National Product

Written by Josh Snider

Posted Jun 2, 2007, by Josh Snider.

Danny Casler- Vocals
Jeff Feuerhaken- Guitar
Stan Moniz- Guitar
Rob Caveney- Drums
Nathan Elliott- The Thunder
Dan Niles- Keys

I first heard of you guys thru my friend Kevin from Eudora. That was years
ago, and I am glad I have the chance to do this interview with you now. Great guy, I love him

How did you get interested in playing rock music? Well, its not just rock I am interested in to be honest. Its music in general. I just really love music. I think its the one universal language everyone can experience and love.

I heard a couple of you guys came from Hawaii, how is the rest of the world
different from Hawaii? Hawaii is different in my opinion because there are places that you step out off a plane onto and just think “this place is incredible” Its not just the aesthetically pleasing oceans and jungles that lace the island, but its a very spiritual place. There is a sense of peace there and the people are amazing, the languages there are incredible, they have their own hybrid language that only people from there understand and the food is out of this world. The truth is, any place can be “this place” If you find a place where your at peace with yourself then you have found your Hawaii ya know.

Give me an idea of what the island of Oahu is like, is it like the main
island at all, or just a small town? It is the main island. They call it the “Gathering Place” because essentially it is where everyone meets and comes to first. Oahu is an island, one of 7 that are fully inhabitable. Its a big island as well, but only takes 4 hours to generally drive around.

I'm sure everyone always asks if you all surf being from Hawaii, but do you? Yes, of course =) Its like growing up in snow and not skiing or snowboarding ya know. We all are very in tune with the ocean from every aspect. The ocean is where almost everyone spends their times on weekends.

Do you play any other sports? I grew up playing soccer and baseball and never really got into football cause im not the biggest dude in the world so I stuck to sports that ensured me not getting killed.

How is the Hawaii music scene different than one like southern california or
any other place on the mainland? Well, california is the only scene I can base it off of in contrast. In california, venues and bands like to segregate themselves for the most part. Like bands, play with Like bands you know. In Hawaii we would play shows with reggae bands, metal bands, ska bands, crust bands. It was pretty neat man and people just loved music in general and noone cared for labels. That’s important to me to keep it real like that and be open to everything. Its pretty neat to be honest.

Being from Hawaii, and being that not too many bands come from Hawaii, how
is it being one of the few bands to make it (somewhat) mainstream from the
island? You know I don’t know how to answer this. Its very exciting to be able to come from and represent such an incredible place. We deff want to respect that island and hold the flag for it wherever we go so the goal is to do that of course but I don’t know that feels just yet. I just heard our song was #1 on the radio in Hawaii on its main rock station Star 101.9 and it floored me seriously. We go home in a few days so I get to see exactly what that has done you know and how people will react when we play it live.

How did you first go about promoting yourselfs once you came to southern
california? We bought lots of food from the 99 cent store haha, cause we were poor and we spent the other money on flyers at kinkos. We all got jobs at places that helped the band. Robby worked at Kinkos and Stan worked at Fed Ex. We used those jobs to further the band, shipping and printing etc.

How do you think bands could do a better job promoting themselfs, than they
do already? Find a dude who runs the internet and tell him to put your banner everywhere and spam your band haha Im kidding. I think just staying up on the new trends of the industry and where kids are going is the key. They control your success.

Not too many bands can tour places like Alaska, all over the US, and Mexico,
can you give me an idea of what thats like? Alaska, is very cold in the winter, very warm in the summer but beautiful ALL the time. Mexico is awesome once you get passed the border towns. It is much like hawaii near the coastal communities. Beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers etc. Great food, cheap everything. Kids absolutely love music in both places with full passion.

How is the music scene in Alaska? Alaska is great and its growing. This will be our 3rd time going back and I have seen it just continue to explode with bands and kids going to shows. Its very exciting to watch that. Kurt and Chad from AKSoul are the reason that Alaska has such an incredible resource of music to enjoy for sure.

When you go back to Hawaii on tour, how is your response? The response is always amazing. Its our home you know so we are happy to see them and vice versa. This time we go home with Emery so there is even more reason for them to be excited!

How do you like being on R&M Records? Such a great label. They have done a tremendous amount for this band and their heart is ALL in. We met with many labels and couldn’t find the right fit. For me, its not about just being on a label. Its about being on THE label. The one that loves you, believes in you.

What gave you the idea for your band name? We based the idea of the thought of individuality. A lot of people complain about their lives yet they do nothing about it. They say they arent happy, but they make no moves to change that, or they “try” and say it just wont work. The name is about not being a product of your environment. About changing your life to be better, to inspire others to do the same.

Have you been in other bands, why did they end or how are they going? I was in a band called A Story Book Ending and it had some really neat success and I saw it deff going somewhere big. I did it at the same time as NP to fill a spot for a singer that left and it took off and I had to choose. My best friends, or being in a band that would take me away from that. I chose my friends and that’s made all the difference.

If you had to pick the best venue to play at, what would it be? The best venue to play at would be Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii. Its on the ocean with a huge mountain backdrop. Go check our myspace for those pics =)

How was your first show? Our first show was at a church called Hope Chapel in the school cafeteria. They made us stop playing after a few songs because some of the covers we did were “unappropriate”

How have you seen yourselves get better since then? Oh by leaps and bounds for sure.

What band do you look up to and would love to open for? Bon Jovi haha. Strungout, NOFX, Bad Religion, Underoath, Jimmy Eat World, AFI and the dude who had the big eyes on american idol. The bush baby dude.

What makes you want people to listen to your music? My heart and soul is in it so that’s what I want me to listen for and then feel some of themselves in it.

What inspires most of your lyrics? Everyday life. War, love, heartbreak, birth, death, any event that changes my mood.

How many people in the band are original band members? Technically 5 all original, the only one who replaced anyone is Nathan who replaced Joey.

How did your band together? We met thru mutual friends and fooled around making music and it turned into a band that we honestly did not expect to happen.

When was your band formed? Well, this is a tough one because a lot of grew up together and all played but the band wasn’t a real band until about 03 in my opinion because that’s when we moved to Cali and stayed in Cali and really ran for it.

Where do you think that your band will be in 5 years? Old fat, smelly and still playing shows. Ha! Nah, I don’t know, I hope we are still rocking together and if not, I hope we are still rocking somehow.

What do you think its going to take to get there? A rocket ship or the wagon from the movie Radio Flyer and a lot of hardwork and good songs.

Where have you been playing lately and how has your response been? We have been doing one offs all over and to be honest the response has been awesome. I just want kids to have the record so we can rock.

Do you have any upcoming shows? Yeah tons, all on the myspace page, it would be a ton to list

Do you have any advice to starting bands? Be honest, make smart moves, be sincere, your fans are #1, don’t forget that and respect eachother and have fun.

What is the best thing about music? The soul within it that makes you move.

Is their anything you want to see happen thru/to music in the future? I just wanna see music get back to being more sincere and honest.

Are you doing anthing to make those ides happen? Heck yeah, anytime we make music or get on a stage. We are all about it.

What other instruments can you guys play? We can all pretty much play one another's instruments. We arent like Dragon Force good at even our own instruments but we love to play regardless. I know how to play trumpet and baritone and Danimal is rad on the skin flute.

Any funny/interesting stories? Yes... I have a crazy story. We were on tour with our good friends Fiore driving from Alb, New Mexico to Las Crucas for Warped Tour. The drives we were doing on this tour were roughly 6-8 hours each night which is pretty normal for us, however on this ride, everyone was overly tired. We were in a 3 van convoy heading down the 25 ultra late at night, 3 guys were passed out, one was on his phone, I was playing Halo and the driver (our tour manager) and bass player were up front. We were in the middle of the desert and there were absolutely no street lights, and it felt like the movie “The Hills Have Eyes”. We started to joke about deer and how scary it would be for one of them to jump out and how even scarier it would be if a human or creature was just standing in the road, kinda like that movie about that creature that could fly and stole peoples skin, and just murdered them. I cant even remember but it lived in a barn and made its walls out of human bodies.

Anyhow, we were already getting ourselves all psyched up on the drive and 20 minutes after the conversation with nothing but silence in the van, our tour manager and bass player start screaming and the van pulls hard to the right and all the cars in convoy with trailers are swerving hard to the right and our tour manager keeps going “ Holy &^%, what was that, dude, what was that, did you guys see that!!?!?!?”

By this time, everyone in the back is up scared crapless wondering what the hell just happened. Our bass player looks back and says “Dude, there was a dead body in the street” Everyone starts freaking out as we pull off to the side to park and the other guys in the van in front start getting our scared and yelling “What the *&%^ was that dude”

The tour manager starts telling us that he saw a guy, on his knees covered in blood from head to toe looking up at the sky with his arms spread out. Everyone kept saying, “no way dude, we are in the middle of the desert, there isnt a house around for another hour or two” Well, we call the cops and they said it would take about 20-30 min at top speed. Bret from Fiore and myself, went and grabbed a single Mag Light and began to walk down the road towards whatever this thing was. Our band was screaming at us telling us to stop being jerks, and not go anywhere because something may happen etc. Bret and I felt this immediate sense of responsibility to help this person if they were dying or whatever, but....and this is a big BUT. At the same time, we didn’t know what the hell was back there and we were told it was old indian reservation ground and man, 2 band dudes, 1 mag light, pitch black dark....we were scared. We got about 50 yards down and then shut off the mag just to freak ourselves out for a second and then we booked back to the van. “Yeah man, ummm, were just gonna wait for the police to come”

The police finally come and it turns out, this guy was an illegal immigrant, walking for 6 days in the desert. He was picked up by some driver who robbed him, gave him a bottle of alcohol which he thought was water and kicked him out of the car. He was severely intoxicated hence his delirium and covered in blood from falling over things and bushed in the night. He died on the street and the spent 20 minutes reviving him in which he was going in and out of consciousness. They said they werent sure if he would live but the way that ambulance drove past us, we knew he had a chance. We all sat on the roofs of our vans for 30 min after letting it sink in and we prayed for the dude. The next 2 hours everyone was wide awake and in complete silence the entire trip. I think we all reflected on how lucky we were 1 to be alive, 2 to live in a country where someone would walk for 6 days just to enter it and 3 to have witnessed something like this that would affect us in such a way that 1 & 2 of what I just said was never taken for granted.

What do you think about UFOs? Im all about it. I get Alien jerky everytime we go thru vegas. That stuff tastes so good.

Do you guys have any other jobs, other than being in the band? We all fortunately play music only. We do some work stuff but its all music related. I produce, help with others songwriting, harmonies. Robby and Niles do graphic work for other bands and help design sites. We pretty much all love being involved and its cool to make extra money in the industry so it keeps us busy when were not on tour.

Do your parents like you playing music today? They do now, but they didn’t before haha. I think its funny how my parents went from not really being into it, to now wanting to know everything that’s going on.

What were some of your favorite bands growing up? Bob Marley, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Beatles, Jimmy Eat World, Run DMC and many more

What would you say to a kid who has no faith in himself? I would say that he needs to realize the reality that his life, was a miracle in itself. That even tho this sounds funny, he beat out millions of sperm to reach and egg, and even from that standpoint, you had to fertilize it. Once you were given life which is a gift, you took on a responsibility that you may not be aware of. Its the responsibility to go out into the world and become the best person you can be and inspire others to do the same. We have one life, its very short, and we are very blessed to even have that short time together. Get out there, find something you love and be the best at it that YOU can be. Don’t worry if so and so is better than you at it. The word better is a relative word and you decide whether or not your the best YOU can be.

How old were each of you when starting to play instruments? Some of us have been toying with stuff since we were young and some picked it up just to play in the band so we learned on the fly.

Do any of the members of the band play in any other bands? Nope, unless Robby started a fart noise band that I don’t know about.

Have you lost any fans for doing something drastic? No, not that I know of. If we did, then they werent fans because we didn’t know them. We are very close to all our fans so if someone is out of the loop we feel it, we know it. I know as a band gets bigger its harder to be as close but we make steps to keeping it real.

Every bands music changes over the years, but do you like playing and the
style of the old stuff? Yeah, I like playing everything we make because its still who we are even if it was who we were back then. Its nice to evolve you know. We cant play blast beats forever ha.

Anything you would like to say to your fans reading this interview? I hope you liked it and got some new info from this interview because these questions were great!

Have you ever been on tour, how many and how did they go? Tons of them and they all go fun. We don’t like hotels, we sleep at fans houses and if we do hotels, we invite fans over =) We also make it like a big camping trip so that it never gets old.

How does it feel to tour with the band members? Well with them its fun and smelly and always insane. Without it would be quiet, not as smelly and kinda boring.

What do you guys do on the road to keep busy? We fart on eachother, and sing a long like were on a field trip, we prank eachother, film webisodes and just basically have a good time.

Do you have any advice to bands about to go on their first tour? Yes, work really hard and save a lot of money before you go. Let your job know way ahead of time what your doing and that you love your job and want to come back to it when the tour is done. Make sure your all good friends. Get a good van, don’t be cheap or youll pay for it later. If its snowing, be smart, don’t speed, yell at deer, its a lot of fun. Fart a lot and meet lots of people.

What is the craziest thing a fan has done? Sent us chihuahuas and one sent me an anonymous check for $2,500 because I wrote a blog about charity and things I like to do selflessly.

How did you come up with the title of your latest album "LUNA"? We thought about the faces of the moon and how people also go thru phases from darkness to light. It represent the ups and downs within our lives that we all face and can tie into many spiritual and non spiritual things. Let that build from there for you =)

Has it gotten any radio play? Yeah we have, our song just went to #1 on a big station and the CD doesn’t come out for another few months.

How long did you wait from start to finish making the CD and how did it
feel? We moved to orlando for 6 months but the record really only took a lil over a month to make but we spent sometime on the mix and making sure everyone was happy so it was like almost 2-3 months till it was done and done. The feeling is like having our first child, and since I don’t have children, I use that BACK ENDogy because people tell me its incredible.

What do you guys think about it? Elated and excited for you to hear it.

Where can we get it? Online and In Stores Nationwide

What do you want people to get out of listening to "LUNA"? Good songs, emotional feelings and happiness, motivation, inspiration

What did your fans say about it? They all keep saying, “I wish we didn’t have to wait till August” haha

Any advice for anyone thinking about making a CD? Go in, have fun, be honest and love what you do

Any last words? Yes, thank you Josh for the interview, it was a pleasure and better than most. Thanks for the kids who read this, sorry for talking about farting so much, it's just so funny. Love you all xoxo



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