Posted On 15 Nov 2018
Get to know the alternative pop/rock band MKNLY. They have released two singles this fall – “When I’m Lonely,” out 10/19/18, and “You Can’t Stay,” out 11/23/18. Both of these singles preface the releasing of their upcoming December EP.
Connect With MKNLY here:
Learn more about MKNLY in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
No thank you for reaching out! Not a whole lot, got some school work as well as booking and promoting for the band to take care of!
Since we are now at the back-end of 2018, how has this year treated this band? What is one musical goal that you have had for this year? How close are you to reaching it?
This year in my opinion has been a great year 2018 has been very good to us! The big goal was creating a new record and getting a solid video done! Which we were able to accomplish as well as we have really grown into our own sound and love the direction everything is going for us!
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on?
You know, as some know its really easy to start a band the hard part is making sure everyone really clicks and can be a cohesive unit. So there’s been a few member changes but i think the line up we have now is very solid, everyone in the band plays a very important role outside of playing their instruments of course. But we have the same vision and we really connect. The name was actually very easy, originally when this project started it was a solo project so i just used my middle name McKinley, just spelt it cooler in my opinion at least MKNLY.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
That’s actually a great question, here in Fayetteville NC there are so many incredible artist that are really starting to blow and and build hype. The great thing about that is your constantly seeing things done in new ways or new sounds so everyone is really able to grow off each other. THe big thing with how we carry ourselves is its very important to be humble. We are young and still have so much to learn so we don’t go around acting like we are bigger than we are. Its easy to stay humble especially when you are so connected to a lot of the bands in the area on a friendship or personal level. Everyone tries to help everyone.
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band?
So that’s something that actually is really cool. Me and Anthony(drums) both come from a big metal background both having played in metal bands prior to this. And Tristan and Josh both have rock backgrounds so its been a lot of fun adding and mixing different things into the songs.
Let’s talk about your two new fall singles- “When I’m Lonely” and “You Can’t Stay.” What was the inspiration for these two tracks? How do you think they prepare listeners for your upcoming December EP?
So the inspiration for When I’m Lonely kinda came about after reminiscing on old relationships and how i used to live my life. I desperately wanted to be with someone but constantly confused love with lust and vice versa. Not my proudest time in life but hey we all learn somehow. As for “ You Can’t Stay” that one is a little deeper as far as the story behind it.Lyrically its very vague so there’s many interpretations, but for me this song is very important. You Can’t Stay is a story about losing a friend to suicide or anyone for that matter to suicide and the effects it has on those left behind. In a music scene where mental health has become a very prominent thought or focal, it was hard to tackle this song. This song is basically the tale of a man who’s lived with the memories and thoughts of someone who has taken their own life and because he’s constantly reliving those memories it’s begun to weigh heavy on his mental health. So he has to find a way to break free of that. So You Can’t Stay is kind of like a final goodbye, or a moving on if you will.
Did anything surprise you about the overall process of putting together your EP? Was it harder or easier then you thought it would be?
You know there’s a lot of answers that could fit both those questions and wouldn’t be wrong. But would sum it all up to this, with our first release we really set a precedent for ourselves on how we sounded and the energy we brought to stage etc. So the hard part for us was evolving and writing the music we wanted to write yet at the same time we really stressed about potentially killing off our fan base by not bringing the same type of product. That was probably the hardest part about it.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
You know i can’t speak for everyone but i think its on stage. We love performing, its the biggest reason why we do this. There’s just something about taking these songs playing the with everything you’ve got and hopefully connecting with everyone in the crowd. We love meeting new people etc.
Right now we dont have many plans for hitting the road but we are looking into few weekend runs leading into some bigger runs next year!
Do you find that all of social media and keeping up with your fans has gotten so overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?
I think that’s probably the hardest part about today’s music industry. Everything is accessible right at our fingertips. Today a lot of bands are found based on their social media accounts and the numbers they have on streams and followers etc. Not like it was in the 80s. So of course we strive to do best we can on our social media platforms in hopes to better grow our audience and fanbase but yes it does get very overwhelming sometimes. Especially when you feel like you’re engaging posting the stuff you need to ost but not seeing results you’d like. But that’s the game! If it was easy everyone would be signed or popular!
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
Not to sound cheesy but yes in a sense it is. There’s so much hate, and craziness happening all around us part of us just want to bury ourselves in our craft. But as musicians we also have the power to help heal or motivate or inspire those that are dealing with everything. We still have to be a functioning member of society and help change the world the best we can for the better. Music is the cure to everything. Everyone listens to music, its one of the most dominant forces in the world, can bring joy, sadness, torture, tears, love, promise and even hope. Music is a way to fight back against all the negative.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
Artists that we would love to work with, hmm, well ill give the top ones; You Me At Six, 30 Seconds To Mars, 5SOS, Blackbear, Foo Fighters, Set It Off. The biggest influence that ultimately lead to the creation of this band initially for me is definitely You Me At Six.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
The hope we have for our music is to inspire other to chase their passions, or find something they are passionate about. To help those who need healing, To give a shoulder to those that might feel like they are alone, we hope that our music gives everyone something they can connect with and use to get through certain moments in life. This is our goal because this is what bands before us did for us growing up and still to this day.
Would you like to share anything else about your music or the history of this band to our readers?
Thanks so much for listening to us! We love all of our fans and everyone that has supproted us so far! We looking forward to one day being able to meet all of you ! Oh and this is very important, UK we hope to come play for you sometime soon! You Me At Six if you ever need some openers hit us