14 North is an American hard rock band from Jacksonville, FL. The project started in 2016 as a musical collaboration among four friends in a garage on 14th Ave N in Jacksonville beach originally known as “FlowState”. In 2017 the band began their journey in the studio of Damien Starkey (Puddle of Mudd, Burn Season, Society Red) who helped craft the bands Hard-Rock, Post-Grunge sound, and then finished up their debut album What is the Feeling. The band consists of founding member Zach Arcuri on lead guitar, lead vocalist Brandon Williams, Josh Brown on drums, and bassist Alden Kacer.
14 North quickly has made a name for itself on the local scene, and in the music industry itself. They were offered and inked a deal with Pavement Entertainment in August of 2019 rapidly. Since then, they have shared the stage with Tantric, Eve to Adam, Danny Warsnop of Asking Alexandria, Janet Gardner, Bottleneck, and Brett Myers. They will soon release their new album, and then hit the road with Flaw on their first American tour. 14 North has a mission to bring the spirit of grunge back to the people.
TRR: You guys got together in 2016 like a lot of bands, putting it all together in a garage. How did you meet?
Zach: I met Brandon through networking on Facebook, and he played in a band previously with Josh. I put out some feelers for a drummer and that's how Josh and I met. It's cool that we all came kinda full circle.
TRR: Tell me about the album you guys just finished. This is the first album you guys have put together?
14: This new one is our first. It's finally finished.
TRR: How difficult was it to complete this album?
Zach: Oh man, very difficult. It took about 3 1/2 years to totally complete the album.
TRR: I wasn't expecting that!
Zach: Lol. Yeah, I had been working on this project since about 2016 and we got Brandon to come on board and not long afterward Josh came in around 2018. This has been a pretty dragged out project and it's finally finished and actually being released today. It all worked out the way it was supposed to. I'm very happy with it and I love all the guys in the band. It took some time but you know, we're here.
Josh: We've definitely had our share of growing pains but our chemistry now is amazing and it's exciting with all the new stuff we've been working on and new material. I can't wait for us to just continue to create together. We've got a great thing going.
TRR: How did you guys write the songs? Do all of you pitch in?
Zach: It's a group effort. We all participate. We all write together and we have a bad ass producer in Damien Starkey. He puts his touch on it and kinda polishes it up and puts that outside ear that all bands need.
TRR: During the recording he almost becomes the 5th member of the band.
14: True. For most producers it's probaby that way.
TRR: Even though the release party has been postponed, you'll still be releasing the album today?
14: Oh yeah. It's out. Listen to it, download it.
TRR: Then we have your permission to share it on our social media?
14: Oh yeah, without a doubt. Please share it.
TRR: What’s the music scene in Jacksonville like for original bands these days? There’s tremendous history there with Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, Shinedown, 38 Special, Limp Bizkit, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, Van Zant, Derek Trucks? In South Florida, it’s really tough to find original bands. You’ve either got cover bands or “tribute bands.” At Tru Rock, we want to find those good, original bands to promote but in South Florida where we are based, it’s hard.
Zach: I'm glad you said that it was dead because I didn't want to sound like a total dick. It's pretty dead, as far as originals.
Josh: Here in Jacksonville, it can be hard to get a lot of people to come on out. People like covers. You know, we all do, but people want to come out and hear songs that they know rather than taking that chance on some new stuff.
Zach: There's a lot of great talent here. Jacksonville is still breeding great musicians.
TRR: Just keep pushing it and keep promoting it. It will happen. It's a great album and I'm sure you'll get out there with some big names and soon you guys will be that big name.
Josh: That's true. I think we're going to get there.
TRR: Zach, who are your influences? Who were you listening to as a kid?
Zach: Classic rock. ACDC, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Tom Petty. My dad loved that stuff and he turned me on to it and it definitely steered my music taste. As I got older, I got more into grunge like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, all those great 90's bands. To me, it never gets old.
TRR: Josh? Same question. Who were you listening to as a kid?
Josh: Oh man, I'm definitely a 90's grunge, emo kid. I was walking to the bus stop listening to music. But drumming, I listened to a lot of Sevendust, Staind, Chevelle. I'm into that deeper music, music that moves you.
TRR: How long have you been playing the drums?
Josh: Since I was about 11 or 12. I did the middle school marching band stuff, I've done it all.
TRR: Zach? How about you?
Zach: I started strumming and trying to pick notes when I was about 5 or 6. My grandfather always had a guitar lying around the house but my interest really sparked when I was about 18. I'd just lock myself in my room for hours and play.
TRR: So you're self-taught?
TRR: You guys are now signed with Pavement Records? Congratulations on that.
Zach: Thank you.
TRR: With your sound, it seems like the perfect fit for you guys. I didn't even know you were with them at first but when I listened to the songs, I though to myself, "these guys should be with Pavement." It really is a perfect fit with them. You agree?
14: Oh definitely, for sure.
TRR: Now, have them get you out on the road! Well, when things get sorted out, make sure to get something scheduled in South Florida (Broward or Palm Beach County), we’d like to get out there and see you guys live.
Zach: We're definitely working on getting back out on the road soon.
TRR: I’m going to throw this at you. Listening to your songs, especially “Bleeding”, what I hear is a lot of Nirvana if Kurt Cobain was still alive and this is where they progressed to with their music. Have you heard that before?
Zach: It's funny you say that. To me, I love that song. It's probably one of my favorites on the record.
TRR: Who in the band is the most vocal and who’s the most laid back?
Josh: I'd say I'm probably the most talkative out of all of us. Alden, our bass player, is probably the most laid back but that's probably because he's the newest member. So, it's probably expected of him.
TRR: How long has he been in the band?
Josh: About a year now. He's now a family member. Lol.
TRR: When you guys aren’t doing your own music, who are you listening to?
Josh: Chevelle. Deftones. I like that stuff. 21 Pilots. I'm a lover of a lot of music.
Zach: I am too. Good music is good music. I listen to my 90's grunge list. Seether, 3 Days Grace, Staind, 3 Doors Down. But, I'll listen to hip hop, my classic rock, emo music. I'm a little all over the place.
TRR: Give me a cover that you’d like to do that may surprise your fan base?
Zach: We've got a few. We don't really like to. We'd rather get up there and do our music. We've done some but personally, I don't like to do covers on stage. I'd rather not. But, one we've been joking about for years, 'Rolling in the Deep by Adele'. That would definitely surprise a lot of people.
TRR: Real quick, craziest fan interaction so far.
Zach: We were doing this show on New Year's Eve and this guy kept trying to climb onto the stage. He grabbed the next band's set list and asked us to autograph it for him. Then, when we finished, the other band comes on and they can't find their set list. Lol. He noticed the dude was standing there holding it and it has our signatures all over it. He's like, what the hell man? Lol. That's the first one that comes to mind. Lol.
TRR: I hope they had an extra copy.
Josh: I've got one. There was this show we did when the ac was out. It was hot as hell in there. I didn't get to set up my fans or anything which made it even worse. I pulled it off but it was horrible. I'm hot as hell, felt like shit and blowing chunks all over the place, feeling like I'm gonna pass out. I don't know how any of us did it. It was unfortunate but we did it.
TRR: What's Pavement doing for you guys today to promote the album?
Zach: They're putting our videos out on all the platforms, getting us radio play. We're super happy with that. We're real happy with them. They're really cool. It's been a joy working with them.
TRR: Are they getting you guys a cake?
Zach: They better! I want a cake with my face on it! Lol.
TRR: Is there anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
Josh: Damien Starkey our producer. He helped craft the sound. Pavement Records. Our family, all our loved ones. Our fans. The've stuck with us when the album was delayed.
TRR: Guys, thanks for the interview. The songs you’ve got out there so far are pretty kick ass. I’m looking forward to hearing the whole album. Pavement sent us a copy so we will give you guys a full review.