Frustrated teens and college students like to talk about how they're going to leave the Hoosier state some day for bigger places, but just as many are finding reasons to stay, especially The Day After.
They've been putting in time in the local Indianapolis music for the last three years, steadily gaining a fan base and improving themselves musically along the way. The culmination of everything so far leads up to this Saturday night when they release their new EP entitled The Year, a record with prominent themes of self-improvement and friendship.
The Day After will celebrate these themes with a record release show featuring several bands in the Indianapolis music scene they've befriended. Frontman Kevin Kirk discusses how the local music scene helped to shape The Day After and their music since their beginning and how his personal struggles are reflected in the songwriting.
NUVO: What were some of the influences that went toward the songwriting on this EP, whether it be personally or musically?
Kevin Kirk: Well, musically we took a more organic approach and a few songs were written without any preconceived structure. It's really the first time we've written together as a band without someone "pitching" a song idea, you know? As for influences musically, we've looked a lot more at what bands closer to our field have been doing recently. Borrowing some ideas of course, but really trying to keep things defined within our own sound.
Lyrically speaking, I feel The Year is more focused than we've ever been. I don't look to any bands specifically lyrically, I just write what I feel. Often times lines are similar to other artists, or just plain cliche, but I've never come across an issue with my lyrics because they are more honest than I've ever been with myself as a musician. A lot of the songs cover this scene that has raised us as a band and there's a definite reason for that.
NUVO: How long have you guys been playing together as a band in the scene you reference, and how has it helped shape and affect your music?
KK: We've been a band since December of 2008, so three and a half years or so. It's shaped our music because we love playing shows with our friends. We know that there are rules and we enjoy breaking them from time to time because we take ourselves very seriously, but we're not immune to trying new things for fun's sake. Lyrically, the scene and our friends have been so incredibly important, because I reached the epiphany that no matter how hard you try, you can never do some things alone. Be it trusting in your friends, your band, or even the listener, you will need help.
NUVO: Is that what the album is about?
KK: It varies song by song but songs like "This Is Where I Belong" or "Second Guess Myself" really focus on the words of those who look desperately to escape this town that most of us grew up in. I took those words and found myself, no matter how many times, defending this place. You may think you're unhappy with the place you live, but running from that place will not make you happy. Only you can make yourself happy, regardless of the setting. Hence the line: "I'll be fine right here." Songs like "The Year" or "Broken Hearts and Second Chances" focus on my past struggles and sticking with music throughout those hard times, and "The Good Life..." is my vague attempt at passing that lesson on to another. I wouldn't say the whole album is about that same topic, but a very large portion of it is.