Back to Blog

Q&A with 3 Exits to Hattiesburg

DC Music Live Team
Photography by Sophia Whitewater
Photography by Sophia Whitewater

3 Exits to Hattiesburg, the band formed in 2015 by vocalist/guitarist Benny Muniz and drummer Adam Rogers, has journeyed through sonic landscapes that blend rock and punk influences to craft a distinct and captivating sound. Following the release of their sophomore album, 'Nevermore,' in 2020, the band relocated from their Houston roots to Connecticut. As the winter approaches, they gear up for the Snow Days Tour, promising audiences an unforgettable live experience at every turn.

You can catch them performing live at Jammin Java this December 27th at 7:30pm. Grab tickets here.

Their music is a dynamic fusion, channeling storytelling and raw energy. Below, Benny Muniz shares insights into their songwriting process, the inspirations behind 'Nevermore,' the essence of their music's message, and how the band's dynamic extends beyond the music realm into their personal camaraderie and interests.

For new listeners discovering your band, what key message or aspect of your music do you hope they grasp or take away from their first experience with your songs?

I think with a lot of the music I listen to, including ours, the songs have a lot more to say than just what's written in the lyrics. You get a feel for every component of the band, every musician who takes part in the writing and/or recording process. On first listen, I always hope that someone will get an idea of who we are through the words, through the notes we're playing, and through the way Adam beats the hell out of his drums. I feel that translates really well in a live setting especially, but hopefully that energy and passion comes through a recording just as well.

Photography by Sophia Whitewater
Photography by Sophia Whitewater

Your music is described as a fusion of rock and punk influences, offering a unique sound. Can you delve into specific artists or bands that have inspired these influences and what elements you feel set your sound apart from others within these genres?

I approach songwriting with either a theme or a rogue lyric and build around that. Typically a 3 Exits song will follow a story very similar in structure to songs from Bruce Springsteen's "Greetings from Asbury Park" or Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever", whereas musically they'll have a bit more distortion and heavy drums like something from Nirvana or blink-182. I also have ended up writing most of our songs in a stream of conscious sort of way; while the music itself may change, most times the lyrics on the album are exactly as they were written in order. I think the combination of influences like Springsteen and Tom Petty with bands like Nirvana, blink, or My Chemical Romance is what sets our music apart from other bands with similar influences: there's a piece of every bit of music we've ever enjoyed in every single song.

Photography by Sophia Whitewater
Photography by Sophia Whitewater

As the songwriter for the band, you wear multiple hats, including guitarist, singer, and manager. Could you walk us through the creative process behind developing songs on your latest album, 'Nevermore'? Additionally, could you share if there's any connection between the album's title and Edgar Allan Poe's 'Nevermore'?

With Nevermore, the songs were written over the course of a few years. I wrote "Rage" in 2017 while we were working on our first album, and we worked that out live quite a few times before it became what it is on the album. A lot of Nevermore was written while we were in college, so there's a lot of focus on being away from home and on all the changes someone experiences when going away to college. Unlike our first album, where we had a list of names that we picked from, Nevermore was our first and only option. Our original bassist Fidencio designed a really cool raven logo for our first run of merch in 2016, and we used variations of that design through 2020. It felt fitting after years of having a raven as our logo to address it in some way. So yes, it has everything to do with Edgar Allan Poe.

Beyond your music endeavors, what other interests or activities do you and the band members pursue outside of the music scene? How do these outside experiences potentially influence or intersect with your musical creativity?

Currently, our drummer Adam lives in Texas while our bassist Dan and I both live in Connecticut. Adam and I have been friends for nearly 20 years, so in that time we've shared a lot of different interests. On days when we aren't practicing, or even on days when we are, we often find ourselves going bowling to pass the time. In college, our bassist Dan and I would get together and grill, which wasn't always easy in upstate New York, but we both got really into tying different recipes and getting outside of our respective comfort zones with cooking. Being as spread out as we are, it's a bit more difficult to get together as often as we'd like, but being friends first and bandmates second helps keep the music fun. Practicing, playing shows, and recording all feels like hanging out, because for us, that's exactly what it is.

Photography by Sophia Whitewater
Photography by Sophia Whitewater

Your interviews often touch on the business side of managing the band alongside the creative aspects. Do you find balancing the promotional demands with the creative process challenging?

I find that the scales often tip one way or the other when trying to balance promotional demands and the creative process, but they also help to fuel each other. When we have new material, we're always more eager to get out in public and promote it. I've found with planning this current tour I've been much more inclined to write new music and to push myself creatively. I think focusing on one or the other often frees up my mind to consider new ideas either creatively or in ways that will push us further outside of the music.

That wraps up the Q&A with Benny from 3 Exits to Hattiesburg. Ready to catch the trio performing December 27th at 7:30pm with Cimonti, Cuni, and Right Chipper. Tickets are available for purchase at this link

3 Exits to Hattiesburg

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube | Spotify