On Better Terms is a band based out of Dallas, TX fusing groovy melodies, and jazzy-driven rhythms with harsh yells and spoken word vocals. It is a fresh voice bringing unique vibe to not only their local but increasingly the national scene. We had the pleasure to find out more about the rising roar of On Better Terms exploring its beginnings, musical intent, their great new album and more…
Hi all and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.
Can you first introduce the band and tell us about its origins?
We are On Better Terms and we got started when vocalist Andrew brought his lyrics to guitarist Alex who began writing songs while Andrew was still in college. We got together to write and record when we could and once Andrew graduated we added a bassist and drummer and started writing even more and practicing a set. We’ve been playing shows and releasing music ever since.
Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so has that experience had any impact on what you are doing within On Better Terms?
Most of us have been or are currently involved in other projects of all different genres including pop punk, jazz, metalcore and southern rock. I wouldn’t say that these projects have inspired a change in direction but they are definitely evident in the way we write and the natural evolution of our sound.
What inspired the band name?
We originally started out as capital but decided against after a few months and Andrew eventually came up with On Better Terms. It just seemed to encompass our ideas and attitude; always trying to make the best of our experiences and relationships with ourselves, others and the world around us.
Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?
We really started it as more of a release than anything; we needed it to purge our emotions from daily life. Of course we have bands that influence our sound but we ultimately just wanted to be ourselves and allow listeners to feel and think what we were and hopefully relate to it in some way.
And the same things still drive the band or have they evolved over time?
We definitely started it for fun and as a release but now that we’ve been around for some time we definitely have aspirations to play more shows in more cities to more people. We’ll always write the music we want and that itself will drive us but we want to continue to grow our brand and as musicians.
Since those early days, how would you say your sound has grown?
Well we’ve all gotten better at what we do and the rotating members we’ve had have contributed different aspects to our music. We have always tried to do something a little different with each release; recently we’ve add more clean vocals and gotten more creative and collaborative with how the guitars and drums work together.
So it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?
I would definitely say organic. You can say you want to change your sound but ultimately everyone has their style and we just have to try things and see what comes together.
You mentioned there are bands which have influenced your sound; are there any in particular which have impacted keenly not only on the band’s music but equally your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?
Is there a general process to the band’s songwriting?
Typically, Alex will write some riffs on his own and show them to the rest of the group. We’ll jam it and start to build around it, if we dig it then we’ll continue to develop it and add details as well as start writing lyrics for it, if we don’t then we scratch it and try again.
And where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of songs?
Our lyrics span several topics but depression, existential anxiety, and the desire to break these cycles and experience happiness and personal success are often underlying themes in a lot of our songs. On the flip side we write about our hope for love towards ourselves, others and the planet.
Would you give us some background to your latest release?
We just released our first full length record called Waves. It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time and are very proud to release. It’s the culmination of all our hard work and it’s the best thing we’ve ever put out in terms of writing as well as production.
Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.
Waves is all about the cycles that we experience on a global and personal level. It covers the trajectory of mankind, the evolution of cyclical depression, losing loved ones, and the attempt to cope with all of this while being plagued with nihilistic apathy.
Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?
A little bit of both. We usually have most of the songs ready to record as is but sometimes we like to collaborate on the spot with each other as well as with input from our producer Brandon Sanders. Sometimes the songs can sound quite different once they’re done than what we came in with.
Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably a favourite aspect of the band.
We like to think that our live show is the best feature of our band. We try to bring as much energy and emotion to our live set as possible. The guitar tones and lyrics seem to hit so much harder in person. We also have a light show rigged up to sync with our music that definitely contributes to our aesthetic.
It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?
Yeah definitely. Dallas is an extremely saturated market and there’s a show of some kind almost every night but there’s also a lot of niche scenes that tend to crossover and collaborate. It’s for sure hard to stand out but there are a ton of great bands that push each other to be better and more creative and there are some really impressive bands that have culminated a local and regional following.
How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?
If you have a good answer on how to maximize our potential on social media, let us know! We use it constantly trying to reach as many potential fans as possible but it’s hard to say if it helps or hinders what we’re trying to do. You could argue it’s both a positive avenue to spread the word but negative in the sense that there are so many bands doing the same thing on social media. You really have to get creative to get people engaging in your content.
Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?
We plan to tour a lot and play some new cities this year so keep an eye out and go jam our new record!
Discover more about and from On Better Terms at…
Pete RingMaster 15/02/2019
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