Interview by Rebecca Mae
Hey guys! How are you doing?
Mason: Pretty excited for our new record.
Kennedy: Great! Thank you for this experience!
You just dropped a new EP, called The Space Between Words. What can we expect from this new release?
Mason: A gigantic sell out. Jokes aside, I’ll say instrumentally I think we really tried a lot harder on this one. Mike and I hit a point where we were like, okay what we’re doing on guitar and bass hasn’t been interesting we need to change it up. Honestly we got much better as musicians writing this record. I literally pulled up a guitar chord chart during writing sessions.
Mike: A lot of new feelings and energy from our music; it’s instrumentally more enticing than our previous EP with a lot more empathize of raw emotions.
Kennedy: A more complete and matured version of our sound following Double the Drifters (our previous EP).
Joey: A more vulnerable, yet sophisticated sound coming from the hardcore genre.
Has COVID-19 impacted your creative process? If so, how?
Mason: It’s funny because we’ve always been slow writers. I mean REALLY slow writers. We seem to have the same cycle: every record we scrap a bunch of songs, and we’ve ALREADY gotten to that point with the record we’re writing as of right now. The first couple months since COVID we really weren’t in a creative groove. Which sounds awful cause it’s like, what else should we be doing? Inspiration doesn’t always come easy I guess. But now, I think we’ve found our groove.
Mike: Personally from working during all of it just makes me feel mentally fatigued. Writing has still been a blast, but it’s hard to feel inspired during such craziness.
Kennedy: Honestly, it has made us very creative with new found time and methods to write, along with being able to focus on new material at such an early stage, which could potentially set us up for a much earlier release schedule following the TSBW EP.
Joey: If anything, the virus has influenced us to push our limits as a band, as well as our songwriting abilities.
What was the main motivation behind writing The Space Between Words?
Mason: Trying to become full time musicians to be blunt.
Kennedy: We started writing this EP over a year ago and had a real trial and error process to find a more dynamic sound. This time turning to our mental battles lyrically and focusing more on what we want to do vs what we think people want us to do. We have new found pride for our music and it feels like electricity.
Joey: The inspiration came from the amount of words that can’t be verbally spoken, but through a vision, through a bigger outlet than what we are capable of obtaining. It’s everything that should be said, but isn’t.
The Safest Ledge is from Youngstown, OH. Do you think that your hometown influenced your music style? Why?
Mason: It’s funny because there’s a lot of great bands in Youngstown, but it’s almost all bar rock bands. There’s a few really great different bands like Spirit of the Bear or Yurei (who our guitar player Reese is in), but we’ve always stuck out like a sore thumb. For a while we were the only band that did spoken word, and then we ditched that. It’s always been either really heavy bands, Green Day-esq punk bands, or bar rock bands in Youngstown. Post-hardcore and Emo music never really found its footing here. I think a little bit of what we do is a response to what we never got to see. When we were younger we were all about the local metalcore bands. It’s just funny how things evolve. Some great bands from Youngstown are Cerulean, Yurei, Spirit of the Bear, and Alteras.
Mike: It definitely impacted our sound the most because we always wanted to be different than what was in the local scene, and just that difference was a huge fuel to our drive.
Kennedy: There have been metalcore/heavy metal, classic rock and Indie bands pop up here and there, but no one quite like us. I believe it helped us stand out a bit more locally.
Joey: I always felt that the Youngstown scene brought us in and welcomed us with open arms, but our sound doesn’t reflect the location. I feel that our sound isn’t something that has a set location.
What are some of your goals as musicians and as a band?
Mason: FULL TIME MUSICIAN WITH NO HOME JOB HAHAHA. Honestly I’m the kind of person that’s never satisfied, and I always want more. I’m gonna always want us to keep growing. No ceiling.
Mike: Personally my goals are just to be big in a tight knit scene, I want to be able to play music in front of people that will feel something from us.
Kennedy: I just want to be involved with music forever. I love helping new artists outside of TSL and want to inspire new musicians to put their music out for the world to hear.
Joey: Personally, my only goal is to have a conversation within myself. I love the compliments and have a huge heart for people that like our music, but I truly feel like I do it for myself. For being able to release those feelings to the universe.
If you could headline any festival, real or not, who would you be performing with?
Mason: Can I just say Warped Tour? A fake one I would make would have Bring Me the Horizon headline, then Movements, us, and Wolf & Bear. It’s weird I know. I would love to play Lollapalooza, or Riot Fest. I think those type of festivals would be sick cause we can appeal to more than just post-hardcore fans.
Mike: Movement’s, Silent Planet, and Underoath (or just Warped Tour haha.)
Kennedy: Bring Warped Tour back from the dead. It's been my dream for 10+ years to play it. Completely unrealistically and in no particular order, Oceana, Of Machines, Underoath, Bring Me The Horizon, Lead Hands/Decoder, The Chariot, Deftones. There’s a lot of influences here but I don’t wanna list every single one, so here’s the first 7 off the top of my brain haha.
Joey: I would love to play a show with Deaftones, The Smashing Pumpkins, etc. We take many influences that collide within our sound as a whole.
The band was only formed in 2017. Was making music a goal of yours before you began The Safest Ledge?
Mason: I’ve been in bands since I was 13; I’ve always wanted this so much. Ironically I played my first show at 13, and then didn’t play again till 19 or 20 lol. We’ve all been in A LOT of bands that didn’t get off the ground, because when you’re in high school nobody is reliable. It felt like destiny that we all found each other, because we were all in the same place.
Mike: Absolutely, since I was 16 Mason and I always wanted to try and do music together and try to find our space in the scene.
Kennedy: We had another name which started with the “core 4” back in November of 2014. I personally started singing more seriously with a goal to be in a band in 2010 when I met Joey, so that was what I consider the first steps of my music journey.
Joey: Being able to have our voice be heard was embedded throughout all of us. I feel that we just needed the right tools in order to make everything be known to the world.