We caught up with American Standards vocalist Brandon Kellum to find out all about the new album, getting drunk with Every Time I Die and plans for 2018…
Broken Arrow: For those who have never heard of you, could you tell us a little bit about American Standards?
Brandon: We’re loud, untalented and ugly but I’ll be damned if we don’t have more passion then most.
Broken Arrow: Who were your biggest musical influences growing up?
Brandon: Growing up I was influenced by bands like Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down and Deftones. As I got into high school, I started listening to bands like Poison The Well, Zao And Refused.
“Both the experiences really made me take a step back and think about how we approached the album…”
Broken Arrow: You recently revealed your fourth studio album Anti-Melody but you faced a few horrible setbacks in the recording process. Can you tell us about these?
Brandon: Ya, during the writing process for Anti-Melody I woke to a text saying that our founding guitarist Cody Conrad had committed suicide. Not even weeks after that, I found that my father was diagnosed with cancer which took him pretty quickly.
Broken Arrow: Are these setbacks reflected in your new album?
Brandon: Both the experiences really made me take a step back and think about how we approached the album. It not only changed the lyrical content but we also decided to self mix and produce the songs for a more raw, unpolished sound.
Broken Arrow: What was the response like from fans for this album?
Brandon: I feel like this album has connected with a different audience. It’s tough because at first listen, we’re definitely different then our peers in the genre. We’re not nonstop shredding on guitar or pummeling you with double bass drums. We’re also not throwing heaps of distortion on everything or mastering to oblivion. I think despite this, people feel the emotion and see the honesty in the music.
“Drinking before and after the show with Every Time I Die is definitely up there…”
Broken Arrow: You’ve shared stages with the likes of Everytime I Die, Atreyu and Knocked Loose. Who’s next on the bucket list of bands to support?
Brandon: There’s quite a few. Refused, At The Drive In, Poison The Well, Alexisonfire, Gallows and Cancer Bats to name a handful.
Broken Arrow: What’s been your most surreal moment as a band so far?
Brandon: Drinking before and after the show with Every Time I Die is definitely up there. Hanging out on the tour bus with Emery. Opening for ZAO. More simple then that though is really any time that we play a city that we’ve never been to yet people are there to see us and know the songs. It’s humbling and makes it all worth it.
Broken Arrow: You were originally signed to a label back in 2011 but then took your own path from 2013. Are you still unsigned?
Brandon: Still 100% independent… so for any labels that truly believe that art can still change minds and impact positive change, get at us.
Broken Arrow: How have things been different for you, in terms of being signed to a label and then choosing to go solo?
Brandon: Not much has changed honestly. We were recording albums, pressing merch and booking tours before, during and after the label. We’ve also always been very hands on and personal when it comes to promotion/press too. Its the way we like to do it and I don’t see that ever going away.
Broken Arrow: Lastly, do you have anything in the pipeline for 2018 so far?
Brandon: We’re booking our first tour of the year in March which will take us up the west coast and back down through the Midwest. By then we’re also hoping to have a single out from the next release. Until then, keep up to date on our socials and follow us using the free bands in town app.