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Image: I See Stars, Pitriff, InterviewI See Stars

It’s been a whirlwind ride for Devin Oliver and his Post-Hardcore/Electronic/Metalcore (pick a modern genre, really) band I See Stars. The band has three releases since they formed in 2006, and each release has done better and better. Their latest, DIGITAL RENEGADE, debuted in Billboard’s Top 40, marking the first time the band has debuted so highly. PITRIFF reached out to Oliver to talk about the new album, and we found him to be remarkably candid when talking about the road, illegal downloading and just why hardcore fans from a decade ago have not grown with the genre.

PITRIFF - For people that don’t know, can you give us a brief history of I See Stars and how the band came to be?

DEVIN OLIVER (DO) – Our band started when I was 12 years old. We are all original members and best friends that shared similar interests in music! Which is what brings us here today!

PITRIFF - Clearly, I See Stars is a band on the rise. DIGITAL RENEGADE debuted very strongly on Billboard, and you have gained ground with each release. What has been different from release to release which has seen you grow each time?

DO - 3D was our stepping stone into the music industry. I think it turned a lot of heads and was a great start. But our latest record Digital Renegade has done so much damage already and it has only been out 3 weeks. I think this album will really pave an amazing year for I See Stars.

PITRIFF - Post Hardcore is one of those genres that really seems to hit with younger audiences, but also seems to be completely shunned by older folks that as recently as a decade ago were all on the Hatebreed bandwagon. Why do you think that is?

DO - I would say a lot of it has to do with how many bands there are today. Most bands get lost in the shuffle and I can see how it could get a little annoying to the listeners to have so many bands repeating a sound. The goal is to be the band that brings the wave not rides it. Those are the bands that can attract any audience young or old. Those are the bands that live on.

PITRIFF - We mentioned previously that DIGITAL RENEGADE debuted very well on Billboard. It was actually top 40, which is very good. That said, do you think that is a bit misleading considering the current state of the business today?

DO - Definitely. It’s a shame people don’t buy albums like they use to. It’s bitter sweet. I’m just happy that the people that don’t have much money can still have access to music. I was always the broke kid at shows so I can relate.

PITRIFF - Tell your fans to do one thing, and don’t tap dance around picking one answer or the other. They can either a. illegally download DIGITAL RENEGADE but go to ITunes and purchase 2 songs legally from it, or b. not download it illegally and never hear the album. Please explain why you made this choice.

DO - I would pick A. I don’t think the availability of music a person has should be determined on the amount of money they have. I think if someone likes our band and has the money they should buy it because in the end they are really helping us out. But if someone only has a couple bucks then they still should check out a few singles from ITunes. And if they are broke then get to a computer, listen to every song, and support the hell out of our band in any other way they can that doesn’t involve money spending.

PITRIFF - I See Stars are definitely road warriors. I know you know the road well at this point. What did you think the road would be like prior to having any success at all, and how is it completely different from your expectations?

DO - I as well as a lot of people thought/think the road is all glamour and fun. What I didn’t realize is when the fun is done it can get lonely. I start missing my family and friends. Back when we were touring in a van the sleeping arrangements were very rough. A lot of times I was sleeping sitting up which just sucks. But for the most part I was pretty accurate it’s a great time. I have been lucky to meet tons of new friends and get to play our music in front of thousands of awesome kids every night.

PITRIFF - Your fans are very much locked into not only your music, but the niche that is Post Hardcore. Yet, I See Stars has a definitive electronic element to it unlike almost any other band. Do you see a time when you might experiment more in that arena, and do you think that fans will get it, or shun it?

DO - I think we will always stay true to our rock elements and breakdowns. But we do love electronics. We only plan to make them more fun and enjoyable to the ear. I cannot Imagine our true fans will shun anything we write.

PITRIFF - You guys obviously have an electronic element. What do you think of bands that don’t, but try to jump on the bandwagon of the present and release dubstep versions of their songs?

DO - I think it’s awesome when bands experiment in sounds they don’t necessarily do often. I mean sure, in my opinion, if a band completely changes just to “jump on the bandwagon” it shows insecurity and I end up losing interest personally.

PITRIFF - You have one sentence to review DIGITAL RENEGADE, as well as the ability to give it a score from 1 to 100 (1 being the worst, 100 being the best). Please review it.

DO - Digital Renegade is a fun, yet powerful record that can relate to any audience. 90!

PITRIFF - How has Lemmy from Motorhead influenced your career?

DO - He hasn’t. Unless indirectly. For example he has most likely influenced a lot of bands that influence me. But other than that not at all.

PITRIFF - How can people find out more about I See Stars?

DO - Our social websites (facebook, twitter, etc) are the most personal way to stay updated on what’s going on with our band! We all are always posting stuff. The people that are first to hear any new are the people that follow/friend us on there.

PITRIFF - Any final comments or anything we missed that you want people to know?

DO - New album Digital Renegade is out! Go grab is up! Also join us this summer on the All Stars Tour with Suicide Silence, The World Alive, and more! Thanks!!

I See Stars DIGITAL RENEGADE is out now. Follow them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ISeeStarsMusic.


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