Original Show Date: January 15th
With the close of one year and anticipation of another, January 1st is a chance to put the past year behind them and start anew, a clean slate. One band from New Jersey has taken this concept to heart and sticking to it. To solidify their resolution, Action Item released a record on the first day of 2013, appropriately titled Resolution. Brian Cag, David Buczkowski, Mark Shami, Dan Brozek and Anthony Li, 2013 is a new chapter, tuning out the opinions of others and solely focusing on being the Action Item they want to be.
The guys exemplified this through the new tunes, all of which have special meaning to them. “All the songs that made it on the record are the ones that made us feel something,” said lead vocalist, Brian Cag. Throughout the entire creative process; Brian, David, Mark, Dan and Anthony, were on the same wavelength and the song selection process went off without a hitch. The format of how the songs were chosen, however, was an interesting one. “We listened to every track being considered for Resolution then we would close our eyes, if you felt a song meant something to you, past or present, you raised your hand,” said Brian. The goal being to see, without bias, what songs meant something to each person. If the majority raised a hand, that song made the record.
Perhaps not a typical selection process, but Action Item has reached a place in their careers where the most important opinions are their own. A methodology that does not focus on outside influence typically has the best outcome. Brian, David, Mark, Dan and Anthony are doing what they personally feel is best and loving it. “Things are better than ever, things are good, not going to lie. Now I’m working harder because we have great opportunities,” said Brian. Usually, any situation, especially song writing, is met with immense self-induced pressure to please and meet the expectations of others. Once Action Item stopped placing so much emphasis on other peoples’ opinions, everything went so much smoother. “I feel so much more self-satisfaction and I’m so much happier,” said Brian Cag. It is safe to say that David, Dan, Anthony and Mark share this mentality.
Resolution is the finished product, an album that reflects all five guys collectively. “We are all kind of one brain functioning sometimes, it’s crazy. When you live with people, it just works out, we are like brothers now,” said Brian, referring to being in the same mindset when making of the album in California. To create a record is a process, Action Item took time to make the best album possible and they succeeded. The proof is on the charts, Billboard charts that is, Action Item hit #72 on the Top 200 albums chart. A monumental feat that few independent bands can say they have accomplished.
Another aspect to add to their list of successes was a stellar headlining tour. Similar to the album, Action Item took the time to plan it, but delayed the announcement to stir up the anticipation. Mission accomplished with many shows on the tour selling out. The band, along with supporting acts; Before You Exit and Paradise Fears, made a stop in Atlanta to share their tunes with eager fans at The Loft on January 15th where this writer caught up with them.
From the second Action Item took to the stage for their first song and throughout the set, fans were singing and dancing along. The set was a great mix of tunes from Resolution and The Stronger The Love EP. Interaction between band and crowd was at an all time high as Action Item took plenty of opportunities in between songs to speak with the crowd. The Loft was sans barricade that evening, so during the performance when Brian, David, Anthony or Mark wanted to get up close with the crowd, nothing got in the way. The most anticipated moment of the night for this writer was the performance of “Marching Band”, a personal favorite. David, Anthony and Mark rocked the percussions, it was a great site to behold.
As the end of the set was in sight, much to the crowd’s disliking, luckily the night was far from over as all the guys hung out after to meet and take pictures with the fans. Action Item has definitely earned every good thing that has come their way and the journey continues! “I’m not trying to break any boundaries or anything, people might assume that we are trying to break out of the unsigned, DIY niche, but we aren’t,” said Brian. Action Item is very happy with where their careers are headed and there is so much more in store for the future.
Social Media will be seeing a lot of Action Item in the coming months as they kick off a campaign entitled, ‘Project Brave’ in support of their new single, “Brave”. Fans are encouraged to create their own covers of the single, some of which Action Item will contribute to. The goal is to spread the word about the new single to as many people as possible. With the purchase of the tune a donation will be made to STOMP OUT BULLYING, an organization geared towards eliminating all aspects of bullying.
Action Item has overcome a ‘bully’ of their own, the pressure to meet people’s expectations of whom they should be as a band. All the critics and the skeptics should be kicking themselves for wanting to change what Action Item is. Brian, David, Dan, Anthony and Mark are reaping the benefits of staying true to themselves with many successes. After the headlining tour, AI hits the open skies to the United Kingdom to support The Summer Set on the international leg of the ‘Wake Up and Be Awesome’ Tour. The party continues with a spot on the 2013 Vans Warped Tour. No sign of the “Last Day of Summer” just yet, Action Item will be rocking stages all summer long and then after that… well only time will tell.