I got the opportunity to chat with the New Jersey emo/alternative rock quintet Loyalty To Me in a brand new interview! Learn more, among other things, about the band’s debut EP, out since May 15th!
Band picture: James Perry
Hello Loyalty to Me, thanks for your time. Would it be possible to introduce your band to our readers, as well as your roles in it?
Will – Hey, what’s up, I’m Will Patrick Jackson and I sing lead vocals in Loyalty To Me. We’re a five-piece emo pop band from Bridgewater, New Jersey.
Devin – Hey! I’m Devin, I play guitar and sing as well.
How do you spend your time during quarantine?
Will – I’ve been taking my college classes online, writing, enjoying family time, and generally trying not to go nuts. I’m so used to being on the go! It’s really forced me to take control of my own head and learn how to be on top of a schedule without external motivators. That takes time and work. I do enjoy getting to listen to more full albums and watch more movies and shows. I recently just finished both seasons of Barry and I think it’s the best show I’ve ever seen.
Devin – I teach middle school by day, and I’m fortunate enough to still be making my salary while continuing instruction from home. I’ve also picked up jump rope which has been a ton of fun! I still suck at all the tricks but they’ll come with time.
A lot of bands were scared to release something during the quarantine because it meant that all shows would be cancelled. You guys however released your debut EP on May 15th. At some point during these difficult times, did you guys think you might postpone the release of your EP for any reason?
Devin – Not really. We have been sitting on the masters for some time now, at this point we’re just eager to share our hard work with the world! We also realize many of our fans have been struggling with anxiety throughout these scary times. And we hope the record will provide something for them to take refuge in. It might make more sense commercially to postpone things. But our priority is sharing our music with anyone and everyone who’s willing to listen.
Will – No, by the time the quarantine started a lot was already locked in, so it didn’t even really come up. It was more of a “how are we going to best promote the release under these circumstances?” than a “should we wait and release it later?”. Also, we’re really just trying to make our musical stamp on the scene. And having a complete body of work out and building traction with it will lead to some great gig opportunities when things get rolling again.
How long have you worked on this EP?
Will – In terms of recording, we had two separate sessions with Brett Romnes at The Barber Shop Studios—two songs in June 2019 and three songs in December 2019. You might think it makes more sense to record everything together, but I’m actually glad we did it this way. I gained a lot of life experience between the two sessions, which informed the writing. Not to mention we got a bit tighter. It felt good to come back to familiar territory with more confidence.
A few of these songs have been floating around in some form since Spring/Summer 2018, though. Paint You Blue and The Rest, the first two tracks, are songs I wrote fully acoustic back then. But have since been fleshed out and subject to lots of changes and rewrites (pun intended).
You guys had also unveiled a single, titled “The Rest”. What’s the story behind this song?
Devin – “The Rest” is a rally cry for anyone who feels isolated, neglected or straight up out of place. All of us are in our mid-20’s transitioning from school to adulthood. And we all can still relate to those feelings from time to time, especially with all the uncertainty in the world. The lyrics draw upon our own experiences growing up, while also introducing film references that become a running motif throughout the EP. It’s a message listeners of all ages can relate to.
How’s your usual writing process for your songs?
Will – I tend to write a lot of the lyrics and vocal melodies, or at least the first draft of them. And then, I come to Devin or our bassist Ryan for edits. I do like building the song’s lyrics along with the music, though, so depending on the song I might have written simple acoustic chords underneath. Or had Devin build the song instrumentally with me as I write lyrics, or in the case of our song Layover In London, build the song from the ground up in a room with everyone.
Even if I write the song’s skeleton myself, though, once I bring it to the band we make a lot of structural changes. Add dynamics and more complex instrumentals, and make lyrical tweaks. Even more changes come once we go to the studio. I actually wrote a bunch of new lyrics while in the studio. And that’s for songs we had thought were finished. It’s a long process, but it’s so rewarding.
The last words are for you. If you have a message to convey, here’s your chance!
Devin – Thanks! Like you mentioned, “Clash // Coexist” is out since May 15th! There’s a song I’m particularly excited about called “Magenta” which features some more experimental elements and tones. So definitely keep your eyes peeled for that. I also wanna shout out our friends in Feeny who are dropping their record “Between The Bookends” one week before ours. They’re based out of New Jersey as well, and I can’t wait to play more shows with them once things get safer.
Will – Support your local scene as much as you can during this time – not only bands, but local businesses as well. DIY artists and businesses of all kinds are struggling so much without the ability to have events or be out in public. If you want to support us, the best way is to go to loyaltytome.com/store and check out our merch! We have some cool new stuff up for y’all. Also, we hope you dig the EP! It really has an album flow and we can’t wait for you to hear it in full.
Thanks for your time!