An interview with band members Brandon, Jesse, Paul, and Gage
by Michelle Braun
April 2016

Growing from Madison, WI

Growing from Madison, WI

Formerly known as Look I’m Burning, Growing is a metal band from Madison, Wisconsin featuring members Brandon Connor (vocals), Apostolos Holevas aka the boss (guitar), Jesse Chieffo (guitar), Paul Swift III (drums), and Gage Woodman (bass/vocals.) Between their hard work, unparalleled live performances, and brand new EP, Growing is easily becoming one of Madison’s finest, rising bands. Maximum Ink met with a few of the members in the basement of Frequency to discuss challenges they face as a band. They give us the hard facts of “growing” a band and the rundown on their show in Madison at The RedZone with Scale the Summit on Sunday, April 17th.

Maximum Ink: What are your origins? Have you always been known as “Growing” ?
Paul: We were called “Look, I’m Burning” for about 4 years or so and went through a member change. The founding member ended up quitting the band, and it was a little bit bitter to some degree. So we decided to do a name change, all of us moving forward. We figured it would be a good business venture and everything. The name came from this time I was watching “Cosmos” with Neil de Grasse Tyson, and he was basically saying that the universe was constantly “growing.”

MI: What style of music would you classify yourself as?
Jesse: Melodic Metal-core is the answer that we give. The music did change a little, it’s a little heavier. We changed tunings; we’re like a half step down from where we used to play. Our songs have a lot of breakdowns, technical leads, screaming and some singing here and there. We play 6-string guitars, so very full chords for the musicians out there.

MI: What sort of influences has brought you to that?
Paul: We’re kind of all over the board. I do a lot of the structural songwriting. I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock and then got into punk, emo and scream, then moved on to metal and hardcore. Progressively getting heavier as I’m getting older.

Brandon: Musically, we’ve all grown up in different kind of ways. Some of people grew up with more of a punk influence. I personally grew up with more of a metal influence. When it all comes together, it works out perfectly.

MI: So, how long ago did you guys change to “Growing”?
Jesse: Growing has been a thing since the end of 2014. Things were kind of up in the air after we lost our bassist/singer. We auditioned a few bass players, Gage joined the band, and we booked a tour under Look I’m Burning because of our social media presence but also as Growing. So we had merch for both bands. That was November 2014 and started writing music under Growing. We put out our first EP, Temples, in February 2015. So outside of Madison, we’ve really only been a band for about a year and a half.

MI: So would you say that was the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band, to change the band name and merch?
Brandon: It was difficult at first, definitely. There were a lot of people disappointed with the name change, because they just knew us as Look I’m Burning for so long. But I think the new name “grows” on people.  No pun intended. We figured it’s not really our name that we want people to focus on. It’s the music that we play.

Gage: And at the end of the day, it’s just a name.

Paul: We really didn’t know what to expect you know? Starting fresh was kind of scary, we were nervous a little bit. But it ended up happening as well as it possibly could have.

MI: What upcoming shows are you excited about?
Jesse: One of my personal favorite bands is Scale the Summit. Before I joined this band actually, I had just started taking guitar lessons via Skype With Chris Letchford the lead guitar player from Scale the Summit. When I joined this band, I had to send him an email saying I couldn’t do lessons anymore because I had to focus on moving back to Madison for the band. So, it’s coming full circle that I get to play with them. Sunday, April 17th, at the Redzone/Annex. The Fine Constant and Versus Me are also playing the show. Honestly, one of the coolest shows we’ve played.

MI: Any special plans for the show?
Brandon: We are going to play completely naked. No I don’t know. It depends on how much of a party mood we are in. I know there was one really good show at the Frequency. I was partying real nice and I didn’t have a belt on. So my pants kept falling down, and by the end of the show I was like you know, I’m just going let them fall off. Eventually, they were hanging at my ankles and I just kept yelling.

MI: Where can we find you guys? Where can we find your EP?
Jesse: Literally, on all social media, we are @growingtheband. Our email is There’s always room on our giant shuttle bus, if anyone ever wants to ride with us to any of our shows and get a behind-the-scenes experience.

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