An American LIAR
The two most abundant products that are inundated upon today’s “alternative” youth seem to be 1) crass multi-colored extreme sodas and 2) calculated emo “punk bands.” While the former product is actually not bad-tasting, the latter is downright awful. A healthy auditory respite from those terribly manufactured bands can be found in that small town Billy Joel made famous – Allentown. (Well maybe he wasn’t referring to this one, but I like to think so). The band is An American LIAR, and they consist of Jason Kocis on lead vox/guitar, Tony Dalmas on drums/percussion, Jay Albright on Bass and Derek Spencer on lead guitar.
The band takes its cues from a variety of different artists, ranging from Tool and Sevendust to Jimi Hendrix and Yes. All this makes for a sound that is incomparable to any band out there today. Loud and heavy, yet melodic and controlled, this band encompasses a lead guitar that can inspire and a rhythm section that will have you nodding back and forth like a bobble-head doll. Put on top of that Jason’s hauntingly truthful and downright bellicose lyrics and you have a rock band that has the whole package.
Jenn Mattern, the Editor here at AudioXposure had the opportunity to interview them for our inaugural issue back in January 2005. Since then they have gone through a band member change and have recorded a full-length album. I caught up with Jason to see how they are progressing.
Q: You have a new band member, Derek Spencer. What new elements has he brought to the band?
Jason: Derek certainly has a different playing style than I do. I’m a very articulate, right on the beat player and Derek is a really raw, powerful banger. It’s actually very complimentary together. It gives us a much larger sound than we’ve had in the past. Derek is also very dedicated and focused. [He’s] a great motivational player in the band. That’s a great asset.
Q: You have a new CD hopefully coming out this month entitled “…On the Other Hand.” What can we expect some of the themes to be?
Jason: I don’t know if I could specifically call this album conceptual, but I suppose most of the songs are about self-realization, growing older and wiser, not taking any shit from anyone, and as always… a heaping scoop of blatant cynicism.
Q: What is the process the band undertakes for creating the music?
Jason: I usually write about 95% of our songs. Music, lyrics, arrangements, yadda..yadda. First I’ll come up with a melody or guitar riff in my head, then demo it to tape. I’ll polish it up a bit and then bring it to Tony. He and I will then create a drum part for it. Jay is next in the mix. We usually give him a 3 or 4 track guitar and drum demo and let him do his thing. Finally I wait until the very last minute and write the lyrics. Words don’t just pop into my head like Steven Tyler or Bono. I have to force myself into it. 15 minutes spent on each song and I’m golden. All the songs but one were written before Derek joined the band, but as things are progressing he and I are going to be doing more co-writing I think.
Q: What are the band’s short-term goals? What are the band’s long-term goals?
Jason: Our short term goals are to get the disc out to the public and to as many labels as we can. Also to score a competent management company and booking agent. Our long term goals are to get a record deal and a proper publishing deal and go tour the world!
Q: What are some of the musical influences the casual listener might not hear in your music?
Jason: That’s a good question. A casual listener probably wouldn’t know that there’s undertones of A Perfect Circle, Dream Theater and King Krimson in there.
Q: What band do you want to mirror yourselves after in terms of professional reputation is concerned?
Jason: As far as professional reputation goes, I’d like to model ourselves after Aerosmith. Those guys are a class act. When I was out on the road with FUEL a few years back we did a few shows opening for Aerosmith. No egos, kids…hell, grandkids runnin’ around backstage. No pretentious bullshit like the bands that don’t even deserve to hold the toilet paper that Joe Perry wipes his ass with.
Q: Has the Allentown music scene helped, hindered or not had any effect on the band’s ability to showcase its abilities live?
Jason: I really couldn’t tell you how the local music scene is in Allentown. We always play out of the area because there’s just not too many places in town for a 4 piece loud(and I mean LOUD)rock band with 6 amps and a big kit to play at. I do know bands that play in the area and a lot of them are doing small bar gigs. If we played in a small bar everyone would have to learn sign language or go home sober. I don’t feel that not playing a lot at home has negatively affected us, but I do hope to start playing some of the larger cover rooms in the A-town area if they will have us.
Q: If you weren’t making music what would you be doing with yourselves?
Jason: We’d be making explosives.
Listen to this band, they are good and will only get better. But don’t take it from me. Go get their music and have a listen for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. You can find them at www.AnAmericanLIAR.com. Or head to Joe Nardone’s Gallery of Sound (11 locations throughout PA),Tower Records, or some of the smaller more in-tune CD stores in Eastern PA.