Prizefighter just gave us a full-length album that stretches across several styles of alternative rock while hinting at pop-punk with an extra edge of hardcore and screamo just peeking their heads around the corner at each turn.
The Somewhere Between Here & There album his packed to the brim with catchy and winding riffs and guitars wailing and screeching in killer melodic harmonies and hooks everywhere.
The record keeps to that personal and emotionally driven sound we know and love from Prizefighter and pushes the envelope a bit more with each new song.
One of the coolest things about this album is that you really never know what to expect next. By the time you get halfway through the record you are prepared to be pleasantly surprised. And it always happens.
Songs go from hard hitting heaviness and thrashing with brutal emotion, to catchy with pop feels and colorful layers of sounds that fall atop each other with a gracefulness that really works.
Either way, Prizefighter stays true to the sound, and this is why we love this artist so much.
When you hear it, you know who it is, and it can stop whatever you're doing to listen harder.
The album is performed with tons of passion and is woven with a love for the craft for sure.
With the release of the full-length album, we wanted to ask a few questions to see how it all came to be and what inspired it to happen in the first place.
BuzzSlayers: Okay so let's start things off with the Somewhere Between Here & There album. This record has a killer rock tonality and a lively energy to it. Where did this record come from?
I think I said it best when asked to describe the album's cover art idea to the painter I hired; "A black and white sketch of a person, but with a face made up from a mess of colors and textures. - I want it to feel like a lot of mixed emotions, someone who is figuring out who they are." And I think she nailed it. Shout out Ronni!
BuzzSlayers: I'm certainly hearing some different styles mixed in on this one. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
With the songwriting style I jokingly told my fiancée that this all came from the inner kid in me. I work on a ton of music in my studio in a lot of different genres, but covid gave me some extra free time and I wanted to do something for myself. And by that I mean get back to my 2000's era pop punk/emo roots, the bands I grew up with like Taking Back Sunday, Armor for Sleep, AFI, Say Anything, Hawthorne Heights, The Used, Nirvana, Silversun Pickups, My Chemical Romance, etc..
BuzzSlayers: Do you do any live performances? I honestly haven't been on a real stage with a band outside of being behind a soundboard in almost 10 years. I'm hoping these songs will inspire other musicians to want to form a band out of this project. While playing solo it is fun to reinvent these songs acoustically, the energy is different. I wrote this as a very high octane, noise filled record and I think it NEEDS that power behind it to really hit and translate.
BuzzSlayers: What kind of things inspire you to write?
It is almost always situational or feeling based writing. But I like to be loose with my perspective when writing out a song's general theme. Sometimes I'm telling my story, sometimes someone else's, sometimes it's not really a story but a smearing of emotions. Some songs are even contradicting perspectives like head vs. heart. To be honest, I'm more curious as to what each song means to a fresh faced listener over what it meant to me writing it. So I think I'd rather keep their narratives open for you to flesh out a meaning for yourself.
BuzzSlayers: What are you performing on this record besides vocals? I actually am the sole force behind this entire project. Not only did I do all the vocals, but I played all the instruments as well as engineered the project from the first note recorded to sending out the masters for release day. Hell, I even shot and edited the music video for Empty Eyes by myself! Though the skulls and oddities used in the video belong to The Coven's Craft.
BuzzSlayers: Did the album come out how you wanted it to? How long did it take you to complete? I think the best way to make a record is to let it make itself in the moment. I don't believe songwriting ever ends. There's always another cool idea you can add to the track or a different way of playing that same riff. The trick is to not force or rush it but let it come out of you naturally. Some of the best parts of our favorite records were total "happy accidents" where someone made a new, weird sound that made everyone go "woah, that was cool, how do we make this work here?". In my case, after about a year and a half of writing, recording and playing with sounds between the cracks of my studio's schedule, I got to where we are now. Somewhere Between Here & There. The short answer is no, this album wasn't quite what I originally envisioned but I'm so happy with how it came out and so proud to say I did this all by myself.
BuzzSlayers: What's next for you as an artist? Is there anything new in the works even now? I did this for myself, but the response has been so overwhelmingly great that I think it would be wrong to keep writing songs only for myself. So yes, I most definitely see more PRIZEFIGHTER in the near future. Maybe reimagined covers in my style? Maybe more originals? We'll see, but I'm already mapping out a few things.
BuzzSlayers: This whole record feels pretty personal. Is creating music your way of getting things off your chest?
I think most artists write music as an emotional expression. By writing out what you or someone else may be feeling, you in turn come to a better understanding of that emotion and what caused it. Be it pain, happiness or whatever. It's like putting a face to a name but instead by putting a sound/lyric to a feeling or a situation.
BuzzSlayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
Well outside of being my favorite hobby and my job, I still make time to step away. I'm a lucky man with a supportive, loving fiancée that works in the vet field. We're very animal oriented and have three great dogs and a sweet cat. I'm also really into urban exploration and photography - which if you are unfamiliar - is exploring and shooting derelict and abandoned buildings. I've been all over New England and explored many houses, factories, hospitals, asylums, mansions, and more! I photograph my journeys on my Instagram HERE.
BuzzSlayers: Who are you listening to right now?
At the moment I'm mostly listening to artists I've been told I sound similar to, some I've grown up with and others I'm just discovering but love. You can listen to them too on my PRIZEFIGHTER Picks playlist on Spotify. So far there are over 125 songs of some well-known and underground artists that I absolutely love. Bands ranging from Oso Oso, Chiodos, Basement, Superbloom, Free Throw, Somerset Thrower, Balance and Composure, Embracer, Thrice and a ton more. It's great for my fans in discovering new music and rediscovering some gems!
BuzzSlayers: This album feels like a big undertaking. What kind of advice would you have for other up and coming bands out there? I did this all alone, and I can tell you right now...don't do that. While incredibly rewarding, the stress of it all was intense. Staying on top of everything and being on a time crunch had me thinking I wasn't going to make it. My best piece of advice is to find a team. To stand out you must be putting out high quality content. From the quality of the songs, to what you're posting to market the songs and EVERYTHING in between, nothing can be cheap or a thrown-together afternought. Any good team should consist of the talent (be it musicians, producers, or a sole songwriter) audio engineers (recording, mixing and mastering), photographers/videographers, graphic designers, and of course PR reps/marketers. You may be able to fill some or most of these shoes yourself, but it's best to find out your strengths then surround yourself with people who fill in your gaps, where you aren't strong. You're going to need logos and content created, nobody cares if there isn't a face, so video/photos are important, it's not worth listening to if the recording is poor, the mix is jumbled or the mastering doesn't help it translate, and nobody is going to listen if they don't know about it without marketing and press. While I'm over the moon with the release of my album and love how it came out, I wish I had hired another pair of fresh ears for mastering. I'm a good mastering engineer, but because I rushed from mixing straight into mastering without a break, I ended up muddying my mixes a bit. But I was at a point where I had already done everything, had a deadline and wanted to finish! Still proud I did this all myself, and I learned a lot as I went. With all this new experience I plan to rewrite a book of mine detailing how to release your music to reach the most amount of possible fans and grow. I am in the process of working through that, but the original beta version is free on my site HERE for anyone interested.
BuzzSlayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart, I didn't expect this much of a response and have been so humbled with how the listeners have been resonating with my songs. I made music that a 14-year-old version of myself would have loved. I wanted it to be big, anthemic and fun to sing/yell along to in a way that's also cathartic. I put pieces of myself and life throughout the tracks and I hope that the fans can find pieces of themselves and their experiences in the songs too.