About two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the KOI Music Festival in Kitchener, Ont. Several bands – spanning several genres, might I add – played the festival, and I had the chance to catch up with a few of them after the festival. The first of which was No Bragging Rights. Below, you can read the full interview with Mike Perez (vocalist) about the KOI Fest experience, his inspirations, future plans for the band and much more.
What inspired you to be a musician? What keeps you going?
My love for music. The bands I was into at the time really inspired me to want to play music. A lot of 90s punk bands. What keeps me going is delivering a message that I really feels needs to be heard – suicide awareness as well as the ability to change. Also the ability to change whatever negative situations you might be in.
What is the inspiration behind your lyrics?
Life going on around me. The family and friends I have in my life. I see their struggles and their victories, and they see mine.
On Cycles, there seemed to be a lot more of a melodic hardcore vibe/influence present. Is the style heard on that record going to be something that fans can expect to hear more of on future releases?
I feel like we finally solidified our sound with Cycles. I feel like our newer stuff won't stray far from it, but in talking with the guys, it'll be a little heavier/grittier than anything we've done before. The melodic side will always be there, so I think it'll be something that anyone who liked Cycles will also enjoy.
Do you have any plans to record or release any new music anytime soon?
We've actually began writing. When I say "began," I mean Daniel and Martin have jammed an idea. In the next week or so, we'll have some days off before our Stray from the Path tour. We plan to use those days to write, but we probably won't get real serious until December.
How was the KOI Fest experience? If you had the opportunity to check out some bands, what band(s) put on the best performance(s)?
KOI Fest was cool. Some of the stages/venues could have been better located/advertised (haha), but other than that, it was cool. It was a very easy-going festival. I caught a band called GraceField. My friend recommended I'd check them out, so I did. Really cool band and great guys. I LOVE when a band says something, anything! Even more when it's positive. They had some good things to say as well as their music being solid. A band I got to catch, who are actually good buddies of ours, was Searching for Satellites. I hadn't seen them in a couple years and they were even better than I remembered. Such a good band, and their clean vocalist (James) blows me away.
Is there anything in particular that you enjoy about touring in Canada?
Seeing our friends. We've made some good relationships out here. Poutine is pretty rad; we don't have that in the States. I also like that I can pretty much walk anywhere at night and not have to constantly look over my shoulder, haha. The shows are fun out here. It's all good.
Which band has been your favourite to tour with?
On this tour? They're all rad bands. Everyone for the most part seems to hangout. Ever...that's tough because we've toured with so many good bands and such awesome dudes. That's hard, man. I don't really have an answer.
What would your dream tour look like? (four or five bands, and NBR being one of them)
So many combinations for this. Off the top of my head: Comeback Kid, Ignite, Stick to Your Guns and letive. That's not realistic, but closer than Rage Against the Machine, NOFX, Thrice and Propagandhi.
What are three of your favourite records to come out in 2013?
letlive. - The Blackest Beautiful, Stray from the Path - Anonymous and Vanna - The Few and the Far Between.