Alabama’s The Fourth Estate is a band with a punk foundation, southern roots, and a political message. Not only does the band succeed in bringing the spotlight to what they call a generally region in terms of music, but they also manage to put their own spin on a sound akin to renowned punk contemporaries like Rise Against and Bayside. The band’s use of strong melodies and lyrical artistry strewn with powerful political messages establishes them as a force within their genre. With an ability to play on almost any hardcore or punk bill due to their versatility and distinct southern flare, The Fourth Estate is undeniably unique. Read on to hear more about the band’s future projects with Ryan Russell (Nervous Energies), their take on the “geographically challenged” music industry, and the story behind their music.
What city are you guys based out of?
How did the band come together?
Caleb had written a few songs about 3 years ago but had never gotten a band together. One day he showed them to Nick who offered to play drums, and I (Andrew) asked if I could do vocals for it. Nick brought Corey in to play bass and Jordan for a second guitar, and we had our first practice in February of 2011.
Why should people listen to your band?
I don’t know if anyone should listen to our band, but if they do, we think it’s because we’re playing fast paced melodic punk from a southern vantage point. It’s west coast with a little gulf coast flavor.
How have you grown musically or mentally since you started?
The first demo we recorded was five songs that Caleb had written entirely himself. We basically just learned the songs, I wrote some lyrics to it, and we recorded it. Our new EP is a much more collaborative effort; everyone has had some input on the songwriting process, and our respective influences are definitely more noticeable in the newer songs.
What sets you apart from other bands in the scene?
When we play hardcore shows, our melodic influences definitely help us stand out in the mix. On the other hand, when we play more pop-punk/indie/whatever shows, the energy and speed of our music is more noticeable. We play a style of music that goes well with a lot of genres, but doesn’t necessarily fit a typical hardcore or punk bill.
What are the main bands that have inspired or continue to inspire your music?
For me (Andrew), Bad Religion has always had a huge impact on me, both lyrically and musically. Caleb tends to draw heavily from other melodic punk bands as well, like Strike Anywhere, AFI, Ignite, and Rise Against. Anything from Johnny Cash to Suicide File and random pieces of different styles tend to make their way into our songs.
What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
Since we started in February 2011, we have put out a Demo, an EP that came out on Spring Street Records in CD format and will be released as a 7” by the end of January on Fat Sandwich Records. We are also currently in the middle of our second tour. As far as future plans, we are doing a cassette EP later this year with Ryan Russell on his Nervous Energies label, and also hopefully a full length by the end of year if we can get it recorded and released. Other than that, we just want to tour as much as possible.