For Fans Of: All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Blink-182, Green Day, The Academy Is…, We Are The In Crowd, Ghost Town
At the end of the day, 3PM is just a group of young music-makers doing what they love and making their dreams come true. They’ve gone from performing small gigs in Eldersburg to the bigger audiences of Warped Tour without losing time and it’s only the beginning!
With the band getting ready to release their sophomore effort Slow Me Down, due out next week, we wanted to talk to members Brandon Millman (drummer), Scott Montgomery (lead guitarist), and Brennan Stark (lead vocals and bassist) about what to expect on the album. Read about what it was like working with producer Paul Leavitt (All Time Low, Senses Fail, The Dangerous Summer) and what “Slow Me Down” is all about in our interview below.
You’ll also get the scoop on the unfortunate incident that inspired the title of their first album, a really cool lyric video coming soon, and what’s next for this exciting, young bunch.
Get to know 3PM!
Can you tell me your names, ages, and roles in the band?
Brennan (18) – Lead Vocalist/Bassist, Scott (16) -Guitarist/Backup Vocals , Brandon (22) -Drums
What’s the story behind the name 3PM?
Don’t worry about it;)
Individually, how did each of you get started in music?
Brandon started playing drums in 4th grade when he fell in love with Blink 182. Scott grew up around great music thanks to his dad and brother’s tastes and thought guitar was awesome and decided he wanted to be awesome too. Brennan has dreamed of being a musician since he could talk.
How long have you been playing guitar?
Scott: About 5 years.
How long have you been playing bass?
Brennan: Brennan is actually primarily a guitarist, and picked up the bass 2 years ago at the start of 3PM to make us complete.
How long have you been playing drums?
Brandon: Coming up on 15 years.
What made you guys decide to play pop-punk music?
Blink 182 is the band that got us into pop punk. Simple but perfect. Every genre has its own culture and pop punk is all about having fun with your friends. It’s really all about the fun.
In the beginning, what was band practice like? Were you practicing after school, in the basement, in the garage?
We practice in Brandon’s parent’s basement after school. With crappy gear, we could never even hear Brennan singing we just had to hope he was sounding good.
Did you guys ever get in trouble for playing too loud?
Never for playing too loud, just for playing in general when the parents were trying to sleep!
Is practicing a different and easier process now?
Achem, we like to call it “rehearsing” now haha yea our practices have become so much more efficient. We have no phone rules during practice so we focus on nothing but playing. We play as if we’re on stage so we always get a little bit of a work out too!
Where was your very first performance? How was it?
Our very first performance was at the Jams Music Center in Eldersburg. I’m not sure that it’s even around anymore, it was a music store/school/venue. Pretty cool, and it went well! A couple friends and some family were there.
How are you balancing school with performing?
Painfully. All we want to do it focus on music but we have to force ourselves to keep up with school, at least for now!
Are your parents supportive of your music?
Extremely. We are so lucky to have parents as supportive as ours. Especially Scott’s, he was 13 when we met and they let him play out at bars in the city well past midnight on weekdays!
How did you meet your manager Nathan?
Well Nathan actually found us. He had the crazy idea to find a band and use his business expertise to push them to success. We’ve always been pretty smart about how we treat our band, we know it’s a business and we know we want to make careers out of it so we were a perfect match. We hit the ground running and things are happening really fast!
Are you signed to any label?
Nope not yet.
What made you choose Change of Plans as the title of your first record? What does that title say about the songs?
We were talking to a label while we were recording that album and just before the release, things went sour and we had to self-release the album. So it was quite the “Change of Plans” =D
How did it feel to release your first album?
Extremely exciting. We had our first record release show and it felt so good to have a real album to represent ourselves. We finally had a quality product to use to push our music careers further.
What was the recording environment for the album like? Did you record in a studio, home studio?
We recorded Change of Plans in an actual studio, with a sound engineering student from UMBC.
What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
“Perfect For Me” because we all agreed it was by far our best song. It really defined our sound at the time.
Did you guys tour behind the album?
Not really. We had a hard time traveling very far because of age and costs. However we continued to play shows in the Baltimore/DC area.
You recently scored an opening gig for All Time Low. How did that happen? How did you team up with them?
Well we recorded our new album with well-known Baltimore producer Paul Leavitt, who had also done work for and has a close relationship with All Time Low. Paul was the one who put this show together, and so he asked us to open!
What was it like meeting All Time Low, a band you idolize?
It was unreal, they are all such nice, down-to-earth guys. We got plenty of selfies!
Who are some of your other idols?
Blink 182! I really hope we get to meet and/or play with them one day!
Tell me about performing on Warped Tour. How did that happen?
Warped Tour was another dream come true. We won the Ernie Ball battle of the bands contest to play on the Ernie Ball stage. We had a much bigger audience than we thought, and it was a great experience overall.
Will you guys be doing a full run on the tour?
Hopefully next year!!!
You released your debut album ‘Change of Plans’ last year. How does ‘Slow Me Down’ differ from your previous album?
“Slow Me Down” is a much more mature album. We’ve found our own sound with this one and we couldn’t be more proud.
What made you choose Slow Me Down as the title of the album? What does that title say about the songs?
We chose Slow Me Down as the title because the song “Slow Me Down” is what we think is the best from the album but more importantly it is the anthem of our lives at the moment. Slow Me Down as about how all this crazy stuff is happening and its happening fast. We’ve been so busy and it’s just a reminder to stop and enjoy the ride.
What can we expect to hear on the new album?
Slow Me Down is an 11-song album, each one telling a personal story from our lives.
Who did you work with on the album – what producers, songwriters?
It was just us an Paul Leavitt (All Time Low, Senses Fail, The Dangerous Summer).
What was it like working with producer Paul Leavitt?
Amazing! It was a whole new level of professionalism. The time we spent preparing to record took longer than it did to actually record! It shows in the product. He knows exactly what he’s doing and he’s very good at it.
What was the recording environment for this album like?
We spent more time talking about the songs, working on them, and perfecting them so we could put together a more polished, quality album. We were always thinking of ways to make the song the best it could be.
Are fans liking the new song?
We’ve been getting only positive reviews on iTunes so I would have to say yes!
Slow Me Down comes out next week. What are your plans after the album’s release?
We have someone doing a really cool lyric video for the single so we plan to release that with the album. We have a few upcoming shows in August, and in September and October we will be putting together weekend tours to schedule around school.
I absolutely LOVE the video for “Born to Lose.” What inspired the concept of the video?
The song talks about overcoming troubles in life, so we each chose a character that encountered these troubles, and then we showed that you can still have fun playing music together!
Will you be releasing any new music videos?
We have been discussing doing a music video for “Slow Me Down” but for now we are just doing the lyric video.
Tell me a little bit about how the experience of being in a band has been for each you.
It’s made us all become really close with each other and we have a feel of how the music industry works. It gives us adventure and a sense of purpose in life. It’s what all of us want to do, and we have the time of our lives doing so.