Interview With The Art Of Escaping

Interview With The Art Of Escaping



Rock Bandom have had the pleasure of an interview with the extremely awesome ‘The Art Of Escaping’ who will be headlining on our stage at Attitude Festival on the 29th November in Lowestoft.

Let me introduce you to

IMG_0790Justin Brand- Lead Guitar and vocals, Mark Warren- Rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Ben Gallacher- Bass Guitar and Nick Barker- Drums.

Firstly guys can I just say thank you for giving us your time and helping us to get to know you a little better.

So tell me when and how did you guys get together?…
Nick – The band was originally formed by Justin and Mark back at the beginning of 2014. A couple of months later in March, I joined the band and the final piece of the puzzle slotted into place when Ben joined in May 2014. The rest, as they say, is history!
Justin – Mark approached me in early 2014 about getting together to have a jam as he was looking to start a new band up. A few weeks later we finally got together and Mark sat and played 3 chords, which I played another piece of guitar over. We set a drum machine up and before we knew it we’d written Catch Me If You Can! We couldn’t believe it and were both like “Did we just write that??!!” We then had another session and wrote Ignite The Fire & Help My Lungs To Breathe and this was when we knew we really had something special as the writing process was easy and we were very pleased with the quality of what we were producing. So we stuck a few clips up on the internet and received an email from Nick asking who was drumming. Both Mark & I have known Nick for years and were both aware of the fact that he’s a cracking drummer, so naturally we were very excited. We got together in a rehearsal room shortly after and everything just worked. After waiting for what seemed like forever with searching for a bassist, in June 2014 we auditioned Ben and offered him the position on the same night! A few months later and here we are.
Ben – I had been looking for something interesting in Norwich having moved up from London a couple of years ago. I hadn’t found anything that was quite right for me until I came across TAOE. Everything felt right when I auditioned I could sense that Nick and I could work well together. Very quickly it felt like we had played together for much longer than just a few months.

Mark – I approached Justin in early February 2014 with the idea of starting a rock band as I’d been in metal bands for so many years I just wanted to try something new and fresh. We organised a jam at his studio and in just a few hours we had two songs that we felt really had something which we have built on since.
Do you actually all get on as good friends and spend time together outside of the band?…
Nick – No of course of not!! We all HATE each other with a passion!! Not really, ha ha!! We all get along well inside and outside of the band. I have known Justin and Mark for a number of years outside of bands so it was easy to slot into the band as we already had history.
Justin – We get on really well as a band. Everyone is totally chilled and we all know where we stand with each other. We’ve all been in bands in the past so we’re aware of the drama & politics that can come about and we’ve all agreed we’re too old for that so it’s just about getting together and playing great music. We’re all very busy people outside of the band so getting us all in the same place at the same time is difficult but when we are together we have a great laugh and it feels like we’ve been a band for much longer than we have.
Mark – I’ve known Justin and nick for ages and we’ve hung out at gigs over the years so it was really nice when we all came together and formed this band and as such we have a real chemistry between us that helps makes this band what it is. When Ben came along he added to the already existing sound that we had and made it better.

How did the name The Art Of Escaping come about?…

Justin – In 2013 I left a band that I had been part of for 5 years. In Feb 2014 I was feeling really down without even knowing why. After Mark and I had got together I immediately felt better and hadn’t realized that the thing I was feeling down about was the lack of playing music in my life. I’ve always felt that music is one of the most important and most powerful things in life as there is a song out there for every mood & every emotion. For me personally playing music is more like fuel and is something that I just HAVE to do. It provides me with a place that I can escape to from real life and channel all the built up negativity and frustration from various things. And with music being a form of art, we came up with The Art Of Escaping.

How would you describe your music to someone that has never heard you before and what influences your sound?…

Nick – As much as a cliché as it sounds, our music is a catharsis for us. Every song has lyrics and meaning based on our real life emotions, be that the loss of a loved one or dealing with life and all it has to throw at you. It’s heartfelt and real, that’s about the best way I can describe it. Influence wise, me personally, I have a very broad range of influences from rock to grindcore and everything in between. Band wise I would say bands like Story Of The Year, AlterBridge perhaps….
Justin – I would describe our music as Hard but melodic Rock combined with Metal influences. We’re all fans of rock music and we like our metal dirty and hard. From the start we wanted to have the option to include this in our music without it sounding strange and out of place and so far it feels like we have this balance.
Ben – I describe our sound as heavy and melodic, a mixture of big riffs and intelligent lyrics. I don’t think there is any specific direction that we expect to go in. Our background experience allows us to try different things and not be close-minded to ideas.

Mark – Riff based hard rock with a melodic vocal that drives right thru your earballs

We totally love The Art of Escaping here at Rock Bandom, all our Dj’s can be heard singing along to your tracks, which is obviously why you were voted as our band of the month for September ’14. What did it feel like when you first heard your music being played live on a radio station that has listeners all over the world especially in America?

Nick – Absolutely AMAZING!! That’s all I can say. I’ve been in bands for over 25 years and at the tender age of 38 I managed to hear my own band played on the radio. I felt like a giddy child if I’m honest and I’m extremely grateful to all at RockBandom Radio for championing us over the past few months. Means a hell of lot to us!
Justin – It was an amazing feeling and a very proud moment. The support that you guys have shown us has been incredible and we feel so honoured. The main goal of this band was simply for us to write music that we enjoy playing in the hope that maybe somebody out there would like what we’re doing. We didn’t expect for one moment that we would be featured on radio stations, have our Debut EP listened to and purchased all over the world, and especially not so soon after forming. Let’s just hope that it’s not all downhill from here!
Ben – I think we all got a bit over excited; it’s somewhat more real when your music is on the radio. We have been blown away by the reaction and support we have had from Rock Bandom.

Mark – I’d got a message from nick saying that we were about to be played so my partner and I tuned in. I loved the response the DJ gave us and I was jumping round the kitchen! But the most I felt was pride that something I had a hand in creating was being played on international radio.

Tell us what it was like for you performing your first ever live gig at the Brickmakers? You seemed to be very well received by everyone who was there that night (including us 🙂 )

Nick – I was a bit nervous but more excited really to get out there and debut the material we’ve been working at in the studio for the past 6 months. The reception was great and hopefully we can continue that vibe with our future shows!!
Justin – The gig was great and I guess for us it was a huge reward for all of the hard work we’d put in since day one. After rehearsing every week and playing the same songs over and over it was nice to finally play them live and for people to hear some of the other song we have been writing.
Ben – A mixture of nerves and confidence, until you play in from of a crowd you have no idea how the music is going to be received. We had a fantastic time and were amazed at the reception we got for our first gig.
Mark – It was amazing! I was so nervous right up till I plugged my guitar into my amp but then all the practice and rehearsals paid off. I had such a laugh up there with my mates and it was over way too soon.

What’s your biggest goal where TAOE are concerned. Would you like to go around the world on tour? Some bands are happy to simply make it in their own country….
Nick – Personally, my biggest goal is to have our music heard and enjoyed as far and wide as possible, however that may come about. If we make a connection with someone on some sort of level with our music then we’ve done our job. As far as touring the world? Who knows? Maybe? Anybody out there want to give us a huge record deal?!! (laughs)
Justin – The only goal we’ve really had since day one was just to write some good music that we enjoy playing in the hope that somebody somewhere might like it. We’ve been blown away with the feedback and support we’ve received as it has been completely unexpected. For me the biggest goal is to continue to write and hopefully record an album next year and play some more live shows, hopefully gathering some fans along the way!
Ben – Playing live is why I started to play the bass and TAOE have got my fingers itching to play more. Have bass will travel……Anywhere

Mark – For me personally that would to be to play an outdoor festival hopefully next summer.

Are there any mainstream bands you would love to play alongside of if you had the chance?…
Nick – Ooh, good question!! I think if we’re gonna be on a bill we suit sound wise then I would have to say Story Of The Year, Foo Fighters (like that will ever happen LOL). I would have loved to have toured with Pantera back in the day, looks like they had a proper laugh!! I mean the list is endless really. There are so many bands that I’ve grown up listening to that to share a stage with them would be an honour!! Let’s see what the future brings I guess…..
Justin – How long would you like the list?! I’m a big fan of Mark Tremonti & Alter Bridge, but maybe my number 1 band to play with would be Thrice. They’ve been one of my favourite bands for years so I was gutted when they decided to take a break. Hopefully one day they’ll be back and hit the UK, that would be a dream for me.
Ben – There are a huge number of bands that have influenced all of us and we have a long list of artists that we would love to play along-side. Inevitably some bands have retired or split so it appears we will not be able to gig with them. One of these is an Australian band called Powderfinger little known over here but amazing.

Mark – Stone sour, five finger death punch, alter bridge or black stone cherry!
Thanks for chatting with us guys, there’s just one final question that Rock Bandom would like to ask… What can we (the fans) expect from The Art Of Escaping in the next year?…
Nick – Well, you can DEFINITELY expect a debut album that’s for sure. We have about 7 complete songs (all belters I hasten to add) with another two at least in the offing, I think once we have enough songs we will hit the studio again. I don’t want to put a date on that though, it will happen when it’s ready!! We’ll keep dangling the odd carrot every now and then!! What else? We’ll have a video out for ‘Catch Me If You Can’ very soon, so that’s something to look forward to. More gigs and hopefully some festival slots!! Keep your eyes on out Facebook, Twitter and Reverbnation pages for more info.
Justin – More songs, more shows, more videos, and an album!
Ben – More TAP!
Mark – New songs, an album and more rocking live performances!.


Make sure you come along and check these guys out at the Attitude Festival


Interview With The Art Of Escaping
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