I was lucky enough to conduct a phone interview with the up-and-coming pop hip-hop fusion group 2AM Club. Marc Griffin, the group’s lead singer, was kind enough to give me some of his time while on the road to answer a few questions about the band and to promote their debut album What Did You Think Was Going To Happen?
Read the entire interview with Marc from 2AM Club after the jump…
How did the band form?
We all came together in Los Angeles. I met Tyler Cordy (emcee/vocals) in college and we both dropped out in 2005 to pursue music. Matt Reagan (guitar) and I had played in a band together in high school. Tyler and Dave Dalton (keyboard) had also grown up together. We all met and started playing shows in L.A. Eventually we got our bass player Matt Warshauer (AKA “Sauce”) and then got signed to RCA Records. We moved to New York City a year ago where we added our drummer Ian O’Neill and began producing our debut album.
Who writes the music and lyrics? Is it a joint collaboration or one person doing all of the songwriting?
All six band members write together. None of us can write as individuals. Our songs are defined by each of our musical influences. We all come together to create a song. It’s crazy making them sometimes. It doesn’t always come easy. We will be bashing our heads against a wall, trying to write a song. We always consider ideas with an open mind.
Was it difficult to come together and mesh well as a band especially not knowing everyone before you began this process?
It all happened very naturally. We were all living together, playing each other’s songs and writing them together. It was very natural. Dave, Tyler, Matt and I, we all go way back. It has always felt like a close brotherhood.
2AM Club started out on the west coast and has a strong following there. Has it been hard to generate a fanbase on the east coast and everywhere in between? Or has your focus in New York mainly been producing your record?
Our focus has been on producing the album. We obviously haven’t released our music yet to the public. We have been playing shows in New York, and we get a couple hundred people to come out to those shows. We’ve done some shows in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia that have been pretty good. Our debut record comes out July 27th and our first single impacts [radio] May 10th. As we progress from here we’ll become the touring band we want to be.
As a band launching their career in the modern age of music, have you relied on social media to leverage yourselves? If so, what have you done and have you seen positive effects from that?
Yeah, everything is Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook. Blogs have recently taken off. For instance, a few of the larger colleges are putting us on their blogs. Downloads have become really important too. Mike Posner, who we play with frequently, has seen wonders done for his music as a result of social media. It is a powerful tool. We are actually releasing a mixed tape that will be free to everyone. It will be everywhere on the Internet. It should be coming out sometime close to our single release date of May 10th. It’s important to always reinvent yourselves as a band. What’s great about the mixtape is that not a lot of people are doing it yet. Being creative is also important in setting ourselves apart. Music is different now than from the way I grew up with it. I used to buy an album, listen to the whole thing, and memorize every song. It’s not as sacred to the younger generation as it was to me. It’s definitely not better or worse.
2AM Club’s Spinner interview revealed that your influences range from Fiona Apple to Kanye West to Bob Dylan. How have you fused such a broad range of music to create your own sound?
Our musical influences are what affect the band and the way we write together. There is a common thread with all of those mentioned artists. No matter what genre, you can tell the music means a lot [to that artist]. Our songs are very important to us. It’s what we do. We want to be artists that carve our own genre.
Have you scheduled an upcoming tour this summer to promote What Did You Think Was Going To Happen?
Right now we are playing some shows with Mike Posner. We will be shooting a music video for “Worry About You.” We will see how the single does. We’ll let the world know about our tour and our pop hip-hop mini movement when the time comes.
What sets you apart from other bands on the scene right now?
We make songs we hope are accessible to our fans. We also write all of our own music. It’s a melting pot of different styles. We aren’t a phony or forced sound. It all feels very natural because we all grew up listening to hip-hop. People notice us because we are a full live band [using instruments and not backing tracks]. Our style and groove separates us from the pack.
Is there a funny story from being on tour in the past that describes the essence of your band?
We were at Club Hell in Providence, Rhode Island playing our set. I glanced back at our bassist “Sauce.” He had a funny look on his face like something awful was going to come out of his body. He slowly put his bass down and ran off stage, got sick in the bathroom, and then came back on stage to finish playing. The bass line carries a lot of the band, and we had to improvise our song [without him]. Because “Sauce” is wildly handsome, it makes up for it. This kind of thing happens, but it make us stronger. Check back with me in six months, and I’m sure I will have a better story for you.
Where did the inspiration for the title of your upcoming album come from?
We kept a running list in our bass player’s phone for one year of bad inside jokes. What Did You Think Was Going To Happen? is a saying that reflects the way we feel about ourselves and also describes our lives this past year. Be careful what you wish for, good and bad.
The name of your band is 2AM Club. What bar drink do you associate with the type of music you play?
Grab a pitcher because we share everything. Fill it halfway with ice, ¼ Jameson, ¼ Kettle One, Red Bull, and some Moet Champagne. Shake it up until the concoction is a bubbly, fizzy mess and then down the whole thing. It could even be blended and made into a slushie of some kind.
When asked to name the drink, Marc left it up to me. I decided on “Fantasy Fusion” because this group is every genre of music you could ever imagine fused into one cohesive sound that is particular to 2AM Club. I invite all Chicago readers of The Dead Hub to come out to the band’s show on April 25th, 2010 at V-Live. 2AM Club promises to make everybody at what is sure to be a party freak out and go wild. If you come to their show, I want you to decide the proper name for the 2AM Club bar drink and then post it on The Dead Hub. I would love to hear what you all think! Don’t forget the group’s new single “Worry About You” hits airwaves May 10th and their first album What Did You Think Was Going To Happen? will be in stores July 27th. Call your local radio stations and start requesting. It will be a phone call well worth it!