By Kevin VanAntwerpen | 11/16/11 10:56pm

You would think it’s really, really simple for a group of musicians to get together and say, “Let’s start a band that sounds like a mixture of X and Y.” But the longer Chasing the Sky exists, the more I realize that we have absolutely no control over the way we sound.

When I first joined the band, we were basically a pop-rock machine. Vocalist Brenden Stark, former drummer Ryan Dekkinga and I were all into pop and punk bands like New Found Glory, Jimmy Eat World, Brand New and Amber Pacific. We kicked out song after song based on short progressions of power chords.

That’s what we always intended to be. But just like the way life usually plays out, what we intended to be was not what we became.

After Ryan had a kid (who, let me add, is going to grow up to rule the world), our lineup changed. We tapped keyboard player Cassidy Warner (who would go on to become one of my best friends) and blues guitarist Trevor Atkinson from the local band JuxTApose. Replacing Ryan on drums was Dana Mika.

With all the new additions to the band, we had meeting after meeting about what we wanted to sound like. Brenden and I would list off some bands, and even made a mix of songs for Trevor.

But the more we practice together, the more we’re learning that being in a band is not about trying to sound a certain way. It’s about mixing everyone’s musical tastes and inspiration, like a bunch of chemicals, just to see what comes out. When you blend Brenden’s 90’s influences, with my post-hardcore and emo background, and add in Cassidy’s classical piano and Trevor’s blues and jazz training, you get something completely unique.

This has played out brilliantly in the context of the new record we’re working on. While there are a few pop-rock songs left over from the early days of Chasing the Sky (and these songs are catchy as hell, let me tell you), there are about six or seven completely new songs that sound like nothing we’ve ever written.

They’re an infusion of all of our experience, and let me tell you — we couldn’t be happier with the way it’s sounding.

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