Interview: The Movement

Interview: The Movement

The Movement came onto the scene starting out as a 3-Piece w/their first release of On Your Feet back in March of 2004. Following the 2008 release of Set Sail, the group added drummer Gary Jackson & bassist Jay Schmidt to the line up just before deploying on tour playing shows with the likes of Slightly Stoopid, G. Love & The Special Sauce, SOJA, 311, Steel Pulse, Iration & more. In early 2010, co-founder & singer/guitarist of The Movement, Josh Swain, decided to leave the group to pursue other endeavors. Since then, The Movement has added Keyboardist Johnny Keys as they continue without any breaks in touring, producing & writing. Curious about the direction of the group moving forward without Singer/Guitarist Josh Swain, The Pier caught up with front man Jordan Miller to talk about the Reggae, Rock, Hip Hop quartet from Philadelphia, PA known as The Movement….Enjoy!

The Pier: So getting right to it, what can you tell us about Josh leaving the group? How did this transpire?
Jordan: Josh left because he had an opportunity to take a job in Denver and couldn’t pass it up. There was no tension when he left. We’re still great friends and always will be. Shit happens I guess but you gotta roll with it or get run over by it ya know. We just plan on keepin The Movement moving.

The Pier: How will this transition affect playing songs live that Josh had such a presence with between his contributions on vocals & guitar?
Jordan: As far as the songs that josh was a major part of, we just don’t play those songs. Songs like Habit, Cool-Aid, Cold Outside, Sweet Summertime, etc…are just phased out of the play list. It’s a bit of a bummer cause of the inability to give the fans those songs but we are constantly writing and we will have many more songs to come. I sing some of his parts, which is not easy cause that mofo can sing his face off, and as far as the his guitar work…Johnnie Keys contributes a GREAT deal to make up for the loss. Like I said, we just gonna keep moving forward. You have to or you will surely fail.

The Pier: Keeping things moving with Johnnie Keys, what can you tell us about new material for the new album? Any new songs in particular you guys are looking forward to recording? Playing any of the new songs live that we should keep an ear out for?
Jordan:In all honesty man I couldn’t even begin to describe what the new record is going to sound like. We have a trillion ideas we are toying with and trying to put all the little parts into full concepts. All 4 of us have a riff or an idea for a chorus or something that we could mess around with. I personally have 40 or 50 songs that need some tweaking so its going to be an experimental process…but a kick ass result nonetheless. We tour so much its hard to find time to work on anything new but I’m constantly writing and we all are steady talking and brainstorming about new tracks. Expect a bit of everything on this new one, but be prepared to go ape shit when you hear it cause its gonna be FIRE!

The Pier: You’re Producer Chris Dibenditto of Philadephonic Studios (Slightly Stoopid, G. Love. The Expendables), has moved from your hometown of Philadelphia, PA. to the west coast residing in California. Does the group intend on relocating to the West Coast to record new material under the new line up w/Chris D.?
Jordan: I wouldn’t say we would be relocating. Going out west to record, yes. D has always wanted to move to cali so it just gives us an excuse to go out west and record music. Not a bad deal if you think about it. D is our producer and where his studio goes, the movement will go as well, as long as he makes us sound good…Kidding!

The Pier: As I understand it, Gary & Jay were not on the album Set Sail that was released in 2008. Since that album, you guys have released new material with Gary & Jay on songs such as Care (You Don’t Even) that was featured on The Pier Comp Vol. 1 as well as Using My Head on the Sense Boardwear Acoustic Comp. How has the writing process evolved with the new line up & how will the new music differ from your previous releases?
Jordan: In all honesty, the writing process is the same. We didn’t have them on the first 2 records but in terms of writing we are all on the same page. We all have ideas and inspirations that we bring to the table and truthfully, it makes it easier having J, G, and Johnnie Keys….i don’t have to run to a beat machine every time I have an idea. I got the best rhythm section in the world at my fingertips! Also, it helps because it opens much more room to explore different ways to build a song when you have 3 other people you respect musically to chime in and give their input.

The Pier: Whether it’s an EP or an Album, Is there a tentative time frame to release any new material?
Jordan: We start laying down the full length record the end of December, the latter part of Jan., and the end of April. We should be ready to release around June……I HOPE!

The Pier: You guys have toured your way to CA on several occasions & CA is well known for its demand in embracing Reggae-Rock. Growing up in South Carolina & living in Philadelphia, PA, what can you tell us about the scene of reggae-rock music on the East Coast & how it may compare to the West Coast?
Jordan: As far as a comparison, it’s not a huge difference. West Coast has more of a scene for our style of music and it’s more available out there as far as the live music scene is concerned. But honestly, we all have the same love for it and just try to keep the vibe of the music going.

The Pier: While adjusting to the new line up, it doesn’t appear you guys really took a break from the road. What tours do you guys have coming up & what city/states do you guys plan on hitting in the future?
Jordan: I don’t even know what the word “break” means. We can’t stop. Don’t want to and wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves if we did. We just did some shows with 311, SOJA, and Iration and we have some more shows with 311 coming up as well. In regards to next year and our touring we plan on hitting every place we can! Expect coast to coast touring and perhaps even some over seas touring.

The Pier: If I were stuck in your van on tour, what would I be subject to hearing on the road with you guys?
Jordan: First, if you were stuck in our van for a whole tour I would say…pray, and build up your tolerance for the bizarre. Musically you could expect to hear a wide range of shit. Dr. Dog, Santigold, Drake, Lil Wayne, Katchafire, Minus the Bear, Silversun Pickups, Otis Redding, Gyption, STS9, Aretha Franklin, John Brown’s Body, etc…the list would go on and on as we are in the van ALL THE TIME.

The Pier: Huge thanks to Jordan & the rest of The Movement for taking time out while on tour to answer a few questions!

The Movement Links:
The Movement Website
The Movement Facebook

– Interview by: Mike Patti
– Photography by: Kristen Costa & Dave Norris