Method Of Doubt are an amazing young band who have members living in Atlanta and Florida. They put out a demo in 2018, an EP in 2019 and last December saw their debut full-length “Staring At Patterns” released on I.O.U. Records. Comparisons have be made to Supertouch, Quicksand, Mil-Spec and Fury to give you a better idea on what they are churning out sonically. The fact that their latest album contains 8 songs that can easily be played end to end without a single ounce of filler is a true testament to this bands song writing abilities as well as execution. This interview was originally supposed to happen at their January 28th show in NYC with No Pressure but we got thrown some curve balls that week so we jumped on the phone with their singer Liam Quinn on February 5th to get a Method Of Doubt interview in the books here at In Effect. The rest of the band is: Joel Cedeno- guitar, Yoosang Doo- drums, Oscar Hernandez- guitar and Steven Sanchez- bass. Method Of Doubt logo (hand-drawn!) by: Sven Gjurcek, with photo contributions from Carl Gunhouse and Meline Gharibyan. UPDATE: Since this interview happened the band has announced that they will be breaking up and playing their last show on April 2nd in Miami… a true heart-breaker as their latest album has already broken into the “all-time favorites” realm here at In Effect HQ. Thank you Method Of Doubt for what you gave us!
IE: What's up Liam? Where are you right now and what would you usually be doing around this time if you weren’t doing this interview?
Liam: Right now I am in Atlanta, GA and I am basically doing what I would usually be doing on a typical Saturday evening. My girlfriend and I both work during the week. On the weekends we usually get chores done during the day and evenings are pretty much make dinner and then chill out on the couch with the dog watching television.
IE: This interview was supposed to be done last week in NYC at your show with No Pressure but there were some issues on my end including a snowstorm that rolled through and we obviously didn’t connect. From the photos I saw of the show it looked like it was a really good turnout. What can you tell us about last week’s show?
Liam: It was cool and I would say it was the most “pro” show we have done. Our friend Harry who plays drums in Regulate and No Pressure who headlined that show booked it and he was telling us how they were asking him for a rider for the green room and he was like “I dunno, chips and salsa I guess” but it was definitely that type of vibe with a super professional venue. I know that show sold a ton of tickets and you were not the only person that stayed home because of the snow. No Pressure definitely pulls from a little bit different of a crowd, kind of a bigger crowd and maybe a crowd of kids that have not been to a ton of shows so that was really cool. I think the fact that they did that kind of lineup helped bands like us, Restraining Order and Rule Them All because the crowd that No Pressure draws may not go out of their way to check us all out. I hope some kids walked away from that show wanting to hear more from the opening bands which I think was the case. It looked like everyone was having a really good time.
IE: Was that Method Of Doubt's first show in a very long time?
Liam: It was our first show since September and that was also in New York. Oh wait… I am lying… Actually a few days after that New York show we played in Miami but that was also in September. So yeah, this was our first show in about 4 or 5 months. It was our first show since the LP came out. We were supposed to play in Jacksonville, FL about a month ago but a couple of people in the band got sick so we ended up not doing that.
METHOD OF DOUBT @ O'MALLEY'S, MARGATE, FL SEPTEMBER 11, 2021. PHOTO BY: MELINE GHARIBYAN
IE: It was about two and a half years between your “Accepting What We Know” EP and your latest “Staring At Patterns” LP which came out in December. It obviously was a long process to put it all together. Can you take us through the timeline of it all as there were some people who were really itching for this new album.
Liam: So specifically “D.A.C.” (Decide And Choose) was written by me and one of our guitarists Oscar. We wrote that in Miami probably like 2 months after our 7” came out in 2019. “Target Fixation” was written a few months after that and as things became more clear that… our impression, and I think everyone’s impression back in March of 2020 was that there would be no shows for like a max of about 3 months and we were just going to sort of ride things out and then everything would go back to normal. As we started to get deeper into the shit and it was becoming clear that shows were not coming back for a long time we slowed down really hard. The way we write music is very motivated by playing stuff live. There are a lot of new bands that came about during that lull in shows and I think people were comfortable writing songs that way where they are kind of machines and they have fun jamming stuff out but for us it is a real motivator thinking about playing stuff live and when that became such a foreign thought and it wasn’t clear when it was going to return we slowed down a lot. There was a point where we almost decided to not do the band anymore while there was the moratorium on shows. I think that was maybe 2 or 3 months before I moved to Atlanta so probably around October of 2020. Our previous drummer had quit a little before I moved and that was another factor in us almost not doing the band anymore. When I moved to Atlanta we knew Yoon and everyone who had been in Abuse Of Power and are really good friends with all of them. A couple of weeks before moving to Atlanta I called up Yoon and asked him if he had any interest in figuring out the rest of these new songs and being in the band and recording… and he was really stoked. So when I moved up here from Florida I showed him the material we had written already and banged out some stuff with him. Everyone else then flew up from Florida like once or twice over the next few months and we ironed everything down. I think everything with the new album was ready to go in May of 2021 where they were done, demo’d, and then we recorded it in June. The majority of the new record I would say was written in those last 3 months. Sorry for the long answer here. It was a very difficult thing that took a lot of time and was very slow moving with everything really popping off over the last 3 or 4 months.
IE: When you were writing and recording the new album were there any songs that came to the forefront as immediate favorites for you? For myself I find your new album just hits from track one through track eight and I find it very easy to play it straight through.
Liam: I appreciate that you can listen to it that way. That is a big obstacle with writing a longer record where the music is not just having 3 or 4 songs that are hitters with the rest being filler. In response to the question I have a thing and a lot of people who write music have a thing where your favorite song is generally the last one you wrote and the older the song the less you like it. I really liked “Kudzu” and that was one of the later songs written at crunch time. I was really excited to play that one live. I was also very excited to see how people would react to “One Million Copies Sold”. It is not a genre bending song or super ground breaking but it is definitely a little bit different. I think most bands that are active now would hear a song like that from demo sessions and think that it’s the type of song that should be cut but everyone in our band surprisingly liked it and wanted to keep it. I guess I just wondered if other people outside of the band were going to be as excited about that song as we all were.
BACK COVER OF "STARING AT PATTERNS". CLICK IMAGE TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD
IE: From reading the lyrics on the new album it is apparent that writing meaningful lyrics is something important to you. What is the lyric writing process like for you?
Liam: When I first got into hardcore music the lyrics are what appealed to me. I, like probably many other people… the first band I really got into was Have Heart and people have talked for years how Pat Flynn has great lyrics and it is definitely true. That’s what kept me coming back. A lot of kids will hear something and think I have to find an album’s insert online, I have to find the lyrics to this… and that is what motivated me to keep seeking this music out. When it came time to make my own music, that is something I really wanted to focus on. In terms of what inspires or drives me… I don’t really know. I don’t really write a lot down… I don’t journal or anything but I think I should because it would help me. For me… it is kind of like the movie Taxi Driver. I forget the exact line from the movie but it talks about a real rain cleaning the streets… not to sound edgy or anything but it’s just like a lot of walking around on the daily and feeling like that and keeping it bottled up for months and months. I wrote the lyrics for the new record over the course of maybe 4 or 5 days and I think it was all a product of me stewing on stuff for a long time and feeling really uninspired during the Covid moratorium for so many activities. I think in a way being so uninspired for so long worked to have an opposite effect so when it came time where I had to write stuff I just had so much to say. Those 4 or 5 days were basically me sitting over a Google doc almost like vomiting words on to the page. It was a mess and it didn’t make sense at first. I would say there were like 2 days of me spitting stuff out and then like 2 days of me trimming stuff and making it all work.
IE: Are there any particular lyrics from the new album that stand out more than others for any particular reason? Maybe in the sense that you feel you really nailed a message that you wanted to get out there?
Liam: I am proud of “D.A.C.” and “Target Fixation”. With “D.A.C.” people have been writing songs about friendship and unity for so long but with that one I feel I was able to take a fresh stab at that. I feel it doesn’t have that “crew” or “bro” type of feel and just more about the essence of living and things like what makes you get up in the morning… the actual genuine bonds with people and being vulnerable . “Target Fixation” is another one I am proud of. It is not really an addiction song but I can see it being viewed in that light… it’s more about doing the same things every day and being really comfortable with how you spend your time and the people you surround yourself with even if it’s not the best thing for you. It is kind of about taking that leap and being like “I need to make myself uncomfortable or change my routine because I know it will be better for me in the long run”. I can’t really think of anything else just off the top of my head but I will say that when I look back at the 7” there are some lines that I look at and wish I didn’t say them that way.
IE: What song or songs off the 7” would those be?
Liam: “For Who”, the last song on the 7” I kind of feel like I rushed that one. I know what I was trying to say but see how it could be confusing to other people and I think that’s because it was rushed and I didn’t spend time trying to refine it.
METHOD OF DOUBT @ THE MIDDLE EAST, CAMBRIDGE, MA. DECEMBER 7, 2019
PHOTO BY: CARL GUNHOUSE
IE: Over the course of listening to “Staring At Patterns” dozens of times I have wondered what type of music or bands that you can all agree on that you like? There seems to be a lot of influences within your sound.
Liam: Outside of hardcore or heavier music I don’t think there is a band that all of us can agree on that we all listen to and like. Within the hardcore realm I think all 5 of us all really really love the Supertouch LP. That is the one album that I think all of us would go to war for. We also really like the second Into Another record “Ignarus”. Myself and Oscar really like Fugazi but Steven our bassist has said "I don’t know how you listen to that shit". We all really like the Only Living Witness LP too although I don’t think what they did really bleeds through to our record. Those are the top 3 that I can think of that all 5 of us truly love.
IE: Do parents or close relatives of the band show any interest in your band’s music and if so what kind of reactions have you gotten out of them?
Liam: For the first 2 or 3 years of us being a band my mom was very disinterested in it. She would call me and I would be like “I am in Texas right now” and she would be like “oh, ok”. I always thought she would have been somewhat interested in it. When shows weren’t happening I don’t know what made her want to check it out but she just texted me out of the blue one day and said “Grift is a great song”. The switch sort of flipped and she likes it. She has told me that she really likes the new record. She watched the video of us playing in Brooklyn last year and she told me that I give the microphone to too many people and that they are getting their germs on it… and that I can’t be doing that. She is interested in it now but watches it from afar. I think some of our parents feel similar to my mom. Steven and Oscar’s parents are kind of like that where they don’t really know what’s going on but they think it’s cool. I don’t know how Yoon’s or Joel’s parents feel specifically but I know Oscar, Steven and I… our parents approach it like many parents do when they watch their kid play T-ball.
IE: I wanted to touch on the geographical logistics of this band and if having 5 people spread out like you do is even an issue?
Liam: Growing up in the Northeast something that was kind of a culture shock for me… I grew up in New York, and if there was a show happening in like New Haven, CT which was about an hour and 45 minutes away from where I lived, it would be a feeling of “that’s a different state, that’s too far”. Then I moved to Florida and it is like so gargantuan with like 4 major cities. Kids in Miami would be like “yeah, I will drive 3 hours to Orlando to go to a show” and it is no problem and they don’t sweat that at all. I think that “that’s not that far” attitude kind of motivates how we operate now. We are not in that bad of a position with Yoon and I living in Atlanta, Joel is in Jacksonville, and Oscar and Steven live another 4 hours south in Broward County. Jacksonville is like the half way point between us all and when we get together to jam or work on stuff sometimes the Florida kids will fly up here because the flights are pretty cheap and other times we will drive to Jacksonville and play there. I think it works to our advantage because whenever we meet up everyone is bringing their best to the table and you can’t be showing any stupid riffs that you are not really proud of because it can be a hassle to get together.
IE: How did the front cover of the new album come together with the 4 panels showing different art in each one? Is there any meaning behind it all or tie in’s to any of the lyrical content?
Liam: It was done by our friend Codey who plays in a band called Mil-Spec. He is a graphic designer for a city in Ontario, Canada. I have followed him for a while and have always liked his stuff. We didn’t really know who we wanted to do the art and on a whim I messaged him and sent him a few things. I really like art that is super simple and very geometric with vivid colors. I sent him 2 or 3 things and asked if he would be willing to do this and he responded with “sure, I really like you guys”. After not hearing from him for a few weeks he sent us a mockup which was pretty close to what the finished product is. There were some minor tweaks but that 4 panel design was what he sent. He just kind of took the record title and the things I sent him and just ran with it. It doesn’t correspond to anything specific, at least that I know of.
IE: When you say you sent him a few things did you send him photos or ideas?
Liam: I sent him what I think is called a mood board… at least that’s what the kids call it now. On it were things that I had seen online… one of them was a tourism flyer for Denmark.
IE: How did the band choose the name Method Of Doubt?
Liam: I studied philosophy in college and one of the first things you learn is Rene’ Descartes’ meditations. Basically he had a nervous breakdown and locked himself in his cabin and wrote what is referred to now as his meditations. Maybe you read about it while looking into it but his method of doubt is essentially instead of the justice system take where everything is “innocent until proven guilty”, it’s doubt everything you think you might know and try to prove things using pure reason and whatever you can prove by doing that is the stuff you should believe. I had a notebook that I would write stuff in while I was in college to use for band stuff. Picking a band name was a huge pain and I threw it out there. I am not sure if anyone knew what it was but everyone liked how it sounded. I think it fits the general vibe or purpose of the band at least.
IE: We were talking earlier about the recent NYC show being the first one for you guys since September and before that there was that long void because of Covid. Can you take us back to where the band has played in the past?
Liam: In our first year we played our first show in South Florida and after that there was a band that Oscar and Steven were in called Altered State that precedes us by a little bit. We went on a “tour” with them that was supposed to be 5 days that ended up being 3 days where we played Philly, Richmond, VA and Atlanta. We played FYA after that in Tampa, a tour with the band True Form… our guitarist Joel is in that, they are really good friends of ours… that was a week-long down the East Coast. A few months after that The Flex took us out on our first real longer tour that was about 2 weeks long… we played the East Coast, Texas, Louisville, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Detroit and maybe a couple of other Midwest cities. That was a tough tour but we really liked it. I feel we were picking up a lot of momentum and all of us wanted to make our lives revolve more around being able to tour. Not too long after that shows started to get shut down. We had a month long full US tour planned for the summer with True Form as well for 2020 but that obviously got cancelled. I think that is about the extent of our touring history.
METHOD OF DOUBT @ O'MALLEY'S, MARGATE, FL SEPTEMBER 11, 2021. PHOTO BY: MELINE GHARIBYAN
IE: What are some places that you still really want to get to play even if it may be for a more personal reason like just wanting to go to a certain city or area?
Liam: We already played in a lot of places I wanted to see. I think the only place left that I would really like to play is California just to say that we did it. I have seen a lot of footage from shows at Programme Skate Shop in Fullerton, CA and I have always wanted to play there. It seems like a fun place and a lot of bands that I really look up to have played there. At least for me personally that’s really it for my bucket list.
IE: Any good stories from the road from the shows you have already played with Method Of Doubt?
Liam: There was this one time where we had this long drive and we were kind of sleep deprived. We decided to drive overnight to the next date. Joel was driving and I was in the
passenger seat, with everyone else sleeping. We kind of started joking around and making each other laugh really hard and at some point at maybe 2 or 3 in the morning we blacked out and both sort of
came to when Joel stopped at a gas station and the sun had come up. This is so stupid to say out loud but we were both just so giddy and like laugh high and Joel looks across the freeway to a sign
for condos, and he just read what the sign said which was “1 bed starting from 120… THAT’S A DEAL!” We both just kind of keeled over and everyone else was probably frustrated with us because we were
laughing the whole night while they were trying to sleep. There was another time when we were crossing the border back from Canada in the early morning and the border guard was giving us a hard time.
We told him we were in a band and he was going around reading everyone’s passports and asking each of us what we do, and everyone was telling him what they did in the band and when he got to me and
asked me what I do I said I sing and when he said what do you sing I said “words mostly”. Everyone started laughing and he seemed to be embarrassed and closed up our passports and gave them back to
us. We played Pensacola, FL once and we bought a bunch of fireworks on the way there. Outside of the venue we were shooting them off at each other and the venue owner was very upset and asked us to
leave. That was after the show so we had already played.
IE: What are the bands plans as of right now for the summer and the rest of 2022?
Liam: Everything is kind of up in the air. We have been asked to do a few things, none of them involve any extensive touring… Mil-Spec has talked about wanting to do some stuff with us and Praise has asked us to play their record release in the spring but beyond that we haven’t really planned anything. Steven and I specifically have jobs now that do not offer us too much time off or too much flexibility. Yoon owns a record store here now and he is not really able to do anything too extended so all of that kind of caps us a little bit. We are all just really proud of the LP. After we did the 7” I threw out the idea of doing an LP and it was kind of laughed at at first within our group because it is hard to write something that is listenable that is over 4 or 5 songs in this genre. We are really stoked on how it came out and the response has been really good.
METHOD OF DOUBT @ GOLD SOUNDS, BROOKLYN, NY SEPTEMBER 3, 2021. PHOTO BY: CARL GUNHOUSE
METHOD OF DOUBT CRUCIAL LINKS:
BUY “STARING AT PATTERNS” ON 12” VINYL FROM I.O.U. RECORDS