Frontside is a North Carolina based band formed back in 2008. The band comprises Walter Stanley, the principal songwriter, guitar player, and vocalist; Josh Grady on Bass, and Alex Jolly on drums. The band say they came together with the common goal to create music that would not only be catchy for any listener but would also satiate their urge to add a more technically impressive dimension to their songs. Something they feel they’ve achieved on their new EP.
The new EP Closer to Closure came out on February 5th. It turns out the songs from this EP were actually written a long time ago, but the band decided to re-record them. “We still like to break the songs out at live shows but realized that it’s sometimes hard for people to get into songs they don’t really know the rhythms/lyrics to,” explains Walter.
Each member has a different favorite song from the EP. Walter favors ‘Take Heed’, Alex likes ‘Smith’, and for Josh, it’s their most recent single, ‘Einstein Killed Me’. It seems that there were other motivations for the re-record also. “The old recordings were a little less than professional, so we decided it would be good for us to redo them with our new outlook and expectation we have for our sound,” Walter clarifies.
So what exactly is that sound? The band tells us their music consists of fast-paced or upbeat drumming with mostly distorted guitars and some fun syncopated stuff going on between all of the instruments. “My vocals are typically loud and in my higher register, which is not really that high,” Walter says.
Walter talks about the musicians he looks up to and explains he admires them for different things. “In recent years, I’ve looked up to Tigran Hamasyan, Michael Bolton, and members of The Velvet Teen,” he tells us. Alex, who has a mile-long list of musicians who have inspired him, is candid about where his main influence comes from. “My biggest influence as a drummer is my dad. He plays drums and introduced me to everything I love about it,” he said.
Alex, who has been playing drums for about 19 years, grew up in a house where music was all around him. from toy guitars to his sister’s saxophone or flute. “When it came time to start middle school band, I had the choice between drums or my sister’s old flute or sax,” he said. Luckily for Frontside, he chose the drums. “I had already been beating on some of my Dad’s misc kit pieces, so by then, it was a no-brainer.”
Strangely enough, Walter once was a drummer as well. “I started out as a drummer, and there wasn’t much to think about there. I always tapped on everything and liked making beats,” he said. “I started focusing on guitar whenever the band I wanted to join when I was younger already had a drummer.”
Sometimes switching instruments is the best way to go, and Josh explains he too went from one instrument to another. “Growing up, I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. After a few years, I gravitated more to the bass guitar and have been playing in bands ever since,” he says. “My favorite thing about playing in a band is the feeling of the amps being cranked during a show or practice session. The music has a way of taking over and becomes easy to get lost in.”
Like many musicians, they wouldn’t be where they are without the support of the people around them, even if their families had reservations at the start. “My mom was so against it at first because my dad had a semi-tough ending to his music career, and she didn’t want the same for me,” said Alex, recollecting when he first chose drums. “Fast forward 19 years, and I’d be hard-pressed to say she’s not my #1 fan.”
Also similar to most musicians, their own fandom of music starts young, and it’s no exception for these guys whose first record purchases included albums by Blink-182 and Linkin Park. “The first vinyl purchase I ever made was about half of AFI’s catalog. Still some of my favorites in the collection,” Josh tells us. “A lot has changed in the industry since then when it comes to how we consume music. “I miss mp3s but also am completely obsessed with the accessibility of streaming.”
The way streaming has revolutionized the music industry certainly does have its upsides: “It’s been easier than ever in recent years to reach people all around the world with our music,” explains Walter. However, like many artists, he feels the pay per stream is a bit of a problem and could be slightly higher. “I think artists deserve more financial stability in exchange for their time and talent,” agrees Alex, the newest member of the band.
“We met Alex about a year back through the network of musicians we know in Raleigh,” explains Walter. It’s clear Alex is enjoying life with the band. “I absolutely love it. Everything about it: the practices, the writing, the performances, the good, the bad, the work that goes in behind the scenes, sharing our love for music with people who also love music,” he says.