One Way to Live Interview
Mile high maniacs One Way to Live bring the post-hardcore and metal boot to the buttocks all while delivering positivity and hope straight to the noggin. These five gents radiate so much energy on stage that Elon Musk is tryin to figure out a way to install them into next year’s Tesla’s. They will be making a huge dent in 2017
How did all of the members of OWL meet?
The members of OWL met in high school as any ordinary troupe would, however we all stuck together for the long run, and we’re here to stay!
Tell us a little bit about the Denver metal scene. What are the best venues for metal bands? What are the fans like? Do the local bands support each other? How did OWL make a name for itself in the scene?
The Denver metal scene is where we found our true home in our early days. We found a special camaraderie going to shows, meeting people, and growing together. Back when we were growing up, everything was unifying regardless of the sub-genre, and it was purely about the music. However, everyone seemed to branch out from one central community into separate groups sharing a mono-cultured taste. It’s almost as though there are many scenes here in Denver for metal now, and it’s quite diversified. The fans vary from frequenting hardcore, thrash, prog, or even jam shows. We would consider ourselves part of the hardcore scene, although many may agree that it all comes down to the type of people when gauging support for bands. As for us, we made our own name known by the eclectic performances we bring to venues. We don’t cut corners, we get right to the point, and we raise hell. The very thing that we’re known for is showing up, simple as that!
Take us through the songwriting process. Do the band members work together to write the lyrics and music or do different members have specific roles when writing new material?
Our songwriting process may vary depending upon the song, but typically begins with a riff as our foundation. From there, Kevin lays down bass drum rhythms and we all chime in to piece together sections. When we’re all comfortable with final riffs, we work to lay out a solid instrumental, while of course keeping things tight and formulaic. The last step of every song is writing the lyrics, which are independently written by Schraeder and tie the song’s form together. Once the whole band is satisfied with a track, we run with it and make changes until it blows our expectations out of the water.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to any of the members of OWL on stage?
There are many things from our earlier days that we joke about on a daily basis!
- There was that one time during a set that I jumped up and drove my head into a drywall pane on the ceiling. It was in an old bar in Thornton with a small stage…it’s still there…
- I announced an old song of ours improperly, which was SOAD (Shadow of a Doubt). Without a shadow of a doubt, I thought that System of A Down was a good title for the track..the crowd didn’t
- My Power Ranger suit ripped in a special area on the front of my body during our Halloween 2016 show. I let freedom ring.
- I’d like to say I’ve fallen off-stage, but the only time I’ve tripped and fell was on carpet in a small garage venue…on level ground with the crowd.
- At a show in Denver, I broke a stick, then my snare, then my kick pedals…and throne.. I had to finish a song with just hitting the snare to keep time. I luckily swapped gear and was able to finish the set.
- I was replaced by our ex-guitarist mid-set at a show when he came back in town once.
- It took everyone in a venue to turn on DI for me. No one heard the bass anyway, as I’d hoped. Successful gig.
Are your parents supportive of your musical pursuits? Did they buy you your first instrument? Do they come to your shows?
We’ve been very closely supported by our families, which we can’t thank enough every day for their care and appreciation! They come to our shows, and have definitely helped us out with our aspiration from the start.
What’s the worst characteristic of your generation? The best?
We collectively find that stubbornness and the lack of respect seems to be prominent among those of our generation, and though we have our moments, that tends to be a burden. We think this characteristic could have been the product of technology, and the many freedoms we’ve been exposed to. If you think about it, that may be why music is so difficult to circulate nowadays; everyone wants something in return for either little effort or respect.
What do the members of OWL do in their free time when they’re not making music?
We all play video games, most of us play Magic: The Gathering, and love nerdy things/activities. Aside those things, we love shooting guns at Kevin’s land, going to bars, hiking in higher parts of the Rockies and Flatirons, snowboarding, and visiting different craft breweries. Most of all, we go to local shows and hang out with other members of our Denver hardcore family.
What does OWL offer to listeners that other bands don’t have?
There’s no easy answer to this, and we don’t want to sound in any sense facetious, but we offer a vast amount of things most bands don’t. We find it difficult to throw our music under an umbrella because there just isn’t a firm distinction with our music that associates completely with hardcore or metalcore. We have taken everything we know from 80’s thrash, glam, and speed metal and threw into a cauldron with modern hardcore, and even nu-metal. Our lyricism and vocal patterns resemble much of the east-coast hardcore sort of “tough guy” element that can also even come from hip-hop, and our instrumentalism derives a cross between As I Lay Dying or Miss May I and Korn. The norm we’ve noticed with songwriting in metal nowadays is that many bands tie in the common circle-pit, skank-beat driven hardcore with generic heavy metal progressions. Well, we defy the norm, and put a twist on everything with an attitude that you can’t find anywhere else. Our music is punchy, fast, bouncy, groovy, and high-octane. We want our listeners to have goosebumps and an impulsive adrenaline rush when they listen to our music.
What is OWL’s message? What do you hope your fans to get out of your music?
Our message is in our name, One Way to Live. We believe that it doesn’t matter who or what you are, and that everyone has their mission in life. We aim to motivate that spark that drives people towards their aspirations.
The mantra we go by is “time is of the essence,” simply because we represent exactly that. It may seem when you listen to our music that things feel frantic and rushed, and that’s because that’s how we feel in the world. We’re anxious, fearing any moment of potentially losing what life has to offer, so we convey that in our music. We feel comfort in writing music because that is the one place where we can catch up to everything going around us. You know, everything happens so quickly, and we’ve all experienced life passing us by. We’ve experienced ostracization, subjugation, and are all too familiar with the evils of this world. In our music, our mission is to set aside the notion that metal music fuels hatred, and rather use it to provide resolve. Especially in these times, we believe that no matter what it is you may stand for, that you should fight with an iron fist and pursue it. Intrinsic good is in our nature as people, and as a band we consider it to be our sole purpose for pushing forward.
We only have one life to live, and one way to live it. So choose it, chase it, and cherish it.
What does 2017 have in store for OWL?
The true question is, rather, what do we have in store for 2017, which has a short answer: everything. We’re going harder than ever, and hitting this year strong. We just hope you’re prepared. We can say that we’re in the process of writing new material, which should come together with some pretty exciting force. Things are getting heavy, driven, and fierce. This is a revolution for us, and things are about to change for the #OwlCrew. Stay tuned!