After the Smoke is a Tallahassee hip-hop duo who says they're the 'most progressive' band in the competition, but they're 'just regular guys that make music.'
Describe your sound and your audience in your own words.
It's basically just relevant to our times and our culture. I would deem it as nostalgic futurism. [Our audience] is like us. It's people who fight for activism and change. I would say free thinkers all across the board -- politics, social-economic issues, music, fashion and cultural connoisseurs.
Tell us about your first gig ever -- just how awkward was it?
It was tight. You think you are the sh-t so you go up there and do your thing even regardless if the music is good or not. For the first performance we were like, we're tight. Leading up to your first performance, you feel a little bit of nervousness, like a ball of excitement and nervousness, but when you are on stage it is your personal outlet. You're looking out at a sea of faces and you're just like wow this is tight -- to entertain and to be able to have people connect with your artwork.
What's the strangest thing anyone has ever said about your band?
Probably that we're different and weird. I actually do find that strange because I feel like we're not that different -- we're just representing a group of people that aren't being represented. So that's probably the strangest thing.
Why should you win this competition?
I think we are the most progressive musically. I think we have been able to build a basis of supporters in an organic and expedient way by utilizing the Internet and using the artwork… I think our fans base, the people who support us, they're really involved not just in the music but the creative process, our thought process, our way of art, style, fashion. They're involved in all different tiers, different ways of linking to us. I think that's why we should win. Plus the music is awesome.
What's your next project?
[Our new EP] "Ferris Wheels." Much like our live performances, it's growing. I think on our previous project -- we are consciously disjointed on purpose but I think we are making a conscious effort to bring all the clumps together to be more cohesive. Whereas the other projects were like a constant stream of consciousness, this one is going to be a very cohesive project from beginning to end.
What's the weirdest thing to ever happen to you on tour?
I think the craziest thing is fans coming asking for an autograph. I think that's weird as hell cause we're like regular guys that make music. The craziest thing is that we live in Tallahassee and we've had fans that discover us online and they didn't even realize we live in Tallahassee so they think we're touring and coming back to our hometown, like, "I can't believe you're finally here." But I'm literally on campus right now, just walking around.
If your band had to come up with a plan for total world domination in the next 10 seconds, what would it be?
I think the first step would be getting nominated for the Billboard Battle of the Bands, winning for our region and then winning the actual BBMAs. I think that is the first step to our world domination plan -- which is actually already in process. It's funny you ask. Everything's going according to plan.
Peace and love to everyone. Thank you for everything. I think it's definitely the fan base that got us to this point. We couldn't have gotten to this point without our Tumblr fans, local fans and everyone who has grown with us. We love them.
Interview by Sarah Maloy