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Agents of the sun interview 

Agents of the sun
Submitted by Kaj Roth on 2005-10-19
Hi Jason,it?s nice to have Agents of the sun back with a new album, it was about time! It will be out Oct.25,are you anxious to get it out?
Jason: Yes we are very anxious to get it out. We poured our heart and souls into this record and we feel like it is finally an accurate representation of the band. When we first wrote Aurora we had only been a band for a month or so, and with this record we had time to grow and develop as a band together.

It?s been 2 years since the debut "Aurora",have you evolved as a band during this time?
Jason: Yes we have definitely evolved. We have found the direction we want to go in as a band and we feel that really comes out on Monarchs of a Fallen Society. 2 years of touring and playing together night after night has really allowed us to vibe with eachother. It has been a great experience.

About the title of the new album "Monarchs of a fallen society",can you tell us a little about what you mean by it?
Jason: Well we see that the world today is really in upheaval. The way we go about life is always trying to find the good side to any circumstances. We try to find a way to make adversity work to our advantage. We want people to see the beauty in the world and to not let the current state of things get them down. So the Monarch butterflies represent the beauty in the world rising from the rubble of a shattered society. There is always beauty in the world to find, sometimes you just have to look a little harder for it.

The first album was produced by Mark Thorp/Steve Wright/Mike McAree ,did you work with the same team on the new album?
Jason: This time we cut Mark Thorpe out of the equation. We loved AURORA but we didnt feel it went in the direction that we hoped it would. Mark works at the label and we kinda wanted to do this record the way we wanted to do it, without any outside intervention other than our producers. So we kindly asked the label to let us do it our way and they were more than happy to. We really appreciate that kind of freedom. It was an awesome experience.

I was impressed by the artwork on the debut but I must say that the album cover to "Monarchs" is just as good,very beautiful,who does the artwork?
Jason: We actually found the cover artwork online. We asked for permission to use it from a Brazilian artist named Balazs Papay. All the inside artwork was done by Cat Oneil. She did the art for AURORA as well. She is an amazing artist.

I?m happy to say that the harmony vocals still is an important part of Agents sound on the new album,do you practice harmonies just as much as rehearsing with the instruments coz I know some bands fail at that point when it comes to playing live!
Jason: Yes we practice harmonies a ton because we want to be able to reproduce everything we do on the record live. Im happy to say that we can actually pull off all those harmonies live. I think thats one of our strongest points.

When "Aurora" was more basic and positive hard rock,I think the style on MOAFS is more modern sounding and even if darker is a strong word to use,I feel it?s not as positive as the debut. Just take the titles "Portrait of a serial killer" and "Murder on the Yellow brick road" for example,have you become more serious on the new album?
Jason: POSK is kinda of a weird example. Its actually about a girl who dreams her boyfriend is murdering her when in actuality she is schizophrenic and she murders her boyfriend in his sleep. Its from a dream Ray our singer had. I think we got a little more introspective on this album and tried to relate our experiences from the road into our new songs. If you listen to the lyrics they might seem a little darker but they always end with some sort of positive spin. We have definitely become more serious this time. Weve grown a little.

Is the band intact,are you still the same members?
Jason: Yeah its all the same guys. We made a pledge to each other that no matter what we would always keep the same members. Everything happened so fast for us because together we all make the magic. If we lose anyone that magic could end and we are not willing to take that chance.

What do you think of filesharing on the internet?
Jason: I think it has a good and a bad side. I think its great to get new music into peoples hands. I also feel that people dont understand that if they are stealing music, they may never get a chance to see their favorite bands live. Without the money generated from music sales, none of us would have the ability to tour. They are actually contributing to the demise of live music.

When you?re not out doing shows with the band,how does the perfect friday night look for you?
Jason: It would either be chillin with my daughters watching some movies, or going out to see one of my friends bands play. There is a ton of great music being made in Baltimore right now. We have a killer music scene.

What songs can?t you stand right now,there must be any song on the radio that makes you wanna shut it off?
Jason: I cant nail down any particular song, but all those songs that sound exactly the same really piss me off. Its time for the industry to stop pushing out all these processed bands and let some originality back on the scene. Its ok to be different and I think the ROCK needs to really come back.

Is there a tour planned this fall,will you support any band or do your own tour?
Jason: There are a couple of tours in the works. Right now we got offered some dates on the 311 Fall Tour so we will be doing that. There are other offers on the table now but well just have to see how everything pans out. Being on 311s Summer Tour really helped us out. We played every day with 311, Papa Roach, and Unwritten Law and all 3 bands really loved us. They would watch us play every night. Then they started offering us slots on their upcoming tours so well see what happens. We are really excited.

If you were sitting in a restaurant right now,what would you order?
Jason: I would be sitting at The Bicycle in Baltimore, this awesome little eclectic restaurant and I would order the Balinese Mahi Mahi, which is Mahi wrapped in phyllo with shrimp baked into it over a bed of shanghai noodles with a spicy red pepper sauce.

What is the best memory you have had with Agents during these 2 years?
Jason: This whole summer would have to be one memory. We got invited to tour with 311, one of the bands that inspired us to play music, and spent the whole hanging out with them. The most rewarding part was all these bands telling us how much they love our music. It was amazing.