Up Late Reviews: How did you first get started as a band? From that time, do you feel like the constant change of band members has affected your sound?
Ryan Zimmerman: We started back in 2002 as just a couple guys messing around trying to figure out how to play music. In a lot of ways it was kind of a joke. We starting playing local shows and decided to pursue it seriously in 2003-2004. We have had quite a few member changes but we have also been a band for a decade now and have 8 records out so its to be expected I guess. As far as our sound, we always try to switch things up with each release. We have had our current lineup for the last 4 years so we feel pretty good about it.
ULR: Do you feel like your newer songs are "way heavier" as many people claim? Or do you feel like your fans perceptions of you may have changed?
RZ: Both. I think our records like NRNR and The Narrow Road are definitely heavier than our earlier material, but we still keep it Greeley. Our new release Devil Son has many of the musical elements that our early material had back when we started this band.
ULR: What is your favorite album and why?
RZ: I am honestly pretty connected to most of our records. I feel that Go West Young Man… seems to be the record we will be remembered by because i think it was a little before its time. I personally love both of our new EPs and I definitely have a strong connection to our first record Outside of This.
ULR: Who writes most of the lyrics and the music and if it's not a total collaboration, how do you come to agreements?
RZ: I (Ryan) have always written the lyrics and for the most part Brandon has written the music until recently David has gotten involved and helped with writing music.
ULR: Please explain your writing process and how your process changed between albums, if it has.
We usually go into each record with a clean slate and just see how the direction and vibe of the music pans out. When we started as a band I would write a lot of my lyrics before I had heard the music. Now I write lyrics after feeling out the music and letting it speak to me. Many of our records have been written on the road which is tough, but this last 2 part album The Narrow Road/Devil Son was all written in AZ. We had the chance to live together and write and it was a good experience.
Do you find writing songs therapeutic, if you use real life experiences to influence them?
RZ: Yeah, I love the writing process its one of the best parts of the job. Some songs are very personal to me and others are written in more a storybook format. I love watching movies and at times movies influence my writing.
ULR: What, if anything, have you run into as a band (or throughout the years with the member changes) that was difficult to over come?
RZ: Touring 10 months out of the year is difficult on anyone. When you’re in a band on the road the members are your family. Its always tough losing members or letting members go it changes the dynamic of things. You just learn to work through this and hope that the changes are for the better.
ULR: Do you feel like those things brought you closer and made the current band even stronger?
Yeah, I think difficult situations always make you appreciate life and make you stronger.
ULR: Do you guys have any plans for a tour in the near future, whether local or US? (Or even International!)
RZ: Yeah, we plan to head to Japan again here soon. As for the U.S and other countries we are stilling working on figuring that out. Just trying to get the word out about The Narrow Road and Devil Son right now.
ULR: What can fans expect from you in 2013?
Hopefully we will see them on the road soon and we hope to start writing again towards the end of the year.
ULR: I'm curious as to how you guys personally feel about the way music sales have changed, including illegal downloading, iTunes, Amazon, and other online music retailers. Does this totally ruin music or do you think this improves how easily and rapidly music reaches your fan's ears?
RZ: In our situation doing this independently right now, it definitely affects us. Album sales directly help us and illegal downloading directly hurts us.
ULR: Do you think that online sales will eventually completely replace CD and vinyl sales?
RZ: Yeah for the most part I think physical copies will be collectors items in the future.
RZ: Wow that is tough. Probably Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins.
ULR: Anything else you'd like to add?