An amalgam of metal in all of its greatest forms is brought to you by Audiobox. The rock group is heavily influenced by 90’s alternative rock, jazz, funk, blues, punk, and heavy metal. Inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson, The Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Audio Adrenaline, Prince, and so many more, their sonic make-up is a unique blend, taking you through a journey of rocking melodies, growling choruses, and an all-around good time as showcased in their latest single “Summer Days.” Meet Audiobox.
MajorHiFi Music Monday: Audiobox
Audiobox started with Colegrove and Flair who’ve been jamming together for over a decade. Around 2009, Colegrove decided to pick up guitar and vocals, subsequently forming Audiobox. Over the past 11 years, the band has evolved with a revolving door of around five different drummers before establishing the current stellar line-up of Matt Colegrove on vocals and guitar, Joe Flair on bass and vocals, Jason Maurer on drums and percussion, and Keith Randall on guitar and vocals.
As of lately, the four-part rock outfit is working on a follow-up album to their 2013 collection “Nothing to Write Home About.” Speaking on the project to come, Flair told MajorHiFi the new album showcases their range and a new and “exciting” sound from the band. “There are happier pop sounding tunes, others that are kick-you-in-the-teeth heavy, and every thing else in between!” he said, before adding, “I’m hoping that this new album leaves our listeners wanting more, and being as excited as we are about the new Audiobox sound.”
Audiobox’s Joe Flair took a moment to chat with MajorHiFi about their latest single and live performances.
MajorHiFi: What headphones does the band use when recording? Traveling?
Audiobox: We actually just started our own studio within the last year. We have a couple different kinds… though, I’d like to get a set of cohesive phones. Currently, we have an older pair of Bose, a pair of Sony’s, but I am particular to my Audio Technica ATH-M20X headphones for in the studio! When traveling we usually just talk each other’s ears off to stay awake on the road, haha.
MH: When did you each of you know you wanted to pursue music as a career?
Audiobox: Matt Colegrove decided he wanted to do music when he saw Petra at the Bloomsburg Fair when he was 10 years old. Joe Reichenbach (Flair) grew up in a household where his father was always in rock bands and had music ingrained into his life at a very young age. Picked up the bass and guitar at 12. One of Keith Randall’s first memories was climbing up on a drumset at one of his father’s gigs, he started taking lessons that year. He switched to guitar at 15 and has played ever since. Jason Maurer has been making noise and experimenting with instruments since he was a toddler.
MH: How did the band meet?
Audiobox: Matt and Joe have played in bands together for about 11 years now. Matt played drums in those older bands and after the last group fell apart, he decided to take up the guitar and vocals forming Audiobox… around 2009. After a few drummers that didn’t work out (5, if I can remember correctly), Joe ran into a friend who he hadn’t seen in a long time, Jason Maurer back in late 2011, and asked him to come jam and see what types of things we were doing. Almost instantly we were a functioning band again, and within a few weeks were back to playing full 3 hour gigs. The band was established as a power trio and played as such for about 6 years. More recently, we decided to add a fourth member, to play lead guitar. Last year we decided on our man, and pursued Keith Randall who is well known in our locale as a talented solo act and guitarist for other groups. He’s been finding his place in our sound, and things have really been sounding great with the current lineup!
MH: You are all influenced by so many artists? What artists are some of the band’s favorites and why?
Audiobox: There are very few bands we can ALL agree on, but one that we all seem to really enjoy is CLUTCH. Matt’s favorite and most influential artists are The Smashing Pumpkins, Prince, Michael Jackson, and Audio Adrenaline. For me), it’s Alter Bridge, Soundgarden, Royal Blood, Victor Wooten, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Keith says he has far too many influences to list and Maurer’s musical influences are anything that doesn’t make him hit the mute button.
MH: You’ve got an interesting sound, how do you describe it and how did you come to define it?
Audiobox: Thank you! We all come from very different musical backgrounds which gives us a very different approach to how we write music. We all listen to a wide variety of stuff but, stylistically, Matt has a lot of pop and 90’s alternative rock influence. Joe learned bass in a jazz-funk setting and also prefers a lot of harder rock. Maurer comes from a strong punk-rock background and has his own very unique taste in music, and Keith is more from a bluesy genre of music, also with very eclectic tastes.
MH: What inspires your sound?
Audiobox: I think a lot of it comes from what we are all currently listening to, but I think we really are good at inspiring each other. One of us will generally come with a song idea.. whether it’s a riff or a chord progression, and we will agree or disagree whether it’s something we want to continue working on. From there we kind of bend and shape it with our own eclectic styles and come out with a finished product that is purely Audiobox.
MH: Are there any artists in particular that influence or inspire you all now?
Audiobox: We’re all constantly inspired by many different artists/ genres of music. Just about every time we’re all together, we can’t go without someone saying “Hey have you heard of this band, album, song, new style of music…?” and if it’s something we’re interested in, we check it out… I think everything we listen to and enjoy plays a little part in what inspires us.
MH: You’re releasing a new album soon, what is the creative process behind it? What are some of the themes? What do you hope resonates with listeners? When will it be released?
Audiobox: We are definitely the type of band that has our music written before we go to the studio. Our first album ‘Nothing to Write Home About’ was written in its entirety before we ever started recording. I explained a little bit of the writing process earlier where someone (usually Matt) will come to us with an idea, and we will jam on it and create a song, each by adding their own individual, but cohesive, taste to it. The recording process has been lengthy. Somewhere in the realm of 12 simultaneously recorded drum tracks… tons of microphones on each guitar amp that we record. It really gives us a huge sound when we polish it up. Maurer just heard the recent progress with rhythm guitar and bass added on it for the first time, and all he could respond with was how big and full of a sound we are getting. It’s all being done in our own studio this time – which is challenging, but totally worth it, because we have full control on what it sounds like.
Matt writes a lot from things he’s experienced in his life and whatever is on his mind at the time. We have songs like “Sound Off” which is all about standing up for what you believe in… Other ones like ‘Damn’ which is about taking his wife and his Jeep out in the woods for some off-roading fun… “Collide” is an imaginative story about a man who’s lost the one he loves. If I recall “Break me Down” was originally written for a friend of Matt’s who is an MMA fighter. There are happier pop sounding tunes, others that are kick-you-in-the-teeth heavy, and every thing else in between! I’m hoping that this new album leaves our listeners wanting more, and being as excited as we are about the new Audiobox sound. We are shooting for a summertime release, we have a big original music event that we are putting on in August that would be a good time… if we can wait that long!
MH: I hear the band’s live performances are very entertaining, tell me what is it like to see you all live?
Audiobox: If you’re going to come watch our band, expect a party and to be entertained. We don’t show up to be background music. We like to get our crowds involved by making them sing with us, picking on members of the crowd, being personable with our fans, and dragging them up on stage with us to dance and sing!! We’ve even been known to buy out the shot tray and distribute it to people who want to have fun!
MH: What is your career trajectory and what else is in the works for you?
Audiobox: Getting this album recorded is top priority right now. We’re still working Keith into the band at this point, and things are going well! I think we’re all excited to see what new doors this album can open for us. As always, we never stop looking for new places to play, so we will continue playing shows and broadening our fan-base. Keith has been instrumental in a lot of the things we have been doing. A new website (www.audioboxmusic.net), constantly making us killer show posters, and initializing this big event we have coming up in August. I’m sure once we get through the summer, we will begin writing again, and continue gigging… it’s a vicious cycle.
Audiobox is looking to drop the album in the summer. Until then, if you’re in the northeast, you can check out one of their fun and interactive live performances at this schedule here.