Misty Bryant – bass/backing vocals
Richard Valdez – drums
David Bryant – guitar/back vocals
Steven LeFlar – vocals
Considering Colorado’s vibrant and growing metal and hardcore scene, it still puzzles me that the Ozz Fest has chosen to pass us by.
So what does one do?
You take advantage of what’s right in front of you, musicians who are playing, screaming and sweating their asses off in venues from Ft. Collins down to Pueblo, pulling out all the stops to annihilate your eardrums and leave you ringing for days after you left the club.
Take advantage of Aggressive Persuasion. The band wants you to, whether you’re blasted on Jagermeister or not.
AP recently released a brazen CD, A Sense of Reality, chockfull of hardcore elements and intricate change ups that come together like chocolate and peanut butter, where a smooth silkiness wraps perfectly around their chewy, chunky sound. Steve LeFlar’s lead vocals and lazy harmonies lead you down a path, only to throw you into a pit of fiery intensity, while Misty’s background vocals take you further into the depths of metal madness.
This Colorado outfit has that raw and diverse power of the early ’90s when Soundgarden and Alice in Chains were still playing for their local fans in the small clubs of Seattle. Aggressive Persuasion is doing the same today in our own hometowns, in small and large venues, headlining and opening up for some of the big names in the hardcore scene.
We got a chance to peak into the creative process behind the making of A Sense of Reality, and what AP has done to prove themselves to their fans and themselves.
: The aborigine effects on the intro, how did you guys come up with that?
Steve: The band had an all-instrumental intro that they used to open their sets with. I thought this was very cool compared to the composed intros played on CD by some bands. I wanted to incorporate some of my ‘tricks’ into our music and the intro provided me with a great opportunity.
: AP really does have a different sound from any of the hardcore or metal bands I’ve heard from CO. Since you joined the band, what did you bring into it that allow AP to differentiate yourselves and how did that meld with what the band was doing already?
Steve: The band’s original sound before I joined was very heavy and melodic, but their singer did not have the range to keep up. I studied vocal performance in college and I think I have brought a little structure to the band. For the most part though we all have such varied influences in music that we kinda all add our part into it, and it seems to work out fine.
: I detect an almost a Primus/Soundgarden vocal style on “Breaking Apart”. Do you get any influences from either of those bands (trying to shy from the typical, what bands are you influenced by question, but I couldn’t resist going there a bit)
Steve: I found myself listening to a lot of Sevendust at the time we wrote, “Breaking Apart”. My influences go from R & B to jazz, to hip-hop and metal. I am all over the place…
: The change ups that you have on a number of songs that going from mellow to massive, how do those come together while your developing the song?
Steve: I believe whole heartily in the use of dynamics. I want our songs to be a journey, for them to take you up and down all in one crazy ride. We try to keep things interesting not only for us but for the listener as well.
Dave: Most of the time it just comes together naturally. If it didn’t feel right, we wouldn’t do it. For the most part our music is all about feeling. We don’t really sit down and say “ok, on this song were gonna be heavy, and then we’ll be relaxed on the next.” We just write and play what we feel at the moment.
: What inspires your lyrical themes – do they come together before, during, or after the musical side of the song writing process? Who writes the lyrics, a single person or is it all collaboration? They seem to be painful and angry in nature, is this a way for your group to vent frustration or more of a way to communicate your beliefs?
Steve: I write all the lyrics. I write about things I know. Things that are tangible. I think it’s cool that our fans identify with the lyrics. Nothing beats seeing your audience singing words back to you.. I write about my life and the mistakes I have made.
: Speaking of which, although it doesn’t reflect it on the CD cover information, from your live shows I know Misty adds that growl that sounds like there’s another guy on stage. Does this surprise people? I think it’s pretty fucking cool.
Steve: Yea, I think it is bad-ass that she can growl and do it well.. People are usually taken aback when she sound checks. I have plans on using her voice more.
: The “Moment To Reflect” on tracks 9-11, that goes into the next track “This World”, did you feel like going in a political or world view direction with those?
Steve: Rich and I came up with the idea of leaving tracks 9-11 silent. It was our way of showing respect to all affected by that tragic event. The song ‘”This World” is my interpretation of life on this planet. The narrow minded inhabitants of “this world” and my take on em….I am not very political, but felt this was something I wanted to do.
: In addition to having a sound that stands apart from other heavy/hardcore/metal bands in Colorado, your band has also progressed with the business side of your entity. How did you go about securing the sponsorship from Washburn and finding your management who is located in Canada?
Dave: Our manager Dario actually found us, we were in the market for professional management. He seemed to stick out of the group, and I think that we made a very good decision in light of our recent sponsorships. He has been working very hard for us and played a big part in getting us out there.
Rich: No sponsorship with Washburn. Now our guitarist has a sponsorship with Mesa Boogie.
Steve: Dario (our manager ) is great. He really stands behind the band. We wanted to find someone who loved the music and believed in what we were doing.
: How has this management company impacted the success of your band?
Steve: We have developed a long-term plan of attack. Right now we are in the early stages of that plan, but so far he has helped us with Mesa Boogie. Washburn is still in the works for Misty, and we have really stepped up our professionalism because of him.
: How did the opening gigs for Stereomud, Coal Chamber, Sevendust, and others come about?
Dave: We work very hard to get what we want, for the most part if we didn’t earn it, we don’t want it. By working hard we have had the opportunity to grace the stage with such acts as Poison the Well, Seven Dust, or Trust company. On the 29th of April we will once again be playing with a very notable act, Motorhead.
Rich: Well, getting in and proving that we could hang with all these bands helped a lot.
Steve: We work hard to play good music and put on a energetic live show.. We have established ourselves as being hard workers and I guess that people respect that.
: Do you ever get to discuss music and the business with any of these bands, and if so, what do they have to say? Do they give you any words of advice about getting to their level?
Dave: Absolutely. We’d be fools to not listen to any advice that is given by someone who is where we want to be. When we do get the chance to question some of the artists we play with, there is always something to be learned, good or bad.
Rich: We get advise from everyone…they help us set the right goals.
Steve: Our belief is, “to be a national act you have to do as a national act would do.” All of the bands we have played with have taught us something enabling us to better ourselves.
: I understand you’re also involved in the band support program with Jagermeister. How did you get into that program, what do they expect of you and what benefits do you expect from them?
Steve: They expect us to represent for Jager. I am hoping to gain exposure and free bottles to drink. Our manager hooked us up with them.
: How did your street team get started and spread across to so many states, through touring, web marketing?
Steve: We started out with a few die-hard fans that wanted to help. So I started the AP Army. Ron, Dave and Misty’s dad runs the street team site and sends out newsletters to the crew. We assign them missions and try to reward them with stuff. We don’t really have much, so a lot of their hard work is done straight out of love. We have a pretty bad-ass street team that spans 20 states. Word of mouth and Internet is what really helped us out on that.
: What plans do you have going into the summer, any tours outside of Colorado?
Steve: We plan on hitting the road in June and coming back in July. Then going back out in August. Our plan is to play as much as possible. Word. Oh yeah our tour will include these states: NM, AZ, NV,UT,CA,IO,IL,NY,MA, KS,OK, ID and hopefully a few others.
: What other thoughts do you have on your music or on Colorado’s local music scene as well?
Steve: I think there are a lot of great bands out there (in CO). Just check mp3.com nu-metal charts and you will see that 4 bands from CO are in the top 40. Bad-ass. Kill whitey.
Man, it sure would be nice to have an interview with at least one band that didn’t want to kill whitey. Kidding aside, these guys are damn serious about their music and their future, and it shows. They open up for Motorhead at the Gothic Tuesday, April 29. You can also check them out at the Hard Rock the following night, or on their web site at