Amber My Ember: A New Approach to Post-Hardcore
Hailing from Racine, Wisconsin, Amber My Ember came about in 2013 after vocalist/guitarist Tokin Webb’s previous band dissolved. Due to an inherent need to continue making music and play guitar Webb began writing music by himself. Over time he recruited a full band only to be marred by frequent lineup changes. According to Webb, the current lineup of the band has been together for three months – the current lineup stands with Clayton Gustin (drums/vocals), Tokin Webb (vocals/guitar), Jeremy Oman (vocals), Cameron Kechter (bass), and Kyriin Richmond (guitar).
Inspired by the works of ISSUES, Pierce the Veil, Devil Wears Prada, and August Burns Red, the band easily falls into the post-hardcore genre, but since formation they’ve steadily crafted their style into something unique. The band’s most recent release ‘Lock’s Apocalypse’ shows a strong reliance on story, melody, and synths, which is a breath of fresh air for the genre.
Released in July 2016, the ‘Lock’s Apocalypse’ EP was met with critical acclaim from fans, though Webb isn’t quite sure if fans understand the story being told. Of course, all that really matters to him is that they enjoy the music. For those wondering about the story being told through the EP, Lock’s Apocalypse follows a character named Lock surviving the Apocalypse on his own. While that may seem a little simplistic, the band uses this story to deliver a social commentary on the struggle to find one’s self and rise above their personal struggles. If concept albums are your thing, then you’re in for a treat.
“Our plan as of right now is to do some more concept albums. They’re really fun to do. We can do three to five songs based on a concept and we don’t have to stick to one sound when we’re doing it,” says Oman. “You can change an entire song with synths. It gives the music a whole new feel.”
The band is definitely planning to stick with extend plays over albums with the goal of putting out two EP’s per year due to the ease of writing just a few songs, the ability to perfect their music and not fill the track list with rushed tracks, and of course, keep costs low.
“When you’re a musician you have to pay an unbelievable amount of money for your equipment, your CDs, recording and mixing, but you don’t make any of that back. You make a fraction back,” says Webb with Oman adding, “We try to look at it that the fraction we make back is profit even though it’s not.”
Of course, money struggles isn’t the only reason the band is focused on writing extended plays over albums; the enjoyment and freedom that comes with writing just a couple of songs based around a short story played a large role in this strategy.
With their latest extended play released and sitting well with fans of heavy music, the band has been itching to hit the road and playing anywhere they can. Some of their favorite haunts include Racine, Madison, Rio (WI), and Peoria. When at one of Amber My Ember’s shows fans can expect a lot of movement and being disallowed from standing around.
“We hurt after a show. If you’re not hurting after a show we didn’t do well,” says Webb.
Just a month out from their latest extended play, the band is preparing their next EP. Though Webb says that they don’t have a story or title just yet, they’re working hard on writing new music and will be playing more shows in new locations. To achieve this goal, the band is hitting social media hard to spread the word. One such way is to target specific cities, states, and even similar sounding bands.
“We’re just trying to reach as many people as we can, so when we do go out and tour it’s going to be ok for us,” says Webb with Oman adding, “It really comes down to being bored out of my mind and just messaging people.”
The band’s social media campaign has yielded a good deal of success and contacts. Their most recent lyric video was the product of a random connection made via social media. With any luck their social media tactics will yield greater rewards and help the band break out of the Midwest scene in due time.