Birds of a feather flock together and the Mitten state has its share of the metal fowl playing on any given night. They come a rapping.

Nic Ward (vocals), Dan Rodgers (drums), Mike Caudle (guitar), Alex Ricketts (guitar), and Josh Paris (bass) are a little black bird of thundering metal from the place that’s so metal… well, you can certainly fill in the rest of that joke after reading up on the guys. After The Minor is in the process of readying themselves for mayhem and musical splendor in Pontiac, Michigan on Aug 13, 2016 during Dirt Fest ’16. They are a first-time band breaking into the ranks of stardom within the tenth edition of the show.

National Rock Review pulled off the rare feat of cornering the entire band in the back of a cargo van promising Echo Cooler boxes and rare Pokemon Go creatures. So, without further delay, let us see what the guys had to say about themselves, social media’s impact, and why Bed, Bath, and Beyond needs to step their game up. Afterwards, hit up our Twitter page or Facebook and give us your opinion on the band or the interview in general. Our tech guys hate it when we make the servers crash because of the uptick traffic. And… we bet them a case of beer we could do it. So, help us out and hit us up for this piece or any of the other great band articles you’ll find there.

NRR: Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for National Rock Review’s Dirt Fest 2016 coverage. What’s been going on with the band, After The Minor, so far in 2016?
After The Minor: First, we would like to thank you for taking the time to interview us and we are absolutely ecstatic appearing at Dirt Fest this year.
So far this year, we’ve been busy on building all the small details concerning the album we’ve written. We are about to launch a GoFundMe in order to get the ball rolling. We had such a big success with it last time for our EP and our fan base has since tripled so we thought it would be an appropriate route to take. All will happen in due time! We’ve since been focusing on our songs for Dirt Fest and making sure we play them as flawlessly as possible.
NRR: You guys talk up a lot of other Michigan bands and their shows/projects. What makes the Mitten music scene so special that way?
After The Minor: The Michigan Metal scene has many diverse options in music that we feel grateful to be included in the batch. We talk of A Sleepless Malice, From Blue To Gray, Violent Vessel, Heed The Assailant, Devereaux, Heartsick, etc. Many extremely hard working, talented individuals. We all support each other in our way, shape, or form and it feels as if we are one big family.
NRR: I hear that you guys need to have a recent birthday thrasher be sponsored by Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but in all seriousness, do you guys enjoy playing together or by playing together it’s a means to an end, i.e. just a gig?
After The Minor: Bed, Bath, and Beyond unfortunately does not offer endorsements for musicians so the endeavor continues elsewhere! To answer the question seriously, we all love getting together as a brotherhood and creating music and playing the music we’ve created thus far. It’s all such a positive thing for us to do and we love going out showing people what we can do. In the past four years we’ve been this lineup, we have only gotten more serious about the journey.
NRR: By far and wide, if you had to pick a “home” stage that you would play any time, does one come to mind?
After The Minor: Without question, we consider The Machine Shop to be our home venue. Kevin Zink and the staff have become friends of ours over time and we love playing there. We have opened for multiple huge acts over the years that have helped us along the way of reaching a diverse crowd. There’s so much love in that place and the intimacy of the shows is unrivalled for the area.
NRR: How does it feel to play a well established festival like Dirt Fest that’s a home game basically for the band?
After The Minor: To be playing Dirt Fest this year is something we’ve aspired to do for years and now that we are on the bill, we couldn’t be more elated. We’ve missed past opportunities, but Matt Dalton really helped it happen for us and a huge thank you to him! We are stoked to drop our brand of music on some new ears and party with familiar faces. Not to mention that we are sharing the stage with some personal favorites of ours.
NRR: As a smaller band, for now, do you find using the tools social media gives you like live video streaming is essential to growing your fan base?
After The Minor: Since the option of Live Video streaming on Facebook, our audience reach has been enormous. Considering our past numbers and availability to resources, this has opened up a whole new world for us and other local musicians. In this day and age, it is essential to utilize social media as a tool to reach people how you can.
NRR: If people wanted to check your sound out before Pontiac, do you have an album or video that’s the flagship you might want to pimp out to them?
After The Minor: We have a ReverbNation page which streams our debut EP, Structure Fire. We have a lyric video on YouTube of “You Can’t Win’Em All,” a heavy hitter we are all a fan of. There are also several live videos you can check out if interested. People can join us anytime when we stream our practice live if they are subscribed to updates when we post on Facebook. You can also purchase our EP in hard copy from us at shows and from all digital media outlets! Find us on Pandora, too.

NRR: If you were in the crowd after your set, and heard two people talking about After The Minor, how would you hope the conversation might go?
After The Minor: To be a fly on the wall, we would obviously hope they would enjoy what they hear or at least be confused enough to come back and see if they want more. In the same case, we haven’t been immune to constructive criticisms. Anything people have told us in order to better our game has been considered or implemented. We are always happy to hear what people have to say, positive or negative!
NRR: Is there a moment, that thinking back on it now, in the your time together, or with any band in the past, that you can’t help but still feel a tad bit embarrassed about, a situation that makes you laugh about despite yourself, or just still makes you shake your head in disbelief? A Spinal Tap moment if you will, that you’d be willing to share with me?
After The Minor: This predates our prior lineup, but there was a moment in After The Minor where we had stopped mid-song on stage. It was a Battle of the Bands and our second song in, our drummer at the time had a black out moment and froze on stage. We attempted to restart the song and stopped at the exact same spot. Luckily, we were able to save the night.
NRR: Are you guys national act music fans outside of being on stage, and if so, is there anyone on the Dirt Fest bill you’re excited to catch since everyone plays on the same day this year?
After The Minor: All of us are fans of Killswitch Engage, Born of Osiris, Hatebreed, For The Fallen Dreams, and Atilla. We’ve opened for Hatebreed in the past so it’ll be another memorable moment for us. We’re honored to be a part of the lineup this year and we hope we make an impact on some new people.



After The Minor
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