Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
I (Andrew Boles) play guitar, synth, and sing. Jack Reedy plays drums and samples. Jordan McLanson plays bass guitar and bass synth on a super cool keytar. Stephen Werner plays a whole swath of synths, and Daryn DeCriscio plays guitar and sings.
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to No Alarms? How long has the band been around?
I’ve been writing for 10 years or so, but haven’t released any music until No Alarms. I played in a few local bands in college, but continued to write solo for unnamed projects until 2016 when I started to come into my sound and started writing for No Alarms in earnest. I moved to Detroit and brought on 4 awesome musicians in 2017 to fill out the band and work on the live show. Our drummer, Jack, is about to graduate from the Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME), and has been involved in a ton of local alternative bands. Our synth player, Stephen, has an instrumental side project, and our guitarist, Daryn, used to play in a local pop punk band. We come from diverse musical backgrounds, and I think that’s really helped us gel over the past year.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
One of my favorite indie rock albums of all time is Bloc Party's "Silent Alarm." I absolutely burned that album out. Their angular guitars, raw vocals, and unbridled energy became such an integral part of my musical Mount Rushmore that it warranted an homage. Also, Radiohead is my favorite band full stop, and ‘No Alarms’ is the first chorus lyric in "No Surprises!" From an aesthetic perspective, I thought it was slightly cryptic, and nebulous enough that a new listener can attach their own meanings to it, and allow us the freedom to release a diverse range of songs and tones. It also, was not taken, which is just about the most important part of picking a band name, and I wanted to make sure that we wouldn’t have to go through the nightmare of changing it!
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?
I wrote the entirety of our debut ‘No Alarms’ EP by myself in both West Texas and Detroit. While I’ve brought on permanent members to share and grow this experience with, the studio side of No Alarms is still a solo project at its core. I’ve started to collaborate with members of the band for synth and rhythm input, as my main instrument has long been the guitar. I’m super excited to have their contributions and to build new songs together.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I’m really into what Rostam, Tycho, and Phoenix have been putting out lately. My goal for this project has always been to shoot for a harmonious balance of organic instrumentation and electronic elements, and I think the aforementioned artists are setting the current standard in that realm. Looking further back, I also listened to a lot of The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’ when writing the debut EP, so that influence I’ll gladly wear on my sleeve.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
My first concert was Nine Inch Nails, and seeing the musical vision that Trent Reznor is able to convey, combined with the visuals and all-encompassing performance that he’s able to execute in a live setting really stuck with me. Seeing a dream and a mood so exquisitely executed really inspired me to try to continue honing my craft, so that when I had something to say, I had the tools to say it.
What do you do to prepare for a show?
We have pretty intense rehearsals.. Even though we’ve only played a handful of shows and are gearing up for our first real tour, it feels like we’ve already gone a few rounds. We have our full lighting rig in our practice space and we give it all we’ve got. We’ve been going to a lot of local and national touring act concerts, and watching videos of our favorite artists to study and take what we like for our own performances.
On the night of a show, we really just take a breath, take a few minutes to relax, and go on the stage appreciating how special it is to be able to interact with an audience that is ready to share an experience with you. It’s important to take a step back before a show, I think that helps us bring our best.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We’ve been lucky enough to have had our debut single ‘Right is What’s Left’ featured on a network TV show, and that was a great way to introduce ourselves to some new fans. But by a wide margin, I’d say the biggest highlight has been finally releasing our debut EP and seeing how people have reacted to it. For so long, music had been a monologue for this project, and now it’s a discussion. Hearing people reach out to tell us that a certain lyric or a certain melody landed with them is so unbelievably fulfilling and I can’t wait to continue the conversation with our next release.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I’d really love to tour with Phoenix. I’ve seen them twice, once at a festival, and once at a headliner show, and both times it was just a giant dance party. Getting to play to that kind of crowd and throw a party for a few hours every night would make me ecstatic.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just want to shout out everyone in my musical family who helped make this dream, this band, and this debut album a reality. There’s absolutely no way I would be where I am today without help, and I’m going to continue to count on my family to keep moving forward.