“I feel as if everything preceding ‘Apparition Sound’ was just a series of stepping stones for us to get to where we’re at right now.”
For some bands, you only get one chance to succeed in this industry. Sometimes you have to step back and take of stock of what’s possible. Vocalist Jason Tankerly of Boston punk band Energy did just that. Since forming in 2006, they have developed a cult-like following and released several EP’s, most notably 2010s ‘Walk Into The Fire’, and one full-length (‘Invasions Of The Mind’). However, in the intervening years members have come and gone, with their new album, ‘Apparition Sound’, offering Jason and Energy a new start.
“This band has gone through many chapters over the years, but this is probably the most significant,” states Tankerly. “This marks a new beginning for Energy because my writing style basically dictates where we go from here, and I feel as if everything preceding ‘Apparition Sound’ was just a series of stepping stones for us to get to where we’re at right now.”
It is easy to understand why Jason speaks so passionately about ‘Apparition Sound’. With his former songwriting partners departing the band in recent years, the record evolved into a labour of love for Tankerly. “Showing people the songs on this record is very revealing for me,” explains the singer. “Other people played major roles during the writing process of all of our previous records, so to start writing ‘Apparition Sound’ was in a way saying "this is what I am capable of musically at this point in my life as an individual”. It was a very terrifying thing to go into because if people don’t like it, then they don’t like my writing.“
The resulting record is eight slices of somber, melanchonic punk rock that sees the band take it cues from The Misfits, AFI and 90’s Bay Area punk. It gives the record a nostalgic edge yet Tankerly’s self-examining lyrical tone serve as the nucleus of the record. "I suppose that since my lyrics are very introspective and deal a lot with alienation and depression.” says Jason. “I know that there is an escape here within the music. Even if it’s fleeting and in the form of a punk song, the escape does exist. Always remember that The Shape is bound to relent sometimes, and it’s then that you will find yourself able to emerge from your personal corner of The Shadowlands.”
While ‘Apparition Sound’ does mark a new beginning for Tankerly and Energy, their past accomplishments are still vital. “I could be selling myself short here, but I have to think that being around the people who wrote the music for ‘Invasions Of The Mind’ and ‘Walk Into The Fire’ had to have rubbed off on me at least a little. Being surrounded by people writing songs over the years definitely gave me some insight into the creative process that I don’t think I would have been able to figure out on my own.”
As for putting the puzzle of ‘Apparition Sound’ together, Tankerly looked to an old associate in producer Chris Curran. “Never in my life had I felt like my vision had truly been realized in a recording studio until I worked with Chris,” states Jason. “I knew that if I truly wanted what I was envisioning ‘Apparition Sound’ to be, I needed to return to the producer that got me excited about Energy’s recordings / production in the first place.”
When questioned whether Energy should be treated like a new band, Jason says “go into this record as if it were a new band featuring the singer and primary songwriter of an old band you once enjoyed because honestly, that’s basically what this is.”
With ‘Apparition Sound’ now out in the open, Tankerly along with guitarists Nick Sullivan and Steve Duarte, bassist Mike Natsios and drummer Randy Mason will be arriving in the UK late next month when they join Milk Teeth and Puppy as support on Creeper’s heavily anticipated UK headline tour. While their fellow support bands are considered to be part of a new wave of British underground rock, Energy are stylistically equal to the headliners, something which Jason thinks will be an advantage to the Boston group.
“Touring with Creeper should be really good for us. They’re probably the first band we’ll have ever toured with who have a similar style and aesthetic as we do. I think that historically speaking for Energy, consistently playing and touring with drastically different bands has only proven itself to be semi-successful. I feel as if we always only win over a very small percentage of every audience when we play with hardcore, punk, metal, etc. bands.”
Having taken one step in the new chapter of Energy, Tankerly and company look to have turned a corner as he ends our conversation by stating; “this is our first tour promoting the new material for this new beginning of the band, and I could not be more excited!”
‘Apparition Sound’ by Energy is out now on Monster Party Records.
Energy will be touring with Creeper alongside Milk Teeth and Puppy on the following dates:
25 Academy 2, Manchester
26 Garage, Glasgow
27 University, Newcastle
28 Stylus, Leeds
30 Electric Ballroom, London (SOLD OUT)
31 1865, Southampton (SOLD OUT)
01 Institute 2, Birmingham (SOLD OUT)
02 Tramshed, Cardiff
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)