By Nicholas Jason Lopez
St. Louis-based rap-rock outfit Discrepancies recently unleashed the powerfully emotional music video for their new single “Crawling Back,” a song about letting go of someone you’re deeply in love with, tied in with the real-life tragedy of the loss of their close friend/producer Matthew Amelung to cancer.
Considered the band’s unofficial fifth member and “not-so-secret weapon,” Amelung produced the track and even lent his vocals, which compelled the band to dig deep to finish it so that they could appropriately honor him.
Discrepancies will drop their upcoming album ‘The Rise’ on Oct. 23, 2020 via InVogue Records, set to feature more of their signature sound, complete with rapid-fire raps, stuck-in-your-head-styled choruses and heavy, yet complex guitar work, a callback to predecessors like Chronic Future, Linkin Park and Rage Against The Machine.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with bassist Garrett Weakley about ‘The Rise’ and more.
Music Bugle – What does the band name signify?
Garrett Weakley – Well, first thing to mention is none of us are good at naming anything. I’d say it sits dead last on our list of strengths and priorities, but the name comes from the concept that each of us are from very different backgrounds and like very different styles of music, yet we somehow come together to create cohesive art that works and meshes well together.
Music Bugle – What were some challenges you faced while putting together your album ‘The Rise’?
Garrett Weakley – The biggest challenge we faced was losing our producer, Matthew Amelung, to cancer. While we were amped and heavily teasing the new writing, unfortunately, it was all about to come to a halt. Matt was a survivor of cancer and while he had conquered it earlier in life, it returned during the recording of this album. Due to the aggressive nature of such a horrific disease, they began immediate treatment and it had major effects on his health and lifestyle. We would regularly try to reschedule around him to make sure he could get rest and manage his personal life without us being a nuisance. Matt pushed us to keep working though and after a short break, we came back and worked on some of the last few songs. Matthew lost his battle with cancer in the middle of 2019. Losing Matthew as not only a producer, but a family member was a massive blow to us. It’s so hard to lose loved ones and even more so when they’re a constant inspiration to you.
Music Bugle – Given its emotional backstory, are you proud of the end result of your single “Crawling Back”?
Garrett Weakley – Absolutely. While I wish we had a little more time in the studio with Matt to create an even better “backdrop” of synths, nothing will be better than having Matt’s vocals on the final chorus singing harmonies. It’s a special song in so many ways and I don’t think it will ever be a song we get tired of.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Garrett Weakley – Every single one of us would probably have a very different answer, but myself personally – Royce Da 5′ 9, Slaves, Gideon and Gang Starr have been my constant go-tos lately.
Music Bugle – How would you describe St. Louis to someone who has never been there before?
Garrett Weakley – We got beer, hockey, toasted ravioli and The Arch. We take float trips, go camping and eat provel cheese on pizza. It’s rad.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about rap-rock?
Garrett Weakley – The fact that we can do absolutely anything we want genre-wise and people can’t say it’s “out of nowhere.” I love the fact that our band didn’t start with this sound in mind, but as we developed, it naturally formed and just kind of happened. People ask us all the time why we want to revive a “dead genre,” but honestly, I just want to play music with my friends, encourage others and jump off things onstage.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest struggle lately?
Garrett Weakley – Keeping a positive mentality while the world appears to be collapsing around us, but we can’t falter because hope is what carries us to a brighter future.
Music Bugle – Does social media make it easier or harder for a band to stand out these days?
Garrett Weakley – It does both. It allows you to instantly reach an audience, but people don’t understand the importance of defining a demographic and not pitching to people who aren’t interested in what you’re doing. Find your sound, find your audience and keep growing it without advertising to people you already know aren’t interested. They may come around in due time, but it will be because of your tenacity and consistency. These mistakes cause artists to become demoralized when they lose engagement, etc., but it’s important to know that social media can operate in waves and certain timeframes are not ideal for interaction.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Garrett Weakley – I personally lost my job and it was rough for a few months. However, I have since found a replacement job temporarily. This year, we set a business plan on action to focus heavily on digital platforms such as Spotify followers and YouTube subscribers. While I’d like the YouTube to grow more, the Spotify side has been exploding for us. We’ve dropped multiple singles and have no plan of letting up with the constant content this year.
Music Bugle – Away from music, what’s something people might be surprised to know about the band?
Garrett Weakley – We’re all Olympic four square players, so come get whooped at a show.