Interview with guitarist Matt Gallucci | By Zackary Miller
Four years without new music can kill an up-and-coming band, but My Ticket Home’s long-awaited album, unReal—released back in October on Spinefarm Records—breathes new life into the Columbus, Ohio, band and fully breaks from the stale metalcore template that plagued many artists who began during the same period.
The gap between 2013’s Stranger’s Only and unReal came as a result of My Ticket Home leaving Rise Records and being mired in limbo thereafter. The members split to different places to continue working regular jobs while trying to plan the next iteration of the band.
“Once we got off Rise, we kept writing and were trying to figure out if we wanted to stay unsigned or get signed,” My Ticket Home guitarist Matt Gallucci says. “And I live in New Jersey, while the rest of the band lives in Ohio, so I would go home and work. It would take a while for us to get together and write as a band. Eventually, we did write a whole record, […] but by the time we were in talks with Spinefarm, we were kind of over that album we had written.”
unReal is the product of that mostly scrapped album and a newfound focus—after their eventual signing—on what kind of music the band wanted to make. It was a complicated question for a band who have altered their sound drastically since their inception. “One song is basically the same, we just changed the chorus,” Gallucci says, “and there were a couple riffs and parts we took from those songs, but essentially, [unReal is] a whole new album and a whole new sound.”
“Puke rock”—the genre the band coined for themselves back in 2013, and a name that now applies to their crew and labels their merchandise—has never sounded more accessible than on unReal. The album sounds like a mutt built from 25 years of hard rock history, played in a way that feels totally fresh.
While most entertainment becomes dated at a rapid pace these days, unReal sounds like it was written outside of time—as if Nirvana somehow existed after Breaking Benjamin and Deftones instead of before. “For me and Derek [Blevins], who write the guitar, I don’t think we really consciously sound like other bands, it’s just sort of a subconscious influence from what we listen to,” Gallucci says. “We just kind of write what feels good.”
“[‘Puke rock’ started because] we were thinking how people were going to try to label [our music] all kinds of different things, and we didn’t think we sounded like those things,” he adds. “We’re constantly changing. What we are listening to is constantly changing. How we write is changing.”
Gallucci points to “Time Kills Everything” and “Down Life” as some of his favorite tracks from the new album, but is also quick to mention that fans will consume the songs differently. “There are some bands that have a very clear-cut message that gets shoved down your throat, and we’ve never been that and probably never will be that,” he says. “Sometimes, when people listen to a song without reading the lyrics, you’ll think that the song says one thing, when in reality, the lyrics are different. We didn’t want to print or put out lyrics, because we want people to have their […] own interpretation.”
My Ticket Home toured North America in support of unreal, opening for Nothing More from September to November, but so far, their only future plans are playing Columbus’ Rock On The Range festival in May and, according to Gallucci, not letting time kill what they are building. “[We will be] back in the studio, 100 percent,” he assures. “We can’t go four years again.”