan King and I (Eric Paquette) will be doing the interview. I sing and play guitar in the band and Jordan plays bass. Jeff Lynch plays lead guitar as well as does most of the harmonizing. Jordan's brother Shaanan King plays drums and everyone contributes to the backing vocals.

I thoroughly dig the band name - and I love its ambiguity - so I’m eager to hear the story behind it.

Well that's a story we like to leave up to you. It's one of those things that we wanted to leave open for interpretation. There are many suggestive and scandalous things and situations that the phrase 'Gone By Daylight' can be attached to. With that being said, let the imaginations roll! 

I can dig that. I like my version, anyway... So, you guys have been playing for a few years now, from what I have gathered. Is your current lineup the original?

Jordan, Shaanan, & I have been playing music in different bands since we were about 12 years old. Jeff joined the band almost 2 years ago. We were constantly trying to find the right person to fill the role that Jeff now plays. We basically consider Gone By Daylight being formed the day he came to the basement and plugged in his guitar. It was one of those moments where I closed my eyes and everything just sounded better. I was excited and relieved, after a year of trying guitar players out, we found our guy. 

When did you start playing music, both individually and together as Gone by Daylight?

This band would be just about 2 years. We all started playing our instruments  in middle school. At first Jordan and Shaanan both played drums.  I started jamming with Shaanan when we were about 12 years old, Jordan heard the racket from the basement and instantly wanted to join. I think about a week later Jordan picked up a bass and was in the basement banging along with us. Jeff started around the same time as us. It took over 10 years for our musical paths to cross, but here we are!

When and where was your first live performance, who showed up in support, and how did the band play?

Our first show with Jeff was March 6th 2010 at Pearl Street in Northampton, MA. I'd have say it was the start of where we are now. Jeff instantly made our band sound better with his textures on guitar and harmonies behind mine. Alot of friends & fand of previous bands we played in were there. The first time Shaanan and I shared the stage was at his hometown's 4th of July celebration at the Motocross in Southwick, MA. We were both12 years old and played one original song and a Santana cover. The audience was pretty much Jordan and our families lol.

Bands often have a very diverse taste in music amongst members. Are there any stand out acts that inspired you guys to pick up an instrument when you were young?

Jordan- Beatles, Beach Boys, Pop Radio, GreenDay

Eric- Zeppelin, Hendrix, GNR, Green Day, & Aerosmith were all bands that inspired me to pick up the guitar. Blink 182 was the direct band that really inspired us to form a little group when we were in middle school.

What acts, both past and present, influence your music when you’re writing and recording?

Third Eye Blind, Radiohead, Ryan Adams, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Petty, Springsteen, Augustana, Butch Walker, Saves The Day, Jimmy Eat World, The Strokes, Grouplove, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Beatles, Rancid, The Kooks, The list goes on and on and on and on....

Speaking of writing, what is your process like? Is there a certain member that writes lyrics and one that composes the music? Is it a collaboration?

I write all of the lyrics. As far as where the music comes from, it's different almost every time. Sometimes I will write 90% of a song on acoustic and than show it to the band and everyone kind of feels out what to play on it. Other times songs are written out of jams that happen on the spot. A lot of those magical moments happen, and that's when I'll whip out my iPhone and hit record so we don't lose the idea. I'll take our riffs and ideas after the fact and write lyrics and melodies over it. You can almost always tell what songs were written as a group or when it's just me. As far as lyrics vs melody, melody almost always comes first with me. 

You guys have been working with Kurtis John, whom I knew from my Virgin/Capitol A&R days when he was fronting a killer band called The Last Goodnight. He is a super talented guy. How did you guys link up with him?

Our manager John O'leary hooked us up with him. He used to play in a band with him. He started flying out to work with the band and other times I would go out to LA and work on songs with him. I've learned so much about songwriting from the guy. Him and his partner Mike Nadeau (who was also in The Last Goodnight) are both producing our latest batch of music. 

I see you have signed publishing and licensing deals. In my opinion, those are two of the most important steps for young bands these days. Who did you ink with and how did those deals come about?

We just inked a licensing deal with a company called HYPE Music for five tracks off of our last album that we re-recorded. They are a company formed by the partnership of MTV Networks and Extreme Music ( a Sony/ATV company). You can expect to hear our track 'Big Riff' on TV in 2013 among a few other tracks. They actually sought us out back in July/August. We played an acoustic set in their office in LA and instantly started talking about working together and figuring out what songs would work best for us and them. 

Gone By Daylight - "Wanna Take A Ride"

The single “Wanna Take A Ride” has a really solid pop rock sound that I think will resonate with people on a grand scale. What is that song about and when did you guys write it?

I wrote the chorus hook a while a go while I was on the job, supposed to have been working haha. I worked a shitty part-time pizza shop job and when it was slow I would go in the back room and play my guitar. I actually wrote a lot of lyrics and bits of songs in that setting. The version we have out now was finished about a year ago in LA. I'd have to say the song is a good-time party rock song. It's basically me talking to a girl, saying forget about your job, your responsibilities, and come live a little. Let's party till the sun comes up and live it up while were young. 

I understand you’re in the process of planning the new EP. How many songs do you have planned and what are your hopes for its release?

We are most likely gonna narrow the EP down to 5 songs. We are hoping to release it in March, on CD, digitally, and on vinyl right around the time SXSW hits. 

You guys are from Southwick and Chicopee. Are those towns close to Boston and do you guys gig in the city often?

Yes, we're actually only about an hour and a half away from Boston and we do play there frequently. February 7th 2013 we will be back at the Middle East with some awesome bands in, but honestly we play in NYC more frequently and we've been making that trek almostly weekly for the last year.

I dated a girl in Cambridge and totally dug that hip little neighborhood. Great restaurants and venues. My favorite was The Middle East, but I hear downstairs has taken a bit of a hit lately in the hip factor. What are your favorite Boston rock clubs?

We actually dig the Middle East. TT the Bears is a cool spot too. We've never played there, but I saw Butch Walker & The Black Widows at this place called the Royale. I also saw Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls and it was an incredible show. One of my goals in life would be to play that stage.

That's good to hear, because I was a huge fan of the Mid East. Besides New York and Boston, where else have you guys performed in New England and the east coast?

We play in Northampton, MA which is basically right next door to us. There's a cool club called The Eleven's that we dig, I believe we will be playing the Iron Horse in the spring of 2013 as well. We also play Hartford, CT on the regular. 

Gone By Daylight - "Gotta Get Out" (Live At Elevens)

Gone By Daylight performed at this year’s CMJ Music Marathon. What was it like performing amongst the absolute madness of New York City’s annual indie rock bonanza?

Exciting, Awesome, Theres was so much talent being displayed everywhere, and alot to take in, it was great to meet up with people and bands we've played with and of course meet new faces as well (and we got free tattoos before we played) 

Although it can be daunting to keep track, did you get a chance to catch any bands while you were in town that blew your mind?

Def, this band we played with called Vinyl Thief. I believe they were from Tennessee. The New Limb killed it as well as our friends in Love in Stockholm. We also played with a band called Blondfire that was super dope with a female singer. 

Now that you’ve experienced CMJ, the next leap of faith and perseverance is surely Austin’s South by Southwest Music & Film Festival. Any plans for traveling down to Texas in 2013? Or do you want to keep planting seeds for spring of 2014?

YES. We are looking as hard as we can to get some slots on SXSW. If you know of any openings, let us know haha! We will play acoustic, full band, unplugged, acapella, it doesn't matter! The plan is to tour down there and back. We are most likely gonna hit the road in late Feb/early March. All that is being talked about right now between us and our friends in the NYC band Man On Earth. Nothing is set in stone yet, but we are really hoping to start solidifying some plans within the next few weeks. 

Let’s discuss your upcoming December residency at legendary Arlene’s Grocery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side begins this weekend. The band is playing every Saturday this month. Are you fucking excited or what?

We are mega ultra pumped. It's easily one of our favorite clubs to play. Hands down. 

A weekend residency in New York City for a young act is as rare as a unicorn sighting. I know countless bands from out of town that can only manage to pull off a Tuesday night each week. How the hell did you pull that off?

Well truth be told unicorns arent really that rare as people like to think. We actually rescued Jeff (Lead Guitar) from a wild herd of unicorns as a child... so maybe thats how we got the gig.

Touche, sir. I’m sure you boys are pulling out all the tricks and favors from local friends and fans, but what are you doing to promote the shows outside of your comfort zone, both online and off?

I know Shaanan's been auctioning off dinner dates to NYC and thats been working out really well for both him and the band. Other than that, we have been blasting around on Twitter & Facebook and putting up posters. We're actually gonna be going down early for every show to hand out flyers and hit up some hangouts/bars. The set times for the shows are at midnight, so we basically have the whole day to try and meet people, make new friends & fans, and get them to come check out the music. If you have any ideas let us know! We are always down to hang/party with new people. Plus, we are always playing broken down acoustic sets and would be down to play at anyone's party, office, apartment, etc!

Ha yes! Arlene’s is one of my favorite old school venues in New York. The staff is attentive, kind, and all around cool. The sound is great and the separate bar area is so welcoming. What drove you to choose that room for the big residency?

You couldn't have said it any better to be honest.The sound is perfect for our kind of band, most crowds we've played to there have been super receptive, and the staff and bartenders are all friends of ours. It's starting to feel more like home to us than some of the MA venues we've played. 

I wish you the best of luck this month. How about we close with a chance to plug your wares. Let everyone know where they can stream and purchase your music, plus list all the upcoming dates where they can catch a show.

Has 2 new songs streaming (including 'Wanna Take A Ride'). You can also see our full show list and sign up for our mailing list right on the homepage. We highly suggest to enter your email address if you'd like to stay up to date with all the important things we are doing. (Tour, EP Release, SXSW, etc...)

If you want in on the day to day with us, follow us on Twitter and 'Like' our Facebook page. We're also on Instagram. We'll fill you in on studio updates, what movies we're going to see, where I go on my weekly runs, and what color underwear Shaanan is or isn't wearing, etc.
And is the link to our YouTube channel that we just started building. 

Well, I hope this piece helps a bit with promoting the gigs and of course, I will be there with bells on. Thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourselves and the band. Please let me know what else I can do to push things forward for you guys. Cheers.

Thanks so much man! It's been a pleasure chatting with you. We'll seeya at one of the shows!