Interview: Life On The Sideline

This week, Ripper got the chance to chat with Life On The Sideline about their upcoming studio time, their origins and their incredible songs. Check out Outpatient, their debut EP, as a pay-what-you-want download on their Bandcamp.

You got together via a fairly unusual method – chatting online on Craigslist. How instrumental do you think the internet can be in finding people with a similar vision? And do you think it’d be the same band if you’d gotten together by different means?
You never know exactly what you’re going to get when sifting through Craigslist ads, it’s kind of a hit or miss type of thing. Nick and I (Ralph) had the same drive and motivation in turning music into much more than just a weekend hobby so I think that helped right off the bat. Assuming that we all still met through some other means eventually, I think this band would still be the same.

You’ve got a pretty unique band name – where exactly does the name Life On The Sideline come from?
We had been shooting names around for months and weren’t getting excited about any of them. We really wanted the name to embody exactly who we are and what we are about. I think it mostly has to do with most of our lives doing things we weren’t completely happy doing. I can’t speak for everyone in the band, but to me I had spent most of my life “on the sideline” going to school or focusing on work so this band kind of became one of my biggest priorities.

You’ve played shows with some other up-and-coming pop-punk bands in the US so far, like Major League. How has that helped you build your fan base? And will we be seeing you over on this side of the Atlantic any time soon?
Playing with more established bands has been awesome! We love playing shows whether it be with bigger acts such as Major League or I Call Fives or smaller local bands from our area. Fans of the national acts may come to the show to see their favourite band and could catch our set. It’s no doubt that these bigger shows get us more exposure and get more kids to check us out. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to come over to Europe before too long.

You’re going to be in the studio again this year. What can we expect?
We’re currently in the process of writing an EP. You can expect something heartfelt, honest, and some of the hardest work we’ve put in as a band.

Outpatient is only two tracks long but has already gotten you some very positive reviews (from us included!). How do you go about writing, and how will you be able to maintain that level of quality across a full length album?
Writing happens in so many ways for us as a band. I think that’s one of the best parts about us. A song may start off with a riff I wrote or a melody Nick came up with or a jam that just sort of spontaneously comes out during practice. We usually always know right away if it’s something we want to continue to work on. We all write. A lot. Between classes, on lunch breaks at work, in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep. Basically we are putting all we have into this next release and from what we have so far I’m pretty excited to put it out!

Pop-punk seems to be too inadequate and too simple to describe your sound. How would you classify yourselves? And where do you take influence from?
It’s tough, we all come from similar backgrounds, music wise, but we all listen to completely different stuff now. We play with a lot of pop-punk bands so I think we kind of get thrown into the genre. I don’t really know how to classify our sound, we just play what we feel and it just kind of comes out. Personally, a lot of my guitar playing comes from whatever I’m listening to at the time. I’m always searching for new sounds and new tones.

Although your songs are obviously serious business, you don’t take yourselves too seriously online – your Facebook page is positively hilarious. Does that help you connect with your fans, or is it genuinely just an extension of how you guys are with each other?
Haha thank you! When it comes to the actual music, we couldn’t be more serious, however when it comes to pretty much every other aspect of the band or even life we do our best to just laugh. We run all of our social media ourselves so I think it’s just our way of showing people that while life can throw you some heavy stuff, you can ALWAYS find time to just laugh and forget the small stuff.

And finally, what are you most excited for in 2013?
I’m excited for The Hobbit pt 2! Hopefully, I’m actually not even sure if it’s supposed to come out this year or not… Band wise I’m just excited to play as many shows as possible, put out new music, meet new people and trying to help my friends get through whatever hurdles they face. Thanks for having us!

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