Stardog Champion is the new band from Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski who recently left Breaking Benjamin, Nick Coyle from Lifer / The Drama Club and Josh Karis from Leroy Justice. Their new EP “Exhale” features their first single “When We Fall” and was produced by Grammy-nominee Neal Avron (Linkin Park, Everclear, Switchfoot).
The guys in Stardog Champion recently took some time to answers our questions about the new EP and about the road ahead.
Type 3 Media: Thank you for taking some time to answer our questions.
Nick Coyle: No problem… thank you.
Type 3 Media: How has the reaction been to your recently released EP “Exhale”?
Nick Coyle: It’s been really good so far. Everyone seems to be diggin’ the songs and the overall vibe of the band.
Type 3 Media: What was the biggest challenge for you while writing and recording material for the EP?
Nick Coyle: I think it had to be deciding what songs we actually recorded to the EP. We wrote like 40 songs over the last year so narrowing that down to 5 was a bit of a challenge I guess.
Type 3 Media: Did the band’s chemistry kick-in right away or did it take some time to sort out?
Nick Coyle: Well… Me, Aaron, and Mark were in a band together before called Lifer in the early 2000’s. We were on Universal Records. So we already had a previous chemistry. It’s like we never missed a beat. [laughs] Then we added Josh to the mix. He’s really talented and just a really cool guy so there was an instant chemistry with him.
Type 3 Media: Which song are you the most proud of how it turned out?
Nick Coyle: That’s tough… I think they all turned out great.
Type 3 Media: Which song do you think has the biggest impact during Stardog Champion’s live performances?
Nick Coyle: Well, we’ve only done 2 shows so far so it’s hard to say at this point, but I guess “When We Fall.” That’s the one we released first so it’s what people are most familiar with.
Type 3 Media: How did the concept for the “When We Fall” video come together? The masks creep me out.
Nick Coyle: You don’t like chicks in masks? [laughs] Well, we were talking about a performance video and just started throwing ideas around. We talked about projecting images and masked girls. The editor of the video, Jared, knew a choreographer and he got back to us as said “I’ve got 26 girls ready to do this.” They were great sports about it… they had those masks glued to their faces for the whole day. The weirdest part of it was talking to them all as a group, giving them direction… they would all just stare with those masks. You say something and 26 masked heads all swivel and just stare… yeah, I guess it was a little creepy. [laughs]
Type 3 Media: Are you seeking label support or will you stay independent?
Nick Coyle: Yes… we’re currently looking for the right label to team up with. It would be great to stay independent but there are so many financial restraints.
Type 3 Media: Will Stardog Champion release a full-length album, and if so when can fans expect it?
Nick Coyle: We’re not sure right now. We might just keep releasing EPs. It’s a way to get music to the fans quicker. It also keeps it fresh for us too. It depends on what happens with shopping for a label and how they want to approach it too.
Type 3 Media: Any tour plans in the works?
Nick Coyle: Yes… we just got a booking agent and there are some things in the works.
Type 3 Media: What’s the one item (creature comfort or guilty pleasure) you absolutely need to have with you on tour or when playing a show?
Nick Coyle: I would have to say my iPhone… whether it’s to FaceTime my family back home, recording new ideas or taking pics and video of the craziness that happens on the road. It’s a really valuable tool.
Type 3 Media: Aaron, have you settled the dispute with Benjamin Burnley or is that still ongoing?
Aaron Fink: We seemed to come to some “agreement”, yes.
Type 3 Media: We spoke with Syd Duran a couple years ago and at the time she was somewhat shocked about getting caught in the crossfire of the events following the release of the “Blow Me Away” remix. Have you had a chance to speak with her since then?
Aaron Fink: None of us ever even met her! The dissolution of that line-up had nothing to do with her and she shouldn’t feel bad at all. The break-up involved a lot more of deep-rooted issues than just that song, unfortunately, and to the public, the song became the talking point.
Type 3 Media: Anything you want to mention that we didn’t cover?
Stardog Champion: You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream!