(Photo Credit: Holly Turner)
What are your names?
Matt Weiss (vocals), Tyler Embry (bass/vocals), Matt Becker (guitar/vocals), Doug Tuchler (guitar), Nick Kolokathis (drums)
Tell us the story behind the bands name?
It was super frustrating to find a band name that hasn’t already been taken, so it took a while for us. We were all in Tyler’s backyard one day for his 21st birthday while playing badminton and someone said “Hey, that shot took me off guard!” And then Doug was like, “Let’s call the band off guard!” so we just stuck with that ever since.
What is your genre of music?
We’re alternative rock with a bunch of different influences from other genres like post-hardcore, pop and R&B.
Give us a little bio about you as a band and individuals.
Most of us met in high school/college. We have all studied music at some point. Tyler , Matt Becker, Matt Weiss and Doug met Nick from playing shows in the Long Island music scene. In 2015, We all started playing together under Matt Weiss’ solo project. After a while, we decided to change our genre up and get super serious about rock and roll. That’s when we formed Off Guard.
You have a brand new single out ‘Strawberry Moon’, Tell us the meaning behind the title?
The Strawberry Moon is also known as the first full moon in June. We wrote that song in June while it was happening, so we thought it would be cool to incorporate it into the title.
What is the message you are trying to tell people?
The whole message of the song is how it’s okay to leave someone/separate people from your life if you feel that your relationship with them is toxic. It’s always hard to do that, but we hope to relate to people with this song and help them with their troubles.
What can you tell us about you debut EP that is set to drop in OCT?
We’re super excited to drop our debut EP ‘Set The Scene’ on October 27th. It is a six song EP that we took about a year to write. We’re super proud of it. Some songs are heavier and more sad than others, but the whole album is totally worth a listen through. We hope you enjoy it when it releases!
What was the writing and recording like?
The writing was super interesting because it’s the first time we all wrote something together. Everyone in the band contributed to the writing process which was a first for any of the bands I’ve been in. Recording was great. Our producer/engineer Matt Lagatutta of Flying Carpet Studios has been super easy and fun to work with. Anyone out there looking to get some recording done should hit him up.
Will you be touring this year?
We do not have any plans to tour as of now but we are playing several shows in New York. Catch us on October 27th at Shakers Pub in Oakdale, NY, November 11th at Revolution in Amityville, NY, and December 3rd at Amityville Music Hall in Amityville, NY!
What made you go in to music?
We all started playing from a young age. When I was 9, I started playing the cello in school and I’ve loved playing music ever since.
Who are your influences?
We love Pierce The Veil, Dance Gavin Dance, Foo Fighters and Queen. Also Gucci Mane.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
We usually just take inspiration from real life situations. Definitely relationships and losses, but we also try to stay on the upside of things.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
We see ourselves touring the world and catching everyone “Off Guard” with our music.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
We love to watch Rick and Morty and get Halal food. Also getting half priced apps at Applebee’s. And watching scary movies.
If you could collaborate with one US Artists or Band who would it be?
It would be sick to collab with Dave Grohl.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Probably Helena by My Chemical Romance. Gerard Way is such a great singer with a unique voice. He definitely inspired me to form my own band and play shows.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Follow your heart when it comes to writing. Don’t ride any waves or copy what’s cool at the moment. Listen to all different types of music and go to shows.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Can’t forget the green tea, the before stage pep talk, snacks, an extra shirt, and more snacks.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?