An interview with This is Exploding

From where do you draw your influences — and how do you manage to combine them in a way that remains true to your intentions?

this is exploding writes its music together as a group. Sometimes one person will bring in an idea and we’ll all build upon it, but more often then not the four of us will jam on something for a little while and then expand upon it slowly and steadily, demolish it, and then build it up again till it’s just right. This allows all four of us to put our different influences and thoughts into each song. I personally draw influence from anything that is done with passion and quality. I love the talking heads, the police, john lennon, and sting, and those were my main influences as a songwriter early on, but the further I get along the more I absorb everything that catches me, movies, music videos, books, country, grindcore, indie-alt-pop bands that no one has ever heard of, dance routines. So long as it is done well and with passion in mind there is something to be appreciated and absorbed from it. That all comes out in the music I make and the experiences I have and the words I write.

we keep these things true to us by using the law that we’ve all got to be in love with what we’re playing for the song to go forward. So while the process can make a song take upwards of 3 to 4 months of revisions and what not, the result is far better then the early songs in our catalog that will be spared from the listeners ears.

What inspires you musically?

quality, passion, inovation, honesty.

What is the most enthralling aspect of performing live?

the whole thing really. I love being on stage. If I could perform every night for the next 5 years and not have to worry about debts and bills, I’d be out on the road in a heartbeat. It really knocks me out when we run into someone who is a big fan and knows the words and sings along at the shows. It’s not a frequent thing for us at this point in our “career” so when it happens, or when you meet someone after a show who was really into what you just poured your heart into it’s always an uplifting experience, for me at least.

Have you, as of yet, formulated any plans for a new release?

We’ve got one new song coming out on a compilation. We’ve got some really vague yet promising talk of a small indie label financing a 4 song EP for us, and regardless of whether that goes through or not, we’re working and working on developing new material. I think we’ve got 8 great new songs right now, and I’d like to write another 6 to 8 more songs that we’re all really proud of before we officially decide what’s going to happen.

this last year for us was really a learning/let down/growing experience for us in that we spent the last year and a half on the road as much as we could, doing everything DIY (roughly 4-5 months touring), buying a bad van that kept breaking down, and making other decisions that were not in our favor. It got to the point where I was so focused on the financial side of things (where to get the money for gas, or for a new engine, or to pay for the rehearsal space) and I got so burned out from touring and stressing over financial matters that by the time we stopped touring 8 months had passed, thousands of dollars we didn’t really have were gone, and we hadn’t even had the time to write much new material at all. It did look bleak for a little while there, but as we got ourselves together personally and as a group I think we all grew from the experience and it has made our writing and our understanding of how to make this music “business” work in our favor much greater.

I’ve personally resolved to stop caring about the business side to the degree that I did. Sure, I want to make a living as a musician, but not at the cost of my santiy, and never at the cost of doing something that I don’t think holds true to what this is exploding is, and never ever at the cost of the fans. I think some bands, and labels, and marketing firms have taken to trying to trick potential fans into believing that band X is something it’s not. Kind of like the beer commercials that show you all the wild parties and hot people and improved social status you’ll get for drinking their beer. People are doing that with bands, trying to spin Band X into a bunch of life saving, miracle workers, or into a band that will make your popularity soar, or something else with a catchy tag line, when in reality, it’s just 4 or 5 guys who drive around in a van and smell bad, and they very well might not be good dudes at all.

image is so ridiculous. Not that I was ever very aware of image, but I’m rid of that, I’m rid of the financial burden of things, and I’m back to a place where making music is fun and uplifting and powerful. That’s where I feel I needed to be to make this next record work. When it comes out, hopefully others will agree.

Do you focus on specific musical elements as a group, or do you work towards a more broad goal?

I think somehow in my long ass babble from before I covered that question. We do work out all the music together as a group. We have been finding that bringing in individual ideas to present to the group can be a helpful way to jumpstart a writing session.

Why did you decide you were interested in performing music?

I had a dream when I was in 6th grade where I was on a stage playing a guitar with a spotlight shining down on me. I couldn’t tell who I was playing with, or who I was playing to, but I realized in that moment that I was the happiest I’d ever been. When I woke up it was very clear from that moment that I had to get a guitar and pursue music. There’s nothing else that moves me and causes me to grow as a person then music. It’s never been for the money or the girls or the other excesses and it never will be for me. We all have to find a way to express ourselves and uplift society. I don’t intend on saving the world, but music is the only thing that inspires me to pursue what I’m truely after without compromise and fear. If a few people see me in action and take a cue from that and pursue there passions, then I’ve done something right.

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