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What is your name, and name your group/band/act?
Lance Rollins, Hester Prynne

Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

We are a five piece metal band from Kansas City Kansas.

How did the band get the name?

The name was derived from the main character from the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel, “The Scarlet Letter”.

What instrument do you play now?

I am the vocalist

What (who) does your act/art consist of?

Lance Rollins – Vocals

Stephan Mann – Guitar

Matt Bukaty – Guitar

Johandy Urena – Drums

Caleb Moulder – Bass

How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

Anger-driven, high intensity metal.

Give me some details about the group/act/art?

We formed in 2008, since releasing a self-produced EP, then signing to Torque Records later that same year, releasing our debut full-length “The Goswell Divorce”. We have been touring and playing year round ever since.

How long have you been performing live or making art?

Generally speaking, we have all been playing music in bands for around 7 years or longer.

Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

The band actually started out as an entirely different line up, until I (Lance) joined sometime after the founding members dropped a couple vocalists and were searching for a replacement. Soon after that Stephan saw us at one of our shows with The Black Dahlia Murder, and the day after the show he sent us a message asking if he could try out. Obviously we accepted, and from there on out we began replacing members one-by-one, ultimately ending up with the line up you see today.

What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

Money. Hands down finances are the hardest aspect of being in a traveling/successful band. Being a musician alone is such a costly hobby, then when you throw in having respectable equipment and for groups such as ourselves who travel year – the overwhelming costs of being on the road. Gas, food, vehicle repairs, etc.

You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Determination is basically the root of survival in this “art” or “industry”. If you don’t have the will to overcome the many obstacles all musicians will encounter, then you are dead in the water from the get-go.

Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

Absolutely. With the rising gas prices alone, it’s become a struggle to survive as well on the road. Another huge factor is with a failing economy comes more rationing of personal spending. In having to be more responsible with your spending’s, certain events/activities become expendable to people…in our case, going out to shows.

Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

My advice to anyone, regardless of age, is to always follow your heart. Cliche it may be, but I can assure you that no matter what you do in life, you will never be happy unless you at least attempted to follow your dreams. Achievement is obviously the crowning goal, but even if you try and fail and what you had your heart set on, at least you won’t look back in regret. Of all the things I personally loved in my past, and failed at, none of them I regret attempting, nor did I not learn something valuable in the process.

What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

I think all of our families are proud of what we’ve accomplished. None of us were necessarily driven students through high school or followed any career minded goals outside of music, so for them to see us chase our dreams and get even the slight recognition we have today, I think gives them all a sense of pride for their kids.

What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas???

That has always been the enigma of the scene. From a promoter’s standpoint, the question is how to balance having shows with affordable ticket prices, thus attracting a larger audience, while still being able to afford paying your acts, especially touring ones. Artists such as ourselves, who tour for a “living” depend on these shows being successful, and I don’t think alot of kids realize that. I often get the impression kids just think we’re “living the dream” and have no respect or care for the fact that we are counting on these shows to have good attendance, both for the sake of us having a good time, and for the fact that if the show flops, it puts the promoter is a very tense situation, and more often than not, causes turbulence between them and the artist. When you don’t have enough money to cover the show, alot of times the promoter finds himself having to fund the acts out of pocket, and of course no one finds that to be a suitable option. As far as the shows and the scene in general, it’s really all about the community you live it and then kind of kids who are willing to support. It all comes down to the people, hands down. If no one is interested in what’s going on, then no one is going to support. Of course, there’s always those die-hard kids at every show supporting and trying to assure the longevity of their music scene, but anymore I find it rare. It’s unfortunate that we can’t all look outside our own personal interests for the better of the whole, but that is just how it all boils down in the end.

Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Mine did not. Haha, in fact I think for the most part we’re all the pioneers of our family’s musical interest/background, or at least in pursuing it to the point we have. I’m sure some of us have family members somewhere down the line who had some interest, but as far as being full-fledged “musicians” are concerned, I think we are the seeds of such in our families.

Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

We all love music of all genre’s. There’s no one in this band that “only listens to metal”, or can’t be found on even given day listening to anything from Michael Jackson to Johnny Cash. We’re all really diverse in our musical taste.

Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?

Aside from music we all have things we like to do. Personally I write and draw, always have, even long before my musical endeavor. I think the art-expressing aspect of music is actually what first pulled me in actually. I’ve always been a lover of self-expression, and I find through drawing, writing, and now – music, I can truly be myself in a creative, and interesting way. I honestly think that attribute can kind of be linked to all of us actually.

What has been your strong influence to continue performing?

This is something I can certainly speak for on everyone’s behalf without question…The people at our shows. Across the board, we all share the love for live performance. Being able to visually take in the ability to move someone the way you can with music, through something you live for and put yourself out there to world world through, is absolutely the greatest thing we have ever know in life. If that aspect were removed, then I’m sure our love for live performance would soon leave with.

Does anyone in particular influence your artistic/musical talent?

Everyone, influences our artistic/musical talent. Every show we see, every band we watch, every comment we receive – positive or negative – all have a huge impact on our influence, even if only sub-consciously. We take in everything we experience, and I know that on some level, it effects us all.

Who does most of the song writing/art/literature?

I like to say we all try to have a hand in the song writing. For the most part though

– Stephan, Matt, and Johandy tend to write the music in whole, while I (Lance) write all the lyrics. From there, if we feel something on either part sucks, we just put in our two-cents and work it out as a group. Haha.

If you had to change one thing about your music/group what do you feel would be the best change to benefit the group overall and why?

I think our personal lives outside of music have always been our one true downfall, as with most bands. It’s hard to be on the road while having one or many personal issues back home that can’t be fully addressed/cared for. Being in a band (traveling especially) can really take a toll on your personal life. You tend to lose touch with a lot of things you wouldn’t typically wish to. Girlfriends, families, friends, and jobs are all things that are often sacrificed to some extent because of what we do.

Have you ever had any strange or stalker type fans that you are aware of?

Haha, no. Well, not that we’re aware of anyway. All our fans have been the most amazing and down-to-earth people we’ve ever met thus far. I guess we just attract awesome people.

While getting ready to perform have you ever been interrupted by fans who snuck in to the dressing room/rehearsal?

There’s always times that will present themselves where you will find yourself in an uncomfortable position due to someone coming up to you at the wrong time, unknowingly invading your personal time, but you can’t let it get to you. It’s all part of the game, and it’s just one more thing you have to adapt to and try to understand from an outsider’s perspective.

Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

Haha, we can’t pin-point one. There have been many times we’ve shared a little embarrassment, usually due to our sound or equipment cutting out/failing. That’s always a tough one, when you’re just stuck up on stage when something like that happens, with only a moments time to react and get things going back on track without losing the attention/respect of your fans…Yeah, that’s definitely the worst feeling I’ve known.

What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

I have yet to see alot of strange things thrown up on stage while we were playing, however we did play with a band in Michigan once that threw a deer carcass, pumpkins, and a bag of feces into the crowd…That was definitely one of the more odd and disturbing things any of us have ever encountered.

What is your wildest story with the group?
I think we just covered it! Haha. Well that, and when Matt feel asleep driving mid-day in New York traffic and Stephan had to jerk the wheel over seconds before we were sent crashing into a median. That was pretty wild. Honestly though, in the years we’ve been traveling, you build up so many memories along the way that it’s hard to look back on them all and recall when prompted. Although, while saying that I did remember one that was pretty hair-raising, but I don’t feel it appropriate to announce in this interview. Let’s just say it had to do with the Mexican boarder patrol and us thinking we were all going to jail.

What has been the worst nightmare for the group?  How did you get through it all?

Everyday seems to present a new and unexpected nightmare. We’ve been able to overcome everything we’ve been put up against so far though. Again, I believe this is where the “determination” factor I spoke of early comes into play. If you have the heart to persevere, and the strength to endure losses in the course of gaining, you can make it happen.

What are your up-to-date performance plans?  New releases?  Tours? News?

We are currently writing our new album and gearing up for our summer touring, starting with a south-east U.S. run in May. We plan to have our new record ready for release by later this year, and are currently seeking new label promotion to release it on. We should have that all sorted out in the months to come!

If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, and oh, let’s say Pantera. They’re all icons, and changed their respectable genre’s of music, as well as the world of performing in ways no other’s have.

Afresh: What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?

Mile-wise, so far I think it would be Maine. Either that or Washington, I am terrible at geography! Haha.

How do you feel about file swapping?

Personally, I am completely against it. I don’t download music at all, never have been a fan of it. I will purchase any CD I feel worthy of having, both out of respect for the artists hard work and lively-hood, and for the novelty aspects as well. It’s not so much that I don’t understand it, nor do I think that in some cases, it doesn’t actually help promote bands in one facet or another, but I just absolutely despise what it’s doing to the profit aspect of musicians who do this for a living and rely on the abundance of album sales.

Have you been involved in any benefit performances?  What was it and how did you become involved?

In this band we have actually yet to. Not that we’re against it, and in fact, we’ve been offered a few opportunities, just have always been on tour when such offers arose. That’s definitely not to say we aren’t about helping out the community/respectable causes though, because we absolutely are open to helping out in any way we can, when we can.

Do you currently have an agent, endorsement, record label, sponsor, etc.?

We have an agent we work with, and over the past two years of going through crap agent after crap agent, have finally found a comfort and respect for our current one. We most recently ended our contract with our previous record label, for many reasons, and have immediate plans of re-signing with a new one this year for the release of our next album.

Is this your first interview or do you have some other articles/stories about you posted somewhere for public viewing?

No, we’ve conducted several interviews through various online and local publications while on the road, however I am at a loss on where to direct you to read them! Haha.

Do you have any video links where people can see you?

We have several videos strewn across You Tube. Just type in our name and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding us!

Do you have a website of any type?

Absolutely, you can find us on Myspace, Facebook, LastFM, and Reverb Nation.

Myspace –



Reverb Nation –

AFRESH:  Thanks for the awesome interview.  We wish you the best and much success on your musical journey!

Also thanks for your support of Afresh Entertainment Online Magazine, rapidly becoming one of the hottest music magazines on the net today thanks to those like yourself.

Keepin’ it fresh, live, real & rockin’…to all great things! We appreciate YOU!!!!!

Anne Shiever

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