Houston, TX sextet, Myka Relocate, are set to drop their new release, The Young Souls, on October 30th via Artery/Razor & Tie and as such are working hard to promote their new music, including the recently-released single "New Again" - listen below. To further get to know this rising hard rock force, we chatted via email with vocalist Michael Swank about his band's writing and recording processes, and much more.
You guys are an extremely heavy band, how does it make you feel when that power and energy you channeled in the studio comes to life in front of a crowd? Swank: I think it's awesome to see kids vibe out as much as we do. I love seeing people lose their minds to songs I helped write, and it's especially cool playing shows where kids know all the words and fight their way to the front, just to scream our lyrics and melodies back in our faces. THAT is a neat feeling.
When you write do you do so with the live setting in mind or do you write a song just for the song's sake? Swank: For this record in particular, we definitely wrote with a live setting in mind. We really want it to hit hard live, and we want everyone to lose their minds when we play these songs. The hooks on this record are strong and this is the biggest Myka Relocate has ever sounded.
Along those same lines do you take advantage of technology and email riffs and parts back and forth, or do you get together in a room in a more traditional sense and write together? Swank: We do email riffs and parts back and forth at times, but most of this record was written in that traditional sense where Austin, our lead guitarist, would write instruments and I would come in and we would write vocals once we solidified a part. We get a lot more work done in smaller amounts of time when we just sit around together and crank out songs.
What is the story behind the name of the new record? Swank: Simply put, it goes out to today's youth. The lyrical content can be inspiring at times, and dark at other times. It follows the ups and downs of growing up in this day and age, trying to become comfortable in one's own skin. We've been through all of it and we want to try to help people through the tough times as best as we can, while, on the other end of the spectrum, pushing them to work hard and do great things with their lives. We see "the young souls" as a movement, and we want to be the voices of that movement.
What are some of the newer metal bands that you are listening to or enjoy? Swank: The Afterimage, Sworn In, Volumes, and Counterparts are all bands that I cycle through regularly. Great bands, awesome musicianship!
Photo credit: Tim Cayem
Do you receive a lot of support from your local scene and fans in general? Swank: Absolutely. Our fans here are incredibly loyal and have been with us strong since we started playing shows with this particular line-up/sound. When we're on the road, the kids that we specifically pull are amazing as well. It's really cool seeing familiar faces nowadays when we hit the same cities on different tours.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far? Swank: We played the Houston House of Blues when we were on tour with Attila in 2014 and that hit pretty close to home. It was just a really cool feeling. That was the biggest hometown show we've ever played and the support was just so on point. All the vibes and feels.
What is the strangest thing that has happened to you on tour, or at one of your shows? Swank: Once, outside of a venue in St. Louis, this guy that owned a motorcycle shop across the street started freaking out on us for some reason. I guess because we had the van pulled up in front of his shop? All I know is, the shop was closed and that was the only place we could really park. The dude was drunk or on some kind of drugs and was banging on our vehicle. He even flashed a gun and threatened us, telling us to move the vehicle and stop hanging out outside the shop.