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    Metal is not dead. Many people believe that the metal genre has become saturated and that there is not audience for them anymore. Those people are wrong. Eye Ov The Storm have been working hard to bring us their album “Caiaphas.” They had their CD release show this past weekend at Expo Five and I caught up with one of their members, Ryan Franke, to ask about the band’s birth, work ethic, and how the overall show went for them.

    LC: What is your name and the position in the band?

    RF: “My name is Ryan Franke and I am the vocalist of Eye Ov The Storm.”

    LC: Today was the band’s CD release show, so how’d that go?

    RF: “Man, I felt like it was good, to be honest with you. People came up afterwards, shaking hands, giving high fives, telling us we did a good job. I never really know how to judge it until they come up and tell me. You’ll hear stuff from the monitors and it doesn’t come out that way to them. I’m kind of a perfectionist, so to me, I hear myself muffled [in the monitor] and it makes me mad. It makes me think I’m not doing as good so it pushes me harder. So I guess it’s a good thing.”

    LC: So aside from stage technicalities, how was the overall experience?

    RF: “It was awesome! I loved the bands we played with like Kingslayer. Oh man. That Iron Maiden cover [Kingslayer covered ‘Run for the Hills’ originally performed by Iron Maiden]. I couldn’t believe it! That’s a hard song to cover so I give them props on that one.  Overall, great show. I’m upset that a couple of the bands had to drop but it’s understandable with the weather; one man’s driving a salt truck, the other sick with the flu. It would’ve been awesome to have all six bands be here. That’s how I really wanted it, but it was still good.”

    LC: How old is your band and how did you guys start?

    RF: “About 2008-2009, we first started under the name, If the City’s on Fire. Matt [the guitarist] and I were the only ones in it and we just recorded sh*t in his apartment, just constantly. We gave up on it for a little bit but we came back around 2012 and started recording music again. I don’t know what it was; with me having a kid, it just motivated the sh*t out of me. I wanted to do something and show her [Ryan’s daughter] that, ‘Hey. You can do anything you want, ya know? You don’t have to go out and go to college and get a real f*cking job. You can go do whatever you want. It’s your life.’ That motivated me.”

    It took us three years to find all the members we have now. Matlyn [drummer] was the first one to come and then we found Jared [guitarist] through her and I’ve known Andrew [bassist] forever. I used to do martial arts with his dad and it’s insane because I remember Andrew running around as a little kid in the dojo. It’s weird that now, he’s playing in our band. I like how everything turned out, from 2008 to now. It’s f*cking crazy.

    LC: With the CD release show; I wanted to ask how the album came together? Do you go to a local or outside producer?

    RF: “Matt, our guitarist, is actually our producer. He did everything. We did everything at his house and honestly, we didn’t have that much equipment. We had a Macbook Pro, a couple condenser microphones and that’s really all we have. We maybe have a $2000 setup and we recorded everything on it. It took time. It took patience. It probably took a lot more time because I have a kid and I have to find time to go to Matt’s. It was a long, grueling process but I got to be honest, when I had that physical copy of the CD in my hands, I cried. I really did cause I was like, “This is years of hard work. Finally I had a product to show everybody.” It was a real surreal moment. I said to myself, ‘Wow. I finally did it.’ I didn’t make it anywhere, but to me, I did it. The album’s done, it’s out, and we sold a sh*t ton tonight, so I’m really proud of that.”

    LC: It’s not always about the monetary achievement; it’s more about that personal achievement.

    RF: “Exactly. I spent a large amount of money on merch[andise] and it’s out of my own pocket. I have a kid and everything, that’s really hard to do, but you got to invest in yourself before anybody else can. That’s how we look at it. We do everything ourselves. I mean, we’ve had outside people to do different things, but for the most part, we try to do everything ourselves. Why let a small label come in to take all our profits? We pretty much did everything a small label can do for us, so why do that? I’m happy with where we are. I’m eager to see where we’re gonna go and I’m very happy with the point we’re at right now.

    I’m happy with the members. Everybody has this mindset; work. However, it doesn’t seem like work, but we really are working our asses off. But at the end of the day we just say, “Well, that was fun.” We worked a lot of but it didn’t feel like work.”

    LC: Touching on that independent label situation you brought up; have you been approached by any?

    RF “It’s kind of smaller person that I don’t think anybody has ever heard of. On Instagram and everything, they’ll direct message me and we’ll chat back and forth but to be honest with you, I don’t think we’d entertain the idea of a small label. We want full control of us. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll hear them out but why, like I said earlier, let someone in when you can do it for yourself.”

    LC: Labels are there to benefit you and if it can’t do that, why bother?

    RF: “Right! Especially now, the music industry is really messed up with that. You sign a contract they own you.”

    LC: The last thing I want to ask is about future plans for Eye Ov The Storm. Touring? Single? Music Video?

    RF: “Music video, possibly soon. I’ve met some people last year that I needed to meet to try to maybe get us on Louder Than Life [Louisville’s metal festival]. Not saying that we’ll be on Louder Than Life [laughs] but I’m pushing for it. I would like to see a local stage setup and see ten local bands play there. That’s a huge outlet for bands to reach thousands of people. Why can’t they support the local scene a little bit? Like Flaw. They’ve been around for years, but you know, they already have their plan of what they’re going to do. I would love see bands like us or Johari to be brought into the mix. A whole plethora of good, local bands on a stage on Louder Than Life.

    As for touring, maybe in the summer. We all have families and bills, especially Matt. He’s got bills out the ass. He has more bills than I do [laughs]. For us, it’s got to be worth our time but it’s definitely a possibly. More than likely in the summer time. I want to push for a small tour or a weekend thing. Hopefully it gets to that point.”

    LC: Now some final words; anything you want to say for people reading this?

    RF: “Check us out! “Ov” is with “V” just to make that clear [laughs]. We’re just four dudes and one chick and we just like to play music.

    I had a blast up there. You come out to a show, you’ll see that I leave everything up on that stage.”

    As you can see, metal is not dead. There’s a huge audience for it growing in Louisville today. Be sure to check out Eye Ov The Storm and their new album CAIAPHAS.


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    About Anthony Tran

    I'm a freelance photographer and producer from Louisville, KY. I've lived here my whole life and am currently attending the University of Louisville. I love food, music, and taking pictures of both.

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