If you’re into Linkin Park, Hollywood Undead, and the Bloodhound Gang then make room on your iPad for Process of Fusion. The five piece band from Staten Island, New York fuses rock and rap into one, and does it magnificently. This dynamic group of musicians recently tore down the stage at The Crazy Donkey, but not literally of course, more like figuratively. I reminisced with Justin Sarachik, the groups beloved rapping front man, about: the bands solid past, their promising future, and the bands experience filling the air of The Crazy Donkey with rhymes and melodies as they tried to make it into The Bamboozle Festival, one of the biggest music festivals to hit the east coast.
Here’s what Justin had to say:
When was Process of Fusion formed? What inspired all of you to make music together?
Patrick and I started the band in 2007. We got all the pieces together in early 2009, and made this thing happen. I’ve known Patrick since I was Five. We’ve been in bands together since I was 13 or 14. I started getting into hip-hop during the end of high school and into college. I realized I wasn’t the best drummer in the world. So, we started looking into actually making it work after five years of making music together and not having anything to show for it. I said, “You know what, let’s do it this time,” and that’s how we did it.
What genre of music do you consider your music to be? Who are your influences?
Originally, the band was pop punk, with some rap influence here and there. Our main influence was Chronic Future. Then, all of a sudden Patrick started listening to a bunch of Coheed & Cambria and Between the Buried and Me. He started writing all this stuff. And, we had to change the formula. That’s how we got the sound we have now.
What can you tell me about not playing an instrument?
I used to try and play the keyboard a lot. We have a lot of musical breaks and solo’s where there are no vocals. I needed something to do besides stand there. So, I started playing around with the keyboard. When I first started out, I wasn’t very good of a front man. I was nervous, and had super stage fright. I would literally just stand there with the microphone and look straight into the crowd. So, I said, “I obviously can’t do that.” So, I started messing around with the keyboard. Now Rose plays some keyboard when we do covers. I’m much more animated now, and throw myself around.
The biggest places we’ve played were Roseland Ballroom, The Crazy Donkey when we were in the Break Contest, Kenny’s Castaway, The Mercury Lounge, and Crash Mansion. On Staten Island, we’ve played outside at Wolf’s Pond Park. We’ve played at CSI, and we’ve played at The Full Cup way too many times. We’ve played The Warriors Warehouse and Dock Street, upstairs and downstairs. And we’ve played Club Karma in Long Island.
What were some of your best and worst shows? What makes them the best? What makes them the worst?
The best and coolest place we’ve ever played is The Crazy Donkey. We’ve had some of our best and worst shows at The Cup. We played a show where there was like seven people. We played a hardcore show, where some of the people didn’t like us and just walked out. The last show at The Cup was phenomenal and emotional. We had a great spot between Julius C and Everynight Drive. We had our fans plus their fans. It was a great spot. I crowd surfed from the stage to the back of the door. To be honest, I was crying at the end of the show, it was amazing.
A turning point for me was our show at Hot Topic. I would really use the keyboard just to hide behind it. We forgot it. So, I had to stand in front of the crowd. That was the first time I’ve ever stood in front of any crowd with just the microphone. I was like a legitimate front man. It really broke me out of the mold.
You recently played the Break Contest to get into Bamboozle, how was the overall experience of that for you guys?
I think it was a good experience. It proved to us that we could get 90 people to a place an hour and 20 minutes away. I think we expected that we were going to do well from the beginning. We went to the finals. Once we got to finals we said, “We can win this, we can win this,” and then we didn’t. Was getting to the final round, and not winning, a letdown? It was a letdown. But, it was also kind of humbling. It was a learning experience. We learned how to take a big loss, and hopefully that fuels us to push forward.
Did the fans bring the entire show together for you? How much do you appreciate your fans?
If the crowd is dead, then we’re kind of dead. Especially me, since I don’t have an instrument to focus on. I need people to go nuts so I can go nuts. If people are clapping, I’m clapping with them. I especially love when I get to jump into the crowd. I couldn’t do that at The Crazy Donkey. I was a little scared because the stage was so high up. But, the crowd is definitely a key component. We have some of the best fans. We have the loudest fans I’ve ever heard. We’ve won things and we’ve been commended because of how loud the fans were, even if there were only ten. They always help us out with the merchandise, they come out to support us, and they’re awesome.
Listen; if you can’t win with a Vuvuzela going off in the crowd, then I don’t know what Bamboozle was expecting from us. Those things are loud, and they were a good touch.
What do you think separated you from the other bands that played the Break Contest?
We were different. We’re a rock band that has hip-hop in it. People can only compare us to Linkin Park. I think we’re very different though. We’re definitely a lot heavier, and we have more intricate music. I think that’s very different. As far as why we didn’t win, we don’t know. We think it’s because of the style of music. Screamo, Pop Core, those are the kind of bands that are booming at the moment. Maybe the judges didn’t see us fitting in. But, your guess is as good as mine.
Will you guys play the Break Contest again?
That’s debatable. Our goal is to get Bamboozle to ask us to play. We’d love for Bamboozle to come to us (laughs).
What else can we expect from Process of Fusion in the future?
Our new EP is being mixed by Jon Santos from 1176 Studios. He’s the best producer in the world. We’re planning to have the CD release show at the beginning of June, or the end of May. We’re going to do it up nice and big at The Warehouse. On May 22nd, we’re playing the War for Warped Tour at Starland Ballroom. We have superb artwork being done by Helder Pedro from Portugal. We’re writing music for our full length album. And, hopefully we’ll be touring during the summer.
Do you have any closing statements?
2011 is still going to be the year that something great happens.