We chatted with Adam Ramey of Dropout Kings and had him spill the tea.
We asked lead singer to tell us “5 Things We Didn’t Know”
Currently the hard rock group is right in the middle of their European Tour, promoting the latest single “Lights Out” and soon will be hitting the homeland to support the forthcoming album “Riot Music” dropping 4/7 -feel free to pre-order here.
Read the interview from Invisible Airwaves below and don’t forget to follow the playlist and let us know what you think.
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN
A CONVERSATION WITH ADAM RAMEY OF DROPOUT KINGS
Last time I caught up with Adam Ramey of Dropout Kings was right before their track “Virus” came out. That song went on to much success at radio and propelled the band to a new level. Rising out of Phoenix with a fresh twist on a throwback sound, Dropout Kings quietly began making waves after releasing their debut album AudioDope in 2018, leading Metal Injection to hail them as one of “5 Bands That Prove Nu Metal Is Back” and Alternative Press anointing them as one of the “10 Bands Who Are Crushing The Stereotypes You’ve Heard About Nu Metal.”
Their GlitchGang EP featured “Virus” and the band came out of the backside of the pandemic with a fervor for hitting the road and winning over audiences through non stop touring and explosive live shows. Fans have been eating up their music which takes elements of Linkin Park, KoRn and Deftones and fuses them with new school trap music.
Their new single, “Lights Out,” is a pleasurably hard-hitting, aggressive mix made for a MMA commercial. I.A. caught up with Ramey – who is currently on tour in Europe and had just finished soundcheck – for a conversation about the new song and what he’s been up to since we spoke last.
By Michael Parrish
MP: How was soundcheck?
AR: Soundcheck was good. Europe’s been awesome. It’s been pretty dang cold, but today we’re in Germany and it feels good outside actually. It snowed the other day in Switzerland. That was weird. I’m not used to that.
MP: Are there differences between touring Europe and the U.S.?
AR: Definitely. The hospitality is great in Europe. There’s usually showers at every venue. They give you this crazy food spread and treat you super well. Not that they don’t in the U.S., but, on average, it’s a lot better. So there’s that. And then the crowds are different. You can tell they all really want to be there. Europa has been one of the funner experiences I’ve gotten to have doing this. It’s cool to see how different people live, but you also realize people are way more similar than they are different.
MP: Last time we spoke you were in a van traveling across the Midwest and just starting to get back to touring again after the pandemic. Have you been on the road a lot?
AR: Last year we were on tour for at least six months out of the year. This year we’ve been going pretty strong and it’s been consistent. We have something going on every couple months. I’m happy with it. We hit the ground running ever since the floodgates opened again and haven’t looked back. We’re just trying to build these markets, meet our fans, play a really good show and have a good time. After the pandemic, I feel like people appreciate the live experience and being there more than they used to.
MP: You’re definitely keeping busy. You return from Europa and then head right back out for all of May with Ill Nino.
AR: Yeah, I’m really happy about that one. That one’s gonna be super fun. Those are the boys and I’m definitely excited and looking forward to that. I feel like our audiences are pretty comparable, so it will be a good one for us.
MP: Talk about the new track, “Lights Out.” How did you hook up with Joe Cotella from DED for the song?
AR: They’re from Arizona too, so we’ve known each other for a while and always wanted to do something together. It’s just one of those things where it finally panned out for the track. We were working on this track and I called Joe to see if he wanted to jump on it and made it happen. We were on the recent ShipRocked cruise and decided to film the video on the boat. We had Joe film his parts at home and put them together for the music video. It was really natural to work together.
MP: One thing that came out of the pandemic is artists seem to collaborate more.
AR: Yeah. I feel like it leveled the playing field. It didn’t matter how big or small your band was, there was always some obstacle that everybody had to overcome. For us, I feel the pandemic made us proficient with the online stuff and I feel like it closed the gap for us in a good way. It catapulted us a little bit faster than I feel like if it wouldn’t have happened. Obviously the pandemic was terrible. It sucked, but looking back on it, I’m very happy with the way we pivoted and used the online leverage to further what we were doing. You’re right, there definitely were a lot of collabs that came out.
MP: For lack of a better term, you guys fit the Rap Rock mold. Talk about the influence of Hip Hop and when did you realize you wanted to integrate that with Rock music?
AR: Ever since I was like able to listen to music on my own, I always had an affinity towards both. I really like Metal. I like regular Rock, and I always liked Rap and Hip Hop. Everybody tries to make it seem like it’s different, but they’re both rebellious types of music that talk about inner and outer struggles. I was always listening to both types of music and wanted to be in a band like this. When I met Bill, it naturally came together, which was cool. But Bill was really strictly into Hip Hop, so when we started the band together, I had to fill him in on like 10 or 12 years of Metal scene history. <laughs> But he did a lot of that for me too on the Hip Hop side of things, even though I was pretty up to speed, he had a way deeper knowledge of it. It’s been cool. We’ve been learning stuff together.
MP: You have said that stealing your aunt’s Linkin Park CDs, and other music she had, influenced you. Here’s an interesting question. Do you think you would’ve been that adventurous had she just had a Spotify account and was streaming music? Or was it being able to grab that artwork and read the lyrics what drew you in?
AR: That’s a good question. I honestly wanna say I probably wouldn’t have. I feel like having the CD physically in my hands, wanting to look at the artwork and read all the lyrics was much easier to say, “I’ve never heard this before. This looks cool. I’m gonna throw this on and listen.” That’s an interesting parallel I’ve never really thought about.
MP: I used to spend hours at the record store flipping through the vinyl, checking out the covers and the back of the album liner notes, if they were there, and definitely bought things based on looks before hearing the music. Some of that is missing with the way streaming has taken over. It’s a little different from somebody sending you a link and saying, “Hey, listen to this.”
AR: That is true. It’s much less immersive.
MP: Back to current day. What’s to follow after the new song? Do you have a full album ready?
AR: Yes. We have a full album coming. It’s called Riot Music. We have one more single that we’re going to put out after “Lights Out.” It feels like we’ve been working forever on this album, so I’m excited to get it out. I feel like it’s a good natural progression of what we’ve been doing. I feel like we’ve gotten the dynamics on lock and I’m excited to show all these tracks to everybody. It’s definitely a new chapter for us and what we’re doing. There’s some pretty rowdy stuff on there and it’s more of what we want to be. We’re still a really young band trying to figure out what direction we want to take it. And I feel we really did that with this album. I’m very excited to see how people feel about it. There’s a little something for everyone. It’s a good mix and we like having a mixed bag type of record.
MP: Who handles lyrics for the band?
AR: Bill and I both write pretty much everything. On occasion, our producer or someone else in the band will suggest something, but 95 percent of everything is me and Bill.
MP: You mentioned you’re still finding your way musically, but how do you feel you’re coming together on a personal level?
AR: It’s been great. Having life experiences together and being together on the road, we’ve all been through a lot together. That plays a huge part in knowing each other and how we think. Bill and I have always had a very interesting dynamic. We really clicked from day one. It is crazy to see how all of this has unfolded. We definitely know each other very well now and how to accentuate the good and great parts of us. We’ve really come into our own lately, especially after the pandemic.
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