Life After Liftoff

Life After Liftoff could be dropped into the "college band" category if you're really looking for a classification - though I'm not exactly sure what the recipe is that defines a "college band". To me - its just good music. I haven't been in a college class in about 5 years, but the bands I loved on the college scene, I still jam out to on my iPod today. And so categorize this band all you want - it doesn't matter. They're damn good at what they do!

The band consists of Lee Weiss (vocals/ guitar), Dan Malloy (drums, back up vocals, keys), Ryan Chatterton (guitar, back up vocals, keys) and Jason Sigritz (bass, back up vocals, keys), hailing from a spot that seems to have more and more music coming out of it: Dayton, Ohio. They've crafted an awesome follow-up to the EP "Memory of You"; their full-length debut "Everything is You". Lee gets into it: "If you like 'Memory of You' it’s the next step. It encompasses the entire sonic spectrum of Life After Liftoff!...Since the start of Life After Liftoff, I've always described us as, ‘Alien Pop Punk,’ a modern take on 90's pop punk and 80's arena rock." Of course - that description is intriguing. But it may be the message, described by Jason that hooks you: "No matter what trouble you are in, there is still life after that. I believe this motivational band name embodies it more than anything else."

Understandably so, this band is easy to get behind. So check them out. They're competing now in the 2011 Warped Tour’s Ernie Ball Local Bands competition in the Cincinnati, Ohio region, so get out there if you're around. There's much more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ's.

XXQs: Life After Liftoff

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?

Lee: Since the start of Life After Liftoff (LAL) I've always described us as, ‘Alien Pop Punk,’ a modern take on 90's pop punk and 80's arena rock. I feel that LAL stands out because we have an overall message of love and hope which is portrayed in an inspirational way. But we also love to have fun and really take it as far as we can.

Jason: I would describe our message as: no matter what trouble you are in and you have some let downs there is still life after that. I believe this motivational band name embodies it more than anything else which in the end makes us stand out.

PEV: Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, what kind of music were the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

Lee: We all grew up in punk rock bands growing up. My first concert that I was taken to at the age of 9 was Elton John but I really consider MY first concert to be Blink-182!

Ryan:  When I am not listening to Life After Liftoff tracks, I find myself listening to Ska, Punk Rock, and 80s music. I have a profound love for Bon Jovi and Goldfinger, they have shaped the way I view music today.

Dan: I grew up listening to everything from classical music to metal. My parents and brother got me into a lot of great music from a very young age. The first concert that I got to choose to go to was Dropkick Murphys and Mighty Mighty Bosstones...incredible!

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene in Dayton and what was it like trying to break into it?

Ryan: The music scene in Dayton has changed so much, it’s rare to find punk rock or pop punk bands because Dayton has become such a metal town. At times it’s hard to decipher breakdowns in our music because people can be closed minded to something new and different. To break in we just have to keep pushing and not give up especially if we believe in our music and what we do!

Dan: I've been involved heavily in the Dayton music scene with several bands for the last sixteen years. Unfortunately, the original music scene is rough here, since most venues are looking to have primarily cover bands or national touring acts only.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Life After Liftoff show?

Ryan: Fans can expect to walk away inspired and in a great mood. We tend to be really uplifting but all of us tell jokes and have fun with the experience because there is so much bad in the world that for however long we are playing we try to create a happy and positive environment.

Dan: Fans should expect a high energy, high quality show, combining great musicality with interactive stage presence!

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

Lee: Ummm don’t mess up, don't mess up, and don’t mess up, @#% #!!!!

Dan: Go time!

PEV: Having gained a great reputation on the college scene early on – what were those days like traveling around college towns?

Jason:  College shows are always fun and I really can't wait to do more, it’s a scene where everything and anything can happen. Since we are all of that age it is something we relate to!  In fact in the fall we are excited to put together another college tour where we will be travelling to college town throughout the U.S.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

Lee: I am the type of writer that allows my inspirations to shine through my work; I never think it’s a bad thing to show where you come from musically. This music was created when I was coming out of a situation where I had lost my friends and a girl that was very special to me. The idea in my mind was to create music which would make me feel better, bring light back into my life, and really guide me forward. I feel the best ideas for my songs come from life experiences.  

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

Ryan:  I started my career in music education. I always wanted to be in a band and always knew I would take it one step further. Music education has given me an ample role in Life After Liftoff because I am in charge of conducting practices and making sure the songs flow together.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Life After Liftoff?

Lee: We are all really funny and interesting dudes. I think that makes up our energy, we all have a very similar sense of humor and we feed off of one another so that really makes it fun. In addition, we are also an eclectic group with different career paths and upbringings which makes the band so unique.

Jason: I am a Phi Kappa Tau fraternity member and having this involvement it will open many doors whether that is through philanthropic capabilities or going on the upcoming Fall Rush Tour geared around the fraternity chapters.

Dan: The current configuration of Life After Liftoff has only been playing together for about 4 months.

Ryan: Something all fans should know about me is that I am a huge sports fan and love all things sports especially college football and will always root for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?

Lee: I remember being 13 years old and getting my first guitar by selling my Pokémon cards. When I picked up the guitar I tried to learn as many Blink 182 and Greenday songs as I could. After seeing both bands live I knew that I wanted to pursue this, not to mention I had always been very creative with writing.

Jason: In the seventh grade, I had an obsession for Blink 182 who at the time released hits such as, What’s My Age Again and All The Small Things. At this time I formed a Blink 182 cover band titled, Wink 364. It was then that I developed a passion and love for music in this band. I played guitar in this band for two years.

Ryan: In school, I was very much involved in the music department playing in both band and orchestra. After years of playing in high school I continued this passion into college where I majored in music. My dream was to become a music teacher.

Dan: I've had a strong passion and ambition for playing music all my life, but I knew it was something I would continue to pursue after my first round of small tours when I was 17.

PEV: Tell us about your upcoming full-length debut, “Everything Is You”. What can fans expect from this?

Lee: If you like "Memory of you" it’s the next step. It encompasses the entire sonic spectrum of LAL! If I can tell fans or readers anything is listen to the lyrics and the story being told! I honestly think everyone will really be into the record; there really is something for everyone!

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best and worst part?

Lee: Life on the road usually consists of me waking up, immediately complaining and in dire need of coffee, once that’s taken care of I’m good to go!  Everyone always thinks that life on the road is one big party, which it can be but in reality it's a lot of rushing and waiting. You usually get to a venue around 10am and you have to wait to load in around 3pm. I take that time to explore the city, read a book, or visit record stores is always a great way to pass the time. I think the waiting is the worst part or not eating on a regular schedule. 

Dan: Life on the road is one of the most fun, but also most draining experiences. Being so close with the guys in the band really brings you together, but it can also be trying at times when there's little time apart.

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

Lee: I cannot wait to play Europe, Asia, Australia or the Middle East. I love traveling!

Dan: I've been fortunate enough to see most of the U.S. on different tours, but I'd love to do some traveling overseas...maybe Australia!

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

Lee: All our friends are supper supportive and really help push our band to where we want it. Our families are helpful in the same way, I love the fact my mom is my biggest fan. In fact all of our families are supportive.  We love playing a hometown show because it is incredible and nerve-wracking all at once. When we have 100 of our closest family and friends it relieves some of the pressure.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

Lee: Jason and I are really involved with our fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau. I also love traveling, going to shows, Sailing, and fencing. 

Dan: I currently work at Guitar Center and conduct private lessons for different students in the area teaching a multitude of instruments including drums, bass, guitar, and vocals.

Ryan: Today, I am finishing up my degree at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and I am a supplemental music teacher at the local high school working with the marching band, jazz band, and show choir.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

Lee: Past artist would have to be the Beatles; I love Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s song writing together. And current artist would be Blink182, U2 or Greenday!

Jason: Over the years my style has evolved outside of pop punk to artists such as John Mayer and Kings of Leon and definitely would not mind collaborating with them.

Dan: I would love to have the chance to work with Anberlin. I've met them on other tours, and they are genuinely good people, and some of the most talented and passionate guys I've ever met.

PEV:  Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

Lee: Locally from Dayton I would say Let’s Get It, they are a unique band and really good friends of ours. We have partnered up together and they have helped produce our EP Memory of You and assisted in all of our promotional images. We appreciate their hard work and talent.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

Lee: Well I would be getting ready to take the MCAT for med school, so I would be going into the medical field.

Dan: I'd probably be doing some sort of graphic design or website design work. That is the field my degree is in, and I do a fair amount of that type of work on the side now too.

PEV: So, what is next for Life After Liftoff?

Lee: I am looking forward to writing many more songs in the future and have already developed the concept of the next record. I am constantly writing songs based on my true life experiences as they are the ultimate motivation.

Jason: We are excited to get the EP out for all of the fans and cannot wait to get on the road this summer and fall.

Life After Liftoff is releasing their EP Memory of You on June 1, 2011. We are anticipating this release of the upcoming EP and look forward to all that is to come. Right now we are buttoning up the final touches with Let’s Get It’s, Tyler Smyth who is producing our LP. In addition, we are competing in the 2011 Warped Tour’s Ernie Ball Local Bands competition in which we currently are 7 out of 250 in the Cincinnati, Ohio region.

Be sure to check out Life After Liftoff’s official website www.lifeafterliftoff.com, Facebook.com/LifeAfterLiftoff, Twitter.com/LALBAND, Purevolume.com/LifeAfterLiftoff for more information about upcoming shows, merchandise, and a sneak peak at some of their songs.

 

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