Interview – Another One Down

We spoke to Another One Down! AOD are based in Rhode Island, USA. Their members are;

  • Marcus Simonini – Vocals
  • Brandon Teh – Guitar
  • Alex Thetonia – Guitar
  • Cyrus Pruenca – Bass
  • Ryan Beck – Drums

*All questions answered by Marcus.

1. Hey guys! I hope you’re all well! ‘Stuck In The Wake’ has been out a few weeks now, how has the reception been to the track? Are you happy with how it’s performed?

We really couldn’t be happier with how it’s being received. We’ve gotten so many positive reviews through social media about the song and lyric video. We also got onto a number of awesome Spotify playlists including New Punk Tracks and The Scene which we’re really hyped about. We’re really happy to see that people are into the new direction we’re moving towards for this record. 

2. SITW is an absolutely belting song, and anyone who has heard it will definitely agree. But where do you guys rank this amongst the rest of your music? Is this a new favourite?

I would say it’s definitely our favorite song we’ve released so far, especially in comparison to our old music. That may change once the whole record is out though because we have a lot of new songs that we’re really excited about, but I think it’s definitely the best song we’ve released in our career so far. In terms of what our fans and supporters think, I would say it ranks high for them too just judging by the fact that this is by far the most acclaim we’ve had for a single yet.

3. What inspired the lyrics to the single?

I had a close friend who was in an extremely toxic relationship at the time I wrote it. Watching them constantly break up and get back together broke my heart because he was clearly miserable but he kept going back to her in fear of being alone. It’s extremely difficult to watch someone you care about get crushed over and over again and know that you can only help so much before it’s ultimately up to them to help themself. Coincidentally one of the times I was texting him about this, I was on a boat going fishing with my dad. We got caught behind another boat that was going fast and my dad said “we’re stuck in the wake” and it kinda just hit me. I wrote the chorus in my head while we were fishing, recorded a voice memo on my drive home, and over the next 3 days the whole song was written. It all came together really naturally.

4. Speaking of lyrics as well, you put out a funky creative little lyric video to accompany it. What inspired this style?

It’s really funny how it all came together to be honest. We had this COMPLETELY different idea initially for a typical music video with some playing shots, B roll, etc. My sister Emilie who filmed the video went to School of Visual Arts in New York City for Film and we’ve collaborated on almost every single one of our music videos. The week of the shoot we were brainstorming shot ideas and we slowly started to hate the idea of doing something so basic for a single like this. 5 days before the shoot we scrapped our entire initial idea and spent 2 days just brainstorming another concept until we landed on the theme of a summer themed prop based music video, since the song is sad lyrically but still has that summer pop-punk feel. The day before the shoot we bought a bunch of props and crafts and we filmed almost everything in one day (we needed an extra day to get the chorus shots at a cove near my house). It was a scorching summer day and Emilie’s camera overheated 5 times in the middle of shooting, the water from our outside hose was tinted brown from rust so we had to syphon water from our swimming pool so the water wouldn’t look gross in the kiddie pool, and more and more things kept going wrong with other props as the shoot went on. By the end we weren’t sure how it even came out, but once we started editing we realized it looked great and the reception for the video has been so positive. We’re just so happy it all worked out after all the things that went wrong behind the scenes.

Stuck In The Wake Lyric Video

5. So with Sulk and SITW out now, can we expect another album to be following soon?

Absolutely. We’re halfway done with the album now and we’re finally about to go into the studio to finish the other half. We expected the album to be done a lot sooner but because of Covid the studio we were tracking at closed so there wasn’t much we could do. I would say the album will probably be out at the beginning of 2021 with a couple singles coming before that. 

6. We know 2020 has really ruined some plans, so what was the original blueprint for this year, and how has that changed?

Our blueprint for this year completely changed. We were planning to have our album out sometime in the summer and we were in the beginning stages of planning an East coast tour to promote it. We were really discouraged once we realized that everything was going to get pushed back because with me graduating college finally and the rest of the band having more free time, it was going to be a perfect time to hit the road. Last year we also threw a really successful holiday show in Providence that we were planning to make a yearly thing, but we highly doubt we’ll be able to keep it going this year so we’re trying to figure out something else we can do instead.

7. We want to talk about the guitar too, what inspired the gut-wrenching, soul-shredding and head banging solo?

To be honest it came about really naturally. On the original demo I put this rhythmic upper octave riff during that section as just a placeholder, but I knew Brandon would want to make it his own. Anyone that knows Brandon knows how skilled of a guitarist he is both from a performance and a songwriting standpoint (if you want another example of a great solo he wrote, look up The Worst Generation by his old band Silence The Radio). I sent him the song and next practice he came and ripped that note for note right in front of me. I was blown away. Guitar solos may be out of style at the moment in music but if you don’t appreciate a great guitar solo like that you’re just kidding yourself. 

8. I know it’s a long time ago since you’ve played live shows, so we want to go on a reminiscing tour! What was it like sharing the stage with Four Year Strong & Belmont? Also, to open at Warped Tour?

Sharing the stage with Four Year Strong was so surreal because they’re such a huge influence to every member of our band. They’re so legendary in New England since our area has such a big pop-punk and hardcore fanbase and they just fuse the two so seamlessly. We got to open for them at a show in Rhode Island and all our friends and family were so excited for us because they knew how much we looked up to them and knew it was great exposure for their fans to see us for the first time. Sharing the stage with Belmont was also awesome because it was right when they were really starting to blow up. At the time they still were touring the Between You & Me EP and I knew Brian and Jason from college (we both attended Berklee College of Music at the same time) and had also been listening to that EP a ton, so I was really excited to play alongside them. We played at this small little art gallery in Attleboro, MA called Patterson’s Creations and even though it was small, the place was packed with fans who knew every word. Playing the Massachusetts Warped Tour date was the most unreal show we’ve played so far. We got to play in the amphitheatre on the same stage where we saw bands like Green Day, My Chemical Romance, blink-182, and so many more play when we were growing up. It was an indescribable experience to be up there honestly and I’m glad I at least got to play one date before Warped Tour ended. 

9. What was Another One Down’s first ever gig experience like?

It was really funny honestly. At the time our old drummer and I were the only two with any sort of performing experience (we both had been in a short lived metal band before we started AOD!) so we were all new to playing shows and did so many cringey things that local bands do. We didn’t really know how to dress so our guitarist literally had on batman tube socks with mini capes hanging off the back of them, my guitar tone was just straight scooped mids on a garbage solid state amp, we played every song at nearly double speed from the adrenaline rush, and our bassist even had neon colored strings. Looking back on it makes me laugh but also makes me think of how far we’ve come since then. The good part about that first show was that it was a battle of the bands to open up for a local festival that Vanna was headlining and we won because we got so many friends and family to come out and cheer for us. On top of that we also met some people at that show who went on to become lifelong friends of ours, like a band called SPC from Massachusetts who we hang out with almost every day now. It’s funny how sometimes the weirdest shows end up being some of the most important and memorable shows of your life.

10. What have you all been doing to keep yourself occupied during lockdown?

I just graduated college and I’ve mostly just been working on producing songs for some local New England artists, writing music for both AOD! and my side project Daylily, and also teaching guitar lessons. Cyrus and his girlfriend just had a beautiful baby daughter named Gianna so he’s been taking care of her, working at a plant that makes covid tests, and just working on promotion for the band. Ryan has been working for a local newspaper doing graphic design and also doing freelance graphic design work. Brandon has been working retail and also recording his other band Traverse’s new EP. Alex just got a job working at Zildjian and in his free time he’s been modding his guitars and investing in new gear. Overall though we’ve been trying to continue to practice and hang out in our order to stay sane through all this and feel like we’re still working towards something.

11. Leave a message for the readers!

Check out our brand new single ‘Stuck In The Wake’ out now on all streaming platforms and stay tuned for our debut full length album coming out early next year!

Spotify / Facebook / Twitter.

📸 Ashlee Giovanella

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