INTERVIEW: 408 BLENDS GENRES IN DEBUT ALBUM

Collaborating with some of the scene’s biggest acts, 408 releases their debut album Out Of It.  The Florida-based musicians cultivated anticipation through years of excellent singles, incuding “Mark Hoppus,” which earned the band air time on major, alternative radio stations and a shoutout from the blink-182 legend himself.

Released through BreakSilence Recordings, Out Of It is a throwback to the anthemic sound emblematic of the Warped Tour days with plenty of new-age hip-hop influences interlaced.

The band’s addictive guitar riffs and massive hooks are turning heads, with more than 150,000 monthly listeners on Spotify coupled with millions of views on TikTok.

We chatted with singer Mark Faroudi abut the band’s success, tour in support of Makeout and new album.

How is the tour life going?        

Mark: Been awesome, hanging out with Makeout has been great…going to Anaheim and California and immediately going to Colorado Springs was awesome. We also had a show in California…my buddy has an influencer house called Hyper Punk in Hollywood. It was just an awesome time. The view and weather and everyone involved

How exciting is it for ‘Out Of It’ to be out?

It has been a long road. We started with some of those songs. And we didn’t intend on writing the album… we wanted the album to sound like a playlist. Something for everyone on it.

Tell me about the process of creating the album and building up to its release. 

The production process was amazing. About half the record was written in Nashville and we worked with Nashville musicians. We took the city that we were in and incorporated it into our sound. Andy Karpovck (ABKA studios) did an amazing job keeping the country roots of the song and recreating a pop-punk vibe. Everything just comes really easily. Me Nick (Roque) and Nick (Hanus) have the guitar and bass sounds down. Andy always does a really good job working with what we give him.

How was the song “Backfired,” which has done so well, created?

“Backfired” was written in Nashville. It was, I believe, January 2022. We were up with (musicians, producers and songwriters) Nick Baily and Kyle Fishman. It was a mourning session. And we were super excited to just write with them as always. And we were just seven guys sitting in a room coming up with song ideas. And Kyle was like I have this idea about “Backfired“ with an accoustic guitar. And we all just jumped in about different elements about things backfiring…. We sent it Taylor Acorn… she got on the song and loved it.

“Mark Hoppus” is such a fun track and seems to have expanded the band’s audience. Can you tell me about that song?

So that song was my idea. I called my guitarist, Nick, in February of 2021 and I had this idea for a song. I thought this would be a cool song for TikTok. Because I love Juice WRLD and blink-182. And I had this idea where I was like one day I’ll be cool like Mark Hppus. Because in rap there is always a reference to the greatest of all time. We wanted to do that with a pop-punk twist. It was before Mark’s cancer diagnosis. Since he came out and announced it, we held that track out for about ten months. We held out until then. It just didn’t seem like the right time to do that…for the music video we wanted to just pretend  we were blink…and that’s how we made the song.

“Sober Soon” might be my favorite. Lyrically, it seems really personal.

Yeah, so “Sober Soon” was amazing how that came together. It was a very personal track, and not that we were really into substances. But “Sober Soon” is more about…for me it was about writing about lost friends. Anyone that has friends has done things they wish they could take back…even if it was written for people who have a substance problem…but the main message is you are going to be better for the mistakes you made.

“Ashley” has that dance vibe from you guys. What was the creation process of that like?

“Ashley” was written with Nick Baily in Nashville. I had an ex named Ashley. We were talking through some of the ways that breakup ended. And I just wrote about the story of the relationship….it ended badly, toxic. But I just wanted to have like a positive undertone that no matter what the final memory is, the positive parts of relationships stick with me going forward.

“Now & Never” has that big anthemic, 408 feel, with those hip-hop like vibes in the intro then maybe a little later on. That song feels huge!

That was Nick’s idea, the guitarist, and he was basically talking about his break up. A lot of fighting and a lot of back and forth. He was a big driving force on that song. We added a Neck Deep- style of pop punk. We all got together on the track.

What’s the main message on the album?

A lot of different themes… the main message of our music in general, no matter how bad it is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The main message is you will get through.

The music video for “Josie” popped up on YouTube for me and noticed that early career Mark Hoppus was rocking the purple hair. Is that where yours came from?

Yeah, I love that music video. I died my hair purple because of Mark Hoppus and (Lil) Uzie (Vert) and because of my personal taste. When it was time to really express myself as an artist I chose to do that.

This whole album, like your previous work, utilizes beats, instrumentals and practices from different genres.

I think it is from how we are feeling. I think whatever we envision the song as, it may change, but the message of the song and the vibe is based on our streak of writing. If we are on a stretch of pop-punk, we will write that. Same with EDM or something different.

You guys are part of a movement of pop-punk and scene bands in Florida. What has that been like?

408 started of the very beginning of 2017. And the scene was dead. It was dead for the longest time. No one was really doing it. Magnolia Parak, us, Meet Me @ The Alter and a few other great bands. During that that time, all the bands started during that year. And it was a grind. We had a lot of fun. We played a few venues. There weren’t that many shows going on. We played some obscure venues… All our bands did it. And then we got to the point we could play the House of Blues. We played with Sum 41. We all grew together…it’s crazy to look back on. You never know when you are going to get started. COVID shut down a lot of bands…but really thanks to Andrew Wade and Andy Karpovck. The scene existed before everyone started working with them. But the art just became so much more. They made the art better.

What’s it been like collaborating with Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens), Aaron Gillespie (Underoath) and then artists who are carrying the torch, like you guys, in Magnolia Park, Taylor Acorn and Titus?

Amazing to collaborate with Aaron because I grew up with his music. That was amazing getting to work with him. He sounds the same still. Kellin as well….working with Taylor was amazing as well. Really good singer. Great style. What she is doing mixed with us. We found Titus a few years ago…Magnolia Park our like our brothers.

What is a lyric in the album that you want to highlight?

Lyric of the album is “karma made the right choice.” We had a guitarist who left the band. I really took that personal because there was a lot of narcissism involved.

What’s next and any final thoughts on the album?

The band has some music already recorded, mixed and mastered. I think what is next is getting on more tours, and festivals and releasing more music in early 2023…To cap it off, the band is super excited to keep releasing new music. We have some big stuff planed at the beginning of next year and are excited to show it off.

Follow the band here.

Photo courtesy of 408.

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