Today’s Feature, October 16th & 17th: Sound The Alarm

November 4, 2007 at 3:27 pm (Today's Feature)

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It won’t be long before you’re coasting down some thoroughfare when your ears are alerted by the stir of a new sound coming over your radio; a tune from an emerging band called Sound the Alarm. You’ll take it in, perhaps look it up and download it, maybe even dig a little deeper and investigate the actual lyrics behind the music. If you do, you’ll appreciate the time and the thought process behind the sound as well as wonder just how many years the band has been together to create such provoking compositions. Truth be told, the band formed nearly a decade ago… all the way back in 7th grade.

This young bunch includes frontman Cody Jancovic, bassist Colin Ellis, guitarists Brian Chiusano and Joe Brule and drummer Rick Stephans, and they were all still in high school when they were discovered by Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson and recorded their debut album, “Stay Inside.” While it’s commonly difficult for such young acts to assemble full-grown material, their latest single “Suffocating,” is a “unique amalgam of modern rock, pop and punk.” The piece also holds a particular significance for the band Ð Ellis explains the meaning behind the song he wrote, “It’s just about rising above the fear of change and becoming an adult, finding direction in an area I knew nothing about.”

These guys aren’t letting early success go to their heads however – While they’re already producing ahead of their time, they still work hard to make sure their next step brings them to a whole new level. In all likelihood, you can catch them honing their craft in the near future Ð they can’t wait to get back on the road. Purchase “Get Inside,” check out a show, and get into their XXQ’s.

XXQs: Sound The Alarm PensEyeView.com (PEV): How and when did Sound The Alarm first form as a band?

Sound The Alarm (STA): We originally started playing together when we were in 7th grade. Mainly cause we’ve always played our instruments and the town we’re from was incredibly boring, so it was just for fun, we played friend’s birthday parties and some small venues at the time.

PEV: How have you handled success at such a young age?

STA: We’re always working to get to the next level. We love to be out on the road as much as possible; getting to meet new people every night. It’s been great. Just trying to get everyone to either see our live show or hear our record.

PEV: Growing up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, what kind of music did you listen to and who helped shape your sound?

STA: Growing up I know the majority of us listened mostly to the harder side of rock, we loved it. We were definitely some metal kids. But now we listen to everything whether it’s rock, pop or rap, gotta love it all. I think the wide range of influences shaped our sound by itself. Everybody’s throwing something different into the mix, so what we start out with for a song might sound totally different when the song is completed.

PEV: Tell us about the first time Sound The Alarm performed live on stage? Where and when was it?

STA: It was at a local bar called TK’s many years ago. It was a Halloween show but I don’t think we dressed up that year. It’d be pretty ridiculous if we dressed up for our first show. But I believe the next year we dressed up.

PEV: What can people expect from your debut album, Stay Inside?

STA: I hope people can hear the musicianship involved; we’re all very happy and proud with the album. I think it’s really solid from beginning to end which is what we set out to do from the start. No filler.

PEV: How is Stay Inside different from other albums out today?

STA: There are not many albums today you can listen to from the beginning and not skip any tracks.

PEV: What was it like when you stepped into recording studio to lay down the tracks for Stay Inside? What was going through your head? Nerves? Anxious?

STA: Yeah, and just being very excited. It was our first major recording experience. We just focused on making the record the best it possibly could be. The guys over there at the studio are amazing too, so it made for a very memorable experience.

PEV: When you sit down to write music, what kind of atmosphere do you surround yourself in?

STA: It depends, we wrote half this album in my basement and the other half in our apartment in Los Angeles. I just like sittin’ down with my guitar and jamming until I hear something I like, then we just build off of it.

PEV: Having traveled/toured all over, which has been your favorite to perform in and why?

STA: It’s been great all over the country, but I’d say Allentown, PA is always our favorite; seeing all our friends coming out to see us. It always makes for a great fun show.

PEV: With that, how has life on the road been? What are the best and worst parts?

STA: The best moments are the shows, meeting all the new people in different cities, and hanging out with the bands you’re on tour with. You spend so much time with the other bands that you end up becoming really good friends with everyone, it’s always sad to say goodbye. The worst part is probably either the really long drives or the occasional days without showering. The stench of our van might turn some people’s stomachs.

PEV: When you have some down time from touring and performing, what can we find the guys of Sound The Alarm doing?

STA: Hanging around Bangor and Mt. Bethel Pennsylvania. Spending time with friends and jumping off bridges.

PEV: How have your friends and family back home reacted to all your success?

STA: Everyone’s been unbelievably supportive. We wouldn’t be doing what we are right now if it weren’t for our families.

PEV: Is there an up and coming artist that you think we should all be looking out for?

STA: Tyler Read. They’re a band from Louisiana we just got off tour with. Some straight up rock n’ roll dudes; amazing stuff right there. If you have the means pick up their record. And Bedlight for Blue Eyes. We got off tour with them back in July. Honestly one of the best bands I’ve heard in awhile, along with Tyler Read. Their singer is as amazing as their songs, and even better live. Check ’em both out!

STA: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the guys in Sound The Alarm?

STA: We had Wrestlemania in our apartment everyday in Los Angeles. All of our air mattresses popped because of it. I ended up sleeping on the floor for half a year.

PEV: What is your take on today’s music scene?

STA: I think there’s a lot of amazing bands out there that have yet to get the recognition they deserve. I just wish “music” channels like MTV played more videosÉor any videos!

PEV: Is there an artist that you would like to collaborate with that you have not had a chance to yet?

STA: Dave Grohl. Everything he touches is amazing. I would love to meet the man someday. I’ll cross my fingers for that.

PEV: Describe to us what an average show day is like for you? What are you guys doing before a show to get ready?

STA: A lot of times we just play a waiting game. You set up your equipment, sound check and then wait…and wait…and wait. But once it’s finally time to play it’s worth it.

PEV: Do you remember the first time you heard your songs on the radio or seen in the stores? What kind of feeling was that?

STA: Yeah, I remember probably about two or three years ago hearing one of our demo songs on one of our local rock stations, WZZO. It was pretty crazy. Felt great but at the same time makes you want more it.

PEV: In one word, describe Sound The Alarm?

STA: Scrumtulescent.

PEV: So, what is next for Sound The Alarm?

STA: Playing your town! Or a town near you, so look out for us! And check out the record.

For more information on Sound The Alarm, check out www.MySpace.com/SoundTheAlarmMusic

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