Lead singer Brittany Paris, a.k.a. B., is a tattoo artist by day, rock star by night. I can relate. Students also call me B., a.k.a. Dr. B., and I am a professor by day, music journalist by night.
Which is not even close, come to think of it, and Brittany is much cooler.
Also, Brittany can sing. Really sing. You don't even want to hear me jingle. Ever.
Her cat jumps on her head in the middle of the interview. We laugh and then get serious. And then we laugh some more. This is why it's fun to interview musicians. They get it. They know when to take things seriously and when not to.
"We didn't always take things seriously, though," says Jared Paris, Brittany's husband and ForeverAtLast's drummer. "We formed in 2008, played around town in Indiana and Illinois, played just to play, but we only got serious toward the end of 2010 and into 2011."
It paid off. Victory Records signed ForeverAtLast in December 2014, and they're hitting the road for an intense two-week, six-state tour in honor of their new album Ghosts Again, the follow-up to their debut February to February. The band may be classified as Christian pop punk, but personal influences range from Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, Jimmy Eat World and Alkaline Trio to classics like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
"Ghosts Again was finished in February of this year. We mixed and mastered for three weeks in Atlanta, and we're proud of the outcome," says Jared. "And I love that part the most. I enjoy everything about music, but that mixing and mastering part, where I can add the little extras and make certain parts pop. I love that part. Hearing the same song over and over again for three weeks can make it all go a little stale, but it makes it worth it in the end when you have a finished product you're really proud of."
"We're always writing," says Brittany, "but I have to admit I like the demo process the best, odd as it may sound. The initial design of the song and the sound, the direction it takes, the feel of it when you think, 'This is it!' There is a satisfaction in the complete idea for me. I'm not nervous to record, just excited, and I hope that I can convey those feelings through the entire recording process."
On the phone, both Brittany and Jared are full of life and laughter and energy. Their guitarist Jordan, a major player in the band since 2010, also helps write.
“We've all been friends for a long time. We know each other well, which is one of the reasons I think we work together well, such as with our video. We loved the way it turned out [the video for Bad Blood]. It was a great shoot but I'm not sure we had much to do with the end product. Luckily, we worked with a team who really knew their stuff. The video and song itself are about death and what it can teach you, such as the fact it's pointless to hold grudges because we know where it leads. It's about growing up and moving on and I have to say, too, we're really grateful for all of the people who've been in our lives and the people who are still here supporting us all the way: our families, friends, and fans.”
“Our home base for a long time was The Gear in Franklin. But when that closed,” Jared says, “we found our new home at the Dome. It was a no-brainer. We love the venue and they've been very supportive. We always thought we'd be bigger somewhere else, but for us, it's worked the other way, the right way. We have so much support here and we love getting asked for advice within our hometown. I feel we've set our personal standards high and others see that, too, but they know it's something that can be achieved within themselves, too.”
Support is the name of the game. Victory Records says ForeverAtLast received large interest from UK rock press, and they will be covering the band extensively, with issues hitting streets next month. Furthermore, ForeverAtLast was voted by Alternative Press as one of the Bands You Need To Know 2015; so, the future is bright at last, for ForeverAtLast.
“I just hope we can continue the circle,” Jared says. “I know what our favorite bands have given us, what they've done for us. I know how, emotionally, they worked for me, made me feel — picked us up on a bad day, made good days even better. I want to be able to build our own fan base and do that same thing for them."
Bio: Dr. Rhonda Baughman loves to travel, eat, write, watch movies, go to concerts, and play with her vinyl record collection. Her latest novel is about an English teacher who's also an assassin. Follow her on Twitter, not in real life, because she's actually an English teacher, but probably not an assassin - although...Dr. Rhonda Baughman loves to travel, eat, write, watch movies, go to concerts, and play with her vinyl record collection. Her latest novel is about an English teacher who's also an assassin. Follow her on Twitter, not in real life, because she's actually an English teacher, but probably not an assassin - although no one knows for sure.more