The Institution is a new band emerging out of the San Fransisco scene and their music brings to mind the Deftones, Tool, Smashing Pumpkins and other hard hitting progressive metal acts. But they aren’t just pure aggression as singer/lead guitarist/songwriter Jay Scott brings a melodic quality to the songs that juxtaposes the power and force of metal with a more endearing vulnerability that sways listeners and teases them into believing he has crafted a nice, verbose pop song that brings to mind a kind of alt rock poetry until the pounding of Pete Markovina’s drums hits you full in the face with a tribal urgency. The rhythm is held together by bass player Sage in an mesmerizing pulse. The band was recently on a West Coast tour and are playing shows regularly. Make sure to check out their full frontal live show, which can be overpowering while at the same time quiet like the eclectic mix of the Pixies or even Nirvana. All types of elements can be heard in The Institution’s songs but judge for yourself. The links for their songs are listed here. Also check out this interview with the frontman Jay Scott and drummer Pete Markovina. This is The Gr1nd exclusive-
What was the tour like?
Jay: The first part of the west coast tour was awesome. I had a great time with my band and out new touring Van.
Pete: The tour was a lot of fun. We had places to stay but otherwise winged it a lot and learned a lot along the way. You definitely need to be in shape to be on tour.
What did it feel like to release the album?
Jay: Finally releasing Hegemony was like hearing on to the next grade. It was a much needed step in our creative progression and the 2 and a half years we put in working on it was indeed expensive; but in the end we did it just right. Yes I could have worked on it as long as Guns and Roses worked on Chinese democracy as I am an obsessive type of guy and I wanted this album to put us on the map and get us noticed. It’s a big world out there with tons of music so I thought if we came out with an amazing freshman album and were able to show our talent that it’d be a good thing for us.
Pete: Happiness, Relief. And a lot different than maybe what I imagined. It took longer than expected to finish it. But I’m really happy with the results.
How long had you been working on it?
Jay: Two and a half years in the making. It was recorded in Berkeley California at East Bay Recorders (formally San Pablo Recorders) with our great friend and sound engineer Joel “Joeleosis” Gimbel who is an amazing and talented dude. The album was mastered in Berkeley by Ken Lee. We also had a single off the album, History Repeats Itself, mastered by Gavin Lurrson (Queens of the Stone Age “Like clockwork”).
Pete: Off and on over 2 years. A lot of learning during that as well.
How long have you guys playing together?
Jay: We have been together since 2006 and Pete and I decided to make it our life mission once we realized it’s all we really wanted to do. We started playing aggressively (a lot of shows) around San Francisco in 2011.
Describe what you think your music sounds like?
Jay: I think our music sounds like melodic and progressive rock with great lyrics on top. A sort of Alt rock poetry.
Pete: Heavy, melodic. Progressive and groove based and very soulful.
What would you compare it too?
Jay: I’d compare it to all the bands that I grew up listening to as its all little pieces of what we love.
Pete: A hybrid of some of my favorites, not a direct comparison, but influences from some of them. Heavier rock for sure.
How were the crowds reactions on tour?
Jay: People are always receptive when they’re around. The venues we play on this level vary in terms of crowds. In this world the media has basically brainwashed a lot of people into listening to ghetto music they can’t even relate to so sometimes it’s hard but we just go out and give it our best.
Pete: They were good as a whole. The amount of people varied of course but all positive feedback.
What are your plans for the next album?
Jay: We plan to start laying down some tracks with our engineer soon and we are looking towards a studio in Seattle to do so. We have a lot of new sounds on the table and we are excited to get it on.
Pete: Hoping to have a full set in fall/winter time, and toying with an EP of some of our stuff on the shelf.
How many songs that you have made it on the album?
Jay: On Hegemony we have 9 songs and 13 tracks total.
What bands or musicians have inspired you guys?
Jay: For me it started with The Doors, then Guns and Roses and Ozzy, then all the great stuff that came out of Seattle; Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice N Chains. Then Deftones and Tool, Chevelle.
Pete: Deftones, Tool, Pink Floyd, the Mars Volta, Led Zeppelin and countless musicians. I take inspiration from many sources.
What is your social media contact info, website info and how can places book you and where can people listen to your music or buy your album?
Jay: Our official site is www.theinstitution.us and you can find links to all our social media there. The album is available on i tunes and Amazon and CD Baby and can be streamed from just about anywhere (Spotify/Rdio/Soundcloud/etc).
What is the San Francisco music scene like?
Jay: The scene in San Francisco is a hard one. As I said before the media has destroyed the appetite for a lot of rock music as they’ve been pumping ghetto music to our children so much the kids are scared to be different from the mainstream and it’s all ghetto rap from there. But in the end it’s about cultivating your own following and crowd which we have been doing pretty aggressively.
Check out The Institution on Spotify and Soundcloud and visit their site too.