PEV: How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over others in your genre?
Brennan Weir (BW): A melting pot of culture, sounds, personalities and attitudes!
JeLm: Our sound is generated by combining different elements of other genres outside of Reggae; Latin, jazz, rock and Celtic making us more impactful than some of the other artists in our category.
PEV: Calling NYC, Texas, and the Dominican Republic home, what kind of music were you all into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
Michael Forsyth (MF): My parents would listen to The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Queen, opera, and show tunes. But in small town Texas, I was surrounded by country music and metal bands.
JeLm: Dominican Republic is more home than New Jersey, but growing up in both places exposed me to a lot of Spanish music; bolero, merengue, salsa, reggae, bachata, while still being very attached to US cultured music such as hip-hop, hardcore rock, punk rock, folk, blues, R&B.
BW: My first real concert was a Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Lincoln Park, Mudvayne, and the Deftones performance at Giant Stadium!
JeLm: First concert was Maná when I was 12 years old in the Dominican Republic – Alex (drummer) was definitely one of the first role model drummers for me since.
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene in your hometown, when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?
Gage Weir (GW): It started as a bar band playing covers at pubs for free beer with just Brennan and Gage. The most difficult challenge in NYC is cultivating relationships when you have no relative experience under your belt. It was rough going and took a lot of time. NYC is a severely oversaturated market. However, being a reggae rock band in an indie/alternative scene has its advantages because it stands out. We had to play heavier in the first stages and brought in more roots as we went on while fusing so many different elements into our style that we had no other choice than to stand out. So we went from bars to small clubs, to small venues, and then to larger venues. Our first show as the current InDaze line up was nothing less than extremely contented. We knew we had work to do but it was the beginning show of our current sound. Because we gained our fans and contacts with a different vibe and sound, it was pretty much ‘holy f*cking sh*t’ from all of our old fans and a ‘wow’ factor from those seeing us for the first time.
PEV: What can fans expect from a live InDaze show?
GW: Expect a crowd involved show. It is a circus of on-stage organized chaos. We feed as much on the crowd as they do us!
Frances Azucena (FA): Definitely expect a cultural party on stage!
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
JeLm: Do I really have everything I need up here (i.e. sticks, water, alcohol, etc)?
MF: After the panic of organizing a large band on stage, euphoria.
PEV: How has playing in InDaze been different from working with other artists or projects in the past?
FA: When we’re rehearsing its just us, not as individuals but as one. 5 musically connected sprits from across the globe freely and willingly fusing our sounds together to create the culturally united sound reggae is. That you can’t share with just anyone.
MF: I’ve had the pleasure of working with some major artists across many genres, but with InDaze I feel creatively fulfilled. I also feel that we have something fresh to offer with our music.
PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? Where do you get your best ideas for songs?
GW: Underlying inspiration lies in history. Historical literature gives a great reference for things we can all relate to. Usually, I use it for imagery and a rock we can all latch on to. Relation to the tune is key. If you want to delve deeper there is something there for you as well as for those who prefer surface level meaning and concrete imagery (right in your face). I always have an underlying meaning to each track, which I will never express in cut and dry terms. It means what it means to you and you alone. Period. I know what I had in mind but I prefer not to lock it down for others.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?
BW: Not really because we are still striving to get where we want too be but with out forgetting where we all came from.
FA: Being the youngest one in the band, it’s amazing to see how my family, where I come from and what I’ve left behind has pushed me to strive for where I stand now. It’s a beautiful thing to see what was, what is, where you are going, and be happy with the outcome!
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of InDaze?
JeLm: Michael isn’t the gay one (laughing).
GW: Things that have a certain sense of the fine. I believe we all have this sense in one way or another and it really is interesting because you don’t always pair up ‘sophisticated taste’ with a ganja and alcohol-loving band. Sex, drugs, and rock n roll really only has a certain and particular role in today’s music; we are no different in that aspect. Our music embodies our various experiences just like any work does.
If you’re stuck in a survival situation you would probably want Brennan as your second survivor because of his uncanny ability to retain practical knowledge and he will most likely be able to identify obscure species of dangerous. Frances would give heart to anyone who loses their way and remind them to keep at it no matter what. She’s like the anchor that can keep us all sane around one another and with all the strong personalities you may not expect her to be the one that keeps us all reconciled (and she gives the – hands down -best hugs).
I’m, well, if anyone puts a gun to your head and demands useless knowledge and theories into ancient Mediterranean history and theories then I’m your guy. Also no one would guess I’m a huge death/power metal fan as well as a lover of 80’s pop, dance, and obscure music (for music – Adam and the Ants, Depeche Mode, Yaz, etc). If that’s not enough, you’ll be surprised to know that I am a fanatic for classic video games and draw a lot of inspiration from the music. JeLm is the type of cat that you would expect to be chill and laid back, and he is, but holds a rather enigmatic aura. He has very eclectic taste in art and in music. All we have recorded and put out has been done by him sitting behind the computer recording us. Most musicians who record can’t help but follow their own instincts, but since InDaze is a crew of people wearing their hearts on their shoulders, he can adjust what is necessary to work with the InDaze flavor. I am sure there are more surprising things about him that I am unaware of lol. Michael Forsyth is a different animal. He can adapt to almost anything musically if communicated correctly. Most surprising thing: Mike got his start touring with a Texas Country band and now plays Reggae in NYC (laughing). He is also an actor.
PEV: Tell us about your latest release. What can fans expect from this work?
JeLm: Reggae music from an angle that isn’t touched upon too often.
FA: Prepare for big sounds that will knock you on to your dancing feet and intriguing lyrics that will leave you in the ultimate daze.
PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song is complete, and you can sit back and listen to it for the first time?
MF: I listen constantly during the writing and mixing to criticize and make it better. After it’s finalized, I listen a few times with a sense of achievement. Then I move on.
BW: It’s a great feeling but then we start to nit pick because we are a group of perfectionists.
PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song is complete and you can sit back and listen to it being played the way you envisioned?
FA: It’s even more of a relief than it just being done, because it’s what we produced and what we envisioned! It’s a complete group accomplishment!
PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
BW: The United States…ALL of it. Then! Then the world (laughing)!
FA: Of course a world tour would be great, but personally I’d love to play where my roots started; El Salvador!
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?
MF: They are more supportive than anyone could ask for. Sadly, InDaze has not made it to Texas yet.
FA: My parents, family and childhood friends so far have been beyond supportive! Seeing our NY crowed still jump and party with us is always a great feeling!
BW: It’s always fun playing in front of our home crowd.
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
GW: I’m usually delving into classics, from music to old school video games and especially literature/history. I also enjoy fixed gear biking.
MF: Film and theater.
JeLm: Recording music, long boarding, drinking.
BW: Listening to music or drawing.
FA: I teach trumpet lessons, reading Spanish poems, and cooking. I love to cook!
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?
BW: I would say Rebelution and Levon helm. Rebelution because Eric is a great singer/songwriter, the band is amazingly tight and our sound would feed of one another. Levon Helm because He was a true artist till the end. I personally can only wish to be able to live a life of music the way he did.
JeLm: Too many to name…but it’d probably be Salvador Dali. His artwork and video is so intuitive, visceral, and distinct that watching him work would probably trigger other things I never envisioned myself playing.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
MF: The bands involved with the New Musicians Union Local 666. A few to be named are Full Molder, Gunman Voodoo, Onpoint, Deisel America, Body Face, etc.
JeLm: Midget Cannibals, Tornadu, and Living In Time Machines.
PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what do you think each of you would be doing for a career?
FA: Playing in a Big Symphony of some sort, like the Houston or New York Symphony.
JeLm: Probably working with photography or video in some form.
PEV: So, what is next for InDaze?
GW: After the release of the album, we will continue gigging, but in view of the outer tri-state area (Philly and Connecticut) as well as festivals.
MF: Album release, mini tours, and festivals.