The band was originally the brainchild of guitarist Todd Weinstock (Glassjaw) and Lars Weiss (Judge) who enlisted his pals guitarist Brian Deneeve (From Autumn To Ashes) and drummer Tucker Rule (Thursday). However it wasn't until the addition of frontman Derrick Karg-Zamudio and bassist Marcus Russell Price (who joined the fold once Weiss parted ways with the band) that Get Involved! as we know it came into existence—and from the moment they played their first note together, the group immediately knew they were onto something special.
"We all toured together through our prior projects and basically grew up together on the road during our second childhood," Weinstock explains. "We always talked about doing bands together and it's finally come together and the timing worked out to make it a reality." While the members have gone on to do various projects such as Weinstock's disco-influenced act Men, Women & Children and Deneeve and Rule's current role as live musicians for the boy band The Wanted, they never abandoned their love of heavier music and the spirit it embodies. "No matter how old you are if you came from where we came from you can't lose that," says Rule.
That DIY ethic is represented in the way Get Involved! approach everything from their music to the manufacturing of it, which is evidenced by their decision to go directly to their fans via Kickstarter to fund this EP, which was produced in Venice by legendary producer Ross Robinson (At The Drive-In, The Cure). "I worked with Ross on both Glassjaw albums and he's been a great friend and huge part of my life since then so he wanted to be on board from the beginning," Weinstock explains. "We just didn't want to go the same route that we took with our previous bands so we asked for just enough to cover expenses and put that money toward awesome incentives like special vinyl for our supporters."
While Get Involved!'s roots lie in aggressive music, the band were conscious to avoid relying on the formulaic trappings of punk/hardcore in favor of creating a progressive brand of music that transcends the genre while still implementing the stylistic hallmarks that have endeared them to fans over the years. From the catchy catharsis of "Serenity Now" to the syncopated sing-along "Paint It Gold," these four songs showcase how much each player has progressed since their previous acts and listeners who aren't familiar with Karg-Zamudio will literally be blown away by the acrobatic power of his distinctive pipes as it rises above the pummeling instrumentation.
"With this project the music comes first; I hear the part and if it resonates a melody comes to me," Karg-Zamudio says of his creative process. "Nothing is premeditated and it's surprising what comes out sometimes as far as the unconscious thoughts that are hidden but important." Robinson was undoubtedly a huge catalyst for Karg-Zamudio's insights and at one point he even tried to take the singer out into the middle of the ocean at night to free dive. While Karg-Zamudio never made it underwater, those types of unorthodox experiences forced all of the members of Get Involved! to confront their own personal demons and pull something out of them that they didn't even know existed in the process.
"Working with Ross was super intense in the sense that he breaks you down to your most basic form and it's your job to build yourself back up and get the take," Rule confirms. "During this recording process we weren't only physically exhausted but mentally drained . He really wants to get you to the point where most people would give up and say they want to start over tomorrow but you're locked in the recording booth and you have to dig deep to pull the take out of you," he continues. "I didn't realize it at the time but it's like conquering something and I think you can hear that spirt in all of these songs."
From the Snapcase-inspired post-hardcore drive of "Let Your Guard Down" to the alternately captivating and crushing nature of "Apathy," this EP showcases the various sides of Get Involved! and is precursor to what these seasoned musicians are like onstage. "The live show is where we give three million percent because with this type of music you can't help but throw yourself into it or not do it at all," Rule explains. "It feels like we've all been playing together much longer than we have," Weinstock summarizes, adding that the band will be touring and working on a full-length in 2014. "It already sounds like we've been through a war together and we're just getting started."