An Interview with From The Depths: Rising Out Of The Ashes Amy Ebeling February 5, 2014 Interviews From The Depths are resilient, as their name might suggest. While the past year has brought many changes to the Bergen County-based metal band, including parting ways with longtime vocalist Jordan Green and original guitarist Zack Spadaccini taking over the role as frontman, they continue to persevere and show no signs of stopping. Since their formation at the end of 2010 and doing their first show at a round of the Bamboozle Break Contest, they have shared the stage with many prominent national acts, the most recent being Attila. Though they may butt heads at times musically, they are still five friends who share a love of creating and performing metal. This upcoming year will see the release of their debut LP, as well as the group embarking on their first tour together. The Aquarian caught up with drummer Tim Byrd, bassist Bobby Bohny and guitarist Tyler Blundo to discuss the past, their thoughts on the New Jersey scene, and how SpongeBob SquarePants has created tension in the band. How did From The Depths start? Tim Byrd: Before we were From The Depths, we were a band called Letters To The Unknown, which is essentially the band now without one of the members in it [former vocalist Jordan Green]. But From The Depths started when we got into a feud with bassist Bobby [Bohny], who proceeded to kick us all out of our Facebook group, thus forming “From The Depths,” because we didn’t have a fanbase anymore. Bobby Bohny: I left for some time but rejoined the band last April. So out of all the members, what are your previous musical endeavors? Tyler Blundo: Before this, I was in some crappy band from Clifton when I was younger. But I’ve taught both guitar and bass lessons. Byrd: I was in a Viking metal band called Eye Of Odin. That was about it. We did pretty good for our age, as we were young. We played Starland Ballroom and did pretty well in a few competitions. BB: I was in a really hardcore band called Covenex. We actually wanted to change the name to Tears Run Red. So hardcore (laughs). Then I was in another makeshift band with our current lead guitarist, Tony Bizeta. What about vocalist Zack Spadaccini? Byrd: Zack basically wrote and produced his own songs, many which ultimately became Letters To The Unknown songs. How did you all meet each other? BB: I went to school with Tim, and I thought Tim was the biggest douchebag in the world. Byrd: Also, it’s funny, I just want to add that I thought Bobby was the biggest douchebag in high school, too. BB: And can I just add that both of us had the most accurate idea of each other and that is why we’re such good friends? But after Eye Of Odin broke up, he was like, “Dude, let’s jam!” and I was like, “Yeah… sure,” because I really didn’t want to jam with this fucker. But I wanted to start another band with Tony and a mutual friend so we called Tim and that basically started Letters To the Unknown. When Zack Spadaccini changed from guitarist to frontman, Tony met Tyler at a hookah bar and Tyler was like, “Yo, I play guitar!” We were like, “Wanna be in a band?” We had never heard him play before. But we came together and everything melded perfectly. Blundo: Yeah, I had to play Webster Hall with them when they opened for Incredible Me with almost no practice. Speaking of shows, what was the strangest one you’ve ever played? BB: A few years ago, when we played at The Canvas Clash. That day was just really weird in general. I had gotten my nose broken five days prior, and had to have it reset that day. So I literally left the doctor’s office, went straight there, and played the set with a nosebleed the whole time. You’re releasing an album in the near future, which will be your first full-length record, and the follow-up to 2012’s The Last Time EP. Can you give any more details on that? Byrd: Before Bobby had rejoined and Tyler joined, we released The Last Time EP, which was self-produced two summers ago. It had an intro plus five songs. They were solid songs for what they were, and we still play them, but you should definitely expect way better shit from the album that is coming out. What do you want to accomplish with this album, musically and otherwise? Byrd: I think just getting our shit out there. I think for the most part in the local scene we have our music out there, and we know enough people, but I hope with this album we can expand our fanbase, especially when we play new songs at shows. When is the expected release date for the record? Do you have a name picked out? BB: Early spring, and the title is Animosity. Why Animosity? Byrd: Because we all hate each other. BB: There has always been extreme amounts of tension in this band. One day we finally sat down and were like, “Okay, we need to cut this shit.” Tim couldn’t think of the word “tension” at the time, so at a band meeting he was like, “There is too much animosity between us as a band.” It became a running joke. We would joke around with each other like, “We should name a song ‘Animosity’” or “We should rename ourselves ‘Animosity.’” And it finally ended up being, “Okay, we are really going to name the album Animosity.” Byrd: We don’t really hate each other. It’s just that we all have very different musical influences and we all have very different ideas that all need to be compromised, which of course will lead to butting heads. But in the end, I think the product is good because we all have such vast musical interests. We can have a song that has all different elements of metal. It’s not just the same fucking thing over and over again. Do you think that’s what sets you guys apart from other bands on the NJ scene right now? Byrd: Yes, I do. That’s exactly what I think. We all come from different musical backgrounds: Tyler likes Scandinavian metal; for the most part, I like deathcore; Bobby likes… BB: Frank Turner! Byrd: Yeah, sure, Frank Turner. Zack likes metalcore; Tony likes more prog metal. If you put all of those elements together, it’s going to be like a melting pot and a weird combination, but it’s going to be pretty fucking awesome. Do you think being a band from New Jersey affects the music you create or your stage presence, considering some of the bands that have come out of NJ and NYC? BB: I wouldn’t say so much that the bands that have come out of NJ have affected us much more so the bands that are in NJ currently. The Jersey scene, especially the metal scene, is incredibly present and we’re very aware of it, so we kind of always have to be thinking one step ahead in terms of what can we do to stand out and not just blend in with the rest of the bands around. Blundo: We are affected by everything we hear, even without noticing. Where you live will always affect you creatively whether you realize it or not. Byrd: I think it completely affects our presence. It makes it much harder to branch out because if locals don’t hear you, then who will? We really try to stand out from the masses. Speaking of setting yourself apart from other bands, on the upcoming record, you have a song that samples the “F.U.N.” song from SpongeBob SquarePants. That is kind of bizarre. Byrd: We wrote a song called “A New Chapter” for the album, and it’s supposed to be our intro song, and there is a SpongeBob SquarePants sample, which is part of the reason there has been some “animosity” in the band. Half of us think the sample is cool while the other half thinks it’s not cool. But it serves a particular purpose. Which is? Byrd: To stand out, really. But are we standing out in a good way, or are we standing out in a way that people are going to laugh at us? That is the issue. BB: People are going to laugh at how good we are. Blundo: That is exactly why they laugh at John Petrucci, right? For more information on From The Depths, go to facebook.com/fromthedepthsnj.