Editor’s Note: It was amazing getting to talk with Anthony Lalla, the vocalist(well one of the two vocalists along with Laurie Normandin) of Era 9. This band has a ton of potential as they have released “Gravity” DIY-style, and with little to no press or media support, they have amassed almost 100,000 hits on YouTube with their single “Hero”. We just had a fun conversation to introduce Era 9 to the world and what Chester Bennington(RIP) of Linkin Park meant to their music career. Fans can find Era 9 at the following locations:
Without further delay, here is my conversation with Anthony Lalla, vocalist/rhymemaster for Era 9
M.T.C.: How are you doing today?
Anthony: Very good, yourself?
M.T.C.: How has the “Gravity” record been going so far?
Anthony: Very good, we toured it across the States and we’ve been getting very awesome feedback from fans and people that reviewed it, like yourself, and it’s been going really well. You want to be able to play it in front of more people instead of having shows with 20 or 30 people.
M.T.C.: Era 9 has released the music video for “Hero”, which DIY has amassed almost 100,000 views on YouTube. How have you guys been promoting the record and what is the song talking about?
Anthony: We do almost everything DIY because we lack budgets in every aspect, so we had to get creative and find a way to produce and record the record without spending too much, which our bass player Joe works wonders as a sound engineer for the band. We all write our own music, so we are all songwriters and we write collaboratively, so we don’t outsource any songwriting at all. Mark, our drummer, he programs all of the electronic beats and all of the cool, laidback hip-hop beats. I worked on the graphic design for the album, the website, and the filmmaking for the music video. We all play our part and we help the whole band as a whole in order to save money and to produce product.
“Hero” by Era 9
M.T.C.: Do you recommend other bands to go DIY?
Anthony: Absolutely! 100%! Because you have complete creative control, labels will overpay for things, they’re not going to shop around for the best price for some things you might need, whether its the camera, the lens, even for the studio time, and you will have to pay them back. At the end of the day, you’re paying for it anyway, just not right now. I would definitely recommend you do it yourself, so you can get the product that you want with your vision, and also try to pay as low as you can so you don’t break the bank.
M.T.C.: Era 9 definitely changed their sound and their look from the past few years, what led the change?
Anthony: It was a very good change. It’s a matter of just growing as a person, we started playing Metallica in high school as cover bands and the regular AC/DC stuff, so we were really into rock, straight up just drums, guitar, and bass type of band, and we grew to enjoy electronic music, especially when Skrillex came out five or six years ago, that was a big revolution for us, we were like, “whoa, this guy with his heavy beats, there’s no guitars or drums”, and we felt like you could put guitar and drums to these type of beats. We were leaning towards meshing a band with electronic music. We like hip-hop and being laidback, it doesn’t always have to be hard hitting. Our vision definitely changed of Era 9, which is why some band members changed as well, I guess they didn’t see the same vision that we did.
M.T.C.: How did the tour with Dead Horse Trauma and VYCES go?
Anthony: It went really good. Those guys are awesome, we became good friends with them. We’re all a big touring family now, it’s really cool that we got to tour with them. Awesome guys, awesome music, amazing performers, we like to f****** drink with them too, so they’re crazy party animals as well. We drink wine but Dead Horse Trauma drinks whiskey and they go crazy.
M.T.C.: Tell us about the promo video for “Warrior”.
Anthony: We just wanted to let people know that “Warrior” is available for streaming. I used snippets of the “Hero” music video to be used as a promo for “Warrior”. We won’t really be releasing a music video for “Warrior”, but we do have music videos coming out very soon. We filmed a lot of cool footage on tour, so we’re going to be putting that together in the next month, and you’ll hear and see a new music video very soon.
“Warrior”(promo video) by Era 9
M.T.C.: Are the upcoming music videos going to follow up “Hero” in a storyline or?
Anthony: It’s more just fun footage of us going from city to city performing and pretty much like us grinding everyday as a band. There won’t be a storyline with actors or anything like that, it’s more of how we do it on tour but as a music video.
M.T.C.: What’s your best moment when you play live?
Anthony: There’s definitely a lot of really awesome moments, it’s hard to single one out, but when the crowd sings your song and knows the lyrics as you’re playing it’s just a beautiful feeling, you’re on staging and they’re vibing, and your eyes are closed, and they’re singing the lyrics and their arms are up in the air, you just feel so complete when the fans do that.
M.T.C.: What does Laurie bring to the band?
Anthony: She brings so much character and she’s a huge part of the band, her vocals, she’s just a powerhouse, she brings vocal melodies, she brings lyrics, she brings song ideas. We all collaborate pretty equally together. The only thing that Laurie has that we don’t is her f****** amazing vocals! We all bring up song ideas and work together as a team.
M.T.C.: Is that what the writing process for an Era 9 song looks like?
Anthony: We’re very divided actually when it comes to bringing up song ideas, so we’ll all be in our respective homes and think up cool melodies, lyrics, or beats and chord progressions, and we’ll present it to each other by email or voice memo or they’ll come over to my house every once in a while and we’ll just jam it out on acoustic to see if the chords work with the melodies, and if it goes well, we’ll show it to Marco, he programs the hip-hop, and he’ll spice it up and do something f****** heavy or something really soft and beautiful and Joel will add some heavy riffs, he writes a lot of the guitar parts. It’s pretty much a joint effort, we’ll bring ideas to the table, and we’ll puzzle them together until it feels amazing.
M.T.C.: What’s the plans for Era 9 for the rest of the year?
Anthony: We definitely want to release music videos, I want to get three done, as that’s happening, we’re going to be bouncing song ideas off of each other. We’re constantly writing as much as we can. Sometimes life gets in the way, and music videos are a big priority, so we gotta put everything else on hold, and when we’re on tour, we’re pretty much self-managed and independent, so we got to be focused on the road, so we can’t just songwrite and do a bunch of cool leisure activities as much as we could. It’s all about writing more music and releasing more music videos, and hopefully going back on tour in the fall.
M.T.C.: Where would you like to tour in the fall?
Anthony: Definitely the States, Canada is a very tough market even logistically speaking, the cities, the gas prices, everything is more. If the opportunity arises, that we’re invited to go to a different country, we can’t wait for that. We want to go to Europe, we want to go to the Scandinavian countries, we want to go to Japan, come on, how f****** cool is that!
M.T.C.: We just received word that Chester Bennington, vocalist for Linkin Park, committed suicide, what impact did he have on your career or what thoughts do you have?
Anthony: That’s really sad man. It’s crazy how he can have millions of fans who love him around the world, fame and money, a beautiful family and friends, and still feel lonely in the world. It’s crazy when you think of it. Actually, it was a dream to tour with Linkin Park one day. They’re a huge influence on us. What they did in 2000 merging hip-hop and electronic sounds is what we’re doing as well with today’s style of electronic and hip-hop music.
M.T.C.: Is there anything else you want to add in regards to Era 9?
Anthony: The more people share our video on social media, the better it is for us, it helps us a lot more than fans might think, even if they just press “like” or write a little comment that says “awesome”, that helps us a lot more than you can imagine. So yeah, social media, look up “Era 9 Official” on all platforms and www.era9.com, you’ll find everything there.
M.T.C.: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me today!
Anthony: Thank you so much for your review, it was awesome! Have a great day!
And there you have it! I want to thank Anthony from Era 9 for setting this up with us and for really digging our review.
ICYMI: Check out our 10 star review of “Gravity” by Era 9 here