8 Graves

Tell us your real names, country of birth, date of birth and childhood experience. 

8 graves is made up of two members. Brent Carpentier (Me) sings, writes lyrics, and handles vocals. Nick Goncalves plays guitar and keys live, and handles instrumentation, production, mixing and engineering. We were both born in New Jersey in the US, really close to each other. We met about 13 years ago at a part-time job at an electronics retailer, and started making music together shortly thereafter. Now, several projects later, we’ve really hit our stride as 8 Graves.

.

.

.

Tell us about your music career, band name, musical background, experience and skills. 

Both Nick and I grew up playing instruments and loving music. Nick’s father is a musician as well, and got him into playing guitar early on. He grew into producing digitally on his computer as early as 8th and 9th grade, and fell in love with the endless possibilities that presented. Nick started to get really into some of the electronic music giants, like Daft Punk and The Prodigy, and then got into some of the scene bands like Thursday and My Chemical Romance. Eventually, he came back around to the digital side of things, playing guitar less and producing on his computer more. Now, 8 Graves gives him the opportunity to do a lot of both.

I wanted to play every instrument I could get my hands on, and was heavily involved in my scholastic music programs growing up. I was raised on Motown and old school R&B, like Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker and Prince, and as I grew up, went through many phases in my musical fandom. I was a huge hip hop fan, then got really into metal, then was an emo kid, then spent a ton of time listening to EDM music, and finally came back around to writing what I really loved, poppy R&B style songs with dark vocals.

Both Nick and I were able to take our eclectic tastes in music, and roll them into what has become 8 Graves signature sound. R&B style vocals, emo lyrics, hip hop drums and rhythms, rock guitars, and modern electronic dance music synths and production all have a place in what we do. It kind of has something for everyone, and it’s super gratifying to be able to find a way to include everything we love about music into one succinct package.

.

.

.

Tell us about your genre, concept and idea behind your music video and the song. 

Our genre is kind of hard to define. In one year, we’ve had tracks labeled Pop, R&B, Future Bass, Alternative Soul, Alt Rock, and Trip Hop. Recently, some folks have started calling us “Future Grunge.” I’m partial to that description. We really are kind of different, and I think that is a good way to describe our modern, polished production that still manages to be dark and rough around the edges in a lot of ways.

As far as “Hang” goes, the song is all about toxic friendships. It’s a statement about how often people choose to befriend others that are obviously selfish, and how often we allow ourselves to be hurt by that choice. I think, now more than ever, people are terrified to be alone, and so we hold onto relationships that are terrible for us, and allow the people we’re involved with to push us, steal from us, and hurt us. This song asks, how far will you let that go? What would it take for you to admit these people are no good for you? Would you sooner die than face your fear of being lonely? That common problem is what inspired “Hang.”

.

.

.

Tell us everything that we need to know about you as a musician and the ups and downs you have faced in the music business. 

Who I am as a musician, and the ups and downs we’ve seen are very much related in my opinion. I’ve watched a bunch of musicians I’ve known succeed, but none of them have stayed at the top very long. None of them have really seemed to be happy. I think that happens for two reasons. One, I think a lot of people earn that success the wrong way. The second is that they’re not looking for their definition of success.

Often times, younger kids who get into music ask me, “What can we do to succeed?” I always ask them in return, “What do you mean by success?” If you want to make money in the music industry, first of all, I hope your parents are rich. Let them put you up in an apartment in NYC or LA. Go out every single night. Do drugs with industry people in bathrooms. Kiss their asses. Pay for their drinks. Get in good with all the party promoters by bringing some dumb ass Instagram models to their parties, and gain access to every exclusive event. Take the most important people you meet to all of them, and basically pretend they’re your friends. Knowing people will put you in a position to make money faster than working on your music will. That’s just how things are. If I made it by doing that, I wouldn’t have any respect for myself.

Nick and I, we’ve always refused to do that. The time others spend partying, we’re writing. While others are out kissing asses, Nick is in the studio for 9 hours mixing and mixing and mixing, honing his craft – getting better every single day. When we’re asked to play the game, we don’t, and I think that’s been a huge part of why we have struggled to move up the ladder. That being said, our view of success is making music that we love. No writers. No producers. No one else has a hand in our creation, and because of that, when our songs succeed, we are filled with so much joy. It’s like watching your kid growing up to do cool things. We created it. We love it. And we’re proud of it.

Our ups and downs are in our own minds and hearts. We get amped for a song to do well, and it bombs. We don’t expect a song to do well, and it kills. We write something awesome and we’re super excited. We hit some writers’ block and get stressed out. Those are the ups and downs that we live by. We focus on our creative process. Our product. Our craft. The industry can’t move me up or down. Only my music and the people who grow to appreciate it can.

.

.

.

Tell us about other members of your band, music producer, crew or music video director, how the song was recorded and how the music video was shot. 

So I think I already spoke a bit about Nick, and it’s just me and him. As far as how the song was recorded, we do everything ourselves. We’ve poured all the money we can spare into building a modest digital home studio that’s essentially Nick’s bedroom. We write, track, produce, and mix everything ourselves. We do everything from conception to release, as far as the songs are concerned. So Nick will make an instrumental that’s basically a 4 bar loop of a verse and maybe a chorus, I’ll write some melodies and lyrics over it, and show him. If we’re both digging it, we develop the idea, and take it from those 4 bars to a complete song. It’s time consuming, and definitely puts pressure on us to constantly work, but it’s how we’re happiest with what we create.

.

.

.

Tell us how long you have been in the music industry, your experience and your future goal. 

Nick and I have been making music together for 12 years now. I suppose that means we’ve been in the industry that long, but honestly, I don’t consider us part of any industry. We’re musicians and writers who make songs for ourselves. Art and industry don’t belong together, so as far as I’m concerned, we’re not part of that. Now, our goal is what it should have always been. We want to make songs that move us and move others. We want to love our songs, and hope to connect to people through them. Whatever comes with that will come.

.

.

.

Tell us what inspires you to write, compose and sing. 

Most of what I write is inspired by things that I see wrong with the world. I know that at first glance a lot of our songs sound like they’re about a girl, but I think I use that analogy for folks just because it’s an accessible, relatable one. Most of our songs, at least lyrically, come from my depression, my lack of ability to fit in, and my overbearing disappointment with just how evil, wrong, and lonely I find the world to be. Writing about that and singing and having people identify with what I say is like a drink of water in the desert. It refreshes me, and gives me a little bit of what I need to keep trekking ahead.

.

.

.

Tell us the secret behind making a hit song. 

Get a celebrity to tweet they think your song is cool, or post an Instagram video of them lip syncing it with a link somewhere shortly after it. Either that or pay a shit ton of money for placement on playlists and radio. Nothing about your creative process will guarantee making it a hit. Money spent and asses kissed is the only surefire way. Again, probably why we don’t have any hits yet.

.

.

.

Tell us the message you will like to pass to your fans out there. 

I feel like this is so cliche, but if I could tell people anything, all I would say is always, unapologetically be yourself and live in the real world. I think we’ve arrived at a point where everyone really hates themselves. We’re fooled by Instagram and Facebook into believing that somehow everyone is better than us. They’re more attractive, they have a cooler life, they’re more talented, and they’re more popular. It’s all complete bullshit. Everyone is so focused on the fake ass virtual world; they’ve forgotten to focus on who they are in the real one.

Be yourself. Don’t like yourself? Actively work on yourself until you do. Live fearlessly. Love the things you love. Stop pretending to like things because they are popular. You’ll be so much happier being yourself alone than being someone else in a crowd. The world’s evil, almost nothing we do really matters, and we’re all gonna die in a cosmic blink. There’s no time to play or pretend. Be happy and be you NOW.

.

.

.

Tell the kind of advice you will give to an upcoming artist. 

Turn the radio off. Listen to and be inspired by things you genuinely love, don’t pay attention to who’s successful. Don’t spend a dime on anything that isn’t pushing your dream forward. Bury yourself in your art. If you don’t, you won’t make it. Music is too fucking hard to coast.

.

.

.

Elaborate on your music careers, albums, songs, tours, recognition or awards you might have obtained. 

As 8 Graves, we have 20 official releases now. We’ve been releasing singles recently, because in today’s music world, you really have to stay present. Making a 10-13 song album would probably take us at least a year, and we don’t want to go away for that long. As far as recognition or awards go, nothing? We’ve been fortunate enough to have some really awesome folks at Spotify include us in some really great playlists with other really talented artists. I think that’s the closest thing to recognition that we can really say we’ve gotten, and we’re really excited about it. The only recognition we strive for is to have people enjoy our music, and the Spotify folks have really helped accelerate that happening.

.

.

.

List Radio or TV Stations that are airing your songs and blogs that have featured you as well and send message to them via this platform. 

As far as I know, we’ve yet to be on Television. A feature we did with our friend Modern Machines was premiered on SiriusXM BetaBPM thanks to Liquid Todd. And as far as blogs go, there’s gotta be at least 100 different ones. While I won’t name them all here, because that would be silly, I’ll definitely say this: we keep a list of who has supported us while we were one of the little guys. We also keep a list of everyone from SubmitHub who has taken the liberty of being super rude and insulting to us. I’m petty as fuck. If we ever blow up, we will remember who was there for us, and there will be free interviews and features and everything we can offer you guys to help you succeed, just as you guys have offered us. We know who our friends are. We won’t forget.

.

.

.

Tell us how you write your lyrics, compose, sing and record in the studio. 

Nick and I definitely contrast in how we write. I write mostly in my head. I essentially sing all day, every day, and when I have a moment where something I feel turns into words, I scribble that down and keep it in my back pocket until more feelings surrounding that line come to me. Nick is the type that thinks of something in his head, and then locks himself in the studio for 8 hours making it real. We both argue with each other about who is more talented in that regard, but without a doubt, I can say it’s Nick.

As far as our recording goes, I normally drink whiskey and eat snacks while Nick locks in and acts as the filter. I sing how I want it to go, and Nick basically lets it happen unless he thinks something sounds weird. If something’s awry, he’ll handle it, and not with kid gloves. Our sessions can get downright contentious, because I get frustrated and Nick demands the best of me. But once we’re all done, we laugh and have a blast listening to what we’ve created, especially because by the time we’re done, I’m probably drunk.

.

.

.

Name five biggest artists that you like. 

Biggest makes it hard. I definitely can’t speak for Nick, but as far as I go, Prince, Deftones, Phantogram, Kendrick Lamar and The Prodigy. Hard to say who’s biggest at the moment, but I think that’s a good representation of where my tastes lie. I think Nick would have lobbied for Daft Punk and The Prodigy, but hard to say what his other three would be.

.

.

.

Name the artists you have collaborated with before in your songs or artists you are willing to collaborate with in the future if you have the chance to do so. 

I’m hard to collaborate with because I’m so damned personal with my writing. So far we’ve worked with our friend Dimitry for his product Modern Machines, and our buddy Mooij, adding vocals to their stellar EDM tracks. We have a lot of collaborations in the works right now, but nothing done yet.

If I could work with anyone right now, I’d really like to do something with Halsey. I’ve known her since she was 17, and I think our sounds would really complement each other. Also, SHAED is a group I’m really into. I think their singer’s voice is outlandishly beautiful and I’d love to sing with her. I’d also be super amped to sing hooks for a rapper, like Kendrick or J Cole – that’s wishlist shit though. We definitely have some work to do before we are in the conversation there.

.

.

.

Give us the links to your website and your entire social network. 

Facebook

www.facebook.com/8graves/

Instagram: @8GravesNYC

Twitter: @8GravesNYC

.

.

.

Give us the links to your various stores for fans to buy your music. 

Stream our stuff on Spotify here

https://open.spotify.com/artist/1YznSk5tLLp9BnzuNgghrZ

Buy our stuff on iTunes here

http://apple.co/1PZQbg9

.

.

.

Tell us about your happiest day and saddest day. 

The saddest I’ve ever been was probably the day my last band broke up. Seems pretty silly now, but I was a mess for a good couple months after that. It’s got to either be that or when I lost my dog a few years ago to cancer. At least, that’s the saddest day I’d be willing to talk about.

The happiest I’ve ever been is actually harder to answer. I’m not that happy of a kid. When I try to think about the last time I was really happy, I don’t even have anything that really sticks out. I guess that says a lot about me.

.

.

.

Tell us how you will spend a million dollars.

If I had 1,000,000 dollars to spend, I’d run for President of the United States. I’m very into politics, and the rampant corruption, racism, and corporate greed that’s destroying our country and our people is soul crushing to me. I’d love to have the opportunity to express my views, try to unite people, and, more importantly than anything, do what I could to help so many people who are so scared, poor, and desperate in what was supposed to be the greatest country in the world. In my head, I actually think I could win.

Published by

Kolade Olamide

I am a poet , writer, beat maker, chef, songwriter, web designer, music promoter,digital marketer, blogger and director.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.