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Interview with If Not For Me: Rising Stars in the Melodic Hardcore Scene

In a world where music is constantly evolving, vocalist Patrick (Patty) Glover and guitarist Hayden Calhoun, the dynamic duo behind the band If Not For Me, are making waves with their refreshing sound and infectious energy. With their sophomore album, "Everything You Wanted," set to release on March 29th under Thriller Records, the anticipation is palpable as fans eagerly await their next sonic journey.


if not for me

The expedition of If Not For Me is a testament to perseverance and dedication. From humble beginnings in their high school days, Hayden, the guitarist, and Patty, the vocalist, have navigated the tumultuous waters of the music industry, facing challenges head-on and emerging strong each time. Their story is one of evolution, both personally and professionally.


What sets If Not For Me apart is not just their undeniable talent, but their willingness to embrace change and adapt to new opportunities. From their early days with labels like Stand By and In Vogue to their latest venture with Thriller Records, they've shown a remarkable ability to evolve while staying true to their roots.


Their creative process is a collaborative effort that incorporates influences from various genres, resulting in a sound that is uniquely theirs. With each album, they push the boundaries of their musicality, experimenting with different songwriters and producers to create a diverse yet cohesive body of work.


The upcoming album, "Everything You Wanted," promises to be a standout moment in their career. Delving into themes of introspection and personal growth, the album reflects If Not For Me's journey over the past few years. From the melodic hooks of "Tragedy" to the experimental vibes of "I Don't Want To Be Here," every track is a testament to their artistic evolution.


As they gear up for their headlining tour in support of the new album, If Not For Me is excited to connect with their fans on a deeper level. With tour dates spanning from March 29th to April 12th, they're ready to bring their electrifying performances to audiences across the country.


But their success isn't just about the music. It's about the community they've built, the connections they've forged, and the impact they've had on their fans. From engaging with fans on social media to hosting contests and giveaways through their discord, Patty and Hayden discuss how dedicated they are to creating a meaningful experience for their audience.


In a world where authenticity is often overshadowed by commercialism, If Not For Me stands as a beacon of hope for aspiring musicians everywhere. Their story is a reminder that success is not just about talent, but about resilience, passion, and the courage to chase your dreams against all odds.


As they embark on the next chapter of their journey, If Not For Me are ready to conquer new heights, armed with nothing but their love for music and unwavering determination to leave their mark on the world. With "Everything You Wanted" set to release this March, the future looks brighter than ever for If Not For Me, and fans can't wait to join them on this exhilarating ride!


if not for me

Tune in below to hear about the process of recording "Everything You Wanted" plus more about the future of If Not For Me in our conversation with Patty Glover and Hayden Calhoun:

 

Sabrina: Thank you guys so much for sitting down with us today to talk about the new album and your signature with Thriller Records. Congratulations, of course. Can you guys start by introducing yourself, your role in the band, maybe a fun fact? 


Patty: Yeah, thank you. I'm Patty. I sing. A fun fact about me. 


Hayden: He only likes cheese pizza. 


Patty: That's not a very fun fact. It's one for me. It's a pretty lame fact. 


Hayden: Yeah, it's actually very not fun for me. 


Patty: What's a fun one? I think a fun one is that I never wanted to be a singer in a band, but here we are. Oh, I'm the singer. I don't know if I said that. 


Hayden: You did say that, but that's all right. 


Patty: Oh, I did? 


Hayden: We'll let that slide. My name is Hayden. I'm the guitarist. And a fun fact is, I don't know. I like olives. 


Sabrina: That's a good choice. I have to agree with you there. So first question for you guys. You just recently signed with Thriller Records, but it seems you guys have had a good track record with booing labels from Stand By to In Vogue, now Thriller. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to success? 


Hayden: We can try. Yeah, I don't know. We've been really... What was that? 


Sabrina: How did If Not For Me begin? Where did it all start? 


Patty: This is the guy to ask. 


Hayden: Yeah, technically, I am the only original member actually, just because it was my old high school band. And then it slowly turned into something more than that. I guess we kind of got serious, and then we considered the start of If Not For Me in 2018 when we had the first solid lineup of me, Patrick, and Zach. We didn't really have... We went through drummers at the time. But again, kinda of really we got really lucky with a bunch of really good labels. We've always had a really good team behind us, and now we have no complaints about the team that we're working with now. It's pretty awesome. 


Patty: One thing I always like to tell people is you could have the best music, the best image, the best everything, but you're only going to be as good as the team that you build around you. And so that's one thing that was really important for us when we were starting to get serious with this band. We wanted to work with the best producers we could, wanted to market this the best way we could to just get us to that next level. And I think that's why we've had so much good luck with labels in the past that believe in us. And it's amazing to be on Thriller. We're so stoked about it. 


Sabrina: I'm so excited for you guys. There's so many great artists out there. 


Patty: Thank you. Right? 


Sabrina: I mean, yeah, you guys fit in perfectly. It's awesome. I mean, I can't wait for the upcoming tours you guys are about to go on. I'm sure there's about to be some crazy headliners, co-headliners. I'm excited for it all. 


Patty: We're planning on it. Yeah, we hope so. 


Hayden: Yeah, we're trying. 


Patty: It's cool because we were like active fans of pretty much all the Thriller bands before this happened. So especially like Honey Revenge and The Home Team and Catch Your Breath and like The Word Alive and all those bands. It's like we were, you know, huge fans of this roster. And then so to be a part of it is just, I don't know, it's really surreal. 


Hayden: Yeah, I don't think it's really kicked in for some of us yet. 


Sabrina: It slowly will. 


Hayden: Yeah. 


Sabrina: So you released your debut Eulogy barely two years ago. An album delving into themes of struggle with mental health. Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind this album and the mindsets going into recording the newer release? 


Patty: Yeah. Let's see, Eulogy was a little bit different because we wrote pretty much that whole album by ourselves. And a lot of that had to do with, you know, things that I was dealing with, with my like mental health and all that good stuff. But when we were writing for Everything You Wanted, we really wanted to like kind of push our boundaries a bit and work with as many different songwriters as we could to try and, you know, like get the sounds that we really want. Because like we're just we're right. We want to write songs that we like, like we don't care if they're super heavy. We don't care if they're super soft, like we just want to like the songs. We want to write something catchy, something that we would listen to. So we opened the door to write with all these different producers and stuff like that, which was amazing for us. It helped us get a lot of things that we wouldn't probably have gotten on our own. And we're really stoked about that. But like for this record, I was writing a lot more about, you know, my relationships in the past rather than, you know, things that I was dealing with in my own head. There's certainly some of that stuff sprinkled throughout the album. But the majority of this record I kind of wrote from a place of like hindsight and grief over the last, you know, a couple of years of my life. Just, you know, screwing things up in my relationship, getting screwed over and writing about a lot of how that stuff made me feel. And it's been really cool to see some of the reactions we've gotten from these singles, like hearing people, you know, relate to these songs and get something out of them. Because that's ultimately what I wanted when, you know, we wrote these songs. I just wanted to make somebody feel something. And if somebody could get something positive out of it, like that's, I mean, I feel like I've done my job at that point. 


Hayden: Yeah. 


Sabrina: That's all? Nothing to add, Hayden? 


Hayden: No, no, not really. 


Patty: He's really good on the yeah’s. 


Hayden: Yeah, he hit the nail on the head. I'll stop him though, or I'll add. 


Sabrina: You guys mentioned you were working with some songwriters. I mean, who is someone, producer, songwriter that you worked with who, you know, just blew you out of the park was someone that you've been dying to work with was a great experience overall? 


Patty: I think that's hard to answer because there's a couple of them. 


Hayden: Yeah. 


Patty: But like we... 


Hayden: good with the yeah? 


Patty: Yeah. Like when we did Eulogy, we worked with these guys named Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland. They work out of Atrium Audio. They've done like August Burns Red. Who else have they done? A lot of bands. Like Monster Flames, 


Hayden: ERRA, Texas in July. 


Patty: Yeah, we worked with them in the past. And one of the songs that, Everything You Wanted, actually, that song, we wrote with them for this round. But we wanted to branch out, like I was saying, into other songwriters this time. And one of the guys that we worked with was Ricky Armolino from Ice Nine Kills. We did Feel Me Now with him, and that came out sick. We worked with Kurt Martin, who does like a lot of the Catch Your Breath stuff, for Alone. And then a lot of the album we wrote with Jon Eberhard, who writes for I Prevail, Sleeping With Sirens, Conquer Divide, bunch of other really sick bands. And like, I don't know, just getting to work with so many producers that put out music that we love was just really cool. Yeah, anything to add to that? 


Hayden: Yeah. No, I honestly like the, I don't know, I really wanted to work with Jon Eberhard for a while. And again, we got the opportunity to do that. The first song that we wrote with him was Demons. And after we did that, I don't know, the whole process just went really well. We really, I don't know, we vibe really well as people, as musicians. 


Patty: When we did that song, we were like, we gotta go back. 


Hayden: Yeah, exactly. We wrote like four or five more with him after that. We were just like so sold on it. I don't know, yeah. Yeah. 


Sabrina: You guys definitely have me excited. 


Hayden: I'm going to say yeah more than any other time I've ever said yeah in my life. 


Sabrina: We'll keep a counter on the side. See how many times you get it. 


Patty: Sick. 


Hayden: Hopefully only at three. 


Sabrina: I think so. 


Hayden: All right, seven. 


Sabrina: Your sophomore album, Everything You Wanted, releases March 29th. Is this album a response to your breakthrough Eulogy or an entirely new sonic journey? How does this album break the standards eulogy set? 


Patty: That's a really good question. 


Hayden: A little bit of both, I feel like. 


Patty: Yeah. 


Hayden: Obviously, it's a follow up to eulogy, but we also, again, like we were talking about before, kind of wanted to try something different and really branch out. 


Patty: Yeah, one thing that was important to us when we wrote this album is we didn't want people to listen to these songs and be like, oh, that's just another If Not For Me song. We wanted to give them something new with every release. I think we've been doing that. So it's definitely, I would call it like a spiritual successor to Eulogy. It's just a step up from everything that we've ever done. And we're super proud of that. 


Hayden: Yeah, I agree. We also just really wanted to do an album where every, I mean, we always try to do this, I guess, but where every single song on it is, we could fight for it to be a single. And we wanted that when that time came, we wanted it to be a really hard argument. And I think that we did that really well, too. 


Patty: Yeah, I agree with that.


Hayden: There's not a lot of songs where I'm like, yeah, I couldn't have been a single. 


Sabrina: Awesome. So in the music industry, professionals say the second album is the hardest of an artist's career. Has this album changed you in any way professionally? 


Hayden: Honestly, I do think this one came a little bit easier. In a good way.


Patty: Not for me. 


Hayden: Okay. 


Patty: For you guys. 


Hayden: Yeah, I really wanted to, I don't know, I write a lot of music and I work with a lot of bands. I'm a record producer, songwriter, I don't know, mixing engineer. That's like my day job. So I don't know, I have more experience now than when we did the first album. And I knew that going into this one, we needed to level up everything from Eulogy. We wanted every single aspect of it, the riffs, the lyrics, the melodies, the breakdowns, we wanted all of it to be better. Because we didn't want to look at the old album and be like, ah, you know, that one was pretty cool, that was a little better. That would have crushed me. So everything that came, touching on what Patty said about it being hard, everything that we recorded, everything that we wrote, we were like, alright, how can we make that better? And we definitely pushed ourselves to the limits a little bit on that. And again, I do think it paid off. 


Patty: Yeah, I definitely agree with all that. I definitely think this record has opened up a lot more doors for us. With the Thriller signing and all that, this material was actually the material that we were shopping around to labels when we signed to In Vogue. So they obviously saw something with this record, and we did too. We thought the singles that we had at the time were like, this stuff is good. And In Vogue felt the same way, and that's why they picked this up. And ultimately, with how the record turned out and how things have been growing for us, Thriller was like, let's make the jump. Let's push you guys to Thriller. I would absolutely say that just this record alone has done so much for us as far as opening doors for the future. 


Hayden: Yeah. Honestly, it allowed us to... I mean, obviously, without saying the stereotypical, I know we have a platform, but like, I don't know. I mean, we play more shows. We can kind of focus less on the nitty-gritty details and stuff because we have such a good team behind us that we can really focus on putting on a good show. We can focus on making sure that the songs are perfect. And that really, I guess, let us step aside from the business just a little bit. We still have to focus a lot on that. But it allowed us to step up a little bit, I think. 


Sabrina: So kind of on that note, for any newer bands that are coming out into the scene right now, do you guys have any valuable lessons you learned while recording your second album? Overcome any unforeseen challenges that you can recommend to people that are trying to break out? 


Hayden: Not particularly to the second album. Well, I guess there's some in this album cycle, writing cycle, I guess, that we've learned. But one of the biggest things that I think all of us have learned over the years is not to play your hometown too much, not to play any town too much or too frequently. Because if you want people to come out, they can't be like, okay, well, I'll just miss this show. I'll go next weekend. Because it gives people too much chance. And you want every show. I think you want to treat every show like it's the show. You need this one to sell out. You need, I don't know. And you can't really focus on doing any of that kind of thing when you play too much. Yeah. 


Patty: Something that I would say that I think is a huge important thing for up-and-coming bands is you have to be willing to accept criticism sometimes. And I think a big part of that is opening up whatever you're doing as a band to outside ears. Like getting another producer involved, getting somebody else to mix your stuff. Just having somebody else in on the writing process or how you're handling things on social media or whatever to try and see an outside perspective of like, can I be doing something better? And I'm guilty of this too. A lot of people will come up with something and they think it's the coolest thing ever and they don't want to hear anything that says otherwise. And I think that's a very common mindset as to why bands kind of stagnate sometimes if they're not willing to progress and change and stuff like that. You got to be adaptable. You have to be willing to open up to criticism and you have to have people around you that are going to help you get to where you need to be because a lot of times you just, you can't do this on your own. 


Hayden: Yep, yeah. A lot of people definitely try to, I'm guilty of this too, take on too much and have too much on your plate. So you're doing everything you got to, especially if you have a band of like five, six, four, people in the band where you can delegate different roles to. I think we really kind of blossomed into doing that this album cycle. And we kind of all found our strengths a little bit. 


Patty: You just can't be afraid to ask for help. I think that's really important sometimes. 


Hayden: There's definitely a lot of bands that I see and some bigger than others where it's like one guy who writes all the music, records all the music, mixes all the music. And generally, unless you're like Joey Sturgis or something, that's probably a really bad idea to do all that yourself. Definitely outsource. Even if it saves you a lot of money to do it yourself, you should definitely get outside help and opinions on that. 


Sabrina: And honestly, I think that's such good advice to give people because so many of the other artists we talked to, they recommend just going out there, playing as many shows as you can, trying to do it all by yourself. I think it's good to admit that sometimes you need that support. It helps you get out there. 


Patty: Yeah. It really depends on what you're trying to do. If you're just trying to get out there and play shows, then so be it. Sometimes you need that little outside push to just get you to the next level. And I don't think it's a shameful thing to admit that you need help. A lot of people feel some type of way about that, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. 


Hayden:  We've been a band for a while. We've been there when we've played too many shows. And we got the opportunity to see the attendance levels on what shows we play. And if we play, honestly, we're from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. So if we play anywhere in that 30-mile radius or something, more than every two months or something like that, people stop showing up a little bit. And we've definitely had the biggest crowds in any demographic throughout the country that we've played so far anyways when we take some time off and promote, you know, work on music, then come back. 


Patty: We had to do a lot of things wrong before we started to figure out what was right. Yeah. But I think that kind of stuff comes in time and experience. 


Hayden: And obviously, I get where the play as many shows mindset comes from. You gotta practice. And the only way to get better at talking to a crowd and interacting with the crowd is to talk to a crowd and interact with the crowd. You can definitely practice your music at home and at band practice and stuff like that. And that is super important to do still. But I get it. There's definitely good and bad from that. 


Patty: Sorry, that was probably a long answer. 


Sabrina: No, that was actually perfect. Exactly what I was looking for. A lot of people ask us all the time, like, how do you get promotion? How do I get out there as a band? So I always try to ask people that are establishing themselves. I think you guys have one of the best answers. 


Hayden: As for promotion, TikTok is huge right now. But not only just TikTok, again, going back to what Patty said earlier, you have to be able to adapt. We all hate it. It does suck. It's really hard to be like, alright, this is a new app. It's called TikTok. Let's get on this. I hated TikTok. I still hate TikTok, honestly. 


Patty: It's a big learning curve for us. 


Hayden: Yeah, I understand how useful it is. And unfortunately, there will come a time, I think, where TikTok and the owners and whatever company owns that, will start to nerf the views. And you're going to have to pay for more promotion than you do currently. 


Patty: And then another platform will come along. 


Hayden: Yeah. But right now, I think because of that, Instagram especially, the algorithms are really good right now. So, I don't know. Just take advantage of that. And when the next opportunity comes out, definitely don't be afraid to jump on the train. 


Patty: Adaptability. 


Hayden: Yeah. And honestly, the people, especially the people that take the leap of faith first, it sucks because you never know what's going to pop off. But if you're one of the first people that made an account on TikTok and started making videos, you're probably massive right now. 


Patty: Yeah. 


Hayden: I definitely know a couple people that started right away and are very, very big. 


Sabrina: It's a hard realm, though, to master all of it, to understand the algorithms. Again, that's why I think a team... 


Patty: Absolutely. 


Sabrina: Awesome. As the new tracks begin to get teased off the new album, I'm assuming we can expect a tour from you guys in the near future. Which songs off the new album are you most excited to perform in front of live audiences and why? 


Patty: That's a good one. 


Hayden: Yeah. 


Patty: You want me to go first? 


Hayden: Yeah, you go first. 


Patty: I think you know what my answer is going to be. But my answer is a song called Tragedy, which will come out the day of the album on March 29th. That'll drop with a music video or whatever. That's going to be the focus track of the album. And I am so excited to play that one live. That one's a ripper. Yeah. Can't wait for people to hear that one. 


Hayden: Yeah. For me, definitely that one. That one's super fun to play. We also have a song called I Don't Want To Be Here. And it's very different for us. It has not been released yet. It has definitely a little bit more of an EDM vibe to it. But I think it's going to be really cool to play live. I'm really stoked for, I guess, the energy that the song has. See how people react to it. 


Sabrina: I can't wait. So this is our final question here. We're at the end. Thank you again for chatting with us today. We truly cannot wait to hear the new album. Everything You Wanted is out March 29th via Thriller Records. So before we end things here today, do you guys have any last words for those tuning in? 


Hayden: You go first. 


Patty: I would just say that the record drops on March 29th. We're going to be on tour promoting that. And we're just so stoked to hang out and meet everybody on the road. Hear the feedback on the album. In our link tree, in our bio or whatever, you can pre-order the album. It has all the tour dates and tickets to those. There's our Discord server. We're running a contest for the album where you can win a bunch of free stuff from the album, like a signed vinyl and all sorts of that kind of stuff. But other than that, we're so excited to get this record out and for people to hear it and be able to tour it and meet all you guys. Yeah, that's pretty much it. You got anything? 


Hayden: No. Yeah. No. We, fagain the album is coming out, everyone already  covered it, but yeah the album is coming out March 29th, we are super stoked for it, we are super stoked to hear whatever everyone says and thinks and what their favorite songs are. We will be on tour from March 29th until April 12th. And yeah, we will see you guys there 


Patty: Yeah we are stoked


Hayden: Pre-orders are live for the album, definitely preorder the vinyl, they’re going fast so if that’s something you’re interested in, definitely get on that before they sell out 


Sabrina: Well I am so excited for you guys, this is truly awesome, your second release, a huge tour coming up, you guys are headlining right?


Patty & Hayden: Yep


Sabrina: Awesome, that is so amazing, so everyone has to go buy tickets, make sure to check out If Not For Me, pre-order the album, out March 29th Everything You Wanted. Thank you guys so much for tonight!


HAYDEN YEAH COUNT: 32


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