To be back doing a passion I love (writing) was something I was craving for a long time and it makes it even more sweeter when your first band back is a new band out of Memphis called ARTIFAS, a band bringing a crisp modern rock sound back into my life and the rock world! The band’s debut album INHUMAN is from start to finish something that is smooth, moving, real and full of fury and passion. Nothing to flashy or unique but the songwriting and the atmosphere brought into the overall sound of these 10 songs is amazing. Depth is captured, power and melody woven tightly together. Songs like DROWNING WITH YOU, HOLD ON ME pure melody, solid rock riffs. BLOOD FOR BLOOD shoves a harder edgier vibe into your face with more aggressive vocals. WHEN I’M AWAY is the bands slower paced ballad emotional and passionate vocals encompass this more acoustic track. ALIVE is a great opening track ,brings me back to the days of the band Red, that dark atmospheric sound with great melodic hooks. INHUMAN ignites with strong beats and a looming heavier beat but keeps the vocals melodic and searing to wrap the song up in a sweet track and first single. Talent and passion isn’t lacking in ARTIFAS and I was able to catch up with two of the members, Scottie Somerville (vocals) and Cody Criswell (lead guitar,vocals) while they were gearing up to head out on tour with BOBAFLEX and VEER UNION.
FIRST OFF THE NAME OF THE BAND IS A VERY UNIQUE ONE WHAT MADE YOU PICK THE BAND NAME? Cody: When the band originally formed in 2011 we operated under the name New Skin. It turned out to be a name already used by an artist in another country, so obviously we started looking to change it. We sifted through hundreds of possible names written down on pieces of paper and spent weeks trying to solidify a new band identity. We finally settled with Artifas, because it means "duality" in Sanskrit, playing into the dark and light emotional sides of our music. It also translates to "surviving through your art." AFTER READING ABOUT THE BAND AND MEMBERS YOU GUYS SEEM TO HAVE A BROAD SPECTRUM OF MUSICAL INFLUENCE HOW HAS THAT HELPED IN SOLIDFYING THE MUSIC YOU MAKE IN ARTIFAS? Cody: I really think it has made all the difference in our songwriting. We don't really attempt to write a certain kind of music, more so we just attempt to make certain sounds of vibes. The result of our influences combining is us just allowing them to take us in whatever musical direction they see fit. The end result of the song is usually a mixture of everyone's favorite sounds or licks and is just some weird concoction of coolness. THE DEBUT ALBUM INHUMAN HAS BEEN OUT FOR A WHILE CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME A BRIEF IDEA ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF THE ALBUM? DO YOU FIND IT EASIER TO WRITE FOR A CONCEPT TYPE ALBUM THEN AN ALBUM WITH A WIDER RANGE OF LYRIC CONTENT? Cody: Inhuman is and isn't a concept album. It is in the sense that all of the songs are a collection of feelings that we feel and all humans have probably endured at some point. It isn't in the sense that every song is completely different and all of the songs were actually written separately and had nothing to really do with each other. THE SONG INHUMAN THE LYRIC “WE ALL HAVE SCARS” HAS TOUCHED A LOT OF FANS HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE WORDS YOU PUT TOGETHER IN A THOUGHT BRING SO MUCH EMOTION TO COMPLETE STRANGERS AROUND THE WORLD? Cody: It feels pretty awesome to know there are people out there listening and connecting with what we do. Everything we write about is from experience and real life. The fact that other people hear our struggles and say they share the same or similar ones and listening to our music takes them somewhere is more than amazing. LYRICALLY WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF ON THIS ALBUM? Cody: I have to say the biggest thing for me in our lyrics is just the honesty. No restraint, no holds barred, honest words from honest people. I LOVE THE WHOLE ALBUM BUT THE ONE SONG THAT I KEEP REPEATING IS DROWNING WITH YOU, CAN YOU TELL ME A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF THAT TRACK AND WILL THAT SEE RADIO PLAY? SINGLE? Cody: Not sure on the radio play as of yet. But Drowning With You is, for me, about being stuck in a bad relationship with someone that only wants you when they're afraid to lose you. About being let down by that person and knowing all along that things would end badly. IS THERE WRITING GOING ON FOR A NEW ALBUM? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS OR CONCEPTS FOR THE NEXT ONE? Cody: At the moment our focus is on touring and getting our music to as many listeners as possible. We usually just lock up in a room and hash out some tunes before going into the studio again. I'm sure that we'll be looking at recording new music sometime next year. WHAT DO YOU FIND HARDER WRITING A DEBUT ALBUM OR PREPARING FOR WRITING NUMBER 2? Cody: Definitely writing number 1. I feel that through the recording process we learned a lot about songwriting. There was so much pressure for the first full length to be a good representation of the band. You're finding your sound and learning about yourself as a musician. I look forward to writing the next album because I know the ideas and creativity will be on a new level for us. THIS ONE IS FOR SCOTTIE I AM JUST WONDERING HOW THE TRANISTION FROM BEING A DRUMMER TO BEING A FRONT MAN AND WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCE IN THE DRUM DEPARTMENT AND THE VOCALIST/SONGWRITING DEPARTMENT? Scottie: It was a fun transition. It was exactly what I was looking for. I always loved drumming in bands, but at the same time I always wanted to connect more with the crowd. Being front and center and screaming my emotions in people's faces definitely made me feel that connection more. As a drummer I had so many influences. I actually studied percussion in college. Some of my favs are Steve Judd (Karnivool), Danny Carey (Tool), Matt Halpern (Periphery), and Jose Pasillas (Incubus)! Favorite vocalists Ian Kenny (Karnivool), Brandon Boyd (Incubus), Jared Leto (30 Seconds to Mars), and of course there are many more! ROUND TWO RECORDS SEEMS TO BE A NEWER RECORD LABEL AND LOOKS LIKE THAT THEY HAVE 110% COMMITMENT IN BACKING YOU GUYS WHICH IS AMAZING. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THAT SUPPORT IN THIS DAY N AGE IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS? Scottie: It's amazing. The guys at Round Two are some of the best people I've ever had the chance to meet. They have been there for us every step of the way. We went with them because in a day where everyone is trying to squeeze every penny you earn out of you, these guys were fair and passionate. They believed in us as much as we did. It was so unique to meet with a label willing to do things different and push the boundaries. It's honestly been a dream come true for us! YOU TOURED WITH SAINT ASONIA A BAND THAT HAS PROBABLY SOME OF THE BEST PEOPLE WHO BROKE THE MODERN ROCK WORLD OPEN. WHAT WAS THE BEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE YOU GOT BEING ABLE TO SEE THEM PLAY EACH NIGHT AND GETTING TO TALK AND HANG WITH THEM NIGHTLY? Scottie: I think the biggest thing I took away from it is that no matter what, if you believe in yourself and never give up.... anything can happen! The guys in SA were great to us. They really took the time to give us quality advice and make sure we got everything out of that tour that they could offer! They had all been in the same exact place we were in at one time, and they remembered that. Even their crew helped all they could. Some of the coolest guys I've ever met! WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMER PLANS? Scottie: We are looking at getting on some of the festival circuit, as well as making another Round Two Live and Loud Tour happen! We will be making announcements on that within the next month or so. BAND FROM THE PAST OR CURRENT YOU WOULD LOVE THE CHANCE TO SHARE THE STAGE WITH? Scottie: To share the stage with Incubus has been a long time dream of mine! As a band I'd have to say Papa Roach. That's been a collective goal of ours since we started! ONE THING EACH OF YOUR BAND MEMBERS BRING TO ARTIFAS ? Scottie: Cody brings that 80s vibe to the band. The guy is nicknamed Totally 80s for a reason. Mikey is a really technical player. He really makes us have a crisper and cleaner sound. I guess that's what happens when you shred Japanese Metal all day! Anthony brings a lot of heart and passion to the band. He's the guy that can keep us moving towards our dream even when days are dark. Jared is a gem in the drumming world. Being a drummer myself it's always been a challenge to have a drummer that I trusted all the way. With Jared, I really don't worry much about drums anymore. He writes great parts and is as solid as it comes. The dudes a f'n beast! WHEN IT IS ALL SAID IN DONE WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR BAND, ARTIFAS TO BE REMEMBERED FOR? Scottie: I want our band to be remembered for making great music. Music that you can really feel and connect with. And I want us to be remembered for the passion and drive we have, and the dedication to our dream! I want to show people that you can accomplish anything! You can make anything happen!