The Second After is a pop-punk band that releases impactful and energetic songs. Hailing from Durham, North Carolina the band utilizes chord progression and key changes to create beautifully constructed songs. Comprised of Michael Greason (vocals), Ryan McDonald (drums), Nolan Shambley (bass) and Alfred Williamson (guitar/vocals) and signed to Revival Records, The Second After uses their music to talk about topics important to the members. We were lucky enough to speak with Greason & Alfred about the band’s plans for 2020 and experience in the industry!
WCBG: How did The Second After come to be?
Greason: I met Ryan, our drummer, in 2014 and we were in a metal band together. I’ve known our bassist, Nolan, for my whole life. After a few line-up changes Alfred joined the band on guitar in 2015. We released our 2nd EP and toured a ton. While we were on the road we wrote some more music
WCBG: What do you do when you’re not making music?
Greason: We do have jobs. I went to school for audio engineering, so I do that whenever I have clients. I also work as a server and a bartender.
Alfred: I am a lab manager for a medical device company. I also work as a promoter for shows, and I run shows all over North Carolina. If you have a hard work ethic to be successful in your job it carries over to the band.
WCBG: What’s the local scene like in North Carolina?
The Second After: There are a whole lot of bands here. There aren’t a lot of pop-punk bands, that definitely flourished more in the early 2000’s. We tend to play shows with bands of different genres, so a scene does exist here, but it is not necessarily pop-punk.
WCBG: What is your favorite venue that you’ve played in?
Alfred: Local 506—it is super nice and super packed. The people who work there are super accommodating.
Greason: I prefer house shows and basement shows. One of the shows we did was in a Sunday School classroom in a church. It was wild. The desks were like for elementary schoolers and we are there with all of our equipment. Plus, it was packed, there were about 40-50 kids.
WCBG: What is your favorite state that you’ve been to?
Greason: We have probably been to every state at least once or twice. I definitely have to be biased and say North Carolina. There’s nothing like playing a hometown show. Texas is also a great state, San Antonio and the South have the best house shows.
WCBG: What is your favorite and least favorite part about touring?
Alfred: My favorite part is hanging out and playing music
Greason: So, we have bunks built into our van and when the weather is hot or cold it’s like we are about to die. Sleeping in the van in bad weather is definitely not the best part.
WCBG: What is your opinion of streaming services like Spotify?
The Second After: It is an instant tool for touring to check out bands and see if they the bill. It is great for exposure, not so great for being paid.
WCBG: What is one thing you would change about the music industry as it is today?
The Second After: We wish there was a better way for hard-working bands to be recognized and get tours. It would be nice to network and open for bigger bands. We want to give the opportunity for hard-working bands to be recognized. Maybe we haven’t been recognized yet? Another thing is the monopoly of agents since they determine who tours with who. This over influx of bands and the elite mind-set of those in the industry makes it hard to break through.
WCBG: What are your thoughts on Equal Vision Records suing Waterparks for “Double Dare 2019” and “Entertainment 2019?”
The Second After: This is one of the negatives of the music industry. What you sign in your contract the label is waving your dream in front of your face and you want to make your dream come true to be a successful artist.
WCBG: What we want to try to do is make people think about the industry and of course read the contract.
The Second After: Yeah like the contact could state that those demos you wrote in your bedroom ten years ago now belong to the label.
WCBG: It definitely is crazy.
WCBG: What is your writing process like?
The Second After: We actually all write songs on our own. Sometimes we get together and jam or collectively write a song. Most of the time we set a studio date, get together and see what we have. Then we hammer the best ones down.
WCBG: What is your favorite lyric that you’ve ever written?
Alfred: It is definitely on the next single, “Daily Ritual.”
Greason: The song is about battling your inner demons and this song is for anyone—those who have anxiety, experienced trauma, any demons in your head. The lyric is, “I guess I’ll let my demons linger, listen closely as they whisper, slip and fall beneath the pressure that holds me down.” I wrote it based off what I was feeling, but I wanted everyone to be able to relate to it.
WCBG: Describe your sound in three words.
The Second After: In your face. Fun, Impactful, and Energetic. Glass Half-Full. That’s more than three words…
WCBG: It’s a broad range and I think it definitely reflects different aspects of your sound.
WCBG: Tell me a little bit about your new song, “Thinking Clear!”
Greason: It’s a nice little bop. Alfred and I worked together on this one.
Alfred: It was super fun to write the lyrics.
Greason: It is a tragedy love story. It was hard to write from the perspective of something I wasn’t currently going through and instead based on experiences I have been through in the past. It is like a fictional love story.
WCBG: I really enjoyed the back and forth vocals on the track as well as the key change.
Alfred: The key change was actually a last-minute decision in the studio. We wrote the original song in the higher key and brought it down for the recording. It builds up and resolves perfectly through the natural progression of the song.
Greason: I was actually sick when we recorded the track and when we played back the original demo at the point where the key change happens, we just decided to go for it. Right before the key change, I actually land on the note of the new key.
WCBG: How did you pick your respective instrument(s)?
Alfred: I wanted to interact with the crowd and get involved and have fun on stage.
Greason: My brother and dad played guitar so I picked it up from them. I still play it just not on stage live.
WCBG: What message do you hope to get across through your music?
Greason: Positive based and uplifting
Alfred: Things will happen, and you can come out on top
WCBG: What are your plans for 2020?
The Second After: To drop a new EP, sometime in the future. Maybe more songs will drop at the tail end. To tour as much as we can and play where people want to see us.
If you enjoyed today’s interview check out their music on Spotify
Follow The Second After on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook