Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Mikey Pennington - Vocals
Corey Cade - Guitar/ Backing Vocals
Alex Perez - Bass
Dakota Martin - Drums
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Common Grounds? How long has the band been around?
Mikey: The band started in 2016 and previously we were all apart of different bands across California. Myself, and drummer Dakota came from a Post-Hardcore band named Lost In Lights. We played in that band for several years and played many shows throughout the state. Alex played in a Indie band from Central California named Recovery Sunday. We actually met Alex while playing a house show together in Stockton. Alex was also Vocalist for Post Hardcore band Taking Your Vanity. Corey has played in different bands from the East Coast before moving to Los Angeles with his former band Cavalcade. Corey has also released his own solo music under his name Corey Cade.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Dakota: "Common Grounds" was the perfect name for us I feel. It means when people come together with a plan ahead to make something happen and me and Mikey did just that. It all started drinking in the van, exchanging ideas, and staying focused on what we the future looked like. It was really a special time in my life. One band is dying and another is born. It was pretty much two really good friends both working hard in starting something great so the name made a lot of sense and no the band name has never changed.
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?
Mikey: I was the one who wrote the lyrics for these songs. The theme of this EP was pretty much telling people to do what they love and to go after their dreams. Songs like “Something Greater” and “Nights All Alone” show that you are very capable of doing what you love, you just literally have to go do it. While other songs like “I Promise I’ll Be okay’ & “ No Sleep” are more personal songs with our own experience and struggle we have faced along the way of chasing our dreams. We also wanted a very positive and fun sound to our EP and what is more positive than talking about your good friends? That's where “Fuck Growing Up” comes into play. It don’t get much more fun than that!
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Mikey: Bands that are currently inspiring me and that have always inspired me are a lot of the old school Pop Punk bands like Simple Plan, Blink 182, Good Charolette etc. I just love how everything back then was so much fun. It was like every song was a party song and you can definitely hear the inspiration in our music.
Dakota: Music is my love. I listen too all kinds of different genres and artists. Some of those artists I can throw out there that really inspire me are The Holdup, Mayday Parade, A Day To Remember, The Used, Never Shout Never, Drake, The Beach Boys, Panic At The Disco and even more. I could go on forever. One thing about me is that music is something I need. I've never said "I don't feel like listening to music today".
Alex: Fall out boy, jacks mannequin, and my chemical romance.
Corey: 4. Bands that have inspired me as an artist are: Broadside, City Lights, Fall Out Boy, Mayday Parade, Justin Bieber, Logic, the list goes on and on! But I really appreciate all music and draw influences from all over!
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Mikey: The band Never Shout Never was a huge inspiration for me to start a band. I never even knew I could sing until I started learning Never Shout Never songs on my Ukulele in high school.
Alex: The bass line from Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy is what got me to get a bass guitar also seeing A Skylit Drive play local shows back in the day is what REALLY made me want to play in a band
Dakota: An ex girlfriend of mine invited me to a concert back in like 2010 at the amphitheater in our hometown. The lineup consisted of this band from overseas called The Sounds, Paramore and No Doubt. That show made me want to play in a band. Seeing all the lights, the production, and Paramore straight killing it was something that blew my mind.
Corey: When I was around 10 years old, I got my first MP3 player and had a neighbor of mine download his music onto it. When I started shuffling through the music it was all bands with genres ranging from pop punk to death metal! But the few main bands that caught my attention were: Escape The Fate, Newfound Glory, and Good Charlotte! Ever since that day I knew I wanted to play guitar and sing in a band!
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Mikey: To prepare for shows we usually just go through our set as many times as we can with the time that we have. We all live in different parts of California so when we play shows its really the only time we are all together at the same time.
Corey: 6. I skate and do vocal warm-ups! It's the best way to loosen before jumping around like a mad man on stage!
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Mikey: I would say one of the biggest highlights for our band would be our music video for “Fuck Growing Up”. We have done all of our previous videos ourselves so having this video done by someone else that does such amazing work was really cool. Ethan at Atrocious Works was fun to work with and he really captured what our band is all about.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Mikey: There are so many bands that we would love to tour with and I hope one day we will have the opportunity to do so! Bands like Simple Plan, My Chemical Romance, Silverstein, Mayday Parade, Never Shout Never, and A Day To Remember would be really cool. To tour with some of our biggest influences would be a dream come true.
Corey: Man, if I could tour with A Day to Remember, Broadside, Mayday Parade, or even Danger Kids I'd be super stoked!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
You can check out our debut EP “ No Sleep” available now on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, & Amazon.
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