1. Who's in the band and what do they do? Could you give a brief history of Media Theory?
The band media theory consists of Rich Dias on Vocals, Jason Swait on Guitar and backing vocals, Mark Paolozzi on Bass, and Ryan "Mervin" Dias on drums and percussion. Media theory has a long and colorful history. Rich, Mark, and a previous guitarist, Mike, whom had met Mark and Rich in classes, started the band, which was then called 'Solus'. Rich knew drummer Ryan from a previous band, and Mark brought in long-time friend Jason. Mike then left the band in pursuit of a different career. We called ourselves 'Effigy' at first and with about 7 tracks under our belts; we hit the local Toronto indie scene in Mid Summer 2002. After being 'persuaded' by the major-label band 'Effigy' to change our name, we decided on Quick Fix for the show and later changes it to Media Theory.
2. A lot of the people I was with watching you live said that some of your songs reminded them of Rage Against The Machine. Would you consider them to be an influence on your music? Describe your sound to someone who's never heard you before. If you can.
Rich: from the vocalist's point of view, I consider them a major influence on myself, both lyrically and vocally. They were probably the first band I listened to when I took up listening to Rock music. I can appreciate the way Zack De La Rocha explained his political views in such a lyrical way. But especially as a band, Rage Against The Machine is not our only influence. Our influences are wide and varied, RATM obviously, but also the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana Tool, and many others. Our sound is many-faceted. There are soft sounds and heaver songs, but all our music is based on heavy groovy bass lines with quick guitar hooks and heavy drum lines with a double bass-kick. The lyrics vary from song to song, but always involve a certain awareness of either my own experiences or political awareness. The lyrics always try to sounds poignant and powerful, as befits the song.
Jason: Unfortunately Mark and Mervin weren't able to answer, but I can safely say that from Mervin's side, we derive many forms of music including, reggae, hip-hop, and of course, metal and Rock & Roll. Mark has definitely been into Tool for as long as I can remember. Not to mention some influence from classics like Pink Floyd and Zeppelin. As for myself, I enjoy all kinds of music from jazz, rock, punk and metal. One of my major influences would probably be System of a Down, and I think NoFX inspired me to be a better guitarist. So I don't really think that Rage was a really HUGE influence, just one of the countless people we look up to.
3. Who writes the lyrics/music for the band? Do you write the music first then come up with the lyrics or is it more they both come together at the same time?
The band writes the music, usually, if not always, in a collaboration of Jason, Mark and Ryan. The vocalist writes the lyrics for the music because as the singer I would find it hard to sing from another person's point of view. But as a band, no song would have been written without each of us doing our own thing. Its part of our sound. The music is always written first, then the lyrics are added and set specifically to that piece of music, although sometimes, when the song is being written, the lyrics do instantly come and put a certain flavor to the song. Weather or not the lyrics are written during the creation of the song or after completely depends on the mood the band is in on the day.
4. What is the main focus of Media Theory: the music or the lyrics?
The focus of Media Theory is the music, in that the lyrics are part of the music. The focus of the songs vary, but always revolve around being aware of your surrounding, thoughts, and position. As such, the songs either turn out as political or personal.
5. Why the change of name from Quick Fix to Media Theory?
The name Quick Fix was used merely as a quick fix, when we changed our name from effigy. It was done on the spot and we could not come up with a better name until about a week later. We then called ourselves Media Theory. The name is symbolic for the way the media feels they have the right to censor what they want and to deliver what they feel is newsworthy. It also promotes a sense of not just political, but environmental awareness, being aware of truths around you, and trying to distinguish fact and fiction.
6. What do you guys do in your spare time when not playing in a band?
Our band used to be what we did in our spare time. Now we each do other things cause we have all set aside some time each week to jam as a band. I personally just go and hang out with my friends, oh, and sometimes these guys. (Grins) Nah...We all hang out sometimes together and do stuff. We actually go to a lot of the same parties and such. Jason actually goes paintballing and plays video games a lot.
7. How do you feel about Supernova.ca and what they're doing? Are they helping young bands to get attention?
Supernova.ca is great because they really help young bands to get a footing outside their own basements or garages and to get some experience. All of us in this band are under 19, so we can't play in many clubs. Without Supernova.ca, I doubt we would've played many, if any gigs in Toronto. They have definitely helped us a lot, and we thank them for it
8. Are you enjoying the playing live experience? How many shows have you done thus far?
Playing live is eminently one of the high points in any band. Having a crowd applaud you and the band when we were playing, having a mosh pit for your music, it's definitely an experience that beat just rehearsing. We have actually only started on this Toronto Indie Circuit in mid-summer of this year, so its been only a couple months. But we, as a band, and as individuals, have learned a lot, got a lot of experience from it and have grown. From seeing the crowd's reaction to certain songs, we have learned what the public seems to like more out of us, and what we seem to do better than what not.
9. What is it about Media Theory that makes you stand out from the countless other bands out there trying to make a name for themselves?
The main thing that makes us stand out is our style. It's definitely different. And we, as a band, have a variety of styles. We have a rapcore style, and funk style, and a couple we sort of made on our own. There's emo-metal and alt-metal. I think another thing that makes us diverse, is our attitude to what music is. Each of us has a passion for music, and on top of that, our chemistry as a band and as friends makes us a very strong band.
10. Any chance of you releasing some music in the near future?
We are trying to record a demo CD. We do have a live CD with 7 songs on it we recorded last time we played at the Kathedral. But it's live and the quality isn't great. But we hope to have a real mastered and mixed CD out soon.
11. What is the message you're trying to get across to the listener through your music?
The major message is be aware of your surroundings and don't go through life being completely cut off and not noticing that your environment is a part of who you are and whom you turn out to be. People just seem to go through life without living, and we're trying to tell people to wake up and have fun.
12. Do you have a game plan on how to go about getting people to notice your band?
We are probably just play some shows here and there, and then maybe send a demo around to radio and labels and so on. We were also thinking of getting involved with North by Northeast, which would be really cool.
13. What's more important to you? Fame or making the best music you can make?
No matter which band you ask that question to, they are going to say 'making the best music they can', simply for issues of credibility. We wouldn't be doing this as a band if we didn't want to, or didn't enjoy the music we were making, but to say there is no interest in the fame side of it is a lie. We are going to do this regardless of how much fame we receive, but some recognition is always appreciated.
Jason: Personally, I would not intend to make money off a song I did not like myself, If it doesn't have heart, then I don't care if it makes a million bucks, I don't want it out there for the sake of fame. But I'd love to get famous of my talent, it's what every musician dreams of, I think it's HOW you want to get famous that's the real ethical question.
14. Any bands you'd like to recommend? What are you listening to lately?
Rich: I'm personally listening to a lot of older Tool music. The new Coldplay is pretty nice. I'm still going through System of a Down's "Toxicity". That's a great album. Then there's some Danko Jones on the side. Good stuff, and AudioSlave is sounding nice. But I have to recommend "And The Circus Leaves Town". We've played with those guys twice at the Kathedral. They're great guys and sound hardcore. They've definitely got a great sound that everyone should check out.
Jason: I'd have to agree with the Circus Leaving Town thing. They are a really cool band with a great sound like Rich said. As for me… Right now I'm listening to NoFX, Tool, System, and I'm really diggin' that new Santana CD.
15. Any final comments?
Yeah. If you love something, like music, and people tell you not to do it, then do it, specially because, if they don't believe in you, then that gives you more of a reason to do it. And do what you believe, and what's inside, and never let anyone tell you, that you can't do it, because anyone can.