A Page Unturned is a pop punk band based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Yoshihiro Imae – Guitar
Damon Porras – Bass/Vocals
Ryan Sebold - Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to A Page Unturned? How long has the band been around?
Damon: Prior to APU, I was working with “A World Extinct”, writing my own music and making cringey covers for Youtube. Yoshihiro and I started the band last April and started making demo’s together but the band became official as of last August when Ryan joined. So we have been a band for a little over a year.
Ryan: Prior to APU I played in a few bands on and off but nothing too serious. I never played in any bands in high school, in fact I barely played my drums at all. I was in a punk rock band called Razorvoice with my friend Ben Wittrock back in my first few months at Musicians Institute, then I played in a metal-core band called DYJA for my remaining time at MI.
That band was a lot of fun, we played a lot of shows and a few festivals; we practiced all the time but never had enough money to record anything so we just kept writing and playing shows. After that I started playing shows with this local hip-hop group El Capitán and later started a band called The Resident Fox with one of the members Alec Mallas (Local Foster). He’s one of my best friends and we’re still a band today. We are currently working on our first EP.
Yoshi: I played the guitar, piano and wrote the music for my last band in Japan a few years back. However, the project was only active for about 2 years.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Damon: Yoshihiro and I were trying to come up with names for hours one day and a page unturned just popped in my head. I remember we both had a different perspective on what the name meant. I had in mind the idea of “judging a book by its cover” and leaving something or someone behind without learning more, and maybe, missing out on something great. Yoshihiro has a more positive perspective as I have more of a darker perspective on things and I think that “Yin and Yang” dynamic plays a really cool role for our songwriting.
Yoshihiro: I loved it immediately because I thought it had a positive message. There are still many unturned pages in our life. Even if everything seems to be broken, it means hope isn’t gone. There is so much life to look forward to, so you should never give up.
Ryan: In my perspective, I think it’s supposed to tie into how life is always changing, and this is a new unwritten chapter of our lives that we were diving into. It fits really well in my opinion.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Yoshihio: I started off as the primary composer. I would have short demos and we would go over them. We would talk arrangement, exchange melodic ideas, and then Damon would write his bass parts and lyrics. Ryan would write his drum parts and add his input on the song and then it would be done. Over time, Damon began to compose some melodies and have an idea of how it will go. From there, we would just jam it out and then magic would just happen.
Ryan: Some of the best songs we have ever written we came up with just by jamming out. The magic is flowing so we just go with it and it turns into something truly beautiful. One of our unreleased songs “Reflection” was written in about 15 minutes as a jam and it turned out to be one of our best songs and some of the best drum parts I've ever written. Our new stuff coming out has a lot of experimental elements to it and we’re stoked for people to see this side of us. I’m not sure what our music will be like in the future but people change and mature over time and I think our music will grow with us too.
Damon: Our songs are an expression of both the highs and lows that people deal with throughout their life. With songs like The Party or California showing excitement, joy and the highs of feeling alive. Then songs like Reflection focusing more on the dark side of depression and self-loathing. Even with a song like “Reflection” however, I think our sound adds an uplifting element to it. Our music is a mix of our own life experiences put into song form. So I think as we go through life and experience new things, the main topics will definitely be different over time.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Yoshihiro: New Found Glory, Hit The Lights, All Time Low, As it is, State Champs, Green Day, Blink-182, Third Eye Blind, Jack’s Mannequin, Radiohead, Oasis, Ellegarden, and One Ok Rock.
Ryan: We listen to all different types of music but our sound is mainly inspired by late 90’s to early 2000’s pop-punk/ emo music (Fall Out Boy, Blink, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World). Collectively it’s hard to say cause we all have similar taste but at the same time listen to a lot of different stuff from one another. Personally I have been listening to a lot of Billie Eilish, NOFX and Famous Last Words lately. I try to be as versatile as possible behind the kit.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Damon: Vans Warped tour 2009, I saw a band called The Maine, I thought they were awesome and after watching them I got inspired to be a singer, write music and be in a band.
Ryan: Not really. I’ve always loved music since I was little and I always wanted to play in a band and be on stage. It wasn't until my parents got me my first drum kit that I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Travis Barker and Stewart Copeland were the two guys that made me want to get good.
Yoshihiro: I was really inspired by Ellegarden. I grew up playing piano since I was little and often listened to R&B. When I was 20, I heard Ellegarden and their music changed my whole life. Before I had no plans to pursue a career as rock musician but I started to learn guitar and write songs by myself and over time my plans changed.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Ryan: We usually rehearse a day or two before and run the set list once or twice to figure out if we want to change or add anything. The day of I just stretch a lot about an hour and a half before set time then warm up my hands and feet with different rudimental exercises for about 30-45 minutes. I like to use marching sticks for warm ups.
Damon: I usually do some vocal exercises, stretch and listen to some songs that pump me up.
Yoshihiro: I will always do some stretching and run around for a bit while listening to music soon before a show.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Yoshihiro: The perfect response from the audience in our 1st live show. When we wrote the songs we hoped and imagined in our head that people would really like it and go crazy for it but when we saw them really doing that at our first show it was amazing.
Ryan: Releasing our first EP was a proud moment for us. We’re opening for Unwritten Law on October 13th that’s going to be the biggest show we’ve played so far.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Ryan: That’s a really tough question. My Chemical Romance and Blink-182 would be insanity to tour with. They’re who I grew up listening to and they have inspired me so much as a musician. Newer bands I’d say Neck Deep, As It Is, Waterparks and State Champs. We love all their music and could learn a lot from them, plus their crowds go nuts.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Damon: We are releasing new music later this year! Be sure to follow us on our social media to keep updated with the latest releases!
Ryan: Pop Punk’s not dead.
Yoshihiro: I hope you enjoy our music!