Jake Leffel

Who Is the Smoothie King? A Conversation with Promises Unsaid

Music Scene Media
Mar 14, 2024
4 min read
Photo Provided Courtesy of Don't Blink Music Group

Promises Unsaid is a metalcore band based in Binghamton, New York. We had the opportunity to sit down to discuss the band and their history with lead singer Caleb Reynolds. Caleb gave us his unique insight on not only what goes into making their sound, but the metalcore scene in its entirety. In a world where genres change by the day, metalcore is no exception. Check out the interview below:

Since Promises started releasing music in 2017 on Spotify, how do you think the metalcore sound has changed?

I started releasing music when I was 17 years old, and while the lineup of our group has changed we’re still continuing on. Across the board, and even for myself, our sound has move towards a poppier feel with a mix of different genres. There are so many genres inside metalcore, and bands like Jinjer will throw in reggae in the same way we throw 90’s R&B sounds into our music. Metalcore is the epitome of Warped Tour, a melting pot of genres. I see so many bands that started off as a typical metal band and now they’re putting out heat by mixing in different styles. The metalcore scene, specifically in New York, is underrated and there are so many bands that are up and coming. It's super exciting to see. 

What do you have planned for 2024?

We’re working on putting out our second album called hexbrew, which we’re hoping to release in the early Summer. With a tour to follow, we’re planning to visit the North and South East coasts. For me, personally, I'm currently working on some solo R&B stuff, kind of like a 2000's R&B feel. I'm hesitant to put it out there as I'm still working on it. It's the first time I've ever sat alone in my studio in a long time and just recorded music for myself. It's the first time I've recorded a song all the way through, mixed and mastered it personally. With Promises we go out and create it professionally. 

What is your creative process for creating new music/albums?

For Promises, we’re a huge engine - sometimes I'll write out an instrumental or rough draft, or one of the other guys will bring out an instrument and we’ll work together off that. We all bounce off each others energy and work together so well. Some of the tracks are 50% me, some are 50% the other guys and some are completely split up. 

What's the most interesting thing to you about performing and putting on shows?

I think the most interesting thing to me is I'm a live performer, that's where I found my passion through music. When you’re in the studio, there are some songs that you know will just rip, like, "wow I can't wait to play this live." When we started, we wrote our songs in the garage and just kind of freestyled, and now we sit down and write more professionally through software. The studio is just 4 or 5 guys trying to perfect the stacking of sounds and instruments, its way different bringing that to a live audience. As you grow, you get more support and larger crowds and you really start to understand your impact. 

What is something about metalcore music you would like to share with someone who maybe doesn't know much about the genre or thinks they may not like it?

What I would say to anyone listening for the first time, and this is what helped me - is the problem the screaming? If you look at screaming as another instrument to the project, and you just feel the energy and passion going on and with that being brought forth it will completely change. A lot of people think, "Why is this guy yelling or screaming?". If you start to think of it as another instrument, it really starts to make sense with the creation of the metalcore sound. 

What is your musical background and what was the particular draw to metalcore?

Warped Tour 2014. Warped Tour was the place to be for any type of alternative kid. Just a melting pot, 20 of your favorite bands. On top of that, a really good friend of mine got me into it. There were two bands that introduced me to heavier music, Escape The Fate and Memphis May Fire. I was shocked right away. I grew up with harder rap like Linkin Park so to speak and Creed, so it all just kinda came together.

Your music hits on pretty hard, emotional topics. Does that weigh on you as a musician and singer, how do you balance that?

It depends, honestly. We go off of vibe, so I go off what I think needs to be said and what no one else is talking about. I've been through a lot, and if I'm going through it, then there's probably also a million other people going through similar things and will resonate with the lyrics I'm confident enough to speak about. For live songs, as long as I can keep the vibe, I'm good. Some songs get under my skin and the message hits hard but I also try to make music for what other people are going through that I haven't. I try to write for everyone, honestly that's what drew me out of hip hop. Being someone I couldn't realistically be or want to be. I wanted something genuine and now I'm never letting it go. I'll speak for the underdog.

Big shoutout to Caleb for sitting down with us! Catch their latest release, "Revenge of The Smoothie King", out on 3/15, and follow all the band members below!

  • (Vocals) Caleb Reynolds // @calebunsaid
  • (Drums/Synth) Adam Gow // @_adamgow_
  • (Guitar/Backing Vocals) Jaden Lynch // @jaden_lwh
  • (Guitar/ Backing Vocals) Alex Brett // @alexbrettmusic
  • (Bass/ Backing Vocals) Jason McManamon // @Jason.mcmanamon

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