As a founding member of Sleeping With Sirens (having played guitar on 2010’s With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear) and former member of the Crimson Armada, Brandon McMaster is no stranger to today’s music scene. With years of band experience and two definitive albums under his belt, he’s ready to rejoin the fray—this time, with his own project, his own voice, and his own sound.
Stream their new song "Darling" exclusively below as you read our interview with McMaster and get to know his new project.
Interview: Anna Acosta
You’ve been involved in the music scene for awhile now, but Out Of Hand are your project. You’ve said that your premise is to let the world know who you really are. Can you elaborate on what that really means to you?
McMASTER: This is something that I’ve had in mind even before Sleeping With Sirens started. I’ve always wanted my own forum to just speak my mind and tell people my feelings about everything that’s going on around me. In person, I put off this goofy, carefree attitude, but there’s a lot more depth to me than just that, and that’s what this is about. It comes through in my lyrics.
I’ve heard “Darling,” the first track that you guys are releasing. As far as lyrics go, what do you usually draw from? Some people like to go with big-picture, observational stuff. It sounds like songwriting is a bit more personal than that for you.
I kind of do both. Some songs are more about the big picture—what’s going on in the world and my thoughts about it—but other songs are just straight from the heart, about personal things.
Because Out Of Hand are a new project, you guys are basically a mystery. Who is involved in the project and how did it come about?
Well, I started it by myself. I wrote and recorded all of it—except for the drums. I’m not much of a drummer.
[Laughs.] I mean, I programmed the drums, and then I just had a friend track them for me. Other than that, I started everything from the bottom up. Then through mutual friends, I found bandmates. It’s nobody with any notoriety right now. I didn’t really want to do the whole all-star band thing. I feel like there can be a lot of egos involved at that point.
How many of you are there?
There are five of us.
Where does the name Out Of Hand come from? Since you are new on the scene, it has to be asked.
Of course. I just feel like it’s a good representation of my personality. I can get pretty out of hand in general. I actually went through a very long process of trying to choose a name. It seems like every single band name is already taken.
You’re credited as a contributing creative force on Sleeping With Sirens’ debut album With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear and then later for the Crimson Armada’s Conviction. Those are two very different records from two very different bands. What kind of musical elements are fans going to hear in your new sound?
There’s definitely going to be some similarities, especially with the first SWS album, because I had a huge part in writing the music for that. As far as Conviction goes, I didn’t really have as big a part in writing the music. You’ll see similarities in some of the vocal melodies on that album, because that’s really where I played a part in writing with Crimson.
You’ve obviously been through this with a few bands a few times. People who choose this life tend to be more on the dreamer side of the human spectrum. As far as for this project, what previously unfulfilled musical goal do you have your eyes set on?
Ever since the first time I’d [attended] Warped Tour, I told myself that one day I would play it. That’s always been at the top of my bucket list as a musician. I have friends who have played it multiple times now and it’s so crazy to see that. For me, it just fuels that fire. I want that so bad. I have to at least play it one time. When I finally fulfill that dream, who knows? Going overseas, as well. That’s another thing I haven’t done yet.
Well, if you’ve got that fire it’s probably a good sign that you’re choosing the right path. It seems as though wanting it enough is half the battle.
There’ve been times when I’ve wanted to throw my hands in the air and say, “Forget it,” but I haven’t yet. It just keeps pulling me back.
What keeps you from walking away when you have those moments?
Just my love for music and my passion for it. It’s all I want to do. There’s nothing else I can really see myself doing at this point in my life that would make me as happy.
What do you have in the works right now?
First things first, we need to release music. I really just want to take it one step at a time and see what happens. I want to see what the response is–maybe if we get any interest from other parties that would be great. I’m taking it step by step at this point.
And right now, you’re on the “getting music released” step.
Yeah. That, and getting everybody ready to play live.
How is that coming along? How long have you been working on your live show?
Everybody in the band lives out of state so we can only practice maybe once every week, or usually every other week. We don’t really have the luxury of being able to practice five times a week and being ready for a show super soon. Everything is going really well in that aspect. We’re all starting to sound really tight.
I’ve been talking to the first guitarist I brought on, Caleb [Spiece], since September of last year or so. It’s been a while now.
I know it can be hard to predict stuff like this when you’re taking things one step at a time, but when is your goal for fans being able to see you play live?
I mean, if we can get a good show booked, maybe in a couple of months. I’d be stoked for that. It all depends on how we sound. I’m pretty nitpicky in that aspect because I just don’t want to suck the first time people see us.
There’s nothing wrong with being picky about your live performance. As far as your recordings go, you said you’ve tracked stuff already. Do you have a planned release date or anything for your EP?
I’m actually sitting on my EP. It’s completely, 100 percent tracked. I don’t have a set date. That’s another one of those things I’m letting play out a bit more before I make a move. On the chance that somebody does take interest in us, I don’t know what will happen with that. ALT