I have been given the opportunity to interview “The Paramedic” through email. A metalcore band based out of Dayton, OH. They have recently released their debut full-length album “Smoke & Mirrors” and just got off a tour promoting it. I had a few questions for them and they were glad to answer.
First question I have is what is it like living the dream of being a musician?
So amazing. It’s the best thing I could ever do with my life. I have been dead broke, and I have had more money than I knew what to do with, and everywhere in between. But no matter what the situation is, it’s always the best thing in the world. -Jake
It’s amazing, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else ever since I first picked up a pair of sticks I’ve known this is what I want to do, through all the good and the bad it’s still the dream. -Kyle
It is literally a dream come true. I couldn’t be more blessed to do what I do. It is a lot of hard work, and it can be very difficult, but at the end of the day I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! -Mike
Michael, you have screams that are pretty unique in an already overcrowded genre, and that helps you stand out. When did you first realize you could actually do these screams and do them well?
I’d been trying to scream for the longest time and to this date, I’ve only been screaming for about 4 or 5 years and I actually learned how to scream at a Paramedic concert of all places, before I was actually in the band. I’ve been progressing my skill every since!
Jake and Sean, you both play guitar and I gotta ask, what is your opinions on the misconceptions of nothing but “chugs” and palm mutes being the only thing the guitarists use in this genre?
All I’m saying is…I will never back down to a shred off with someone. Go ahead, challenge me. Haha -Jake
There’s choruses and alternate picking too! Haha and occasional solos, honestly haters are gonna hate, while there’s plenty of “chugs” in the genre they never fail to get us or the fans pumped up 😉 -Sean
Kyle, your drum work is superb, and some of the best I’ve heard in awhile. Any funny stories of drumming fails?
There are no drumming fails, just kidding, it’s always great when something breaks on stage and I have to deal without it,or a few times someone else on stage has ended up falling into my set, awesome haha
Your biggest hit from Smoke & Mirrors seems to be Clarissa Didn’t Explain This. Can you explain the history behind this song? Was it a personal experience that inspired it?
I just wanted to write a really heavy and relatable song when I recorded the music. Then mike came over and we wrote the lyrics together. Most of the concept came from a bad experience with his ex girlfriend. Her name wasn’t Clarissa by the way, the name came from a 90’s Kids show called “Clarissa Explains It All”. -Jake
It did come from a personal experience actually. I dated this girl named Katya and was head over heels for her, but the relationship was very mentally and emotionally abusive, and there was another girl named Kaitlyn that I’d broken up with and her friend called me a liar and a disgrace, which is used for one of my opening lines in the song! Long story short, I made them both famous now 😉 -Mike
Eddie Would Be Proud is the first music video from the album and the song itself has a theme that reminded me of Asking Alexandria’s “Hey There, Mr. Brooks” while still having a unique identity. Who came up with the concept for that video? Also, any inspiration behind that tune?
I wrote the music just trying to do something really artsy and cool for the genre with a really good structure, and the song itself is based on an Edgar Allen Poe story. We thought it was really unique and cool. Never really compared it to an Asking Alexandria song, but it certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone has said that. Hahaha. I think people just think anything sounds like them now because they are the top dogs in the metalcore scene. -Jake
I’d actually come up with the concept for the video as I wanted to represent the song and the inspiration of the song accurately. The inspiration for the song actually came from Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, “The Tell Tale Heart”. There are actually lines in the song taken directly from the story, such as “it is the beating of his hideous heart” and the title of the song, the lyrics, and the video all came from that short story! Needless to say I’m an Edgar Allen Poe fan haha -Mike
One last song I wanna touch on is When We Fight. I touched on this as one of the standout tracks in my review because compared to the rest, this track was absolutely unexpected. It’s not metal, it’s R&B. And it works for you. What made you want to do this kind of track?
That’s our thing! We are a metalcore band with R&B vocals. To me, our debut album would have been a joke without an R&B song haha. It just simply had to happen. -Jake
Haha well the simple fact is this. I am NOT a metal vocalist. I’m just an R&B singer who happens to be able to scream. I don’t really listen to metal either, I mainly listen to R&B because I actually is my favorite type of music haha. And I feel that vocally I excel with R&B music so we just figured why not? Paramedic panty dropper! -Mike
You are currently on tour promoting Smoke & Mirrors. Any funny tour stories you wanna share?
Well, every time mike uses the restroom is a funny story. That happens about 50 times per day, so… Lots of funny stories. Hahaha -Jake
Still one of my favorites to date is when our buddy decided to streak butt naked through a crowded in n’ out burger.. Haha -Sean
Well one time our tour manager snorted a roach….that’s all. -Kyle
When we were out on a west coast tour one time with a band called the persevering promise and their bass player ran through an in n out burger butt ass naked for 5 bucks. Everyone outside stood up and cheered! Haha easily one of the best nights I’d had on any tour! -Mike
The biggest question on all the minds of the fans: The second album. Anything you can tell us in relation to that?
I can tell you that it is the Mona Lisa of metal. A piece of musical genius. Our baby. And also, heavy as all hell. -Jake
All I can say is, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. -Sean
We can’t really say much about anything yet but what I can tell you is this. No one. Is. Ready. 😉 -Mike
Do you have any fan stories you keep near and dear?
We have the best fans in the world!! They help us out sooooo much on tour. We have had fans bring us food, drinks, take us out to eat, let us stay at their houses… They get us by. We literally couldn’t be a band without them, OR tour without them. -Jake
Literally too many to count! Hahaha we’ve made some fans who have become friends to us now and always give us aces to stay on the road and it truly is a blessing! Shannon, Marcos, Kyle F., Kyle P.! We love you guys! -Mike
What bands inspired you guys the most?
Honestly, Blink 182 is the only reason I ever wanted to be in a band. That’s the truth. -Jake
There’s too many to name, growing up I was exposed to Megadeth by my parents which really got me interested in music at a young age. AFI has always been a huge influence… Silverstein and As I Lay Dying we’re the first bands I started to learn on my guitar…But honestly there’s too many to name haha -Sean
Personally I’ve always been really inspired by super metal bands just because the drums are usually ridiculous -Kyle
I don’t really no about everyone else but for me I’d say my musical inspirations are Ne-Yo, Jonny Craig, DGD, Emarosa, Tyler Carter, Miguel, Issues, Brand New, La Dispute, and The Weekend. So basically R&B and Emo music haha. -Mike
If there was any band you would love to tour with, who would it be and why?
There’s so many bands I would love to tour with, I would really dig touring with Miss May I as they’re also from Ohio and I’ve just always personally liked them -Kyle
Blink-182, Brand New, La Dispute, and Kiss…Or Lady Gaga. -Mike
I want to tour with Taylor Swift so I can make her fall in love with me. Taylor, if you’re reading this, have your people call my people. I’m rich, well hung, and good in the sack. And we can write songs together -Jake
Pierce the Veil…They are perfect haha…I’d be incredibly intimidated, but I hear they are awesome people and they’re legitimately one of my favorite bands. -Sean
What about a specific major tour you would love to be on?
Warped, All Stars, a Kiss reunion tour. All the good stuff. -Jake
Warped of course! -Sean
Two words, Warped Tour -Kyle
Any bands you want to collab with?
Nope! Any other band would just hold me back. I know what I’m doing. Hahaha. -Jake
Again I’d have to say Pierce the Veil.. So sick! -Sean
Hmm Bands that play lots of blast beats haha -Kyle
Fall Out Boy or Panic At The Disco! For sureeeeee -Mike
Any cool/funny/outrageous stories from recording?
Not other than me and Mike arguing every day and screaming that we hate each other ridiculous, and then crying and hugging and making up. That’s basically how we make hits. -Jake
It’s always cool to make the drum parts just absolutely ridiculous for a second -Kyle
What is your inspiration for writing music?
Life. Feelings. Hatred and all things negative. -Jake
Honestly everything, experiences… Yea.. Haha not too mention it’s fun. -Sean
I’ve gone through a lot in my life and I want to share those experiences with the world. I release my demons through my music. I want to tell the world about it and let them know that they are not alone. -Mike
Is there any story behind the band name?
We just wanted something that was super easy to remember and had a strong visual that stuck in your mind when you hear it. We weren’t too worried about the meaning. When you hear a band name, you make your own meaning and mental connections. The words don’t even matter. -Jake
Any words for the fanbase you have garnered?
We love you so much!!! You guys have taken us so far. We do this all for you. -Jake
We do this all for you! We are forever grateful for all the love and support! Can’t wait to see you guys on the road, and I’m stoked to meet those of you of you we haven’t met just yet! Sean
Stay true to yourselves and don’t let anything or anyone stand in the way of your dreams. -Mike
Well, thank you for your time today. Any last words to your fans? Just like I said: We do this all for you. -Jake
Titanic wasn’t that great. Suppy wit it. -Mike