The Metro Project
Single - "514"
Seven unique Chicago rockers just left the studio with new single "514". What started as simple collaboration in band room #514 at Curie High School has quickly turned into a serious musical devotion to the group as a whole. Take a listen and read below!
(Seamus) : What's up guys? Introduce yourselves. Tell me your age, hobbies, and what you contribute to The Metro Project.
Gerardo - Hey, I'm Gerardo Lopez and I'm 19 years old. A big hobby of mine is well...making music with other people. Doesn't really matter who you are to be honest. If you're down, then I'm down. Other than that I think my other hobby would be tinkering around with computers. I'm your go to guy if you ever have problems. My contributions to The Metro Project are the lead guitarist, the manager, and also mainly in charge of our social media. I also lead the direction of how most of our songs go with contributing ideas from other members obviously.
Joshua - My name's Josh, I'm 19. If I'm not practicing, you'd find me writing or watching films. I play the drums and I contribute rhythmical ideas to the band.
Axel - My name is Axel. I'm 19. My main hobby is hanging out with a pair of headphones and listening to all types of music, but I also enjoy Watching movies and reading. I am one of the singers and I contribute to the addition of vocal melodies and lyrics.
Luis - My name is Luis and i'm 18 years old. My hobbies are listening to/making/playing music, playing video games, eating, watching movies, and going on adventures with friends. I play rhythm guitar for the band
Christian - My name is Christian, I'm 18. I'm usually playing games online if not on the piano a lot. I contribute piano sounds they are incorporated in to every song to give an extra something to it, (along with some gear)
Richard - My name is "Dick". I'm 19 years old. My hobbies are listening/playing music, drawing, writing (anything from short stories to poems). I play bass in the band.
Ulises - My name is Ulises "Zazz" Rincon. I'm 18 years old. My hobbies consist of exploring the city, listening to any genre of music allowing my style of music to expand, writing/making music. I am one of the singers within the band and I contribute to writing lyrics and melodies in our songs as well as other musical ideas.
At what age did you become interested in music? Where did you attend high school?
Gerardo - I think I became really really interested somewhere towards the end of 2nd grade. Not too sure what age that is, but there was promotions to join the school band and I just found it fascinating to be honest. My older brother also played instruments, so I wanted to better than he was. There was also a guitar class taught by a really cool teacher that goes by the name of Mr. Hudson. I think he works at Lane Tech now. Anyways, so I joined both of those and learned the basics of music and eventually went on to go play at a music school called Merit. It was dope. I learned a lot from my director Mr. Polacek, who was also my elementary band director, about things like theory, leadership, and most importantly consistency. I eventually left Merit, but I knew I wasn't going to ever stop playing music so I did so at Curie High School where I met all of these guys with the exception of Josh. Now we're here.
Joshua - I became interested in music probably since the 6th grade, and I really became serious about it when I got to high school. I attended Hubbard High School.
Axel - I've shared an interest in music ever since my oldest brother got his first guitar when I was 8, but I didn't become serious about it until sophomore year of high school.
Luis - The earliest I can remember having in interest in music is at the age of 6. I started playing guitar and taking music classes around 4th-5th grade. I attended Curie.
Christian - I was maybe 10 or 11 when I got Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock, and putting countless hours into mastering every song in it. I really wanted to be a part of music and pick up and intrument when I played this. When I lived near Logan Square in Chicago I attended Lincoln Park High school my freshman year, but I had moved to Archer Heights, more south, and attend Curie high school.
Richard - Music has always been a part of my life but it never really impacted me until the age of 10 when i started to learn the clarinet. I would later become more interested and learned many more instruments. I moved from Florida to Chicago my freshman year and went to Curie high school.
Ulises - I was exposed to music even before birth as both of my parents were in their own bands. I became interested in music at the age of 5 when I got my first keyboard for my birthday but didn't begin my singing career until my junior year of high school.
Who are your musical influences?
Gerardo - My musical influences probably have to be The Strokes, Mark Ronson, Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys, James Blake, maybe a bit of Kendrick's jazzy sound, and some Gorillaz. I mean I can name a ton more, but regarding to this band this is primarily the sound I aim for.
Joshua - I guess you could say my musical influences are spread across most genres. Paul Simon, Snarky Puppy, C.C.R, A Tribe Called Quest, Tame Impala, Sublime, etc.
Axel - My musical influences are the Arctic Monkeys, The Neighbourhood, The Kooks, Two Door Cinema Club, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes etc.,
Luis - My influences would be The Strokes, Chevelle, The Fall of Troy, Wavves, AC/DC, Rise Against, etc.
Christian - When I was younger I was very much influenced by punk rock and intrumental players such as Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani. But I was also influenced by NOFX and bands like The Rocket Summer, The Strokes, HELLYEAH, Gorillaz, Grandaddy, Sum41, The Killers, Rammstein, Dashboard Confessional, Led Zeppelin , and more.
Richard - My musical influences would have to be Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, The Police, Queen, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, 311, and Cafe Tacuba.
Ulises - My musical influences consist of The Strokes, Young the Giant, The 1975, Catfish & the Bottlemen, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, The Smiths, Kodaline, and The Lumineers.
Why did you all decide to start this group? What was the inspiration behind The Metro Project?
Gerardo - This group started around December 2015 with just Richard and I. I had always wanted to play in a band with someone since like 8th grade, but nobody was ever serious and that was a huge problem. So eventually I told myself "F*ck it, I'll just do this myself" so I wrote down some riffs, put down some bass lines that fit together, and some chords. Thing is I didn't know how this all sounded together at the same time so I had asked Richard during band class one time to play this bass line while I play these chords and riffs to see if they sound good and he eventually just started going off on his own thing. Let's just say that it quickly became collaboration. I had written a song and gathered some of the best, most serious musicians I know to play this thing and make it come to life. That was our first song JC. Our next one was a whole lot of collaboration from everyone and we made something we could call ours. So I thought about this concept as I was listening to Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment's album Surf. Everyone comes from a whole unique background as they grow up and that goes really deep for musicians. You grow up listening to these songs as you grow up and I personally believe that it really shapes your personality. It's an influence you know? The crazy thing is that we live in Chicago. One of the most diverse places in the world. You got south side, north side, Black culture, White culture, Mexican culture, Asian culture, rap music, rock music, jazz roots, and the list just keeps going on and on. So what if you mixed all of these unique backgrounds and put them all together to make it unique just like Kendrick Lamar does with Hip Hop and Jazz. People from all over Chicago and all backgrounds making music to create a unique sound. The future of music. This is The Metro Project.
What central themes and ideas are most present in your lyrics? Why?
Gerardo - At the moment we're just writing about life experiences. You know stuff that you experience at least once in a lifetime. Like in one song we wrote about how you've just fallen head over heels over a girl and it feels like she's put a spell on you. On another we've written about how we're just living life in the moment and without care after situations that just brought a ton of negativity towards you. This one is my personal favorite because we had just come from a month or two of hiatus cause of everyone's supremely busy schedule. But in terms of our themes I guess it's stuff that people can relate to. But we're writing based on how it feels with the song and how we're feeling personally.
Where does The Metro Project fit into the Chicago music scene?
Gerardo - Mainly we're working on a ton of garage rock, indie sounding types of things right now so I guess you can classify us as a rock band. We're doing shows at some venues such as The Wire and The Smooth Fox so again I guess you can fit us as some of the younger live musicians from the inner city. We're really trying to appeal to that younger audience cause I feel like that's where I see a whole lot of love for Chicago. I think they'll know what I'm talking about when I say be prideful of your city.
Tell me about your upcoming single "514". What was the inspiration behind this piece?
Gerardo - The inspiration behind 514 was thinking about where The Metro Project started. It was the room number of Curie's band room and also the time we'd all be together hanging out. So 514 talks about how this is all brand new and how we have to see what the future has store for us. We were all just a bunch of high school students who just messed around about a year and a half ago, but there a moment in all of us where we all said we'd be serious and do something with music. In that year and a half we had made about 7-8 songs, played on several stages, hit the studio, and two of us even went on national television on America's Got Talent. We love music and its a part of all of our lives so we're gonna tackle it and do as much as we can show everyone what we got.
Where did you record "514"? What was the studio process like?
Gerardo - We recorded 514 over at Tribeca Flashpoint with our engineers Bobby, Amber, and Emjay. Axel, Ulises, and I were already pretty familiar with the recording process because we had recorded at Chicago Recording Company once before. Everyone else on the other hand were pretty unfamiliar though, but got quickly adjusted. We got set up pretty quick and got to recording our takes till we found the ones we liked. The whole experience was pretty cool and if you're ever looking for some friendly enthusiastic engineers, definitely hit up the guys and gals over at Tribeca.
What do you hope people take away from "514"?
Gerardo - I guess the message that we want people to get is that you can do something even if it looks really intimidating if you put your mind on it. We were just a bunch of teenagers and now we're playing shows and getting paid to do the things we love to do.
For your fans (and future fans out there), What do you have planned for the future? Any upcoming projects or shows?
Gerardo - We have another single release coming soon which is currently untitled that's part of our album so definitely stay on the lookout for that sometime in March! We also have a show out at The Smooth Fox February 25th! So you can definitely catch us out there playing a really energetic set. Thanks for having us, Seamus!