Voodoo Queen Digital Interview with PULSE...
Sean Yeaney - Lead Vocals,
Mike Hayes - Bass/Backing Vocals,
James Brennaman - Guitar/Backing Vocals,
Eric Fox - Drums/Beating Things
Tyler Carrell - Guitar
VQDM: For someone just hearing of your band now and reading this how would you introduce them to your sound and yourselves?
Fox: Its mostly hard rock but some of it has a more metal edge. We all have a wide influence base so we can incorporate whatever we want into it.
Sean: I would agree, we really overlap a lot of genre boundaries and most people can find something they relate to in it. We all have different backgrounds but we come together into something kind of unique. We are down to earth guys that play music we enjoy and don’t cater to constraints of what something should sound like.
James: We're a hard rock band, the type of music you would hear on Octane.
VQDM: How did Pulse come to be and how did you guys come up with the name?
Sean: We came to be back in 2011 I had been on a break from playing music for a while and had some friends that wanted to play, as soon as I started I felt like there was a part of me restored. I got in touch with Jordan from an older band and we eventually found jimmy lay and P.J. after a couple other member mismatches. Once the four of us started playing we knew we had something good. The name kind of came as default, Breaking Benjamin and nine inch nails were already taken. But really we just got tired of going back and forth on names and that was the first one everyone could agree on. Figured we would use it until someone told us to stop.
VQDM: Sean, Do you write the all Lyrics and if so, is there a message you ever want to give to your fans with your lyrics?
Sean: I would say I write 90% of the lyrics I’ve gotten ideas here and there from the other guys and from previous projects that migrated over but all in all I write what’s in my heart. The message is really that we are all going through things in life... relationships, self-image, addiction, trials, tribulations, etc. no one is alone. I try to communicate things that are relatable and can maybe help someone else along the way.
VQDM: What made you choose the path you are all on now, compared to what your parents wanted you to do and what age did you know this is what I want to do?
Fox: My mom wrote in my baby book when I was one that she thought I’d be a drummer. So seems it was inevitable for me. Hehe.
James: I have always known I wanted to be a musician and be a guitar player since I was a young child. It never really was a question of what I wanted to do. My parents have known it's a passion of mine and always been supportive.
Sean: I actually never started off as a singer, I’ve played bass, guitar and even drums in some other projects but in probably 75% of those I would end up singing by the end because other vocalists would quit or flake out and I just sort of gravitated that direction. Although I have always loved performing in general but I'm not sure I ever made a decision that this is what I am doing forever... I’ve done a lot of things and I get tired of a lot of things music has never really gotten boring to me though.
Mike: My dad played guitar so it was always around since birth. However, at age 12 is when I knew I was destined for this path and there was no looking back. At the time my parents would've preferred me to be a doctor or lawyer and play in a church band although my mom is proud of my accomplishments in life and I'm sure my dad would be to so it's cool.
Tyler: My dad is a musician and so was my grandpa played in dive bars their whole like ... When I was 14 I discovered playing guitar was not only my passion but it helped me pick up women ... No matter how awful personality and sense of humor was ...... Now I am a father of two girls.... Imagine that.
VQDM: What do you like most about being in this profession?
Tyler: Being on stage..... It's the best high one can ever experience.
James: Playing music and getting to travel.
Sean: I think what I enjoy most is the people, there is never a lack of people to meet or work with, the networking and traveling and just the experience in general is awesome. Teaming up with other people with similar minds not just within our band but in the industry overall.
Mike: Being able to create some sort of "legacy" if you will. Something that others can relate to and will carry on even after we are gone. Being able to entertain people and bring them to a good place makes me feel good as well.
VQDM: What's the best advice you have ever been given?
Fox: Well it wasn’t given to me, but I learned to never stop playing if you have a passion for it. Even if don’t have time for a band keep playing, something might come your way in the future. I stopped drumming for years, and the one thing you can’t get back is time.
Mike: An old man once told me as a kid that it’s better to regret what you did do in life than to regret what you didn't do. This has always stuck with me as sound advice. Take chances. Don't be left wondering what if.
Tyler: It's not the size of the boat it's the motion of the ocean...... Wait musically............. Just keep playing don't stop every day no matter how frustrating just poor your feelings out through your instrument.
Sean: I have trouble with this... I get advice all the time but I'm a hands on learner I often times don't take advice but then find out how much easier it would have been if I had. Like finish school, save money, don't marry that girl, etc. lots of great unheeded advice.
VQDM: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
Fox: Finding people with the drive and the time. It’s easy for life to get in the way. Not everyone can do this.
Mike: Half the battle is keeping a line-up intact. People’s lives and situations change so this can be quite challenging.
Sean: and Alcohol lol
VQDM: What is the worst onstage mishap you have experienced?
Fox: Many years ago I got a bit overzealous with shots of Jägermeister and passed out on my toms. Lucky it was just a party gig so everyone thought it was funny.
Sean: see above *laugh* actually one of our very first shows our old drummer Jimmy split his snare drum head in half on the first song he kept playing we didn't realize until later but the same show our original guitarist Jordan ripped the input jack out of his head leaving the new guy at the time Jiggy to play the leads he had never played before. We powered through that night.
Mike: With Pulse it would have to be when I straight up busted my ass on a slick part of the stage one night. Quite embarrassing, but I'll always remember my first concert ever as a kid in Atlanta, Ga. when I saw Kirk Hammett of Metallica trip and tumble about 10 feet in front of 15,000 people. It was at that moment I realized we are all human, lol.
VQDM: How do the songs come together?
Sean: like the pieces of a puzzle sometimes. A lot of times the writing process has been kind of free jamming turned into structure. Often that's where the best songs come from. Track 10 “First to Fight” on the show me the way album is a great example. We were just hanging out jamming and the song kind of fell together naturally. I think most things we have done that have worked have been very organic when we start trying to force things that's when it gets us in trouble.
James: We collaborate and expand on it after someone brings the core idea to the table. Sometimes it's just one part and we build from there and sometimes it's a lot more in depth when it comes up. We add in our own ideas. And then usually it will continue to evolve for a while.
VQDM: What do you find to be the biggest challenge in the creative process?
Mike: Writers block can be a real problem at times, but generally with me once the creative juices get flowing it's like a tidal wave. Sometimes I'll use certain mental exercises to get things shaking loose and that helps.
James: Sometimes difference of opinions. We don't all agree all the time.
Fox: Forgetting a cool riff you came up with. Cell phones are great for saving random riffs.
Sean: I’d have to agree. So much gets lost cause tape isn't rolling and you can get the jest of an idea you had but it never sounds quite as good as the day before.
Tyler: The lack of skill... The others have... Just kidding these guys are all great at what they do there is no lack of creativity flowing I can sit here and talk shit all day but in reality these guys are all great I love them all and the opportunity I'm given to play with them very professional... And I love them to death ... Except Brennaman... He's my god... My guitar teacher and my worst critic... And practicing with him is like playing your first show in front of your parents hoping you get the notes right... He busts my balls every practice... Love you man
VQDM: If you hadn't been born in this century, when and where would you have liked to have lived?
Sean: hands down I would want to have been around the ancient Sumerians or even the Egyptians or Mayans. So much information I think is back in that time frame that we don't really give them enough credit for.
VQDM: Hobbies and or professions outside of Pulse?
Fox: I do some acting. Mostly background. Did the reboot of Dallas, Salem on WGN for TV. Did some work on My All American and The Hank Williams Sr. picture: I saw the Light? Both those come out November. Few other random TV/ Movie parts. I’m doing the two professions it’s hardest to make a living at, so I guess I’m a bit of an idiot.
Tyler: I ride my Harley and my girlfriend... Spend time with my kids watch live music...
Mike: I love playing Texas Hold-em poker... it's a great game and I've been playing that as a hobby for quite a few years now. I also like to ride motorcycles and fly airplanes although it's been awhile because the band has been so busy, but that's fine because music is my passion.
Sean: I'm a computer science major and love graphic design I do most of the bands promo and flyer and album art myself. I'm also a father of 3 young girls and a teenage son. That’s enough to fill up a schedule.
VQDM: what advice would you give a up and coming musicians?
Fox: Its hard work. And the higher you go the more time and dedication you need to put in. Plenty of time to have fun but you need to put the work in if you want a chance for success. Listen to more than one kind of music. Don’t get stuck in one type. Even if it not your favorite, listening to different stuff rounds out your sound and gives you more influences to draw off of.
Sean: yeah if you thinking this is a get rich and famous easy line of work it’s not, we probably spend about 60 hours a week doing band related things outside of just playing an instrument and the pay sucks!
Tyler: Keep trying the road sucks it's long hard and full of obstacles when you think you suck... You suck... Keep trying because you may never be the best but there isn't nothing wrong with coming close?? Practice, practice, practice, and more practice ... Sucks you will hate it ... You’re going to hate your band... But in the end... Once it comes together and all the hard work pays off the feeling you get is amazing
Mike: Persistence... don't ever give up. Practice. Practice. Practice. Good things come to those who work hard for it. It's not going to come to you. You have to go get it. Also, don't be in it for the wrong reasons. Only you know if it's truly in your heart and if it is that's what will be the driving force to take you on a lifetime journey in this.
VQDM: Who are your hero's, I'm not just referring to musicians but anyone in general?
Fox: My parents. They are the nicest people ever. They gave me guidance but also let me find my way. Never told me I had to be or do any one thing.
Sean: Spiderman is pretty awesome.
Mike: My dad. He was truly a good man, RIP.
Tyler: Slash! The dude isn't the best guitar player, but he plays with his heart you can fucking feel it hear it and see it.... And is as humble as can be that's how I want to be no matter what. When it comes to music that's the guy.
VQDM: What embarrassing songs might I find on your iPod player?
Fox: Depends what you define as embarrassing. I have just about everything in my music playlist. Old 60s Motown, speed metal, rap, pop. It can go from Slayer to Lana Del Ray.
Sean: I have a very vast taste in music. I have backstreet boys, Nsync, toadies, gwar, nofx, blink 182, panic at the disco, boyz to men, fresh prince, soul asylum, counting crows, everclear, pantera, white zombie, just depends like Eric said.
Tyler: What's Going On” by four non blondes that's right laugh it up but that shit jams.
VQDM: If you were able to sit under the table and listen to any two people speak, who would it be?
Sean: I kind of like to not worry about what other people say when I'm not there, ignorance can be bliss.
VQDM: Describe Pulse in 3 words
Sean: Just getting started
VQDM: What can we look for in the future from Pulse?
Fox: More road dates. We want to get as far and wide as we can. The local dates are great but you want to get the music out there.
Mike: One busy band...
Sean: agreed, travel and the new album with as many dates out of Texas as we can manage. We will be working on a new video to support the new album as well here pretty soon and new merch.
Tyler: A lot hopefully, but definitely more in your face live performances!
James: Our 2nd album due out Oct 17,2015. Big plans for the rest of the year and next year! More details will come watch our website!
VQDM: Any Shout Outs?
Fox: Friends, family, other bands. Anyone who helped us on our journey. Way too many to list. I suppose my Parents for putting up with a lot of really shitty music while I was learning.
Sean: yeah parents who tolerated the terrible in order for us to get good. My dad comes to most of the local shows now and my mom has all our stuff and listens to the band all the time. Shout out to my girlfriend Audrea for letting us make noise in the house all night as well. Oh and the Annunaki for genetically modifying humans thousands of years ago and giving us the ability to have this talent and creativity
Tyler: Everyone in Pulse... I love you guys even though you’re all dicks. My wife Janice lee my kids Azleigh and Ailynn, everyone at Voodoo Queen, the fans, my friends, family, and everyone that has come to the good the bad and the drunken shows.