A huge thank you is long overdue for all of the support our fans have shown us in 2017. It’s been a long year but we’ve learned a lot and worked hard every day to improve our song writing as well as our bettering ourselves in the studio. April saw the release of our 5 song concept E.P. “Novgorod”. This fall we began to release singles which we’ll continue to release well into the spring of 2018. We’ve been lucky enough to share the stage with a bunch of bands we’ve never played with. Many new bands made their way onto the scene, old bands have gotten signed. New fans were made and old fans became friends. With so much to be thankful for Pestilent Age would like to take some time and look back at 2017.
2017 started off with us taking a short hiatus. Hard at work we underwent the strenuous task of mixing Novgorod. Setting achievable goals has become a staple in how we approach a new project and “Novgorod” was our first chance to show the world we can make a different record than the last while maintaining the same level of intensity. Kyle Langley (our engineer, producer, and mixer) worked closely with us to create a brand new sound for Pestilent Age. More mid-range, an extremely natural drum sound, and far less eq and compression were the goals we stuck by. It’s never easy redefining your sound but we were persistent. When all was said and done we had an E.P. to be proud of. The drums sounded much more open, the guitar had more bite, and the bass guitar laid an enormous blanket of low end across those songs giving it that sub sonic drive. By the time “Novgorod” finally saw the light of day we had something to be proud of.
Once “Novgorod” was finally released it was met almost entirely with positivity. “Novgorod” received some pretty good reviews most notably Trevor Strnad from The Black Dahlia Murder reviewed our E.P. giving his stamp of approval. The Local Scream, a Flint based radio program has us on multiple times in 2017. Reverend Four Names gave us some radio play, he even let us on air to talk about our upcoming shows and promote our E.P. release. When playing the local circuit more and more fans seemed to be showing up. More people weren’t just showing up to our gigs, both before and after our set we had more fans hanging out with us at our merch booth. Talking to everyone over the summer and getting to know the men and women showing up to support all of the great bands we shared the stage with was really humbling. When our fans tell us what songs in our set they liked best it inspires us to dive deeper and experiment in that direction. In almost every regard interacting with the people that have found our music over these past 2 years motivates us to keep pushing this project farther and faster. No publicity works better than the word of mouth and our success 100% depends on it. Pestilent Age would like to thank everyone that took part in one of our concerts over this past year.
Over the past year we’ve gigged with some extremely impressive bands. Many of these bands caught our attention prior to Pestilent Age’s official announcement that we were a band. The Revenant, Bog Wraith, Recorruptor, Tyrant, and Centenary all absolutely destroy live. These Lansing bands aren’t just good musicians that put on a wild show, they’re all around good guys that have come together to make their hometown possibly one of the best places for a local band to play in Michigan. Sins of Hate took us in and showed us nothing put the utmost hospitality whenever we’re in the Ypsilanti area. Asylence has also made an impact on the local scene. Aaron, Ryan, and all the guys put on a top notch show. Every time we’ve seen them they just get better. We were lucky enough to witness Detroit bands Kadellum, The Cult Voltaic, Where Creatures Dwell, Shit Life, and Ill Waste tear up the stage for the first time this year. Expanding our circle of friendly faces has payed off and opened doors for some bad ass gigs in the future. New friends and faces dominated 2017 but our shows with old friends felt just as rewarding. Nicholas Montie from 31 Legions locked us in on an amazing show in the downriver Detroit area. A Sleepless Malice have been good drinking buddies of ours for a while, Fate of Misery has always hooked us up with some awesome shows, Absorbed threw down harder than ever this year, C.I. was absolutely brilliant, and god damn can Residivis bring some energy to the stage. Methedras from Italy stopped by Lansing in January and we also played with out of towners Skinned, Prophecy, and Protest from Texas!
Great bands and fans weren’t the only people treating Pestilent Age to great company. So many of the venues we played treated us like family. The Staff at Mac’s Bar, Jon Archer at the Maidstone Theatre, the crew at Simon’s After Dark, Tara from the Cascadden Lounge in Metamora, and Victor Ruiz alongside Louie Badalament at The New Dodge Lounge all gave us the chance to play their amazing hometown venues. Those establishments are owned by more than just the people that bought the place. Entire communities come together to make those venues what they are and for that all we can say is thank you.
While playing gigs over the summer 8 brand new songs were written. By late summer we were already back in the studio recording them. These recording are currently being released as singles and currently 3 of them have been released. All one needs is a quick 10 second listen and they’ll notice that “Nuclear Winter”, “Chemicals of Annihilation”, and “Nationalistic Savagery” all sound completely different in respects to both writing and recording style. The time to begin writing our 2nd album is coming up fast and these past 2 years have been a time of great experimentation for this band. Knowledge gained from our first album, our 5 song E.P., and these 8 singles will be evaluated closely and when we write for our 2nd album all the lessons we have learned will be used to make the best album possible. Great care will be taken to make sure all the things that didn’t work before are avoided and all the things that did work can be expanded on. Progress comes from trial and error. Picking up your instrument and spending hour after hour with it, spending days and weeks working on recording these songs pays off each time we hit the stage, write a new song, or hit the record button. Nailing down the creative process makes this band write better songs faster and helps us better express our ideas more accurately. Kyle Langley of Langley Music Studios has been absolutely instrumental in helping us sort out what works and what doesn’t. Kyle gave this band the mind set to work through problems and get results. From the beginning of Pestilent Age’s conception Kyle has been right by our side. He’s basically another member of this band. We’ve grown into the band we are now right inside his studio. His patience has helped us grow exponentially. He’s been the one to always tell it like it is. This no bullshit approach made us practice that much harder. A simple thank you doesn’t really suffice, meeting the right people at the right time is sometimes a matter of luck, and boy did we get lucky.
Nick Chaney-Ruiz played a big part in Pestilent Age even though he wasn’t in the band in 2017. “Novgorod” had been written at the same time our debut album “Medieval Holocaust” was. 3 of the 5 songs on “Novgorod” had Nick’s special touch. “Battle of the Ice”, “Varangian Guard”, and “Baptizing the Rus’” were originally written by Roach and Nick in Nick’s bedroom. Even on our new singles that Nick hasn’t worked on his inspiration can be found mostly in the guitar solos. One of Roach’s weakest points as a guitar player is his lead work. Nick worked with Roach for a while teaching him how to write a decent solo. 2 years later Roach has expanded on these basic principles and finally making head way on writing more expressive and intricate leads. Long before Pestilent Age Nick and Roach were teaching each other new things on the guitar. Their teenage years were spent together as they’re cousins and when Roach began playing music Nick followed shortly after. Through years of playing each one showed the other what they had been learning, and in retrospect both played an important role in the others musical development.
Last but not least we would like to thank all of the people that may not have been directly involved in the writing, studio, or live aspects but still played an enormous role in our day to day lives and helped make Pestilent Age into what it is today. Krissy Stevens and Caitlyn Vanwagoner Steve and Roach’s girlfriends have been nothing but supportive towards us. A huge thank you is in order to Damir and Nicole Maksutovs for giving us a space to practice for the past 2 years and for putting up with the all of our noise. Thanks Ariel and Jay for giving us some awesome band photos. Finally thank you everyone that has bought our music or our merch, who has supported us by coming to our shows, or shared our music with a friend. Thank you for streaming our music and sharing our social media posts. Pestilent Age might only contain 3 people but it takes much more than that to make this band successful.
We look forward to writing more music for you guys in 2018 as well releasing 5 more singles next year. We hope to make it out of Michigan and begin to tour the states around us. We will be releasing more merch in the next year as well. So keep an ear and eye for us. We’ve worked hard but we’re only ramping up. Our one and only goal as a band is take what we’ve learned and use it to make better music.