Interview/Podcast with Diane DiMemmo

October 9, 2020

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Angry. Edgy. Raw. It’s the kind of music you feel deep down in your bones. Maybe it makes your blood run hot. Maybe it makes it run cold. But there's no denying it. It shakes you to your core. That’s the kind of energy and passion that fuels the music of NJ hardcore rock band, Generation Underground; and it may very well be the reason they titled their latest single “Shooken to the Core” and their recent EP “Kold Blooded, Vol. 1.” I had the pleasure of connecting recently with Mike Florentine and Josh Polius to discuss Generation Underground’s unquestionable ascent in the music industry.

The dynamic trio (which has only been in existence since 2016) already has quite the list of accomplishments, experiences and connections. Mike Florentine (Vocals, Guitar), Josh Polius (Guitar), and Matt Schussler (Drums) have toured for over a year, recorded an album and an EP, were guests on the Golden Gods Awards Show, and have 

worked closely with the likes of Chris Pennie (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed and Cambria, Idiot Pilot, Return to Earth, The Armed) and John Moyer (Disturbed). Florentine explained that Moyer helped them hone their songwriting. “I reached out to John via is his website and he took an interest in our music. Then the following summer we flew out to Texas to record our first EP.”

Their self-titled EP – Generation Underground - produced the standout single “Y” which garnered the band an award for “Best Rock Song” in February 2020 by Academia. Work on Generation Underground began in 2016 and because of their dedication to perfecting their craft, they didn’t release it until 2018. “They always tell you that you have your whole life to write your first record. They don't joke around with that,” laughed Florentine who then showed a more serious side when speaking about the hard work, discipline, and determination they all have for succeeding.

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The band toured for fourteen months and wrote the entire time. “We were doing double duty. We were touring, we were writing, and we were doing the videos. It was a lot of work. I don't think we could handle that much pressure [again],” stated Florentine. But all that work paid off and Generation Underground was ready to record and produce their sophomore album Kold Blooded, Vol. 1 when they returned from touring last August.

Unfortunately, they hit a brick wall when their management team basically scrapped the whole project and told them to start over and change their music to emo-rap. At that moment in the interview/podcast, both Polius and Florentine displayed a look of self-confidence and conviction in what they felt their music should and could be. And it wasn’t emo-rap. “That's when things shifted,” said Florentine. “We took back our creative control and our creative freedom of what we want [to do]. We don’t want to be put in a box.”

With a new management team, the band released Kold Blooded, Vol. 1 and have had an overwhelmingly positive response. “On Amazon we went number 7 on the Rock Chart and number 19 on the overall chart. It's pretty crazy. You're charting next people like Trivium, Five Finger Death Punch, Taylor Swift and Bob Dylan, and it's a pretty crazy thing,” agreed Polius and Florentine. Not content to rest on their laurels, the guys say they're already 5 songs into their next release and will push it out “sometime next year, if we had to put our money on it.”

Currently, though, the band is preparing for the YouTube video premiere of “Shooken to the Core” on Oct 30, 2020. Florentine expressed a lot of excitement in his anticipation of the event and stressed the hard work they put into pulling it off. The guys were thankful their producer/director was a perfectionist who made them do “49 billion takes” and admitted they “couldn’t move for 7 days afterwards.” You’ll want to set a reminder so you can see the release here

As we continued to talk about what it takes for musicians to make it big these days, Florentine and Polius always went back to the band’s shared vision of holding goals in their minds eye and working hard to get there. Their collective sights are set on achieving a gold or platinum record, a Grammy nomination, and/or to chart on Billboard 200. Also in the works is a big show in Los Angeles which due to Coronavirus may be cancelled. But never willing to let obstacles trip them up, Florentine assuredly said, “It's not a matter of if it will happen, it’s a matter of when it will happen. The only limitation is the one you put in your head.”

Click here for the full podcast episode!

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Mike Florentine - Vocals, Guitar

Josh Polius - Guitar

Matt Schussler - Drums

Photo Creds: Mike Monto

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