As with all great and engaging music, the generational waves in which each genre evolves retroactively measures its widespread impact. Combining four distinct backgrounds, newly minted Brooklyn-based band Stay Inside refracts its own urgent style on the emo/post-hardcore landscape. Now, the quartet is readying the release of their debut EP, As You Were, out April 21st via self-release.
Comprised of four transplants, Bartees Cox, Jr. (guitar, vox) of Yukon, OK, Chris Johns (guitar, vox) of Hockessin, DE, Vishnu Anantha (drums) of Wayne, PE and Bryn Nieboer (bass, vox) of Los Angeles, CA, Stay Inside seeks to tell stories about fighting back and bringing more people into the fold of their impassioned scene.
Emotional crescendos meet melodic instrumentations as the band spreads their wings and explores their full range for the first time on As You Were. There’s a natural chemistry at play with Stay Inside as they stare at their collective reflection, internalise it and use that imagery to paint new progressive pictures. Check out the band’s latest song Radio Silence below!
We managed to catch up with the band as they talked about their latest single and more!
How has the single Radio Silence gone so far with fans?
We’ve got a lot of really great feedback. We’ve been playing shows all over the city with just our demos online for a while, so I know a lot of folks were happy to hear something off of the EP.
How pumped are you for the release of ‘As You Were’?
Vishnu: We’re really excited. Until ‘Radio Silence’ dropped all we had online were demos from about a year ago, so we see this as our announcement to the world . Our sound is constantly evolving and we’ve realized we need to be recording and releasing music much more frequently. We are actually in the process of building out our own studio to make that happen (just moved in this week!)
Tell us about a little bit about the EP
Vishnu: This EP encapsulates a lot of what our band is about. It represents different phases of our (admittedly short) career together. When approaching songwriting, we often work on an “idea” based on a groove/riff/vocal melody without focusing on arranging it into a standard verse/chorus structure. It keeps our material really moldable and over time a lot of the different pieces connect together naturally. It allowed us to work new material into the songs while in the studio which was really awesome. Even though this EP has 3 songs, we were able to move through a lot of these ideas.
Bryn: And a mission statement lyrically, too, i think. Each song has a pretty personal and important theme and says a lot about who we are as people and as a band.
Bartees: Sure, it’s a musical EP. But one thing I was definitely trying to stress and prove through the song structures and the lyrics are juxtapositions and issues that marginalized people face everyday. Whether that’s dealing with cops, depression, or discrimination (of all sizes and shapes). Those were the themes we were all able to bond around in the early stages of the band forming
If you could work with any band on a new song, who would it be and why?
Vishnu: For me I would say mewithoutYou. The idea of either recording or playing live with them makes me dizzy. One of my favorite musical memories was when I saw them on tour with The Blood Brothers and both bands came out together to close the set. Also, my favorite song of theirs features Jeremy from Sunny Day Real Estate.
They’ve been a massive influence on me since high school and connected the dots between post-hardcore and a lot of the other music I had been listening to at the time. They’ve got the grooviest rhythms in the scene.
Bryn: I’d want to have Ka do a verse on a track.
Bartees: I with Kele Okereke from bloc party, Tunde Adibempe, Thao Nguyen, Thomas Erak, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, the Bucherettes, Samantha Crain, Yamazaki Hirokazu from from Toe and the players from Colossal, and Braid on new songs. So hard to name one band.
What does it mean to you when you see fans listening to your music?
Bryn: It means everything, man. Clearly, we all love the music we make, but we definitely want to make music that people connect with. Seeing plays go up on tracks just make me think about all the kids who’ve come out to our shows and dance, scream, mosh, get really into it. That’s the whole reason you do it, right?
What were the first gigs you ever went to?
Bryn: When I was 4 and 5, I only listened to jazz, salsa and some classic rock. Just whatever my abuelo was had records of. But around 9, i got really into west coast punk and my friend took me to an all ages Rancid show. I remember an audience member thought it was very funny that a tiny child was at a punk show and asked if I wanted to crowd surf. Emo and hardcore for me was just the logical next step from punk and that’s mostly every show I went to in high school. Further Seems Forever, Cursive, Underoath, etc. I feel like i’ve spent a good percentage of my life in concert venues.
What’s the rock scene like in Brooklyn?
Bartees: Brooklyn is pretty cool because there are so many types of bands and there are a ton of places to play. Like, you can catch pretty top notch metal show at St. Vitus and roll over to Brooklyn Bazaar for a catchy emo/electronic band. There’s definitely a lot of talented musicians in the area, so it’s nice to be in the mix and be influenced by the things we’re hearing around town.
Would you ever tour Europe some day?
Bartees: Yea, 100%. I was born in Ipswich (UK) and lived there for a while before moving to the states. Tons of friends over there still that I keep in touch with. They’d come out in droves if they knew we were playing within 500 km of London.
What has been your proudest moment to date?
Bartees: Our first show was pretty special. We played a pretty small club in the Lower East Side called Fat Baby and a bunch of friends and family came out to support. It was packed wall to wall and the energy felt really good. Also was a big moment for me personally. I’ve been wanting to start/play in a band like this for years but could never find the right mix. Things really felt like they were coming together that night, beautiful night.
Bryn: Mine was playing the Silent Barn. That venue is heavenly and I felt honored to play there.
What was your funniest moment while recording the EP?
Bartees: The funniest moment recording was also the saddest thing ever. Our buddy Nick Rapley recorded the record for us in his home studio (which is awesome btw), and he has a beautiful pit bull that occupies the space and hangs out. Chris is allergic to dogs though, so it was really hard for him to get his vocal takes down there. So we had to try a couple locations before we could find a place that was dog free. Eventually we ended up drugging Chris up so he could roll up and nail his takes. All in all it worked out great, but it was funny at the time even though i know Chris was frustrated.