Sing It Loud on their reunion show and new projects

Ben Peterson, Kieren Smith, Pat Brown, Chris Lee, Nate Flynn
Ben Peterson, Kieren Smith, Pat Brown, Chris Lee, Nate Flynn
Photo via Facebook

The story is nothing new: a band breaks up, some members move to New York, some onto country music, some to new musical projects. Almost two years after their breakup, Minneapolis band Sing It Loud have caught the nostalgia bug and announced a reunion show at Mill City Nights.

Gimme Noise caught up with guitarist and founding member Kieren Smith before the band's show on Saturday. Is this a reunion or just a reunion show?

Sing It Loud formed in 2007, signing with Epitaph Records after playing only seven shows together. The majority of the band was in their late teens when their career took off, becoming famous before Minneapolis could catch on to their contagious pop-punk sound.

"We were so young when we got signed, so it was difficult to take it all in," Smith shares. "Those years are your formative years, where you're transitioning into the next step in your life. When our second album, Everything Collides, came out, things were changing. We were at the point where the second record wasn't selling as well as we'd hoped. Although we were appreciative of the people who did like it, others didn't seem to get it. We just weren't where we wanted to be as a band. We wanted to be financially stable musically, but we couldn't do it. The music scene was changing, and with the kind of music we made, we were not the kind of band that could adjust our sound and be happy. We wouldn't be the band we wanted to be."

Is hindsight 20/20? Smith believes that if the band had formed later in their lives, things would have been a lot different, yet the outcome would have still been the same. "I think if we were older when we started Sing It Loud, we would have appreciated it a lot more. I don't think we would have been a pop-punk band; it would have been a completely different band. We showed up a day late and a buck short. It's OK, and it is what it is. It was 100% nothing I could control. Do I think we would have stayed a band had we stuck it out? No, not at all. We would have broken up anyways, because we hated each other when it ended -- well, we didn't hate each other, but we were definitely over it. The band breaking up has made me appreciate it for what it was. It forced me out of my comfort zone and helped me figure out who the fuck I was, what I wanted to do, and what I loved musically."

Sounding as if he gained some of his passion for music back, Kieren affirms, "Yeah, it's fun again. Ben [Peterson - keyboards] and I were talking the other day about how we're true fans of music again. I love hearing a new record or finding a new band or hearing about a new up-and-coming band and going to see them play. I can honestly listen to music and just say, 'That's a great song.'"

There was some speculation on the reason behind the band's breakup, some of it was the internal struggle between Kieren and lead singer, Pat Brown. "Pat and I had a lot of shit that we had to overcome together, and we finally did soon after the breakup. Yet, when I look back on Sing It Loud now, I don't think about our shows where another band's guitar tech was a total douchebag, whose tour manager was the biggest jerk, or how much merch we did or could have sold on any given night. I don't remember any of that. What I do remember is sitting in a van with four of my best friends, laughing my ass off, getting fucked up, and playing guitar every night. I'm appreciative of that." This train of thought led to Kieren talking to the band to perform a reunion show in Minneapolis, the place where they got their start. He spoke to Ben about the idea, and they soon got the rest of the band on board.

Currently living in New York, Smith is focusing on his new band, Little Bombs, while working with a music management company and rising artists. "There's some bands we're working with now that are in the same boat as we were. I just want to grab them and be like, 'Guys, who gives a shit? Just go play, do your thing, and if people like it? Awesome. If not, whatever.' It's very simple, but I know when you're so immersed in a band, it's hard to take a step back and see that."

Kieren wrote most of the sophomore album, but lead singer, Pat Brown, contributed to much of "Wonder Why," the last track on the album, including the most fitting line, "The walls will fall specifically as planned." Smith concludes the conversation by saying, "Minneapolis is a great town, but musically it's a small town. It was cool to be a big fish in a small pond, but it's very nice to be a nobody right now. I like it. I like that it's fresh and no one associates me on who I used to be. It's nice to have a clean slate. Everyone in the band has grown up a shitload. Chris [Lee - drums] is getting ready to be a dad soon and playing drums in a country band now, and Nate [Flynn - bass] is also performing country as a solo artist. Ben [Peterson - keys] works at a publishing company, and Pat is doing his thing with Mod Sun along with his own musical project. I think everything changes and people end up where they need to be."

Sing It Loud will perform their reunion show on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at Mill City Nights with William Beckett, Love Out Loud, and The Role Call.
AA, $15 adv, $18 door, $27 VIP, 5 pm
Purchase tickets here.

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