Interview with Damian LaRocco of Four Nights Gone

Since 2010, Four Nights Gone have been working their way up through the local and regional rock scene. With the 2012 release of ‘Crash and Burn’ and a spot on last year’s Warped Tour, the Staten Island rockers don’t appear to be in the nature of decelerating. The group’s most recent summer release, ‘Resilience,’ which was produced by Vudu Studios’ Mike Watts (Brand New, Story of the Year, The Dear Hunter), combines honest and personal songs with notable stylistic influences garnered from the music of Chevelle, Three Days Grace, and Breaking Benjamin. We asked vocalist Damian LaRocco some questions about the group’s new EP and what he and bandmates Imran Xhelili, Alex Basovisky, and Steven Romano see in their future.

What was the primary inspiration behind ‘Resilience’?

It’s hard to pick just one inspiration. We all draw on different musical backgrounds and genres to write the instrumental aspect of the songs, so picking a primary example of any is nearly impossible. Lyrically, I always write from experiences or things that have affected me.

The lyrics to the songs on ‘Resilience’ all seem deeply personal, dealing with varying kinds of struggles and emotions. Can you tell us more about what these songs mean to you and how the title of the record reflects that?

Well, each song tells a story, whether about myself or something that has personally affected me to a degree. A lot of the songs are about struggle and emotion as you said but it goes more than that. The title of the CD, ‘Resilience,’ gets its name from its meaning: to overcome a struggle or change and become stronger as a result of that. I feel the songs portray well to the theme.

Do you have any favorite tracks off this record?

That’s a tough one! Live, my favorite would probably be the opening track “J.Buck” because it instantly gets people interested in what’s going on on stage. And it gives them a kick in the face feeling where you can tell people are having a great time. Another favorite track is “Monster” because I wrote it about people mistreating loved ones or significant others when, quite frankly, they didn’t deserve it. As I listen to the final product, I can see an entire storyline play out in my mind of who I wrote the song about.

Did you find yourselves referencing any of your musical influences for this record?

Of course. Like I said previously, we’re all influenced by a large amount of music ranging from soft rock to post hardcore and hard rock. All of our favorite bands have influenced us to write the way we do and that reflects in ‘Resilience.’

You released the album and kicked off the Resilience Tour in your hometown of Staten Island, NY. How did it feel to take this next step as a band by coming back to your roots?

Well, every time we play Staten Island our friends, family, and fans all come together and have a great time with us. No matter where we go in life we always remember where we started and how grateful we are of everyone who supported us and those who still continue to support Four Nights Gone.

Do you think your particular style of hard rock is still alive and well? Or has it taken a backseat to other kinds of rock?

That’s another tough question. I honestly feel that hard rock is not the most popular genre of rock; however, that’s not to say it’s forgotten completely. Go to a Staind, Chevelle, Stone Sour, or Papa Roach concert and see the packed venues of people singing and going nuts to the music. Rock music is ever-evolving, but you constantly see history repeating itself in a lot of newer rock and metal sounds that have several elements of older styles. So, to answer the question, I have no idea but people seem to enjoy our mix of old and new style, so we’ll continue to grow and evolve with it.

What has been your favorite show/tour to date?

On our Resilience tour we played at this place called Chaos On The Rocks in Columbus, GA. They have some of the genuinely coolest and awesome people working there and running things. We were treated really well by them and had a great time there. Anyways, right after our set, I head backstage to our green room and there is this girl just passed out on the couch. The rest of the band walks in and we were so confused. We find out that it was the sound guy’s girlfriend. She was passed out for the next couple hours, so we got a huge group photo with her still asleep.

What would be the lineup if you had the chance to create the tour of your dreams?

Well, if you ask each member of the band, we’d all have completely different answers. My answer does not reflect them at all. [laughs] For me, the original lineup of Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, and Staind would probably be a dream come true.

You’ve been a band since 2010. How would you describe the journey of the past three years?

A crazy roller coaster of fun, stupidity, and meeting some extraordinary people. And the best part is it’s still in the beginning.

Where would you like to be in another three years?

Every year that passes, we see our fanbase growing and maturing to higher levels. Hopefully in three years we will be on a label and touring to all the fans we’ve made and continue to make every day.

Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to play that you haven’t gotten the chance to yet?

So many places to name! Japan, most of Europe, Brazil, California, Texas, and even some parts of Canada. Those are just some places I’ve wanted to visit myself and we have a good amount of fans from those areas that have requested us to come through.

Pick up Four Nights Gone’s new EP, Resilience.

For the band’s upcoming tour dates, check out their Facebook page.