There’s an old saying in the music community: an artist gets their whole career to write a debut album but just a few months to write the follow-up. 3 PILL MORNING defies this cliché. There’s no “slump” in their sophomore set. The cathartic vindication in expression drawn from shared experience and real life struggle shines through in 3PM’s music even more brightly than before, taking shape in loud, passionate celebration.
Never Look Back is a blistering, diverse, dynamic and altogether reinvigorating powerhouse of soaring melodic hard rock from the depths of each band member’s soul. As the album title suggests, the record pushes forward, with eyes on the prize, while drawing strength and resilience from all of the highs and lows that have come before.
There’s no clear cut distinction between what 3 PILL MORNING does in the studio, on the stage and in their every day lives. All of their songs are the result of their lifelong experiences, many written on the road. It’s all one cohesive statement. It’s all 3PM.
The four men of the steadfast, hard working, blue-collar hard rock band put their music where their hearts are, squeezing every drop of emotion they can summon into each and every note. 3 PILL MORNING songs are evocative, memorable, and relatable. 3PM elicit strong feelings of connection and fellowship for anyone who perseveres against life’s setbacks. It’s the kind of earnest, Midwestern rock n’ roll destined for the radio dial and equally at home on a giant arena stage or in an intimate, dimly-lit roadside tavern.
This is the kind of music that quickens the pulse, mobilizes adrenaline and strikes an emotional chord in the same vein as the anthemic, passionate hard rock, active rock and screamo of platinum trailblazers like The Used, Papa Roach and Breaking Benjamin. A 3PM show has much in common with the sweaty communal experience of a gig featuring Pop Evil, 10 Years, or Theory Of A Deadman, with a unique flavor of their own.
“Our goal is to transform it to more of an experience with an over the top live show,” says vocalist Jeff Stebbins. “Some other rock shows get a little stagnant, where people just kind of stand there and play their songs. We put on a high energy show, similar to the hardcore punk scene and some of the other bands that really get things moving, which has been absent in some of the Active Rock scene. We make it engaging.”
These guys are possessed with an indie band vibe while operating expertly in the Active Rock world. They’ve gone on tour with Shinedown, In This Moment, Hollywood Undead, Sevendust, Saving Abel, Buckcherry, Escape The Fate, 12 Stones and Smile Empty Soul, all since forming roughly ten years ago in Minnesota. Yet they remain accessible to their fans, hanging by the merch, engaging on social media, playing spontaneously organized acoustic sets and inviting people into the album making process via crowd sourcing.
The fans have become well acquainted with each of the guys throughout the process and the endless interaction at shows. They know Jon Stephenson isn’t just a badass guitarist - he’s also the most social. He has a serious side but he’s also a super fun hang. Bassist/backing vocalist Ryan “Riplee” Lee is extremely passionate about music, movies, video games and the world at large, lending a unique perspective to things.
Never Look Back follows 3PM’s well-received debut, Black Tie Love Affair, which earned accolades from major press outlets like Revolver, a spot on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and marked the band’s entry into the Top 100 at Active Rock radio. Black Tie Love Affair truly put 3 PILL MORNING on the musical map, thanks to songs like “Skin,” “I Want that For You” and “Loser.” And maps are something the hard touring band know very well.
“The new music is definitely a culmination of all those trials and tribulations that we had to go through. It's heavier, it's edgier,” notes Stebbins. “You spend enough time on the road and deal with personal issues, financial issues and pretty much any other issues that come along you know taking on this type of career choice. There’s plenty of material to write about. Never Look Back is an album that's really from the heart.”
“Electric Chair” is full of visceral detail about what it feels like to be on death row, to be the last one standing, at the end of a bitter breakup. “Kill for You” explores the emotions that come with true love, with parenthood, with family. “Bottom of the Barrel” goes right for the throat in its rallying cry against big egos and fake people. “Vultures” is closely related, taking aim at the culture of tabloid news and negativity.
3 PILL MORNING doesn’t need to be the “biggest” bunch of guys in the room. The reputation they are building is much simpler: they’re the nicest guys anyone could meet, they’re good dudes, fun to party with, and completely blow down the doors anytime and anywhere they play. Most of all, they write memorable songs and craft albums from the heart, forging a magical connection between band and fan with authenticity.