Michigan has always been a hotbed for musical talent. For whatever reason, this hand shaped state has produced bands and artists that have shaped the industry. The Grand Rapids based band Long Term Access follows in this tradition of up and coming talent with their debut EP The Family.
This four-man band of Tom Carr, Mike Pierce, John Johnson, and Josh Kirby have caught the attention of listeners even as far as Australia. Not long after their EP was released, Valley FM 89.5 of Canberra, Australia reached out to Long Term Access for permission to play “Girl” at their radio station. “The fact that a radio station in Canberra picked us up was a little surprising at first,” says lead vocalist and guitarist Tom Carr. “But we were definitely honored to have people want to listen to us halfway around the world.”
For those who haven’t yet listened to Long Term Access, expect something a little more than the regular run of the mill alternative band. In fact, some of the songs on the EP are more complicated than they seem.
In regards to what might surprise listeners, Drummer Josh Kirby points out:
Despite how it sounds, “Break It” is not about a girl.
Lead singer Tom Carr shared how both “Fix” and “Break it” stem from his ongoing battle with Attention Defect Disorder (ADD).Weaved into the deceptively catchy lyrics of “Break It” and “Fix” is a struggle that many people with ADD are familiar with. The choice between getting the fix you need from the ADD medication and breaking the habit are apparent, while songs like “Girl” are less explicit with their message. “Girl” explores the role of the child when her mother’s world is falling apart under the weight of a deadbeat husband who walked out and a house about to be foreclosed. It addresses the question head on asking, “oh little girl can you save the world from your momma’s hurt?”
The title song, “The Family” was written by lead guitarist Mike Pierce, the Chicago native in the group, wrote the song before the band was formed addressing frustrations he had with a co-worker who never took responsibility for their actions.
Among the serious undertones of Long Term Access’s songs, “Mistake,” stands as a light-hearted tale of a night of misadventures. “Picking a favorite song on the EP is always difficult for me,” Tom Carr says. “But Mistake was just a fun to write. Mike and I were talking one day and he brought up how a lot of our songs are serious, so we were goofing around and came up with “Mistake.” Among being one of the band’s more popular song on the EP, fans should also be intrigued that the events of “Mistake” are somewhat factual. “Some of “Mistake” isn’t true, but I can say a lot of what inspired it has happened to us collectively,” Bassist John Johnson says. “However, it wasn’t all in one night.”
It is clear that this band has a diverse array of muses that make up their music. Mike Pierce goes into detail on the band’s sound. “I think we all have our individual influences that we had growing up. I mean, we do have common interests in music such as Weezer, The Strokes, and Sublime, but we don’t strive for a certain sound,” Mike Pierce says. “We write songs and I think that all of our individuality gives Long Term Access its sound. We never sat down and said, ‘let’s try and sound indie or grunge, or metal.’ Rather, we just started playing together without any direction. And the band’s sound naturally formed itself.”
Long Term Access hopes to get their first full album out in 2016 with several songs in the works. “We have three news songs so far,” Josh Kirby shares. “But definitely going to have more by next year.” With new songs and an album on the horizon, things are looking up for Long Term Access. It’s even has some of the band members stunned by their success. “I have people come up to me all the time telling me, ‘Oh I love your EP and I listen to it on the way back from school,”’ says bassist John Johnson. “It’s really rewarding to have people listen and enjoy our music.”
Check Long Term Access at their Facebook page and support them by buying their EP on their Bandcamp. This is definitely a band to keep an eye on as they’re always posting information on new songs and shows they are playing at. “I think we would all like to expand across Michigan and definitely make some appearances in Chicago in the near future,” Mike Pierce adds. “But I don’t think we’re picky about where we’ll play. I just think it’s really cool that people have been listening to our music. It’s very reassuring and tells us that we’re doing well so far as a band.”