We had the chance to catch up with New York, pop metal band In Loving Memory to discuss their newest EP Introspective, future plans, and what their 10 year old selves would say if they were to be told of their life now. Most questions are answered by vocalist Naveed Stone, with some input from all members on a few questions.
How did you guys meet and form the band?
In Loving Memory started as my solo project. I was writing and recording songs on my own while trying to get myself out there through covers on my Youtube channel. In the summer of 2014, Tom reached out to me after discovering my Youtube channel. He, Jon, and Vito had already been playing together in a band called Insanium and they were based out of Long Island, not too far from where I lived in Queens. We kept in contact and eventually met up to jam when they had begun searching for a new singer. Our musical chemistry right off the bat was undeniable, and I was immediately blown away by how proficient each of the guys were at their instruments, but also how tight they played together. After discussing musical and artistic goals, it became clear that these guys were the right team to turn my solo project into the full band I had always envisioned. In Loving Memory officially started as a full band in October 2014.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
The biggest influences we all share include bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Periphery, and Issues. We also love pop artists like Blackbear, Jon Bellion, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, and so much more. We try to combine all those influences as well as our weirder ones which range from classical music, classic rock, video games, and movie scores.
What sparked your passion for music?
Naveed: I honestly wasn’t very into music as a kid. I remember always feeling left out at school because kids would be talking about the hottest songs at the moment and I would never know what or who they were talking about. It was when that song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s became really popular around 2007 that made me go “Wow. One guy and his guitar could make something so beautiful? I want to try that!” So I started guitar lessons around the same time and eventually started finding bands like Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, All Time Low, and Lifehouse. That’s what got me started into music and eventually songwriting.
Jon: Watching my Mom’s Moody Blue’s VHS’s sparked my passion for music for sure. The way they’d set the mood on stage and perform had me blown away.
Tom: That old video game Guitar Hero actually sparked my passion! I played the saxophone until 5th grade and hated it. Guitar Hero came out about a year after that, and that’s what opened me up to rock music and led me to get my first guitar. I got into drums when Rock Band come out a few years later, and that just sealed the deal entirely.
Vito: My passion for music was sparked from a very young age listening to classic rock albums and learning them by ear on the piano. The spark reignited when I listened to bands like Green Day and the role of electric guitars became the prominent instrument and ever since it has not left my sight.
Were there any challenges that arose when writing and recording Introspective?
The overall writing and recording process was actually pretty smooth. We had accumulated a bunch of song ideas in the time that had occurred since our first EP Stand My Ground so we were never short on material. One challenged we faced this time around was incorporating extra instrumentation and arrangements in our music. Tom had produced everything we’ve recorded so far, so when time came around for us to start seriously nailing down ideas to turn into a new EP, we experimented a lot. We wanted to write songs that were catchy, technical instrumentally, but still had room for extra production elements to give the songs more character and vibe. This comes through a lot in the orchestral elements in Forthright and Nomad, the dark synths and string in Lone Wolf, the electric sounds in Getaway and Dreamer, etc.
What was the inspiration behind Introspective?
The bulk of Introspective was being written while I was in my last semester of college. I was going through a lot of stress finishing my last semester, juggling the busy schedule that the band demanded, but also having to figure out what my life was going to be before being thrown into the “real world.” I know anyone finishing up school has felt some version of that, but for me this time period really demanded that I reflect on who I’ve been up until that point, as well as the man I want to be. That’s what inspired the title “Introspective.” While the EP isn’t a concept album by any means, every song does relate back to the overarching theme of self reflection and analysis. I’m not so much singing about things that have happened to me, but rather the impact of those experiences for who I am. For anyone who wants a more in-depth breakdown of the inspiration behind Introspective and each individual song, feel free to find us on Spotify and listen to my “Track by Track” commentary.
What are your plans/goals moving forward with your music?
The plan for 2018 is to definitely start touring. We’ve spent a lot of time establishing ourselves in the NYC/Long Island local scene and playing shows in nearby states, so we really want to start seeing more of the country. In addition, we plan on releasing more music videos and extra content off of Introspective to really make it a wholesome experience for everyone. Another big plan for this year is to actually produce new and improved clothing designs! We treat our mercy like its own clothing brand, @ILMApparel on Instagram. We make music to express ourselves and deliver a message, and we strive for that same mission with our clothing. When Introspective came out, we did something unique by making a march item to go with every song off the EP. Like I said, we want to make our music a much bigger experience. So definitely expect some fresh new clothing from ILMApparel, this spring and summer especially.
If you could take credit for any piece of art, song, film, book, etc. which would you steal credit for and why?
Naveed: I guess I wish I could take credit for writing “Hey There Delilah.” I think it’s a perfect song due to how much emotion it coveys while being so simple. I think that’s what makes music easy to connect with. It’s definitely my goal in life to write a song that impactful and witness people from all over the world connecting with it.
Jon: I’d take credit for the entire Kingdom Hearts series. If you ever wanted to experience magic, it’s there.
Tom: I’ve been digging Queen recently so I’m gonna go with “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I respect that song a lot since it’s absolutely manic while still being accessible and catchy. For that reason I would love to have been involved with its making, or at least have people think I was. *laughs*
Vito: I would love to take credit for either the score of Lord Of The Rings movies or Game of Thrones. I find it absolutely incredible to weave a scene with a score behind it that musically conveys the struggle (both internal and external) of the character. Even though all movies have that I’m a complete sucker for cellos, violins, and a roaring symphony.
What is one thing you want your fans, as well as the people reading this who are just hearing about you for the first time, to know about In Loving Memory?
In Loving Memory is a band for the underdogs. Anyone who has ever internalized that they cannot reach their dreams because of their gender, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, etc, is who we are fighting for. Yes, the world has such a long way to go in recognizing everyone as equals. And yes, there are things that some of us in oppressed minority groups have to fight twice as hard for in order to obtain, but know that I am singing because I feel your struggle. That fight is what makes victory taste that much sweeter in the end.
If you could go back in time and tell your 10 year old self what your life is like now, how would the younger version of you react?
Naveed: “Me? A singer? *laughs* No way!” My 10 year old self probably wouldn’t be able to fathom the idea of becoming something other than a doctor, engineer, lawyer, etc.
Jon: The younger version of me would probably be pretty excited. My upbringing wasn’t easy, and I’m proud of where I am today and where I’m going. I think I’d be stoked to find out I brought back my artsy side through pursuing digital design and that I have performed in front of hundreds of screaming fans in some of my favorite venues growing up.
Tom: My 10 year old self might be a little confused because he was probably convicted he hated music in general. My 12 year old self though would be pretty stoked to learn that now I’m playing shows in other states, recording for my own band as well as other local bands, communicating with fans every day, and even headlining sold out shows at big venues like Revolution and Gramercy Theater.
Vito: I think my 10 year old self would try to jam along to what I’m playing on guitar and match me on the piano. Although my 10 year old self would be stubborn to keep up with certain aspects of music business and the hours of work that it entails, I would tell him to not give up and to be patient! The road may be rough, but it’s a road worth taking.
We would like to give a big thank you to In Loving Memory for taking the time to make this interview happen. In Loving Memory’s second EP Introspective is out now!