I was able to speak with vocalist Josh Morris from Across the Dawn recently. This four-piece just unleashed their self-titled debut album at the beginning of June. You can stream it on Spotify, which I suggest you do! The band has figured out how to blend several styles together that seem counter intuitive at first, but once you listen to their music, it will feel familiar. It’s raw and heavy rock with electronic elements, all of which has been singed with hints of darkness and moody stripes. Yes, of course its good.
- What are your biggest musical influences?
Hello! Josh here. Thank you for having us! Some of our biggest influences come from different time periods in music. We have a diverse sound that ranges from the openness and atmosphere of music from the 80s, the raw sound and tone of 90s rock and industrial, and some rock music from the past 20 years. There are many musicians that have influenced us. A very large inspiration on the diversity of our sound is from The Smashing Pumpkins. The songs on their albums have a wide range of sound that tie together so well. That made me realize that it is ok to have an album with a mix of hard rock, slow electronic, and everything in between while keeping the same core sound and atmosphere of Across the Dawn.
- Do you listen to any band or genre that would surprise your fans if they found out?
80s pop music
- What’s next for the band?
We want to spread our music to the world! We just released our debut album on June 1st, 2019 and we want to be able to reach people with those songs. Our plan is to release some singles from the album and some music videos. We want to play shows and expand out. In the meantime, we will be working on new music!
- How do you think streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have changed how bands release music? Has it made it easier or more difficult?
I think streaming services have made it easier for bands to release music because it provides an outlet to reach an audience. Bands can release whole albums or singles easier than ever now. However, I feel that there is nothing like having a physical album in your hands in it’s entirely. We released our debut album physically and digitally and the resources out there that allowed us to do this are amazing.
- Do you have any non-musical influences that show up in your music?
We certainly do. The outdoors and nature are a huge influence for both the visual aspects of the band and our music.
- Can you describe your sound?
It can be challenging to describe our sound. Today it seems like there are so many genres and sub genres of music and I never wanted to be confined or tied to one category like that. The easiest way to describe it is a big sound that is a mixture of alternative rock and electronic.
- What are you listening to lately? Anything you would recommend?
We love to go see bands that our friends are in and listen to their live music! They are all great! Some that I would recommend is All in Uniform, Highway Louie, and Ginger Stone from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Our friend Derek that did a lot of the drums on our album has a project called Androl which was inspiring to me and every time I hear those songs I am blown away because they are so great. Our bassist Mike has a rap project called Scario Bros. that takes you back to the early eight bit video game days. It is very creative. Some of the best music comes from the people around you!
- What made you decide to “get into” music and start a band?
For me it was never a decision. It has always been a part of me ever since I was a kid listening to records on the stereo in our house and even before that. Shawn, Mike, and me have known each other since high school and we were even in bands during those days. Justin has been into music for a long time too. I remember him talking about being a drummer in his dad’s band when he was like 14 years old. We have friends that have been in Across the Dawn and worked on this album with us and I know that music has been a huge of their lives too.
- How does your writing process work, do you all collaborate on the lyrics or is that job reserved for just one person?
The writing process on our debut album actually has songs that were written more than ten years ago and there were multiple people that formed these songs into what they are. For the most part though, I will write a core foundation with a chord progression or a guitar riff and come up with the vocal melody and all of us will build off of that. Shawn is good at discovering interesting notes on the guitar that lead into great melodic guitar pieces that wrap around my melodies and the rhythm. There are times where the other guys come up with a foundation of a song too and I will build off of that. I wrote all the lyrics on this album except for the song “No Matter Where” which were written by Shawn, our friend Derek, and myself. Sometimes I will reach out to Shawn to help me come up with an idea or a word that I would need in a line.
- If you had to pick just one, which album would be your favorite?
That is an impossible question for me, but I will say that I love Disintegration by The Cure. I know the other guys have albums that they love a lot too.
- Are there any bands you would desperately love to tour with someday?
We want to tour with all of the bands we love! It would be awesome to open up for the Deftones. I think we could put on a great show together!
- What are your thoughts about bands releasing more singles, rather than following a traditional route and just releasing albums?
Things have changed. In the past, bands normally would release a full-length album and then singles from that album. That was before the internet took over. Today, it can be done both ways but since it is easy for people to instantly pick and choose what they want to listen to through all of the online music platforms, I think it can be easy for songs to get overlooked when a whole album is released at once. Also, making a full-length album in its entirety before releasing music from it can take a lot of time and can be costly. Releasing one single at a time also allows a band to be consistent with their audience instead of the audience having to wait a couple years before they hear new music. On our debut album that we recently released, we wanted to take the traditional route and release it all at once as a whole.