Dropout KingsDropout Kings - Taking "AudioDope" on the Road
By Dave Schwartz

The Dropout Kings surprised many when they erupted from Phoenix, AZ.  Some felt that nu-metal was so 15 years ago while others realized that the genre was once again gaining a foothold.  The band, which includes Adam Ramey (vocals), Eddie Wellz (vocals), Chucky Guzman (guitars), Staig Flynn (guitars), Rob Sebastian (bass) and Trevor Norgren (drums), wasn’t about to make any apologies.  The Dropout Kings just play the music that they feel and the result, “AudioDope,” was released in August of 2018.  Since the release, the Dropout Kings have been touring with bands like OTEP and currently they’re out with Crazytown.  I caught up with vocalist Adam Ramey to find out more about the record and touring.

 DB:  Congratulations on the record.  "AudioDope" has been out for about a year now and you’ve had a chance to get out on the road with it.  Are you happy with the success that you’ve found through the record?

AR:  Yeah, we kind of just scattershot it.  We had an idea in mind of what we wanted to do and we took it into the studio.  We wanted to do a little something for everyone.  We had heavier songs, a couple lighter and catchier songs.  So, we just kind of scattershot it out there and saw what people responded to the most.  For this next record we kind of want to focus in on a more unified sound.  But it was cool to see the reactions because we didn’t know how people would react to the music.  So, it was cool to see the reaction and how positive they were. 

DB:  You released your latest single in February – a video for “Bad Day.”  Talk a little bit about the song and video. 

AR:  Yeah, so that was one of the first songs that we ever wrote together.  I was just having a real shitty day at work and I was like, you know what, I’m just going to do my writing thing and just kind of fade.  And that’s how that song came about.  I gave it to Eddie (Wellz) and, he’s the other vocalist, and he just kind of built more of the story around it too.  So, there’s two different perspectives on it.  It was really cool how we told the story.  And when we did the video, we wanted to do like a play-by-play type deal where we go scene by scene what were saying in the lyrics and so that’s how it turned out.  It was actually really stressful because we were doing a tour at the time, there wasn’t a lot of preparation and we had trouble finding a location.  I was actually the most stressed about the video but it turned out to be one of the best ones in my opinion.  It turned out very cool and I was really excited about that. 

DB:  Yeah, I think the video came out very well and really, “Bad Day” is a song for everybody.  I think we can all relate.  I mean who hasn’t had a bad day or a shitty day at work? 

AR:  Exactly.

DB:  We can all relate.  We’ve all been there. 

AR:  Exactly.  And that’s what we try to do – make our songs relatable.  Like you were saying, everyone has had a really bad day at work and I wanted this to be one of those songs that you could listen to after a day like that and say, he’s been there, he knows how it is. 

DB:  One of my favorite songs on the record is “Scratch & Claw.”  For me, it’s the song that ties together everything that you guys do.  It was a pleasant surprise to have it pop up in the middle of the record and think, holy shit, this is really cool.  You did a video for that song as well. 

AR:  Thanks.  At the time I was working at a gym and next door to us was a MMA gym.  I was like, I knew everyone that worked over at that gym and I know they had a pretty good Instagram following and they were friends of mine.  I wanted to do a cross-promotion thing.  I wanted it to be a song that people could lift to and go workout to or go running.  I wanted it to be inspiring.  So, I wanted the visuals to be about that too because the song is about overcoming struggle. I really wanted to show a fighter’s perspective, a bodybuilder's perspective, a female bodybuilder's perspective…  So, I just thought it was cool to do that kind of stuff.  It was strange shooting the video because a couple of people bailed who were supposed to do it.  But it kind of just worked out.  Someone came in clutch for us and it turned out really good.  That was actually the first song that we ever wrote as a band. 

DB:  Wow,  that’s impressive. 

AR:  Yeah, definitely when we first started writing that, I wanted something big to happen with this band.  It was kind of like an accident.  We were just messing around, and we were like, let’s make a band and all of a sudden it turned into that and now to this.  It’s just kind of crazy to look back at the progression and that song is a good reminder of where it all came from. 

DB:  Yeah, I spent many years in bands and I can recognize when a song like that pops up and you realize, holy shit, we really do have something here.  You’ve mentioned writing a couple of times.  How do your songs come together?  Does one person write, everybody writes or write as a band? 

AR:  Most of the time we like to start the song off with a beat.  One of the guys will write a beat.  And then me and Eddie will write parts to it.  Me and Eddie will decide ahead of time what the vibe of the song is giving us.  And we’ll take a subject and that way we can kind of write our parts.  So, we’re kind of on the same page subject matter wise.  And then we just sort of put our vocals over it.  We both write a full song each and then whatever chorus or verse that we like better of each other’s we’ll use that.  Then we’ll put the vocals over the beat.  And then we’ll put all of the music and instruments over the beat.  After we’ll go in and change up the vocals to make it all match the music.  The band helps a lot with lyrics too.  We’ll go over it a lot with each other and they’ll go, instead of this you should try that.  So, writing really is a full band collaborative effort but as far as lyrics, it’s mostly me and Eddie. 

DB:  You’ve hinted that you’ve already started writing a new record.  Is there anything that you can talk about? 

AR:  Yeah, we’ve got three or four demos so far.  We’re just trying to plan out what the next move is going to be but we definitely want to get back into the studio and write a full record.  We really just haven’t had time.  We have been doing a lot of touring and stuff.  We do a little bit of writing on the road but not a lot.  So, we’re just hanging out and letting this record play out a little bit and deciding what the next more is.

DB:  You mentioned writing on the road.  There are a few bands that are successful at doing that but it seems like most bands struggle with it.  There are so many distractions, so many obligations and so much happening.  And like you mentioned from the beginning, just finding some quiet space can be a challenge. 

AR:  Honestly, I do a lot of my writing when I’m driving.  When your brain does an automatic behavior like walking or driving, I feel that it’s easier to be creative.  Like I said earlier, usually we have a beat first and sometimes we’ll use that as a skeleton for a song.

DB:  You mentioned that you’re out on the road right now.  You are out with Crazytown.  How is the tour going?

AR:  It’s pretty good.  It’s been real fun.  They are all cool guys.  It’s been a fun experience and because they are all cool guys it makes it a lot easier on the road when you’re will cool people like that.

DB:  Do you have any other tours the rest of this year?

AR:  We do but nothing that I can announce at this time.

DB:  I can’t tell you how many times I heard that...

I want to thank the Dropout Kings for sharing a moment while on the road.  Be sure to check them out live when they hit your town.  And follow them on social media. 

No. Title Length
1. "Something Awful" 3:05
2. "Burn1" 2:54
3. "Going Rogue" 2:54
4. "Bad Day" 3:08
5. "503" 3:24
6. "Nvm" 3:24
7. "Scratch & Claw" 3:41
8. "20Heads" 3:01
9. "Street Sharks" 2:58
10. "AudioDope" 2:58

Released: August 10, 2018
Napalm Records
Dropout Kings - AudioDope 

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