-Interview- Refractions (8/9/14)

Muncie, IN progressive metal band Refractions talks about their recent "Nautilus" EP, and their big upcoming relocation.
From: Muncie, IN
Sounds like: Progressive Metal

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Refractions” and is there any meaning behind it?

We've all been involved with music for quite some time. Our drummer, Jake, has been in the local scene for over 10 years; our bass player Chris and I (Paul, guitar) have been in bands for 8. Most of our starts were in middle school band class.
I guess you could say we develop our sound by writing music we like. We don't constrain ourselves to a genre. No idea is too outlandish for us if we can make it sound good in context with everything else we're doing.
I distinctly remember sitting in a Burger King dining room when we came up with the name. We were brainstorming names we thought would be cool and Refractions just kinda stood out to us. If I remember correctly, Jake suggested it. There's not really any huge meaning behind it.

2. What do you want listeners to take away from your "Nautilus" EP?

We really just want people to enjoy Nautilus because it's music for music's sake. We write music we like playing and want other people to like it too.

3. How would you describe your music to the average listener?

We're a progressive metal band that tries to write unpredictable but still catchy music.

4. What can people expect from your live show?

We try to have a good time on stage and want the audience to reflect that. We want to give audience members great music to listen to and we always try to be the band that drops peoples jaws. For us, it's always been about the music first; there's no choreography or fireworks. Our goal is to draw the listener in and put them in the same state of mind that we are in while enjoying the experience.

5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

The Contortionist, Between the Buried and Me, Periphery

6. Any crazy show stories?

We played a gig in the basement of a bar in our hometown of Muncie, IN. That day, we got a record-setting amount of rainfall. By the end of our half hour set, there was probably 3 to 4 inches of standing water on the floor. The stage was only a 1 inch rise...The venue team was actually pushing water out the door with big squeegee brooms between bands. While loading out, the water was above the wheel wells on our trailer. We're talking rivers flowing down the gutters in the street. When we were driving home, we hit a patch of water in the road that our truck had trouble pulling through and actually flooded the back half of the trailer. Needless to say we were all pretty panicked. Luckily we all pulled out of it without damaged gear.

7. What’s your take on the current state of metal?

Honestly? Very bland. Lots of copies. It doesn't feel like there's much originality left in metal save a handful of bands. It seems like everyone just wants to sound like another band without making their music their own.

8. What’s the current music scene like there in Indiana both locally and state wide?

Locally? It's great if you're into bar metal, metalcore, hardcore, acoustic/indie, or country. Being a prog-metal band in Indiana is like being a D&D kid at the high school basketball after party. We're the odd kids out save a few of our buddy bands. Us weirdos in the Midwest like to stick together. We'll actually get to that in a few questions.
State wide is another story. Prog-metal is a quickly expanding genre in itself. It used to be just all the crazy guys with the metal dudes branching out. Thanks to bands like Periphery, BTBAM, and Dream Theater it's getting much much bigger. Especially The Contortionist blowing up in Indiana, though they're rarely playing here anymore because they're the D&D thing I mentioned earlier.

9. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

For us it's very "demo it" in terms of "illegal downloading". We feel it's really just sharing; if you can't afford our music and torrent it or whatnot, do it! It means you care and we know you're going to share it with other people. We each like to make sure the quality is there before we decide to come to that band's next show in our area and give them money personally. If someone says "check these guys out!," we'll go listen to it on Spotify (which isn't far from torrenting it... right?), torrent it, listen to it on youtube, whatever just to hear it before we put money down. How often do people drive cars without test driving it? Almost never. With the current state of the music industry, artists aren't getting money from music sales anymore; it's all about coming to a live performance and buying merch directly from the band.

10. What’s next for Refractions?

We're making a huge move 2,100 miles west! In January we are moving to Ontario, California. It's about 45 minutes from L.A. Plus it's only an hour and a half from San Diego. We're much more of a West Coast kind of band, we want to be around more people, plus it's a lifestyle change we're looking for. In terms of music the next five months we'll be writing our new album which we have a really good start on. We look forward to seeing all new faces in California!

11. Any shoutouts?

Definitely huge shoutouts to ForeverAtLast, Hail to the King, The Room Colored Charlatan, Inheritors, Mapmaker, Pretending We're Monsters, Vultress (RIP), and The Emerson Theater for making the Indiana scene a better place.