Inside Movements’ Breakout Year
It takes a while for some bands to grab people's attention. It's an old pop-punk cliche, but even making it out of your garage can prove to be a momentous task for the vast majority of kids with dreams of escaping their boring suburbs. It's a rarer still that a band can go from zero to 60 in their career, like Movements have in under two years of existence.
The California-based four-piece made their Fearless Records debut with the Outgrown Things EP in March, and, in what seemed like an instant, their music caught fire. Since then, they’ve toured with the likes of other scene hotshots like Real Friends, Being as an Ocean and Pierce the Veil, with a 2017 tour already lined up with veterans Senses Fail and Counterparts. Each tour they wind up on, the band has connected with more and more people. Yet, it’s still not something they’ve gotten used to.
“All of that [response] happened because of a song that I wrote in a garage," says vocalist Patrick Miranda. "I don’t know — it blows my mind so much, but it’s so cool. I’m so grateful for the people who care that much about what we do. That they want to take it to the next level, even in their lives. It’s really humbling.”
The band's humble beginnings stretch all the way back to ... 2015. Bassist Austin Cressey and Miranda started playing music together and hitting up as many shows as possible. After playing shows alongside drummer Spencer York and guitarist Ira George in other area acts, they made the choice to collaborate on Movements.
It was never something they imagined would take off. With only a handful of live shows and a few demos under their belt, Movements didn’t have any major expectations going into music-making. “I think our goal to begin with was just to be a well-known band in our area,” Miranda says. “We would have been satisfied with being a well-known local band who maybe toured like a couple times on the West Coast and did some small DIY shows.”
But before Movements even had a chance to establish themselves in their local scene, Fearless came knocking, signing them to a deal to release what would become Outgrown Things.
“For that to happen to a band that only played two shows and only had three songs out that were demos — not even an album or record of any sort — that a major label was interested in us was crazy,” Miranda marvels. “But I mean completely amazing in every way.”
Infused with La Dispute-inspired post-hardcore prose, and Balance and Composure’s emo-soaked rock, Movements pull from elements that are equal parts emotionally enthralling and brutally honest. Sandpaper-raw vocals transition into melodic verses, which are complemented by pounding rhythms and hefty guitar. But Miranda’s verses contain a distinct take on the impassioned confusion and lessons surrounding growing up. “Nineteen” battles with expectations. “'Cause I am not who you were at 19 / I am not the man you want me to be.”
“Losing Fight” exposes the isolation in depression. “As if I didn't know / I'm a fucking mess,” Miranda screams, an external look at the inward hurt of a person who has learned and grown, which makes it all the more compelling. Miranda’s writing process is meticulous, though, feeling out every word in a song to pull the proper emotional heartstrings.
“I don’t consider myself some profound lyricist or some artist or poet or anything,” Miranda says. “I write these songs because that’s just what I was feeling. But the fact that so many people relate to what I write, or kind of understand a lot of these feelings and a lot of these emotions, it’s insane. Because for me, that’s how it was with other bands. I didn’t really ever expect to be on the other side of that.”
Of course, it may seem unbelievable to them that Outgrown Things, their first release, has garnered such a response. The emotional narrative strung throughout each track proves that the group has the fuel to take their place alongside the leaders that have influenced Movements’ own story and sound. Having producer Will Yip on board made the process all the more surreal for the band.
In Philadelphia, Movements worked alongside the man who’s had a hand in the creative process of bands like Circa Survive, the Wonder Years and Touché Amoré, to name a few. “He’s produced some of my favorite bands of all time,” Miranda gushes. “To take our music to Will and to have him take these songs from good to exceptional — you know, take them to that next level? That was insane.”
Movements are hoping to take it to the next level, and continue to inspire their fans along the way — from the woman in Texas who opened a dance studio after listening to “Nineteen” (“It’s legitimate as hell,” Miranda says) to the fans who unleash as much vocal ferocity as Miranda himself at every show. With a debut LP on the horizon, Movements will be taking to the studio with Yip yet again in the spring, their run with Senses Fail to follow.
“After seeing so much success and so many amazing things come from this record, it’s definitely opened our eyes to sort of the real world of being a musician full-time,” Miranda says. “Our mindset has definitely switched into, ‘Okay, where can we take it from here?’”
But then they think back to their beginnings: a bunch of guys jamming in the garage who weren’t afraid to leave every emotion on every track. They’re ready to take that next step, and this year has prepared them for it.
“Not that we expect to be rock stars or to be world famous,” Miranda says. “We’ve already exceeded our expectations for this band, so anything else from here is just a blessing.”
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