We Are the Movies is a 5-piece alternative pop punk band from Columbus, Ohio. The band is set to release their third EP …Or Get Busy Dying September 21st, 2018 following Get Busy Living… and the EP that started it all, Ending One Moment at a Time.
Interview with We Are the Movies guitarist/vocals, Mike O’Leary
ST: How did We Are the Movies come together and get its start?
Mike: Many millennia ago, an ancient prophecy foretold of five individuals whose innate gifts would complement one another’s, and these gifts, when combined, would create an awesome display of sonic fury that the world had never known….
Tim and Stephen were in a band together in the late 2000s. When that band broke up, they started We are the Movies with another guitarist and drummer. The drummer was too anxious to play shows, so they found Bryan soon after and he fit in really well. After a year or two, Asa, the original guitarist, had to quit, so Dan and I were recruited so Tim could be free from the shackles of guitar playing to be able jump around and engage the crowd more instead. And it’s been that way for 4 years now!
ST: Which song do you feel is the best from …Or Get Busy Dying?
Mike: Personally, I enjoy the last two tracks the most (“I guess it comes down to a simple choice…” “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”). The two songs are meant to work together, and each title is part of that famous quote from “The Shawshank Redemption.” It’s a really important concept for us, as a band and just as human beings. We all need to make our lives count if we want to have purpose and meaning, and that requires us to be honest and put ourselves out there, even if it’s scary and uncomfortable. The last two tracks sum up everything we’ve written for the last two EPs. Musically, I really like how the moods of each song flow into each other, going from slow and reflective and a little sad, to urgent and loud and triumphant. It was really important to us to end the album on a high note, and I think we managed that pretty well.
ST: Favorite memory recording your EP?
Mike: It’s so exciting to us to hit on a good idea, or hit a really strong note that you weren’t expecting, and that happened a lot on this record. We were more open creatively, and so we ran with ideas we got excited about in the moment, so that was really fun. Also, it’s always fun to do gang vocals, because we can see who practiced and who didn’t. And then we make fun of that person mercilessly. We actually have our favorite gang vocal outtake at the beginning of “Leaving Me Incomplete” that reflects this pretty clearly.
ST: If you can have your fans/new listeners remember one thing about your band, what would it be?
Mike: Our live show. We pride ourselves in being really energetic and engaging with the audience. It’s always our hope that people walk away from our shows wanting to come to another one as soon as possible. We want them to feel as excited about seeing us as we are excited to play our songs for them.
ST: Where do you gather for songwriting inspiration? What is your usual writing process?
Mike: If I were to speak for Tim (our lead singer/producer/songwriter), I’d say he goes into the basement Studio where we do all our recording, and he just fucking goes for it. He can be so prolific in terms of writing melodies/riffs/lyrics. He’s fearless, so he’ll throw, like, 5 songs against the wall and see if even a line or a little lead part sticks, and then we will build a song around those. For me, I’ll get curious about a line or a little melody I may hear in passing, and build an idea around that. Tim and I tend to bring most of the seeds of songs to practice, and then everybody builds on it from there. I would definitely say that we collaborate well as a band, which is mainly why we’ve been together as long as we have.
ST: What was your favorite part about filming your music video for “Leaving Me Incomplete”?
Mike: Oh man – what WASN’T our favorite part? Hanging out with your friends all day, getting to goof around and be super-dramatic and wear costumes and carry kick-ass weapons around all day? It was the best! We can’t wait to do another one!
ST: If you could be any movie character – who would you be and why?
Mike: Oh dang – is Thor a possibility? Obi-Wan Kenobi? Ok, so favorite superhero movie character would definitely be one of these. Because they have sick powers duh! If I were to be all artistic and shit, I’d probably say The Dude from “The Big Lebowski.” Because the Dude abides, and we both hate The Eagles. Or Ellen Ripley, because she’s a badass and kills aliens.
ST: What merch does the band have available now for the fans and will there be any new merch to support the release of …Or Get Busy Dying?
Mike: We have lots of new merch that will be available at the CD release show on 9/22 – one t-shirt and one baseball tee, as well as some sunglasses and stickers. Of course, we will also have the CD for sale, as well as the previous releases. You can see all that stuff on www.wearethemoviesband.com – check it out!
ST: Tell us about your next show and why we should be there?
Mike: The album release party is this Saturday, 9/22 at the Big Room Bar with Absolute Hero, Forever Unknown, and The Nightbeast. It’s going to be LOUD and FUN. There will be an emo dance party afterwards, too! Tickets are only $5, and they’re going fast, so definitely check out our website if you’re interested in pre-ordering one or two or twelve.
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