Reaching Everest: Wisconsin Metalcore Aiming for the Sky

Metalcore is one of those endearing styles of heavy music, especially in the United States. It seems like for every great band that calls it quits, there’s four more bands to jump into the arena and fight for their place. One of these bands is Wisconsin’s Reaching Everest.

Hailing from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Reaching Everest formed in the early months of 2016 after longtime bandmates AJ Sanders, Saul Rodriguez, and Alan Cordova decided that their band wasn’t taking things seriously enough. What came next was the trio splitting off and forming a new band that became Reaching Everest, which was named for the thrill of chasing one’s dream despite the odds such as when one tries scaling the world’s tallest mountain.

Originally a five piece consisting of Jeremy Chinn (guitar), AJ Sanders (vocals), Ian Honeyager (guitar), Alan Cordova (drums), and Saul Rodriguez (bass), the band is now a four piece due to the departure of Chinn, which was fortunately on good terms.

Though inspired by the works of Veil of Maya, Bring Me the Horizon, Slipknot, and Asking Alexandria, the band isn’t quite sure of what to call themselves. Judging by their ‘Addictions’ single, the band has a strong metalcore sound with elements of nu and progressive metal thrown in for good measure.

“It’s kind of hard for us to put into words what we play. If we had to generalize a genre it’d be metalcore,” says Sanders with Honeyager jokingly adding, “Being that we’re from Wisconsin you can just call it Cheddar metal.”

The main lyricist of the band, Sanders says he writes his music about life in general. Their single ‘Addictions’ was written around the heartache of losing friends and loved ones in to substance abuse.

“I have this friend named John who’s really struggling. After the single he wrote me and said he’s four days sober and he’s hoping to keep strong, and we’re really helping him through it. It was amazing, because it was the first twenty-four hours,” says Sanders, who had received a similar call from another friend who had actually kicked his addiction and found the lyrics inspirational. “I like to write about personal experiences and what I’ve gone through in my life because people connect more. That’s been my number one goal; to connect with people on a personal level.”

“The music is more for everybody else than it is for us. We’re trying to amplify everyone else’s experiences than ours,” adds Cordova. “I mean, it sucks because to be able to put out stuff that people will connect to on a personal level you have to go through hell and high water, but to connect with people on that personal level.”

With just the single, ‘Addictions’ out for consumption, the band doesn’t plan on rushing out an extended play or a full length too quickly. In fact, their next single, which is promised to be “real heavy’ and “another banger” will be out in early to mid-October. As well, the band will feature a guest vocalist but stopped short of revealing his/her name to keep the surprise intact. And if you’re wondering why so much time will pass until the next single, the band explains it best:

“We’re just trying to take our time and write songs that we feel are above average,” says Honeyager. “We’re trying to do this band a lot more professional than some of the locals around here.”

“We’re not trying to shit out music right away. We want to be as professional as possible,” says Sanders with Cordova adding, “We’re not by any means trying to come out better than anyone else.”

Despite being under a year old and having just one single out, the band has been welcomed into the scene with open arms. After Hour Animals, which the band opened for at their debut show on August 14th, is one of the bands that the guys pointed out as one of the most welcoming bands in the scene.

Though their first live set was just 20 minutes long, the band revved the crowd with two original tracks, one being their debut single ‘Addictions,’ and a cover of Slipknot’s ‘Before I Forget.’ Through this show the band has proven that they have a strong stage presence and can throw down with the best of them. This made them a fantastic addition to Midwest Mix Up’s Midwest Massacre festival, which brought together 20 bands at the Knuckledown Saloon in Madison, Wisconsin on August 27th, 2016. And if the band played anything like they did at the Metal Grill on the 14th, then they definitely walked away leaving behind a lot of revved up metal heads.

So what does the band have in store for 2016? Well, for one, the band plans to release more singles that are progressively better than the last. One element they plan to add in future songs is guitar solos. As well, the band has plans to hit the studio in January to make an eight or nine track album.

“The plan was to release a couple of singles, so when we start booking shows people will know what they’re about to head. From there we’ll release the album,” says Honeyager.

Though we’re still a few months out, Reaching Everest is looking to make 2017 their year. They hope to set up a CD release show in late Spring and embark on some small tours to spread their name around. Of course, they’re not looking to bite off more than they can chew. Sticking relatively close to home base, the band plans to play around Chicago, southern Wisconsin, and perhaps even Iowa or Minnesota should things continue to grow. In the meantime, the band is focused on writing new music for their upcoming singles and album, and building their fan base.

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