When I first found out that Orlando-based pop band Before You Exit had never signed a record deal until last month, I was absolutely shocked. Although their line-up has changed quite a bit over the years, Before You Exit has been producing music and touring all over the world since their formation in 2007. However, this “formation” was more of a natural coming together, as the group consists of brothers Connor McDonough (21), Riley McDonough (19), and Toby McDonough (17). On Saturday, August 8th, I got the opportunity to interview the boys of Before You Exit at Club Nokia just a few hours before they took the stage on their final night as an opening act for The Vamps.
“I wish it was longer,” 19-year-old Riley states about their tour with British group The Vamps. “But, I’m excited because we’re going, tomorrow, back into the studio, so it’s not totally bad because we get to work on new music.” Youngest McDonough brother Toby chimes in with, “We love these guys, and it’s gonna be hard to say good-bye. It’s gonna be a crying fest,” and Connor jokes, “I’m sure we’ll see them again soon,” as the trio fake sobs into their hands.
Riley continues, “This tour is the first time we’ve ever been really good friends with a band before the tour because we’ve done a few shows and have hung out with them before. So, there was no awkward first day where it was like, ‘Hi guys.’ It was more like, ‘Yo, what’s up?’ and it’s been just hanging out and all that.” From the way Connor, Riley, and Toby each talked about their experiences on tour with The Vamps (and the other supporting act, The Tide), I could instantly tell that this tour was a non-stop party and that the boys had loads of fun in every city they visited.
Mid-tour, on July 17th, just six days after they announced their record deal with RCA Records, Before You Exit released “Model,” their first official single as a signed band, and the fan response was incredible. BYE fans all over the globe instantly fell in love with this track, which tested out somewhat of a new sound for the group.
As a response to how they knew this single was the one to release first, Riley shares, “It kind of happened so quick. It was kind of crazy because we actually heard the most reaction from our friends. A lot of times they’re like, ‘Yeah, it’s cool,’ and this time they were like, ‘Can you send me that song?’ So, it was really cool to see that kind of reaction from our friends, so it felt like the right one.” Toby continues, “We had the funniest reaction though from one particular person that was like, ‘Oh my God, is that you guys? I would actually listen to this.'” An echo of laughter occurred throughout the room, and Toby jokingly finished his statement with, “So that means that we sucked before.”
Towards the middle of the interview, I was quite surprised to learn that the oldest McDonough brother, Connor, produces all of Before You Exit’s music. I’ve always been impressed with artists who have a hands-on approach in all aspects of the music industry, and Connor is no exception. When asked what question they wished interviewers would ask them more often, Connor immediately spoke up and said, “What recording software do you use?” (to which the answer is ProTools). The brothers even continued to joke about their least favorite frequency and other details about music production, which greatly impressed me.
In terms of new projects, Before You Exit were tight-lipped and didn’t reveal any specific details about what exactly is coming up next for them. However, they did share that music videos, an album, and more tours are definitely all in the cards for the future.
Overall, my interview with Before You Exit was a fun, lighthearted experience, and I truly wish them all the best with their future musical endeavors. If you are a fan of pop music, be sure to check out Before You Exit’s newest single “Model,” out now on iTunes.