INVISIBLE AIRWAVES Issue #051 - Dropout Kings . Max Tolkoff | Page 21

super fun. Those are the boys and I'm definitely excited and looking forward to that. I feel like our audiences are pretty comparable, so it will be a good one for us.

MP: Talk about the new track, "Lights Out." How did you hook up with Joe Cotella from DED for the song?

AR: They're from Arizona too, so we've known each other for a while and always wanted to do something together. It's just one of those things where it finally panned out for the track. We were working on this track and I called Joe to see if he wanted to jump on it and made it happen. We were on the recent ShipRocked cruise and decided to film the video on the boat. We had Joe film his parts at home and put them together for the music video. It was really natural to work together.

MP: One thing that came out of the pandemic is artists seem to collaborate more.

AR: Yeah. I feel like it leveled the playing field. It didn't matter how big or small your band was, there was always some obstacle that everybody had to overcome. For us, I feel the pandemic made us proficient with the online stuff and I feel like it closed the gap for us in

a good way. It catapulted us a little bit faster than I feel like if it wouldn't have happened. Obviously the pandemic was terrible. It sucked, but looking back on it, I'm very happy with the way we pivoted and used the online leverage to further what we were doing. You're right, there definitely were a lot of collabs that came out.

MP: For lack of a better term, you guys fit the Rap Rock mold. Talk about the influence of Hip Hop and when did you realize you wanted to integrate that with Rock music?

AR: Ever since I was like able to listen to music on my own, I always had an affinity towards both. I really like Metal. I like regular Rock, and I always liked Rap and Hip Hop. Everybody tries to make it seem like it's different, but they're both rebellious types of music that talk about inner and outer struggles. I was always listening to both types of music and wanted to be in a band like this. When I met Bill, it naturally came together, which was cool. But Bill was really strictly into Hip Hop, so when we started the band together, I had to fill him in on like 10 or 12 years of Metal scene history. <laughs> But he did a lot of that for me too on the Hip Hop side of things, even though I was pretty up to speed, he had a way deeper knowledge of it. It's been cool. We've been learning stuff together. MP: You have said that stealing your aunt's Linkin Park CDs, and other music she had, influenced you. Here's an interesting question. Do you think you would've been that adventurous had she just had a Spotify account and was streaming music? Or was it being able to grab that artwork and read the lyrics what drew you in?