-We dedicated one of our songs to a little boy battling inoperable brain cancer and it really seems to encourage him, says K.C Lee from the Canadian metalband PERSIST. Here is a unique opportunity to read about their tour with Five Finger Death Punch and the new album "You don't shine" that was released in April.
Photography: JND marketing
Where did the journey of your band Persist start?
The journey begain in Thunderbay,Ontario with Frank and Jerry about seven years ago. They wanted to make it in the music industry and knew there were few options where they lived, so they packed up and moved to Toronto. They played some shows for a couple of years and then in a transition faze they found me and made me their new singer. After three more years of playing together KJ and Christian were added and that is the line up that has really solidified our sound and now recorded our new album "You don't shine".
What is the biggest challenge with playing in a band and what is the absolute best thing?
The biggest challenge is really trying to compete with so many other options for ticket buyers and their time. We really have to pick our shows carefully and work hard to plan and promote. Getting the word out to people is easier now with all the social media and other resources, but it is not always easy to keep peoples attention. The absolute best is the live show and getting to play for our fans. Meeting people who are excited about our music as you are. Hearing how the music helps people handle stress in their lives, being able to connect with the song and the pain and joy that lies within them.
Where do you have your biggest support worldwide?
We have a big following all over the place. Canada, specifically western Canada, has really shown a lot of support. We have toured there with Five Finger Death Punch twice so we get a chance to play in front of big crowds and they loved us and have been supporting us ever since. The USA has embraced us and we had the honor of playing at The Joint–Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas which was a trip. We have large groups of fans in Europe, Asia and South America too so we can`t wait to get out and play for all of them.
You have done several benefit shows. Do you think your music can be a way of changing the world to a better place?
A lot of our lyrics deal with being pushed around or not really fitting in, but also knowing that fitting in is not always the answer. We have songs about pain and addiction and even mental health. These are all important topics and we have tried to spend extra time helping out with anti bullying as I know when I was alone my music was all I had and I felt the emotions of my ups and downs with the songs I chose to listen to. We try to be that voice for others. We dedicated one of our songs "It`s my fight" to a little boy battling inoperable brain cancer and it really seems to encourage him.
I listened to your "Hours In the Daze" album. Some of the songs have a pinch of rap in it. Is this something you will continue to incorporate in your music?
Each song has a life of it`s own and with the heavy riffs sometimes talking, yelling and rapping adds to the effect and I am a pretty funky mofo so I am sure we might visit it again soon.
You released a new record in april "You don't shine". How is this album different from your previous works? How was the recordingprocess?
Wow, that`s a big question. The new album is called "You don`t shine". You get eleven original songs and one cover. We wanted to reflect our Canadian roots so we went with the Canadian music icon Corey Hart and covered "Sunglasses at night". You can expect the same catchy song that was an international hit but with a very heavy guitar and bass presence for a whole new sound that I think will transend many music genres. The album really shows our development as a band and the process has taken almost three years to release. Having said that we are really excited to write new music now so we will be releasing the CD without much live support .We really want to come out with a new set of twelve songs we can play over the next year and record as soon as possible.
Wow, that is truly ambitious.
So you recently did a tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Soulfly. When was this and what is the most memorable thing you can remember from that experience?
We were on the "Furious and Deadly tour" with Five Finger Death Punch and Soulfly in 2012. The most memorable thing was opening the tour at The Joint in Las Vegas. Being back stage with the bands, stars and athletes, it was insane. That was my first trip to Vegas and I had an all access pass to the hottest metal tour in North America. Five Finger Death Punch has been so supportive of us and they included us on their next tour we finished last October. They feel that if they are in Canada they should give a Canadian band a chance to take the stage and that is something that money can't buy. Being around Max Cavelera and his crew was amazing and then Marc Rizzo, the lead guitar player for Soulfly, even played on two songs on our album. Seeing the systematic way the show sets up, operates, tears down and then moves to the next town and does it all again, was inspiring.
Where are you touring in the near future?
We have a couple of shows with former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E Lee in the spring we have been talking with a few promoters in Europe about some festivals but we are really focusing on new music right now, so we can come out with a whole new show and then plan some tours.
I hope to see you then!
So..I can`t really pinpoint why but there is something about you that reminds me of System of a down. What are your personal musical romodels?
That is one of the bands that has inspired us as well as Kyuss, Queens of The Stone Age, Kiss, Slayer, Deftones and Nirvana.
Do you have any plans for recording a new musicvideo?
We have two musicvideos finished and the "My Eyes" was recently released and "The other sunglasses at night" we will wait a few months with and we should have a third one finished by then as well.
REPORTER: Malene Aakre (firstname.lastname@example.org)
INTERVIEW: K.C Lee/ Persist
PHOTO: JND Marketing
K.C Lee – Vocals
Frank Deranged– Guitar and vocals
Christian – Guitar and vocals
KJ – Bass and vocals
Jerry Stro – Drums and vocals
SPOTIFY-YOU DON'T SHINE