Saturday September 22nd, 2018 – Discrepancies, recently signed to InVogue Records, came home to St. Louis to play a hometown headliner show at Pop’s Nightclub. Joined by Broken Youth, Hallow Point, City of Parks, The Greater Good, The Skagbyrds, and Tyler Keast, the “The Phatbeatz Birthday Bash at Pop’s” brought masses of fans to the 24 hour venue to celebrate Discrepancies’ drummer Phatbeatz Steve’s birthday and bid farewell to him as the drummer for the up and coming Nu Metal band. Discrepancies is a band constantly improving, upping the ante to provide a bigger, better show and deliver on performances as well as experiences for their fans. The latest release The Awakening dominated most of the set list and kicking the show off “Rock the Show” does just that. My personal favorite song from the album, “Rock the Show” instantly electrifies the crowd, infusing them with the perfectly blended Rock and Rap cocktail to create a hit currently sitting at over 86,000 spins on Spotify. Discrepancies is high energy, whether its stick tricks from drummer Phatbeatz Steve, stage jumps from bassist Garrett Weakly and guitarist Addison Bracher or the crowd interaction of lead vocalist Antonio “ATG” Metcalf; they keep the crowd involved and keep your attention with catchy pensive lyrics and Rock Rap fusion that brings the head banging heat. We sat down with Antonio “ATG” Metcalf and Garrett Weakley to ask them some questions after the show to see what its like being signed to a label, how they decided to incorporate a compliment Rap Battle into their show and some hints to what’s coming next from Discrepancies. Don’t forget to check out our photo gallery from the show below as well!
Jessi: The first time I heard your music it was from a demo CD Addison handed out at a show at Pop’s. Then I noticed someone from the band was doing this at almost every show I went to when I first started working the St. Louis music scene. I read you also got your music out there by reaching out to streaming curators to get your music heard on workout playlists. Hard work and hitting the pavement digital or hardtop to fill a venue seems to fit hand in hand with Discrepancies. Do you think the online marketing or face to face fan establishment has contributed the most to your fan base?
Garrett: I would have to say it’s a strong balance of both. When we started, I really preached to the guys about how much more a face to face interaction meant to a listener than some post online, but over time I would say we’ve learned that the internet is a truly powerful tool. It helps reinforce your connections with people while constantly reminding them about your band/music. I would say the “in person” interactions create longer lasting relationships with fans and friends than anything online ever could, but the digital wave allows you to have a night at home and still be relevant.
Jessi: You busted out a Compliment Rap Battle at the show between Dub Flow and ATG, what was the inspiration for incorporating a compliment rap battle into the show?
ATG: There’s a few goals we try to achieve going into setting up a hometown headliner. One of them is bringing something new or different to the table and another would be to create memorable moments. We go pretty hard during our shows so it’s nice to throw in a few different elements to add to the experience.
Jessi: What are some of the biggest challenges of touring and how do you combat them?
ATG: I would say for me personally is being away from family. I’ve got my girl and my son who support me wholeheartedly but they also depend on me so I use that as motivation.
Jessi: How did Dub Flow become a staple in Discrepancies?
ATG: I’ve known Dub for almost 10 years. We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ve been making music together our entire friendship. Not to mention the guy is extremely talented and makes friends wherever he goes. Very chill, very down to earth kind of guy.
Jessi: You guys were signed this year to InVogue Records, what is the biggest difference between being totally DIY and being a signed band?
Garrett: It has been an interesting journey so far. InVogue has helped us take a lot of things to the next level. Everything from Music Videos, to producers, to Warped Tour, to buying a van, etc. Signing was more than just, “Oh what can InVogue do for us.” It was more of a… “Are we ready to make this jump” type of situation. I think at the end of the day we all agreed we were. We generated fair revenue, but ultimately, we needed more to be able to tour. We needed help to have a media person on tour and we needed that reputation to be able to shop tours and agents. The label gives your band that “validity” so to speak for people that haven’t heard of you. However, it can also put a lot of pressure on your band because you’re now in a spotlight and expected to deliver the next killer record.
We ended up going with InVogue over any other label interested at the time because they seemed to most genuine and interested in us as a band, more than just what type of numbers can we sell. They approached us with more of a development mindset, and that’s what we truly wanted.
Jessi: Should we expect Zach Allard to switch from “filling in” to being the new drummer since Saturday was Steve’s last show?
ATG: I would say so. I feel like it’s important to chase your dreams. What better way to prove to your son anything is possible than to work hard and make it happen. Be the example, be the proof.
Jessi: What is your favorite song to play from The Awakening and why?
Jessi: The Awakening goes to a lot of places, unafraid to talk about race, relationships and partying. What was the overall theme you wanted to convey to fans with this album?
ATG: To wake up, have fun, reach goals, be kind and live life. Life is short, make the best out of the little time we have with one another.
Garrett: We have a lot of the pre-production done currently, but the overall theme won’t come until Antonio really puts his final stamps on the lyrics. We tend to adjust at that point to allow the music and the lyrics to really fit seamlessly together. We’ve started tracking a new single though, that is sure to surprise a lot of people. We can tell you, it’s a cover and will not be on the next record, but it should be out in time for the holidays. Be sure to follow us on socials, or Spotify, Apple Music, etc for notifications on that release!
Words and Photos – Jessi McKee – Photojournalist