i am the kid 1



How would you define success in regards to local musicians? Does it mean recording numerous studio albums, embarking on successful tours, maneuvering through hardships, selling merchandise, or kids shouting your lyrics back at you? Regardless of what standards your stamp of approval requires, Farmville metalcore outfit I AM THE KID has it in spades. Formed in 2008, the band quickly made a name for themselves as a band willing to put in the blood and sweat required to make an impact on a watered-down local hardcore scene chock full of predictable breakdowns and tough guy imagery. They embraced the challenges of numerous “pay to play” venues and a state-wide audience that at times seemed to care more for a fancy light show and stage theatrics than the actual quality of the music.

During my time playing heavy music in Virginia with WITNESS THE WILDFIRE, I had the distinct pleasure of playing alongside I AM THE KID more times than I can count. The band was even gracious enough to travel to Richmond to play our reunion show in December of last year, and they absolutely killed it and made it a truly memorable evening. The band is filled with extremely witty (look at any of their song titles) and genuinely nice guys (lent me gear more than once at a minutes notice); their current lineup stands with Anthony Nicholas unleashing his wide vocal range, Patrick Wade absolutely shredding the seven string, Samuel Thorne laying down the deep end on bass, and Nick Kuzmiak blasting the skins. Just as we have come to expect from I AM THE KID, they have stayed hard at work; however, Anthony was gracious enough to take some time to speak with me regarding the current state of I AM THE KID, their plans for their future, and his thoughts on the state of Virginia metal and hardcore.

When I was researching your band for this article I stumbled upon some things I was surprised I hadn’t discovered before. For example, you guys covered Blink 182’s “Adam’s Song” a few years back, and I must say, you did it more than justice. What made you, a band that comes off as lighthearted, decide to cover that song of all songs?

Half of us at the time grew up listening to a wide variety of bands when we were younger [like] SLIPKNOT, DEFTONES, and THURSDAY, and even BLINK 182. Enema of the State was a great album that made an impression on a bunch of middle schoolers at the time. We knew we wanted to cover a song that had some significance to us and also would let us dissect it part from part and be able to put it back together in our own interpretation.

Did you have any apprehension with deciding to cover a BLINK 182 song, and this song specifically? This may just be me, but I feel like some bands would be hesitant to cover a song that so many people view as perfect; almost like covering an artist such as A DAY TO REMEMBER – it has to be perfect otherwise it’s a hate crime towards the original version.

It was a song I know a lot of bands wouldn’t touch, but we didn’t want to cover a song to the point it sounds like we’re just trying to imitate who wrote it. We feel pretty confident from the drums, to the guitar, and vocal patterns that we captured what “Adam’s Song” would of sounded like if I AM THE KID wrote it first. In no way were we trying to sound like BLINK 182. Enough people got the point and enjoyed our approach. Anyone else who wasn’t a fan should just realize if they wanted to hear the original “Adam’s Song”, they’d be better off just doing that.

Syke broke into the Virginia music scene around the time I AM THE KID started playing shows, if I remember correctly, and you were recently named Syke’s band of the month for January, thanks in large part to your social media presence and dedicated fan base. What was the selection process for that honor like, and has anything come of it?

This was actually the second time we were contacted in being band of the month. We didn’t take the first response that serious. We were young and amusing ourselves with what we thought would be funny about a ‘smoke-free scene.’ Now [that] we’re older and tad more mature, we found a way around supporting a smoke-free scene with whatever ‘quote’ we were supposed to give and seize an opportunity to gain some more exposure.

One of the things that is immediately evident when viewing your Facebook page, and even back in the MySpace days, is that you guys seem very dedicated to keeping in touch with the people that care about your music and you as people. Whether it be simply replying to their Facebook and YouTube comments, or releasing your music for free, I could tell right away that you care more so than some other bands I’ve witnessed. Was this something that you as a band discussed back at the beginning, or would you say that it is something just ingrained in your personalities naturally?

We rarely discussed much about anything in the beginning. For the few of us at the time it was about getting on shows and not breaking up till we recorded a new release. For me personally and I can speak probably for the members who have lasted and are currently in I AM THE KID. We do this for us. We write songs we want to listen to and perform. We are never persuaded with what [other] bands are doing at the time or if it’ll gain more fans. So for us when people accept what we bring to the table as musicians we almost feel flattered to the point that we owe them a response. When it comes to releasing new studio material, we’re not going to whore ourselves and spam everyone’s newsfeed to buy our new album on iTunes. Take it for free. Hate it? You only wasted some times and megabytes. Love it? Awesome! Share it with a friend who will have the same gamble. Even with it being free, we still have had people donate money and our albums have popped up on so many other websites that offer free downloads of bands who charge for their music. We just want to leave a fingerprint on the music scene. We’re not trying to change the world. We achieved our goals and then some. We’re musicians in a band. Take from us what you get out of it.

i am the kid 2

It seems that social media can certainly take a band a long way and creates a direct and personal link to fans, but it worries me that in some instances listeners may choose to like a band more for their social media image than for the real reason to like a band – their music. What is your opinion on the use of social media in promoting music in the current state of the music industry, and specifically hardcore and metal?

It’s almost always image. There are the exceptions. Then there are those who can [do] both. You can have the most talented band with no image or time/resources to take advantage of social media. You can have a band that only has image or a band that has both. There it’s pros and cons. It can be frustrating to a lot of musicians and a blessing for others. It’s what you make of it and what you take out of it. We’re from the middle of nowhere, the heart of Virginia. Everything is an hour away from both directions to get to a city. We’re town folks. We needed social media to get our foot in the door to compete, but were not going to compete ’cause we need social media to be musicians.

I saw you guys are heading into the studio to record some new tunes later this month. Are you guys just going to record a couple new songs, or is another album in the works? Any chance of another cover?

This will be a two-song release. Similar to our Sessions 1 that had an original and a cover, except no cover. With the changes we’ve had in and outside of the band this past year, this is just a refreshing take on our mindsets. Nick and I have known each other since we were 17 (10 years) and grew up listening to bands like LIMP BIZKIT, DEFTONES, SLIPKNOT, etc. Imagine how entertaining it is to us to finally be like “Screw it. Let’s throw some Jnco pants on, dye our hair blonde, grow a soul patch and put a red cap on backwards and write some I AM THE KID songs.” You’ll still know it’s us, but there’s more bounce and passion in these two songs. As far as covers, if people only knew half the ideas we throw around as covers, they wouldn’t think twice about us covering BLINK 182.

I’ve just got to ask, who comes up with the song titles, and what’s the reasoning behind them? I’ve literally laughed out loud at some, and I don’t think I could ever come up with something as creative as “Panteradactyl” and “New Found Glory Hole”.

It started off as a joke. [It was] our own way to troll how serious some bands took being metalcore, and [it was] also a jab at the bands that tried to be funny with theirs. It then became something we did to kill time driving from show to show. To our friends messaging us their ideas. To basically it’s one of our niches that people enjoy. Our buddies from WITHIN OUR GATES even told us they’d try kill time making up their own song titles that ‘I AM THE KID would use’ Is it bad we’ve have thrown around the idea to stop making song titles like that just to see how many people would be disappointed? Terrible, right? It’s our band!

How do you personally view the development of the “scene” in Virginia? Do you think it’s changed from our first days back in 2008 (WITNESS THE WILDFIRE started in ’08 as well) to now?

I honestly don’t know what’s going on anymore. It was so new to everyone back in the day. [The “scene”] still had that new car smell by the time we started. Then it became over saturated. Everyone trying to stand out or sound the same or experiment. So many of the same bands. So many bands that weren’t acceptable at the time due to what was ‘scene.’ A show ever weekend. Fights. Venues opening up and shutting down. Good to shitty promoters. Bands stopped promoting. Promoters stopped promoting. Pay to plays hurt deserving bands, but bands and promoters not doing their jobs implemented the purpose. I usually tell people it’s the ‘ice age’ of metal. It eventually all comes full circle. Everyone’s really into straight hardcore now, but I remember when it wasn’t anything worth telling a friend about ’cause the new metalcore/deathcore/applecore bands were out. Before that there was pop punk when these kids were still in elementary school! It’s music affected by social scenes.

I AM THE KID "Birth Control Alt Delete" // Free Song Download @ IAMTHEKID.BANDCAMP.COM

I AM THE KID “Birth Control Alt Delete” // Free Song Download @ IAMTHEKID.BANDCAMP.COM

How does the metal environment in Virginia compare to other states you’ve played in? Some areas of Virginia have the image that either you have to sell 25+ tickets to play, kids simply go to shows to puff out their chests, get in fights, and show off their newest HAVE HEART hoodie. I’ve got to imagine not everywhere is like that? You guys have been around a while; what’s it like to see bands come and go, some break up, and some get signed and move on?

You start making jokes how old your band is when bands you came along with break up. You really start taking your jokes serious when you stop recognizing any of the kids who show up to shows ’cause everyone else got married, got a real job, went to jail, or had a kid. Maybe all of the above. I may be wrong, but almost every area is the same way but not always at the same time. It comes in waves. Like I said, maybe I’m wrong, but it’s what I’ve noticed from our experiences. When we did play out of state, the people who came to those shows expected the bands to all at least follow the same blueprint. Throw a curve ball in there, and they will either enjoy the fresh air or totally be put off.

When we talked at the WITNESS THE WILDFIRE reunion show, you made it sound like the future for I AM THE KID was uncertain; admittedly it’s hard to continue playing shows and traveling with a full-time job and “adult” responsibilities. Are you taking it a day at a time, have some big plans, or will this talk of a hiatus resurface?

Since year one, I’ve expected I AM THE KID to fall apart or call a quits. It’s weird, but that was my mindset to not take anything for granted and push forward and if that was the last performance or last release then by God I gave it my all. We went through some interesting members that at the time put strain on us as a band. Patrick and I are the only original members since our first release, but me and him have always sat down and wrote out the majority of every song. I don’t care what anyone has to say about that. We always had the bigger picture in the back of our heads as far as what we were going to do next musically. Rare fact: our drummer now was actually our first drummer when I AM THE KID was a three-piece with one vocalist and me playing guitar, but we had to adapt at the time and take different routes to get where we are now. Basically, Nick fell right back into something he had started unknowingly. When it comes to creative control—writing and ideas—he brings just as much as Patrick and I, if not more. Samuel has been a brother to us before joining the band, and he contributes just as much as well. It’s really four best friends that so happen are in the same band. Cute right?

Now for the answer to your question, as of today. From working 55+ hours a week as a manger to being a history teacher of a local high school and everything in-between, there can be a lot of pressure when it comes to what we all expect from each other as band mates. We decided we will record this two-song release, play shows when it is convenient for everyone, and when everything slows down by late spring or summer, we will probably being hanging out shooting the shit and decide ‘What’s next?’ We’re doing this for us ’cause we enjoy making music. Maybe we’ll stop playing shows and just be a studio band. Maybe neither. Who knows? Who cares? As long as we’re all happy. Friends first. How many bands have taken music so serious and ended friendship. I’m not dealing with that. I’ve had to burn enough bridges ’cause of terrible friends who I’ve crossed paths musically, but I’m not going to write someone close to me off just ’cause they’re not feeling it anymore. I wouldn’t want that to happen to me. Maybe we’ll piss some more people off on our journey and just beat a dead horse or just beat it.

For more updates on the status of I AM THE KID, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

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