A four-piece hard rock meets metal outfit, Our Fears are climbing the music ladder. Following a transplant from New York to New Jersey, a lineup change, and the release of their debut album, Hopeful. Hopeless., lead singer Miles Strand tells The Aquarian about the band’s beginnings and what’s to come in 2019.
Where are you all from?
Originally from Congers, N.Y., but been in Bergen County, N.J. for the past couple of four years.
How long have you been a band and how did you get started?
We’ve been a band since 2014. The band started when I, [Miles], first released the songs “I’ll Kill Myself” and “Air Bag” as individual singles under just my name following the ending of a previous musical project I was involved in. The response I got from people was great enough to motivate me to want to start a band again, and so I spread the word that I was looking for people to submit audition videos playing along to either one of the songs.
Jon Duverger (bass) was one of the earliest submissions I got and I really liked his style and that he simply sent in the video without a disclaimer attached to it. Dan Russo came in soon after on guitar, and my buddy from college, Paul Cesario, was our first drummer that took on that role.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard you before?
A mixture of hard rock and metal seems to be the general description we hear people using. Somewhere between Slipknot/Stone Sour, meets Coheed & Cambria/My Chemical Romance, meets Breaking Benjamin.
What was your latest release of music and can you talk about that a bit?
We just put out our first full-length record, Hopeful. Hopeless. — it’s a step in a bit of a different direction from our debut EP, Flawed, in the sense that there’s a connecting storyline going on from song to song, start to finish.
I guess you could consider it a concept record that focuses on addiction, depression, love, loss, anger, violence, death and reconciliation taking place in the afterlife. Musically, it’s dynamically different from what we’ve done in the past, but it’s not such a far departure that our old school fans won’t recognize what we have going on.
I like to believe that we did a great job at putting together a very comprehensive concept record, so hopefully people other people listen and feel the same way about it!
What is your writing and recording process like?
With this record, it was a lot more laid back than compared to the first EP, because we did all the recording ourselves and our own schedules. My fiancé and I recently had a baby and so my time was limited after Charlotte was born, as well as the time leading up and the other guys had their own stuff going on. And not to mention our current drummer at that point in time [Tim Sorbs], getting a job offer that left him with no other option but to relocate to Las Vegas.
Even so, we have a workflow that starts with me, usually at home, workshopping ideas and getting the general structure of the songs/lyrics together and then I bring it to the rest of the guys and they add their own spin to it and sometimes that part of the process can lead the song in a completely different direction, but it’s all communal and organic. We also had a lot of help from our good friend, Anthony DeCarlo, on drums and he always has a different approach than I could have ever envisioned for the drums.
What are current projects you are working on?
In addition to promoting Hopeful. Hopeless., We’re back to writing and working out material for a follow-up record. We’ll probably release some singles to begin with — as well as continue our search for a drummer — but the future is wide open! Definitely want to look into doing more videos, and just more interactive stuff with the people who’re fans of the band.
Is there any significance behind your band name?
The name Our Fears came about with the intent to have a name that’s ambiguous enough that it doesn’t lead the listener to assume what kind of music we play, but it also represents this open-ended idea that asks the listener, “What’re you scared of?” and may lead you to take something different away from the songs.
What is your favorite memory as a band?
Honestly, it’s a toss-up between going out to Vegas to track drums with Tim for the album, and doing the Q&A “Hot Ones” challenge video. The “Hot Ones” challenge was painful, but it was one of those really fun times we had together as a band. Same goes for when we were out recording/playing shows in Vegas in 106-degree weather!
Overall it’s hard to identify a favorite memory because outside of the band environment, we’re still just a group of friends that hang out, eat food that’s way too spicy and that love to laugh so most of my memories of times with these guys are my favorite.
What are your goals for the future as a band?
Putting out a music video for “Northern Lights,” finding a drummer and a manager and just playing out more often! Maybe even entertain the idea of a short film to accompany the latest record! The idea was brought to our attention by a couple people and I think it’s definitely something that conceptually could be done — it’s just a matter of actually getting it done.
What are your plans for 2019?
Put out some singles, probably some covers as well, try to be more present on our YouTube channel and get some new merch lined up to have available for everyone and just keep pushing to always step our game up further and put out our best music we possibly can!