Morningside // Feature Friday
Written by: Kayla Lee
Morningside are new to the Virginia Beach music scene, with their debut album "Feel The Sun Without You" having been released just last month. Prior to the release, the trio worked with producer Jay Maas (Defeater) and have proven that hard work pays off in the best possible way.
"Feel The Sun Without You" is a collection of deeply personal experiences that have been given life through vocalist / guitarist David, drummer Phil, and bassist Justin's ability to curate a collectively smooth and polished grunge meets post-hardcore sound. Similarities to UK based Basement, and OH / MI based Citizen are apparent, however Morningside have put their own spin on their tracks, notably in their lyrics, which takes away the opportunity for monotony.
On songs like "Walk Away" and "Rebuild," the lyrical delivery is taken a step further with the addition of David's rough, emotionally raw vocals. Feelings of vulnerability are explored in "Confess" with lyrics like "Tell me everything you hate about me / It's nothing new, don't cry, I'll feel nothing / I can't shake this thought of feeling I've been used by you " and "I think I'm not enough / Just get out of my thoughts / But why am I not enough? / Shrug me off and shut me out." While not the easiest subject to explore, the thoughtfulness behind the lyrics levels them up to a reflective, mature plane rather than dipping down into self pitying waters.
Bass heavy "Stay Asleep" concludes the album with a resounding blend of low-key chords and energetic build ups. The rising energy in the riffs, percussion, and bass lines throughout See The Sun Without You directly correspond to the emotional aspect of each songs lyrics and prove to ebb and flow seamlessly.
I had the opportunity to chat with Morningside's David about how the band formed, future touring plans, and more -- continue reading to check out our interview!
Q: You recently traveled to Boston to work with Jay Maas, who produced Feel The Sun Without You. What was that experience like -- how did you end up getting together?
A: The overall experience was definitely one of the best weeks of my life, it was very fulfilling. Not only is Jay from a largely influential hardcore band, he has also worked with a lot of great names in the scene right now such as Title Fight, Drug Church, Citizen etc - the list goes on. Recording FTSWY was our first studio experience as a band so Jay was super patient and helpful throughout the whole process.
We were super nervous going into it, but Jay guided us throughout the week; he genuinely cares about the music and bands he produces. As far as how it all happened, it honestly was just the result of putting ourselves out there through a few e-mails. We didn’t think he would actually book us; we were a young band with no real recordings, no shows yet; so we sent him a trash iPhone recording of us playing through the track-list in one take in our 10ft X 10ft practice space... horrible acoustics, but he loved it and invited us up.
Q: Each song on the album seems to be based off of a personal experience. What track was the first one to be completed, and how did that shape the rest of the record?
A: The songs on the album were written at a time where I was going through some stuff which had an affect on me, so the album was more or less myself venting those thoughts and frustrations out. The first song we completed in the studio was probably "Confess"? Confess is also probably my personal favorite. I think it serves not only as a bold statement of “Hey, what’s up, we’re Morningside” but also serves as a lyrical “mood-setter” for the EP. It addresses some of the aforementioned frustrations and experiences which are explored and later reconciled. It’s also catchy and seems to be the crowd favorite so far.
Q: How did the band form -- had you all been friends prior to writing together?
A: The band actually formed recently in July 2017. Phil (our drummer) and I had already been best friends for a bit. We met at work and bonded over our shared passion for the same bands. We always talked about playing songs together, but it never really happened until I showed Phil some songs I had written (which later ended up on the record). He was a huge motivating factor for me. He kept pushing me to get the songs out there and we eventually got a practice space and started jamming.
We met Justin, our bassist, shortly after forming. He was this perfect little angel that floated into our lives (haha). He loved the same bands as us and shared the same values and ethics in regards to what it means to be a band, and so the three of us instantly formed a close bond. Our friendship is definitely a cherished aspect of this band.
Q: With your album just being released last month, do you have any plans in the works to tour in the near future?
A: All we want is to go on tour! We all love traveling and being on the road, and we also love playing shows. To do that every night in a different city is what we thirst for. We don’t have any plans (right now) to tour this year, mostly due to our day jobs, but as the band grows, that will all change very quickly. As soon as we are able to, want to tour as much as we can and record as much as we can.
Q: What would you say is the most important thing for a new band to know, especially when they're just getting started and making a name for themselves?
A: We could actually use advice on this, since we are still in the spot of getting our name out there. As far as what I could say in regards to the small successes we enjoyed thus far, the recurring lesson we’ve learned is to put yourselves out there and show gratitude. Us recording with Jay from Defeater was the result of putting ourselves out there. We never thought he’d say yes, but we thought “screw it, let’s email him anyways” and he was down.
Our third show ever, we opened for The Dangerous Summer. That was also the result of us maintaining constant communication with promoters. Promoting is often a thankless job, so always show gratitude.
Most importantly I think you should definitely have good recordings, it’ll get you more opportunities. You might have to bite the bullet and save some money to get a good producer, but when you’re passionate about your songs, it’s worth it.
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