A Common Collapse's Alex Devolves Into Interview

A Common Collapse formed in August of 2013, had some line-up changes but continued onward to write, record, and release music, play shows, and face those challenges that lied ahead. They have been hard at work writing and recording for their debut EP, releasing some songs off it already but plan on unleashing it soon enough! Guitarist Alex Shepherd discusses the EP, the songs off it, and plans in-store!

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in A Common Collapse, and how long the band has been together?

Alex: My name is Alex Shepherd and I play guitar in A Common Collapse, and I formed ACC with my friends Benny Jones, Matt Viarrial, and Jake McDuffie in August of 2013.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Alex: We are from Gainesville Florida, home of the Gators. Many years ago, people looked down on the scene in Gainesville. Although in the past few years it has started to grow and finally bring back a great local vibe. Some of our best buds in Gainesville include Feed A Lion A Feline, Zyborg, With Eyes Alive, and from the Jacksonville area Amongst The Forgotten.

3. What type of band are you?

Alex: We are a mix of Metalcore and Post-Hardcore.

4. Tell us the brief history of your band?

Alex: In late 2013, a friend of mine named Ben asked if I wanted to start a band. He told me he had already found a drummer (Matt), and that all they needed to get started was a guitarist. I decided to join the band, and a few days later Matt brought his friend Jake McDuffie to fill in our second guitarist spot. For a couple months we continued with that lineup until we met a guy by the name of Daniel Liezert. Daniel ended up playing bass for us and following the departure of our vocalist (Ben), he eventually transitioned from bass to become our lead vocalist.

5. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?

Alex: Every member has different influences, personally I grew up playing to bands like Avenged Sevenfold’s album Waking The Fallen, As I Lay Dying and Attack Attack! Some of the other bands that we take influence from are Bullet For My Valentine, Chelsea Grin, Beartooth, Fall Out Boy, and Motionless In White.

6. Who writes the songs, what are they about?

Alex: Almost every member of the band plays more than one instrument, so all of us write multiple parts. Matt is a master at groovy guitar leads and sick technical breakdowns, Daniel writes almost all of the lyrics and some of the more “djent” feeling guitar parts. Jake and I usually write our own music, but collaborate and change each other’s riffs to create one solid song. Most of our music revolves around the central idea of our EP “Devolve” which is the society around us.

7. What can you tell me about all of the singles you've released thus far? You've got "Smoke & Mirrors", "It's Always Beard Season", and "Devices", why were these selected as singles? How does the single picking process work?

Alex: Well, when we were just starting out as a band, we were really eager to get something recorded. So we wrote a song (Smoke & Mirrors) and recorded it as quickly as possible in Gainesville. Since we were just beginning as a band, this song never really came out the way we wanted it, and we ended up cutting it from our set not long after it was released. After getting more experience as a band, a lineup change, and a transformation of our sound, we were ready to get back into the studio to prove we had come a long way since Smoke & Mirrors. When choosing what to record, we wanted to have one song that was our “heavy hitter” (It’s Always Beard Season) and one that was more complex and showed some of our new sound (Devices).

8. Where are you in the process of the EP?

Alex: Right now we have recorded and released two of the four to five songs we plan on including in our EP, and we plan to head back into the studio to complete it.

9. Who will be producing the EP?

Alex: Our producer is Kenny Gil; he’s one of the best guys in the business.

10. Where will you be recording the EP?

Alex: We will be recording with Kenny at PigPen Studios in Tampa Florida.

11. Will you be releasing the EP through a label or flying solo?

Alex: Well we would love to release it through a label, but as of now since we are unsigned we plan to independently release it.

12. Will there be a story or concept to "Devolve" or one to deal with it's title?

Alex: “Devolve” is all about the individuals in our society. There isn’t really a concept to this EP, but most of our lyrics have to do with the world around us.

13. Have you decided on the cover art for "Devolve"?

Alex: We have a tentative design that may or may not change before its release.

14. How many songs will be on it?

Alex: We are aiming at four or five songs.

15. Will any of these songs be put on hold to be used for future releases or will everything that's on it, be it for it?

Alex: We love every one of these songs, so we will most likely release these songs on the EP, and write new material for future EP’s or albums.

16. When can we expect the EP to be released?

Alex: There is not a set date yet, but we are aiming for some time in 2015.

17. Do you play live as well? How do you promote your band and shows? Describe your show, visually and musically for us?

Alex: We love playing live shows, seeing people get down to our music is one of the greatest sights I have ever seen. However, as of recently we have not been playing a whole bunch so that we can write new material and work on our stage show. We mainly promote our shows and music through our Facebook and Twitter channels. If you come out to see A Common Collapse, you can expect a high energy show full of mosh pits, catchy choruses, groovy riffs, and heavy hitting breakdowns.

18. How about the future, what are the plans that you guys have in-store?

Alex: We are really just riding the wave and seeing where it takes us. Ultimately we want to start playing shows in other states, go on a few tours, and eventually get signed and go from there!

19. What is it you'd like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Alex: After listening to one of our songs, I would want someone to remember that we are just four guys out here to make some music and have a good time. If anyone out there ever has a dream of playing music, they should go for it. Just over a year ago I was sitting in my room playing guitar wondering if I would ever get to play in a band, and now here I am getting the opportunity to play in front of rows and rows of fans who know our music, it’s a great feeling.

20. Any final words of wisdom?

Alex: Just that this band is ready for great things, and if anyone ever sees us in public or at a show and wants to say hi, don’t be shy! We love talking with anyone and everyone! 

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