Staying relevant during a pandemic is a challenge that seemingly every musician and band has faced in 2020.
This struggle holds true for local rock band We Are The Movies, whose latest single, “Bury Me,” is set to release on all streaming platforms Friday. The band, made up of drummer Bryan Overholt, guitarist and vocalist Tim Waters, guitarist Dan McMillan and bassist Stephen Goldstein, is experimenting both with sound and their release schedule. The experiment starts with their new single.
The band originally formed in 2011, with Waters and Goldstein serving as original members alongside two other artists, Overholt said. Overholt joined in 2012 after responding to a Craigslist ad from Waters requesting a new drummer for the band. McMillan joined in 2014.
Waters and Goldstein are calling the release “a new starting point.”
“‘Bury Me’ is also like — it invokes some imagery of death. Like, ‘Hey, maybe this is an ending or a new beginning.’ Maybe bury the idea. Whatever idea you had going into listening to this, just bury it, because it’s about to get real weird,” Waters said.
The group takes on the rock genre in a style similar to that of the 2000s, with grungy, high-tempo, high-energy songs that would elicit what many in the rock community refer to as “head-banging.” Though Waters admitted “Bury Me” is darker than what the band normally puts out, he said the group believes the song still has the We Are The Movies’ signature sound.
“It sounds depressing, but I feel like the song’s kind of uplifting at the same time,” Goldstein said.
With busy schedules and a constantly evolving group dynamic, the band has not released a single since 2019 or an album since 2018.
“We have other things we’re doing outside of music, too. We have full-time jobs, music, other extracurriculars. Just trying to stake out that time to make music is really tough,” Overholt said.
We Are The Movies went on tour after releasing their 2018 album “…Or Get Busy Dying,” the title being a continuation of the release of “Get Busy Living…” in 2016. The affinity the band has for playing live shows stifled their writing process and delayed the release of more music, Waters said.
“We just love playing shows, man. It’s so much fun. When you’re out there and you’re in it and you’re a part of the crowd, it’s just the energy there,” Waters said. “And we write an album and then we just get addicted to that energy and it’s really hard to pump the brakes and say, ‘Okay, let’s go back and start writing some stuff.’”
Goldstein said that COVID-19 actually helped the group slow down and focus on writing and releasing more music. He said he believes it will be easier for the band to stay relevant if they can release singles once every two or three months, as opposed to spending a longer time creating an album concept and recording music centered around that concept.
Waters said it was hard for the group to avoid the “runaway train” of constantly preparing for the next show and that the band will now look to release singles in order to maintain creativity and reassess their approach to the release cycle.
“Rather than having people wait a year and a half for an album, we can just release a song every month or so and then at the end, there, we have an album and no one had to wait around for it,” Waters said.
“Bury Me” will be available on all streaming services Friday, along with a lyric video for the song, Overholt said.