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Interview with Shades Apart
By Daina Kazmaier
(more articles from this author)
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Shades Apart had done it again with their latest release "Sonic Boom" out on Universal Records and their sound is stronger than ever. In an interview with lead singer/guitarist Mark V., I discovered that the band's music has evolved into a stellar sound that can captivate any audience. Check out their webpage at

Mark V.: Vocals, guitar
Kevin Lynch: Bass, vocals
Ed Brown: Drums

[Daina Kazmaier] So tell me about the new record- influences? Favorite track?

Mark V. Well, we cut our first record in '88 as an indie band. Our influences range from Southern Cali punk to East Coast hardcore- the Replacements- bands like that. We started listening to more melodic stuff, and our last record, "Eyewitness", had the most produced sound out of all our records. This new one, "Sonic Boom," our seventh release, returns to our rawer sound. We had a real good time making this record. My favorite track would have to be "Rebel Teenager from Mars" because my daughter plays the organ on that song. So I'm pretty partial to that one.

[Daina] What made you decide on "Beat by Beat" as the first single?

Mark Our label (Universal Records) decided- they wanted something upbeat and catchy, and they just jumped all over that song. It's a high energy tune. We just went with it- whatever they (Universal) put out is okay with us.

[Daina] Who writes the majority of the lyrics?

Mark Actually it's our drummer (Ed) who writes about 98% of the lyrics. We do a lot of mp3 trading- we (Mark and Kevin) come up with a melody and record it on the computer, then send it to Ed so he can add parts. He's got a stockpile of lyrics, and we've got a reserve of melodies. Making this record was different from the past- we just jammed and it went quick.

[Daina] Where did the band name come from?

Mark We got together many years ago so I'm not really sure. We went through what other bands go through- we had a combo of ideas between the three of us, so we just slapped the name together. It has no real deep meaning, but I think it's a positive thing.

[Daina] Who have you toured with?

Mark We did a couple of shows with Local H, Marvelous 3, MXPX, Splender, some radio festivals, and some headlining college dates. We've also been out with 3 Doors Down. We're heading out with Sum 41 after our CD release party at Birch Hill (in NJ). We've done a lot of East Coast stuff- we played with Our Lady Peace. We hope to get more happening. We did a lot of touring last year but the recording of the new record took ten months.

[Daina] How/when/where did the band form?

Mark We all met in high school in the Bridgewater (NJ) area. I met Ed in health class and saw he had on a Clash shirt or something. He was in a cover band at the time and I used to watch them practice, so I learned a few Clash songs. I knew Kevin from marching band and he was learning bass guitar. We lived about three miles apart from each other so we jammed all the time. We were looking for a singer because I really wasn't into doing it. We ended up going through six singers before I started.

[Daina] I know you did a split 7" with original punkers American Standard- how was it working with them?

Mark Yeah, it went out on the singer's (Bill Dolan) label- Maggadee Records. We had three songs in limbo that were from our record "Seeing Things" and one song ended up on the split. We did that three years ago- I only have a handful of copies on vinyl. Other than that, we like going to their bar in Hoboken...they're cool guys.

[Daina] What did you think of playing the Surf and Skate Festival at Asbury Park (NJ) in April?

Mark It was a fun time. I hope they do it annually. I guess it was sold out (it was!) and that was pretty cool. I just wish the sets were longer- we only played a few songs and it was over and that was crazy. But it was a good time. New Found Glory are good guys to tour with.

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