Inner Temple Interview
Written & Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt
Edited by Rachel Rosell | Photo by Jim Layton
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Meryl "LJ" DeWitt: Please introduce yourselves, include roles in the band, aaannd, since it's Halloween season, add on your favorite horror movie villain...
Kevin "The Dood" Doud: I play bass, I kickass, and I have a weird rash. My favorite villains are The Deadites from Evil Dead.
Kevin Schlosser (Drums): My name's Kevin and I play drums in the band. Michael Myers is bae.
Dustin Schumacher (Guitar): Hi, I'm Dustin Schumacher and I write, sing, and play the guitar. AKA: I do all of the shit work. My favorite horror movie villain is Shaq from Shazam. Shaq's acting IS a horror movie.
LJ: You're from one of our favorite scenes, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. What's your favorite hometown venue to play? Who're your favorite bands to play with?
Kevin D.: I dig playing at Par Glass. My favorite band to play with is The Greater Victory. Check 'em out!
Kevin S.: The Otherside and Levels are two pretty awesome places to play. We've played with so many talented and cool bands, I really enjoy playing with Resting and The Greater Victory.
Dustin: For venues, The Otherside is a great place to play. We've only played there once because we're not in our area too much, but they always take care of us there. A lot of venues have shut down in our area, so unfortunately there's not much left around. Basement shows and house shows are always a great time though too. Par Glass rips.
LJ: So far, what's the weirdest or craziest thing that's ever happened to you at a gig?
Kevin D.: I'm the weirdest thing at any show...but I once saw two people fighting over whose boyfriend had the heavier band.
Dustin: During a gig, before our last song, I said to the crowd that they could find our band on "Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pornhub". Right after I finished the sentence, a guy in the audience yelled "My ex-girlfriend is on Pornhub!" So, I called bullshit. I was proven wrong. He already had the Pornhub link bookmarked in his phone. I guess he shows it to everyone?
LJ: Currently you're playing off of your EP Captivity. Which song do you look forward to playing live the most? And, is there any song you'd consider the black sheep off the record?
Kevin D.: "Captivity" is my favorite. All of the songs are black sheep.
Kevin S.: I look forward to "Broken Teeth" the most. It's a faster song, and it's really easy and fun to move to. The crowd always jams to it pretty hard. I wouldn't consider any of the songs to be the black sheep, honestly.
Dustin: I look forward to playing "Your Favorite Season" the most. All of the songs from the EP are really personal songs, but that one always gives me chills when we play it and it always ends up repeating in my head after every set. I think the black sheep of the record is the song "Broken Teeth". It's fast, raw, and heavy (kind of like our drummer, Kevin). I think it adds a great contrast to the rest of the EP in certain aspects. It really picks things back up after "Your Favorite Season" and it gets you ready for the big closer, "Captivity".
LJ: Speaking of your music, lately you've been working hard on new material. Can you give us any insight or teasers of what's to come?
Kevin D.: My lips are sealed. Hype train.
Kevin S.: IT'S GONNA BE UGE! I'm terrible with impersonations, but Dustin has them locked down. We put a ton of effort and countless hours into this next EP, and it has such a big sound. I'm insanely excited to share it with everyone, especially my family.
Dustin: We really worked our asses off with the upcoming EP. We spent five days in New Jersey at Barbershop Studios to record it with Gary Cioni from Crime In Stereo. We all threw all that we had at the EP. We spent between twelve and fifteen hours a day on each song. We really beat the piss out of ourselves and our instruments. The upcoming EP is a game changer for us. It's the biggest thing that I've heard. It packs so much weight and it just sounds so huge. The EP began its writing phase pretty directly after 'Captivity'. I was still feeling really bitter about a long-term relationship of mine ending. I wasn't in a good place at all for a long time. I was really careless about everything and my own well-being. I was brought back to reality after I was in a car accident. I hit a tree head on. The tree came through the car. I had to football tackle my way out of the backseat because all of the doors locked up. I broke through the door and I climbed out with one small cut on my knuckle. I don't know how I got so lucky. It really messed me up mentally and brought me into a dark depression though. Coming close to death can make you appreciate things more, or it can really shake you up and leave you drained. I reacted the drained and shaken up way.
A few months passed after my accident, I lost a friend to addiction. I hadn't seen her in a few months, but she had asked a mutual friend of ours about how I was doing not too long before she had passed. I should've reached out to her, but I was pretty reclusive at that time, and I told myself that I would contact her when I was ready to talk to people again... I never did get the chance to contact her. I should say; I didn't take the chance that I had when I should've...Then one day, I was contacted by a friend telling me that she has passed... It was a really bitter pill to swallow. Coming to terms with death and understanding death are almost unachievable feats. Two weeks after she passed, my uncle died. A few months after my uncle died, my best friend had an episode with drugs and I had to hold him down on a hospital table with his brother (because he was violently out of control) while doctors and nurses tried to flush everything out of his system. It was the hardest thing that I ever had to do. Six months after that, another friend of mine passed away from addiction. I had just seen him a month before he had passed. He came to our show and sat next to me at the merch table. We were planning on having him play bass for us eventually. It's tragic to think about. His eyes would light up when he would talk about music. It's really the only thing that kept him going... until it didn't anymore... In a short sentence; This upcoming EP is inspired by one of the worst years of my life.
LJ: What bands or musicians would you credit as being your biggest inspirations for your music and laying down the foundation for who you are as an artist?
Kevin D.: For me; The Sleeping. Their bassist puts in work.
Kevin S.: I personally listen to a lot of metal, and the band that got me into drumming is August Burns Red. So much of my playing style came from learning and watching metal drummers. Obviously our music isn't really 'metal' per say, but it has its heavy moments.
Dustin: I love all kinds of music. I grew up around non-stop music and such a vast spectrum of music. My mom and my dad were separated, so I was around two different environments every week. My dad and I lived above my dad's family's small bar/restaurant, so I would always hear lots of different music being played on the Jukebox at all hours of the day and night. The music played there ranged anywhere from The Doors, to Johnny Cash, to Elton John, to Metallica, and anywhere in between. When I was with my mom, she would always play bands like The Bee Gees, The Monkees, Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, Foreigner, Europe, Grand Funk Railroad, Lobo, and The Grassroots. My brother is who really deeply sparked my musical tastes to the degree of me saying "This is what I want to do with my life. This is who I am at the deepest depth of myself." He would babysit me when I was younger and staying with my mom on certain days.
My mom wasn't home a lot because she worked close to eighty hours a week at a warehouse. While she was working, my brother would always play music while picking me up from school or just for noise in the background at home. He introduced me to Alice In Chains, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Bush, Silverchair, and any other 90s Alternative band that you can think of. All of those bands really helped me to find myself as a musician. He also introduced me to another musical love of mine; rap. I've always loved the rhyming, rhythm, and different rhyming styles within rap. When I write, I focus a lot on rhyming and I focus a lot on rhythm from the guitar. I have rap to thank for that. I created my own style by taking everything that I loved from each style of music that I liked and then meshing it all together... I think that's the best way of finding who you are as an artist. I have so many favorite bands and musicians, but if I had to choose a few favorite bands, they'd be Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters, Bush, and Nirvana.
LJ: If you could be buried with three albums, what would they be?
Kevin D.: The Acacia Strain - Continent, Alice in Chains - Dirt, And Steve Miller Band - Greatest Hits...
Kevin S.: Tough one, I'd say Messengers by August Burns Red, Sticks and Stones by New Found Glory, and Bad Omens' self titled.
Dustin: I want to be cremated. Burn me with these albums: Siamese Dream - Smashing Pumpkins, Jar Of Flies - Alice In Chains, and Bleach - Nirvana.
LJ: From your perspective, what is the most unconventional and unique aspect of your band? What do you value the most in your band's identity?
Kevin D.: The most unique thing is that I'm pretty much what you would get if you combined Dustin and Kevin's brain together.
Kevin S.: I absolutely love the fact that this upcoming EP sounds like nothing I've really ever heard before. When people ask us what or who we sound like, I never really know what to say, and I enjoy that. Because every band should have their own identity, and nobody should really be going for another band's "sound".
Dustin: I think the best thing about our band is that we mostly hate each other's musical tastes, haha. It's great though because it makes us not sound like anyone else out there. We each add what we love about our musical choices into the band. As I said earlier, I'm heavily influenced by 90s Grunge and Alternative Rock. Kevin (drummer Kevin) isn't. So when you mix our two styles together, you get something totally new.
LJ: Both as a band as a whole and individually, where would you like to be in your career and life exactly a year from now?
Kevin D.: I'd like to be not where I am right now...but close to it...but better...
Kevin S.: In a year from now, I want to be on the road touring. Even doing small tours. I just don't want to work these senseless jobs that I hate having. I want to see the world, get out there, and have fun with everyone at shows. That's what life's about to me.
Dustin: As a band in a year, I'd love to not be able to walk anywhere without hearing Inner Temple coming from car stereos. I want to be able to tell everyone that we did it. I want us to show up at a gig and not leave until we thank every person that came out to see us. We're in this for the long haul. We're making this into our career. As an individual, a year from now, I'd love to tell you that I finally have a longer attention span for everything that's good in life instead of choosing to focus on everything that's bad.
LJ: Finally, is there any random facts, statements, or words of wisdom you'd like to leave with your fans and supporters?
Kevin D.: Thanks for listening to what we do. I really appreciate it! Words of wisdom "That's the way she goes..."
Kevin S.: To anyone who has been following our band; thank you so much! I really enjoy meeting people after we play who like what we do. I hope everyone is ready for this next EP, because it's going to really define and lock in our sound as a band.
Dustin: Random fact(s): I have an irrational fear of lake monsters and I do celebrity
We've been lucky enough to get so much recognition in such a short amount of time, and we have everyone who likes what we do to thank for that. We don't take ourselves anywhere. The people that believe in what we do are the ones that do that. So, thank you. Each of you mean the world to us. We hope to see you all soon, and I can't wait for all of you to hear our new music. Thanks for sticking around with us.
Pennsylvania natives Inner Temple describe themselves as "an alternative rock band that blends sludgy distorted progressions, emotionally charged lyrics, and heavy sounding patterns together to create a modern and fresh twist". I couldn't describe it better! Just like the many great bands we work with out of the Philly & Scranton-Wilkes Barre scenes, they're renovating traditional rock to give it an all new sound. Recently I spoke with the members that make up this outfit!