Special for The Mac Wire by Michelle Perez-Vega
Ages Apart are young, determined and bursting with ambition. The band has been described as Hard Rock, Alternative, Post-Grunge, Metal Core, and just plain Rock. Adjectives like “angst-ridden,” “fiery,” “visceral,” “searching” and “brash” usually follow in an attempt to define what the band is all about.
But for Cody Webb, guitarist and vocalist for the band, the media can take care of the categorization while the band takes care of the music.
Webb acknowledges that he appreciates such a varied assessment of Ages Apart, but added that it comes with a double-edged sword.
“From an artistic standpoint, you can’t ask for anything better,” Webb thoughtfully observed. “From a marketing standpoint, that’s hard to narrow down…means, from a business angle, you might need to move toward a targeted market instead of being so broad.”
Webb, for one, isn’t too worried from the business angle, because Ages Apart is taking off in a steady and sure path to success.
The story of Ages Apart began in Alabama, where the guitarist grew up. Songwriting since he was young, Webb quickly grew to realize that it was hard to find others who wanted to create the music he was interested in. Attending college at The University of Alabama introduced him to the illustrious and lucrative cover band scene, but it was one that, in his own words, “burned me out really quick.”
“I got tired of it,” Webb said. “I was doing like 300 shows a year. That’s when I knew I had to get back to writing my own music.”
Webb started networking and auditioning for musicians in 2006, eventually finding drummer Chris Srygley. A demo was soon recorded, and Webb found himself moving to Birmingham in 2009 where Srygley was based. Will Bradley was soon added as the bassist.
“It was a process,” Webb acknowledged, “everything happens for a reason, but things had to happen the way they did for things to line up.”
Webb has nothing but praise for his fellow bandmates and their valuable input to Ages Apart.
“Chris has a very unique style of playing,” Webb stated. “He’s not just a heavy hitting rock drummer – he also has certain patterns he works into songs that I write that accent what I do. And Will is not just playing root notes to fill in the low end. He’s playing around the guitar patterns that I’m playing.”
Webb himself is recognized in the music industry as an accomplished guitarist and songwriter.
“I’m not just a guitar player, but equally a songwriter,” Webb said. “It helps me to understand better what the song is about so I can try to create that emotion with the guitar sound. If you’re not a songwriter, it’s hard to get in that groove.”
And communication, to Webb, is the key in all three working together well.
“One of the biggest attributes in working with musicians is having an open mind,” he said. “You have to put all egos and pride aside. If you can share that with others and communicate well, then you’re going to make some magic happen in the studio.”
That magic has been evidenced in two releases from the band – Can You Hear Meand the latest, S.T.A.T.I.C., which features the hit single “Civil War.” Even though the albums were released within a few years of each other, Webb said S.T.A.T.I.C. (released via Relit Records) is more of a representation of what the band has evolved into.
“With S.T.A.T.I.C., I had a particular vision and I knew exactly what I was going to write,” Webb stated. “Can You Hear Me, we were still figuring out what kind of band we were. I was pulling songs written 5-10 years ago. With S.T.A.T.I.C., you are getting songs that go back a year-and-a-half. There’s more of a consistent sound.”
Webb also said the success of S.T.A.T.I.C. is due to the band coming off the road from touring and heading directly into the studio.
“We were still gigging while recording Can You Hear Me,” Webb said. “With S.T.A.T.I.C., there was an open mindset instead of being caught up in the shuffle of traveling and doing shows. It worked out really well and I liked the approach we took with recording S.T.A.T.I.C. I think we’re going to take the same approach for the next record.”
On the business side, Webb is enthusiastic about Ages Apart signing with Integrity Music Management, headed by David Adkins.
“We all work together as a team,” Webb said. “We share a lot of ideas, we brainstorm all the time with new ideas, new approaches to what we are doing, how to do things better. A lot of times bands have huge expectations that aren’t realistic. David and I talk about five days a week. Having that daily communication is crucial.”
Adkins, for his part, said the decision to sign with the band was mutual.
“I drove all night long to meet with Cody for three hours in a hotel lobby before driving back to Dallas to catch my plane,” he remembered. “I knew the first time I heard Ages Apart that they were going to be a part of my business. The moral values and integrity are there; they are not the stereotypical rock band, that’s what made me want to do business with them. Never regretted it on my end!”
Adkins added that, for the fans, the appeal of Ages Apart goes deeper.
“They really care about the crowd,” he stated. “When they are on stage, it’s not about them; it’s about the people in the crowd – entertaining them, making them forget about whatever is bringing them down…their jobs, the stack of bills on the table, the screaming kids. And then they sit outside until two or three in the morning, talking to everybody and valuing each individual with their time and not walking away. It’s such an amazing thing and really something to be proud about.”
Webb agreed that the biggest thing for Ages Apart is the connection the band makes with its fans.
“People can speak and understand our message,” Webb noted. “When we’re onstage, the biggest thing we can do is give the crowd what they came to hear from us. We don’t throw any curve balls. What you hear on the record is what you’re going to hear live. We try to present that the best way live and to make them understand what we’re doing. Offstage, we really try to make ourselves accessible to anyone reaching out to us.”
Unlike many other bands who operate only on a day-to-day vision, Webb said he can see Ages Apart still thriving 10 years down the road.
“Definitely we’ll have another three or four records out,” he stated, “and we will have toured internationally instead of just the states. Definitely a bigger reach on touring to reach fans with our material, both new and old.”
Currently the band is getting ready to head out for another tour with Hinder beginning in January. The tour, originally postponed due to the bus crash involving Hinder in the Fall, is an exciting prospect for Ages Apart.
“We have a lot of territory to cover and a lot of fans to meet,” Webb enthused. “We want everyone to come out and see us!”