Mansfield, Ohio (July 14th, 2018) – First thing first. Have you heard of Akadia yet? You may have arrived here from someone sharing this interview. If it was the band sharing it, you probably already know how awesome they are. If you have not heard them yet… well…
…stop right here and listen to their latest video Turn Away before proceeding.
Now, you are more familiar with these five. I must admit, prior to INKcarceration, I had never heard them before either. What a nice treat it was to be introduced to their music for the first time – Live!
We had a chance to chat it up with the guys after their set. Get to know a little more about Akadia, and enjoy our ten minutes with them.
Keith Anselmo – Vocals
Guy (Bassbeast) Daigle – Bass
Nathan Laurent – Rhythm Guitar
Ryan Duke – Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals
Jonny (Tunes) Laurent – Drums / Backing Vocals
Splice: We’re here at INKcaceraton Festival, and it’s hot out (in the mid 90’s with a good amount of Ohio humidity). Let’s start with this one, you were wearing a full-length coat. Was it insulated *laughter* or was it really hot?
Keith: *smiles* No, it’s not insulated. It’s is an authentic jacket and weighs 18 pounds. It is very hot, but I love it, and the fans love it.
Splice: That what I thought. I like your look, from the coats to the top hats. It really helps a photographer to get really nice photos. It’s nice to see stage outfits that are not just normal.
Keith: It’s memorable.
Splice: So you have your single out and it just hit 1,500 clear channel radio stations. Is there a barometer for that where you can track the response?
Guy: We will get those numbers back weekly. It just released two weeks ago, and with us being here and doing a lot of traveling, we don’t have that input yet.
Splice: That was also accompanied by your new video as well.
Guy: Yes. We launched them both on the same day. We seem to be getting a response from it, it seems to be going well. It’s been available on all the major internet providers now for a few months. We’ve gotten a lot of downloads on it. Now with the video release, people can put a visual with it.
Splice: I really like the style of your music. I like hard rock, but I also like pure singers. It’s great when you can hear good clean vocals with harmonies that go with that. How did your style develop?
Keith: Vocally, or as a band?
Splice: As a band… or vocally too.
Keith: Well… I joined the band after they had been Akadia for about two years. Whenever I was approached about being the singer, I didn’t really want to have any preconceived notations about their sound. I didn’t want to listen to their stuff, I wanted to see them live. They were opening for Hed PE the night I went and saw them and their sound blew me away. These guys already had their sound and it was awesome. The second the music started coming off the stage I was inspired vocally. I talked to them and they wanted to give me a shot. The very first night I came to the audition was March 2nd of 2017, my birthday, and one of the most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had in my life. They just played some music, and I just sang over it. Everybody seemed happy with what they heard and they asked me back.
Guy: We said, “you have seven days”.
Keith: Yeah, basically I had a week to write however many songs… ten songs, with melodies and lyrics to everything. I had all the reigns for melodies and lyrics, and that was the biggest attraction to me, and that these guys were trusting me with their music to do whatever I wanted to it. I’ve been a singer-songwriter type for a while, so I had my own sound there. This is the first time I have ever done “rock”, as a singer. I don’t know if I had a sound, but whatever you hear, these guys pulled it out of me, big time.
Ryan: And he tackled it. The melody and the lyrics. That’s something that our last singer just didn’t have. We struggled with it, day-in-day-out. As soon as he came in and we heard his lyrics and read his lyrics, we’re like now we have something to say. Now we have something to present to people, and they can really take us seriously.
Johnny: He’d write a song, and I’d just be at my house messin’ around in my garden, and it would be stuck in my head… it wouldn’t leave my head bro. He’s the one… it won’t leave my head.
Splice: Earworms are a good thing.
Johnny: Yeah, man.
Splice: What are some of your influences?
Keith: It’s a wide variety with us. With me, believe it or not, I come from more of a pop thing. Bands like the Temptations and Boyz II Men. A lot of that old R&B and old Motown stuff. Michael Jackson is one of my favorite artists, but as I got older I discovered bands like Sevendust, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Pantera… you know, that helped me take that pop and R&B sound and mesh it with the rock ’n roll which really attracted me more than anything. These guys are all over the place.
Guy: Yeah, Metallica, Tool, and Mudvayne…
Keith: A Perfect Circle
Guy: Yeah, all of it. Music is music, and if it’s good…
Guy: Hell yeah, Zebra. Those are our guys since we are from New Orleans.
Keith: Ohhh Yeah! We saw them a couple of years ago. They were in New Orleans… of course, they were. *laughter*
Splice: If you could take someone completely outside of your genre and collaborate with them, who would you pick?
Keith: Artist or producer?
Splice: Let’s go with an artist
Keith: Michael Jackson
Guy: The King of Pop. He was the King of Entertainment, period.
Nathan: Man, that guy, holy crap! I mean, Thriller!
Nathan: Yeah, all inspired by Michael Jackson. He’s the grandfather of all of that, you know.
Splice: Any fans of the movie Shawshank Redemption?
Group: Of course!
Ryan: I’ve always said, that’s one of the best dramas ever made. It had everything in a drama, that would make any movie so powerful. And then you have the history of this place, you know.
Keith: Then you put Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman together, Tim Robbins is a phenomenal actor.
Splice: So what did you do when you got the call that you were playing here?
Guy: Wow, we just all lifted out of ourselves. “Are you serious you want us to come?” Yes! I don’t care what we got going on that day we’re canceling it.
Splice: One quick last question. On your social media platforms, who takes care of posting?
Guy: I do. Yep, it’s me. Let your readers know that if somebody sends a message, I’ll respond. It might take me a day, it might take me a week, but I always get back with them. I stay in touch with fans all over the world. It’s a family to us, we’re not out here without them.
Splice: It’s nice to have that kind of connection nowadays with the fans.
Ryan: We can’t do this without those fans appreciating us that much. We had a large group come up from Louisiana and followed us here just to do this, and be a part of this for 30 minutes of our performance.
Keith: 14 hours for 30 minutes.
Ryan: They were happy to do it. They couldn’t wait to do it, and I love those people. I love every single one of them, and we want to get out into the crowd and make friends with these people all the time.
Splice: I always watch the crowds at festivals when they are catching new bands, and the crowd seemed to receive you guys pretty well today.
Ryan: We have a very original taste. People seem to respond very well to it. It makes us so happy.
Jonny: It’s that gumbo man! It’s all mixed in there.
There you have it. A rock ‘n roll band made up of five great friends just trying to break it through to the next level. I highly suggest checking out their music a little further. Follow them on Social Media and see what they’re up to!
You won’t regret it!