Category Archives: Chaotic HC


Ancient Visionz interview w/ American Standards, Answered by Brandon Kellum

American Standards - Jacob Reynolds Photo 1

1. What gave you the idea to start the band?

As a kid I always fully immersed myself into one thing or another. If it were skateboarding, I had to go to the skatepark every day and make skate videos to share with my friends. When I got into professional wrestling, I organized the neighborhood kids and pretty soon we’d be jumping off roofs and throwing each other through plywood tables (Shoutout to my HWF buds Matt Lopez and Chris Coffel). So when my dad bought me a guitar in high school naturally started a band before I could even play a single chord. 15 years later and I’m still at it.

2. Who are some of your biggest influences?

Bands like Pantera, System of A Down and Rage Against The Machine got me into music but when starting American Standards I was very into Refused, Snapcase, Botch, Poison The Well and stuff like that.

3. How long did it take to write the new album? Do you all work on the writing together or is it just one member?

It truly only took a few solid months of writing but we stretched that out into two years of playing shows and touring in between. Typically Corey comes to me with a riff or two then we work on the structure together. We then get in the practice room with the guys and that’s when it really takes a life of its own.

4. Where can people order the new album and buy merch?

It’s available on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and pretty much anywhere else you can find music. It’ll also be streaming on Spotify and YouTube day of the release (4/28).

5. The recent press releases mention the band will continue to explore themes on corporate greed, social politics, materialism, satire, and contain a personal tone. I wanted to ask you guys why they are important to the band, and does it help you all express what you would like to say through art?

It’s been an interesting curve for me when I look at my writing style and associate it to the bands I’ve been in. As a teenager I wrote with all the passion of the moment as angsty kids do. So each song had a pretty one dimensional emotion to it whether it be about love, hate or otherwise. In my early 20’s I started singing for a band called The Hostage Situation which was very much in the realm of “southern hardcore” like Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster, He Is Legend and Every Time I Die. By this time I was in full fledged party mode and the songs were more light hearted and tongue in cheek. Looking back, I was really haphazardly trying to balance my newfound love of philosophy through the lens of a 40 ounce bottle. Fast forward to my mid 20s when we started American Standards and I feel like I finally found a balance of depth and satire where I can include a little more social commentary without being off-putting or preachy. It allows me to talk about things bigger than myself but hopefully still be relatable and accessible.

6. Do you guys plan to build on these areas with the next album?
Absolutely. Now more than ever the media warrants us all kinds of fun things to point at and comment on. Also with the passing of our founding guitarist and soon after the death of my father, we’ve included these more personal themes that are new for the band.

7. Are you planning the next album yet?

Almost immediately after we stopped recording. There’s still a lot left for us to do as a band and I’m excited to see where it goes.

8. From chats I’ve had with bands/artists of all genres, they tell me it is becoming harder to get fans of all genres to take notice of mid tier/DIY and lesser known bands. Have you guys experienced anything similar, and do you hold any opinions on this? How does a band overcome this barrier?

I think it just forces a band to be open minded and adaptable. If you apply yesterday’s methods to today’s world you won’t get anywhere. Use technology to your advantage. Get out there and try new things and play with different styles of bands. If you have the drive and a bit of talent then you have the means to make it happen.

9. What would be the ideal tour for the band?

Selfishly- I’d say with Refused. It’d also be great to get out there with a band like Cancer Bats in Canada or HECK in Europe.

10. What do you enjoy the most about playing in a hardcore band?

It’s a give take. Sometimes I see things like the fights in the pit or the bands talking shit about each other between sets and I think, “what the hell am I a part of”. But then you see how the community comes together to help each other out and it’s all worth it. The crowd funding and benefit shows for those that have come on hard times or even something small like helping a diy band with booking a show and a place to stay. It’s awesome and truly inspiring.

11. What has been your favorite live shows so far?
There’s been too many to name. We’ve been fortunate to be a part of so many national shows and 10 year anniversary tours over the past couples years that it keeps making me think it’s only a matter of time till people realize that we’re no one special.

12. Besides American Standards do any of the members play in any other bands?

The guys actually all do a Slipknot cover band 6(sic)6 occasionally for fun and Mitch plays for a few bands… but that’s every drummer.

13. What other music do you enjoy outside of hc punk?

Everything. It’s cliche but true. I’m a huge fan of Tom Waits, MewithoutYou, Led Zeppelin and I listen to far too many podcasts.

14. What are some of your favorite movies?

I’m a sucker for psychological thrillers and horror movies. Recently I saw ‘Get Out’ and i have to say it’s up there for one of the best I’ve watched this year. Very much like The Twilight Zone high in a huge nerd for or even more recently the Black Mirror series.

Thank you guys for doing the interview, I wish you all the best with the new album and future live shows. Peace and much love. Gaz, Ancient Visionz.

American Standards links & contact details: