By: Richard Kelly
For singer Colleen D’Agostino, when she met guitarist Jon Moreaux, they began writing music together. Both from the same town in California, D’Agostino ended up heading to San Diego State to pursue a degree in music. Her third year at the university in 2006 brought Moreaux, past drummer Noah Vowles, past bassist Kevin Falk and her together to begin writing their first songs for a band they termed as The Material.
But a little line-up change then brought in past bassist Brian Miller and also added another guitarist, Roi Elam. Elam moved from St. Louis, Mo. to join the band and with this line-up, their initial EP titled “Tomorrow” was released in September of 2007.
Fast-forward three years. There have been some lineup changes and there has been a new EP titled “To Weather the Storm” but D’Agostino, Moreaux and Elam are all still members and new bassist Dustin Sherron, who put on a show with his bass guitar before their act, and recently added drummer Kevin Pintado round out the lineup.
Their current tour they just concluded included Every Avenue, There for Tomorrow, Sing it Loud! and the Secret Handshake. The remainder of the bands now continue on tour, but The Material played their last date on July 6.
But they’re so grateful for Every Avenue picking them to take part in the Motel Six Rock Yourself to Sleep Tour at all. It’s their first tour where they haven’t been one of the headlining acts and have been able to be on the same bill as larger bands.
“Yeah, we’ve toured the nation a few times, three times, but it’s all been on our own thing where we’ve booked all the shows,” said Moreaux. “We had some runs with some signed bands like The Scenic from Victory Records and Neural from Hopeless Records, but this is the first tour we feel is more credible and will give us more credibility down the road.”
It’s been a quick connection with all the bands for the Material. It’s now easy for them to say they’ve welcomed the other bands into their lives and want to perform with them again. Furthermore, the tour’s “spoiled them” by giving them their first tour where they sleep in the confines of a hotel room between shows, rather than in fans’ houses or in their tour van.
Describing the style of the Material is hard even for the band. They try to differentiate themselves from other bands and D’Agostino admits it’s hard to try to tour with other bands who’re female-fronted, simply because they’re often compared so much to each other.
“I actually like being the only female-fronted band on a tour. I think it gives us something a little bit different. Whenever we play any one-off shows, they try to throw a local female-fronted band on the tour,” she said. “It’s like, you have to really be into female-fronted bands to want to go to a show where there’s more than one of them.”
Moreaux agreed when asked about a tour with all female vocalists.
“The issue is that female-fronted bands are still kind of a novelty, so even if we thought it’d be a good idea, people would just kind of pigeon-hole it. Generally speaking, we get compared to Hey Monday and Paramore simply because we have female vocals but we don’t really sound like them. We’re definitely a little bit heavier.”
With the tour wrapped up, the band will now take a break until the last five stops of the Vans Warped Tour, beginning August 10. In their break, they may go to see fellow band and friends Blameshift play in California and also embark on a trip to Flagstaff, Ariz. to visit a restaurant called Primo’s. D’Agostino is a vegetarian and Elum is a vegan and they claimed they’ve actually gone out of their way before after tours are finished to stop there.
In September, The Material will release their untitled new album and are still searching currently for a record label. Moreaux’s very certain though they’re not worried about finding one quickly.
“We’ve talked to labels, but the way the music industry is right now, it’s got to a ridiculously good deal or it’s not worth it. We like doing things ourselves and independently. We’re not closed-minded to record deals but we want to see someone who believes in what we’re doing for what it is.
“A few of the labels we’ve talked to have wanted to change us and we tried it for a second, and then it was just so unnatural. That is definitely not going to happen again.”
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