Please list all the members in the band and their respective roles.
Vocalist Brandon Kellum
Drums Mitch Hosier
Bass Steve Mandell
Guitar Corey Skowronski
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to American Standards? How long has the band been around?
I myself am fortunate enough to say that American Standards is my first band, the rest of the guys have been in projects for years. Before Steve joined he was apart of a band called Ape Kill Ape, Mitch was drumming for Moovalya and Brandon, before American Standards, was in The Hostage Situation.
American Standards started early 2011 at least that is when I joined. My first show with the guys was a house show in May of that year.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
I joined once the name was established but, as the story goes, Brandon was out of town bouncing band name ideas off then guys. Nature called and as Brandon looked down at the urinal the words "American Standard" was right there in front of him. They decided to throw an "S" at the end and boom goes the dynamite. American Standards.
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?
We all take part in the writing process. Typically I'll come up with a solid half of a song then we jam on it see what grows out of that. Brandon will then begin writing lyrics and we go from there. I'd say once we are actually in the studio and we start recording the final product that’s when we start bouncing more ideas off one another, suggesting different ideas.
For our newest album, I believe the themes we are conveying are a lot larger than what we've done before. Before it was more my job sucks, yadda yadda, do what makes you the happiest.
The band, each one of us, is always changing in some way. We write based on our own lives. The overall messages may be the same but they way we look at it and perceive things at that moment in time may be different than two years ago lending itself to a new way of speaking on the topic.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Currently I am going through an alternative rock phase. I've been listening to the new Can’t Swim album and Sorority Noise. I'm also revisiting bands like The Lonely Forest and Modern Baseball. Steering away from always listening to heavier music has helped a great deal trying to write new music, it definitely shows me new ways of writing and song structure that I may not have seen before.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
I owe all of this to an old friend of mine, back in high school he introduced me to this style of music and the band that made me say I want to do that, I want to play music was Maylene and the Sons of Disaster. They had such a different take on heavy music that I was into. He also showed me the music video for Cancer Bats' song 100 Grand Canyon, it was great.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, ect …
I may pick up my guitar and play for a bit but to be honest I don't usually prepare much for a show. Mitch is known for stretching and warming up but I may just have a beer. It works, also it's fun to fly blind and just see how the show progresses.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
My biggest highlight for me was being able to be the opening local band for an Every Time I Die show a few years back in Flagstaff, AZ. This is a band that we all look up to and grew up on and to have the opportunity to not only play with but to converse with and be at the show with them was amazing. Great, genuine, dudes. The way I look at it if you told me 9 years ago, before I joined the band, that future you, is going to get to play a show with Every Time I Die I wouldn't have believed you. A great memory I have.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Hands down Cancer Bats. I saw them play this one off show before their tour with penny wise and Danzig down in Tucson. About 12 people there and they were some of the greatest dudes. They're definitely a band I gravitate towards.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Do whatever it is that makes you the happiest. Our new album is coming out and if you're in the Phoenix area come to the cd release show, Rebel Lounge April 28th.