Going Crazy

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Pop-rockers Promise to Myself have a hard time keeping a secret.
Before the North Phoenix-based band released its sophomore EP, “I Might Be Crazy,” the quartet was told to stay mum about the new music. Sometimes it was a little harder than the group thought.
“Our manager and our label, 80/20, said we couldn’t tell anyone,” rhythm guitarist Zack Bruge says. “I would tell all of my friends, of course. On stage, I’d say we had an album coming out and our manager would tell me to shut up.”
The band—which also includes lead singer/bassist Karl Nagy, guitarist Brad Stockton and drummer Tony Galvan—could spill about it on February 18 when “I Might Be Crazy” hit streaming services.
“It’s been a long work in progress,” Bruge says. “Now that it’s out, it’s super thrilling and exciting. We were anxious to finally release it after working on it. Some of the songs were written two years ago.”
Nagy adds, “I felt like we were in limbo, in a way. We had all of this content we were sitting on. But we’ve been performing it, creating other content with it—like music videos—and deciding what singles we want to release.”
Signed to 80/20 Records in 2019, Promise to Myself has been described as if Fall Out Boy, All Time Low and Waterparks had a fight to the death in a game of dodgeball, and the winner ended up being Big Time Rush.
From playing the Vans Warped Tour to an appearance on AZTV and radio stations such as Alt AZ 93.3 and KWSS, Promise to Myself played the Whisky A Go Go and opened for national touring acts in various venues.
“I think we’re really fun live,” Bruge says. “We talk to the crowd, but we’re really focused on the music. At the end of the day, it’s entertainment. We’re very fun and we jump on stage. I’ve broken bones on stage.
“I’ve broken them a lot. I fractured a bone in my foot and kept playing shows and jumping around on it. I went to the doctor and what was a little crack was now a complete break.”
The EP was produced by Grammy-nominated engineer Jeremy Parker at Premier Studios. Bruge says Parker was a “super chill dude” who was inspirational.
“The first time we went in there and we were doing pre-production on the songs, we were all super nervous,” Bruge says. “We walked in the studio and there were gold records all around. We just said, ‘Well, here are our songs.’ He asked us if we believed in aliens and we got into this huge conversation about it. That aside, he’s good at making bands sound exactly like the band sounds.”
Galvan says with “I Might Be Crazy” the band tried to infuse pop elements into its sound. Nagy calls “I Might Be Crazy” a collection that slowly transitions to Promise to Myself’s “new era.”
“We’re trying to maintain our roots and reach new fans at the same time,” Galvan adds. “We’re trying to be innovative a bit more and add new sounds to it.”
Bruge describes it as such.
“Our first EP (2018’s ‘One for the Runaways’), we wrote when we were 14 or 15 and it was released when we were in high school,” Bruge says. “This one is a huge step, in a sense. It’s more mature sounding. We’re growing up a little bit. It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic subsides a bit, Promise to Myself will go full force into promoting the seven-song EP. The lack of shows and promotion has been “heartbreaking” for the band.
“We had a lot of stuff planned,” Nagy says. “We had an EP release show planned and just a lot of shows in general. We just keep busy. Our main priority is to make sure fans are safe.
“Having to postpone and potentially cancel these shows is heartbreaking. At the end of the day, we’re all healthy and safe and we hope our fans are, too.”
Some have asked if the musicians wish they could have released the EP at a different time. The answer is a resounding “no.”
“We just have to adapt to what’s going on,” Bruge says. “We’re still having a positive outlook and doing what we can.”

Promise to Myself

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