Everybody’s got that one album. For Barry Phillips, it’s “Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” by Smashing Pumpkins.
“Two CDs, 24 songs. It saved my life,” he said. “You can pinpoint songs on the album, things I didn’t realize I absorbed when I started making music. One of my favorite things about it is the lyrics, they’re very abstract and poetic.”
As the singer for Audio Impulse, he’s not looking to recreate that song cycle. But the band is expressedly out to create the experience for someone else: having that one special song or album make an impact on their life.
“Growing up, everyone latched onto music in one way or another. It got me through those tough times when you’re not sure how to identify with yourself and the world in general,” Phillips noted. “I found that specific album that made me feel better about myself. Everyone in the band has a similar story. At some point, music saved them.”
It’s perhaps a lofty goal, but one the hard rock/alternative band has been happy to face head-on. And, it seems, they’re making some progress.
Audio Impulse is releasing its second EP, “Straight Shot,” later this month. There’s already some buzz around it, with a music video for one of the songs garnering more than 1,000 views the day it was posted, and the band temporarily streaming other tracks as previews in the leadup to the release.
Getting traction like that takes work, said Phillips, and that effort is part of the regimen just as much as writing the songs and rehearsing them.
“We all hold each other to a personal responsibility for promotions and making the live show worth remembering,” he said. “We make sure we have a cohesive message and know where we want to focus our attention.”
But if divvying up social media accounts among band members doesn’t seem like the most romantic aspect for being in a rock band, it’s certainly one that makes a difference today. And, it’s one that sets this group apart at least from previous bands Phillips has been in.
“The difference with this band is the camaraderie between us. We definitely act like a family, we’re all very close,” he explained. And, that translates into working together on everything from posting on Facebook and Snapchat to fine-tuning the stage show to ensure, for instance, that the rest of the band isn’t “jumping around like maniacs” when one person would have the spotlight for a moment.
“We’re all in this together, and that can be hard to find,” Phillips continued. “Sometimes you get people who go for the rock star experience and don’t want to do the work. But we’re all well aware of what it takes.”
Audio Impulse will perform at the Roadhouse Inn, 2200 New Falls Road in Levittown, on Jan. 7. For information, visit www.audioimpulsemusic.com.