Staten Island’s ALL IN MOMENT stopped by for a chat this side of the summer, to talk all things creativity, live performance, metal, and hopes for the future. Here’s the conversation in full.
* * *
Hi guys, thanks for the interview – how are you all doing, how are things where you are?
DAVE: I’m doing ok. Been working through most of all this, using the lack of outside activities to devote more time to writing new stuff to get out there.
CHRIS: It’s a challenge, but we’re pulling through this.
LUKE: We’re all healthy and just hanging in there like everyone else. What better time to write music than now?
For those who don’t know – what is All In Moment about; where did the name originate, and how long have you been making music together?
DAVE: We’ve been a band since about 2016. Although the name itself comes from watching the WSOP, it really sums up what we generally like to
write about, which is the idea that to achieve your goals and dreams you must put everything you have into it and essentially go “All-In”.
CHRIS: There comes a time in everyone’s life where you decide to put everything on the line in hopes of accomplishing your dream. The formation of the band was a statement on our end that we are ready to take on this opportunity. And like Dave said, we got the phrase from Texas Hold’Em television broadcasts. When one player puts all of their chips on the line, the commentators normally dramatized the importance of the “all-in moment” part of the game.
LUKE: The band’s been together since 2016 and I’ve been with them since 2018 and the name started when Dave and Chris were in the middle of a poker game and saw the similarity of the risk in the game itself and making the necessary sacrifices to succeed in general and sometimes you just have to go “all-in” to make it happen and that’s the message we’re conveying.
What ultimately made you want to play original songs over covers, and how did you find the change in experience – and in audience reception?
DAVE: Personally I never wanted to be in a cover band. Sure its fun to play your favorite stuff live to people who enjoy it just as much as you do, but I have so many ideas to write my own stuff that I needed to get that out to hopefully make people feel the same way about music that I do. So far the people we play to are on board with us. Of course the people you know are going to be supportive, but when the people that hear you for the first time start to support you as well its extremely uplifting and gratifying.
I still remember our first show ever on the road at a small pub in Boston. A woman came up to be and said her and her husband were so pleased that they bought our album on iTunes. That was the first record we sold in that platform and Ill never forget the feeling it gave me to hear that.
CHRIS: We all love music and have a passion to perform for others. The fact that we have the chemistry to play with one another solidified that this is something we should do.
LUKE: As much as I enjoyed playing covers from my favorite bands I didn’t want to continue doing it forever because the more I practiced the better I got with my instrument and I knew I had the potential to write on my own and it makes me happy knowing that most people who have seen us live or listened to our album were enjoying our songs.
What do you tend to write about?
DAVE: Death, drugs, sex and more death. I joke. We tend to stay away from the normal heavy metal topics and write about what’s important to us. Believing in yourself and overcoming adversity.
CHRIS: I believe music is a powerful motivational tool. I want to help people get through real life issues, so I tend to focus on that when creating lyrics.
LUKE: We like to stray from the usual topics of heavy metal and write more about overcoming inner struggles, conflict and resolution.
What’s your song writing process like as a band, and do you ever disagree creatively – if so, how do you overcome this?
DAVE: One of us will present an idea, a lyric, a riff, a drum rhythm, etc. We thrive when we can get together and jam on it for hours on end. Once we have a rough idea where we want it to go, Ill compose a rough outline of the song at home and present it to the guys. Sometimes we love it, sometimes its back to the drawing board.
Lyrically, our song Haunt Me was about the 7 deadly sins and Chris didn’t rewrite the whole song until right before the studio, but we feel that was some of his best work as a lyricist so it all worked out. We don’t stop until we all agree on the music.
CHRIS: There are plenty of disagreements, but we work together to formulate the entire song. Normally, Dave steps up and creates a skeleton version of the instrumentals for a new song by incorporating a few ideas we jammed on. Then, we edit what we like and remove what we don’t like. Once we are comfortable with the instrumental track, I will formulate the lyrics and melody.
LUKE: As a band, disagreeing is inevitable so we always consider each other’s viewpoints and do our best to meet in the middle and compromise and there are some cases where we need to put our egos aside and just bite the bullet and move on, it sucks for the odd man out but it’s part of keeping a band together and I’m glad we’re all capable of that.
What’s the music scene like around Staten Island lately (Pre-Covid of course)?
DAVE: Not many spots to see live music. Some cool spots if cover bands is your thing, but if you want the best local, original music Staten Island has to offer, head to Mother Pug’s Saloon on a Friday or Saturday night, no question. Of all the venues we’ve played, the management and staff there by far are the best towards to bands and crowd. Lots of clubs only care about making money off bands, this is not one of those places. You won’t feel more at home at a show than here.
CHRIS: An overwhelming majority of venues do not support original live modern rock music. That could be because of the demographics of an aging Staten Island population. Luckily at least cover bands can find work, but undiscovered modern day hard rock bands with original music struggle to find a stage to perform on here. That’s why we tend to perform off the island.
LUKE: The mainstream around here was always top 40 pop and mumble rap, so not amazing but we do have Mother Pug’s Saloon on Staten Island where a lot of different local bands play and that’s a good place to sit down, have a beer and enjoy the music.
What do you think or hope that 2021 will look like for indie venues and live performance?
DAVE: Hopefully the lack of shows and activities bring larger crowds. I dont care about making money, yes it’s nice and all but it’s more important to me to play to people and see them enjoying what we spent all this time and energy creating.
CHRIS: I expect there to be a short term spike up in crowd engagement once the virus clears up since we’ve been stuck at home for so long. I also believe we’ll be lucky to perform in a live venue in 2021. It took a couple years for industries to rebound from the Spanish Flu.
LUKE: I think when this virus is more under control and hopefully enough cases drop by next year these venues will open back up and invent clever social distancing methods and the music scene will be back up and running.
What’s a main goal of yours and are there any particular venues you dream of playing?
DAVE: I think our goal is the same as any other young band, to be able to quit the 9-5 and play music for a living, even if its small venues I really don’t care.
Some people want to achieve super stardom and that’s great and all, but if I can make enough money to be some what comfortable with music, I’d be happy.
As far as venues I feel there’s two categories, the obvious ones and the ones that would mean the most you Yes, who wouldn’t want to play MSG, Wembly Stadium and all the biggest festivals all over the world? Personally my top picks would be, in order, the Chris Jericho cruise, Warped Tour and Rock AM Ring. I’d probably cry for at least a day if I got that news. An honorably mention would be if a pro wrestler used one of our songs and we got to play it live for their entrance on that show, that would be surreal.
CHRIS: Our short term goal is to make another record. Our long term goal is to make an honest living making the music we love. More importantly, we want to make memories. Not just for us, but for our fans and future fans.
LUKE: The main goal was always to continue playing until our name is spread across the heavy music scene and hopefully one day strike a good record deal, Madison Square Garden was always the dream for me.
If you could sit down for a chat with anyone at all, who would you choose, and what would you ask them about?
DAVE: Musically, it would have to be James from Metallica. I would just want to sit and listen to all his experiences of life on the road and being as successful has he is. Most importantly, I’d ask about his writing process because I think musically and lyrically Metallica is one of the best to ever do it.
CHRIS: I’d love to have a chat with Billy Joel. His first record flopped, yet he continued to make music despite the lack of popularity in the beginning of his career. In terms of modern day artists, I’d love to chat with Linkin Park. I’d love to learn about their best practices and hear stories about Chester.
LUKE: I can’t decide on that one, nowadays I have a lot of questions for a lot of different people.
Which song of yours would you recommend to new listeners, and why?
DAVE: It depends, If your into rock and metal, Haunt Me is one of our best I think. But if its your first time dabbling in the genre, For You is most likely to be a better introduction to us as a band.
CHRIS: Our latest song Haunt Me is our best work. Check that out and then listen to our first song, Not That Far Away. I love all of our work, but if I had to choose, our first and last pieces are the most worth listening to.
LUKE: Haunt me. Not only because it’s my personal favorite but thematically it’s the best in my opinion.
Is there anything else we should know?
DAVE: We’re constantly working on new material, but if you would like to support us, check out our IG for some cool merch options and DM us. But the most valuable thing anyone can do for us, that you cant put a price on and cost you nothing, is give us a like on FB and a follow in IG, all I could really ask and means the world to us. If you are gracious enough to give us a listen and you like what you here, please spread the word about us. Like I said before, money is nice and all, but Im more happy if more people can hear us and enjoy our music.
CHRIS: I want everyone to stay close with their families during this time of uncertainty. Live music will be back soon.
LUKE: We’re currently writing new material and we’re all pleased on how it sounds so far, there’s still a lot of work to be done but hopefully we’ll have this new album out by the end if this year or the beginning of 2021.
* * *