Big Light Shining Through: The Insides

Follow the band on Instagram – @the_insides @evilsisterart (Joe- singer/guitarist) @iangallagher12(Ian- bass) @nowhereusa(Mark- drums) 

Philadelphia. Yet another East Coast city that shines through with a big light musically. I mean we’ve got bands like Circa Survive, Modern Baseball, and The Starting Line, just to name a few. It is no wonder when living and or growing up there, you would gravitate towards a musical path and future. So, we stay in Philly for this one, even though there are some New Jersey roots. Allow me to introduce to you a three-piece outfit that call themselves “The Insides”. 

Now, these gentlemen grew up together in New Jersey and have been close friends since high school. Playing in bands separately and then coming together to make one hell of a trio. In 2018 they released their first EP “World Goes Round”. We are introduced to the unique vocal stylings of their singer/guitarist and their groovy 90s alternative with a splash of indie sound. And with their heartfelt lyrics like the ones we get with the tracks “Semi-Evergreen” and “Penny”, it’s clear they are pulling from somewhere deep inside. 

Fast forward to the bad dream that was 2020 and we are graced with their second EP “Nightmare” and it is anything but that. Here we are shown just how versatile this band can be. Opening with the track “Panic” we are introduced to an “angry at the world” punk sound, that we are most definitely here for, and then we wind down to catch some feels, goosebumps, and even tears with my personal favorite “Big Light”. Now, I’ll be candid, “Big Light” was the first track I had ever heard by these gents. I saw Nik Bruzzese mention it in one of his stories and holy wow. I was instantly hooked. 

Now in a new year, the band recently visited Nik at the Gradwell House where they recorded their first-ever LP! I recently got to sit down virtually with the band. They takes us through the band’s history, their influences, and recording with Nik again!

For those of us who would like to know more about the bands’ history, myself included, can you fill us in on how The Insides came to be? Have you guys always been close friends?                

Yes, we have all have been close friends since high school but each of us was in different bands/or doing different things at the time. The Insides basically started off with just me (Joe) and a different drummer which is another one of my closest friends but it didn’t work out. Ian and Mark were two of my closest friends also at that point so it just made the most sense to ask them to be in the band. We all just clicked pretty much right away.

What would you say the hardest part of 2020 was for you guys as a band? Did you use the quarantine to write the new music you just recorded?                  

The hardest part of 2020 was definitely not being able to practice or play shows. But at that point, the world was falling apart, and we also suffered a heavy loss in our insides family that shook us up. So it would be selfish to say that it was a huge deal not being able to practice. We grew closer as a band and as brothers this year, which shifted our writing to more of a collective approach rather than everyone writing their own part and that’s it. We basically just had to take a step back and work on our next goal which was our first LP. So to answer the second part of the question, yes we did use the quarantine to write our new album. We had some demos lingering from 2019 but most of 2020 was used for writing.

Now living on the East Coast, I’m sure you guys grew up listening to and being around some pretty awesome bands and artists. Who would you say are your biggest influences?                             

We all grew up in NJ so Saves The Day was a huge influence in our youth. We all still love 90s bands more on the indie side like Built To Spill, Pedro the Lion, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, and Oasis. Mark (our drummer) is a true old soul and grew up listening to all of the oldies. Probably the biggest Beatles fan I know. So he loves all the old classics, but also has the same type of taste as both Ian and I. I think that’s why we have so much chemistry together.

You guys were just recently in the studio with Nik. How was the experience recording at the Gradwell House? Will we be expecting to hear the new music you recorded there this summer or fall?                 

Gradwell House was amazing. We worked with Nik for our two most recent albums “Nightmare” and “World Goes Round” at The Lumberyard Recording and though we loved it there, Gradwell was a breath of fresh air. And we also have been friends with Nik for a long time so there’s always a lot of laughs going around. We don’t have a release date yet, but when things start to wrap up with the record you will certainly be hearing from us. 

Now for a challenging, yet annoying one, if you guys were only allowed to play covers for the rest of your lives, what band would they be from and why?                                       

Joe: Probably Sonic Youth so we could have the option to do weird stuff like 15 minutes of just noise or some shit.

The world may still be a tad wonky, but with music coming from bands like The Insides, we do find comfort in knowing that we really are just doing our best. The future is definitely bright for this Philly trio. Keep an eye and ear out for their upcoming LP. As always give these gents a follow, like, jam to their tunes and share some much-needed “big light” with each other.

Article by Kristen Herdandez

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