By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Clear the dinner table, it’s time to mosh.
In a feeling relatable to many over the past year confined to four walls indoors and six feet outdoors, Los Angeles-based heavy alt-rockers Soundhoose recently dropped their album ‘Quarantine Psycho.’
Influenced by the likes of Green Day, Linkin Park and YUNGBLUD to name a few, the group was formed by Brandon Smith in 2018 while he attended the Institute Of Production And Recording in Minneapolis, Minn..
Smith handles the writing, recording and mixing duties himself and created a character in which he performs under the name, Mr. Bad Luck, in a similar vein to Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface.
Drummer Paul Burns and bassist Erik Netland were recently recruited and in ‘Quarantine Psycho,’ an emphasis on anthemic choruses and straight-up fun will be evident for anyone eager to break their walls down.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Smith/Burns about ‘Quarantine Psycho’ and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Los Angeles to someone who has never been there before?
Brandon Smith – An incredibly beautiful, under-appreciated, cut-throat and competitive city to live in. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you work hard for it, the city will reward you and it’s amazing. It never sleeps, there’s always something to do and every day, you’re surrounded by creativity.
Paul Burns – I would describe Los Angeles to be a place where you can achieve your wildest dreams, yet a very competitive place to be at the same time.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Brandon Smith – I think there’s a wide variety to it. We don’t really have one genre that you can label us as because we’re a melting pot of so many influences, so I’m excited by the idea that the possibilities are endless and they don’t limit our creativity and put us in a box that we can’t go outside of. I think there’s a craving for good quality rock again and adding elements of other genres only makes it more exciting.
Paul Burns – It defines who I am as a person and lets me express my emotions.
Music Bugle – How did you decide the band name?
Brandon Smith – I originally liked Soundhouse, but it wasn’t unique enough. I love watching “Million Dollar Listing” and there was a British individual who always pronounced House as “Hoose,” so my family and I always say that now and it just became a habit. It felt more organic.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your new album ‘Quarantine Psycho’?
Brandon Smith – To find a healthy way to express the thoughts that plagued our minds during a time of uncertainty. We really didn’t have anyone we could go talk to about our internal struggles and when that happens, we write about it. It’s the healthiest and most rewarding way to share a piece of ourselves. We also wanted to make sure that others knew they weren’t the only ones with issues and it’s okay to not be okay.
Paul Burns – To inspire others who were going through a tough time.
Music Bugle – How would you say 2021 has treated you so far?
Brandon Smith – Much better than 2020. I’m much more grateful for what I have. Things seem to be going in an upward direction and that gives us hope. We’ve been able to perform again and we feel like we can get the ball rolling with more music, videos, shows and other endeavors.
Paul Burns – So far, so good.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Brandon Smith – YUNGBLUD and MGK are absolutely killing it. They haven’t released a bad song, like, ever. We also really love beachy vibe alternative bands like Nightly and Flor. The playlist just keeps getting bigger, though.
Paul Burns – For me, MGK, YUNGBLUD, Blink-182 and All Time Low are a few examples.
Music Bugle – How would you compare your recent work to your earliest material?
Brandon Smith – Much more direct and honest. I think mental health is a very dark topic that needs to be addressed and this album was heavier and it felt a lot darker, whereas our earlier music was a bit brighter with a lot more synthesizers. I love all of our music, but authenticity is something that we continuously strive for.
Paul Burns – Yup, it’s a lot better. It feels like I can take myself more serious as a musician being in Soundhoose.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Brandon Smith – “Progress, not perfection.” It’s simple, short and sweet, but so true, especially when it comes to art, which is subjective. I think the best motivator is just the constant mindset of wanting to get better every day. We hate feeling complacent and any progress is good progress. We’re constantly growing.
Paul Burns – “You have to dream the dream.”
Music Bugle – What are three of your favorite all-time albums?
Brandon Smith – ‘American Idiot,’ ‘The Black Parade,’ and ‘Meteora,’ but ‘Enema Of The State’ and ‘Take Off Your Pants And Jacket’ are definitely up there too, though.
Paul Burns – I agree with ‘American Idiot,’ ‘Take Off Your Pants And Jacket’ and ‘Meteora.’
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Brandon Smith – Both. It’s a cliche answer, but it’s true. It gives us all a voice and you might say or post something that will offend or rub a group of people the wrong way and you could lose half your fans and destroy your image in a second. On the other hand, it’s the best way to engage your fanbase – aside from face-to-face – share what you’re doing, keep them updated on releases and spread the word. We still hand out CD’s in person and things like that because we want to make it personable, but for fans in other locations, we have to make them feel like they’re always with us too.
Paul Burns – It definitely helps out rather than trying to promote your music in the old days, where it was a lot tougher.