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With the Richmond music scene transitioning between older bands breaking up and newer bands on the rise, INQUIRY seeks to take the throne with their upcoming record. Currently the band are crowdsourcing funds on an Indiegogo campaign, and they have nearly met their goal of $2,000. Formed in September 2011, the band, which consists of drummer Bri Jackson, bassist Patrick Allen, vocalist Justin Piaoan, and guitarists Kyle Richards and Partick Van Story, combines elements of pop punk and post-hardcore music. Their music has a very hopeful attitude, and they seek to provide inspiration to kids “walking through life with their head down”. I talked to Piaoan about his band’s thoughts on the changes in the Richmond music scene, the new direction they will be taking on their next EP, as well as what sets them apart from other local bands.

The local music scene has been going through some interesting changes lately, between venues such as Kingdom closing and a fresh new crop of bands coming up in the pop punk, hardcore, and metal genres, among many others. What are your thoughts on that?

I feel like it has been in a rebirth stage for the past two years with bands like THE GREATER THE RISK, LOVE & REVERIE, SAFETY WORD ORANGE, and most recently CONDITIONS breaking up, which is giving newer bands like us a chance to thrive and have the opportunity to take the throne, so to speak. Kingdom was a hot spot that has forever changed, but its closing leaves way for newer venues like Sound Check Studios to carry the torch. That is something that Richmond needed. I have also seen people doing more DIY shows and taking the scene into their own hands, hosting shows in their house, their shed or even their kitchen (laughs). I have even seen more bands trading shows with other bands. So it poses the question as to whether we are reverting back to promoting more on a personal level rather than through social media.

How does your band fit into that dynamic?

We just try to be honest with our music and play our hearts out. Our goal is to break the mold of what people expect of us, and we will play with anyone. When I was in high school I remember shows where bands of all genres played together, and that’s how it should be. Shows don’t have to be just pop punk bands or just hardcore bands.

I heard that your band will be recording your second EP in New York soon at Westfall Recording Company. Can you tell me more about that?

We are tryna write a five-song EP that is drenched in honesty, as always. We recently added a second guitarist. His name is Patrick Van Story, and he is from Virginia Beach. Our music is like hot air balloon ready to fly. We are in a do or die situation, and we are really doing our best to get tour ready.

What do you mean your music is “honest”?

It’s not about partying or drinking or having sex. It’s about tapping into the good and bad stuff inside all of us. It’s very emotional, heartfelt music that seeks to connect with others. We understand the troubles that kids are going through that walk through life with their head down, and we are trying to let them know that we understand their pain.

Why did you choose to do the Indiegogo campaign for this record?

We are all hard working people, and we thought it would be our best bet to make our goal. We started it three days ago, and we are almost at our goal. We have been amazed by people’s generosity coming out of the woodwork.

Do you think crowdsourcing websites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are beneficial to the music scene?

Without a doubt! It is super beneficial. We are just normal everyday people trying to fund being in a band, as well as all the expenses that come along with it, but it is also beneficial for people that are passionate about what they do.

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How much progress have you made in the writing process for your new record?

We have the skeletons of five out of a minimum of eight songs. We want to bring eight to 10 songs into pre-production so we can pick the best songs for the EP. We have one complete song so far, and in February we will be locking down time to write everything before we head up to New York.

Do you plan to keep the same sound on “Savages” for your new record, or are you gonna try something different?

We are going to leave it be. It was the last song that we wrote as a four-piece, but we will still be playing it at our shows. The new songs will be more of a post-hardcore, heavy sound, but without the breakdowns (laughs). We have a lot of different influences, so our new record will be all over the place.

Who are some of your favorite local bands?


For more updates on INQUIRY, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

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