Out of Service is an alternative indie rock outfit from South Jersey that references a diverse number of influences including Nirvana, Thrice, and Radiohead. The band is made of up Mike Capuano (singer), Bryan Williams (guitar), Brian McGovern (bass), and Ken Bond (drums). Radio 104.5 Philadelphia selected them as a 2018 Top 4 Philadelphia-area band, and since their latest release, ‘Morning’, they have been garnering a lot of attention from fans and promoters. They have completed writing for their second full-length album and will be going into the studio in the spring.
Q: You guys have completed the writing for your second full-length album. What can you tell me about the overall feeling of the songs?
A: First of all, thank you so much for asking us to do an interview for Frame the Stage. For this album, we decided to go a different route than we did with our previous album, Morning. Morning was more of less a collection of songs that each had their own, self-contained ideas. There was no overarching theme. For this new album, we decided to go with a concept that our singer Mike pitched to all of us. He said he wanted to write lyrics that revolved around his personal journey of dealing with depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and attempt. He made an outline for 10 songs that included what each song would be about so that the story would be told from start to finish. The topic is obviously much more serious and personal this time around, but Mike knows that he is not alone with these issues and hopes that they will resonate with everyone who listens.
Q: How is your second full-length different from your first? How have you guys evolved as a band since your first album?
A: Like we previously mentioned, this album revolves around a concept rather than just being a semi-random collection of songs. We also decided on a more raw, stripped-down sound to match the theme of the songs. We are always trying to evolve and bring new things to the table. In the end, it has helped us create music that is more dynamic and focused. One thing we also want to channel on with this album is an effective utilization of space. Morning was an exploration into multiple themes and styles that we blended together. For this album, we want to create a consistent musical arc in which thoughts are placed side-by-side rather than on top of each other.
Q: Every band has a slightly different writing process. What is yours? Did it differ from the writing process of your first full-length?
A: For this album, we did, in fact, switch up how we went about writing for it. We made it a goal to all be together when we wrote the songs so that everyone could have immediate input and evolve the songs right then and there. Before our guitarist, Teebs would write a song and then send it out to everyone and everyone would write their parts separately. This ended up working pretty well considering how hard it is for us all to get together sometimes, but we really wanted to write this new album as a whole. To accomplish this, we recorded full-band demos so that we would all have a decent idea of how the song would sound with all the parts. We then spent time listening to those demos, made suggestions and changes, and then integrated them into a second set of demos which are going to be used as scratch tracks and will become the basis of our work in the studio. By the time we actually finish the album, almost everyone will have recorded each of these songs 3 times.
Q: So the band will be going into the studio to record the album this spring. Where do you plan on doing the recording? Who will you be recording with?
A: We will be recording different instruments at different area studios based on the strengths of the producers there. Our vocalist will be flying down to Alabama to work with Nathan Hussey (All Get Out). Nathan will also be mixing and mastering our album.
Q: Do you guys have a timeline on when you think recording will be complete and when the new full-length will be released?
A: We are planning on an August roll out. As part of the Indiegogo campaign we are doing for the new album (which will run through mid-March), we’ve already scheduled a beer tasting for the album in early August so the timeline is pretty firm. At the beer tasting, we’ll pair a beer with each individual song and we’ll talk through the relationship between the beer and the song’s formation.
Q: Are there any particular lyrics or parts of the new songs that speak to you the most that you can share with me at this point?
A: All of these songs are a page out of our singer Mike’s life so he would say that they all speak to him greatly. One line in particular that he loves is, “How do you learn to love yourself?”. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but it’s one of those thoughts that he always has in the back of his head. Kenny, our drummer, really likes the line, “Do you think that I could find, a little peace and quiet in these unforgiving times?”. He says the world can seem like such an unsettling place and finding solace in it can struggle. It’s not only just the line itself but the delivery too. Our guitarist Teebs likes the line, “You’re still reliving moments, what’s done is done”. In actuality, he loves all the lyrics of this particular song but really likes this one.
Q: Just to switch gears a bit, what is the local music scene of South Jersey like? Can you tell me something cool or fun that happened recently at a local show?
A: The music scene around South Jersey is very diverse and tight-knit. It’s a really cool community, and everyone tries to support one another as much as they can. Shows are plentiful and bands have a chance to share the stage with a ton of different acts. Philly, Baltimore, New York, and D.C. are all within a few hours, so we get a lot of cross-pollination with bands from there. As for something fun that happened, we always joke about a ghost haunting shows at one of our local venues, The Room at Harper’s. We’ve had guitars die there, amps just stop working, and show-stopping injuries. Last year Teebs, our guitarist, split his head open by attempting to jump off the stage. What he didn’t see was that there was a speaker less than a foot above his head, and you can imagine what happened after that. It was a pretty rock and roll moment when he went into a solo with blood covering half his face.
Q: Out of Service was selected as a 2018 Top 4 Philadelphia-area band by Radio 104.5 Philadelphia. How does that feel?
A: Being selected as a top 4 band was amazing. We ended up playing at a big show with all of the top bands and it was one of our highlights of last year. We were overwhelmed by the support of our fans that got us there and it really motivated us to continue playing shows and making music.
Q: So I saw on the band’s social media that you guys recorded and released the song “Ashes (Weary Eyed)” for The Banding Together Compilation 2018 for The Spondylitis Association of America (SAA). What can you tell me about the cause? Where can the compilation be bought?
A: A local music journalist, Lazlo, reached out to us about recording an original song for this compilation. We had an alternate version of a song from our album that we really liked, but that just didn’t fit in with the rest of the album. It was exciting to share the song with people and to do it for such a good cause. The Spondylitis Association of America is a group that supports people with Spondylitis, a type of systemic arthritis. Sales of the album go directly to that group. It is available on Bandcamp for anyone interested in purchasing it.
Q: Okay, one last question. What message do you hope your fans will gain from the upcoming second full-length album?
A: If there’s one thing that we hope fans can gain from this album it is an understanding of how some of these mental health issues can affect someone. So many people have to battle with them and it’s important to help others comprehend how tough it can be, even if it means describing it with uncomfortable detail. Another point that is very important is to let people know that they are not alone in their struggles. There are people all around us who have some of the same issues and there are ways to reach out and get help. Outside of the lyrical concepts, we also want to show people how we’ve matured as musicians. Our hope is to bring a new depth to our compositions that match the depth of the words Mike has written.