On Sylar’s fist-in-the-air rock anthem “All Or Nothing,” lead vocalist Jayden Panesso says “you better bring it” if you want to leave your mark on the world. And the musician knows a thing or two about sacrificing for his goals. A first-time father as of two months ago, he witnessed the arrival of his daughter between tours and recording for the band’s uncompromising and reflective upcoming album Seasons.
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“It was pretty intense,” Panesso tells AP. “I was home for the first three months of the pregnancy, but after that, I was on the road the whole time.” While making sure he didn’t miss the birth itself—a moment he calls “the greatest thing ever”—he otherwise kept his eyes on the prize, touring with Sylar while hatching the hard but heartening message that takes the hip-hop-flavored metalcore act’s third effort to a whole new level.
But don’t think that parenthood’s dulled the frontman’s senses. All in all, the responsibility’s only sharpened Panesso’s poetics. Guided by the vocalist’s straightforward attack, a prosaic sophistication shapes Seasons’ 11 songs into street-smart parables. “Lyrically, I wanted to say more by saying less,” he notes of the new tunes’ essence. “To make everything crystal clear as opposed to having people read between the lines.”
“I wanted to say more by saying less. To make everything crystal clear as opposed to having people read between the lines.” –Jayden Panesso
As a result, Panesso’s level head threads the fabric of Seasons’ changes. “All Or Nothing” fuels the willpower of “No Way” till the swagger of “SHOOK!” firebombs a stash of jams meant for headbanging and hustling. It’s part and parcel of Sylar’s attitude toward society at large and the music scene in particular.
“We didn’t write a song called ‘All Or Nothing’ for no reason,” he explains. “That’s how we feel about our career.”
That earnestness was evident on their 2014 debut To Whom It May Concern and not-a-Beatles-album Help! two years later. And Panesso’s so driven that he sacked an embryonic version of Sylar in 2012, finding the players too apathetic, before he hooked up with guitarist/vocalist Miguel Cardona, bassist Travis Hufton and guitarist Dustin Jennings. Newest member Cody Ash replaced original drummer Thomas Veroutis last year.
“We went out with a bunch of different people,” the frontman recalls of Sylar’s first tour. “And by the time it was done, we were like a new band with new members. We dropped an EP in 2013, and that’s when things really got started. And we’re still here; we still want the same thing.”
Signing with Hopeless in 2016 gave the group a further boost, in addition to their growing circle of friends on the circuit repping the band’s vibe. One of those pals stands as perhaps Sylar’s biggest champion: Beartooth’s Caleb Shomo who had the band’s back since he produced their debut and helped them land their first record deal. Panesso and Shomo are currently reunited on Beartooth’s The Disease Tour, the pair and their respective bands “rocking across America” with Knocked Loose.
“Caleb [Shomo] is one of our best friends. He’s one of the reasons we get to do so many cool things.” –Jayden Panesso
“I’ll hand it to that dude,” Panesso says. “Caleb is one of our best friends. He’s one of the reasons we get to do so many cool things. I’ll never deny that. We’re still super-thankful because that dude has always vouched for us, big time. And I never really hung out with Knocked Loose before this, but we’re like four shows in, and we’re all already super-tight.”
Consequently, you can catch that camaraderie on a stage near you this fall, followed by Sylar’s continued quest to lift spirits via rock song. To say nothing of the new fatherhood on balance for Panesso. The road ahead is sure to strengthen the band’s commission: It’s now or never, go take your shot.
Sylar’s Seasons drops this Friday, Oct. 5. Preorders are available now, and you can catch the band on tour with Beartooth this fall.
10/03 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room *
10/05 – Silver Spring, MD @ Fillmore *
10/06 – Camden, NJ @ Rock Allegiance Festival
10/07 – Richmond, VA @ The National *
10/09 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa *
10/10 – Charleston, SC @ Music Farm *
10/12 – Charlotte, NC @ Fillmore *
10/13 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre *
10/14 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues *
10/16 – Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution *
10/17 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum *
10/19 – New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues *
10/20 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues *
10/21 – Corpus Christi, TX @ Brewster Street *
10/23 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues *
10/24 – San Antonio, TX @ Alamo City Music Hall *
10/26 – Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater *
10/27 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Pressroom *
10/28 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues *
10/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Belasco *
10/31 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues *
11/01 – Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues *
11/03 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades *
11/04 – Berkeley, CA @ UC Theatre *
11/06 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom *
11/07 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo *
11/09 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot *
11/10 – Denver, CO @ Oriental Theater *
11/12 – Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater *
11/13 – Omaha, NE @ Sokol Auditorium *
11/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater *
11/15 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s *
11/17 – Columbus, OH @ Express Live! *
* with Beartooth, Knocked Loose