We recently had the opportunity to interview the new up coming band called Quarters of Change. These young New Yorkers are currently on the road, embarking on a journey of a lifetime that many people dream of doing.
Megan: Hi, you guys. Thank you for the time for this interview. I’m super excited. I’m sorry that you guys have to do this while you’re driving on the road, but I appreciate it.
Quarters of Change: No worries.
Megan: So, you guys, if you want to introduce yourselves and then tell me a little bit about yourselves, that would be fantastic.
Quarters of Change: Sure. I’m Ben Acker. I play guitar in the band. Yeah, I’m Jasper. I also play guitar in the band. And I like dogs and peanut butter. My name is Attila and I play drums and I just like peanut butter, not dogs.
Megan: Awesome. Thank you, guys. So, since we kind of mentioned you’re on tour, I’m going to start with some questions about that being on tour. How has it been so far and how has it helped you guys musically?
Ben A: Well, being on tour has been so much fun. We are very tired though. We slept minimal hours last night trying to carve in some time driving from Denver to Salt Lake. But it’s beautiful. We’re surrounded by snowy mountains, if you can see at all. And as for the second part of the question, it’s like the best form of practice to be on tour. You’re not spending nearly as many hours as you would be, like, where you home or just in a practice room. But it’s such a real practice. Like it’s real time. Everything is like striving for perfect. It’s not really time to like daily dally. Yeah.
Megan: Awesome. Now I know your guys’ tour is obviously still continuing and you’re making your way across. So, so far, what has your favorite city been or maybe your favorite venue? And then why?
Ben A: We’ll answer that. I love New York. Say it again.
Jasper: I love New York. Because I grew up there. Yeah, New York showed us a lot of love. Last time was great too. Denver kind of feels like a safe haven in the middle of middle America. I got a strong feeling about Salt Lake City. Me too. It’s going to be cold and it’s going to be my favorite one. Yeah, it is. It’s going to be freezing.
Megan: I heard Salt Lake. When it comes to shows, they’re actually pretty cool, too. I will be seeing you guys on the 13th when you hit phoenix.
Ben A: Oh, sweet.
Ben A: I’ve never played phoenix either, honestly.
Megan: I think you guys will really love the venue. It’s small and a lot of people tend to pack into it. And it’s a lot of fun being originally from California and then moving here a couple of years ago. It’s fun to see the shift and the difference between people at shows. I’ve noticed here, I feel like people are way more into the music and the concerts than they are in California. Have you noticed that in other areas, too? Like maybe differences from New York to people in other states?
Ben A: Definitely. Every city is a little different. I think Philadelphia felt like they were really there to listen. It’s either people are jumping and going crazy during the songs, singing along, or just in, like, very thoughtful listenership and those types of shows. I feel like songs themselves tend to be low in audience volume, but then the applauses are louder. Haven’t noticed that anywhere else. Particularly maybe Minneapolis. Do you guys think yeah, Minneapolis. Maybe it’s a smaller show thing. I don’t know.
Megan: It could be. Do you guys have any preshow rituals? So you know how some baseball players, when they’re on a roll, they maybe don’t shave their beards. Do you guys have anything that you guys do before a show or maybe before recording?
Jasper: We all like to shave, but we’ll do a deep breath or a huddle or something simple. Words of affirmation. Words of affirmation. Okay. Sharing love. All the other stuff.
Ben A: And all the other stuff that we’re not allowed to talk about, as Jasper said.
Megan: Okay, cool. I know that in October, you guys released your song “To Let Go” . I honestly really enjoyed it, and I was listening to a lot of your other stuff, but the song, it just hit a different chord than other songs. And I was also obviously doing my research and stocking the Instagram. And then I saw the little note that you guys posted with the song. And I know some of the basis based off that note, what that song was based off of. Was it a hard process to write that song?
Ben A: Ben, you want to talk about it? Was it a hard process to write, to let go?
Ben R: I think that it was… It wasn’t. It wasn’t. It was like the idea of the song. It was something that I’ve been trying to write for years and years and years. And then once we were in the studio, the chorus came out. And then I was like, what was that even about? And I realized what I wanted to write about. And we finished it within maybe four hours. And that’s how I wanted that tribute song to be really organic and just springing out of me and saying the things that I really thought I wanted to say.
Megan: Okay. It was honestly a really good song. And I also feel it’s a great song that a lot of people can relate to in their own healing processes. Was that also something you were looking to do to help others on their journey?
Ben R: Yeah. I know I’m not alone in my experiences, and I know I’ve never been alone in my experiences. But when I was writing it, it was a selfish song for sure because it was very specific to one person. But I know, especially once we shared it and I heard, day of, I heard back from so many people just sharing how the song had hit them and how it affected them and stuff that they had been going through. And that made it so special to me. And I think that a lot of our songs are based around relationships, based around love, based around that idea because that’s most of my emotions. Most of my emotions, most of my thoughts are really based around that stuff. So, picking a different lane to explore and then see how other people could relate to that. That meant a lot to me.
Megan: Do you guys plan on writing a new album and including this song in an album or keeping it as a single and then maybe possibly do a new album?
Ben R: It’s on our Deluxe.
Megan: It’s on the Deluxe? Yeah. Okay, cool.
Ben R: Yeah.
Megan: It didn’t pop up on mine, so I didn’t see that. But I’m going to check it out. Do you guys’ plan on doing a new album in the future?
Ben R: You know, you’ll just have to see. Absolutely.
Ben A: Okay. We’re always writing.
Megan: Always writing? What does your guys’ writing process look like?
Ben A: We get asked this a lot, and it’s not the same ever. We’ve gone through all kinds of permutations of styles and how to start a song, whether it’s one instrument, whether it’s in the voice, even a picture. But generally speaking, it’s the most successful writing that we do, I think, is when we all step back and detach a little bit and treat ourselves like antennas because music is a universal thing and everything that we write, we didn’t create, it was already there. So it’s just a matter of how much you can tap into it.
Megan: And then when you are creating your albums, what’s the process like for picking your visuals for that?
Ben A: We are experimenting with a new visual display of ourselves. And so, if you want to talk a little bit about visually where we’re going. Yeah, I think we’ve been thinking a lot more about the visual aspect of the songs, whereas in the past, maybe we were really just focused on the meaning and the instrumentation so, with that, you’ll also just have to wait and see.
Megan: Okay. So I’m going to bring it back to you guys forming. You guys formed in 2017, correct?
Ben A: Yes.
Megan: How did you guys all meet? How did you decide to start a band? And how did you guys figure out the type of music or sound you wanted?
Ben A: Well, we’ve all known each other long before the band started. We’ve known each other since we were like three years old. Ben R and Attila went to middle school together. We all ultimately met in middle school. Do you want to talk a little more about origin?
Jasper: Sure. Yeah, yeah, we all went to… Well, me, Ben and Attila went to high school together. Attila and I were playing in all the jazz bands and shit. Then Ben came into picture at some point. I think we saw him saying twisting shout or something. I was like, damn. Then he joined the band and then it slowly became not a school band. And yeah. And then it just took it more and more seriously. Our shit. Yeah.
Megan: Since starting the band, you obviously in your head, because I feel everybody does, has an idea of where you want to go and where you want to head. Are you guys going in that direction you originally thought or has your path slightly changed and you’re happier about it?
Ben A: I would say in the grand scheme of our vision, we are going exactly where we want to. But with everything, you got to be flexible on details sometimes, whether it’s pushing for a support tour or working with a label and any compromise between them managers and learning about new cities. It’s all spontaneous. We don’t really have a work week every day. It could be something at any time of day. But yeah, everything’s come our way. We’re very open to and we say yes, and we’re close to.…[service was dropped for a minute]. Can you hear me?
Megan: Yeah, I got part of it. You cut off towards the end.
Ben A: Do you remember the last couple of words?
Megan: You mentioned being flexible and having to possibly change things around, and then you cut out.
Ben A: Yeah, basically just that every day things are… We’re getting closer to where we want to go, but you never really know what that’s actually going to look like in the details of things.
Megan: Perfect. And when you guys started really breaking out into the scene, what was that like for you realizing that?
Ben A: What scene are you referring to?
Megan: More so that your music is more out there, your name is much more well known. People are streaming your stuff. Like the industry.
Ben A: Yeah. Our experience has been really good, especially as of 2023. Wow. We really wanted to keep everything in house and just that open mindedness I was talking about before. We’ve been working with some really awesome people and finding more of our network of musicians and collaborators that we like working with. And we’re just at the start of it, I think.
Megan: That’s really awesome. And then who are some of your influences into your music or what led you to music?
Ben A: Do you want rift influences or do you want current, what we’re working on now or original heroes?
Megan: A little bit of everything. Original heroes, maybe what’s inspiring you now, things like that.
Ben A: I think we were all very rooted in rock and the idea of bands, whether it’s Red Hot Chili Peppers or Deftones, anyone. Guns N Roses, just incredible band. And I feel like more recently, and you, Jasper, should speak on this as well. As of recent, I feel like guitars, at least, were really into 80s policey, U2y style stuff, at least what we’re working on now. Do you got anything to add?
Jasper: Yeah, definitely. We went through a little like, since the days, I feel like. We were doing a lot of pop production stuff from our previous works. And I think now we’re trying to get back to our roots a little bit and just be a straight up rock band and have the vocal and some big tars be the focal point instead of being hidden with production and stuff like that. I’m trying to think of… I actually wrote this down, the other guy, so I can answer this question.
Ben A: Yeah, ultimately simple is always better. Some people disagree with us on our team, but we feel like we’re striving to get as more minimalist as possible without losing any fullness. That’s hard.Oh, shit. Classic, we got the police, you two, the Beatles, radio head Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones. For contemporary, we got Tempala, Unknown mortal Orchestra. And the 1975. That’s it. The contemporary stuff is obviously a little more stray, but it definitely works its way to our sound.
Megan: I can see also why you would put the 1975 on the list, too. I think that’s another really great modern influence. I just have two more questions. I don’t want to take up too much of your time. But currently, since you are touring and you’re in the car a lot, what are maybe top five songs and artists you guys currently listen to?
Ben A: Man, we’ve been going through a lot. Let’s see. There’s a lot of Anderson Paak spinning. There was four hours of Beatles at one point. There was Black Sabbath. Blood Zeppelin. There was classical music at one point, really late at night as we were driving to Cleveland. All kinds of stuff. I’m listening to the B 52s right now. The B 52s? Yeah. Cool, there’s a lot of random stuff in there. Everyone’s got their taste.
Megan: I love that. My last question is for people who are maybe trying to start a band or get to maybe where you’re at in their careers, do you have any advice for them?
Ben A: Yeah. For people who are just trying to get into music, I would say, most importantly, just play what you love. That’s the reason that people fall in love with it in the first place. It’s like you hear a song and it just hits your body in a way that makes you feel something. And to be able to replicate that, I think, is a really powerful thing for starters, at least, before you’re starting to write your own stuff. And don’t classify yourself too much. Sure, we’re a rock band, but we’re a lot of other things. Our musical influences are everywhere. They’re like the note that the tire makes when it’s rubbing on the road really fast. It’s everywhere. I feel like in this age, there’s indie sub pop and hyper, whatever. There’s all these really sub, divisive classifications of music, I think it’s just like focus on enjoying it. It makes it easier to connect. Anyone else? Yeah, just.
Jasper: Play other people’s music at first and always be a student, I guess. Yeah, don’t say no, just be open to every opportunity. It’s not as different as it seems like you want it to or it’s tied to you.
Catch them on Tour!