By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)
As the seeming endless pool of unique original talent continues to pour out of every corner of the MahoningValley, one trio is bringing the raw intensity of unrefined punk rock to the forefront.
The Days Before Empires, a new-to-the-scene three-piece punk outfit hailing from the likes of Salem, Ohio, is stripping it back to the bare bones of rock and roll. Consisting of Guitarist Brad Witherstine, bassist Billy Page and drummer Devon Arend, the trio take a simple yet powerful approach to their music. And while most major rock acts are racing to the controls of Auto Tune and ProTools, these Northeast Ohio punks just want to make pure, unfiltered rock and roll.
“We want to bring the raw energy of rock and punk back into focus,” said leader singer and guitarist Brad Witherstine.
Taking influence from Americana-punk act The Gaslight Anthem, contemporary punk masters Against Me! and Hot Water Music, and classics like Black Sabbath and Bruce Springsteen, The Days Before Empires look to make real music with a real message. Much like those whom they draw inspiration, the band have a knack for sonic blasts of energy with substance. Rather than worrying about what exactly it is to be punk in today’s musical climate, the band focuses on delivering powerful and heart felt anthems.
“It has to come from the heart. That’s where the best art begins, from the heart,” said Witherstine.
“Anything that really goes against the norm, that’s punk rock. Going your own way and doing things your way,” added Page.
Formed in 2011 by Witherstine, the band has evolved out of several incarnations and lineups. Witherstine and Page spent the next few years finding their sound. After parting ways with their founding drummer, the group’s final lineup was rounded out with Arend slamming behind the kit. As stated on the band’s official Facebook page:
“Arend brings a tight and aggressive drumming style to the mix.”
These points are proven with the bands live performances. Songs like “Holding Ground” and “Something In the Night” deliver the intensity of punk in a manner like that of Social Distortion, with thought-provoking lyrics that echo Against Me! On “Radio Streets,” a Gaslight Anthem-meets-Springsteen fist-pumper is employed, indicating that band’s capability of captivity it’s audience.
With a unique blend of originals and adapted covers, The Days Before Empires have already begun their assault on the scene. With highly anticipated live performances schedules for Chipper’s in Austintown, Ohio on March 15 and Fernengels Tavern in Salem, Ohio in Aoril, the buzz is continuing to build for the these new comer punks. However, as those who’ve witnessed their fury in the flesh, The Days Before Empires never disappoint.