Reflect//Refine sat down to answer some questions I had about their signing to Famined Records, their poignant and powerful debut single, “No Soul” and much more!
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to talk to us. Can you start off by introducing yourself(ves) and your role(s) in the band?
Absolutely, we’re happy to be here! Reflect//Refine is:
Landis Pearce (vocals)
Nick Sellers (guitar)
Colby Richardson (bass)
Ryan Guy (drums)
Let’s start at the beginning: You were formerly known as JYNZO but, as you’ve discussed, you laid that name to rest due to change in musical direction and lineup change. How did you arrive at the name “Reflect//Refine,” what other names did you experiment with and when did you know that it was the right one?
Really for us, there weren’t any other concrete names we had come up with to choose from. We more so came up a few vague themes and ideas we wanted to try and embody. The ones that really stuck out were the ideas of traveling and flourishing. With “Reflect//Refine” we felt we were really able to capture the concept of looking back on where one has been, where one has traveled, and using that as an opportunity to grow and better oneself, or flourish.
Your new single, “No Soul” features a more “djent” sound and a heavy emphasis on atmosphere and more melody, when called for. What prompted the change in musical direction and what makes this the single that you want to showcase that change?
The change really came from a feeling of having gone stagnant. During our time as JYNZO, we played the same material for an absurdly long time, it really felt like we were stuck in the past, and watching other artists we were fans of evolve and change their sound. When we were finally in a position to change our style, we sorta dove in head first to the material Nick had been preparing. Being able to fully embrace the new soundscapes gave us such a refreshed outlook, that we hardly noticed how different it was starting sound.
You recently announced that you signed to Famined Records. Were they the first label to approach you and what made you decide to sign that dotted line?
They are actually the first, and it was actually just a chance encounter between one of their reps and a audio clip our guitarist posted on his Facebook. After being able to chat with them and really get a feel for what they were trying to help us accomplish, we felt like it was a good move for us to move forward with the partnership. They’ve been extremely insightful and a much valued resource in this chapter of our journey as a band.
In addition to “No Soul,” are you currently working on an album for release in the near future? If so, is it all being handled by the band, like with Jynzo’s material?
Absolutely, our guitarist Nick is always cranking out songs in his own time, so we definitely have a wealth of material to work with. It’s just a matter of compiling the right ones. He’s our primary songwriter, so yes, it’s all handled by the band.
What can we expect out of your debut release, in terms of sound, concept, etc?
As far as sound goes, it’s definitely focused more on the new ambient/groove sound we’ve developed, but there’s sure to be a few moments that fans of the older stuff can appreciate. On the concept side, it’s a story of great personal tragedy and loss, and dealing with the emotional ramifications of that.
What bands, if any, influence your writing style and how do you incorporate those influences into to your music?
Nick would probably cite Northlane as his biggest influences. Northlane’s ability to weave colorful, melodic sections in and out of heavier riffs has always been a huge inspiration in the writing process.
While the journey in its current form has been short… what has been your favorite memory since your re-branding and why?
Playing to over 700 people at The Fillmore Underground in Charlotte, NC at the Queen City Metalfest is without a doubt the best thing we’ve done so far. It was just an amazing opportunity for us, and an extremely responsive crowd really drove home the fact that we’re going in a good direction.
What are your top 5 albums that have influenced you, personally, as a musician? Why?
”Mesmer” – Northlane
“The Joy of Motion” – Animals As Leaders
“Sempiternal” – Bring Me The Horizon
“Lost Forever / / Lost Together” – Architects
“Polaris/Errai” – Tesseract
The thing these albums all have in common is their ability to push the boundaries of what metal is and what it can be. We’re striving to carve out our own niche, much like these records did, and to develop our sound to its utmost potential.
What are 5 albums you feel that everyone should listen to, regardless of genre?
”Meteora” – Linkin Park
“Random Access Memories” – Daft Punk
“Year of the Black Rainbow” – Coheed & Cambria
“Gone Now” – Bleachers
“One Fell Swoop” – The Spill Canvas
These albums all display incredible songwriting, which is something we value over most anything else. Also a heavy emphasis on unique production styles, which is something that we focus on as well. After all, if your record doesn’t sound good, who’s going to want to listen?
What have been your favorite albums of 2018 (so far) and why?
“We Will All Be Gone” – Good Tiger (Nick)
“East Atlanta Love Letter” – 6LACK (Landis)
“Kingdoms in Color” – Maribou (Ryan)
“Sister Cities” – The Wonder Years (Colby)
We all agreed that the things that really make these albums stand out among the great releases in 2018, was their poignant lyrics, how listenable/well-written they are, and their production quality.
Additionally, what albums are you looking forward to the most in 2018 and beyond?
The new Polyphia record, “New Levels New Devils,” is gonna be huge. Those guys have been steadily evolving over their last few releases, and this new release feels like it’s all going to come together. As well as the upcoming Coheed & Cambria album is shaping up to be one of their best.
If you had an unlimited budget to build your very own dream tour with no genre restrictions, as a fan… what bands would you choose and why? (Minimum 5 bands) Bonus points if you have a name for the tour.
Protest The Hero
Unfortunately, we couldn’t come up with any sort of name for this particular bill, but it would be an incredible show. All these bands bring something completely different to the table, whilst staying similar enough in terms of genre to really be a cohesive package everyone can enjoy.
Same question, but with Reflect//Refine as a headliner and you HAVE to choose at least one local band to take out with you.
What is some advice you would give bands who are starting up and, perhaps, are ready to call it quits?
The biggest thing we can offer to bands starting up is to be as professional as possible as soon as possible. Back when we very first started as JYNZO, we were a band for over a year before playing our first show. Taking the time iron out every little detail, from the songs themselves, to how your stage set up should be. The more professional you act, the more seriously you’ll be taken. This can go for bands on their last leg as well. Buckling down and looking at the bigger picture can be revitalizing, and is definitely something they should try before definitively throwing in the towel.
Is there anything else you would like to add before we wrap this up?
As for adding anything else, we just wanna say thanks for having us, and we hope to give you much more to write about in 2019!