The Agent interview

1 08 2008

Hailing from Long Island, New York, The Agent cought my eye a few years ago by sending out their demo for free all over the world. Because free demos are always an awesome thing, I decided to check them out and stumbled across one of the best melodic hardcore/punk-bands I had heard the past few years. I can honestly say that up until now, I haven’t grown bored with the few songs I have heard from this band. Needless to say, I got excited when the band announced they were putting out a new record. Because I’ve been doing this blog thing for a while now, I figured this would be another great chance to interview one of my favorite current bands. Keith, who does vocals in The Agent, was kind enough to answer these questions for me. Enjoy!

Alright Keith, can you introduce yourself and the band to everyone reading this?
Yeah, I’m Keith. I sing for this shit. Conor and Mike both play guitar. Timothy, (our newest member and oldest friend) plays bass and Bill plays drums.

So tell me about the history of the band? How and when did it all start?
My memory is bad, but I’d like to say we started spring of 05? My cousin Mike and I wanted to start a band with each other, and I wanted to start a band with some of my friends so I thought it might be a cool idea to fuse the two. Once we started practicing, it felt natural.

Could you describe The Agent? What would you say it sounds like?
I’d say we’re simply a melodic hardcore band fueled by punk idealism and ethics. We’re also about having fun with friends.

Why did you decide to start this kind of band?
We’re Long Islanders, so naturally we grew up in a scene that always embraced the melodic side of hardcore punk. When we were first starting out though, there weren’t many bands left playing this style of music in our local scene. All the bands from the past either moved on to stadium tours or broke up. I think CIS and Thieves and Assassins were the only bands at the time who were still carrying the torch. We love this kind of music and wanted to do our part.

You guys created a lot of buzz by mailing out demo’s for free. Who came up with that idea?
Someone else did. We just realized how cool it was and decided to go for it. It’s awesome, and a good idea if you have the time and money. None of us could care less about making cash off of anything band related. We just wanted people to hear us.

How did the ‘public’ react to that? I guess you got overwhelmed with people asking for a demo?

Not too much. It really wasn’t that much work and it wasn’t that much money. I was kind of drunk off the excitement that so many people wanted the demo so of course I was more than happy to send out orders of 50 demos at a time. It was a pretty cool experience.

How many demos do you think you sent out?
About 500? Maybe 600… around that range.


One thing I noticed about the demo is the fact that you guys are obviously fans of The Simpsons. I noticed some references in songtitles and all that jazz. Who’s idea was that?
All of ours. I asked Bill, “What should I name this song?” He responded with “Be Careful, They’re Ruffled” and that was it. The same goes for the other titles. It came from hanging out and watching the Simpsons. Our love for that show runs deep through our veins.

Not long after the demo you released your first EP called ‘I Wouldn’t Trade That For Anything’. Why did you release it so fast?
We actually recorded the demo and the EP in the same recording session. We recorded the demo previously, but weren’t too thrilled on how it was coming out. We decided to rework some of it and go back and record the two at once. The EP we needed to wait for artwork and the pressing and stuff, but it took only a few months after the demo to come out. I think the demo came out June of 06 and the EP was out November of 06. Fun stuff. The same thing happened to the 7”. We recorded it last year and felt it could use some work, so we reworked some of it and recorded it again. We’re picky like that.

The reactions to the EP were great as well. How did you experience this.
It was cool. I honestly wasn’t expecting it, but it was really cool. We were all surprised people cared so much. It gave me hope.

What wouldn’t you trade for anything?
The memories of times spent with friends I have that are sadly dwindling away. And my home which is wherever I’m happy.


So let’s talk about shows. You’ve played some impressive shows. What show was the most memorable?
Hmmm as far as Long Island goes, I think either of the CIS record releases we played, or our EP record release. I loved that shit. As lame as this sounds, I have the CIS set list saved from the Troubled Stateside record release cause that show means a lot to me. It was our third show, and the only time we got to play with Kill Your Idols. Paint It Black also played, and Dan Yemin kept coming up to us to tell us how much he liked our set. It was also the first time CIS covered Polar Bear Club by Silent Majority. That show ruled.
When thinking out of state, maybe that ridiculous show in Boston with Have Heart, Guns Up, Verse, Ambitions, Shipwreck, and CIS that we played. The lights, which were maybe 40 feet high, were shattered by a pile on during Guns Up. There was so much glass everywhere. Cool lineup, too. I still have the shirt from that show, which has the flyer with all the bands listed on it.

You’ve played shows with Polar Bear Club, Crime In Stereo, Have Heart,… That’s quite impressive. How do you feel about that? Not a lot of bands get the chance to play with that kind of bands.
I think we’re lucky as hell. Honestly, we owe a lot of it to Crime in Stereo. They’ve been our buds from the start and are serious supporters of us. They always help us out any chance they get. They’re the best.

So you guys are working on a new release. Can you tell me something more about that? When will it be out?
Yeah, it’s called Awake In Their World, and it’ll be pressed as soon as the artwork is finished. It’s coming out on Run For Cover records. We’re proud of it. It’s definitely our best release thus far, so we’re all real excited. I’d say it’s definitely more… intense than our past releases which I am down with.

Are there any plans for future tours? Maybe a trip across the pond?
No concrete plans. I had one goal for the band, which was to tour to California at least once, but who knows if we ever will. Some members have jobs that they can’t really leave for long to tour far, so it’s a bit of a bummer. Who knows what will happen though. Maybe in time we’ll be able to.
And I’d LOVE to tour Europe. That’d be the best tour ever. I have to get on top of that to see if we could. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, actually.

Could you give me a scoop or something? Tell us something about the band’s future you haven’t told anyone yet!
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know anything. We move forward one practice at a time. Right now, we’re writing songs at a faster pace than we have been in the past two years, and that’s all I’ve got to share with you about our future.

Last one; Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy?
I can’t think of an easier question to answer. “Do you eat” would be a harder question than this. Seriously though, Chrono Trigger is the unanimous winner of everything. It’s pretty much gaming perfection. I’ve wanted a Nu tattoo since I was like 10 years old. Magus is the coolest villain ever. I could really go on for days about it. The storyline is simple compared to later Final Fantasy games, but it’s even more epic and timeless than any of those games. Squarenix should pick it up and learn how to make a RPG again, instead of running FF7 into the ground and destroying a genre in the process.

Thanks for the interview man! So awesome!

Anytime, my man. Awesome blog. Keep up the great work dude.

————————————————————–

Thanks go out to Keith for taking the time to do this, and the rest of The Agent. I “borrowed” the pics from their myspace, all pictures are credited to their respective owners. I hope they don’t mind.

The Agent’s “I wouldn’t Trade That For Anything” still available for purchase, and their demo is available for free download. The new 7″ should be out very soon. Keep checking back for more updates.

The Agent myspace

Run For Cover Records website

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25 08 2008
The Agent new song « Never Go Inside

[…] I interviewed The Agent a while back too. You can read the interview here. […]

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