Project 86 are hitting Europe through October / November and we’re hoping they make the jump to the UK at some point in the future. Just so you’re prepared as and when they arrive, here’s our Band of the Day profile of them…
The band is from Orange County, CA.
How did you meet?
We actually met through mutual friends and going to shows in Orange County. At the point the band was formed there was a very active scene in heavy music in the area.
How long have you been playing as a band?
2016 marked the 20th year of Project 86… which is unbelievable to me even as I type it.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
When the band started, it was super cool to have a word and a number in your name. The number “86” was chosen because it represented rejection. The idea of being “86-ed” refers to being removed from a situation or group. Our original motivation in coming together was to stick to our guns, so to speak, whether people accepted or rejected the band.
What are your influences?
It’s an ever-evolving question for us, as the band has changed so much over the years. When we first began, bands like Quicksand, Fugazi, and nineties punk and hardcore were very big influences. As time has passed our influences have changed. None of us really listen to heavy music much and we tend to pull from everything from classic film scores to Yelawolf to Phantogram.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
The music is aggressive but we sit in a space that is hopefully a little more thoughtful than most of the knucklehead radio-rock/nu-metal out there, and a little less pretentious than “scene” bands. Sonically, it’s more hard than heavy, and the vocals are the most aggressive thing in the music. It’s also a pretty diverse sound, and when we go melodic we commit to it completely.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
This changes from album to album quite a bit, but there are a few ideas that seem to stick with me no matter what. Loss is a pretty big theme… coping with relationships that are taken away from you. Another is redemption, the idea that you can inflict wounds upon yourself and make mistakes, yet find hope amidst them.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
The live show is really all about the energy in the room. I tend to play the dictator role onstage and give people little choice as to whether or not they will obey my commands (ha). Once they submit, we have a lot of fun together. We have played well over 1000 shows.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Seen? Not sure about that one. Does Youtube count? I once was choked by my own shirt while crowdsurfing and the only way to get free from the guy who was choking me was to swing at him. I missed and broke the guy’s nose next to him, only I didn’t know it at the time. Five years later I was on tour and the guy whose nose I broke was playing in an opening band (only I was not aware of this fact). After three shows or so, he told me the story and I felt worse than I have ever felt about anything, ever. I bought him lunch and apologized about 300 times.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
We are Orange/Gibson guys for guitar, Ampeg/Fender for bass, and Custom/Obscure for drums.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We have a new album coming out late 2017. It is our 10th studio album titled Sheep Among Wolves. Pre-order it now and get a five-song EP, plus listen to seven of the tracks before the public hears them!
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
We have a short tour in Europe, then we will be fulfilling our Pledgemusic campaign to the thousands of folks who have pre-ordered our album.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
It would be fun to open for Quicksand, Thrice, or Circa Survive. I have been listening to this band O, Brother a bit. They would be a fun opener.
From previous Band of the Day Saccage: How did you start creating music and why?
Music was always there for me when people weren’t. It was always a friend and a therapeutic outlet. Performance always came naturally and made me feel far away from the cares of life. The idea of creating something that others could connect with is amazing, and never gets old.
From another BotD, Hey Charlie: What is your dream venue to play?
I have always wanted to play the Palladium in Hollywood simply because I have seen some great shows there.
And from The Blend: What do you put on your toast?
Depends on the day. Butter. Nutella. Jelly.
- Saturday, October 21 – Loud and Proud Festival, Daaden, Germany
- Thursday, October 26 – Project 86, HSR Arena, Switzerland
- Saturday, October 28 – Nordic Fest, Oslo, Norway
- Friday, November 3 – Brainstorm Festival, Apeldoorn, Holland