Before You Exit gets in the boxing ring with Katy Perry

Before You Exit is brothers Riley, Toby, and Connor McDonough.

Before You Exit is brothers Riley, Toby, and Connor McDonough.

The song “Roar” by Katy Perry is hot. It has a positive message that people can really relate to with enthusiam. No wonder that so many musicians have been doing covers of it lately!

One of those bands is Before You Exit, which consists of three brothers – Riley, Toby, and Connor McDonough – from Orlando.

I was able to talk to them on the phone to find out more about why they chose to cover this song and how they incorporated their own style. Below is an edited version of our conversation, followed by the band’s “Roar” video.

— Becky Harms, LSY! teen reporter, Mount St. Mary Academy

How do you decide on which songs you are going to cover?

Connor: It’s always different. For all the videos we’ll pick a song that we really like at the moment. We’ll try to see if we can put our own spin on the song and if we can do that and really get something original about it, whether it be harmonies or just our instruments. We will definitely put full force and make sure we got it covered.

Why did you choose to cover “Roar”?

Toby: We all really love that song and it just kind of drove us. I really like the meaning of the song because she’s like, “You’re gonna here me roar.” It’s a lot of inspiration to her fans. You don’t have to be some little shy girl. You can come out and open up.

Riley: We were actually in L.A. when we first heard this song and we were just like “Dang it! I wish we were home so we could cover this.” We were going to Singapore and New York and Nashville and all of these other places. Right when we got home we were like, “Alright, we can do it now!” We knocked it out really fast.

How did you come up with the idea for the video?

Connor: The video idea came up, I remember, when we were all sitting around and Toby said, “Yeah we should do it in a boxing ring.” And so all the time we spent looking on Google, we were like let’s just see if there’s any boxing rings that will let us do it. The first one we went to was called Pound for Pound Fitness. We talked to the owner and he was super nice and said it would be fine. We came in the next day, shot the video, and before we knew it, it was done.

Why did you decide to have a boxing ring as the background to your video?

Connor: Well we were trying to think of something that would make the location different and not just a recording studio or something. So we listened to the lyrics of the song and we heard “champion” and a lot of boxing references. Also, her VMA performance was in a boxing ring too which we thought was super cool. So we thought it would be really cool if we did ours in a boxing ring.

 

When you cover a song, what do you do to make the song your own?

Connor: We add harmony and different runs and stuff like that.

Riley: Also, different instruments like a piano and guitar. Connor has his little piano solo.

Toby: Riley has some awesome runs.

Riley: We do all kinds of different stuff to make it our own and not just what everyone else does.

What is your favorite cover that you’ve done?

Connor: I think my personal favorite so far is the Bruno Mars cover just because I love that song. It’s one of my favorite videos that we’ve done.

Toby: My favorite would probably be “Roar” now.

Riley: My favorite cover is always the last cover that we did because it’s what we’ve been doing recently. The next one you always try to top the next one. We’re always trying to improve ourselves and I always gain a new favorite every time.

How do covers help you?

Connor: Covers are a really cool way for us to kind of branch out and get out there for more people. A lot of people are out there searching videos and a lot of our fans will go share them on their Facebook wall or Twitter. It’s really cool for us to get out other ways. Hopefully that brings us some new viewers and some new fans. But we really just like doing them. It’s not even about that as much as it is about having fun playing other people’s songs and trying to do our own versions.

Editor’s note: Some of our teen reporters reviewed other cool “Roar” covers. Check those out and let us know what you think!

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