By: Zachariah Weaver
Tucked away, up in the top story of Pomona’s popular venue, The Glass House, the band Author and Finisher sat relaxed on a torn and beaten grey couch. The ceiling’s bright lights reflected off the linoleum wood floors and brought figure to their faces as they walked in from the dark auditorium. They had finished an opening set for Confide and were feeling great about what they had done.
It was Confide’s last show ever. The Christian hardcore band had already released two records and just returned from a Japan tour in October. Author and Finisher played the first set of the night, giving the venue’s large audience an edged vibe with their half-step breakdowns and dramatic electronic synthesizers. They are a metal band from Orange County striving for their first release of original music and a signing with a label company.
About a year ago, senior Aaron Melzer decided to join a band with a friend. He did not have too much experience with the screaming vocals he produced, but was excited about the direction the band took of in. At the end of last spring, the original members bailed out before a summer tour and left Author and Finisher, also called A&F, without a core set of members to play shows with.
Soon after, however, the band was back together with new members. The band consists of Melzer on Vocals, Parker Jackson on drums, Josh Campbell on guitar, Alex Clement on guitar/vocals and Dustin Taylor on bass. They have been working with a new sound that includes all of their styles.
Some of the influences they wrap themselves up in are, Born of Osiris (a breakcore band), The Black Dahlia Murder (a metal band), and Throwdown (a hardcore band).
Melzer, the lead vocalist, projects a raspy scream that smoothly blends in with the heavy metal riffs speeding throughout each song.
“We’re looking for a label right now and are waiting to release an EP of our songs with whomever we get,” said Melzer with a hopeful sigh and lift in his eyebrows.
An EP is a small version to a band’s formation of a full-length album.
“We want to wait and release an EP with a label because if we release it ourselves, then the chance of a label company signing with us is slim,” Melzer said. “They would have to wait until we wrote more music to release another.”
The band agrees with each other. Each of the members wants to take some time off from playing shows to write for a few months. During the summer, they went through some member changes. They also would like to write a large amount of material and refine some of their older songs with the new lineup.
The band manager, Ben Burt, has been helping the band find a good path in their music scene. He acknowledges the band’s success so far and realizes one of the reasons why they have achieved a spot in opening for Confide’s last show.
“They all bring different styles and influences from other bands and form a good mix within each other,” Burt said. “It’s what makes their music entertaining and creative.”
The rhythm of the band’s progressive metal cuts deep with distorted guitar and mixes tightly with the electric keys. Clement, the vocalist, takes care of the multi-noted choruses. He not only has influences within similar music artists to metal or hardcore, but also finds ideas from artists that create warm acoustics or melodic lyrics.
“I personally find influence from softer music as well,” Clement said. “Specifically, I enjoy songs by Phil Wickham.”
The band also feels that playing different instruments can really improve their music, even if they don’t necessarily play it in the band. Knowledge of playing various instruments gives Author and Finisher chemistry.
Before their shows, they feel panic overriding them because of the anticipation of sharing their music with a large crowd.
Oscar Maria, a junior english and biblical studies major here at APU tries to see Author and Finisher as much as possible.
“I really enjoy the music of Author & Finisher. I think their sound is distinct from other hardcore bands,” Maria said. “Their live shows are amazing. A&F always has a decent sized pit with hardcore dancers and I enjoy myself because they focus on the crowd while playing music.”