The Dead Records are young, intense and seriously rocking. Composed of Aaron Taylor (vocals, guitar), Chad Briner (guitar), Will Magley (bass) and Sean Richardson (drums), Fort Wayne, Ind.-based The Dead Records sound like a cross between The Gaslight Anthem and The Hold Steady. They’ll be playing the Buzzbin First Friday Concert on July 1 with Maid Myriad. We talked to Richardson, who gave us the lowdown on what moves these earnest guys. The Dead Records is an interesting name. What’s the story behind it? The name of the band came from the belief that with the increase in digital technology and the ability to download virtually any song and have that song in seconds, future generations may not know the value of actually going to a store and buying a CD or a record. The Dead Records sounds like the death of the record industry, but we are working, as I am sure many other bands are, to make full-length albums that can be listened to front to back and enjoyed all the way through. So maybe our name sounds negative and it may have been that way when I first thought of it, but after playing for two and a half years I believe it to be a much more positive name. Who are some of your influences? The four people in this band collectively listen to just about every kind of music life has to offer. I am nearly as happy listening to Manchester Orchestra as I am DJ Tiësto and the Zac Brown Band. However, when people ask, I say we are an energetic indie rock and roll band. One of our major influences is the band Manchester Orchestra. We also draw a lot of influence from bands like The Hold Steady. I have heard people compare us to At The Drive-In, too. How did you guys get started? The band was formed in the summer of 2008. We knew that we would be making music together someday. Aaron and I have been playing for years and before that Chad and Aaron had been playing. Our collective goal has been the same since junior high school, and that is to write music and tour the country. You just can’t form chemistry like you have with people you have grown up with. It’s like being married to someone, except instead of finishing the other guy’s sentences we finish each other’s songs. Who writes the songs and music? We all have a part in writing the music to the songs, but Aaron is responsible for everything vocal. We’ve tossed around the idea of helping him write lyrics, but he can’t sing them with the same passion if someone else writes them. Our first CD was based around a relationship that Aaron was going through back when I was still in high school. Our most recent CD has to deal a lot with family and the importance of family and friends in someone’s life. He [Aaron] writes songs that anyone can relate to. He tries not to get to surreal with his words or images. He’s heavily influenced by Craig Finn of The Hold Steady and Brian Fallon of The Gaslight Anthem, because those guys tell great stories. What has been some of your challenges? What drives you? The biggest challenge so far as a band has been to enjoy what we are doing now and not worry about what the future holds for us. The ultimate goal for all of us is to be able to completely support ourselves and someday families with our music. When you show up to a bar somewhere outside of Fort Wayne, where we are from, and no one is there and the people who are there could give a shit less about your band, it’s discouraging. The way that I get through being overly discouraged is by focusing on the people you do meet and the times you do have. You have to focus on the small accomplishments, like being able to play to 30 people in Fort Wayne who all know the lyrics of your songs and sing along with them, or the fact that we have recorded and released two professionally packaged CDs and our music can be found next to our favorite bands on iTunes. Or the simple fact that someone may be reading this interview and learning something from what I said for their own band. Learn more at thedeadrecords.com. Read more about Buzzbin’s First Friday Concert Series here.