Stages' Aaron says This is a New War for New Music

Newcomers Stages is another one of those metal based acts, that explodes upon the scene, with a debut release, in this case a single "New War", with an EP to back it up of the same name. Thus establishing a sound that is all their own. Frontman vocalist Aaron Berkshire discusses that debut, band history, and plans ahead.

1. What type of band are you?

Aaron: We are a melodic metalcore band.

2. Tell us the brief history of your band.

Aaron: Well, for me personally, the history goes back to my previous local bands that I spent 5 years building. The history of STAGES started around mid-July 2014. I just got off a national tour with my previous band, where i was the drummer — and when I returned home I knew what it was I wanted to do, which was to be a frontman. STAGES was built with a lot of passion and momentum for a big debut as a band.

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

Aaron: We are based out of Jacksonville, Florida. The music scene is one of the best I have ever seen. A lot of hard working, talented young people here. If I could recommend a local? I would have to say Just Like Gentlemen, as well as II Am The Witness — both doing amazing things.

4. What is the story behind the name, STAGES, if there is one to tell?

Aaron: The story behind STAGES is very important to me. The name represents "change,” how a person or a group of people can go through so many changes in life so many different "stages" of life with what you are passionate about and learning who you are.

5. Who are your musical influences?

Aaron: Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King is a huge influence on me right now, as well as Matty Mullins or Jeremy McKinnon" as vocalist. As a band, I feel we our most influenced by Fit For A King, Born of Osiris, Chelsea Grin, as well as some softer stuff like A Day To Remember.

6. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Aaron: Our debut song, "New War,” is pretty self-explanatory. The track is about me moving on personally, and a vision that there is so much more out in the world besides your hometown, or a 9-to-5 job. The rest of the EP will have a spread of different topics I can’t go into yet…but soon!

7. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Aaron: Well for our debut track we had some producing help from a very good friend of the bands; however, that was just the first track. We do now write all of our music to the 100 percent fullest and I’m so excited for the sound we are creating.

8. You have your new EP "New War", what can people expect from it?

Aaron: Well, we are really into a heavy sound with what is in right now ‚ like djent tone and all — but we also have a very old school approach with writing. We are very into 2005 As I Lay Dying and more of a metal sound, with incorporating today’s style of metalcore.  We are also a fan of traditional hardcore, being raised around the legendary Evergreen Terrace…how could we not? Haha. So if I were “the people” I would expect a powerful record. That is what we are striving to create.

9. How did you get Exotype to contribute and be a part of the "New War" track?

Aaron: Well I personally built a relationship with the guys in Exotype. We have become good buds and their vocalist started to mentor me, which turned into him taking on managing the band. We are so grateful for him and what he does for us. He personally saw something in me, and has believed in me every step of the way, with the most amazing guidance.I asked him if he would want to scream on the track with me and he was very much into the idea. One thing led to another and it happened! And he did an amazing job. \m/

10. Why did you see "New War" to be a good single and video choice off this EP? Can we expect to see more single and video choices off this release?

Aaron: You will definitely see a music video single off of the EP. "New War" was just the first song written for the band and we felt it was so powerful of a song that we should just go all out, "go big or go home,” with the debut single. With Joey Sturgis producing, and Steven from Exotype on the track, it was the best approach.

11. You guys are currently Unsigned, are you seeking a label placement or prefer flying solo and doing the DIY approach?

Aaron: I have personally been in local bands that are all about the do-it-yourself approach, and it is not a bad way to go! But me and my boys want to be on a label, ASAP hopefully.  We are ready to work hard and shoot for the stars. We all have our hearts set on being with Rise Records but there are many opportunities in the music business. You never know what can happen.

12. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

Aaron: Passion. A whole lot of talent and dive to make our dreams come true. There is nothing stopping us at this point, we all want it more than anything. I know personally this is what I was born for, what I was created to do. Whether playing drums or being a vocalist, music is my universe, and we will do whatever it takes to succeed.

13. How about shows and touring, what do you have in-store?

Aaron: Right now we are finishing our record. In a few short months we plan on booking some shows locally along with a few short tours.

14. What do you guys have planned for the unforeseen future?

Aaron: Work our butts off! Haha. Finish an amazing debut EP, begin writing a full length. We want to film our debut music video soon as well. Begin touring, and hopefully the rest is dream street.

15. Anything else you'd like to add or would like to say?

Aaron: I have fought my entire life for this. I’m so happy to have my best friends along my side. STAGES has some unbelievable talent, and thank you so much to the ones who support us and believe we have what it takes to succeed! Get ready for STAGES to be the next big thing!THIS IS A NEW WAR.

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