Fronted by Cris Brown (not to be confused with the rapper or Trapt vocalist), One Less Reason found success when their Everydaylife LP received a Gold Record Award in 2012. More recently, the group plan to release their next album, The Memories Uninvited, this summer via Tattooed Millionaire Records. You can view our interview with Cris below as he discusses the album, leaving Universal Records, and the issues within our music industry.
You will be releasing The Memories Uninvited in a couple months. Can you talk about the writing and recording process of this record and how it may have differed from past releases?
For this record, we had no time restraints whatsoever. We actually spent three years on it and recorded it about nine times altogether. I would record a version of it and began to hate it and keep changing things each time. But this time, I was able to take as long as I pleased until I had the record that I wanted and it’s exactly what I heard in my head.
The LP was mixed by the talented Randy Staub (Metallica, Motley Crue). Can you discuss what he brought to the table for the material and what it was like working with him?
With his resume, you would assume he’d be snobby, but he’s actually a really nice guy and listens to what the artist wants. He doesn’t just mix anything either. He brought integrity to this record because he actually was interested in the songs. It’s not very often you find those guys in this business anymore and it’s pretty much all about the almighty dollar for most people. He really listened to what we had to say as far as our vision went for the songs.
The first single off the album, “Where Were You?,” is a good balance of heavy and melodic. What bands do you think influenced your heavier side?
I’m really into Brand New. They’re probably one of my favorite heavy bands. I was also really into the Bring Me the Horizon’s Sempiternal record. I listen to a lot of older stuff mostly. I’ll listen from anything from Madonna to Slayer. I love Machine Head. And even some of the early 2000’s bands like Trust Company. I try to find the good in all the bands I like and incorporate it into my own style.
Regarding the lyrical content, is there an overall theme or message?
The record is pretty much based off how friends become family. I know that’s not the case for everybody, but that’s been true for my life, my friends, and the people I consider family.
Is there a specific song’s lyrics that are the most meaningful or significant off the record to you?
I really like “On The Way Down,” which is a song I wrote about my niece who at the time was struggling with certain demons. Also, for “The Lie,” I wanted to write a song about how when your band is starting to take off and you end up leaving your significant other behind.
You’ve shared the stage alongside bands like Shinedown and Seether. Do you have any bands on your bucket list that you feel you just need to tour with eventually?
There’s so many bands out there that I really respect. I think we’ve played with just about everybody though, except maybe like Guns N’ Roses or Iron Maiden, who are playing stadiums. When we were touring, we did like 270 days a year so we have been with a lot of groups. But I mean, there’s even some bands that aren’t in our genre that I’d love to play with.
You have five releases so far in your catalog. As for your live show setlists, if you could pick one song from each release, which songs would they be?
Everydaylife – “Really Bad Analogy”
Getting Back Your Self Esteem – “5”
A Lifetime Burning – “Worthless”
Faces and Four Letter Words – “Someday”
A Blueprint For Writhing – “All Beauty Fades”
A notable aspect of the band’s history is your departure from Universal Records. It’s been over ten years, but can you reflect and delve into that decision?
We were with the label and we had a song called “Favorite Color.” It was doing fantastic on the radio, but we needed an actual album to go along with it. And when we spoke to Universal Records about doing one, they basically put all their money into this other band, which ended up being a massive failure. They then told us we could either leave the deal and not owe them anything and keep the master recordings or wait until the following year. I just felt like if we waited, everything we had worked on would be dead. So, I took my recordings and the money I had left over from the deal and that was it.
With topics like illegal downloading, low pay for streaming services, and an imbalance between major and indie labels. What do you currently see as the biggest issue of the music industry and how do you see it being fixed?
There’s always going to be a road to make money through live shows. The hard part is when everyone is taking their cellphones out and recording your performance. There’s no point in paying money in going to see a band if you can go on YouTube and watch it. The illegal downloading is what it is. We had mixtapes in the 80’s and burned CDs in the early 2000’s. But, it’s not like anyone is making anything off CD sales anyways. You can sell 2 million copies and never see a penny for it, it just mostly goes to the record label. I’d say if you don’t support your favorite bands, they’re not going be around.
Are there any recent albums or ones coming out this year that you’re really enjoying or looking forward to?
Bring Me the Horizon’s new record came out and Puscifer’s new album was fantastic. I’m looking forward to hearing Pierce the Veil’s Misadventures.
Anything else coming up for the rest of the year that you’d like to speak about?
We’re just going to be out touring. I took a four year break to make this record and start a family. I’m just ready to get back out there and start where we left off. I hope everybody will dig the new record. Personally, I think it’s the best record I’ve done so far.