Stand Still are a brand new melodic hardcore band from Long Island, NY. Their debut EP “A Practice In Patience” came out in June and pretty much dominated my music listening experiences for much of this past summer. With the Long Island hardcore scene currently pretty rich in heavier sounding bands it is pretty refreshing to see bands like Stand Still, Koyo, Somerset Thrower, Rule Them All, Victory Garden and others offer up different flavors of hardcore. Mixed bills and diversifying styles often drive even more creativity and in turn a stronger overall scene. Good things are currently under way out on Long Island and the band we now present to you… Stand Still is a big part of that. We caught up with their singer Gerry, guitarist Bryan and bass player Mat just before their September 19th show at Shakers Pub in Oakdale, NY. Steve on guitar, and Andre on drums rounds out the Stand Still lineup. Catch them on their upcoming East Coast tour with Pain Of Truth and Age of Apocalypse which kicks off on October 22nd at the Still Won't Break Fest . Lead photo by: Matt Viel with graphics by: John Franko. Additonal photos by: Cody Ganzer and Carl Gunhouse.
IE: Stand Still got its start last year during the height of all the quarantine restrictions. Having been in bands before would you say the circumstances surrounding the forming of the band were easier or harder than what you have done in the past?
Bryan: I would say it came together easier mostly because we all were like furloughed or laid off and had a lot of extra time on our hands. Last summer when things started to ease up a little with restrictions and you could hang out with a couple of people if you kept your circle small we would all meet up. Usually you wouldn’t be able to meet up at like 12 in the afternoon and play for four hours. We had a good period of time where we were really able to dig into some stuff.
Mat: We met up at least two times a week to write and get things together.
IE: Can you talk a little about being a melodic hardcore band based out of Long Island, NY in the year 2021? There aren’t a lot of bands doing what Stand Still is doing out here right now.
Bryan: When I started going to shows I would see bands like Agent and Capital… Thieves And Assassins… that had that kind of (melodic) sound. They would be mixed in on a lot of hardcore shows because at the end of the day those bands were also hardcore bands in a lot of ways. I just think that it is awesome that wave is kind of coming back where you can have a band that has roots in hardcore but is maybe more hardcore adjacent. There is a show we are playing in Philly and I think we are the only band that sounds anything like how we sound. Everyone else is just heavy as hell which is awesome. We love that we can be able to play those types of shows and still be considered a hardcore band.
IE: Your debut EP came out in June and is called “A Practice In Patience”. With everything going on in the world then and still now I am sure there were plenty of places to drawn inspiration from with the writing of these songs. Can you talk about that in a lyrics/message type of way?
Gerry: The lyrics and the record itself were definitely the results of pandemic induced anxieties and stress. It is not really a statement or a comment about the pandemic itself. It’s more so about the feeling brought up by isolation. I think the lyrics kind of depict the ways people react to either abandonment or just an overall feeling of isolation. I think that’s what really drove the songs and the song writing process on this record.
CLICK BELOW TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD THE "A PRACTICE IN PATIENCE" EP BY STAND STILL
IE: What kind of vibe or message were you going for with the record’s front cover as well as with the title “A Practice In Patience”?
Gerry: The album art is literally a picture by Sean Corcoran… Bryan has known him for a long time. We didn’t necessarily have a concept for the album cover. We were looking for something that was kind of out of the ordinary not specific to any theme. The album title itself is again… I’m speaking on that thing of waiting for things to get normal but normalcy isn’t like a defined thing and I think a practice in patience is a way of trying to deal with changing times.
Bryan: The picture is interesting with the stool but it definitely doesn’t mean anything.. it just kind of fit.
Gerry. It could.. it’s open to interpretation.
Bryan: The photo of the stool itself is the image that we liked and it fit the title very well. You can look at it and think “what is that a waiting room?”
IE: The three of you have been in bands like No Idea and Poor Choice who played a more harder/heavier style of hardcore than this band we are talking about right now. Have any of you played in bands with a more melodic type of feel in the past?
Bryan: I always have been doing both styles. I know Gerry had a project called Bedmakers and that was a melodic project. I think we all have identified with different types of hardcore and different types of music in general throughout our lives. We have always made music like that. I think though that this is the first project that we have done that has been serious and received some attention. To me it is similar and the same type of music. My old band No Idea was heavier sounding and has different influences but I look forward to the energy of playing a Stand Still set the same as I do playing a No Idea set… like a hardcore set where people are moshing and throwing hands around and stuff like that.
Gerry: I was in a band called Bedmakers which was more of an emo, indy-DIY type of sound and I sang in that band. I have sang my whole life. Poor Choice was really the first project where I really did like the hardcore screamed vocal style and with this band I think it is kind of a little bit of both. I am singing and it is melodic but it is also on the more aggressive edgy type of side which is kind of what we’re going for like in a Tommy Corrigan of Silent Majority type of way… like how his vocals were and even like Lifetime… that kind of vocal style is what we’re going for and I think I pull it off well enough.
STAND STILL @ SHAKERS, OAKDALE, NY SEPTEMBER 19, 2021. PHOTO BY: MATT VIEL
IE: Can you talk about the upcoming tour you have set up with Pain Of Truth and Age Of Apocalypse?
Gerry: October 23rd is the first show. It is a festival in Wilkes Barre, PA area called Still Won’t Break and the last date is on the 30th in Brooklyn. Pretty much we will be going all over the Northeast and a little bit of the Midwest.
IE: I like how you are helping bring back the “mixed-bill” as the other two bands you are touring with are definitely heavier in the style of hardcore they play. What kind of reaction are you expecting?
Mat: I don’t know what we’re expecting.
Bryan: We are just kind of playing it all by ear. Hopefully everyone is like how we all are. We all appreciate Hatebreed and for me I also appreciate stuff like Coldplay or even like John Mayer. My spectrum goes from one side to the other and hopefully a lot of people are in that same boat. I feel like a lot of hardcore kids are where they love heavy music but can also appreciate something else that may be just like fun and energetic in a different way. We’re not expecting anything crazy. Hopefully people will come out and sing some of the words and stuff.
IE: How involved were you guys with the actual setting up of these shows. One would think working with three bands’ members and schedules is a lot tougher to do than if you are just trying to do it with your own band.
Bryan: Basically it came together through a combination of Lumpy who runs one of the labels who put our record out. He had a hand in booking the tour because Pain Of Truth is also on Daze. It just kind of worked out. There was a circle because there was Lumpy who helped out with it as well as James from State Of Mind Touring so it was a collaborative effort. It came together because they were looking to do something to see what kind of reactions we would get if we hit the road together. Today is only our second show and Pain Of Truth hasn’t even played a show at all yet. We’re all friends and on the same label and we’re all hoping to have some fun.
IE: Have any of you done any type of extensive touring in the past with other bands?
Mat: Just like small weekends. This is definitely the first band that we’re trying to work as hard as we can.
Bryan: We have done short weekends in the past but this is probably the longest thing any of us will have done.
STAND STILL @ SHAKERS, OAKDALE, NY SEPTEMBER 19, 2021. PHOTO BY: MATT VIEL
IE: Today is only your bands second show. How was the response at your first show about a month back in Amityville?
Bryan: The reaction was… we were kind of blown away by how many people were singing and stage diving. That’s what we wanted… like an energy kind of set. It was really cool to see people jumping around and stage diving for a band that sounds like us.
Mat: A lot of our friends are really digging us and even other people who we don’t really know who just sort of come out and buy records.
IE: You guys made a music video for your track “Satellites” that is on the new EP. It looks like you had some fun making it. Can you give us some background into how it came together?
Mat: We were spit balling a bunch of ideas to get a concept going and were also thinking about getting videographers together. I met the guy who made it a while ago and hit him up because I knew he would do a great job. We were all over the place with ideas and he ended up going home for a week and came back and saw us and created the concept and we just rolled with it. In general we just wanted all out friends to be in it so we corralled like 5 or 6 of our friends and then shot it at a bunch of locations that we were all familiar with and just went from there.
Bryan: There is no relation to what is going on in the video to what the song is about. We wanted to take a song that was a little further down the line on the EP and put a video to it… like a fun video that could represent us with us trying so hard to get a demo tape somewhere and it ends up just getting thrown in the trash.
Mat: It was just a fun little video that we wanted to incorporate all of our friends into while using locations on Long Island.
Bryan: The guy we are talking about… Anthony Pasini is just awesome. He did our live video at Silver Bullet as well and he has been really awesome to work with. He has helped us out a lot because we are a newer band.
Mat: Even just recently we went to him to make a promo video that was like a montage of video from our first show and he edited it. He does good by us.
CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE "SATELLITES" MUSIC VIDEO BY STAND STILL
IE: That Silver Bullet Studios video came out awesome. I highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it that wants to get a better idea of what Stand Still is about. Tell us more about the making of that video please.
Bryan: We recorded it in June before the EP came out.
Mat: We thought the pandemic was going to last a little bit longer and it was hard to gage when shows were going to come back so we had the idea for our EP’s roll out to have some sort of live experience lined up after it came out. By the time we were ready to step into the studio to record that Silver Bullet video live music shows were getting into the rotation and starting to form and we ended up rolling with it anyway because it is still a cool concept.
Bryan: It was made as promotion for the record because if we weren’t going to play a show for months at least there would be something there. Either way it was just a cool thing and we had more time to work on it because shows started popping back up again like Mat was saying. We went up to work with Greg Thomas and Chris Teti in Connecticut at Silver Bullet Studios… they are both phenomenal engineers.
Mat: We like working with people that we know and are friends with. With other bands No Idea and Discolor we also recorded at that studio.
Bryan: It is located in Burlington, Connecticut and it is awesome. It is this little house in the middle of the woods that is completely horror themed. They have memorabilia from crazy horror movies… posters and an insane movie collection… literally every horror movie that you can think of and all different kinds of video games.
Mat: (To Bryan) How did you find him initially?
Bryan: He recorded Soda Bomb, Separated and then Discolor… two Hangman records and then a lot of people from Long Island started going to him because they are awesome. Chris Teti is in The World is A Beautiful Place.. they do a lot of work with Fiddlehead and they are just awesome and we love working with them.
Mat: Also Lumpy who runs our label lives out there and he met up with us. It was the first time that we had a whole team of our friends just to hang out for a day and get something done and it was a really good time.
STAND STILL LIVE @ THE SILVER BULLET SESSION. CLICK BELOW TO WATCH
IE: Stand Still has a pretty strong merch game going on right now. I checked out the band’s Big Cartel page while setting this up and currently there are 4 shirts, a hat, poster and a Frisbee for sale and I think I have seen other designs that have since sold out. Obviously merch sales can help the band with paying for things like studio time and putting gas in the van but it seems like you guys may have more motivation than that. I guess my question here is were there bands you were into when you were younger that had great merch that sort of influenced your approach to making cool shirts that people want to get their hands on?
Bryan: The thing that we are super lucky to have is that our guitar player Steve actually does most of our design work for almost everything we have made. He has done the edits and designs.
Mat: Every promo, every piece of merch.
Bryan: Bands that have a guy or girl in the band that does the designs and can put together stuff for the band is super helpful. We have Steve and we’re able to pump a bunch of stuff out because of him. People like to have different choices. I remember when I was really young, I was like maybe 13 and Capital had windbreakers and there were like 30 of them or something like that and at the time a lot of people would go out to watch them so there was a line to the door before doors even opened at the VFW Hall or something like that. This brings me back to something like that because it is cool and I like to see when bands do one off merch items.
IE: Assuming live shows keep moving forward and don’t revert back to what we were dealing with during the height of the pandemic where would you like to see Stand Still in say a year or maybe two years?
Mat: We are trying to calculate just the perfect method to be able to continuously work as hard as we can for as long as we can.
Bryan: We’re definitely trying to work as hard as we can and take as many steps as possible but we’re also not setting goals like “hey we want to be the biggest band in the world”. We are doing this because we love it and as things come up and if people start talking about other stuff… pretty much like how it has happened so far… as things escalate… we will be grateful for those opportunities and try to run with them as much as we can. Obviously we want to have fun. That is why we do it. We love playing music and we have been doing it since we were kids.
STAND STILL @ AMITYVILLE MUSIC HALL OCTOBER 15, 2021. PHOTO BY: CARL GUNHOUSE