Interview and CD Review – Alter The Design – Welcome To Our Nothingness


Artist: Alter The Design

Album: Welcome To Our Nothingness

Rating: 10/10


Alter The Design emerges with a release that is sure to enrapture. The album “Welcome To Our Nothingness” is 6 tracks of intensity with 1 track in the middle to calm you before they hit you again. From the first single released “Drained” to even with the opening track “Blindsided.” They are sure to enthrall.  Hailing from the Steel City (Pittsburgh, PA), Alter The Design have become one of the region’s premier rock acts, with their heavy yet melodic style that leaves you craving more. Alter The Design are composed of Justin Gaughan (Vocals), Amanda Blackwell (Drums), Corey Wile (Guitar/Producer), Sean Lewis (Guitar) and Cody Tyler (Bass).

Alter the Design have shared the stage with Billboard charting artists Trapt and Otherwise, as well as rising artists such as Everlit and Gears. They have proven that no act or stage is too big for their colossal sound. In September 2016, Alter The Design became sponsored by Blackcraft Spirits Whiskey, owned by Bobby Schubenski of “Total Divas” on E! Entertainment Television. In September 2016, they released their single “Drained” on local rock station 105.9 The X. Their debut album, “Welcome to Our Nothingness”, will be released in November 2016.

The album to be honest it’s quite a ride. The first single to be released is “Drained” which offers some really highly executed timing with drums and guitars colliding perfectly together. There is an deep emotional inner story track by track. Inner anguish is fuel to this album.

Opening track “Blindsided” opens with such a a high octane guitar riff thats definitely headbang worthy, I mean they really break it down in this song. I was absolutely blown away by the solos introduced in this track. There is a certain reimagining of Breaking Benjamin sounds in “Broken Road” with the hard octane guitars and one masterful bass drum. Now the song is vocally powerful, and there is no other way to say it cause it’s perfectly executed in their breakdown. And the build up is timed spot on with the vocals.

A song that really is the underdog on this album but that would be unfitting to say about the track “Hollowed Dream” it really packs a punch in vocal delivery and once again the guitar intensity is so otherworldly in this track. One thing is for sure this album is sure to please, if you like a hard hitting, emotional band full of intensity. This is an album for you. Did I mention the guitar riffs, it’s definitely something to be heard.

The album overall is an exciting mix of a Chevelle/Breaking Benjamin influence while of course having their own definite unique sound from the experiences that fuel the lyrics in each song. Each band member brings alot to the table whether it be the amazingly skilled Amanda Blackwell on the drums. Or the Bassist (Cody Tyler) and Guitarists (Corey Wile, Sean Lewis) and Last but not least the vocalist (Justin Gaughan) who can really belt it out. Alter The Design is a band that should be playing on a radio station near you soon enough. “Welcome To Our Nothingness” is scheduled for release in November. Be on the lookout for it!


I was privileged with a small interview with lead man Justin Gaughan and the other band members. We spoke on some life challenges, his musical influences and on touring. Here’s what they had to tell us.

1. What captured you as far as singing, writing, performing? Playing and performing lets us set aside our problems and enjoy each other. Getting to connect with the crowds and having them sing along to our songs is a great high for us!

2. One thing seems to remain as with many artist and thats family. How does that factor into your music?

A band functions as a family. It’s important that we’re not just acquaintances who get together to play once a week, but that we also talk and share ideas about everything, whether band-related or not.

3. Who is your main influence hands down?

Individually we share many of the same influences, but also different ones, sometimes not necessarily even rock. In all honesty, our main influence is each other anymore, because we all bring something new and fresh to the table.

4. What has been one focus on this album?

The main focus of this album has been finding a cohesive sound and allowing individuals’ influences to show in their performances. It’s typical debut album stuff, but doubly important with having 3/5 of the band just recently joined.

5. Your song “Drained” what was the concept of this track to you?

Drained has a very deep meaning for Amanda. The lyrics were actually written about the emotional and physical suffering she was forced to endure at that time in her life. It was built with the mindset to help her move forward and let go of some of that pain.

6. Do you have any memorable moments at your shows?

This one time at band camp… Just kidding, it was the first show with our current lineup at Daily Grind’s CD release party at the Rex Theatre in Pittsburgh; it was the first time we got to experience our own design as a five piece, and take in the crowd’s response to our family’s efforts and hard work.

7. Is there a song that speaks to you? A song that hits home.

For JJ, it’s definitely Broken Road. We wrote it about his life of having children in broken homes. It’s something he personally vowed to not let happen but there was nothing he could do… Helpless and confined to that life.

8. Any collaboration that you would like to do in the future?

It would be cool to do a collaborative cd of many of our favorite tri-state area bands, where different bands’ members could write together. Then, those efforts could be recorded on a CD and perhaps sold for charity.

“The future’s not set. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.“ — Corey Wile


Preorder Welcome To Our Nothingness


Alter The Design on Social Media


Official Video Promo for “Blindsided”

Official Lyric Video for “Drained