As part of Unsigned Band Week, we caught up with local drummer Brian King of melodic rockers Reality Suite to learn all about his band’s history, their latest full-length album, Skinn, and more. Learn all about Reality Suite in the interview below:
Where are you all from?
We all hail from North Jersey.
How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
Reality Suite evolved into a band in late 2008 although Antonio [Valenti, bass/vocals], Joe [Padula, guitars] and I had known each other since grammar school. We each had bands in the 2000s that were making traction—meeting A&R reps and flying around the country showcasing for record labels. After several opportunities fell through, each band dissolved.
Individually, we took a few years off to reevaluate why we were making music. Was it to “make it big,” or was it to fulfill our passions? Eventually, each of us became hungry to write and perform again. Kimmii [Heart, lead vocals] joined us in 2013, which finally established our definitive lineup.
What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
Our recent full-length album is Skinn accompanied with the non-album single “Bury Me Alive.” As they say, “You have your entire life to write your first album.” Skinn was a six-year effort…not quite a lifetime, but it represented our first six years as a band. In addition to four newly written tracks, we re-recorded our most popular songs from earlier EPs. Being our first full-length, we wanted to select the strongest material.
It was truly a passion project. While recording, Reality Suite didn’t have a following, we didn’t consider a “target audience,” we were not sure if anyone would care about the music. We did not have much of a social media presence. Just before releasing Skinn, I emailed nearly 100 advance MP3 copies to music websites who review independent music. No one cared. Few responded. I suppose we weren’t “Imagine Dragons” or “Twenty One Pilots” enough for them.
But—it wasn’t until kids from across the world latched on to the album and started sharing the music—taking selfies with the CD cover and posting it on their social media pages—and really supporting us on social media that we really felt appreciated. We developed our audience. It was music fans. Not music critics. Daily we are still motivated by the love returned back to us from all over the world. Brazilian girls posting videos of themselves singing our songs…UK guys posting our song lyrics…a New Zealand comic artist posting artwork incorporating us, people from Turkey posting themselves rocking out to our songs.
The single “Bury Me Alive” was written as we were recording Skinn but not released until recently. As we saw our social media pages on fire, we wanted to give everyone something new. Both were produced by the band and recorded by Antonio and me in his studio.
What is your writing and recording process like?
Writing is a group effort. Most of the time one of us will upload an idea to our Google Drive…then someone else adds to it…and it builds from there. Kimmii and I write the lyrics, Joe and Antonio primarily write the music…yet, there are exceptions.
What are current projects you are working on?
August 18th is our single summer 2017 performance with rock icons Danger Danger at Mexicali Live [now called Debonair Music Hall] in Teaneck, NJ. This event is a break from focusing on writing material for our sophomore album.
What is your favorite memory as a band?
To name just a couple—A while back, we received a heartfelt message on our Instagram page from a fan revealing: “Thank you for giving me the motivation to wake up every day. It’s been a long time since I’ve found a band who I can truly relate to on a personal level. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your band…” I felt that, if Realty Suite broke up the next day, that message had made all of our efforts worth the blood, sweat and tears. Also—Steve Brown of Trixter joined us on stage on one occasion and Richie Ranno and George DiAna of STARZ joined us onstage for another occasion—mind blowing moments!
What are your goals for the future as a band?
Our goals would be to continue to write, record and perform music that makes us happy—hopefully we will make our fans happy also. In the next year our intent is to release our second album and a few promotional videos. In the meantime, we plan on filming our show at Mexicali Live which is expected to sell out.
Where can readers find your music?
Our music can digitally be found almost everywhere—iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, iHeartRadio, TIDAL. Signed CDs are available at www.realitysuite.com and standard CDs are available through Amazon and CDBaby.com.
Catch Reality Suite at Debonair Music Hall (formerly known as Mexicali Live) in Teaneck, NJ on Aug. 18 for their single summer 2017 performance. For more details, visit realitysuite.com.