Before You Exit, Make A Difference. That’s the band motto for none other than Before You Exit, compromising of the 3 cheeky boys as seen in the photo – (from left to right) Connor McDonough (19), Riley McDonough (17) and Toby McDonough (15). Despite being jet-lagged from a long flight the previous night, they were still so jovial and filled with energy during the group interview. Laughter filled the room with jokes and random teasing among the brothers, they were a joy to interview with!
These three young brothers are more than your typical boy band! From writing songs, playing instruments to producing their own music videos, these three young gentlemen are really creative and talented. When it comes to covering songs, they tend to deviate from the norm of just covering it like a karaoke version. They want to do something different by switching things up and adding their own style to it. Hence, the entire music video process would take about a week, starting with them sitting down and figuring and allocating vocal and instrument chords.
Photo credits to their Facebook
Having said that, living together makes it easier to work with. The boys are literally just down the hallway from each other. When Connor casually mentioned about owning an apartment in Los Angeles with his group of friends, his friend chuckled “Are you kidding? You can never live apart from them!”
Connor then teased Toby…
Toby: I wouldn’t even be able to drive to their house if I had my own house ‘cos I am only 15!
Connor: You can take your scooter, sweetie.
Toby: Thanks, that’s nice of you.
Connor: Why not? It’ll be cool!
School alone is already not easy for most of us, imagine juggling between school and touring! Due to frequent touring, all of them are doing online school.
Toby: We can’t. My mum sits down with me, and makes me not able to skip school!
Toby: But sometimes we skip days and be like umm.. I’m sorry I can’t do it I –
Riley: I have to uhh.. there’s this TV show that I have to watch
Toby: It’s educational, Mum. The TV show is educational.
Connor: The aim goal is for us to all get college education. We always gotta have a backup plan.
They can’t do too many classes at a time or else it would be too overwhelming, so their mum helps to pick up the easy classes for them.
When asked are their thoughts on being compared to bands like One Direction and Jonas Brothers, they thought that it is really nice to be compared to somebody so popular and talented. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get to that level, but Maroon 5 will be a good band for us to get compared to” added Riley, to which his optimistic big brother replied “We’ll get to that level, we will. Gotta have confidence, bro!”
“It’s really cool to work with Alex Gaskarth”, when asked about writing Settle For Less with Alex Gaskarth from All Time Low. He showed them different sides of writing. “We have looked up to him through the years, and it’s really cool to see the way he might have worked on songs with his band and stuff, and pull it into our band.”
Connor’s first experience with music was when he was 3. He got a keyboard from his grandparents, and his first song he learnt was Mary Had A Little Lamb. Riley’s first experience with music was when Connor taught him Mary Had A Little Lamb. It was nothing fancy like Beethoven, “but I played it like Beethoven” said Riley. Toby’s first music experience, on the other hand, was the ever so popular Smoke On The Water guitar riff.
What do they do during their free time, you wonder? Big fans would know – Starbucks.
Connor: We go to movies a lot, we go on long-boarding rides, we go on walks, we go to Starbucks, er… we go to Starbucks, then we go to movies, we go to Starbucks sometimes, we go to Starbucks… then we go to Starbucks again.
I wonder how many Starbucks gift cards have they got from fans already!
Toby: They are huge movie critics. I’m like that movie is great, but they’re like “I mean, that shot in the 37 seconds of that movie is horrible, I hated it!” Riley edits our music videos, and he hates videos that are shaky.
I am sure some of you Exiters reading this know what is “fan-fiction”, and have probably read or even created one. “We have read some crazy ones, that’s for sure. It’s cool when people write stories about us, but when people read the stories and think it actually happened… it’s not cool. Which has actually happened before. It has all kinds of weird things… no, THAT is fan FICTION.”
Toby: I don’t even know what we’re talkingabout…
Riley: It’s where they make fake stories about you, like they say Toby only has 3 fingers
Toby: *puts up 3 fingers* oh my God they’re right, it’s true!
Photo credits to their Facebook
Before You Exit, Make A Difference. They want to set a good example and be a good role model to fans to look up to them. It is really heartwarming and nice to hear touching stories from fans about them saving that fan’s life. They write songs from experience/things they have gone through, so it is nice that fans can relate to it. At the same time, it shows their fans that they are not alone, and that they have been through it too, they said.
With their cheeky and wacky selves, one can imagine how fun would it be and what mischief were they up to during tour! Toby shared with us, there was once when Connor was so happy that he got milk and cookies, telling everyone on the tour bus “I got my milk and cookies, I’m gonna go to my bunk and eat them”. Toby was playing football then. You could guess what happened next… He kicked the football down the hallway of the bus and it went right into Connor’s bunk and hit the milk right out of his hands. He came out of his bunk shocked and everybody was in tears laughing. Poor Connor!
Photo credits to their Facebook
Also, “the amount of times I’ve seen Riley fall off the stage is countless. I can see these images in my head” said Connor. They shared that Riley has actually fallen off a 10 feet stage, ouch! Ironically, Riley was making fun of Connor almost tripping, but instead, he himself fell off the stage.
This is the band’s second time in Asia. Not too long ago, back in May 2013, they went to Philippines to perform at Circuit Fest. So, how different is Asia from US back home? They expected it to be really different and they couldn’t wait to go back home to tell their friends about how different and cool was it, but surprisingly, they realised it is almost the same as US here! Everybody speaks English, which made it feel like home to them. “I am a little concern that when I get home, I might drive on the left side of the road”, Connor joked. “We’re super grateful we get to do this and travel around the world, meeting different people, see how they live and stuff. It’s really cool.”
So I went for The Color Run that day after the interview, and boy was it fun!
I managed to catch Before You Exit perform at The Color Run after party.
Settle For Less, The Color Run, 17 August 2013
You Need Me I Don’t Need You (Ed Sheeran cover), The Color Run, 17 August 2013
Set List at The Color Run:
- End Of The World
- You Need Me, But I Don’t Need You (Ed Sheeran cover)
- Settle For Less
- Three Perfect Days
- When I Was Your Man (Bruno Mars cover)
- A Little More Of You
- I Like That
I Like That, 987 All Access Party, 17 August 2013
Also, check out Toby doing what he does best for a living, TWERKING. 😉
I got to say, their charming looks and extraordinary talent undoubtedly made the crowd of Exiters (even new fans from The Color Run) fall in love with the band repeatedly with every word sung. The boys knew their way around the stage and they definitely knew how to please their audience, making the crowd immensely enthusiastic and eager, hopeful for some sort of attention from them.
“Each and every one of them are so talented! Riley awed us when he beatboxed for a bit at the All Access Party!” – Maria Torres, 18
Their popularity have grown over the years, and I am sure that this growth will continue for years. Talented, down to earth, fun loving and sweet – I am sure that they will go far. Here’s to wishing them all the best for their future endeavors!
We would like to thank Sony Music for this interview opportunity, and Before You Exit for taking their time to talk to us media!