We spoke with Jeff St.Germain – lead guitar of Between Hope & Fear.
Between Hope & Fear is a Syracuse, NY post-hardcore and modern rock band that will command your attention. Their debut EP ‘With the Water’ is out today.
Can you tell us a little bit about Between Hope & Fear and how you got started?
Between Hope & Fear actually started out as a studio project of mine that really was never meant to see the light of day. A little over a year ago, I left the band I was in because of writing differences, and knew that I still wanted to do music. But, as with a lot of failed bands, I had a very bad taste in my mouth about working with other musicians. So, I had 4 or 5 songs written for a while that I really didn’t want changed, so I got ahold of Justin Spaulding (our producer) and told him I had a project I wanted to start; just so I could have the songs for myself. Well, long story short the first single with my original vocalist, Cody, ended up being released and got a MASSIVE response. So much so that I had to put a band together. Needless to say, I went through a few lineup changes, but now I am thoroughly happy with the guys I can call my brothers in this band.
What is the meaning behind your name?
Believe it or not, it’s a question, the name is meant to make people think. Because when I started this; our country, our world, and everyone in it was somewhere between hope and fear. The world is in a state of disarray, and I wanted to have music with a message of inspiration. And not only that, think about it, what is between hope and fear… its faith. Faith that what’s right will always come out on top, faith that your dreams are reachable, faith that there is still positivity in this world. I’ve been in enough failed bands, lost enough friends, and at times had my world collapse on me… but faith is the one thing that gets you through it.
You guys headlined your very first show at the Turning stone Casino for 95x’s Bands and brews, What was it like to be the headliner your very first show? How do you think the show went?
It was eye opening to say the least. Being modest: we were not as ready as we thought. It’s not that we didn’t know the songs, or couldn’t play them. It was more like a young sports team that hasn’t had enough time together to know each person on the team completely. When to pass, each person’s little quirks, and just the little things that make a big difference, especially in a band. But, in saying that, the turnout was great and the crowd seemed to love us. But a lot has changed in a few short months, and I am very proud to say that.
I noticed on your Facebook page you guys have some pretty sweet guitars. Could you tell us a little bit about your relationship with Moniker Guitars and how that came to be?
Moniker has been probably the best company I could think to have the honor of being endorsed by. Not only are the quality of the instruments second to none, but they are so friendly. These guitars are all built from the ground up, for us, and it is just the coolest feeling you can imagine. It actually happened because one day I was online, building guitars that I know I could never afford, and came across their website. The site even said, “Hey, we are looking for new artists to add to our roster.” So, me being me, decided to actually apply. A day or so later, Steve my artist rep, got ahold of me saying they loved our single and wanted to set up a meeting to discuss the next steps… and its history from there.
Your forthcoming EP “With the Water” is being released on 05/19/17. What was the songwriting process like? Also, what do you hope fans take away from the album after listening?
Well, the songwriting process was really just a culmination of music and riffs I’d had written for a while that I just wanted to finally have recorded for myself to have. The only one that had full band collaboration was the final track, “Ocean//Limits”. The original riff was actually one my drummer, Zach wrote. I fell in love with the riff years ago, but it was never mine to use. So when he decided we should do a 5th track, I threw out the idea of finishing that song and it ended up working out great. Surprisingly, we have already began the writing for our next CD and the music that is being written by the 5 of us together is just unreal.
How did the lineup of bands for your Album release come together? Did you have an idea of who you wanted on the bill prior to planning the event?
It kind of came together quite easily. Our friends in Only the Chosen have been working so hard on their EP, and I am so glad we get to share the stage with them as they release theirs on the same night. The idea for the dual release show came from Scott Dixon who thought it would make a perfect lineup. He gave me and Mike from OTC the chance to each pick an opener. Mike chose the Afro Nips, who are unbelievable mind you. And I chose Turn the Tide because they are a band that I have seen the hard work they’ve put in and how far their music has come lately; I just felt it was right to expose them to our fan base.
What does the rest of 2017 hold for Between Hope & Fear?
All I can hope for is that the rest of the year continues like it’s started. Just the fact that I’m even doing this interview speaks volumes. I never thought my music would see the light of day, let alone make an impact enough to even be in this spot. It’s all been a blessing, truly. And I’m appreciative of all of it. Hopefully we will be able to play all through NY and into New England this year; and we are aiming to start tracking the new CD by the end of the year. But for now, I don’t want to look too far ahead, have to take things one day at a time.
Where can fans keep up to date on the latest music and news from Between Hope & Fear?
Facebook is easiest, honestly. We will have a website up and running soon, but for now rely on Facebook. We also have a Twitter and Instagram account: bhaf_official where you can find some things we might not throw on Facebook. Our store will be active through BandCamp after the show, and always feel free to message us whenever because we love hearing from fans.
If you were a new crayon being released by Crayola – what would your name be?
Hot Mustard Yellow. Do you like hot mustard? We do.
Jeff St.Germain – Lead Guitar
Jayme Divens – Rhythm Guitar
Anthony Nappa – Bass
Zach Teller – Drums