Plagues is a metalcore band from Dayton, Ohio. They’ve been on the scene for a little under two years now, and they have one EP and a ton of live shows under their belts. I had a chance to catch them at The Thompson House in Newport, Kentucky a few weeks ago when they were supporting I Hate Heroes on their Ides of March tour. Their set was one of the most energetic of the night and they really riled up the crowd. Plagues will make you wanna move, they’ll make you sing along, and their light-hearted, positive attitudes will make you smile too. Read my interview with them and check out some photos from the show below!
Plagues is Tyler Bunch (guitar), Jeff Caudill (vocals), Korey Layton (guitar), Garrett Crawford (drums), and Jordan Kidwell (bass).
MEREDITH: Well thanks for agreeing to do this guys! First question is, what’s the local scene like in Dayton and has it been helpful to you? What do you feel your place is in the local scene?
TYLER: In my opinion, the Dayton local music scene has been amazing. Everyone seems to be liking our music a lot as well as we have had the privilege to play some awesome shows with awesome bands.
GARRETT: I feel like personally, the Dayton scene is kind of in a recovery phase. There was a time when there were some huge bands coming through like For Today, Memphis May Fire, and just massive bands like that when The Attic was around. And local bands would jump on these shows and just get a huge following. Bands like Hail to The King (now Denihlist), Witness, and the Pen and the Pendulum grew from from having these huge bands here, and they too started to have a huge following. When it closed down, Isaac Reeder picked up the pieces at Rockstar [Pro Rockstar Arena] and has really started rebuilding the local scene.
KOREY: I wish there were more venues in the Dayton area but Rockstar has always treated us really good.
GARRETT: Yeah, Isaac is awesome. He has helped us learn a ton, and has always helped us find a spot on shows that we’d want to play in, and has really encouraged our growth.
MEREDITH: That’s really great, and you guys can be part of the recovery of the scene and the newer bands coming up again. Do you think that the Dayton scene can overlap in Cincinnati and help you gain momentum? From the show I saw at Thompson House, even people who hadn’t heard you seemed really excited by your set.
JORDAN: I think the more we branch out we definitely can get more momentum.
GARRETT: Yeah, for awhile it was discouraging because we’ve been a band for like a year now officially, and we’ve seen bands from Cinci just blow up in months, like Homebound and they are nearly if not bigger than us already. Once we got shows in Cinci though, we started gaining a following that is just beyond belief. The show in Newport was one of the best shows we’ve probably ever played.
KOREY: I feel like the Dayton scene and the Cincinnati scene kind of morphed together in the past couple years.
GARRETT: Oh, and we’ve been getting some killer Cinci bands in Dayton. Juggernaut puts on some killer shows.
MEREDITH: I saw that you guys produced your debut EP (The Forsaken) through 4405 Productions, and with a little research noticed that Tyler’s name is the one listed on 4405’s Facebook page. Do you (Tyler) produce the music for Plagues?
TYLER: Yes I do.
JEFF: Tyler has produced everything we have put out and what we will be putting out soon. He’s grown a ridiculous amount. You will especially see how much Tyler has grown on the new song we are releasing in late April.
MEREDITH: Has 4405 started producing for any other bands? And what are the advantages of producing your own music?
JEFF: The good thing about recording with Tyler, for me, is since I know him and I’m comfortable with doing vocals around him I can track all kinds different stuff and it not be awkward even if it comes out terrible. In the chorus for “The Consumed” it was the first time I had ever done a harsh singing style of vocal.
KOREY: We probably won’t be going to anyone else to record for a long time. Maybe never. Tyler’s mixes and recordings are killer right now and fortunately it saves us a boatload of money so double win.
GARRETT: We take for freaking ever to put out songs, but thats because we always go back and improve stuff, so I’d say that is definitely an advantage. We have so many demo versions of multiple songs, released, and unreleased in our dropbox, and every time, there’s always at least a little something changed. Plus, it saves us tons of money self producing. People don’t realize how expensive it is to put out quality music
TYLER: I have some other bands looking to book time here in April that I’m looking forward to working with. I’d say that producing our own music has definitely allowed us to take our time with writing and recording, making sure everything is perfect and exactly the way we want it. We don’t have to worry about beating a time clock or paying someone by the hour and making things feel rushed. And of course there is always the financial aspect of it where as we don’t have to shell out a bunch of money for awesome sounding recordings.
JORDAN: I think one of the main things everyone can agree on definitely is that it saves money. Personally I’ve see so many bands spend so much money and it’s insane and can definitely be a drain on a band in terms of releasing new music.
MEREDITH: It definitely sounds like you guys have the advantage right now when it comes to recording. And I’m surprised that was your first time on rough vocals, Jeff. You sound like a natural at it. Next question is what was the reaction to your first EP? Will you release another EP or are you planning a full length?
GARRETT: I will say, one of our best shows in Dayton was our EP release show. We teamed up with Hunters Chase and did a side by side EP release show, and we had a fantastic turn out, and the reaction to the cd was great!
KOREY: We’re working on a few songs and it looks like we’ll be releasing another EP sometime in the near future. But it does take us a while to revise our music.
GARRETT: We talked about doing a full length at one point, and now we’re considering an EP again. It’s kind of up in the air. We have tons and tons of ideas for songs, and half done recordings, but we may not use them all.
MEREDITH: I know you mentioned a single coming out later this month. What can we expect? Is it a lot different from The Forsaken EP?
KOREY: I don’t really know how to describe the single. It’s similar to our recent release. I’d say it’s subjectively similar.
GARRETT: Our new song is called “Erotic Friend Fiction,” which obviously is a satirical title taken from Bob’s Burgers. Originally every track on The Forsaken was a satirical title, but we decided our first release should be serious. But we even released a demo of “The Consumed” very early on and it was called “Get At Me Bro.” Our new single is i think some of our best work in all aspects. I think everyone turned it up a notch and put our best foot forward on it. It also features a good friend of ours who we haven’t quite announced yet!
JEFF: Lyrically I’d say it’s darker than anything on “The Forsaken” for the most part.
MEREDITH: Speaking of lyrics, do you all take part in the writing process or is it just one or two of you?
KOREY: Lyrically it’s mostly Jeff and Garrett.
JEFF: Garrett and I write most of the lyrics. Garrett actually wrote all of “The Execrated”
GARRETT: I usually just help with bits and pieces of songs if Jeff has some writers block. “The Execrated” is the only song I wrote in its entirety.
MEREDITH: Is there a central message that you want to send with your music?
KOREY: Society is messed up.
GARRETT: “The Execrated” and “The Resurrected” are concept songs, but a few of our songs have to do with addiction. “The Consumed” obviously is about alcoholism, and one of our newer songs has to do with how someone with addiction could need help from loved ones. I guess that’s how you’d put it? Jeff would know better.
JEFF: I just like to write what at least a few people can relate to. “The Consumed” I wrote about a friend of mine who struggled with alcohol addiction. “The Wretched” is all about greedy and screwed up people. The newest song is about a girl who’s family tormented her so she started doing drugs and killed herself. Like I said, the new stuff is darker. Also, “The Resurrected” is about zombies. I love me some zombies.
MEREDITH: How did Plagues form? Were you all friends before the band?
GARRETT: Tyler and I were in a band called The Midnight Society. We weren’t really happy with the music we were making, and us and Josh the vocalist decided to form Plagues as a project. We went through lots of member changes before the current lineup. Josh went out of state to work, so I knew Jeff from when I filled in with Believe years back, and Korey I knew from when we had jammed a few times back in the day. Jordan is obviously our newest member, just having been announced, what yesterday or the day before? And apparently him and Tyler had jammed together in a few bands. We’re super pumped to have him.
MEREDITH : I saw that announcement! Congratulations on that! It seems like you were all meant to meet and you have a pretty solid lineup!
JORDAN: Yeah, Tyler and me have known each other for a long time. I was done with all my other music and school stuff and had been wanting to get back into something where I knew someone already and Tyler said they needed a bassist so I was more than happy to be back jamming with him and get to know some other awesome dudes. I’m stoked to be a part of it.
MEREDITH: Do you all have similar music tastes and inspirations?
GARRETT: We’re kind of all over the place in the influence category
KOREY: We all like similar stuff though.
GARRETT: Well yeah, but you and Tyler are more into the djent thing, and I worship August Burns Red. Then Jeff listens to Die Antwoord or whatever the hell she’s called
JORDAN: Yeah ABR is the bomb. Me and Garrett I think have an unhealthy obsession.
JEFF: I’m the odd man out. I like anything from I See Stars to Ice Cube to The Acacia Strain and recently Northlane. I also listen to country music here and there.
GARRETT: Ewww, the worst genre.
KOREY: I can’t do country bro.
JORDAN: I like very few country songs, but I’ll listen to almost anything. Kesha, Underoath, Jonny Craig, Johnny Cash, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Deftones. I’m a huge nu metal fan.
JEFF: See. Odd man out.
MEREDITH: That wide range of influences probably makes your music really interesting when you put all of it together. Maybe Jeff can win a bet and make you all do a country crossover in the future?
JEFF: It’s happening now. A full country metal fusion EP.
JORDAN: Honky tonkcore.
JEFF: YES!! Banjos and breakdowns.
GARRETT: *tunnel throat screams* BEERRRR, TTTRRACCTTORRRSSS, BOOOTTTSSSS and TTTRRRUUUUCCCKKKSSSS.
…. When it comes to writing though, I don’t think we’re like, “Oh, we have to sound like this band or this band”. We kind of just go with what we want to sound like. Korey is always putting in jazz stuff into our new demos.
MEREDITH: Do you guys have any tours planned in the foreseeable future? And who are some bands you’d love to tour with if you had the chance?
JORDAN: I think we all want to tour.. A van and trailer is what I think we are working on. I would love to do something with Beartooth. But realistically I know Jordan and knew Kody of Denihilist and love all those dudes and would love to do a tour with them.
KOREY: We’ve talked about maybe doing a small tour with Eternal Void.
GARRETT: We’ve had quite a few tour offers, but nothing we can accept because we don’t transportation at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we might not do a weekend warrior thing soon. We’ve got some awesome connections with my roster mates in Sirens And Sailors, so I would love to tour with them. They are some awesome dudes.
JEFF: I would absolutely love to tour. Our biggest obstacle right now is a van and trailer. And yeah, we’ve talked about touring with Eternal Void. A few day run with them and Denihilist through a few surrounding states would be sick! Call me crazy but staying in a van with smelly sweaty dudes for days at a time sounds like a blast!
MEREDITH: Well that’s really exciting. I’ll have to keep an eye out for that and come take some pictures at one of the dates! Do you plan on signing to a label in the future if the opportunity arises?
GARRETT: We planned on submitting our new song to a few labels just to see what comes of it, but right now, we are not actively seeking a label.
JEFF: I’d love to get on a label if we got the chance at a good one. My worst fear of signing with someone is us going really far into debt.
JORDAN: I think depending on the terms of a contract and stuff we would definitely do that. Exactly what Jeff said.
GARRETT: It seems like bands that sign today are not prepared and don’t really know what is needed to become successful when they sign. Being signed doesn’t mean making tons of money and traveling in luxurious tour buses. A lot of those bands are still in crappy vans that they were in before signing.
JEFF: Also a lot of bands are quick to sign with the first label that sends them an offer and a lot of times that’s how they get screwed.
JORDAN: Yeah, bands now a days just see a label wanting them and go for it. They don’t think about the long term effects. I think that’s why some bands just go DIY for so long. You gotta know how to market and get your name out and everything.
GARRETT: That’s pretty much our motto. DIY all the time.
MEREDITH: I definitely think it’s important to research before you get stuck with a label that doesn’t have the same vision as your band. I don’t blame you guys for trying to stay DIY as long as possible. Alright, last one. NO LIMITS to this question. What are your biggest goals and dreams for Plagues in the future?
JORDAN: Big house, 5 cars and to live large. That’s my dream.
JEFF: My main goal is to blow up and act like I don’t know nobody. – Riff Raff 2015.
KOREY: Signature Plagues vape juice.
GARRETT: Plagues to me personally has always been about having fun first and foremost, but also always striving to improve ourselves as writers, musicians and performers. The growth and improvement we’ve had over the past two years has been mind boggling. Heck the growth since our EP is more than I could have ever imagined, and it’s something we are super excited to share with everyone when this new song comes out.
KOREY: I agree with Garrett.
JORDAN: Yeah for sure you have to love and enjoy what you’re playing and doing, have fun. Seriously I’d love to see this band go places. Get endorsed by some sick companies, get on some awesome tours, and actually be able to do this full time.
JEFF: I seriously just want to be able to go from state to state or country to country and play for people who appreciate what we do. I’d love to be able to play music every night and meet all kinds of new people. Also I’d like to be endorsed by Lunchables and Arizona tea. I want to do a Plagues edition turkey and cheese cracker Lunchable that’s triple the size and comes with an Arizona green tea and a full size Snickers bar instead of Oreos. Oreos are gross.
MEREDITH: Especially when they’re the cold Oreos that come in Lunchables.
TYLER: Yeah can’t go wrong with some good endorsements.
GARRETT: Shout out to Lights Out Percussion and TRX cymbals for being the best companies in the world! We can’t hold a serious conversation for very long….
KOREY: Garrett would plug his endorsements, haha.
GARRETT: Hey, gotta show them love when I can! I think we’ve had humble goals for ourselves. We send EP’s to companies we enjoy using in the music field, and have gotten some nice equipment out of the deal. I would be super happy to just have a few endorsements like we do now, and play on quality equipment for a crowd of just a hundred or so right now. I think that’s a blast.
KOREY: As long as I can even play music I’m happy, so…
MEREDITH: Well I hope all of that happens for you guys. I think it’s great that you have such a positive, light-hearted outlook and you’re not in it for fame or money, you’re in it because you love it and you’re having fun. People will notice that!
GARRETT: Thank you so much for having us Meredith! This has been a blast.
JORDAN: Thanks so much for having us, it’s been awesome.
KOREY: Definitely shout out to you for the interview.
JEFF: You’re awesome as always.
TYLER: Thank you so much!
MEREDITH: No problem! I love covering bands on the site, and it’s a bonus when it’s local bands that I believe in. Thank YOU guys!
You can catch Plagues at Pro Rockstar Arena in Dayton, Ohio on May 1st supporting Darkness Divided’s album release run. Other bands on the lineup are Come and Rest, Death of an Era, Underestimate, and Homebound.
Plagues’ music is available for purchase right here on their bandcamp.