The following is an exclusive Independent Spotlight interview with Brandon Menard, the frontman and lead singer of the rapidly rising alternative rock outfit in Louisiana, 3AM. The group culminates some of the strongest musical talents in the Acadiana music scene to perform classic music from the 80s and 90s.
3AM combines some of the most versatile veteran musicians in the Acadiana music scene. There are decades of experience shared throughout the line-up and they’ve established themselves in other outfits in the past. What brought 3AM together, and what do you think makes the band click?
I believe the overall talent, professionalism, and desire to succeed both brought us together and keeps us focused and on the same page.
The Louisiana music scene is often tied to New Orleans and jazz. What is the alternative rock community like in the area? Are you an outlier in the indie scene, or are there many bands performing similar music?
Louisiana's alt rock music scene is more diverse than most people think. There have been plenty of metal bands throughout the years, a few hard rock acts now and again, and then it breaks down into many other categories. As for 3AM, I believe we're bringing something a little different to the table.
We're playing a lot of music that I haven't seen other bands play in either a very long time or at all. Some of the music is much more technical than it appears, and I believe it may have turned other musicians away from attempting [it]. We as a band have embraced the challenge of replicating the music to the best of our abilities, and bringing forth a product that we're proud of and enjoy performing.
What drew the band to alternative rock music from the late 80s and the 90s? It’s an era that’s slowly becoming “classic” in its own right.
I know that for me personally, the songwriting from that period of time was very well done. The songs are meaningful while being catchy at the same time. These songs have stood the test of time. They're remembered and enjoyed by decades of generations of music lovers, and I think that's a special thing.
Outside of the type of music the band covers, what other influences helped culminate into 3AM’s unique sound?
I think most of us have played in heavier acts before and may have covered some of these songs here and there, but we've always had a love for this genre. We've developed the skills necessary to perform over the years through playing hard rock, swamp pop, metal, and even British invasion type stuff. Together, we know what it is to bring the beauty and complexities of songs together, and I think we mesh very well.
The band’s founder, Mike Lindberg, says that he chose the name 3AM because it’s a feeling he wants to recreate for concert goers from a famous Matchbox Twenty song. Can you elaborate on that?
I think that song embodies what we want listeners to think of when they hear our name. We're all about a lot of the lighter, upbeat, fun songs of the 90's. You're going to be able to tap your feet and sing along with smiles the entire time.
Does 3AM have any ambitions to write original music in the future? What about going into the studio and recording? Or will the band remain a live cover act?
I think our current focus is improving what we're doing and building our show and catalog. The idea of writing has come up in discussions, and very well may happen in the future. But first, we want to find that comfort necessary to achieve our vision of what we want our live show to be. I could definitely see myself writing with these guys, though.
Many of the members of 3AM have explored a bevy of genres quite extensively. Will the band ever experiment in new territory beyond alternative rock? If so, what direction might the band move?
I don't think we'll move far from what we're doing now. I think this genre has a place in all of our hearts and is something we've wanted to do for a long time.
You personally have some deep roots in the Louisiana music scene, being the grandson of D.L. Menard, a man often referred to as the “Cajun Hank Williams.” Do you draw influence from your grandfather? If so, in what ways?
Growing up, watching my grandfather perform made me want to be a musician. Seeing the enjoyment of what he did not only from him, but for those he performed for really struck me and made me want the same for myself. He may have only physically taught me my first three chords, but seeing how he loved what he did and how he reached so many people has given me so much more.
What kind of venues is 3AM best seen at? The band members have performed at venues big and small - what is the perfect, ideal setting for 3AM?
I'm excited to play in any venue that can fit the six of us! I think the smaller shows will have a more intimate feel to them, meanwhile a concert feel to the large ones.
Moving forward, what can fans from 3AM expect throughout the rest of 2017? What’s on the docket?
2017 is just the kickoff year for us. I hope to reach as many ears as we can and have our name spread. I want people to know what we're bringing to them, I want them excited, and I want them looking forward to the next chance to see us. I'd like to see us in position to start playing festivals soon. I believe we have mass appeal, so what better way to play to the masses than festivals? I see big things for us and we're heading there one step at a time.