Any artist must take risks. It’s all too easy to follow the status quo and succumb to the powers-that-be, especially in the music industry. However, if you’re willing to raise that proverbial middle finger and blaze your own trail, you can really make a mark. That’s what New Medicine singer and guitarist Jake Scherer realized as he began composing his band’s second full-length album, Breaking The Model [Imagen Records].

In 2013, the Minneapolis-based group officially parted ways with its original label Atlantic Records/Photo Finish Records and amicably split with members Ryan Guanzon and Matt Brady. It was a transitional period, to say the least. So, Jake dove headfirst into songwriting in “Music City”, Nashville, TN.

“For the first time, I had no rules, I didn’t owe anybody anything, and I could make whatever record I wanted to,” he proclaims. “That was my mindset. I decided to write songs that I love. With all of the changes, I felt lost for a minute, but I took that as inspiration, turned it around, and used it as fuel for the fire. There was no influence from any outside sources, and I got to make the exact album I wanted to hear.”

While in Nashville, Jake hit an immense creative stride. He wrote songs for the likes of Charm City Devils and even received a placement for Colt Ford and Keith Urban. Simultaneously, he teamed up with Grammy Award-nominated producer and songwriter Kevin Kadish [Miley Cyrus, Jason Mraz, Skillet]. Kadish pushed him to embrace all of his influences like never before.

“We messed around with all of these synthesizers, drum pads, and electronics,” he goes on. “I’ve always been inspired by those kinds of sounds. It’s 2014, and there are so many sonic techniques you can include. We opened up the boundaries, and the music really glued itself together.”

As a result, New Medicine cooks up a 21st century rock style like no other. The first single “One Too Many” swings from a sly sample into a swaggering guitar bounce punctuated by an industrial pop and Jake’s anthemic chant.

“It came so naturally,” smiles the vocalist. “The song is about excessiveness. Everybody is guilty of that—whether it’s drinking or something else. We all hit the point where we say, ‘Now, I probably shouldn’t have this one more, but I’ll do it anyway!’ That’s the fun part of life. You never know unless you go too far. That’s also a metaphor for how we perceive music. We want to cross the line.

Then, there’s “World Class Fuck Up”, which boasts an undeniably cheeky and catchy refrain. Jake laughs, “When people’s parents find out we’re in a band, there’s always a groan of disappointment. We love what we do though. If we’re going to be fuck ups, we might as well be world class!”

On the flip side, “Broken Girl” explores a dysfunctional relationship and sees its architect get more personal than ever before within the lyrics. Everything fits that theme of Breaking The Model from the gritty electronic-sparked attitude to the plaintive and powerful melodies. All of the rules have effectively been broken.

“When we made this record, it seemed like there was a model in rock music everybody was trying to follow,” he sighs. “I kept getting in that same disagreement with people because I wasn’t interested in adhering to that. I wanted to do what inspired me. This is our mission statement. There’s no mold to fit anymore.”

The band has been on that path since day one though. Their 2010 debut Race You To The Bottom surpassed sales of 30,000 and the group churned out a Top 15 media base Active Rock single with the title track. Building up a sizable following, they’ve toured with everybody from Avenged Sevenfold, Hollywood Undead and Stone Sour to Shinedown and Halestorm, lighting up crowds everywhere. Signing to Imagen Records in 2014, their next phase is going to be the biggest yet.

Ultimately, Breaking The Model is everything New Medicine was always meant to be though. “I hope people appreciate that we pushed the envelope and didn’t make the same record twice,” he concludes. “We tried some new things, but we never lost our attitude or lost sight of where we came from. We want to make rock ‘n’ roll cool, young, dangerous, and exciting again.”