Chicago based pop-punk band Guardrail have been hard at work recording their third EP and packing their time with live sets.
This year, the band played their first Riot pre-show with Boys of Fall, You vs. Yesterday and Wilmette.
Following the release of their 2017 EP Par at Best, this year the band had released “Jane” and “Screaming Bloody Mary” which were met with enthusiasm from friends and fans alike.
“Par At Best was our first release after basically taking a year hiatus,” explains vocalist Kevin Andrew. “We had recruited a new drummer and bassist, but towards the end of the year they both ended up leaving the band. In early 2018, we re-recruited Alyssa on bass (who was with us previously for all of 2015) and shortly after recruited our drummer Doug.”
Andrew explains that releasing the singles marked a “new era” for the band.
“‘Jane’ was a tough song to write and took me forever to find the right words,” he tells us. “To keep a long story short, I had an old friend of mine pass away from an accidental drug overdose during a relapse, then had several other friends pass away within the next year and a half or so to either suicide or drugs. It fucking sucks. I used my friend’s middle name, Jane for the title, like “Jane Doe” because I know that everyone goes through that at some point, so I wrote a song that I’d want to hear when going through that shit.”
In addition, the band released a music video for “Screaming Bloody Mary.” The song is about growing older and not being able to party the same as one used to according to Andrew.
“Ken jokingly said, ‘What if we had someone dressed up in a liver costume, and we all beat the shit out of them?'” Andrews says. “We were thinking we’d at least do something like that as a little promo video, but after Alyssa made the costume we ended up just making that the concept for the actual video. And since it was Ken’s idea, we made him be the liver. We worked with my old buddy Alex Zarek, who does great work and we’re stoked at how it turned out.”
Andrew says that he draws inspiration from the pop-punk classics like Blink-182, New Found Glory and Sum 41.
“I’ve always been a sucker for the catchy melodies those bands all have, where pretty much any song they have could possibly be a single,” he says. “I want the kids at our shows who have no idea who we are to be able to sing along by the time the last chorus rolls around.”
Lyrically, he says that he draws inspiration from Mark Hoppus, Jaret Reddick, Matt Skiba, and Greg Attonito – to name a few.
“They all tend to write about dark, personal, negative shit while the music still sounds positive and happy for the most part,” he explains. “I try to emulate that same sensibility while making sure I’m still true to my personality.”
In addition to drawing inspiration from national musicians, Andrew names other Chicago artists that he enjoys playing shows with.
“Some of my favorites that we’ve played with are Stellar West, Take The Reins, Bad Planning, Glory Days, Eddie & The Arsons, The Blamed, The Linden Method, The Million Reasons (Ken’s other band), Action/Adventure, etc,” he says. “We have yet to share the stage with Parker or Sincere Engineer but I love them too.”
“I feel like the midwest has so much heart – especially Chicago,” he tells us. “There’s definitely a solid punk rock community here that is always super supportive of each other, and I’ve heard differently about other scenes. So I’m happy to be part of this one.”
You can follow Guardrail on Facebook to see what they have in store and keep up to date on news regarding the new EP.