Clarkston, Michigan may not be known as a hotspot on the music scene. REIGN is doing its best to be one band you’ll definitely remember.
National Rock Review got a chance to sit down with Kari Stein, Jarrod Grumblatt, and Scottie â€œRenoâ€ Parker for a few minutes during a rehearsal to talk new projects like REIGN, the importance of merch, and of course playing Dirt Fest 2015. Buckle in kids, here comes the fun.
NRR: What’s been going on with the band in the last year?
REIGN: Weâ€™ve had an exciting year! We just recently released our sophomore, self-titled album, REIGN. We recorded it at Metro 37 Recording Studios with Kevin Sharpe and have been enjoying promoting it by releasing a music video to our albumâ€™s flagship song, “Fallen.” Weâ€™ve also opened for and made friends with some killer bands like Along Came A Spider, Affiance, Amanda Somerville, 7 Stone Riot, Era 9, Queensryche, Saving Able, and Stryper. We also had the privilege of playing National Rock Reviewâ€™s very first Michigan Music Showcase at the Token Lounge this past March.
REIGN – Fallen
NRR: Hopefully you guys have a great time on stage this year. Are you looking forward to anything in particular at Dirt Fest 2015?
REIGN: We couldnâ€™t be more excited! This is our first time performing at Dirt Fest. Growing our fan base and being involved in the local music scene while supporting our friends in other bands performing that day is always something we look forward to doing. One of the biggest benefits from things like Dirt Fest are new friendships and networking opportunities available to us as well as getting our name and music out in front of people we couldnâ€™t reach any other way.
NRR: What influences will we hear in your set at Dirt Fest this year?
REIGN: Our influences range from Dream Theater, Circus Maximus, and Symphony X to Journey, Rush, and Kamelot. Mostly we hope the fans will be able to hear REIGN for our unique, bombastic, high energy, approach to music.
NRR: What kind of rush do you guys think you might get playing at Dirt Fest this year?
REIGN: We LOVE to perform! Playing live shows and watching people dig our craft keeps us going. [It] fills parts of our souls that nothing else can. Seeing how the other bands inspire us is always a rush too. Every time we play out, we learn something new and grow as musicians and performers.
NRR: You might or might not have had a new album drop recently, (laughing). What can you tell us about it and how do fans go about getting it?
REIGN: Funny you should ask Erich! We did release an album this year! Itâ€™s our sophomore, self-titled album REIGN. Itâ€™s been reviewed by Bill Roxx of Roxx Productions and Dale Huffman of Metal Pulse Radio. Dale said our album was shaping up to be his favorite album of this year already. REIGN is quite the sonic ride! We pride ourselves on being able to write and record music with many different colors and flavors. Itâ€™s a journey from one song to the next with an epic finish at our progressive song, “Sing.” You can purchase our album along with other REIGN swag at our merch table at Dirt Fest, or on our website.
NRR: What can we expect from Reign camp in the coming days after Dirt Fest is a fond memory until 2016?
REIGN: You can stay connected to us on our website and on Facebook. We have several shows booked through October 2015, including direct support for Fates Warning at The Token Lounge on Oct 16, 2015! Weâ€™re making progress on our next album that is turning out to be even more grandiose than this one. Thereâ€™s a touch of darkness that weâ€™re implementing into our new music.
NRR: Is there a band or bands on this year’s Dirt Fest line-up that you are looking forward to seeing as fans?
REIGN: Our bassist, Scottie â€œRenoâ€ Parker, is excited to see Fear Factory, Coal Chamber, Psychostick, Autumn Coma, and Kid Brother Collective. Kid Brother Collective was the first local band he became a fan of back when he was planting his musical roots. Jarrod Grumblatt, our guitarist, is especially looking forward to Periphery.
NRR: How important is selling merch for a band like Reign at a festival like this, and is it a better way to fund band related needs then, say, a gofundme campaign?
REIGN: It is very important to sell as much merchandise as possible. With all of the downloading, stealing, and even giving away of music these days, we need, and very much appreciate every sale we get. There is a huge out-of-pocket expense associated with what we do i.e. recording, mixing, mastering, ordering CD’s, artwork, website, and especially performing. Anytime we can at least recoup our cost, we appreciate it. As far as “Go Fund Me” campaignâ€™s go, we understand the need for it these days, because of the challenges I just mentioned. We would rather earn our money by selling a top notch product and putting on an entertaining, high octane show. That being said, if need be…
NRR: For anyone that might not have heard your music before, what can they expect to get from your sound on stage, being self-describe progressive rockers?
REIGN: We really are a musically eclectic band. But if we had to put ourselves into a category itâ€™d probably be progressive rock or hard rock. Yes, we have driving drum beats from the heart-beat of REIGN, Mike Klaiber. One fan said, â€œguitar work that could fuel a starshipâ€ by guitarist Jarrod Grumblatt. We also have soaring harmonies supporting our heavy lead vocals by Scotty Miller, Kari Stein and Jaimi Grumblatt. Jaimi also adds the â€œepicnessâ€ to our music on the keys. Scottie â€œRenoâ€ Parker is the best freaking bass guitarist around that ties us all together like an area rug!
NRR: How did you get hooked up with Hard Edge Radio and how has the relationship been so far?
REIGN: Hard Edge Radio contacted us for an interview to support National Rock Reviewâ€™s very first Michigan Music Showcase at The Token Lounge in March of 2015. Rachel May and Howie Herula have been very supportive of our musical journey here locally! Big thanks to them again for playing our music and supporting our recent album release show in July!