How does a local band become a national band? Traditionally, people would say the answer is getting signed, or luck. But if you were to ask local rockers Amerakin Overdose that question, they’d likely say, visualize it, do that hard work, and have an insatiable belief in your music and your collective vision. As one of the hardest working, self-promoting, and outspoken local bands around, Amerakin Overdose broke out of the local mold and crossed over to being a national band, and they did all by themselves.
If you haven’t heard their music, you’ve likely heard about them. You’ve likely seen them as support on national tours with bands like Mushroomhead. Or, it is very possible that you heard their name on music sites such as Metal Injection and Blabbermouth. Not necessarily receiving the mass coverage and promotion based solely on their music, but rather for the outspokenness of the band, particularly from front man Cody Perez. Perez has taken on the music industry and publicly spanked (verbally) Otep for her poor treatment of opening acts, and both have received wide-spread coverage. Cody doesn’t do it for exposure though; he simply lives and breathes what he sings about, and says what others think but are too afraid to say. He stands up for what he believes in and vocally calls injustice out; he’s also incredibly business-minded and professional. Despite the often written about feud between Perez and Otep, Cody made a public statement to his fans that should the two bands ever share the stage, he expects and encourages his fans to be respectful to the artist and her fans.
Amerakin Overdose, also known as AOD, have put out two releases and numerous videos since their inception in 2010. 2012 brought us the self-titled release, and they followed it up with 2016’s The Great Amerakin Dream, which upped the stakes by 1000%! The four-year span between releases brought a more sophisticated sound, with a very expensive sounding end product, thanks in big part to Human, who besides being the band’s guitarist, is a highly rated producer.
Their videos are visually entertaining and sometimes raw, and their music finds little to no boundaries on subject matter. Set aside controversy, outspokenness, and what you’ll take away is an authentic band that works hard and puts out fun, danceable, good music. Nu-metal mixed with pop and modern trends, Amerakin Overdose has situated themselves to take over the world, and they are one step closer to that goal as they embark on a prized spot on the last Warped Tour, Rockfest, and head out their own ambitious headlining national tour.
Let me introduce the band first:
Cody (vocals) – July 2009
Human (guitars) – July 2009
Pete (vocals) – December 2009
Brick (drums) – December 2009
Cameron (bass) – November 2017.
Prior to heading out on tour, MIRP had the opportunity to sit down with the band:
MIRP: Why did AOD start?
Human: AOD started when Cody got fed up with musicians who didn’t understand his perspective and the desired sound he wanted. At that time, I think 2009 or so, he came to me as a client and asked me to produce an album with just him. I did whatever I could to interpret the ideas and concepts he had and bring them alive. We had and still have great musical chemistry despite being into very different music outside of the band.
Cody: Shortly after having a majority of the songs written we found Brick on craigslist and had Pete jump in on vocals and we started playing shows up to 5 times a week to get the name out. Basically, any show we were offered we would play.
MIRP: AOD has made some great friendships along the way. Can you list a few examples of working with other national acts in whatever capacity?
Cody: We are good friends with Kyle from Wednesday 13. He played live guitar with us for some shows in the early days and we’ve just known him from the local scene. Waylon (A Killers Confession, Mushroomhead) we met through a friend who was formerly managing both of us. He gave a vocal performance on “I Alone” on our newest release and flew out for our CD release and live show last year. Ahrue Luster (Ill Nino, Machine Head, Terror Universal) helped us co produce the vocals on a number of songs on The Great Amerakin Dream.
Pete: Hell, everywhere we go we make friends. The guys from Mortiis – Tim, Levi, Havard…they are all badasses. The guys from I’ll Nino are also killer ass guys. We kicked it out at the gathering of the Juggalo when we played together a few years back. I got my head split open during their set by a crowd surfer, before I had to play.
Human: I got an amazing testimonial from Kevin Churko (FFDP, ITM, Papa Roach, Disturbed) noting how detailed my mixing is. I was very pleased with that. Other than that, I’m not incredibly social so, I don’t have friends.
MIRP: What is the measurement of when you can say “You’ve made it”?
Pete: When I’m not clocking into my nine to five anymore.
Human: For me, success means living comfortably from music. All the fans and all the numbers are irrelevant if you can’t buy yourself a steak dinner without having to “budget” for it.
Cody: When I can quit my day job and the band is full funding itself and the rest of the band and crew I will feel like we have made it. I don’t need to make millions of dollars, as long as the bills are paid and we are able to fund tours and our productions and recordings I will feel like we have “made it”. Right now, I feel like the band has reached a ton of success, much more than I could have ever imagined. It’s crazy to see many of the national acts I remember from when I was a kid in today’s world have day jobs now to help fund their bands and pay their bills. We definitely live in a different world with how things are in the music world today.
Cameron: Touring Europe, getting a tour bus, hiring a lighting guy and guitar tech
MIRP: AOD is known for being outspoken and not being afraid to take on any topic or anyone. You’ve also worked so hard at self-promotion, relentlessly doing all of the traditional marketing such as social media, plastering flyers, supporting other local bands, and being prevalent in the scene as a band and as a fan. What would you say are the biggest things that have happened to AOD through hard work and/or outspokenness?
Pete: I’d say the three biggest things to happen for Amerakin overdose so far are: The Mushroomhead tour, The Great Amerakin Dream album releasing with all the videos and PR that came with it, and this tour we are about to kick off. We are the first Portland, Oregon band to part take part in one of the biggest US rock music festival in the country, “Rockfest” in Cadott, WI. Also, being a part of the last Warped tour, this year is huge. This is only the beginning!
Human: I think outspoken moments are overrated. Our achievements are far more important than drama, honestly. Like being Portland’s first band on the biggest Rockfest in the United States. Or breaking barriers between genres despite being the kind of band that’s easily pigeon holed (Mushroomhead, Slipknot, ICP because of the look). And finally, still being as small as we are in all honest evaluation, and still having dozens of fans crazy and obsessed enough to get our logo tattooed on them. Those things are more important and more telling than Facebook drama with misandrists and labels who won’t give us the time of day until we’ve done the work for them.
Cody: For me the outspoken moments have just been me being myself. Anyone that personally knows me, know that I have always said what’s on my mind and I don’t care too much what others think of it or who it offends. The fact some big media picked up on those things and ran with them is funny to me but it wasn’t the purpose. I pretty vocal on social media, I am very vocal in person in everyday conversation regardless if I am at work or hanging with friends on the weekend. The big moments for me are exactly what Pete and Human mentioned. It blows my mind the impact we have made on some people as an underground band. Having people tattoo our logo, coming up to us at random places and recognizing us and asking for pictures or signatures, getting gifts mailed to us from parts all over the world from fans, the emails we get of people who are inspired by our art that is the type of stuff that matters to me. I am sure we will have many of these “outspoken moments” as I like to speak my mind a lot.
MIRP: In today’s every changing music industry, how important is social media for Amerakin Overdose?
Pete: Very important and these days it seems you need to have an account for every outlet. Back in that day bands didn’t have this luxury. This helps get the word out for people to attend the shows.
Human: Clearly social media is the key to success in this day and age. We don’t have room to have feelings on it. It is reality. Use it, or don’t succeed. Simple as that.
Cameron: Very important cause it allows us to connect with fans in a way that wouldn’t be possible without social media.
Cody: Social media is where it’s at. It is a must. It is damn near impossible to survive as a musician if you don’t use it. I personally love that fact I can reach people all over the world now. I do miss the mystique of my favorite artists and always wondering what their personal life is like. Now I can see exactly what they ate for dinner and what they do with their families, etc., on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
MIRP: You’ve been invited to play the final Warped Tour; how does that feel?
Pete: Very excited to be a part of the last Van’s warped tour. The lineup is huge and this is looking to be a very Poppin year for Amerakin Overdose.
Human: Despite playing Warped Tour, I personally haven’t been to many and find most of the bands outside of my listening preferences.
Cameron: It’s an honor to be included in the final warped tour and share the stage with so many amazing bands.
Cody: I am of course happy to be a part of it and its a huge honor but it is a very sad thing that we will no longer get to see this tour. I’ve attended a number of them and they have always been a blast.
MIRP: What your plans are after The Great American Dream?
Pete: After we do this tour we’ll be working on new tracks.
Human: Make more music. Continue to grow, expand and improve. Also, I personally want to get known enough to be invited to participate in Running Wild with Bear Grylls. I love that kind of thing and would kill to do that show.
Cody: Right now, all I can think about is getting through this tour and making it as successful as we possibly can. We want to make as many new fans at the festivals we are playing and meet as many of our fans on the tour. When we get home the primary focus will be new music. Either and EP(s) or another full-length album. We’ve got a number of killer new tracks in preproduction stage and we have some killer people we plan to work with on the new stuff. I am excited for the future. We want to continue to grow and expand and broaden our sound.
MIRP: What, besides the position they hold as musicians in the band, do each member offer?
Human: Cody is the moneybags. I kid… Mostly. Maybe. He’s also the one with the dream. Really, if we are being honest, we are all riding the coattails of his determination. I feel lucky to have been invited to join a band with a person like Cody because of just how intensely driven he is towards making this band work. Obviously, I bring recording to the table, but I also handle all other technical aspects of the band, including programming lights, stage setup and preparation, and also visual creative work (I handle most of the band’s artwork).
Pete is the camera ham. He loves the camera and the camera loves him. Turns out he’s also amazing with booking shows. Brick brings a practice space to the table and charm. Never seen a fat guy get so much decent tail. And finally, Cameron, our newest edition. So far, we are still feeling him out, but expect to hear some pretty catchy vocal melodies soon courtesy of all the trendy girlyman music he listens to.
Cameron: I’m pretty silly and love to joke around. I also feel I have a good ear and good musical instincts which can help in the writing process.
Pete: Everyone in the band has their own role and contribute anywhere they can. We are all always constantly doing sacrifices to keep this going. When one of us is not around it doesn’t work. Aside from backing vocals I book a lot of the shows, handle a lot of the emails, marketing and advertising.
Cody: Everyone plays a role and helps where they can. I am thankful to have such multi-talented guys in the band. It doesn’t matter how driven one person can be, without the right team mates the whole thing can crumble and get nowhere. This is the best line up we have ever had in my opinion. My role besides vocals and lyrics is to pretty much be everywhere. I help in all aspects of the band that I can.
MIRP: Give us an introduction to your new bassist.
Cody: That would be Mr. Cameron Plesa. He’s a killer musician. Not just a bad ass bass player but plays guitar and other instruments. He’s a funny ass dude. He’s always got jokes and memes for anything. He’s dedicated and very driven and he’s been a killer team player.
Pete: Cameron Plesa is a cool ass mf. The funny one of us all. Like a long lost missing link.
Human: Cameron. He gives hand jobs to the rest of the band.
MIRP: Cameron, introduce yourself please.
Cameron: Been playing various musical instruments since the age of 11 and was previously in the Portland area hard rock band Break the Maker before auditioning and joining Amerakin Overdose.
MIRP: Any final thoughts?
Cody: Come see us on tour in July. I don’t care if we are a few hours away from your location, DON’T MISS OUR SHOW! Keep spreading the word about Amerakin Overdose!!
You can catch Amerakin Overdose all across the US this summer.
June 29 – Pocatello ID Old Town Pavilion
June 30 – Salt Lake City UT Vans Warped Tour
July 1 – Las Vegas NV Beauty Bar Las Vegas
July 3 – San Antonio TX Fitzgerald’s Bar & Live Music
July 4 – Austin TX The Sidewinder
July 5 – Fort Worth TX The Rail Club
July 6 – Kansas City MO Riot Room
July 7 – Iowa City IA Gabe’s
July 8 – Sioux Falls SD Bigs Bar
July 10 – Fort Atkinson WI Hijynx Bar
July 12 – Cadott WI Rock Fest
July 13 – Cadott WI Rockfest
July 14 – Cadott WI Rockfest
July 15 – Detroit MI The Token Lounge
July 18 – Columbus OH Alrosa Villa
July 19 – Mentor-On-The-Lake OH Music Lynxx
July 20 – Fort Wayne IN @Piere’s entertainment center
July 21 – Bradley IL The Looney Bin
July 22 – Des Moines IA Veldaville mews
July 23 – Wichita KS The Elbow Room
July 24 – Colorado Springs CO Rocks Sports Bar and Grill
July 25 – Salt Lake City UT @The Loading Dock
You can follow Amerakin Overdose at: http://www.amerakinoverdose.com/