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March 2006 - Labeled


SCS: How and when did Labeled form as a band?

Ryan: Our current lineup has only been around for a year and a half - Gason and John started Labeled.

Gason: We started as a cover band in 1998 as a three piece, and when Ryan joined we switched to all original music.

John: Ryan took over vocals in 2002 and we've been the same since - except for the two guitar player changes...

SCS: How would you define your band or your sound to someone who’s never seen you

Gason: Cock Rock! That one's tough. We usually just tell people to come see us...we're not really cock rock...

John: You ever see that movie "Rockstar"? Yeah, that's us.

Ryan: I think I basically just say we're a rock band, and tell them who our influences are. It sucks telling someone "Dude, it's like Alice in Chains meets Metallica meets Godsmack meets Soundgarden meets Nirvana...with a twist of Winger

SCS: How would you describe a Labeled show? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?

Gason: Very powerful. Even if they don't like the music, they like the energy.

Ryan:Unlike a lot of the other bands we see, we usually play 4 hour shows. People like to see 4 guys going nuts for 4 hours and still having time for Goldschlager shots. We like to play loud too. But if you want a bunch of John Cougar Mellencamp covers, better try elsewhere..

John: You ever see that movie "This is Spinal Tap"? It's like that only our amps don't go to 11.

SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?

Ryan: I was influenced a lot by Nirvana and the rest of the grunge bands when that all came about. I think I speak for the rest of the guys too. Lots of Zeppelin, Soundgarden, Rage. And Winger. Josh (who's MIA tonight) likes a lot of the classical-yet-metal guys like Randy Rhodes and Yngwie.

Gason: I like all sorts of music, but influenced mostly by Nirvana, Tool, Motley Crue, and Godsmack.

John: Probably, like Tool, I still like Korn's bass sound. John Enthwistle of The Who and Les Claypool from Primus. Cliff Burton.

SCS: What are your goals for this band, touring, just playing around town?

All: We want it all!

Gason: Brown M&M's in our hotel rooms, and a record contract.

Ryan: I think I'd like to have a Nickelback career...

John: We like Nebraska, but we don't want to be just regional.

Gason: The world would be better.

SCS: That should be a James Bond movie title!

Ryan: I hear Japan is nice this time of year.

SCS: What experience did you have in bands before Labeled started?

Ryan: I was in another local band that broke up when I was 19, but I've been w/ Labeled ever since. Josh sat in his basement and practiced guitar until we met him.

Gason: We experienced a lot less drinking...all of my and John's experience is in Labeled.

SCS: Did you choose the name Labeled in an effort to not get labeled?

Ryan: We mostly picked "Labeled" because Hootie and the Blowfish and Garbage were already taken.

Gason: Seriously, we picked the name because we did get labeled as drug users and bad-guys just for being in a rock band.

SCS: Drug uers and bad guys in a rock band??? I've never heard of such a thing! So how have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?

Ryan: Obviously we've gotten better as musicians. It's nice to have 3 other guys who want to do the exact same thing; play the same music, have the same dream. Since we added Josh as lead guitar, we've been able to do things that were a lot more challenging simply because we could now. We've always used differing keys and numerous tempo changes, but I think we actually get to develop complex melodies as we've gotten better.

SCS: Who writes the songs in the band, and how do you work a song from the initial idea to a finished product?

John: We all write our own parts to every song even if one person had the initial riff or idea.

SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?

John: We all write our own parts to every song even if one person had the initial riff or idea.

Ryan: That's how most of our songs get written: one of us is getting a beer or taking a leak and hear another guy playing something cool. Then we pretty much hammer it until it's done. We are always writing and if something doesn't work, we save it for another song.


SCS:Do you have a favorite song of yours to play live?

Ryan: Whatever the first one of the night is. That gets everything going for me.

Gason & John: From the Top, track # 7 on our new album.

SCS: Are there any you don’t like playing anymore?

Ryan: We, um, usually throw out the ones that suck.

John: Yeah, If one of us doesn't like a song, we usually just take it out of our set list.

SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?

Gason & John: The Grove. It was packed but our first lead singer was so nervous that our first set did not go well. We ended strong.

Ryan: Mine was Knickerbockers' with my old band. I think there were 7 people there including the band.

SCS: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?

All: Opening for "Jackyl" 2 winters ago for Tim and the Animal's 10th aniversary party. We sold 100 tickets before that night and had a huge following there. We also opened Comstock Rock 2 summers ago for Alice Cooper, Jackyl and some butt rock bands that were assholes.

SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?

Gason: I think the music scene would be fine if it weren't for the downtown bars taking the crowds on weekends.

John: That's what I think too.

Ryan: Here's my deal: Lincoln bands don't get along. There's a couple cliques but it seems like there's a lot of animosity, especially toward the modern rock groups.

SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?

Ryan: Go to college, get a real job, make some money. Then if you still have the 10 spare years needed to get a successful national act together, go for it. If you want to just be local and entertain the local bar scene though, get ready for fun. Learn covers first, make money, buy your own P.A. system. Then you can get your original set together and not have to eat Ramen noodles for a year.

Gason: There's really no way to explain it. You just have to experience it yourself. We wouldn't be the band we are today without our ups and downs

John: I agree.

SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?

All: We learned a TON from playing with The Victims. Chronic Bliss really has their own thing going - it's really good. The Gov't, Jackboot Suicide and Anchondo are groups we've played with that were really great.

John: We admire a lot of the bands whether they're country, rock or heavy metal.

SCS: Who’s your favorite local band to play with?

All: It would have to be The Victims. They put on a hell of a show, and as we said before we learned a lot from those guys.

SCS: Do you think growing up/living in Lincoln influences your music in any way?

All: We'll never escape our roots. From now on, whenever we see a store called "Mower World", we'll instantly think of 5 or 6 guys who would call a trip there a "vacation". As far as our music goes, Lincoln is a town that has a lot of really new and innovative music. For a group like us that wants to be strict mainstream, we catch some flak for that, since it's a cardinal sin for a lot of the groups out there to try and be mainstream. But the only kind of sellouts we want to be are the ones who sell out every show!

SCS: If you could snap your fingers and make any two bands disappear, who would they be?

Ryan: I don't think it'd be fair to make any bands disappear. Someone somewhere likes them, and to deprive someone of something that makes them happy (like music) is a rotten thing to do man.

Gason: I don't really think we need David Hasselhoff or John Tesch.

John: Or ABBA.

SCS: Are you working on a new album now, and if so, when do you expect it to come out?

All: Our new album drops on March 4 and we'll be having a CD release shindig at Playmaker's (next to The Office) that night. 5:00 All ages, 9:00 21+

SCS: Was there one defining moment which led you to a life of rock and roll?

All: More like a series of moments. We hate the 9-5 lifestyle and can't see ourselves doing it forever. We've all felt like we were born to perform and entertain, so there really is nothing else (except maybe porn) to do.

SCS: If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?

Ryan: Probably Nirvana or Led Zeppelin. A toss up. If any band could be resurrected, I'd wish for those two. Soundgarden a close second.

Gason & John : Motley Crue!

SCS: What was the first Album or CD you bought?

John: Def Leppard Hysteria

Gason: Metallica - Black

Ryan: Some Weird Al tape...I can't remember the name...

SCS: Whose music are you listening to right now? -- What other bands would you recommend people check out?

All:There is a band from Oklahoma City called The Disposables that just freakin' rock. Like Metallica meets The Offspring. The rest of the stuff we listen to is pretty much what you hear on The Blaze.

SCS: Name your top 4 favorite albums of all time.

Umm off the top of our heads...

  • Metallica - Black
  • Soundgarden - Superunknown
  • Led Zeppelin IV
  • Nirvana Nevermind
  • Alice in Chains Dirt

    SCS: What’s the best gig you've ever seen, local or otherwise?

    All: Motley Crue. We've always believed that live music is a rock SHOW. We always try to give them something they can't pick up from a recording. The Crue is the best at that still.

    SCS: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?

    Ryan: Basically a lot of promotion for the new album. A regional tour for certain, but who knows? We'd like some airplay and hopefully a record company will take a chance with 4 nerds from Corn Country.

    SCS: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

    All: It's been a tough 8 years. If any one would like to ask us questions about what it's like to record 4 albums or tour regionally/nationally, or how to get your band up and going, we love answering questions like that. You can hook up with us at! Remember: 1...2...3...4...LABELED LIKE A MOTHER FUCKER!

    - Tery Daly