Formed in Texas in 2016, I Survived delivers a refreshingly honest brand of post-hardcore; a cynical but relatable look at the world today, packed in a hopeful and resonating wall of sound.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Danny: Ryan plays bass, I sing, Brandon does guitars and Kris drums!
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to I Survived? How long has the band been around?
Kris: We've all been pretty stuck in music since our youth. I've been behind an instrument since I was six, and I've always been practicing something. I Survived is my first real band though. Danny and I were in a band in high school called A Death in Venice though.
Brandon: Prior to I Survived, I had honestly been taking a back seat role to music, spending most of my time writing songs on my own or messing around in recording programs. I had a project way back when, with a few awesome musicians, but that didn’t get off the ground much haha
Ryan: I was in and out of bands as a vocalist and bassist prior to joining I Survived. Speak For The Silent was the main reason why I moved to San Antonio and we got the opportunity to play Vans Warped Tour ‘12, and my other band, The World Among Us, recorded an EP with Drew Fulk. I’m a lot happier with this group and excited for what the future holds for us. To answer your other question, one of the former guitarists’ brother was there and showed me their original self titled EP in its entirety. I was immediately drawn in, attended their next show with Hands Like Houses and I The Mighty, and joined the band a few months later as their bassist.
Danny: I wasn’t raised in a particularly musical house, but I did take piano lessons when I was younger. I was a part of a couple bands before this. One was with Kris, and one was after. They both fell apart but we’re here now. This is the first band I’ve done vocals in since I used to play drums.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
Kris: This is where we generally would say something like, "This was all about something emotional that all happened in our lives or whatever..." but, in all seriousness, the band's name came from us kind of running out of ideas and we were going to name our first EP it, but we released a teaser here in San Antonio, it got a bunch of traction and we just kind of stuck with the name. I think the name of the band certainly grew on us all as there have always been times in our lives where we look back, kind of laugh and say, "Damn, I survived" and so have fans, telling us stories about situations and it's made us appreciate the name and what it can mean to others far more. People will find refuge in anything and find a way to make it warm, if you want a weird metaphor.
Danny: It’s funny, because the origin of the name is really just what Kris said, but the way the band was started was by complete chance. Kris was going to be moving to California for school and his girlfriend, but he dropped that all after we decided to try again.
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?
Brandon: Prior to me properly entering the band, it was definitely Kris an awful lot, but the creative process is fluid, so I definitely had a hand in things, as did Danny, and really everyone associated at the time. But, majority-wise it was Kris, I feel. As of late, I sort of am the main one to create a basis for a song. Writing draft drums and rhythmic parts from start to finish. Then Danny will come in and mess with drums, Ryan always giving general direction if things feel a bit indulgent, and Kris working on lyrical content. It definitely went from a solo thing to a group one overtime. Content wise, the new songs are definitely darker, and a little more mature in terms of perspective and ambition. We’re musicians at heart, and creating music that relates to us on a human level is the most important thing, so nailing down a “formula” and sticking to one sound, would just defeat the purpose of the stuff we’re trying to make.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Brandon: Generally speaking, I wouldn’t be able to pin one down. Working as a music producer, I have to reprogram my brain, in a sense, to understand a genre I may not be familiar with. This sort of thing has opened me to so many fragments of cool stuff and bits and pieces of songs that absolutely blow me away, so it’s never constant. However, bands like Breaking Benjamin, Dance Gavin Dance, Killswitch Engage, Rise Against and Beartooth all kinda shaped the aggressive rhythm heavy style I like to play around with, both drum and guitar wise, but even vocally speaking. I work in writing music mainly, so it won’t all make the I Survived cut, since we are a crew, and we all need to be into an idea.
Ryan: Oh man, if you know me I listen to music as if my life has a soundtrack. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Periphery, Glassjaw, Underoath, Architects, and Circa Survive. Actually, I think Post Malone had a little influence on one of our songs that hasn’t been released yet.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
Kris: Whether, I was what made me want to do music like this. Those guys kicked ass.
Ryan: Slipknot and Pantera got me into playing guitar, but after watching The Used’s live performance at Warped Tour on Steven’s Untitled Rock Show on Fuse TV when I was 13 years old, that’s when I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in music.
Brandon: Green Day back when American Idiot came out. I was like in 2nd grade, and I remember that album like absolutely BLOWING my mind.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
Kris: I generally flail around, yell, and get absolutely skitz and pumped right before we hit the stage. Danny likes to do a bit of singing warmups and some stretches and I'll join in with some high kicks. Though, before we go to the venue we like to practice before, just make sure everything is where it should be with our backtracks and stuff.
Danny: I like to do a few vocal warm-ups and shake it out before we get on stage. But most of the week is filled with practice before and Kris and Brandon will be fretting about the backtracks despite having the same conversation three or four times, haha.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Kris: We've definitely been playing with touring bands and headlining bigger shows in our town, but I think our biggest highlight was releasing our newest singles and being on track to maintaining a consistent release schedule. It doesn't sound like the brightest and biggest thing ever but, consistency is something I've always craved as a person in all faculties of my life. To see it working in what I love, music, is a breath of fresh air and makes me feel whole. Though, that's not much bragging. We went on tour with Across the Atlantic a while back and that was super cool!
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Kris: Myka Relocate, Everyone Dies in Utah and Darke Complex. All those bands are cool as hell and EDIU works with our guitarist-- Brandon actually produced their most recent single.
Brandon: Rise Against, easily. They’re honestly the single most consistent and powerful group I grew up listening to.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ryan: I appreciate you all for checking us out! Shout out to mom and dad for supporting me through my music journey, to Jennifer Holt, Erica Vigilantes, and the rest of the Twin Productions team for holding it down in the music scene, Josh Mahan from Paper Tiger and Jeremy from Jack’s Bar for killing it on the soundboard at every show we play, and James from Carry The 4 for believing in us and helping us make the next move forward.
Kris: Life is weird. I hope I meet more people from this whole music thing and find an answer from all this, otherwise, thanks for reading and hopefully checking us out. We're going to be releasing a whole bunch of music the next three months!
Danny: Be sure to check out our newest single, Hollow on Spotify and Youtube! We’ve got another one called City Seeker coming out this month!
Social Media Links: