Interview with Conscender

- Mar 23, 2006 at 10:35PM
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Having been together for just about five years now, these Reno, Nevada natives have already released two discs and are blowing away as many clubs and various venues as they possibly can. Although marred, by a recent line-up change, their bass player left for various reasons, these hard-working young lads are continuing to plough ahead full steam. Their latest release, a full length disc entitled Victims of a Movement, is a killer CD which features 11 tracks of maddening, Hardcore mayhem. Although an independent release, the recording quality is near flawless, and is truly a sick effort which merits all the praise it gets. I managed to get a hold of these fine dudes by email and here is what they had to say about the origins of the band, their two releases, and what the near future holds.

Conscender formed in 2001 when four high school friends began jamming and playing various cover songs. What was it that led to this formation and how did you come to begin writing you own tunes?
Daniel: We were all friends since grade school and enjoyed music and a few members were playing in the school band, which naturally led to us jamming together. We started writing our own music because that is what kept us entertained at the time. It was nothing serious.

Did you face a lot adversity when first starting out and being a fresh group of musicians how did you handle it?
Nick: The biggest problem we had was gaining people’s respect. We were young and were not exactly typical Metal kids. We were classified as jocks because we played sports and that was not respected in the “scene”.

In 2003 you hit a rough patch when you lost your original drummer. How did you find replacement percussionist Marc Davis and how did his addition affect the group’s chemistry?
Daniel: Marc was a close friend of the band so once the original drummer left there was no search, it was a natural fit for him to join. He started drumming about a year before the original drummer left so he took it upon himself to get up to speed. The chemistry was not affected at all. We knew him nearly our whole lives. We didn’t skip a beat.

Your original band name was Realm of Conformity. When and why did you change your band name and for that matter what does Conscender mean?
Nick: We changed our band name when Marc joined the band. We basically saw it as a new beginning, a chance to take things a little more serious than we had been up to that point.

Marc: The word “Conscender” is basically three words put together that have significant meaning in either a positive or negative way. It combines the words conform, transcend, and surrender. The point of having a made up name was to be a little different. It seems as if every band name has been taken but we have learned since then that the downfall of this has been that no one can spell or remember our name.

In 2004, after having put together seven solid songs, you hit up Pus Caravan Studios and recorded your first album Opus Dei. What was this experience like for you and how long did the session last?
Marc: Our first recording experience definitely had its ups and downs. We went in there with no expectations and virtually no prior experience. We recorded eight tracks (including the intro and instrumental), three of which were made with the old drummer. We did the entire album in only two days. It was all recorded live with the exception of vocals and guitar solos, which were added in later. It was a definite learning experience. The album was not as polished as we would have liked but we were happy nonetheless and left the studio with no regrets.

Shortly after its release, you began playing shows in support of Opus ‘Dei. Did you manage to play many shows and did your fan base grow significantly during this time?
Marc: We did play a decent amount of shows after we released Opus ‘Dei. However, a solid fan base was still extremely hard to obtain. I would say that we gained more respect from other local bands rather than gaining a significant fan base.

By January 2004 you were back in the studio working on your first full length release Victims of a Movement. How did you manage to get back to the recording studio so quickly?
Marc: Shortly after the release of Opus ‘Dei we decided that we needed to come up with better material if we really wanted to promote and get attention to our music. We just felt we could do quite a bit better so we started writing and practicing at least four times a week. We decided that practicing was more important than playing shows at the time.

What was the recording process like for you the second time around and how do you feel about your latest release?
Marc: The recording process the second time took a whole different approach. We practiced the songs till we had them perfect and headed to the studio for our first period of five days. In the first five days we got the majority of the instrumental done and that was it. We took a little while off to further progress our vocal ideas and headed back to the studio for four more days. We got most everything finished besides the mastering and a few touch up things that were done about a week later.

After Victims of a Movement was released you added a new guitarist to the line-up. How did you come to add Anthony Sullivan to the band and how has this affected the band’s sound?
Marc: After we released Victims of a Movement we decided that if we wanted our live performance to be as solid as our recording, than we had to take away the distraction of our main vocalist having to scream and play guitar at the same time. It seemed one always had to be compromised to get the other at the level it needed to be, so we decided we needed a new guitarist. We searched the old fashioned way by putting up flyers. We got several replies and tried out a good number of people until we decided Anthony was the best fit for the part, and he has worked out great. Our sound is much more full and polished than it was before.

Your current (and only) mission seems to be to get your music out to as many people as possible. Recently you have begun travelling farther in order to play more shows. Is it hard to book shows and is your fan following expanding?
Marc: Our number one goal is to get our music out to as many people as we can and we have been doing everything we can to see that it happens. We have been doing several mini-tours through California and we have played in Oregon and about every city within five hours of our home town, Reno. I definitely feel that we are gaining more recognition in and out of town but the fact that we are all in school really keeps our touring opportunities to a minimum, so we have had to utilize the internet and alternative ways of promoting to get our music to as many people as we can. I guess you could say we’re waiting for the right opportunity to take a break from school and start touring year-round.

What does Conscender have lined up in the near future?
Marc: As of now our bass player decided to pursue his own music project so we are looking for a new bassist and when we do, we will be right back playing shows. We are also writing new material that is quite different and much stronger (we feel) than anything we have put out so far. So look out for our new material in the future.  [ END ]
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