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Interview: Break and Enter

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Last month, I sat down with Nashville punk band Break and Enter. Even though they’re just getting started, they’ve been showing their chops playing with various big-name bands around the city. After the release of their debut EP, they added a second guitarist into the mix which helped the band round out their sound and complete their band. Check out the interview below!

MusicDash: How did you guys all meet and decide to come together as a band?

Isaac: Brock heard me playing drums cause he lived below me.

Brock: It all started with Charlie. He posted in the Facebook group “wanna start a pop-punk band?” and one of my favorite bands of all time is Real Friends so I was like “yes, I would love to be in something like this” but I didn’t think I could do it because I had never sang before at all. Then we decided after we talked to a couple of people that we wanted to do more of the music that we were all really into at the time. That all kind of happened around the time when we all went and saw Beartooth play a house show and we were like “why don’t we just do this? This seems like a lot more fun.” Then we needed a drummer and Isaac was above me and annoyed me all the time with his drumming for 5 hours a day so I just decided to just message him because he didn’t seem to have much to do. All he does is play drums. Haha! He was like “yeah, I’ll do it.”

Charlie: I knew Matt because we were in a dorm together.

Brock: We originally had two other members and they committed wholeheartedly to the band at the end of our freshman year and then quit during the summer. So we added Matt during the summer because he was so in to do something fun and then we added Ashley just recently this semester. She played her first show and absolutely nailed it. She was a great addition.

MusicDash: You guys recently released a music video for “Avalanche.” Who shot it and what was that experience like for you?

Matt: Actually, one of my friends shot that at another school. I actually met him through another friend mutually here. We decided to shoot it in a white room because he had a connection to it because of his major. He was a film major and that was what he wanted to do with his life. He shot a repertoire of music videos before us so I had a little bit to look at so I had a gauge to understand what the quality was that we were looking for versus price. Honestly I think that that was the cheapest that we could have ever bought a music video for for that quality and the amount of hours and post production that he put in for us. It was just an incredible outcome.

Brock: Plus doing it now, there’s definitely stuff that if I had known what it would look like and the finished product, I would have done a little bit differently. But I feel like our next video, whenever we decide to make it is going to be really good. It’s going to be insane because we are going to know what it’s like to shoot a video because the entire time we were standing around like “this is incredible. What are we doing?” We were really nervous and we shouldn’t have been nervous. I love what we did now but it makes me even more excited to do it again.

MusicDash: You recently played with Wage War. How did you guys get that opportunity and what was it like opening for them?

Brock: I emailed Music City Booking and had literally never talked to them before because they’re very hard to talk to. I’m sure that they get swamped with emails. I emailed them and said that we were emerging and we will bring people. We love Wage War and would love to open for them. And they were so down to let us do it. They asked if we could confirm, so I ran into Charlie’s room as he was getting out of the shower and I grabbed him and said “WE’RE OPENING FOR WAGE WAR!” And that’s what we did. It was so awesome. It was such a cool experience.

MusicDash: Your EP was released last November. What was that process like?

Matt: It was definitely a rush at first. The very first time that we ever got in a practice room, we knew we wanted something released that semester to have something to play so that we could be on stage and start performing. We were talking about recording so that we could have something to give people because that’s one of the major things that you need to get out there in the world — you need to have something that somebody can physically hold. You’ve gotta have that tangible form.

Brock: They need something to listen to. That was the main thing.

Matt: And then we wrote the first song, which was “Detonate.” We just started to riff write it. Charlie started jamming with me, then Isaac filled in. That’s kind of how we started writing. We just did our own things and fit them together like pieces of a puzzle. We changed one or two things here and there. That’s kind of how we went about doing it and that’s how we’re still doing it now. We just like to come up on things on our own and share them with the group. It’s basically like this is Parliament — we each vote yes or no.

Brock: I always have these ideas and I hear the guitar in my head. I’ll just be sitting in class thinking about whatever lyrics I’ve written, and then I’ll hear a guitar in my head. I never thought about recording myself on my phone but then I tweeted one of my favorite bands, Stray From The Path, and their lead singer replied to me and said “I literally speak the riffs into my phone in voice memos and my entire band makes fun of me.” And I thought that was a good idea so I started doing that.

Matt: And then we proceeded to make fun of him.

MusicDash: Overall, you seem like you mesh together really well as musicians. Why do you think that you work together so well?

Brock: I was really impressed with Isaac because I’ve been in a band before where, especially the drummer, is terrified to write drum stuff. Some people only want to be handed things or can’t improvise anything. I was really worried going into writing stuff that I’ve never done before that Isaac would have to walk on two crutches or have us have to wheel him in to write. But he’s been doing somersaults. He’s just really good at it. That was beyond my expectations and made me feel very comfortable.

Isaac: I think that Brock and I have a good balance because I like not starting from nothing. The previous band I was in last year, the singer wanted to do exactly that. He wanted to give me all of my parts exactly how he wanted them and I hated it. Brock is like “start with this and mold it to exactly how you want it” and I think that works really well. It’s not me coming up with the entire song myself and then everybody else not speaking their mind. But it’s not him coming up with the entire song and me not speaking my mind.

Brock: One thing that I’m really glad we did was last semester we assigned roles in the group chat. I basically told everybody that this was their role. And Matt is the antagonist. So I told him that his job was to always look at what could possibly go wrong and tell it to me. And Matt has 100% kept doing that. Sometimes it’s really frustrating. I’ll be like “hey, let’s get these shirts” and he’ll go “but where can we get them cheaper? How much is the shipping?” I’m like “it’s just an idea” and then I’ll think back and go ‘I’m really glad he said that because it got me working on it.’

Charlie: What was my role?

Brock: I don’t know. I don’t remember.

MusicDash: So Ashley joined the band in January. How has that been different for you?

Isaac: It has been nice though. From the drummer’s perspective, we’ve had all these practices before Ashley and now after Ashley. Getting our music fleshed out a little bit more and playing live with Ashley has been great.

Charlie: It’s nice having a second guitarist in the band.

Brock: I originally texted Ashley and asked her to join the band and she was like “I don’t know. Thanks for the offer.” And then she joined.

Ashley: At first I was like “I listen to the music but I don’t play it. You might be able to find someone else who’s better at playing it.” But it’s a good time and I like it a lot.

MusicDash: What were your first impressions of the band when you first started playing with them?

Ashley: Like I said before, I kind of said no. But when I first tried out and jammed and stuff I tried to play the song that I knew best that was kind of from this scene. It seemed cool with them and I really liked hanging out. I didn’t know them really well so it was a little bit awkward at first. But I kind of realized that it wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it was going to be. The song that I tried out for the band with I learned an hour before by ear.

Matt: We knew that she was good enough for our band with an hour’s practice.

Ashley: Yeah, they seemed to be down and I was like ‘yeah, that’s cool.’ So we played that song that I tried out with and then Brock was like “cool, let’s start making a song. I’ve got an idea.” and I was like ‘wow, that was quick!’ And within two practices, we had our song “Guillotine” done. I think it’s a lot of fun. There’s a lot more to it that I didn’t realize. When I said no, I didn’t expect to meet people, make a lot of new friends, and play fun music.

Brock: One thing that I wanted to mention about my first impression of Ashley was that she sent us a video of her playing an Escape the Fate song. I was watching it in my room and there’s a part in the song where she taps and I’m like “Charlie, can you do this?” And he’s like “yeah, I can do that.” And then she started tapping really quick and he’s like “yeah, I can’t do that.” The biggest thing for me was that we didn’t want to have somebody in the band that wasn’t technically good and couldn’t learn things. But when Ashley told us that she was technically good and then she performed it live for us. I wanted to see how she would perform under pressure because I knew that she was really nervous. She missed a few notes, but overall she did a really good job. The fact that she can learn and the fact that she can write was the biggest thing for us.

Isaac: I was a little concerned. Brock’s role was to be concerned with the technicality stuff but as a drummer I was like “whoever joins this has to be cool.” I was pretty concerned about that and I knew as soon as we saw the other guitarists that tried out, I didn’t think that they molded well. Ashley was pretty chill and it’s been going good so far.

Brock: It went from Ashley saying like four words in a practice to her screaming at Charlie. She was mad. It took like three practices but she adjusted pretty quick.

Ashley: I was kind of intimidated at first because I didn’t know them and I didn’t know how to act. But then I was like ‘this is fine. I can yell at Charlie.’

Matt: To be honest, I can’t remember a time when no one was yelling at Charlie.

Isaac: I’ve always yelled at Charlie. I love yelling at Charlie.

Matt: Maybe that’s your role — the person we can blame everything on. The scapegoat.

You can find Break and Enter at:

Web: www.breakandentertn.bandcamp.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/breakandenterband