The Ongoing Concept Keeps Going and Going with Dawson Scholz

Energy, passion, and craziness is what propels The Ongoing Concept every single show. Its not surprising more money goes into new cords, straps, sticks, and strings then essential things such as food and gas. Starting in the spring of 2010 with all the members in high school, The Ongoing Concept has managed two EPs during that time. With a full length under their belts there is no stopping them! Guitarist and vocalist Dawson Scholz discusses the band's debut full-length and just how these guys came to be and what they have got up their sleeves.

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Ongoing Concept, and how long the band has been together.

Dawson: My names is Dawson Scholz and I sing and play guitar in the band.

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

Dawson: We are based in Idaho. Because there really isn't any venues in our city, there isn't a scene in our area. So the music scene is made up in Spokane Washington which is about 30 miles from where we live. This is where we play most of our local shows. There's a fairly good scene there but its made up of more traditional hardcore bands then bands like us.

3. How did you guys come up with your band name?

Dawson: Ha ha this is actually quite humorous. Back when we were a bunch of immature high schools who thought we were the best thing ever, we came up with the band name "Concept". We were going to be the next Dream Theater and have all these concept albums that connected and intertwined with each other. The MySpace URL for just "Concept" was taken so we made the URL, "theongoingconcept" instead. We soon drifted from the progressive rock sound and decided the name "Concept" was not going to work. Since we already had a MySpace account we decided to change our band name to The Ongoing Concept to associate with the URL. If I would have known Myspace would be dead by the next year I probably wouldn't of stuck with that name. I've never really been a fan of it.

4. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Dawson: 3/4ths of the band are brothers. I am 21 and the oldest of the three. My brother Kyle is 20 and my littler brother Parker is 16. The three of us have been playing together for years now. Even before Parker was playing drums, Kyle and I were playing and writing music together. We became more established in 2010 when we recorded our first EP. That was when TJ joined. He has been a long time family friend and we have always looked at him as a 4th brother. At the end of 2010 we brought on another friend named Dyllan. In 2011 we recorded our second EP, "Arrows Before Bullets". Shortly after, we decided to part ways with Dyllan and continue as a 4 piece. From that point on we started writing for our new album and that's where we are now.

5. You guys are a band of brothers literally three brothers in one band how did this happen and why did you want it to be this way?

Dawson: From what I was saying in the previous answer, the three of us have been playing for years. My parents both come from extremely musical families so we were all bound to be musical one way or another. I guess when you play together since you were very young, its hard to picture yourself playing with anyone else. Friendships turn so quickly and I see so many bands change members due to drama and conflict amongst them. No matter what happens, we are still brothers and because of that, this band works. We aren't afraid to hold one another accountable, we never beat around the bush with stuff, we say what we need to say, we argue all the time, but in the end this band has such a strong foundation. I couldn't see it any other way.

6. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Dawson: Our lyrics usually come from things that have happened in our past or stuff that is happening during the formation of the song itself. Many of our songs talk about things that frustrate us or things that we struggle with personally.

7. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

Dawson: Bands like Bring me The Horizon, Deaf Havana, Letlive, The Chariot, and Emery have influenced us immensely. When writing this album though, I tried to stay away from listening to music altogether in order to not have these bands influence our sound. As a band, we want to stay as true to ourselves as possible and even though these bands have influenced us as individuals, I don't think our sound should be influenced from anyone or anything other then our own self.  

8. Instead of using the typical post-hard rock style you took it away from the traditional approach and went and used instruments ranging from banjos to hand claps etc. Why take this approach on this genre?

Dawson: I think many bands confine themselves to one style of music and stay within those limitations. I feel that puts them in such a creative box. We hate being inside a box. We want to be as creative as possible and because of that, we have always had a, "Anything goes" type of mentality.

9. What was it like to be playing the summer Vans Warped Tour? What were the reaction from the music scene and the lessons you learned from this experience?

Dawson: We actually didn't play inside Warped Tour. We followed it and played to the line each day. Some days it was great, but many times we would get shut down or just be told we weren't allowed to play at all that day. When that happened, it was down to us trying to sell stuff in order to make enough money to get to the next date. It was tough. I think we all agreed that unless we are actually playing inside Warped Tour, its not worth it to follow it and try to sell and play to the line.

10. You shot a video for the song "Cover Girl" that looked very real if it did happen in a real life school setting what was that video shooting like and what is the song about?

Dawson: That video took months of planning. It's not easy to get 30 kids together after school to film a video for music that none of them probably want to hear. Fortunately all the parents and kids turned out to be extremely understanding and into what we were doing. Shooting it was stressful but also a blast. We did it in about a four day span. Two days with the kids and the other two days we shot just the band. The song as you can probably make out, is about being original. Society these days has almost made it ok for other bands/people to blatantly copy someone else in order to gain some sort of quick fame. Same goes for those people that cover all these billboard top 20 hits and get millions of views on YouTube based off nothing more than someone else's hard work. On top of that, most of the time these people who cover these songs don't have a single original song to their name. I guess what we are really trying to say in this video is that we want people to be themselves and create from within rather then from someone else.

11. Solid State Records is your home calling how did you guys get signed to them and how has the relationship with them been?

Dawson: We all grew up listening to bands off of Solid State. We never though in a million years they would be contacting us. One morning I happened to look at our email and there was a message from Adam, their A&R. Everyone in the band freaked out! From then on it has been an amazing relationship. All those guys over there are not only super chill and awesome people, but also smart and amazing at what they do.

12. Is there any story or concept behind the Saloon title?

Dawson: Not really, the title track Saloon just sounded so amazing and cool that we sort of just built the album art and theme around that one song. We also made an intro track that sounds like a scene from a movie to tie in the album a bit more.

13. Select two songs from Saloon and what inspired the lyrics.

Dawson: You Are The One - Kyle and I grew playing sports and got a lot of heat for quitting to pursue music. High Schools just seem to look at music as some stupid hobby or something. I guess this song is really about how you and only you should be the one who decides what you want to pursue in life.

Class of Twenty-Ten - This song is really about my frustration with the people I graduated and how fast they moved away and forgot about everyone that made them who they are. I wrote it well over a year ago so I was a little more irritated at that present time. Today I could care less, I'm over it, but I wrote because I feel many people can relate to what the song is talking about.

14. Who produced Saloon and what was it like working with them?

Dawson: I produced the album myself. Nothing is more chill and stress free then being in control of your own project from start to finish. I think that's what made this album work so well.

15. Who did the cover art for Saloon and how much input did you have on it?

Dawson: This girl from Poland named Elwira did our artwork. I just emailed her what I had in mind and she sent back the artwork exactly how I pictured it. It was incredible!

16. How does it make you feel to have written and recorded and have your debut album out for everyone to hear?

Dawson: We have had this record done for almost a year now so you have no idea how good it feels to be able to show the world what this album is about!

17. How has this album evolved, differed, and compared to your previous EP releases?

Dawson: I think the biggest thing is that we did it all ourselves. No one was telling us what we could or could not record or do. This allowed us to be as creative as we wanted. We never got to do that with the last 2 EPs. Also the fact we have all matured a ton in the past couple years helped dramatically. I think we all have a much better grasp on what does and does not sell in the music industry.

18. How would you describe the overall sound of this release?

Dawson: I would describe the overall sound of this album to be in your face put also full of surprises. I don't think anyone will be expecting what each song has to offer.

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

Dawson: I want the listener to remember the fact that anything goes with our band. We aren't afraid to try new things and change.

20. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

Dawson: You can go on YouTube and listen to a lot of our stuff. You can also buy our album on iTunes and all those other online stores.

21. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?

Dawson: Lots of touring. We also plan to shoot a bunch more music videos.

22. Any final words of wisdom?

Dawson: Don't buy expensive guitars when you can buy some Squire for 1/8th of the price that basically sounds just as good. 

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