Promise Game - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Colin of Promise Game. We discussed the members early interest in music, their influences, creating and releasing music during the pandemic, their new EP, It Won’t Be Long Now..., lyrical inspiration, their cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy”, what’s next for the band, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thanks so much for setting this up, we’re super excited to chat more about our band and the latest EP we dropped a couple weeks back!

How did you initially become interested in music? How did you find your sound? Who are some of your biggest influences?        

It’s safe to say that we all became interested in playing music through our pure passion for alternative rock and pop punk. The brothers in the band, Mark and Adam, have been obsessed with pop punk since the early 2000s. The story pretty much reads the same for Colin and Eric, whose friendship of 20 years has largely been fueled by their love for all things pop punk. Matt’s musical drive comes from the addicting sounds of ’90s/early 2000s rock and metal. 

Finding the sound for Promise Game was too easy from day one. We all agreed that we wanted listeners to hear our collective love for ’90s alternative rock and modern day pop punk, and to be reminded of the memories made when all they had to worry about was having fun. For us, it’s all about connecting with our audience since a lot of what’s out there today is targeted towards younger generations. Our energetic sound is largely influenced by bands such as Knuckle Puck, Transit, Gin Blossoms, Something Corporate, The Starting Line, Rage Against the Machine, Third Eye Blind, Blink-182, Motion City Soundtrack, and many more!

Your band started a little before the pandemic. How has the process of starting the band, being in the band, and releasing music worked for your band during this time?

So we started up Promise Game in the Summer of 2019, and had some really fun things planned for 2020. Fortunately, the songs you hear on our debut EP It Won’t Be Long Now... were mostly ironed out before COVID shut the world down. At first, the pandemic made it pretty tough to keep our momentum going - cancelling months of important rehearsals for a brand new band like us was definitely not the ideal scenario. But we didn’t let it keep us down - during this time, Adam and Matt stepped up huge and were able to do a lot of demo work at home to prepare us for our studio time. After what seemed like 5 years of not playing together, we decided to mask up and get back to work in person. We were back on track, and we weren’t looking back until our record was done.

You just released your EP ‘It Won’t Be Long Now...’. What was the writing and recording process like for the EP?

At the very beginning, we got our feet wet by covering pop songs in pop punk fashion. The EP features our cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy”, but at first we were also working on our own versions of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, Backstreet Boys’ “Quit Playing Games with My Heart” and Gin Blossoms’ “Follow You Down”. It was super fun, but after maybe a month of rehearsing we had found our sound and knew that we had so much more to share musically. We started writing our own material, driven by lyrics and musical compositions created by Adam. Once a song was brought to the band, we’d collaborate as a group to make sure everyone’s ideas were added into the mix. 

The process of recording It Won’t Be Long Now... was nothing short of amazing, better than any of us could have ever imagined! While most of the songs had been structured for over a year, the final tracks you hear today really came together while working with our amazing producer Matt Blanchette at Revelry Studios. From the moment we stepped into the studio, we knew we chose the right team to help us with our debut record. From start to finish, the experience we all had recording this album was something we’ll never forget!

Pinks and Blues” is one of my favorite songs from the EP. Can you tell me about writing it specifically and what your lyrical inspiration was for it?

Eric works full-time as a photographer, and one of his most popular shoot themes is sunrise beach sessions. Every morning is spent watching the sun go up and down - during the summer we started Promise Game, he had met a girl that spent two of those mornings with him just because. Not working, just enjoying the sunrise and his company. This song is about those moments, and the zen notion of the pink and blue colors from those sunrises. Always wanting to write a piano ballad, this was such a great opportunity for Eric to make it a reality. The entire band agrees, this is the perfect song to help balance out the album.

You covered Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy” for the EP. Why did you decide to pick that song? How did you go about giving it your own spin?

When Colin reached out to Mark about joining Promise Game, the answer came quick but it also came with one request - we had to cover “If It Makes You Happy”. Mark had previously looked around for any other notable pop punk covers of the song, but couldn’t find anything and instantly knew doing our own rendition would be unique. After playing multiple covers during our first few rehearsals, this song came together ridiculously fast and was the clear band favorite. We took our musical influences and created what we thought would be a fun pop punk take on a pure Americana classic. Our goal was to put a big transformative spin on the track, in efforts to really make it our own. It’s important to us that we did Sheryl’s work justice, and hope that if she ever hears it, she thinks we did just that!

What are the plans for 2021?

At this point, we’re all systems go with our next EP! The feedback and traction we’ve received on It Won’t Be Long Now… tells us one thing - our listeners are in, and ready for more! At the end of the day, Promise Game is all about playing fun music for people looking to have fun. When the doors out here in New England actually open up, we plan to hit the stage with many of the friends we’ve made over the first couple months of being in the scene! But until then, we’re working hard to put together a new collection of songs that combine what you hear in our current tracks and some new direction that we think people will really enjoy. 2021 is going to be a big year for us, we can’t wait to make unforgettable memories with the PG family! 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Thanks again for having us! I guess we’ll leave you and your readers with one last thing:

The five of us are friends first, band members second. We’ve all played in various bands, some of which had great success. But nothing compares to the experience we’ve had creating music together as Promise Game. We’re beyond excited to write more music for you all to hear, and do what we can to support the pop punk scene now and for many years to come!

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