MKNLY are an alt-rock band based out of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Made up of Benny, Tristan, Josh and Anthony, the four-piece have been busy rocking the scene with their addictive sound.
Just before Christmas, MKNLY released their brand new EP When I’m Lonely. The four-track EP includes the previously released ‘When I’m Lonely’ and ‘You Can’t Stay’.
We recently had the chance to speak to MKNLY about When I’m Lonely, their songwriting process, North Carolina’s influence on their sound, their hopes for 2019 and more.
Congratulations on the release of your new EP When I’m Lonely. What’s the reaction to it been like so far?
So far we’ve had all positive responses from everyone! Couldn’t appreciate all the positive feedback any more. The EP is full of emotion so it has the potential to really hit home.
Can you talk us through the making of the EP? How did you decide that these were the five songs that would make the cut?
There’s so much that goes into this EP. The concept behind this EP came about when Benny had kinda slipped into depression with some struggles in life. This brought up a lot of memories or questions that he hadn’t really thought about till this feeling of being alone with the world against him came up. Hence the title, When I’m Lonely, is about all the stuff that runs through one mind when in a dark place. The five songs we chose were all very driven emotionally and they help round out the pop side of radio with the rock edge.
Which track was the easiest, and which was the most difficult, to put together creatively?
The easiest track in my opinion was ‘You Can’t Stay’, it’s pretty straightforward and Benny really brought the heat with the lyrics.
The hardest track for me was ‘Should’ve Been’, it was one of the last tracks and the week was coming to an end and everything had started to run together. Not to mention it was a completely different song when we went into the studio, same lyrics but a completely different feel to it. Chris Piquette really helped us find the full potential of this track.
Tough question as I’m sure you love them all equally, but if you had to choose, which track from the EP is your favorite? Ours is ‘Speak To Me’.
‘Speak To Me’ has to be my favorite as well!! The guitar parts really have the “flavor” and the groove just makes you start moving! It’s actually a pretty cool story how it came about too! Benny was in the studio with Wes and Zane when he got a phone call from his wife because he may have lost track of time. See they had been having trouble with communication in their relationship and this song was his way of trying to just be open and speak his mind about it bringing them much closer.
What kind of message do you hope that fans will take away from the EP?
My hope is that this EP will resonate with our fans and let them know they are not alone in this world. When it comes to depression, addiction, or any other thing someone may have going on, that someone loves you and there is help available all around. Nobody is invincible from being hit head on with the darkness life can bring sometimes.
How do you normally go about writing songs? Is it a group effort, or one member starts with an idea etc?
Benny is the main writer. We work with a lot of producers but Benny is normally the front runner when it comes to the writing. A lot of times Benny bases the music off of feelings. Then he recreates those with his lyrics to match the music. He told me once that his favorite way to write is to try and visualize the song as a music video and how the story would be told visually. Then try to find a point of view that might be overlooked and tell the story from that point of view. ‘You Can’t Stay’ is a perfect example of that. Once he gets his ideas down he brings them to the rest of the band and we add our touch whether it be how I would play guitar or how Anthony would play certain parts etc.
Who are some of your musical influences as a band?
Well first and foremost You Me At Six was one of the prime influences in this project starting. Of course we all have our different influences, but overall we just like to be different and bring all of our past sounds and genres or the things we like most together to form the sound.
Coming from North Carolina, how would you say that your hometown has influenced you musically?
Fayetteville has always to me been a staple in the scenes outside of Raleigh and Asheboro. There’s a lot of local talent that doesn’t get enough recognition. But the scene itself really always has been supportive of MKNLY so it’s definitely had an impact on us.
Will you be touring in the near future in support of the EP? If so, are there any details that you can currently share with us?
As of now we don’t have any tours set up as our work and school schedules are a bit hectic but we do plan on hitting the road hopefully this summer. However, our first show of 2019 will be in Rhode Island where we recorded the record! Feb 9th as of now.
2018 has just come to an end, what’s been your highlight of the year?
Honestly releasing this EP, shooting our video with the great Scott Hanson, touring, and just making tons of friends and connection with all the musical acts we’ve met.
What are your hopes for 2019?
Well I can say NEW SOUND will be one of them along with lots of new music and hopefully finding solid management, someone who believes in what we are doing and helps us unlock our best potential.