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  1. How did the band initially come together? Can you share a bit about your journey as a group?

Started out as an outlet for my solo work, at the time I was lead guitarist for prog band ‘This Winter Machine’ but that wasn’t itching all my scratches and was quite a difficult environment to work in. When I started the project, it was purely just something I was wanting to do on my home studio but when I started working with Charlie Bramald (vocals) it was clear that we had something that was worthy of our time and attention. We drafted in Mark Gatland ( I had played a couple of gigs with Mark) on bass and Dom Bennison initially on production, but we quickly realized he was a superb drummer! We set out on creating something special, with an Age of Distraction signature. 

  1. What would you say sets your music apart from other rock bands in the industry?

I think we are genuinely progressive as a band, there are too many ‘progressive’ bands out there that just imitate their fave bands, rather than taking that inspiration and creating something fresh. We have all the elements of the music we love but with our own unique blend of writing, and our production and cohesive, uniform sound means when you hear one of our songs, you know it’s us!

  1. Could you describe the creative process within the band? How do you typically approach songwriting and arranging?

As we work almost 100% remotely from each other, most songs are written by me, I then send the framework to each of the guys for them to work on their own parts and bring their own magic. They have full creative, artistic license to do whatever they want, so each of us gets a genuine input into the creation of the songs, I may write 99% of the music, but the band bring it to life.

  1. Are there any specific themes or messages that you aim to convey through your music?

This first album is not the cheeriest with its subject matter! Its about toxic relationships, communication breakdown and the hardships of life in the modern world, we are all distracted by something.

  1. How do you feel your sound has evolved since the band’s formation? Have there been any significant changes in your approach or style?

To say we are only 12 months old as a band, one thing that has developed throughout the creation of the first album, is each member instinctively knowing what the songs requires to deliver the AOD signature sound, so as much as the direction hasn’t evolved (yet) the economies of how quickly we can create a song that sounds like us has evolved at a meteoric rate. 

  1. What has been the biggest challenge the band has faced so far, and how did you overcome it?

No challenges apart from distance and time! We are based throughout the UK and each of us have our own demands on our extra-curricular time that we can focus on the project, so the hardest things have been getting the logistics in place to allow the actual recording to not slow down the creative process. 

  1. Are there any particular artists or bands that have influenced your musical style or inspired you?

We each bring a wide range of influences to the project, which I think is why it works so well, we don’t sound like a tribute, we sound like us! We have allowed our musical style to be dictated by the music we produce rather than the opposite. You can definitely hear that both me and Charlie love Pain of Salvation, and that I am a big Dream Theater fan. Also, listen carefully and you will hear Dom’s Devin Townsend influence in the production. 

  1. Can you share a memorable or interesting experience from one of your live performances?

We haven’t played live yet, each of us have in other projects but as AOD was initially a studio based project, we have focused on the album, but we have plans to get some live dates in at some point, band practices may prove difficult due to the 200 mile distance between some of us, but we will make it happen!

  1. How do you engage with your audience during your live shows? What kind of experience do you strive to create for them?

As above: but we guarantee that when we play live, it will be an experience you don’t want to miss!

  1. Are there any upcoming projects or releases that you’re excited about? Can you give us a sneak peek into what’s next for the band?

I am super excited about ‘Ghost of the Machines’ second album, hopefully released later this year, I really like the band ‘Wheel’ and am looking forward to their new album, due for release 12th May called ‘Charismatic Leaders’

With regards to AOD, we are already deep into writing and recording for album 2! And I am so excited to create something extra special for the next album. 

  1. What do you enjoy most about being part of a band? Is there a specific aspect of the music-making process that you find particularly fulfilling?

I just love the collaboration with other musicians and bouncing ideas off each other. We have so much fun in Age of Distraction, and that’s what it’s all about!

For me the most satisfying element of been in a band is starting with an idea and watching it mutate and grow into a song, there is no feeling quite like when you get back the first mix of a track and absorbing every note!

  1. How do you handle criticism or negative reviews of your work? Has it ever affected your creative process or confidence as a band?

We have been lucky so far that all reviews have been exceptional, but if any weren’t then that’s also cool, I am doing it for me, not for the feedback or praise and most certainly not for the money! Not everyone will like what we have created, and that’s totally fine, it won’t stop us producing our best work every time!

  1. Are there any rituals or routines that you follow before going on stage or entering the recording studio?

Nothing really for me, even in the live environment, I just used to warm the fingers up and go out on stage and do my best! We have lots of inside jokes that tend to inspire us on recording days, let’s just say we are glad of online mastering 😉

  1. Have you faced any notable obstacles or hurdles as a band, and how did you navigate through them?

Our main obstacle was going from a standing start and trying to get a foothold to allow our music to be heard, which is no mean feat! Getting any traction is difficult and it could be easy to get deflated, but as long as you remember you do it for the love of the song you will be ok!

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring rock musicians who are just starting their journey?

DO what you enjoy and make it fun, don’t be dictated to and have your musical outlet stifled by anyone! If someone tries to do that, they are not a bandmate! And get a plan and stick to it, these things take time so ensure you have a plan and follow it and don’t be deterred. 

  1. Are there any specific goals or milestones that the band hopes to achieve in the future?

Nothing specific, we just want our music to have the farthest reach possible and keep producing the best music we can. 

  1. How do you maintain a balance between your personal lives and the demands of being in a rock band?

Its not that difficult with AOD, we don’t rehearse, and we aren’t too demanding on each other, we all have our own limiting factors in our personal lives whether that be work, family or something else, so we just put the work in when we can and keep momentum. 

  1. Is there a particular song from your discography (Disc-og-ra-fee) that holds a special meaning for the band or carries a significant story behind it?

Cool story for the song Protect Me from our upcoming album, I wrote a song and had sent it across to Dom (our drummer and amazing producer) to put some live drums on it. When I got the stems of the drums back and put them in my studio, I realized I loved the drums, but not particularly the song! So, I spent an evening and with a flash of inspiration, I wrote the track to fit the drums, and it turned out better than I could ever have hoped for! The whole band immediately loved the reworked version, and it wasn’t long until it came to life as what you hear on the album!

  1. Can you share a fun or interesting fact about each band member that fans might not be aware of?

John C – Has two sets of twins and is a Finance Director in his day job!

Charlie B – Is the biggest tart in prog!

Mark G – Is a gravity Defying bass player (watch him live!)

Dom B – is a master pizza chef!

  1. What is the ultimate dream or vision that you have for the band’s legacy?

I don’t look that far ahead, I just want to keep creating music that people enjoy, as long as someone out there wants to hear Age of Distraction, then we will keep creating, the rest is just gravy!

  1. What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?

Finance Director / Accountant (its what pays the bills!)

  1. What song do you wish you had written by another band?

Ohhh that’s a tricky one, and I have about 1000 possibles, but lets say ‘Undertow’ by Pain of Salvation, it’s a very special track

23.  Is it possible to be on the road and not succumb to eating junk food? Ha, I have never been on the road, but I never say no to junk food!

24.  Are there any songs you have done you wish you hadn’t?

I don’t regret much musically, there is a track called ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ from This Winter Machines album ‘The Clockwork man’ that I wrote, and I listen back and I just don’t feel it’s a good representation of me or the band, and was definitely just included on the album to make up the numbers and get it released. 

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