Written By Laura Curry
The Ones You Forgot are true fans of all the underdogs out there, as their music gives listeners a reason to keep fighting, especially when the odds are stacked against them. The five-piece pop rock band is based in Brick Township and their tracks are infused with punk elements that leave an impression, from Bruno’s bright vocals to Benauro’s crunching guitars and Rodman’s double bass drumming style. In light of their final performance of 2016 at the Wonder Bar tonight, Pop-Break interviewed The Ones You Forgot about opening for Boys Like Girls, their new single “Make It Out Alive,” and a quick run-down of their songwriting process.
Who are The Ones You Forgot? (Names of the band members & the instruments you play): The Ones You Forgot are Jenna Bruno on vocals, Matt Thompson on rhythm guitar, Ferdinand Benauro on lead guitar, Lance Nelson on bass and Justin Rodman on drums.
Are there any bands or artists that you draw inspiration from? Who are they and how do they inspire you: Our inspiration ranges from bands like Sum 41, Paramore and The Wonder Years to August Burns Red. These are the different favorite bands that give us that spark for creating music.
While Ferdinand’s guitar and Jenna’s voice add to the undeniable punk aspect of your music, I also hear some elements that make your music sound more hardcore—particularly Justin’s drumming style, with a lot of double bass. There are definitely traces of multiple genres in your songs, so I’m wondering how you would describe your music in terms of its sound: You’re definitely right when saying there are many aspects from different genres that give us our sound! But usually to wrap it all together, we go with Pop Rock. It seems to fit well for our sound now, but the cool thing about making music is that you’re always evolving and growing, so we’ll never shy away from adventuring into new styles!
What do you call the screaming/squealing sound of Ferdinand’s guitar? It really stands out in “Make It Out Alive,” especially in his guitar solo. Do you consider this more of a punk element in your music: I (Ferdinand) play a Peavey 6534+ thru an Orange 2×12 cab. On my amp, I play through the crunch setting with the gain at 11-12 o’clock depending on what guitar I’m using. I usually play a triple single coil Fender Deluxe Stratocaster or my Fender Standard JazzMaster. I usually try to have a warm tone to my leads and to do that, I have my bass at 3 o’clock, mid at 2 o’clock, treble at 3:30, resonance at 11 o’clock and presence at 10 o’clock. And I do consider this as a punk element with a light influence of Polyphia due to its flashiness.
After watching a video of you guys opening for Boys Like Girls in August, I was shocked to hear that a friend of yours passed away only days before that. You managed to turn the tragedy into a celebration of his life, and that is very admirable and shows your strength to push onward despite the grief. Although you all must have been weighed down by sadness, what was the experience like and how did it feel to open for Boys Like Girls at Starland Ballroom: Adam was a friend of ours from a band called My Lonely Heart. Our set was dedicated to him as well as his friends and band mates that were in the crowd that night. The news was so tragic but we knew that he would want everyone to have a good time that night, so we gave it our all and had fun! The show overall was our favorite to date, and had the largest crowd we have ever gotten to share our music with, so it was definitely an awesome experience! Starland was a venue we all grew up going to shows at.
Your single “Make It Out Alive” has a very intense music video with the tug-of-war competition and the high energy of your performance and the crowd. How does the video play into the meaning of the song? How does it reflect who you are as a band: “Make It Out Alive” is about learning to pick yourself back up after what may feel like failure. It is kind of a second part to our song “Stationary” off of our E.P. and it was all about making changes in order to progress, and “Make It Out Alive” is saying “Hey, this didn’t work the first time, now for plan B.” We incorporated a tug-of-war match in the music video to show a struggle throughout the song, but in the end at the turning point of the song, we win the match and come together to celebrate. Making the video was so much fun.
Is “Make It Out Alive” a song off of an upcoming album or EP? Should fans be expecting new music in the near future? Or more generally, what can you tell listeners about upcoming releases or any music that you’ve been working on: Let’s just say this… expect something new in 2017. *wink wink*
From your 2015 EP “Peaks & Valleys,” to your single “Make It Out Alive,” which was released in September (2016), how has your music evolved from one recording to the next: “Make It Out Alive” is definitely a more mature song. It still has that “Peaks & Valleys” vibe we are known for, but explores new things that we probably wouldn’t even think of in that time of the band. We plan to step up our game with every new release!
How does a song usually start out? Does Jenna write the lyrics and then bring them to practice where you all work together to create the song’s structure, or does it depend on the song? Is there a typical process when it comes to songwriting: It depends on the song, but usually Ferdinand starts the process. He is a total night owl and gets creative at weird hours of the night, texting us at 3 a.m. saying he finished a song. Then we all get together and review it, rework the structure a little and then Jenna writes lyrics!
During your performances, how would you describe your energy on stage, and what do you want to communicate to the audience—how do you want them to be feeling during your shows: We are all about having fun at our shows, and we want the crowd to feel that way too! We want everyone to be comfortable with us and not be afraid to get involved.
What’s been the most memorable experience you’ve shared together as a band: It’s a tie between listening to “Peaks & Valleys” as a band for the first time, and playing at Starland Ballroom with Boys Like Girls.
If someone has never heard your music before, what song should they listen to in order to fully grasp what The Ones You Forgot is all about, and why: “Make It Out Alive” for sure! It’s the freshest and holds our favorite message to not give up even when the odds are stacked against you.
What’s in store for The Ones You Forgot for the rest of 2016: Our show today (Monday, 11/21) at The Wonder Bar will be our last of the year! Then it’s down to business for new music.
THE ONES YOU FORGOT PLAY TONIGHT WITH JULIAN FULTON AND THE ZOMBIE GOSPEL AND MR PAYDAY AT WONDER BAR AT 8 P.M.