"A Matter of Honor"

 Jacksonville Florida 2016 Interviews
Jacksonville Florida - Home of premier music for many years - has fresh new faces !

Today , Stage Life Magazine interviews a local band that has been playing all the biggest clubs !
 "A Matter of Honor" , 5 members that include - 
* Shandon King           - Guitar   - Taking Us on a Metal Journey
* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - Thunder meets Lightning 
* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - Blistering Chords all Night
* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - A Powerful Voice that grabs you
* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Heavy Jamming on 4 strings  

   Hello to the band - thanks for taking a moment in between shows - 
    - to answer a few questions for the fans that ask about you daily ! 


Here's 10 questions -  

What is your personal backgrounds ? 
Are you all born in the South ?  
* Shandon King           - Guitar  -  I've always been a creative individual. 
Growing up I loved drawing anime characters, dabbling in 3D animation and writing fiction stories. 
I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and haven't traveled much outside of it.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  -  I'm a huge fan of metal and all mediums of fiction. 
To Sci-Fi novels to story driven video games. I was also born in Jacksonville FL.

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   -  I grew up in Jax, FL and I've been playing music for 10 yrs.
80's rock and metal really grabbed me at a young age. 
Now the new wave of music in the metal genre is really where I find the most out of music.

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   -  I was born in Metairie, LA. 
Moved all over Central Florida eventually settling in South Florida when I was just a few years old. 
I lived down there until I was almost 21. 
Then I moved briefly to Atlanta, GA in fall of 2009 and then to Jacksonville, FL in Spring of 2010. Been here ever since. 

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - I was actually born and raised in the small town Hilliard, Florida. 
I have just always been doing music in some shape or form. 
Concert, marching, and jazz band in high school, and many bands during and since then.  

What interaction got you guys together in the first place ?  
Did you play in other bands first ?

* Shandon King           - Guitar  -  I started the band several years ago with some good friends as a passion project. 
It was just a few of us on acoustic guitars and I was actually just starting to learn how to play at the time. 
While I was pursuing my own musical adventures Kyle and Micah, who were High School friends of mine
, eventually joined my project and have helped mold it to what it is today. I met them in my freshman year of High School 
- when my dad, an aspiring music producer, picked up their band and worked with them for a few years. 
I would design their flyers, do artwork for them, run merch - and was at all of their concerts. 

We just kind of formed a life long friendship that has always brought us together musically. 
It was an incredible feeling to play in a band with people I had looked up to throughout my teenage years. 
I met Michael by…well asking him if he was a musician. Kyle and I were out for dinner one night and he was our waiter. 
We struck up conversation and he eventually joined Kyle and Micah's band at the time. 
Years later when our bassist Dakota Potts for A Matter Of Honor left, we hit him up and the rest was history. 
Piper came after the departure of our long standing Vocalist Tracy Day. 
She was the manager of the GameStop I was applying to. She hired me and it didn't take long for us to hit it off. 
We shared similar musical interests and when I learned she had a voice we quickly made plans to meet up about the band.
 She fit just like a glove and we were able to pick right back up where we left off. 

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  -   I think Shandon covered most of it. 
We've certainly met a lot of awesome people forming this band. 
I played lead guitar and sang for Glorious Gunner in the past.

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   -   When I met Kyle through some mutual friends in middle school and joined a very early line up of Glorious 
- Gunner. The poor guy and I have been stuck together ever since. And I'm pretty sure Michael fell out of the sky. 
As for Shandon - I met her through the same group of friends and she's been a key person in my life from then on.

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   -   Funny enough I met Shandon at work. She applied and we became fast friends. 
After many shifts of talking almost exclusively about music, and at the request of Kyle, she asked me if I wanted to audition for the band she's in. 
She sent me some music and we all met up and it was a very natural progression of things between Shandon, Kyle, Micah, Dakota and I. 
Later when Dakota left I met Mike when he joined us. 

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Like Shandon stated, I ended up in the off chance of serving them late at night and striking up a conversation with 
- them about music. In their then current band they were looking for a bassist and were opening up for a band I was really into at the time that week. 
That's when I joined them and now years later - they asked me to join back up in "A Matter Of Honor" -  when Dakota was leaving.

What made you guys decide to play progressive metal verses pop metal ?
And name some of your musical influences for the fans ! 
 * Shandon King           - Guitar  -  A deep passion and respect for metal music I feel. 
I just love playing it and creating the energy and sharing that with the audience when on stage. 
When writing however we generally tend to stay away from trying to create a song based on a certain genre.
We write what comes out really. 
Whatever we feel about the message we're trying to get across to the audience and what best helps us express ourselves. 
Trying to find a 'genre'  to label ourselves was challenging -
- since after looking at our line up of songs we found much versatility in what we were creating.
I was always inspired by hair metal and the 80's. One of my biggest musical influences was Sammy Hagar and Van Halen. 
Over the years I found much to love about many different types of music and bands but my roots tend to be much of my inspiration. 

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - I've never personally aimed for a genre. 
I just play what I play and may the chips land where they may. 
Music is an expression of self and I guess that self lands in the progressive metal genre (haha). 
I listen to a lot of stuff, from death metal to j-pop, so there isn't much that doesn't influence me.

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - It's never been about aiming for a genre. 
But I would say trying different styles in songs to see what emotion or atmosphere we can create from it 
always found it's way back to a heavier sound towards the later part of writing.   
* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - I'm not sure we ever set out to be any specific genre. 
We made music that sounded good to us and moved our souls into creating. 
My influences greatly vary between The Receiving End of Sirens to Purity Ring to La Dispute to Every Time I Die to Pianos Become the Teeth to -
Childish Gambino. Just anything that is catchy, clever and sounds good to me.

 * Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Progressive rock/metal is such a broad genre, -
- it alone stems from any and everything out there and spans through many diverse artists.
I don't really think we aim for a specific genre, but more just fall under that because of the diverse and different songs we write. 
I myself am more influenced by the heavier sides of prog rock but I listen to and love all types of music. 
 You have been playing major events and showcase venues - 
Most notably "Freebird's Live" - "Jack Rabbits" among the many others.
How did all this happen so fast when most bands play years to get a -
- chance to jump into the bigger ticketed events and clubs ?

* Shandon King           - Guitar  -  While we have achieved some great opportunities in the local music scene -
I would have to say we have paid our dues as far as shows. 
The band has been around before this current line up and we played no shortage of opening slots, small gigs, and local venues. 
While an essential step in every local bands adventure it has defiantly opened up some doors for greater opportunity. 
What you put in is most certainly what you get out.

 * Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - We've done a lot of work to get where we are musically and when we offer to play, -
- we like to present a professional and noteworthy package. So when a promoter or any individual offers us a show or takes a chance on us, - 
- we like to prove to them that they made the right decision. 
We always show up and hang out with the other bands/artist, help load/unload any gear if it's needed and put on the best show we can. 
I'd like to think that mentality and positive approach has helped us out the most. 

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - Luckily Kyle and I have been around to see "how not to" and "how to". 
And with that tiny little bit of knowledge Shandon and Kyle have been able to make the proper choices to get us those opportunities.

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   -  Well the bands actually been around about 5 years and has played many shows and events since then. 
As well Kyle and Micah were in Glorious Gunner beforehand and had that under their belts. 
So a little bit of putting in the time and a little bit of us not taking no for an answer or turning down opportunities to make connections. 
We also didn't wait for things to be presented to us and took it into our own hands. 
We created events such as the Rock With Love charity show we hosted/played last spring-
- where we raised money and awareness for a local charity for children with cancer. 
It's important for us to keep involved in the community and that really comes back around to helping out.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - I've been in a few previous groups along with Kyle, Micah, and many other people. 
We've paid our dues and made names in the past and using that knowledge to push this band in to the future. 
At every show I try to introduce myself and have conversations with everyone, fans and bands alike. 
Those connections are important for our success. 
Making those friends and having experiences with them are half of why we do this anyway.

The Debut CD "Everyday without a Purpose" has been receiving lots of attention -
Any fond memories in the studio ?  What excited you the most about recording ?

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - For me simply seeing the initial vision come to life was an amazing and unforgettable experience during the recording process. Creating songs, changing them, watching them grow, cutting them for better songs and so forth. 
All of it was a journey to help something that I have witnessed over nearly 5 years now grow into what it has become. 
I recorded Piper and was present for most of all of the recording process so having the chance to witness the growth within ourselves and each other -
- was also an amazing experience. The whole thing was a blast and I cannot wait to do it again. 
It is truly a special experience to create something so unique with other people.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - I tracked the whole album so it's almost a blur. 
Recording everyone around a mic always lends itself to some hilarious situations. 
One time us three gentlemen were screaming around a single mic and ended up in a long winded giggle fit because it sounded like we we're saying -
- "Arr" like a bunch of pirates. The most exciting moments are when each song finally starts to come together and becomes more of our vision than -
- just mushy sounds (haha).   

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - Oh man the stories. None. I have none. 

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - For me it was my first time really doing any kind of recording. 
So getting to learn that and try new things really helped to shape my voice more so than it had ever been. 
It was great to come in to record this music that was already written and make it my own vocally. 
We rewrote some of the lyrics and added in great parts for Mike. 
My favorite memory is Shandon and I sitting on the floor trying to write lyrics and coming up with the most
- ridiculously funny stuff or that time we got caught in a giggle loop for 15 minutes straight.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Just being in the studio and writing music is one of my favorite things to do in general. 
The fact that we get to share it and get any kind of feedback is incredible to me. 
Every second I spent recording with these guys was full of laughs and good times.

Who did the bands songwriting ? Or was there co writers ?  
What did you personally put into the recordings ?

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - When I started the band I had little experience playing music -
- so I was not able to contribute in the way that I could sit down and write rifts. 
I was always coming up with ideas for what Kyle was writing to help drive direction and others that influenced the idea for the theme of the album 
- and a lot of the songs. I wrote a good bit of the lyrics but the album as a whole has so much influence from so many different people who have shared 
- this adventure with us over the years. 
There's a little piece of every past and present member the band has had since the beginning.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - In the beginning I did most of the orchestration. 
Cobalt Eyes and Catch Fire was the first ones I wrote and I wrote them both in full instrumentally. 
But as we filled out the band with it's core members we went back, scrapped songs, improved others. 
It was a crazy process, but there was no song that wasn't molded in some way by everyone.  

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - A good number of  the songs were already written when I joined the band - 
- but over the years we were able record them in our own voice when it came to tracking the album.

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - We all wrote things for it, past members too. 
It was really a mix of all of these people that were here and are still here influencing the album.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - I only got to write the bass tracks for a few songs, -
- most of the bass workings were already done by Dakota Potts before i joined the band in April. 
So most of the writing I contributed was at the very end of recording. 
I did get to add some screaming vocals in throughout the album though, which was very fun. 
It brought some nice new energy to some songs. 

What brand of equipment are you using on stage ?  Sponsors ?

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - I use Gibson Explorers as my preferred axe and have 2 that I used on stage. 
My favorite being my red Sammy Hagar signature guitar. I play through a 5150 III and Peavy Cab. 
I am also spoiled on using Dava picks. I exclusively use and prefer them. No sponsors at the moment but is defiantly a goal I have for this new year.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - I use Mapex drums, Aquarian heads, Pro-mark sticks and mostly Paiste cymbals. 
Oh yeah and an Alesis sample pad for all of our live samples. 

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - My guitar line up consists of a PRS Mark Tremonti signature and a Michael Kelly electric. 
Currently running through a Line 6 HD100 Spider Valve with Bogner Tubes. 

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - I have an Sennheiser E935 Mic that I use for practice and live performances.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - No sponsors but I'll promote my gear all the same. 
I love my Ibanez SR505 5-string and SR650 4-string basses. I currently run through an Ampeg Mricro-VR
- amp. It's small but has ridiculous huge tone, especially for local shows.

Is there a message with your music ?  The fans are flocking to hear more !

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - Our album absolutely has an under laying message - - which we hope to share with all who experience our music.
 Everyday we spend so much of our lives fueled by things that have no meaning to us and prevent us from doing the things that we love. 
We focus on the unimportant and many of us live a life of fear or doubt that we cannot do what we want with the small amount of time we have here.
 We want to encourage others to pursue their own happiness, whatever that may be. Live everyday for a purpose and fight for your dreams. 
Each song has its own unique message while complimenting the overall theme. 
That you are not without a purpose and deserve more then a life of monotony and pointlessness.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - The biggest message for me is that you're more than the everyday repetition that you have to deal with. 
You're not enslaved, there's a whole world out there. Experience it.  

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - The message I like to express to people is that having a job, paying bills, and generally existing - 
- can be more than what's in front of you. With hard work and a will to push yourself beyond (BEYOND!) the limitations society - 
- and people place on you.  You're better than that and you know it. 

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - The main message is that you/your life is not without a purpose. 
That you shouldn't forget that you are worthy and unique and that you have purpose. 
To not forget to take time to do things that make you happy (i.e- creating art, hanging with friends, writing a 
book, traveling)  over doing things you're told you "have to do" (i.e- that job you hate so you can buy things 
you hate).

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Something that I loved when I came in to the band was the message and meaning they had written for the album. 
At the time i was working 60 hour work weeks and not putting any time in to music or the things i loved. 
Being surrounded by that positivity and helping deliver that message was very inspiring to me.

What is your favorite song on the album ?  And your favorite to play onstage ?

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - I would have to say that Without A Purpose is my favorite tune on the album. 
It perfectly captures the album in its entirety. It sums up the message and is just a blast from front to back to play. 
However, Methadone is my favorite to perform live. It's intense and in your face from start to finish and the solo at the end never gets old for me.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - Methadone is my favorite song to play and in general. 
It's a story of a person dealing with a horrible addiction and the song personifies the drug and it's an actual verbal battle between the drug and it's -
- victim. Shandon wrote that one so it's easier for me to say that it's a really impressive piece of art to me. 
The music just amplifies the story and it constantly evolves. 
Just when you thought the song couldn't get any groovier it just keeps surprising you. 

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - Without A Purpose is for sure my favorite on the album. 
And Catch Fire is my favorite live song to play, it has such a high energy and the crowd response is always grand.

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - My favorite would be Rise From the Ashes or Cobalt Eyes. 
My favorite to sing on stage is Methadone or Catch Fire.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Without a Purpose and Methadone are my favorites. 
They're high energy and heavy with deep meaningful lyrics that I really dig.

What's next for the band in 2016 ?  More tour dates ? Studio Time ? 

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - I feel this will be the best year AMOH has had to date. 
We have so many plans and things set in motion at the moment. 
We are, for the first time in the bands'  history, going to play out of town shows and attempt to tour. 
We are hoping to release an EP in the middle of the year and already are working on our second album.

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  - More music, more shows and more recording is always on the plate. 

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - I'm looking forward to playing more of the WItcher 3, playing Uncharted 4 and blowing stuff up in Just Cause 3. Add me my psn is Mcggunner!

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - Touring, creating more music, taking over the world- so ya know the "usual" 
- (haha) just really taking all this life will throw at us and seeing it to the end.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - Im really looking forward to writing new material all together. 
And also touring, lots and lots of touring.

Thanks for the interview - we will follow up with a concert review soon for the fans !

Any last words for the fans ? - they love you all - and can't wait to see you on tour !

* Shandon King           - Guitar  - You inspire and give me the confidence to pursue my dreams. 
To look down from the stage into the crowd and see the faces of those there to support us in the pursuit of what we love -
- is an indescribable feeling that I will always cherish. 
To everyone who listens, cares, and has been there thank you! You rock!

* Kyle McLemore        - Drums  -  If anything we've written has motivated you, or has spoken to you in any way at all, then "thank you". 
Without you, we couldn't continue to do what we do.

* Micah McGowan      - Guitar   - "Thank you", is the most cliche thing I can say but it's the most honest thing I 
- can say to you. If you've supported us in anyway from coming to a show, buying a shirt, sticker, or CD - 
- our just by reading this whole interview then - "THANK YOU".

* Piper Coverdill         - Vocals   - If I could tell the fans one thing - it would be thank you for the crazy support you shown us ! 
We appreciate you allowing us to share such an intimate thing with you and for the encouragement to do so.

* Michael Greenwell  - Bass       - 
Thank you very much for all the support, and stay tuned for more music that we are super 
excited to bring forth.

Thanks again to the band and the band's management for the access tonight - 
We will be doing more in the future !  The "Concert Review" is next !

Till then , here's a few links to to get you closer to the band - 

Facebook - www.facebook.com/amatterofhonor/
Band's Website - http://www.amatterofhonor.com/
Band's Video Pages - https://www.facebook.com/amatterofhonor/videos/1023640661020600/?video_source=pages_finch_main_video&theater

Leon Jonjock