Interview ~ Kile Odell of Failure Anthem

 The guys in Failure Anthem have been paying there dues in the North Carolina and surrounding area club circuit for some time now. There have been nights where they’ve packed for a packed room and nights where only a handful of people show up, yet they approached each show with the same mentality. You take no prisoners, you don’t phone it in and you go out there and give each and every person their money’s worth. That approach has seen their fan base grow and has been the guys on the radar of bigger bands and even records labels. They recently signed with Razor and Tie Records and are set to release their  debut for the label on January 22 entitled First World Problems. The guys are currently burning up the road as support on the Like A Storm Didgeridoo Destruction Tour. I was able to catch band member Kile Odell with a few free minutes in his crazy daily schedule and asked him a few questions about their upcoming album as well as life on the road.

I ask this on behalf of all music nerds out there. Is there a story behind the band’s name?

Kile Odell: The name was something that we wanted to encompass a few things. We wanted it to represent people who beat the odds, the underdogs in the world. We also wanted it to sound larger than life and with the word “anthem” in it we feel like you get that big, “larger than life” aspect.

Every superhero or villain has an origin and a band is no different……minus maybe the radioactive spiders or gamma rays from outer space. What’s your origin?

We all come from the same general area, but [from] some pretty diverse musical backgrounds at the same time. JD and I come from a heavier background; we both played in metal bands for years. Ryan was in a rock band and a country outfit, Wil and Zane were from pop/pop punk bands. We all knew each other from our bands either playing together or us being in the same group of friends; we have lots of history together.

You released the single/video for “Paralyzed” back in May and it’s receiving airplay on SiriusXM Octane. What was it like the first time you heard it being played on Octane? I’m guessing a bit surreal?

Yeah…surreal is the best way to describe it. I felt like that 15-year-old kid in his bedroom again; it’s an unreal feeling. I think we were all a little overwhelmed at first in a good way.

Tell us about the recording process for ‘First World Problems.’ I know it’s your label debut for Razor and Tie, but did you guys have any releases prior to this one? Did you feel pressured going in being that it’s your R&T debut? Who produced the album?

We didn’t really have anything out prior. We had a couple demos, but nothing major out there.

I think there was a little pressure, but for the most part we were like, ‘Well, this is who were are and how we write songs.’ It was a pretty easy thing overall.

I produced the record alongside my longtime friend Drew Fulk. It’s always a little scary producing your own band’s record, but having a partner in it with Drew kept me from over-analyzing. Drew is a truly amazing producer and writer; I can’t sing the guy’s praises enough.

You were out on the road with All That Remains for quite a few dates. Was that the biggest exposure that you had received up until that point? What did you take away from that touring experience?

The All That Remains tour was a blast and definitely the biggest exposure we’ve gotten yet. The crowds were amazing and the bands and crew were extremely friendly and awesome to work with.

We definitely learned our routine for fast and effective load-ins and change overs. It’s nice being on a tour with such a regulated schedule, where everyone knows exactly where to be and when to be there.

That last question leads into your current tour with Like a Storm. How is that going for you so far?

It’s been great. All the bands are awesome and fun to hang with. The crowds have been incredibly responsive, great times all around!

You guys are definitely out on the road a lot now and I was wondering what you would say is the best and worst foods on tour?

Ughhhhh, this is the tour curse. You don’t want to eat fast food, but it feels like you get stuck with it so much; it seriously wears you down.

We definitely try to eat clean whenever possible. Lately, it has been easier which has been AWESOME!

What’s been the toughest hurdle or obstacle that you guys have had to overcome so far in your musical journey?

That’s a tough one; maybe proving ourselves as a band, which we are still doing. Learning to adjust to everyone’s different personalities on the road and acclimating to that. It’s nothing crazy, I guess just getting into the ebb and flow of things.

Any closing message for the readers and your fans?

First, thank you guys for everything. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you. The overwhelming amount of support and love shown to us is……well insane; we’re so incredibly thankful. 

Keep requesting “Paralyzed” and make sure to make it out to a show and say, “Hello”! We love you guys!

Connect With Failure Anthem:
Facebook | Twitter | Website

Here are a few pix from Failure Anthem’s show at The Ritz in Raleigh, North Carolina on November 3, 2015 opening for All That Remains. We’re sorry that there are only a few, but we got there late and only caught their last song. Click on the image for a larger view.

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