We caught up with POET the Band, to discuss how their heavy tunes and deep lyrics smash through the metal-core scene. We're diving into why these guys are basically modern-day poets, telling it like it is in their own badass musical language.
Can you tell us about the origins of your band and how you all came together?
Cody and Aiden had played in the past in bands together. After their last band kind of fizzled out they had discussed starting a new project around late 2020, early 2021. They had known of Spencer from touring with his band A War Within and doing shows with him in the past. They spent a good amount of time in 2021 writing music. They had roughly 2 or 3 tracks basically done. They had been in talks with a few drummers. Kevin messaged Spencer randomly to see what he was up to and if A War Within needed a drummer. Coincidentally POET was kind of in need. He sent over their first single and Kevin immediately said he was down. Two weeks later the band was together for the very first time shooting the music video for Miss Misery which came out January 2023.
What's the story behind your band's name?
Aiden had a vision for the band to kind of have some sort of schtick. Not on the level of slipknot when it comes to masks and whatnot. But some sort of identity. He had mentioned since we are musicians we are modern day poets. It was very important to have a specific kind of look/imagery and color gradients that all tied it together. The Band part came after we realized we couldn't copyright just the word/name POET. So it became POET The Band.
How would you describe your music and style in a few words?
Hard rock/metal-core that doesn't try to fit any specific mold/style. We like to write about real issues/experiences and put it all together with some well written music.
What are some of your musical influences and inspirations?
I think it's safe to say all of us as a band have a variety of influences from all different genres. However from an overall band/project standpoint we all do really enjoy bands like Bad Omens, Spiritbox and Motionless In White.
Can you share some memorable moments or stories from your journey as a band?
I think everything we do is memorable. While the band hasn't been together for very long and has only been officially a band since January of this year there is a lot. We joined Aiden for his audition at Julliard in NY. We shot a music video for our unplugged version of Miss Misery. While he didn't get into Juilliard, it was a very fun and bonding experience for all of us. A few months prior to that was the first time we all met in the same spot when we were shooting the music video for Miss Misery in NC. We went on our first tour in July in support of our debut EP Death Era. We pre sold tickets every night of the tour and had an absolute blast. We feel we've done soo much in such a short amount of time and are already looking forward to our jam packed schedule for next year.
What's your songwriting process like? Do you collaborate on lyrics and music, or does one member take the lead?
Since half of the band lived in MI and half in TN we got very good at working remotely. Most of the time Spencer and or Cody would write a song with basically everything minus vocals and throw it in the google drive. Kevin worked on the drums and recorded them at a studio local to him. As far as the lyrics/vocals go, that is when it was imperative we got everyone together in the same room. We spent a week together as a group writing and recording the vocals. We collaborated on quite a bit of that. As far as the songs themselves go, we kind of take whatever Cody/Spencer put down and maybe adjust things here and there or there are times when we think musically it's great and if things change throughout the process we will adjust as needed. But it's really nice to have fairly fleshed out songs to work with from a writing perspective.
Tell us about your latest album or project. What can listeners expect from it? Are there any specific themes or messages you aim to convey through your music?
Our debut EP Death Era came out this past July. From a music perspective it offers everything from pop/rock to some very melodic metal. Listeners can have a rollercoaster experience that talks about dealing with depression and other real world issues. I wouldn't say musically we have any particular themes, however that is something that could be changing on the next one.
How do you approach live performances and engaging with your audience?
We all approach our live show in a very professional manner. We all make sure we are very well rehearsed and look cohesive as a band but also like to have fun and enjoy our time on stage. We do play to a click and have some tracks. Our live rig allows us the ability to put forth the best sounding and quality production a band at our level can, and from what we've been told it shows. About as professional as you can get until you get into those higher levels of production that bigger bands have. Both Spencer and Aiden are phenomenal at working and engaging the crowd. What's most important to us is having our music sound amazing and putting on a show for our fans.
Any upcoming tours or gigs fans should look out for?
We have a short 4 day run coming up in January we are about to announce. Currently working on a 18 or so day tour in July of next year as well.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
Aside from hopefully enjoying it and thinking it's good music haha, we think all of us are talented and good at our craft. We really hope that comes across both on the album and live. We talk about real things and sometimes all you need to hear is that expressed by another individual to let ya know you're not alone in dealing or feeling a certain way about something. We try to be real and as authentic as we can be.
Are there any artists or bands you'd love to collaborate with in the future?
That's probably a pretty long list to be completely honest. However next year you may see quite a few features wink wink
Can you share your thoughts on the current state of the music industry and any challenges you've faced as a band?
We've all been doing this music thing for probably 10 years or so...in that time a lot has changed. I remember booking my first out of town show and things are just so drastically different it's wild. Pre saving on Spotify wasn't a thing or as common. We were never pre selling our own tickets. It was always for the HED PE level bands when we were lucky enough to get on one of those shows. While I do know plenty of people in varying ranks of the industry, from my and our perspective this is the most accomplished and polished group I've been a part of. I think that there is a lot less competition (I don't truly approach other bands as competition) however from a purely business and booking standpoint there are certainly less bands than say 2015-2018. Also same with venues. We've been able to accomplish in one year what previous bands I was in years and still didn't even have the same results. Overall I think independent bands have a better opportunity now than ever to make some noise and get heard more easily. Labels aren't necessarily needed as much now as I think they may have been in the past. Ultimately we think the biggest challenge is really just gatekeeping and not being in the cool kids club. That's always been there and will never go away. We don't particularly feel we've had any really hard challenges so far as a band and business. We all work hard as a group and individuals on absolutely everything. We handle 100% of everything in house from writing, production, engineering, booking, graphics, videography etc. That really allows us the most creative control while being as cost effective as we can.
What's the most important piece of advice you'd give to aspiring musicians or bands?
Outside of having fun, musicians are always the last to be paid in the grand scheme of things. Like as an example you want to put out an album. You pay for studio time, engineer, maybe a producer. Then you gotta pay for mixing and mastering then reproduction. After all of those investments, that is when you have the "chance" to make yourself some money to recoup. My best advice would be to try and learn how to do each and every facet of what it is to be in a band. It's not going to come overnight, in fact it may end up happening by accident. I didn't get into booking because I wanted to. I just kinda got thrown into it. Same can be said of any other facet like videography, producing/engineering writing etc. The less money you're spending on other people to do things for you the better. Not to mention content is king and the more things you can do to create content, the better.
Share a fun fact or an interesting tidbit about each band member.
That's kind of a tough one, I think seeing all of us on an individual level and as a band really showcases us as people because we are all just being ourselves and it's usually fucking hilarious. We all fuck around with each other and joke a lot. 3 of the 4 of us all work remotely. So it's really funny when we are on tour, shooting music videos etc, all of a sudden one of us will kind of disappear. And even if it's not work related we always joke, oh so and so has to go back to their 9-5 lol.
Make sure you keep with up with POET the band by clicking HERE
Photo credits: Blake DeRusha - www.guildprod.com