Paying homage to the musicians who have inspired you, while also infusing your own personal interests and experiences into your unique sound, is an essential process for bands, especially as they begin building their fanbase. Up-and-coming punk-rock band, Lost In Society, is one such group that features creative musicians who daringly blend their original style with their tribute to their influences, including Green Day, Nirvana and Motown.
Lost In Society, which features Zach Moyle on lead vocals and guitar, Nick Ruroede on bass and back-up vocals, and Hector Bonora on drums, released its third album, ‘Modern Illusions,’ on February 26. The alternative band proves its admiration for ’90s punk and grunge rock with their intriguing vocals and choruses, enthralling guitar solos and driving bass lines.
The alternative band, which hails from Asbury Park, New Jersey, served as an official band at this week’s SXSW. After debuting the music video for their new single, ‘I Want To Know,’ on Alternative Press this past Tuesday, March 15, the band performed at several shows during the Austin, Texas-based festival. Lost In Society is set to play its final SXSW 2016 set today at 3:45pm CT at The Vortex-Altercation BBQ.
Moyle, Ruroede and Bonra generously took the time to participate in Big Picture Media’s SXSW press day this past Wednesday, March 16 at The Rooftop Bar on E. 6th Street in Austin. The alternative-punk-rock band discussed their experiences as musicians, including which bands have influenced them the most, how they formed Lost In Society and the process of performing to such distinct crowds during SXSW during an exclusive interview.
The lead singer began the interview by explaining how he was inspired to become a musician. “Growing up, I was really into sports; I loved football and baseball. But for whatever reason, I also always wanted to play guitar. So when I was 10, I asked for a guitar.” While Moyle stopped playing the instrument for a period of time in middle school, he soon became interested in picking the guitar up again when he started listening to rock music. “I got into bands like Nirvana, and wanted to do what they did. So since I was young, I was interested in pursuing music as a career.”
Ruroede then explained that he “originally wanted to play bass. But when my mom called the local music store, she started talking to the guy who worked there about getting me lessons.” The musician noted that the store employee explained to his mother that if he learned how to play the guitar first, it would then be easier for him to learn how to play the bass. “So I started taking guitar lessons when I was about 10 or 11.”
When Ruroede was in eighth grade in 2004, Green Day released its Grammy Award-winning acclaimed rock album, ‘American Idiot.’ After listening to the record, the Lost In Society bass player “got super into music, and really started playing.”
The musician added that “After we started the band, we tried adding a bass player. So I went back to my original plan, and started playing bass. I’ve been playing bass for about 12 years now.”
Bonora also chimed in on his inspiration for starting to play the drums. “When I started to play music, I learned how to play the piano and violin. My grandparents didn’t think that the drums were a real instrument,” the drummer revealed. “But a couple of years later, my parents bought me a drum kit, and I took some lessons. I’ve been playing the drums ever since.”
Moyle then began discussing how he united with Ruroede and Bonora to form the punk-rock-inspired Lost In Society. “Nick and I met in middle school, around the time that ‘American Idiot’ came out. We were like, we love this record, and we want to do a Green Day-type medley show. But then we ended up writing our own songs.”
The band’s lead singer then explained that “Hector joined the group about three or four years later. We met him through a mutual friend at a party. It was one of those instances where he said, ‘Oh, I hear you need a drummer. Let’s jam tomorrow.’ But I thought it was one of those things that would never happen,” Moyle admitted. “I figured it was one of those instances where you meet at a party and say you’re going to play together, but then it never happens.”
But Moyle admitted that Bonora called him “the next day at noon, and said, ‘Are you we doing this?’ I asked, ‘Doing what?’ He said, ‘Practicing,’ and I said, ‘Okay, sure, let’s go.”
Besides admiring Green Day and Nirvana, Moyle added that he was inspired by punk bands. “I love bands like Face to Face and Descendents. I also love The Temptations and a lot of Motown bands. So I try to grab from as many bands as I possibly can.”
Ruroede added that as a bass player, Motown also inspired him. “I started getting into all the things that The Funk Brothers played on. I wanted to learn how to play that rhythmic sound, which is a big thing for me,” the bass player revealed.
When Bonora started playing the drums, he noted that he was listening to a lot of music from Blink-182. “I would listen to Travis Barker on the drums, and think he was so cool. So he was a huge influence on me,” the Lost In Society drummer revealed. Bonora added that he shares some of the same musical influences as his bandmates, including Motown, as well Pearl Jam, The (Rolling) Stones and The Beatles.”
The punk rock band then discussed the process of creating their songs together. “I’ll usually bring the idea. I write the melodies and lyrics,” Moyle explained. “I’ll create the skeleton of the songs, and then bring the ideas to” Ruroede and Bonora. “Then we’ll sit down together to work on the songs, including when they should get higher and lower. So it’s pretty collaborative during the entire song-writing process.”
With Lost In Society playing three other shows earlier this week at SXSW before their performance at The Vortex this afternoon, including at The Handlebar, Maggie Mae’s Rooftop and The Aquarium, Moyle explained the festival experience “has been interesting. It’s so corporate now, so you don’t know who you’re playing for. It’s definitely a different type of audience. It won’t get as rowdy as some of our other shows.”
But the singer added that the experience has also been “cool, because you can perform for about 100 people at 1pm, which wouldn’t happen anywhere else. It’s almost a blur of an experience, since you can play multiple shows every day” during the music portion of the festival. “But it’s been really fun.”
In addition to connecting with their audiences at shows, bands can also quickly and easily bond with their listeners by concentrating on distributing select songs digitally. But “We still like listening to full-length albums. That’s how we want to release our albums,” Ruroede explained. Moyle added that while some bands mainly focus on releasing singles and EPs, “We like to go into the studio and record a lot of songs, so that we can put them on one big record.”
Besides releasing music digitally, bands can also instantly connect with their fans on social media. But Moyle noted that there are benefits and drawbacks to granting so much information to the public so easily on the Internet. “There are so many bands and different outlets now that you’re getting pulled in a lot of different directions. So I think it’s harder to stand out these days. But it’s definitely easier to connect with people once you have a solid fanbase,” the singer explained. “I think that’s the cool thing about social media-you can feel like you’re with the band at all times.”
Bonora also embraced the benefits of social media, as he explained that with its help, “it’s the first time that bands can go full-on independent. If you find your niche, and gain a good following on social media, you can really escalate your band’s presence.”
Since Lost In Society just released ‘Modern Illusions’ last month, the musicians are going to tour to promote the album, Moyle revealed. “We’ve been on tour for the whole month of March. In May, we’re going to do a three-and-a-half-week tour on the West Coast. Over the summer, we’ll probably play a lot of regional shows, and then do another full tour in the fall.” The singer added that he and his bandmates will take some time to write new material over the summer. “So we’ll hopefully we ready to record the new album next year.”
Written by: Karen Benardello