New Medicine Interview

By Mario Trevizo

Published on Monday, September 6, 2010

New Medicine is an up and coming band that will be releasing their debut album Race You to the Bottom on September 28th via Photo Finish Records. The group is currently on the Rockstar Uproar tour and Mario Trevizo had the chance to speak with vocalist Jake Scherer and bassist Matthew Brady.

How long were you all a band before you really started seeing Photo Finish Records or anything like that?

Jake Scherer: We’ve been playing in bands ever since we were kids. I started a band when I was twelve and started another band when I was seventeen called The Verse Unsung and sang there for like three years which kind of spiraled off into New Medicine which was almost two years ago. It’s been a long haul but we just keep playing and keep doing music.

A lot of times at a big rock festival like this when people see a young “new” band they’ve never heard of, they tend to think they really just started but you all have been playing in bands for a long time.

Jake: Ten years we’ve been playing in bands.

Matthew Brady: Same with me man. Ever since I was like thirteen I played in a punk rock band like ten years before this but we all grew up together and we eventually came together to form New Medicine and this band is kind of like a collective project for the four of us. We have great chemistry under the name New Medicine.

Is this the biggest tour you’ve done, or have you had good luck before this?

Jake: Well, I wouldn’t say we’ve done bigger tours before this but we’ve done like Warped Tour. We went on tour this spring with The Used; we did a couple shows with Chevelle, Puddle of Mudd, Sick Puppies…

Matthew: …Our good friends Halestorm, we just got done being on the road with them. We were on the road with them for like a month before this tour started. We’ve been running around in our van for a long time [Laughs]

Jake: …until it died two weeks ago. Right before this tour started we killed our van on the way home from Cincinnati.

How’d you guys manage to get the tour bus?

Jake: We actually went in with Hail the Villain. We both just kind of split it since both of our vans cut out.

Matthew: Yeah they’re some really great guys from Toronto so we’re having a good time hitting the road with those guys.

So was this the first time you’d played with them?

Jake: Yeah, we’d never met them before. We played like one show a few days before the tour started in Springfield.

Matthew: Yeah and it just so happened we got along.

So when you’re not on tour, what are you guys usually doing? 

Jake: Well, I like to write songs on the side for other artists and us. I just like producing and writing. For extra cash on the side I paint houses and stuff like that.

Matthew: We all have side jobs. I mean, when I’m home I work with a non-profit called MPERG in Minnesota and we do fundraising work for social, environmental and economic issues in the state.

What would you say is the defining factor that separates you from other up-and-coming artists in your genre?

Jake: Honestly, I think our songs do because we work really hard on the song crafting. That’s where our focus starts. We don’t care what our hair looks like, what clothes we’re wearing, if we’ll have fireworks at the show or not or anything like that. We’re just focused on how the music sounds. We feel like our record [Race You to the Bottom] has eleven good songs on it. Not just one or two with ten bullshit filler songs and we think our music is different and doesn’t just sound like everybody else’s does. Every time we go on tour we have people come up to us and say, “You guys are different! You don’t really fit with that other band, but we like you guys.”

Would you say your band, lyrically, follows a theme or formula to create the songs or does each song tell its own story?

Jake: Each song tells its own story. I write from the heart. I would say every song is a little bit different. I don’t just write angry songs and I don’t just write happy songs. I write whatever I’m feeling.

So you can collectively say it’s a collaboration of stuff?

Matthew: Yeah I think that’s one of the things we’re most proud of about the record. With so many people making records specifically to fit in a genre or to achieve some sort of aesthetic or sound we just really feel like our record has a lot of variants and flow to it. It explores everything from party songs to aggressive and in-your-face songs to ballads and love songs. It’s as variant as we are people.

If your album was to be a picture, but it was collaborated between three different animals – represented the different elements that your album touches on – what would be the three animals would this be a hybrid of? 

Matthew: That is the best question I’ve heard! That is a fucking awesome question.

Jake: Definitely a shark.

Matthew: Yeah, definitely a shark. Definitely an eagle with massive talons and a noble little barn swallow [Laughs]

Jake: Wow.

Could we come up with a name for this animal by chance?

Jake: It would be the…sh-eagle…swallow [Laughs]

Matthew: The barn sheagle [Laughs] that is such a great question, I’m going to be thinking about that all day. I’m going to keep coming up with different combinations.

How long have you been touring for this album?

Jake: We’re actually just starting the touring process. The Album doesn’t actually come out till September 28th.

Do you have any sorts of plans? Like touring behind this album for two years or anything like that?

Jake: No certain plans, really. We’re just going to see how it goes. I think once we feel like it’s time to put a new record out and we feel enough people have heard this record and we’ll probably start writing a new one. But we’ll definitely be out for at least a year I’m sure. Probably two years.

Matthew: We’ve put a lot of work into it so we’re pretty confident with how it’ll be received.

For anyone who isn’t really familiar with your sound, who would be three bands you’d fit in pretty well with on tour?

Jake: I’d say Rage Against the Machine…

Matthew: Rise Against.

Jake: And probably the Beastie Boys.

Matthew: Hell yeah we could definitely tour with the Beastie Boys. I mean we’re four sociable guys so we like to get out there and have a good time and mix it up. We can’t forget the main reason we’re out here doing this – because we’re four best friends and we really enjoy doing what we do.

I know you’ve said you’re focused on this album, but have you started brainstorming for this new record at all? 

Jake: Yeah, I already have like ten songs written for the next album. We wrote something like fifty songs for this album so I’m only like a little bit of the way there to where I feel we have enough songs to start to cut it down to really make a great record.

Well that’s it for us. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us.

Jake: Thank you man.

Matthew: Absolutely awesome interview, thanks so much!

For more information on New Medicine visit http://www.myspace.com/newmedicine.

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