Having recently released their captivating Heart & Thunder EP, indie pop band FIVES are ready to share their high energy tunes with the world. Although it took some time and a few member changes for founding members Marc Cashin and Matthew White to come together with the band's current solid lineup, FIVES are stronger now than ever. And with tour dates planned for the first half of the year and even more new music set to release in the near future, FIVES are showing no signs of slowing down.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about FIVES for anyone who might not be familiar?
Matt White [keys]: FIVES is an indie rock/pop band from around the Baltimore/Washington DC area. The band has existed for 6 or 7 years in one form or another, but the current lineup is Marc Cashin (vocals), Matt White (keys), Nate Lazino (guitar), Billy Toti (drums) and Max Rosenstein (bass).
You went through a few lineup changes before finding the group that makes up FIVES now. How did you know that you had found the perfect group of people to create music with?
Marc Cashin [vocals]: Matt and I have been playing together for years. We're the last two original hold outs from the original lineup. We knew we had something good from the beginning. Finding the right group of people who can spark creativity from one another and share a common vision is tough, but it wasn't hard to see the difference with Billy, Nate, and Max. I think we all knew it was right the first time this lineup got together to play as a group. There was really no "getting to know each other" period. It sounded like we had been playing together for years. That was something special.
How do you feel your hometown and local music scene has affected you as musicians?
Matt: There are so many good musicians and bands in this area that it's impossible to not pay attention to what other people are doing. We have to keep pushing ourselves as musicians and songwriters because the talent pool is so deep here.
Nate Lazino [guitar]: The scene is really eclectic here. It's a great community of musicians who are supportive of one another. There are a ton of great venues so there really is a place for everyone to fit it.
You guys released your new EP, Heart & Thunder last year! Did you have any major goals or plans going into writing and recording the EP?
Marc: We definitely wanted to branch out from what FIVES had previously done. We didn't have anything prewritten but we had an general idea of what we wanted the album to sound like. We wanted to make sure that whatever we came up with was unique, but we tried to pay attention to what was going on sonically in the records we were listening to at the time. There's a good mix of our influences on the EP but there's a lot of individuality as well and that was important.
How do you feel you’ve grown with the creation of Heart & Thunder?
Nate: We've become a lot closer as a band throughout this process. We've learned our strengths, but we've also learned our personal boundaries. We spent a lot of time in the studio working on this EP. Not every minute was easy, but in the end I think everyone was really happy with the result.
Billy Toti [drums]: We're lucky to be getting such a great response to H&T and that's really been amazing to witness. You never know what the public will think of your songs once they're finished but the response has been really positive. It's allowed us to get out and play in front of more people and really develop as a live band. We've been focusing on putting on a great live show.
Now that it has been out for a few months, what is your favorite thing about the EP when you look back at it?
Matt: I think my favorite thing about the whole process was how much the band grew as both songwriters and musicians. We've written some of our best songs for this EP and to look back on all of the struggles and late nights, knowing that we're so proud of the final product is pretty cool. Two songs really stick out to me - "You Go On" just felt good from the minute we started the song, and the title track "Heart & Thunder." "You Go On" came to us quite quickly. I think we had the majority of that song written in under 30 minutes. "H&T" was more of a struggle. It was the last song that we recorded and maybe we were running out of energy at the end. But it came together in a way that still feels really good.
Do you have any big plans for the coming months, with the new year just starting?
Max Rosenstein [bass]: We have a lot of dates booked throughout the first half of the year. We want to tour the hell out of this EP and to play shows in cities we've never been to before.
Marc: We're working on some new music so we'll have more songs to release this year. Not everything made it onto Heart & Thunder so in between shows we're in and out of the studio arranging these other songs. Our next single is called "I Gave Myself a Day (To Think About You)" - be on the lookout for that soon!