Pyro, Ohio Interview

1. Can you introduce yourself and tell us your role in the band?
Stephen – Hello! I’m Stephen and I play guitar in Pyro.
Peter – I’m Peter and I do the vocals.
Daniel – Hey! My name is Daniel and I play bass in Pyro. I also do our programming and most of our artwork since I joined the band.

2. How would you describe another member of the band in one word?
Stephen – I’ll pick Peter, and say “composed.”
Peter – I would say Jake is “determined.”
Daniel – Stephen, and “calculated.”

3. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about Pyro, Ohio?
Stephen – We aren’t from Ohio! Somehow that’s really jarring for people to find out when they look us up. Other than that, three of us went to college together at Virginia Tech – so there’s that.
Peter – I don’t know how much of a surprise this is, but we’re all pretty nerdy in our own ways. Most of our individual down time is spent playing video games and watching sports, which leads to most of our conversations, outside of music, being about those two subjects.

4. 10 years from now, where do you see Pyro, Ohio?
Stephen – Hopefully together, but we’re not naïve to the fact that it’s tough to keep something like this going – even for as long as we’ve done it now (4 years). There are so many pitfalls in this industry, but you just have to keep working every day at making yourself better in all aspects and hope it works out.
Daniel – Every band has such an uncertain future, even bands way bigger than us so it’s really hard to say. Regardless, this band and the friends I’ve made through it will be a part of me for the rest of my life.

5. Together as a band, what has been your best memory so far?
Stephen – Probably not just one memory, but collectively from being on the road and all the crazy things that happen. And you experience it together, which brings you together even more. Getting to play some dates of Warped Tour recently – a childhood dream of all of ours – made some memories for me I’ll cherish forever.
Peter – It’s really hard to pinpoint a favorite collective memory, but I’m sure people want to hear a fun story so here’s one I know we all enjoyed. We were playing a show in Richmond a while back and the lineup was with some pretty heavy bands. We were headlining the show so the venue needed us to play at least a 45 minute set, which was a stretch for us at the time. It basically meant we had to play every song we had, which included two softer songs that had no business being played at a show with this kind of lineup. Regardless, we love all our songs so we were ready to play everything we had and hope we weren’t booed off the stage. When it came time to play our song “Where Are You?” things were going pretty well so in an effort to keep the crowd into it I asked everyone to find a partner and ballroom dance to the next song. Once that request left my mouth I knew I would immediately regret it as everyone was staring at me in disbelief. To all of our surprise though, as soon as the song started everyone grabbed the closest person to them and danced the entire song with them! People who had been sitting the whole set even got up and joined in. It was quite the sight-seeing a bunch of metal guys and gals with their hands around each other’s hips like they were at a middle school dance. It probably made that song our favorite to play on the night, and left an expectation for crowd participation that I don’t think we will ever see replicated for quite some time.

6. How did the band start and how did the name Pyro, Ohio come about?
Stephen – Peter and I started the band with the two other original members, George and Luke. Those two and I had been playing music together since high school, and we wanted to start something more serious and focused. We actually through an ad up on Craigslist, Peter responded since he was at Virginia Tech looking for a new project, and we all instantly clicked together. We had a tough time deciding on the name “Pyro, Ohio.” We wanted a band name that reflected our unique (weird?) blend of musical styles and that also embodied our determination to make this band last. We ended up with our name PYRO, OHIO, and it has a lot of meaning to me personally. To me, this band is about the burning desire to find your passion and make a life out of it (hence “Pyro”) and the struggles of trying to stand out in this particular lifestyle/career (“Ohio” is derived from a Native American word meaning “the great river”). So the name boils down to persevering and following your dreams even when all you see around you is doubt.

7. You are releasing an album on November 13th; can you talk a bit about the album, the inspiration, and what went into writing it?
Peter – This album had been in the works literally since our last album release “Before the Sun Sets…” As soon as we got back from the studio we had pieces to songs that we started putting together. We probably had 4 or 5 songs before that album was a year old, but we decided all but two of those were even any good. Fun fact: one of those two was “Did I Mention I’m a Hypocrite?” And it was between that song and the song on the upcoming album titled “A Glass Half Empty is a Life Full of Regrets” of which one we released as a single. In the end, “Hypocrite” was a much more complete song and we actually changed a lot about “Regrets” in the studio. So in turn that song took years to finish. A lot of the other songs on the album we put a lot of demo work into since we all lived with each other at the time. Some songs took a lot more work than others, but in the end we were very happy with how they turned out. We’ve had a couple member changes since the last album as well which made writing these songs a different process. You can really hear the new influences brought in by Jake and Daniel on this album. They really helped us round out our sound.
Daniel – The inspiration for the album lies in the things we own that we don’t just have, but the things that we keep to remember our pasts. Like how we all have a photo album or a shoebox filled with little pieces of who we were, and by opening that album or that box it’s like bringing those things back to life. Writing the album was unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of before. Some of the songs were nearly fully developed when I joined the band, while others I had a hand in from the ground up. Two of the songs I brought with me when I joined the band. I’ve had the majority of those two written for four years or so, so it’s amazing to finally hear them brought to life with a full band.

8. Recently you released “The Truest Reflection,” can you talk a bit about the song and the meaning behind it?
Peter – This song means more to me than anything I’ve ever written. It is simple in its meaning, but says so much more than any other song on the album. It was originally written as a thank you to my parents for helping me become who I am today, but the more I wrote, the more I realized there were so many great influences on my life. That thought really hit home a couple months after recording when two of those great influences passed away. I will always cherish this song in their memory, and all the others that inspired me to write it. I really hope that this song helps people cherish those close to them, and be thankful to all those who have been there for them through thick and thin.
Daniel – The Truest Reflection is probably everyone on the band’s favorite song from the album and actually just barely made it on the album, as it was the last song written before we went to the studio. The song is essentially a thank you to them and everyone that’s helped Peter through his life and that’s something that everyone in the band connects to and something that I feel anybody can connect to. Even if it wasn’t your parents that helped you through life and made you who you are today, there is someone in your life that held your hand and made you strong.

9. What is it about Pyro, Ohio that makes you stand out from all of the other bands out there?
Stephen – I’ll be honest with you, I hate this question. Any answer I give is just going to seem pretentious or ego-driven. I think one of our differentiating characteristics comes from our wide variety of musical influences, which manifests in our music – which can be dynamic but also manic. This could also be one of our biggest faults – since we aren’t burdened by trying to play one style or commit to a certain sub-genre. If you like “Delusions” off our EP, that’s wonderful – but you might never hear us write something like that again. We are changing and growing every day and I hope people can appreciate that. I’m not going to sit here self-righteously and tell you we are the most unique band that has ever been – we are just five sort-of-geeky dudes doing what we love, and if people like hearing what we write – awesome.
Daniel – We stand out because we as individuals stand out. With five people from such varied backgrounds and aspirations, there’s no way to combine them into anything even close to mundane.

10. Before we go is there anything you want to say to the people reading?
Peter – I want to thank our fans for giving us so much support over the years. I hope this new album exceeds your expectations, and I can’t wait to play these new songs for you!

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