9 Electric is a band that has spent the last year moving all the pieces on the heavy music chessboard into position for a total check mate against the music scene. Made up of former members of Opiate For The Masses, MY EVOLUTION, and Dry Kill Logic their sound is a heavy electronic groove that is sure to make a lot of fans and make them quickly. I spoke with 9 Electric members Ron Underwood, Micah, and M. Lopez about all things 9E.
What’s the vibe of the new songs you have written?
Micah: The vibe is going to be different per song. One continuum through the music is that all the songs are aggressive and have a fair amount of programming of electronic on them. Everything has a real good groove to it. That was one of the things that I personally was really looking for in this band is to make music that really got people moving in a live scenario. One of the things that I learned on the short tour with Static-X when we were in My Evolution was that I was super impressed with how Static-X’s audience just danced and moved to their music. The music just had such a strong groove and pulse to it that it just makes you move when you are in that live environment and I really wanted to make music that does that much more than I had ever done before. I think we have achieved that.
When’s the release date of the first album?
M. Lopez: Things have changed so much in the industry that nowadays, when you’re not a signed band yet, you really don’t need to go through that process of recording a full length album and making your disks and selling them at your shows. Everything is so online now and single oriented where if you have a really good song or two you can release them on your own and start your own empire without really having to worry about a label per se. Until you are ready for that. I have seen so many bands get signed that probably shouldn’t have and they’re stuck. Stuck in a bad contract and at the mercy of some label, that or you were signed by someone at the label who is low on the totem pole and they really don’t believe in you. Whatever the issue is, but you get caught not being able to do what you want to do and we don’t feel like doing that anymore. We believe in what we’re doing and when the time is right and we meet the right label and the right people we’ll gladly work with them but until then there’s a lot you can do on your own and a lot you should do on your own.
Now what about tour plans?
Ron Underwood: I believe that touring is what builds the true fans and grass roots following. And radio. If you have any sort of radio presence that gives you better tours. So I think when we go out and hit it hard and any companies that we’re talking about whether it’s sponsors or anything like that I’d like to hit both realms. The last tour that I did with my last band was just me and an acoustic guitar meeting up with radio station guys and doing a half hour spot here and there. That did more for my band than the six months of touring prior to that with the full band in opening slots. So this time around, all the knowledge we have of what to do and what not to do and all of us putting our heads together I think it’s going to be a really good year for 9 Electric in 2011.
What was it like working with Mikey Doling?
M. Lopez: We ran into Mikey at some event and knowing the Mikey is a producer we gave him a CD and told him to keep his ears open not knowing if he would be into it. A couple of months later we get Ron in the band and one day I’m going to the gym. It turns out Mikey and I go to the same gym. One day I’m out front of the gym on the phone with Micah and Mikey walks up and goes, “Hey what’s up, what’s going on with your band?” So I told him, “Hey we got Ron in the band and we’re going to start recording.” Mikey then basically points to himself and says, “Me, that’s what I do.” We were kind of feeling out another producer but Mikey was just so enthusiastic and so gung ho that he just won us over and that’s how it happened.
Micah: He just has such an enthusiasm about him and a good understanding of heavy music no matter what type of sub-genre of heavy music. He hadn’t worked with, as far as I know, with too many bands that were so electronic and heavy so he was excited when we told him what we were trying to do and what we are doing. The recording sessions were full of energy and excitement and we were both really happy to work with one another.
So what was it like when Wayne Static came in to record his parts for “Destroy as You Go”?
Ron Underwood: It was cool man. When we presented the idea to him and he was like, “Hell yeah, I’m going to do this.” If anything it was going to be awesome I couldn’t see it going any other way. It was cool for me as a vocalist to see his process. He just walked in there and laid it down and was uber critical about it. “Are you sure that’s okay? Should I do it again?” He has that humility about him because he is a perfectionist and he wanted us to be happy with it. He actually cares.
Mikey Doling on producing the new 9 Electric songs:
When I first heard 9 Electric the first thing that came to me is that they are very very prepared. I was impressed with the preparation that they took before I even started working with them. Micah, the drummer, is sort of a pre-production producer if you will and he’s really cool to work with. The other guys in the band are really fuckin’ good. They know what they want and it’s impressive and that made everything I did really really smooth because I didn’t have to worry if the songs were good, they’re already good. I just thought about little parts of each song like a melody I wanted to hear or an effect. I just tried to add a little bit of color to those songs. Ron, the singer, is just fuckin’ awesome to work with. Anything you ask him, he’s there, he does it with a smile. He doesn’t take offense to criticism. He’s just so fuckin talented. The whole band was great to work with.