Life + Arts

Band takes music directly to fans

Starting over with a new band is never an easy thing to do, especially if you’re The Action Design. Rather than waiting to be signed off with a record company, Action Design has opted for the do-it-yourself route.

‘It is a pretty cool time, it is almost like martial law,’ bassist Matt McKenzie said. ‘You have to find your own way to promote your band. The standard traditional channels, like staying around in Hollywood like a douche bag waiting to be signed, you have to go out and come out with creative ways to have people listen to your band. (The music industry) is like the housing market, it may just collapse on itself.’

The first version of its debut EP, Into A Sound, was manufactured, screen-printed and sold directly from the band. The Action Design has been on a heavy touring schedule promoting its music and recent Pop Smear Records’ release, ‘Never Say Never’. Experimenting in sound and promotion, The Action Design hopes to use new avenues to get its music out there.

‘(We) want to try to help with a new idea of the music business since major labels are going down,’ drummer Jake Krohn said. ‘We want to be a solution, (a) new sound.’

Founding members of The Action Design, vocalist Emily Whitehurst and McKenzie are no strangers to the business structure of the music industry. Both were in the emerging pop- punk act, Tsunami Bomb, whose break-up was rumored to be in part due to a split with label Kung Fu Records.

‘(The label) was part of it about the Tsunami Bomb break up,’ Whitehurst said. ‘They had that major label mentality, but that wasn’t the only thing.’

The Action Design’s sound differs from Tsunami Bomb by writing tighter, dance-pop-driven grooves and adding instrumentation.

‘We have keyboards and electronics, we have that whole element,’ Whitehurst said. ‘It’s not nearly as aggressive, but still has high energy.’

The new sound helps the band expand its creative side and grow as musicians.

‘When we started this band, we didn’t say ‘let’s do this, let’s do that’. Tsunami Bomb was a punk band and we were kind of limited to what we could do,’ McKenzie said. ‘We write more rhythmically now, we tend to come up with more cool, abstract and melodic ideas.’

Touring will continue in the March with a West coast trek and a possible appearance at Austin’s South by Southwest music festival. The Action Design will continue the DIY-mentality and be on the road playing its music.

‘Our goal is to write another album this year,’ guitarist Jaycen McKissick said. ‘And tour as much as possible.’

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