One of the most fascinating things about music is falling in love with a genre. You get to find something that has everything you want to hear tied together with other bands that share these same interests. I like digging into the nooks and crannies of these genres, and that is where I truly find my favorite bands. Digging around in metalcore can be a painful search, but finding Stand Alone Complex was well worth it. While I believe the genre is clouded with mediocre acts, there are still bands that succeed in making powerful and passionate music with their own distinct sound. Stand Alone Complex is one of those bands.
Looking into the band’s history, you will find three EP’s of amazing progressive metalcore. But it’s more than that; throughout their career, they’ve grown to grab at a bunch of different styles of metal. They’re progressive, they’re melodic, they’re technical, they’re heavy, all combined to become a stand-out band. It’s like they have combined Erra, Misery Signals, and many others to create this refreshing twist on the genre. I can’t talk up these guys enough, so why is it likely that you haven’t heard about them?
Unfortunately, this band seemed to just slip through the cracks. Erra and Invent, Animate’s new albums were highly praised in the genre, and while this band channels both, most fans of each don’t even know Stand Alone Complex exists. Still, with less than 3,000 likes, they prove that numbers don’t determine success, and I know one day they will get the recognition they deserve. Being an independent band might result in less reach to potential listeners, and that seems to be the case for them. Don’t let Facebook fool you, give this band your time and listen to their music.
The best place to start is their new EP titled “Dreamstate” that was released on May 5th, 2015. It might be their most impressive material to date, and showcases the best of what they have to offer. I was lucky enough to talk about the new EP, as well as other things with the band. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Where did the inspiration for the new EP come from? In other words, how did the theme of “Dreamstate” come to be?
DREAMSTATE was born from a series of reoccurring dreams I kept having. When something subconsciously keeps probing itself into my thoughts, I had to express it by writing them down. – Josh
2. How would you describe the storyline of “Dreamstate”?
I wouldn’t say there is a storyline as much of a theme that goes along with this EP. Each song represents different moments in a series of dreams I kept having. Say for example in “The Drifter”, it’s about the failing to realize the difference between dreams and reality. “The Navigator” is more so about being lost in a limbo like world and not wanting to return for lack of a better world, “the real world”. Like I said it is mostly just a series of dreams I kept having and get like I needed to get them out of my head. – Josh
3. What are your biggest influences?
Veil of Maya, Erra, Chon, August Burns Red
4. What is it like being an independent band? What are the successes and/or the struggles?
First off, there are many struggles being an independent band. It’s like starting your own little family. There is little to no profit and the things that keep you moving forward is all the moments of success that bring the joy of seeing through the struggle. Being an independent band is exactly how it sounds. No one is helping. You succeed or fail on your own volition. If a member or two of the family doesn’t pull their weight, it really affects the whole. However, the successes feel enormous. You can sit down and realize that every little thing that has happened to your band was and is directly influenced by the hard work and dedication you have put in over the years.
5. With such a strong catalog of great EP’s, when can we expect a full album? Future plans with the band?
Future plans of the band are getting a new member fully integrated and comfortable in the band. When we have our new roster at full strength we will be playing shows rapidly again. In regards to a full album, the cost of studio time is high and saving up enough money is a task in itself. We would love to put out a full length album for everyone and will be working towards it. For the time being we will be playing our new EP Dreamstate and hoping everyone enjoys it as much as we enjoyed creating it for you.
“Dreamstate” is not a regular EP in any form. It tells four different stories, four different reoccurring dreams re-imagined in music. What you get here is a diverse set of tracks that stand out in their own ways. “The Drifter” and “The Collector” show off the band’s more melodic side, while “The Navigator” shows more technical guitar work and seamless transitions. This song is very heavy, dense, and dark, and the vocals stand out on this track especially. This EP has solid instrumental work throughout, surrounded by a vocalist that encapsulates a range of emotions that are felt on each song.
Looking back on their older releases, these things were always staples in their music. Even from their first EP “Dweller Among The Clouds” from 2011, they were always making music that seemed to have more substance than most metalcore bands. They’ve come a long way of course, and throughout their releases they’ve only gotten better. Slowly but surely, they are climbing the ladder, and each rung is another step up in their musical endeavors.
Stand Alone Complex, simply put, is a band that does everything right. It’s getting harder and harder to find the “real bands” out there, the ones that truly care about making music. This band accomplishes that and them some, with positive hopes for the future and doing everything they can to keep the band moving forward. I may be a bit of an avid fan, but I may also be right. Take the chance and check out this band- for most, you won’t regret it.