Praise are one of the best bands around right now and a solid regular listen for me.
I had been looking forward to interviewing them for a while.
So here is a very recent interview I did with Andy (Vocals).
DR: First up, do you want to introduce yourself and tell us a bit about Praise’s beginning?
My name is Andy and I am the vocalist for Praise. The initial idea for Praise came about in 2007 but the full band didn’t come together until summer of 2009. The majority of the first EP was written before our first full practice and we recorded it pretty soon after. We’ve gone through some guitarists but the current lineup we have is the longest we’ve ever had the same lineup. That lineup is Daniel Fang, Anthony Dye, Lucas Serven, Chris Bavaria and myself.
DR: Your a Straight Edge band, but did you always to be predominantly in an Edge band or did it just kind of fall into place?
I knew that I wanted everyone in the band to be straight edge, not because I wanted to call ourselves a straight edge band, but because I wanted the band to consist of likeminded people. Like if I were to write songs about substance abuse or something like that I wanted everyone to be on the same page and behind those lyrics with me.
DR: Who would you say Praise’s Top influences are (any genre)?
I think its pretty evident who our influences are when you listen to the LP. We really love DC and Brian Baker.
DR: You are a bit of hype band at the moment, how do you guys feel about that?
To be honest I don’t think we are a hype band at all. I just think we wrote a solid record and people have started to pay attention.
DR: What had you released before Lights Went Out, and what other labels have you worked with?
We put an EP called “Growing.Changing.Healing.” and a single called “Two Songs”. Everything that we have released has been on React! Records and anything that we will release in the future will be on React!. Aram has been a close friend for over a decade and Ev who took over for Aram a year or so ago is one of my best friends. There is nobody else I would rather share this band with. Ev understands our vision and is with us 100%.
DR: How are the DC and Baltimore scene’s right now? We are hearing in Europe that it’s on fire?
Both are great and I feel blessed to be right in the center of it. There are so many great hardcore punk bands as well as indie, alt and metal. Its actually a bit overwhelming at times. Its a blessing and a curse because some nights you have 3 or 4 shows going on. Its hard to pick which show to go to and it hurts the turnouts.
DR: Lights Went Out is awesome, has it lived up to all expectations after it’s release?
Thank you. I don’t know if its lived up to its expectations you may have to ask other people that. I knew we wrote something special and it meant a lot to us and our friends. I had a lot invested in it and had high expectations for myself. I feel like I came as close to those expectations as I ever will for an LP.
DR: React seems like a sensible label for your style/sound, how did you happen to get on React?
Like I said earlier, Aram was a good friend and wanted to do the record since we started. There is no other label Id ever want to work with.
DR: What’s the current status with touring? Where have you been so far and where has been awesome to play?
We don’t actually get to play as often as we like. In 2013 we only played three shows. Since the LP came out we have been doing a lot more, actually more than we have ever done. We played three Northeast shows with Chain Of Strength, Turnstile, and Mindset in June and just did two weeks of the Citizen headline tour in September. That tour was midwest and west coast. It was really special. All of the shows were sick. Citizen was one of the best bands I have ever toured with. Our best shows were definitely Southern California and St Louis. We were stoked that Citizen asked True Love, another React Records band, to do the rest of the tour after we left. We will be hitting Europe for the first time this winter.
DR: Are you syked on coming to Europe in 2015? I know people here are really looking forward to it, including me.
Yes! We have been talking about it for a few years and its finally happening. I wanted to wait until the LP came out to go to Europe. Its out so now its time to party.
DR: What Hardcore style/bands are you personally into?
I have a special place in my heart for late 80s straight edge hardcore and of course melodic stuff like Dag Nasty, Verbal Assault and Embrace.
DR: Who are you really into in Hardcore right now?
Oh man, I was thinking about this the other day. There are just so many awesome bands right now its hard to keep up. I love Mindset and True Love. Southern California has so much cool shit right now. I really dig Fury and Forced Order.
DR: Thanks bro, anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for the interview! Check out all the cool shit going on with React! Records. Listen to Minor Threat. See you this winter!