By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Formed in 2010, Chicago Alt-Rock trio All Eyes West immediately made an impact with their Self-Titled 2011 Debut.
With a reputation for energetic live performances, they’ve toured relentlessly across the United States and Europe. Along the way, they’ve supported The Joy Formidable, Alkaline Trio, Bob Mould, OFF!, Rival Schools, Braid, Local H, Amusement Parks On Fire and have made appearances at The Fest, SXSW (Death Match 2013 sponsored by Converse & Thrasher Magazine) and more.
They followed up their debut with a handful of EPs, which included one on the legendary SideOneDummy Records and another that featured Wade Neal of Seaweed on guitar. In 2014, they entered the Magpie Cage to work with J. Robbins (Jawbox, Jawbreaker, Lemuria) on their sophomore 12-track album ‘Doomer.’
After a breather from tours, they’ve returned with their third album, ‘Like Lightning,’ which was released Aug. 30, 2019 via Jump Start Records. The first album to feature drummer Ronnie DiCola (The Arrivals), it is by far the group’s most aggressive. They’ve also put out “Kick The Clouds” as a recent single.
Justin Miller – So far, we’ve heard a lot of nice things! People seem to be into it.
Music Bugle – How would you compare nowadays to your earliest days as a band?
Justin Miller – Well, we’ve been through a few drummers since the beginning of the band. There used to be less children in our lives! Haha! But really, for most part, the aesthetic has remained the same. We have fun writing and playing music together. Sometimes, the crowds are big and sometimes, we play to five dudes in the middle of South Dakota. It’s all the same to us.
Music Bugle – What’s been your most memorable moment on stage?
Justin Miller – Man… There have been so many rad shows! I’d have to say that opening for Bob Mould at 5th Avenue in Minneapolis is up there at the top. What a night! We’d just done two epic nights at Metro in Chicago with him, but this was his home turf! It was pretty surreal. I mean… “Purple Rain” was recorded on that stage!
Music Bugle – How did the addition of Ronnie DiCola help put together ‘Like Lightning’?
Justin Miller – Well, Ronnie originally jammed with us to fill in for a couple shows after our last album ‘DOOMER’ was recorded. Our last drummer, Jon Drew, had been touring a ton with us. However, he lived in Toronto and visa issues kinda forced him out of the band. Our friend Tucker Rule (Thursday, Frank Iero and The Future Violents) helped us out for that last record. We had been rotating through drummers for shows and tours. Anyways, Ronnie comes in to do these shows and BAM! We all just clicked. Both musically AND personally. It felt great! So, he hopped in the van with us and we were off! We immediately started kicking around ideas for new tunes that eventually became ‘Like Lightning.’ Ultimately, I feel like Ronnie joining the band just really solidified everything. I think his drumming and writing made us a stronger and more versatile band.
Music Bugle – Where does “Like Lightning” rank on albums recorded for you guys?
Justin Miller – I feel like it’s our strongest group of songs to date.
Music Bugle – Who would you consider some of your musical influences?
Justin Miller – The three of us are influenced by all sorts of music. I’d say anything from Hüsker Dü, Jawbreaker, Seaweed to Queens of the Stone Age, Oasis, Fugazi… I could go on and on.
Music Bugle – What feelings do you look to convey through your music? What do you want your listeners to feel?
Justin Miller – I guess just the same feelings we get when we hear a song by one of our favorite bands. We just want people to feel good! Sometimes even sad feelings can feel good, ya know?
Music Bugle – What are some of your future plans?
Justin Miller – Just to get out and play some shows! Hopefully, we can get back to the UK/Europe next year. We’d also like to see the release of a re-mix/master of our first album. Jeff remixed the record and threw together a bunch of our old demos and different stuff from this era. I’ve re-worked some art. It should be pretty cool, just trying to sort it all out.
Music Bugle – What would you call the biggest challenge of the current music industry?
Justin Miller – I’m not really even sure what the music industry IS at this point. I mean, we want tons of people to hear our music and hopefully they like it and come to our shows. But, we aren’t really operating on a level where I find myself thinking about “industry” stuff really. So, I’m really not sure.
Music Bugle – What is something you feel people should know about the band?
Justin Miller – We are very polite and respectful house guests!