“9ELECTRIC is about empowerment and living with a sense of intention,” says frontman Ron Underwood. “Whatever you do, do it with conviction. Make something happen in your life.”
The Damaged Ones – co-produced by Kane Churko [Five Finger Punch, In This Moment, Papa Roach] and drummer Micah Electric – is 9ELECTRIC setting their conviction to music. It is not a placebo intended to placate the masses, it is intense group therapy for the band and their fans. “The album describes the human condition – no one is truly safe, because at some point we’re all damaged,” says the singer, often referred to as “Thunderwood” by friends and fans.
From the opening declaration that “we are the damaged ones…”, we are met with a resolve that doesn’t falter throughout the album’s 12 tracks. “The Damaged Ones,” “Little Things” and lead single “Beautiful” represent the band at their emotional best, with “New God,” “Naked” and “Lies” fulfilling our more carnal desires. Guitars lay the foundation, and subtle layers of electronics propel the album to heights of sheer sonic splendor, transforming the listening experience into an aerobic exercise. “Take It Away” sprints from start to finish in a neon wash, while “More More” explodes like a supernova, according to Underwood, driven by its “pummeling, knuckle-dragging beat, and the snidest burns I’ve ever dished out on vocals.”
Coming off extended runs supporting Lacuna Coil, Drowning Pool, Gemini Syndrome and Otep, radio festivals as far-reaching as KISW in Seattle, WA and 98 Rock in Charleston, SC, and a show-stealing performance at the inaugural Rock Into Spring festival in Las Vegas, 9ELECTRIC are now poised to make their radio debut with lead single “Beautiful.” The song laces outer beauty and inner darkness, and is accompanied by a jarring video conceived and produced by the band, and directed by Underwood. It offers one of the album’s most tender moments, casting light into shadows and illuminating a pain too many of us feel every day.
Though you wouldn’t be wrong if you heard the influence of Bring Me The Horizon or Motionless In White, the diverse palette that colors the album is the byproduct of a true team effort. “Everyone brings in material of their own,” offers guitarist Mikey Lopez. “I write on guitar, and Ron and Micah usually create in Pro Tools or Logic. After that, we all work on the songs together to get the tracks that make the cut up to all of our standards. If a song started on guitar, electronics get written around it, and if a song started with electronics, the guitar is written around that. But before that can even happen, we have to have a great melody and an arrangement that we all love.”
“I’ve always been into bands that infuse electronic elements into their music – Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, as well as more electronic-based bands with rock elements like The Prodigy, Pendulum and Infected Mushroom,” explains drummer Micah Electric. “These artists – and others who combine the rock and electronic worlds – have influenced my approach to programming and producing in general. With 9ELECTRIC, I really want to create music that makes you feel like you can’t stand still, and I think we’ve achieved that.”
The Los Angeles quartet played their first show in 2011 at the Roxy Theater, and it wasn’t long before they were promoting their own nights at the club. Their shows were such a success there were constant lines waiting to get in to see 9ELECTRIC share the stage with bands they hand-picked, including Gemini Syndrome, and then-unsigned acts Otherwise, The Butcher Babies and Nothing More. From day one, 9ELECTRIC had a vision that was bigger than a 45-minute show – it’s about making every show an event, and making every event an experience to remember.
As we all know, it’s those experiences that often get us through our days… There’s nothing wrong with being one of the damaged ones. In fact, never before has being damaged felt so damn right.