|Interviewing Injected was like attending a birthday party for an acquaintance. Everyone recognizes you are there, but after a few minutes, the good friends start holding their own conversation with inside jokes and remarks that those on the outside just won’t get. With one question, the band dives into stories and reminiscing about live shows, parties and alcohol that when they finally realize I am there, the follow-up I have so meticulously planned just doesn’t fall in anywhere. So, it’s here that the choice is made. To keep purging ahead or to just follow along. Well, my mom always said, if you can’t beat them, join them.
Injected, made up of Danny Grady on vocals and guitar, Jade Lemons on guitar, Steve Slovisky on bass and Chris Wojtal on drums, graced Columbus, OH twice in the span of just over a month and are coming back for the trifecta in June. The first night, when the interview went down, was at a small metal club known as the Al Rosa Villa, and with labelmates Greenwheel in the opening slot, it was a show the few in attendance will be talking about when Injected is headlining arenas. Yes, they are that good.
With a groove and harmony that comes only from the South, Injected brings strong music to tremendous song writing. And after talking to the guys about music, there is no doubt they are influenced by songs, not singers, genres or radio play. They were just as eager to praise fellow-Atlanta singer-songwriter Josh Joplin as they were Nickelback, who they opened for the second time around.
“Josh is cool. And his video was one of the best we have seen. He is a great guy and has written some great songs,” said Grady.
So how did Injected come to be?
“Well, we were all in other bands before, like 22 of them, but they were all called Van Halen. Maybe you heard of us,” joked Grady.
And to keep everyone straight, I had asked the band to say their name before talking to make sure I knew who was who when listening later.
“CHRIS! This is like a game show, gotta scream out my name before I can answer. But this was always the plan for this band. To go on the road, get a tour bus and play some shows.”
But Danny put it all in perspective of the band.
“I just wanted the free Budweiser.”
For those not paying attention for the past several years, Island Records has taken a major shift of focus and began finding more popular rock bands to bring to the label, and the success of bands like Sum 41, Saliva, Hoobastank and American Hi-Fi have proven that to be a masterful step for the label. And Injected should just add to the list of bands that will help bring Island Records back to the forefront of popular music.
“We didn’t feel like it was part of any trend. We felt the reason they approached us was because the songs and the performances on the demo were so good. I didn’t feel like it was necessarily anything like, I don’t know, I mean I guess you can kind of sense that at the end. But I remember the mid-90s when they thought the Chemical Brothers were going to pave the road and techno was going to be the next big thing. And the Chemical Brothers put out some great records, but didn’t change the face of music. Everyone is an armchair pop-culture critic, so they say, “Okay, now is the time in the cycle here where this is going to be big!” I love when people tell me this. They feel like they discovered the Maltese Falcon. “It goes in cycles, you know! Punk comes back for a little while, then metal comes back for a little while. So that mean disco is going to come back in a little while.’ Whatever! I mean, the bottom line is we wouldn’t have gotten signed if the songs weren’t any good,’ said Grady.
Again, with Grady and Injected, the conversation always comes back to the songs. Not about where they fit in.
“I found out a long time ago, if you do what you do and you do it well, there is an audience for you. Let’s face it. A band like Cannibal Corpse was playing and Death Metal wasn’t the most popular form of music in the ‘90s, but Cannibal Corpse sold records like mad. There is definitely a demographic if you do what you do well.”
And Injected does it better then well. With Grady’s rasping, harmonized vocals, and Gibson-strumming fingers, he leads Injected like Robert E. Lee must have led his troops to battle, with an intensity and fierceness, but manages to keep it all behind a calm façade. That is what makes Injected so special. They are intense, gritty, dirty and severe without forcing it on anyone. It just flows through the chords, vocals, choruses and backbeats. Whether is was playing in front of a hundred or so fans at the Al Rosa Villa or thousands for the MTV Campus Invasion Tour or tens of thousands at the Rolling Rock Town Fair, Injected proves themselves among the top up-and-coming bands.