The screamo genre is full of bands trying to imitate the sounds of others and to cash in on the current hype in the scene. It can be tough to find a sincere band in there. Luckily, Greeley Estates is one of those rare ones, so read on to see how the band pushes forward in this derivative environment.
PPJ: First, tell us your name and what you do in the band.
Ryan Zimmerman: Hi, my name's Ryan and I sing/scream for Greeley.
PPJ: What got you interested in the post-hardcore/screamo genre of music?
Ryan: Bands like Finch, Glassjaw, The Used, and Norma Jean were some of the first bands that I listened to in this genre.
PPJ: How did you go about writing and recording "Go West Young Man, Let The Evil Go East?"
Ryan: We took almost a year off to write and record this record. We thought about what kind of songs we enjoy playing live and wrote a record around that in the past we had both heavy and soft songs. On this record we just focused on the heavier stuff. We had a chance to record with Cory Spotts again: he did our first album. I can't imagine working with anyone else ever again. He really knows our band and how to capture our sound.
PPJ: Did you do anything differently than you had on your previous releases?
Ryan: I think having more time to write really helped our band think outside of what we would have done in the past. We focused on writing songs that were intense the whole way through the album and thought about some things we could add that might be a little outside the box of what we had heard with this style of music.
PPJ: What has the reception of the new album been like?
Ryan: So far I would say almost everyone we have talked to likes this record better than our past albums.
PPJ: What do you think differentiates Greeley Estates from the rest of the bands currently playing this style of music?
Ryan: Hopefully we have been able to find our own sound in a genre that is overcrowded. I hope when someone hears us, they know it's Greeley right away, whether they like it or not.
PPJ: On a related note, what does it take to get noticed? Do you think image or music matters more?
Ryan: I think both image and music matter a lot now. Hopefully though, the music is what is most important to most people. Ultimately if you don't have good music, you will be lost among all the other bands or forgotten, so I would say music is more important still, even surprisingly in 2008.
PPJ: You've been through a lot of member changes over the years. How do you maintain the band's focus and goals through those changes?
Ryan: Yeah it's always interesting having member changes. We were lucky and ended up finding the right guys for the roles, who were on the same page with us and have brought a lot to our band now.
PPJ: How is your current tour going?
Ryan: We just ended the August Burns Red headlining tour: it was great. Every night of the tour was sold out, the kids at the shows we amazing, definitely one of the best times we have had on tour, playing with great bands who are now our close friends.
PPJ: What will you be doing next? Have you written any new material?
Ryan: We have a couple weeks off and then we head out on the road with Alesana and A Static Lullaby until Christmas. Should be a good time. We haven't written any new material yet. We have just been focusing on the new album and touring. Hopefully next year we will get starting working on some new stuff for the future.
PPJ: Finally, tell us three bands you think we should be listening to.
Ryan: Three bands I have been listening to lately are Lydia (our hometown friends: their new album is unbelievable), The Honorary Title (this band always puts me in a good mood), and one of my favorite ever is Sigur Ros (I'm always listening to them, amazing band).
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