BY: STEPHANIE STEVENS
PROJECTED is an American super-group consisting of members from highly successful bands in the rock scene; John Connolly (voice/guitar) and Vinnie Hornsby (bass player) of the well know Sevendust. Scott Phillips drummer of Creed/Alter Bridge and Eric Friedman of Submersed and now in Tremonti playing guitar.
Back in 2012 these guys decided to work together and write a record; Connolly said “we're just going to go in here and have fun with this”, having that laid-back attitude created the debut album HUMAN, which was highly accepted in the rock world.
With commitments of the members full time bands a few years passed, but a lot of work went into what would now be the sophomore album of this hard rock band.
IGNITE MY INSANITY came out July 21, 2017 and has produced the first single RELOAD that is pure power and hard rock; and more recently IGNITE the 2nd single that is darker, powerful and hands on full of chaos and pure beauty. This double record is pretty stellar with hills and valleys of rock soundscapes all while blessing us with the amazing talents of these guys. It has a massive amount of rock power, melodic overtones and some hard rock aggression to wet the palette of rock fans young and old. Vocally Connolly is a natural and his range and sound is just purely heaven in my opinion.
I had a chance to speak with John Connolly about the new disc, how it feels to be up front singing and if a tour will happen with this line up.
WAS THE ONLY REASON YOU GUYS WAITED SO LONG FOR ANOTHER ALBUM DUE TO THE FACT YOUR OTHER BANDS WERE BUSY OR DID YOU THINK YOUR FIRST ALBUM WAS GOING TO BE JUST A ONE TIME THING?
You never know if something is going to be a one-time thing. Predicting the future is not something I'm good at lol, but in all honesty, there are 7 reasons why it took so long. 2 Alter Bridge records, 2 Tremonti records and 3 Sevendust records. Life just kind of happens and PROJECTED is not replacing anything. It’s something we do in addition to everything else. Writing, recording and releasing a 21-song album took every bit of spare time between the other 7 records that were released in those 5 years.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE GOING INTO A SIDE PROJECT LIKE THIS THEN DOING A STUDIO ALBUM WITH YOUR BAND?
So many differences really, but the recording process is probably the biggest. This is mostly recorded at home and done on a super tight budget. It's for fun and we never put ourselves in a hole to make it.
IGNITE MY INSANITY HAS A LOT OF MATERIAL ON IT; FIRST OFF HOW FAST DID ALL THESE SONGS COME TOGETHER FOR YOU GUYS?
Once the process started, it came together very quickly. After the first few songs, they came together fast. I never sit down and say, this is what the record is going to be about. They come to you and you either accept it or not. Kind of like going fishing. You are never really sure what you're going to catch, but once you start you have a pretty good idea what is going to come.
STORY LINE CONCEPT FOR THIS ALBUM COULD YOU BRIEFLY TELL US WHAT IT IS ABOUT AND WHERE DID YOU PULL FOR INSPIRATION FOR THE LYRICAL CONTENT?
It's about realizing you're going insane and sorting through the process of dealing with it. The voices in your head are getting louder and more convincing and you realize they won't ever stop, so you have to find a way to cope and deal with life that has them apart of it. Mostly internal, but sometimes external things that can ignite the insanity.
ONE SONG THAT IS ON REPEAT FOR ME IS FAITH I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT SONG CAN YOU TELL ME HOW THAT CAME ABOUT AND DOES IT HAVE A SPECIAL MEANING TO YOU?
That's very personal to me because it’s my wife's song. It's the single moment that I put myself personally into the insanity and wanted to write something for her specifically. I almost didn't include it because it sort of didn't fit the concept, but after going back and forth with it, I realized it fit because it was honest and was part of the process whether you are going insane or not.
DID MORGAN CO-WRITE SOME SONGS WITH YOU AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS ALONG WITH YOU HAVING VINNIE IN THE BAND DO YOU GUYS TRY TO WRITE DIFFERENTLY FROM WHEN YOU'RE WRITING FOR A SEVENDUST SONG?
Morgan co-wrote “CONCEDE." I don't "try to write" ever to be honest with you. I don't sit down and say, I'm going to write a ballad today or I'm going to write a heavy song today. I pick up the guitar and start playing. Never sure of where I'm going until I get there. I do the same with Sevendust, but Sevendust always has 5 cooks in the kitchen at all times. PROJECTED has 1 to start and once the basic idea is in place, the other 4 are brought in. Same process, but different results based on the involvement of the rest of the band.
WHAT WAS THE REASONING YOU WERE SPEAKING TO THESE CERTAIN GUYS SINCE YOU KNOW SO MANY MUSICIANS; WHAT SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS WAS IT THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WRITE WITH THEM?
I asked people that were cool to be a part of the project. All dear friends that I have personal relationships with. I never considered characteristics. I purely went off my friendships for this. No more no less!
HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING THE FRONT MAN AND USING YOUR VOICE IN FULL POTENTIAL?
It feels different because it's outside of my comfort zone, but that's part of why I did it. Growth usually comes when you are uncomfortable and doing things you aren't sure about, or at least for me it is. Some people learn new licks, or learn new styles of music. For me, I enjoy learning all the processes within the style of music I create.
IGNITE IS A PRETTY KILLER TRACK AND YOU MADE IT A VIDEO IS THIS YOUR FIRST SINGLE AND VIDEO WHAT MADE YOU FEEL THAT WOULD REPRESENT THE ALBUM BEST? AND HOW WAS THE VIDEO MAKING?
Thanks so much, but IGNITE wasn't the lead single. RELOAD was as was the video we shot for it. RELOAD is part one and IGNITE is part two of the videos. Video shoot was great but crazy. We shot from 5 pm till around 4 am and we shot them back to back in the same shoot.
I’M SURE YOU GET ASKED ALL THE TIME BUT WILL WE EVER SEE A PROJECTED TOUR IF YOU GUYS ALL HAD DOWN TIME AT THE SAME TIME? OR WOULD YOU TRY TO GET A PACKAGE TOUR WITH YOUR REGULAR BANDS AND HAVE PROJECTED OPEN THE SHOW?
We are going to try for sure. We enjoyed this enough to make another record, so touring is something we'd love to do. Biggest issue we face is the push pull of Alter Bridge-Tremonti since we have a member in both bands and finding time in the schedules is a challenge. But, I think we can find a way to make it work at some point.
LAST COMMENTS TO YOUR FANS?
Thanks for all the love and support and hope to see ya'll on tour sometime in the not too distant future.
A little game this or that.
Horror movies or comedy movies? Horror
Winter touring or summer touring? Summer
Crossfit workouts or bodybuilding workouts? Bodybuilding
Melodic singing or aggressive screaming? Melodic
Ice cream or brownies? Ice cream
Bud light or coors light? Coors Light