Posted by: will | July 25, 2007

Band Interview – Agent…

Agent are a great punk rock band from Long Island. The band has quickly made a name for themselves in the flourishing LI scene. I reviewed the band’s debut EP, I Wouldn’t Trade That For Anything here. Thanks to vocalist Keith Pilson for fielding some questions.

How would you describe your sound to someone yet to hear the band? What are some of the band’s main influences?

I hate describing my band to people who haven’t heard us yet, hah. I can never do it. We’re just who we are. Some people think we sound like Can’t Slow Down era Saves the Day, but we say we don’t. I’d say we take influence from Braid, Lifetime, Silent Majority and Dillinger Four the most. We’re sort of leaning towards the Silent Majority, Braid, Promise Ring, Texas Is The Reason area as of late. We all listen to some different bands, but our Venn diagram of musical interests have a large shared area. We rule.

Talk about how amazing and perhaps intimidating it is to be coming from the infamous Long Island scene. Is there a certain standard the band feels they have to live up to? What bands should we all be watching out for that we maybe have not heard yet?

Talk about infamous, we all witnessed a show a while back that exemplifies it’s infamy. After the original show got canceled, Kill Your Idols had their last show in the back of our (and Capital’s, In Time Of War’s, Take My Chances’) practice space in a parking lot. It was supposed to be a secret show, but about 200 people showed up. The feeling that night was unexplainable, but if you were there, you could sense you were a part of something special. We all thought for sure somebody would be going to jail for it, but nobody cared. The cops eventually broke it up, and were surprisingly cool about it, but KYI had already played a near perfect set. You might have a slight understanding of what we mean if you’ve seen the videos from it. It looks like New Years. Try youtube if you aren’t in the know.

While that show has simply joined a list of shows past with similar magnitudes of legendary-ness, we don’t really feel intimidation, we just feel proud to be a part of something so awesome. Our favorite bands that we grew up listening to are from here, and that feels great. Also, “fuck their expectations.” ; )

Currently, there are a lot of good things happening here. Check out Thieves and Assassins, Capital, Crime In Stereo, Small Arms Dealer, Take My Chances, In Times Of War, Deathcycle, Call It Fire, and Divider. The bands listed cover every area of hardcore/punk but are all equally neato.

How does the songwriting process go for the band? What factors influence the band’s songwriting?

Our guitarists usually jam with each other and come up with stuff, and then we all give our ideas and come up with parts together. I don’t think we really factor anything in. If anything I think about what would make this song powerful, or ask how the music could speak for itself I guess. Like how can the music show desperation or sound pissed off on it’s own? Honestly, Rites Of Spring are the only reason I ever think to say that.

How important is the DIY/punk community and spirit to Agent?

I identify really well with the feeling of anger and rebellion present in punk music. I also believe in standing for something positive, and separate from a vapid society full of businessmen who’d all love to make money off of the things we do and say. Aside from punk ethics, we’re all a goofy, awkward bunch of friends who wouldn’t fit anywhere else even if we tried.

Iron Pier who released your EP seems like a really up and coming label. What’s the relationship like and will Agent be staying on with Iron Pier or moving elsewhere?

Dave works hard and really puts a lot of time into Iron Pier. He’s done so much for us, that Dave. What a guy.

We’re not sure what we’re doing in the future yet, unfortunately. I think we’re moving somewhere else, but that’s it.

What’s the band’s opinion on file-sharing?

We’re ok with it. Having friends who’ve owned record stores and such, we understand why someone would be against it, but how the dump are some kids going to hear a band otherwise? There’s so much more exposure for smaller bands with file-sharing in existence. I discovered a huge amount of music in the days of Kazaa and Napster, some of which are still my favorite bands right now.

I’d rather check out a band for free online than buy a CD, and instead use the money to support them directly. If I only had enough money for one thing, I’d rather pay to see them at a show and buy merch from them when they come around on tour or something than buy a CD from like Interpunk or FYE or whatever. That’s not to say that local record stores shouldn’t be supported. They should be. It’s just I feel there are other important things to consider.

What’s been playing on the band’s collective stereo lately?

Elliott Smith, Built To Spill, Mineral, Red House Painters, Face To Face, The Falcon, Screeching Weasel, The Broadways, etc.

What’s on the horizon (releases, touring) for the band in the near future?

We’re working on writing a full length. We’re also going to tour as much as is possible for us in the future.

Any last words?

Pumplet. Rugby.

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