Pierce The Veil

When I last talked to these next boys in Pierce The Veil, it was at this summer'€™s Warped Tour which is an event that is both a love-hate relationship for me. It allows me to talk to some really talented bands yet it kind of makes it hard to catch those bands live that day. I was lucky enough to get that opportunity this time around with the band when we sat down again near the end of their next US club tour with Attack Attack, Emmure, Of Mice & Men and In Fear and Faith!
The boys have plenty of exciting things coming up be it their tour with Silverstein starting in early January to their tour with A Day To Remember and Bring Me The Horizon and we talked about it all! When I told the boys it would be my first time catching them live that night, we joked about what was to come and the show was great. The kids were incredibly into it in the crowd and the band is so high energy when it comes to their live show. Catch it on these upcoming tours for the band and read my exclusive interview with Jaime, Mike and Tony of the band below to hear all about what they'€™ll be doing!

Obviously a lot'€™s gone on for you since we talked at Warped. You guys just announced your newest tour which is insane with Bring Me The Horizon and A Day To Remember. How has it been, like with Selfish Machines coming out last June, how has that record been going over with kids?
Jaime: It'€™s been awesome. I'€™m Jaime by the way I don'€™t know if that matters. No, it'€™s been really, really awesome. Kids have been singing along. They know the songs since we started playing on Warped till now and this is like the first club tour since Warped so it'€™s kind of cool.
Mike: We were a little worried too, this is Mike, that we took so much time off to write and record the record that we weren'€™t sure if kids were really going to stick with us. I mean we know our true fans are always going to be there but just taking so much time off and then just coming back and having even more and more fans coming out to the shows is cool. It'€™s pretty intense! Right Tone?
Tony: Yeah. This is Tony by the way. Tony says yeah. I agree!
Jaime: Write that down!
Mike: Provolone!
Tony: Tony agrees!
Jaime: Provolone.

Perfect then how did Warped Tour end up going for you guys? I mean you barely take a break and you went to Australia.
Jaime: Oh it was perfect! Because really it was the first time playing the new songs in front of kids and that record was made for that exact reason. To play in front of kids. You know we went in writing a record like '€˜hey let'€™s write some songs that are fun to play live'€™ and they were (laughs)! I had a great time on Warped. It was hot, sweaty.
Mike: Warped was definitely the hottest, hardest tour a band can do.
Tony: Go from that and now we'€™re freezing out here. You can'€™t even go outside!
Mike: Yeah Australia, Japan was insane.
Jaime: They know how to party!
Mike: And then we got the next tour coming up with Silverstein and Miss May I. Probably going to be even colder and then A Day To Remember and Bring Me The Horizon!
Jaime: That'€™s just going to be sexy hot.
Mike: So pretty much we'€™re never gonna be home. Ever.
Tony: That'€™s when it warms back up, right?
Jaime: Hope so!
Tony: Otherwise that would suck for us!

That'€™s what I was going to ask you about. You'€™re always constantly touring and I know with the first release you were touring so much too and the situation is looking like you'€™re not stopping (Jaime holds the mic for me) Thank you (laughs!) that'€™s perfect. It seems to me like you'€™re non stop, how do you get through all these tours? Like what must you have on the road to survive?
Jaime: Nyquil!
Tony: We have an RV that just like provides everything we need. I mean we have bunks, we have space and on top of that like when we finally do get home we'€™re so used to doing this. We get back and after you'€™re there for like a day, you like get bored and you want to go do something. Like when I'€™m at home, I feel so useless. I just sit there. I don'€™t know what I'€™m supposed to do with myself.
Jaime: I think we'€™re at the point now where we'€™ve done this so much that we all know how everyone works and stuff so I think just our band and crew work together so well that we'€™re just like a big family.
Mike: I mean we do sometimes fight it out.
Jaime: We just box. Swedish box. Greco-roman wrestling.
Mike: Swedish box?
Jaime: That'€™s why I went to Greco-roman wrestling. I don'€™t know what Swedish boxing is (laughs).
(laughs) That'€™s perfect.
Jaime: And then Jaime does a weird dance (laughs).
Mike: No, I think our fans help us out a lot too. When we'€™re on the road, they bring us gifts every single day and that just makes it easier for us to keep on doing it.

Perfect and being that you have so much announced and happening for you guys and I'€™m sure there'€™s still more that'€™s coming for you guys, where do you want to be like in a year? Do you want to be on a headlining tour? What do you guys want to have going on?
Mike: Yeah I hope to be doing a headliner pretty soon. I mean we'€™ve only done one and it was so much fun.
Jaime: Hopefully we do it sooner then a year. We definitely need to do a headlining tour soon but yeah definitely playing arenas. Opening up for Linkin Park and U2.
Mike: Maybe we'€™ll let U2 open.
Jaime: Yeah maybe.
Tony: Hopefully in a year we'€™ll have made a quick mill.
Jaime: A quick mill.
Mike: Each have our own bus.
Jaime: I'€™m gonna have four Porsches.
Mike: I'€™ll have a plane. Can I borrow one of your Porsches? Our techs will have busses.

Then obviously you guys have toured your fair share. If you could take any three past bands to tour with today, you can be headlining or you don'€™t have to be headlining, who would they be like on a dream tour? Like three from your past.
Mike: That we have toured with?
That you have toured with.
Tony: I hate having questions like that out there because every other band is gonna be like '€˜Well Pierce The Veil didn'€™t say us.'€™
Jaime: I think honestly the tour that we'€™re about to do with A Day To Remember and Bring Me. Those guys have always been our friends and stuff. Especially with A Day To Remember. I remember playing shows with like you know just a hundred kids in a little teen center. Going that far back. It'€™s pretty surreal to see like these shows and how like massive they'€™re going to be. It'€™s going to be insane. Some of the rooms are-
Gigantic!
Jaime: Gigantic.
The one you'€™re playing in Worcester is huge. I don'€™t know if you guys have played the downstairs yet at the Palladium but it'€™s gigantic.
Mike: Chaos.
Jaime: Yeah Taste of Chaos we did there. But there were only like two hundred people there. We'€™ll see!
Mike: Add a couple thousand.
Jaime: I mean two thousand!

Then I have a question! Is it a co headlining tour with the two or is it A Day To Remember headlining?
Mike: A Day To Remember is headlining.
Tony: I heard it was a co-headliner but they'€™re not switching.
Jaime: It'€™s supposed to be co headlining.
But A Day To Remember will still play last every night?
Jaime: At the end yeah I think that'€™s what I heard. That'€™s what Dean told me.
Mike: I know we'€™re flip flopping.
With Romans (We Came As Romans)?
Mike: Yep!
Jaime: Mexicans verse romans. Who will come out on top? Doo de doo, doo doo dum!

Then what was like the first CD or the first cassette you bought as a kid?
Jaime: The first CD I bought was Mariah Carey. It was the one where they did the collab with Boyz II Men. Remember that song?
Tony: My first CD was '€˜Dude Ranch'€™ but my first tape was the Top Gun soundtrack. I remember I was really into that. I was so into it.
Mike: I remember having the tape of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony '€œE:1999'€. That was pretty intense for me. Cd? Tough one. Probably Guns and Roses.
Jaime: Those are all cool and then I have Mariah Carey. I actually bought, literally the next day, No Doubt'€™s '€˜Tragic Kingdom'€™.
Mike: Yeah, had that album.

And then the first concert you went to?
Jaime: Oh forget about it (Mike and Tony laugh)! I beat you guys straight up. My first concert, it was Korn, Powerman 5000 and Papa Roach.
And how old were you?!
Jaime: And it was sick! Oh I was like in sixth grade, seventh grade. It was like right when those bands were like coming out and it was just like insane. I had never been so into like a band before.
Mike: One of my first, like real, concerts I went to was when I was like probably fourteen. It was Blink 182 right when they released '€˜Dude Ranch'€™.
Tony: My first, well, I went to like little local shitty shows but my first one was probably the Warped Tour. I don'€™t even remember the line up back then.
Jaime: It was Limp Bizkit, Eminem.
It was that year (laughs)! The Eminem year.
Jaime: Crazy!

Then maybe what'€™s like the strangest thing you'€™ve seen at a show? Maybe on this past tour because I'€™m sure you guys see a lot of pretty wild things in your crowd. I haven'€™t seen you guys play live yet until tonight but I know the shows get pretty crazy.
Mike: Well tonight (before it happened) I saw the drum tech from Emmure come on stage half naked during our G6 part.
Tony: With a bottle of Hennessy.
Jaime: With a bottle of Hennessy yeah. That'€™s pretty intense! In San Diego, this is kind of funny, I had a shoe thrown at me in our own home town.
At your hometown show (laughs)?
Jaime: (laughs) Yeah! Here'€™s the best part. Hit me with the shoe and I was so like '€˜holy crap! I can'€™t believe I just got hit with a shoe.'€™ After the show like all my family was there and my friends were there, my friend comes up to me and he'€™s like '€˜Dude! That was me who threw the shoe and I'€™m so sorry! I didn'€™t mean to throw the shoe (band laughs). Someone hit me with the shoe and I just took it and threw it and apparently it hit you right in the chest!'€˜ Like it was my next door neighbor who came to the show and like has been one of my good friends since we were in fourth grade. That'€™s so sick! I was like '€˜haha that happened!'€™ There were two thousand kids there and you'€™re the one guy who throws the shoe. It'€™s unbelievable. Who throws a shoe?

And then your most recent video that came out for this record, '€˜Carapharenelia'€™, is a collaboration with Jeremy McKinnon who obviously you'€™re touring with so I'€™m sure you guys are working something out with that but how did that collaboration come about?
Jaime: When the song was getting written, there was a part that Vic had in mind that he wanted to have a screaming part that he didn'€™t think he could do justice. We'€™re always like trying to collab with as many people on tour like as possible so we just thought his voice was like perfect for that low scream. Like we had a demo of it and it was just like a weird sketch scream. We were like we gotta make it sound insane. He agreed to do it and it was awesome. Turned out really cool I think it makes the song that much better.
Tony: With that tour coming up, hopefully he gets up there and does it with us.
Jaime: My throat is getting so tired.
Wait, you do his part right now during the show?
Jaime: Yeah I do his part. I'€™m the screamer but I think I can give him the chance.

Then obviously not in the next few months because we all know what you guys are doing. We know you'€™re touring and stuff but for the next year, do you guys just plan on being on the road still constantly or are you going to write for the new record?
Mike: We'€™re trying to work out the plans right now because we don'€™t want to just keep touring and touring and then just forget writing.
I'€™m sure you guys don'€™t want to wait three years again.
Jaime: Slowly writing.
Mike: We'€™ll take a little bit of time off here and there to write but mostly it'€™s just going to be tour, tour, tour.
Jaime: Maybe make a music video. I don'€™t know!
You never know what'€™s going to happen.
Jaime: Get a down payment on a bus. Well, on Doug'€™s bus. Be so legit.
Well thank you so much!
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Mindless Behavior

Their tour just finished in which they also were a support-act for Justin Bieber. The band took some time to discuss their amazing tour, their single and yes naturally also their album. Maybe there is even a possibility for a collabo with Justin Bieber!

[Q]: First off, your single 'My Girl' has been released. What's the story behind the song?
A]: Ray Ray: The song my girl came about one day we were sitting with the head of our production company Walter Millsap & our writer Candice Nelson, we started talking about how when we get girlfriends we always text each other and say how much we like each other over and over so they came up with the song and it's a song that all kids can relate too, adults too I think because everyone now uses texting.

[Q]: In what way does the first single "My Girl" have to do with the album's title "#1 Girl"?
A]: Roc Royal: My Girl is basically how we would act once we found that #1 girl because when you find that special girl you want I would want to text her and she would text me all the time.

[Q]: What steps did you had to accomplish before getting signed up?
A]: Princeton: We were developed for two years by our management team Keisha Gamble and Walter Millsap before we got signed. We danced, practiced, performed and took vocal lessons for 8 hours everyday. We trained very hard to do this, but we love it so it's been worth it. We still do 8 hour rehearsals.

[Q]: What is your main goal to reach as a band?
A]: Princeton: As a band we'd like to sell millions of albums together, get into acting, win major awards, like a Grammy or an Oscar, and we're already planning our own Mindless Clothing line.

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?
A]: Prodigy: We usually start with an idea, or concept we talk to Walter about it and he and Candice Nelson who is an incredible writer brings our ideas to life. Eventually I would like to learn to produce as well because I love making beats. I bang on stuff all the time making beats.

[Q]: Last couple of months you have been releasing video shout outs to numerous girls. What is the idea behind this?
A]: Ray Ray: Yes our fans mean the world to us, so we like to do things to make them feel special and show them how much we appreciate their support so every week we choose 4 girls to be the my Girl of the week and we shout them out and send them gifts. It's a way to say thank you to them :)

[Q]: December 23rd was the last (official) concert. How was it? Any plans for more tourdates?
A]: Roc Royal: Being on the Justin Bieber tour has been amazing were had so much fun his fans welcomed us an our fans came out to support and have a good time Over all it was an awesome experience.

[Q]: During this tour you were support-act for Justin Bieber. How did that go?
A]: Princeton: Yes Justin Bieber is a great guy he gave us good advice encouraged us to have fun and made us feel very welcomed on the tour. It was great,the crowds were amazing and had lots of energy we loved it!!! Can't wait to do it again.

[Q]: What collaborations could your fans look out for in the future? Maybe a collabo with Justin Bieber??
A]: Ray Ray: A collab with Justin Bieber could happen that would be cool, also we'd like to collab with Willow Smith, Drake, or Kanye West all of these artist would be dream collaborations for us. :)

[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?
A]: Prodigy: a typical day for us would be we wake up have breakfast go to tutoring for 3 hours of schooling. Then to the physical-trainer or media training. After lunch we head off to rehearsal for 6-8 hours. Then we get ready for the show and do meet and greets but our schedule changes a lot depending on where we are. We study for another 2-4 hours before bedtime.

[Q]: Final words?
A]: Princeton: oWe just want everyone to know that Mindless Behavior is not just a band but a movement that anyone can be apart of, if your confident, not afraid to stand out or be different then your Mindless. Being Mindless is all about having the freedom to express yourself and that's what were doing through our music, art and fashion. So let's get Mindless and thanks for talking with us! Don't forget to check us out at mindlessbehavior.com for updates on all things MINDLESS :)
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Bellevoxx

The new talented band BelleVoxx have just released their new amazing single "I Miss You Like Crazy" after their first single "Looking For Love". Currently working on their debut album, which should be released in Spring 2011, they are talking about future collabo's and touring throughout USA. Raquel and Harmony took the liberty to answer a couple of questions about the band, single, their careers, and the description 'very heavy hitters'.

[Q]: First off, congratulations with your single 'I Miss You Like Crazy'. What's the story behind the song?
Raquel: Thank you!! It's amazing. "I miss you like Crazy" is a heartfelt and endearing song about a girl who may have the love of her life but can't give all of herself yet. She misses him but needs to spread her wings first. One day they'll reunite. That's the hope.

Harmony: The song was written by the incredibly talented Kara Dioguardi. We were all so honored to sing it. 'I Miss You Like Crazy' is a beautiful song that I feel many people can relate to, especially at Christmas time. A lot of people are away from their loved ones, and sometimes singing along with a song that you relate to is like therapy.

[Q]: When can we expect the full album? What can we expect from the album in comparison with your current singles?
Raquel: The full album is going to be a lot of fun. Probably in the spring for a release. Songs are still being written and we are exploring our lives and experiences in lyrics. It's going to be 100% BelleVoxx. The singles that are out are more light hearted. We are exploring other areas of our own lives that will contribute to our music. Love, pain, relationships, it's all about life experiences.

Harmony: We don't have a release date for the full album yet. We want to do it right because its our debut, and it has to be perfect. The album will be very versatile. We want to have a song for everyone..something that will fit into different people's likings. We've released two mid to slow tempo'd songs already, so the next single will show more of our "dance/club" vibe which im very excited about!

[Q]: Every member has been active in the music-bizz. How did you meet up and decided to the start a band together?
Raquel: I was in a group called The Valli Girls signed to Columbia/Sony a few years ago. I actually knew and worked with Frank Thomas before that so we've known each other for a while. He called me up and asked me if I'd be interested in a group. I wasn't sure at first but then I met harmony and I was in. Denisse joined us later and it was a perfect fit. They are amazing people and artists.

Harmony: I was signed as a solo artist to W2W Records. We were halfway through recording my album when Frank called me with the idea of starting a girl group. He said "Don't freak out when I ask you this" (which of course those words alone freaked me out haha), and continued on to say "what do you think about being a part of a group?". At first, I wasn't sure what I thought of it. I told him that I would do it as a side project to see where it went..that way, I wasn't putting all of my eggs into one basket. I met Raquel, and we instantly became best friends. Denisse joined later, and all three of us hit it off. I loved the dynamic sound we created as a power group, and so far everything has worked out pretty well for us :)

[Q]: What steps did you had to accomplish before getting signed up?
Raquel: We recorded a lot of songs and collaborated with very talented producers to accomplish a sound we all loved. Frank was instrumental in putting us all together. It just worked. He signed us right away.

[Q]: In what way is this musical step different from your former ones?
Raquel: I have been singing since I was 6 years old in my bedroom! Haha I loved Disney musicals so that helped shape a certain part of my voice. The Valli Girls was more pop rock. We are doing pop with r&b flare now and it just fits our voices. We blend really well together.

Harmony: I have had musical contracts before, but this has by far been the best experience. Being a solo artist compared to a group is very different. As a solo, all of the focus is on you, and you accumulate all of the success, whereas a group everything is shared. Vocals, work ethic, stage, money, and success are all examples of this. As of right now, I am happy to be in this group. Its great to have two people to hold hands with and pray before a performance, and hug those same two people when the performance is over and share the accomplishment of it.

[Q]: What is your main goal to reach as a band?
Raquel: We are more than excited to tour the world. I'm fascinated by different cultures. I would love to sing our songs to the masses worldwide. Let's do this! Also, longevity in this career is a rarity so that is the ultimate goal.

Harmony: We want to travel the world and touch people's hearts with our music and lyrics. We want to make a difference in the music industry. Obviously award achievements are in the ultimate goal..definitely winning "artist of the year"!!

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?
Raquel: Ideas are always the foundation for lyrics. It's all about finding that moment that you connect with and expanding on it.

Harmony: It varies. Sometimes the producer will create a track in which lyrics are formatted to after, however, it can go the opposite way as well. Sometimes I will have a themed idea for a song as well as the melody, and I will explain to the producer what im hearing..and even sing it so they understand where I want to go with it, then they create the music around that.

[Q]: Frank Thomas describes the band as "...very heavy hitters." In what way does Bellevoxx stand out of the crowd as 'heavy hitter' in music?
Raquel: We are so passionate about what we are doing. This business can be very unforgiving. To stay positive and connected as a group is the basis for our success. I know we have what it takes to reach a large audience and we are all more than determined to get there. It's about commitment, determination and good 'ol hard work.

Harmony: BelleVoxx can do it all. We like to sing songs for everyone's enjoyment, not just one. We keep things fun and funky, but are serious about our crafts, and strive to be the best. Usually in groups, you have lead singers..the difference with BelleVoxx is that you have three lead singers..we can all do everything..and that creates the power group.

[Q]: What collaborations could your fans look out for in the future?
Raquel: We are talking about that now so you'll have to wait and seeeeeeee!! I will say I would love to do something with Gwen Stefani one day. Wow.

Harmony: Can't give away our secrets yet ;)

[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?
Raquel: With BelleVoxx we are always on the go. Early mornings, rehearsals, vocals, recording. We do events here and there. When we're together it's like a little BV train. Go go go!

Harmony: I've been traveling all over the US. I havent been home in awhile. I wake up early, hop on a flight..travel..make an appearance in different cities, and fly again . BelleVoxx-wise: we get to the studio usually later in the evenings..learn new songs..create new songs..do tons of vocals on the track..rehearse together..choreography. Its a lot of fun though, and I wouldnt trade it for the world.

[Q]: Final words?
Raquel: "Looking for Love" and "I miss you like crazy" on iTunes and amazon now! We love to hear what people think so any comments are welcome, as long as you like me. Hahaha I kid I kid. Go team BelleVoxx!!

Harmony: If you liked "Looking for Love" and "Miss you like crazy", wait til our dance single comes out!! Get ready world..BelleVoxx has arrived. xoxo
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While She Sleeps

Fans of bands like Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon are sure to have heard maybe a little bit now about the newest band trying to break into the US While She Sleeps. They just dropped their debut record on November 22nd and are sure to start making their way over here soon! They'€™ve reached a great level of success back home including being at the level to even serve as main support for Attack Attack when they hit the UK after their current US tour and find themselves about to jump on their own European headliner this month!
Sharing the same home as Bring Me in Sheffield, they definitely will have to prove themselves but they seem to be up to the task and luckily I got the chance to sit down with Mat recently who plays guitar for the band where we talked about everything from their plans for 2011, how they went about writing the new record and some of their tour essentials!

Being a touring band, what would you say are your three top tour essentials?
Beer, Ciggs & Breakables.

How did While She Sleeps come to be?
5 dudes from school having way much fun to ever want a proper job.

Why While She Sleeps for the name?
Why not?

Your new record drops November 22nd and considering it's your first, how did the writing process go for this release?
It works out we recorded 12 seconds a day living in a cold barn over the period of 4 months, having no expectations where the record could be in the next year. Haha, it was messy but I think it reflects the lives we lived whilst recording.

Are there plans shaping up to possibly tour in the US soon in support of the release here?
We definatly want to bring the record over and tour in the states as soon as we can. Its a massive dream for all of us just to have the possibility of traveling half the way round the world due to something we made ourselves.

You've gained quite a large level of success in England and will be dropping your first US material like I said November 22nd. Going out on tours like your own headliner in December and heading out with Attack Attack, what are you most looking forward to from all of these shows?
Probably playing shows knowing that the record has been out for a few months and seeing the reception we get from the songs. Being back in our tiny van with 7 dudes smelling like shit, roughing it & being back on the road.

What's the wildest thing you've seen or experienced at one of your live shows?
Playing a floor show in a independent CD shop cafe in Glasgow and literally seeing people falling through tables and diving off booths. It was one of the best shows we've ever played. The messiest thing you can imagine but such intense atmosphere.

Bands like Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon have obviously had a strong cross over here in the states and are also from Europe with the same style of music. What are your hopes for your music in the US? Where would you like to be say a year from now?
Hopefully touring the country, seeing places we've dreamed of seeing and getting opportunities to do things we all never expected.

You've put out a music video for "Crows". If you were to take any track off your new record to do a video for, which would it be and why?
"The Truth". This track means a lot to all of us, its about your parents which is something anyone can reflect on. I think a video for it would make more sense of the song and give people a better understanding of what it's about
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Parachute

A while back, I got the chance to sit down with a band that while having their fair share of mainstream success are still the same boys that started Sparky'€™s Flaw back in high school. Parachute, who is currently signed to Mercury Records, put out the incredibly successful debut record '€œLosing Sleep'€ which led them to tour with some girl we know as Kelly Clarkson and much more. With a slew of hits from the record including '€˜She Is Love'€™ which got huge radio play along with '€˜She Is (Liz)'€™, '€˜Mess I Made'€™ and '€˜Under Control'€™, they gained a huge amount of fans and hopefully the success will continue with their sophomore record that will be dropping in early 2011 and have announced they'€™ll be back on the road with Plain White T'€™s in late January.
I'€™ve known about this band for a while but hadn'€™t had the chance to sit down for an interview yet so when I saw they were coming through Boston with Hot Chelle Rae, I jumped on the opportunity. I was able to sit down with the full band where we talked about both the goofy and the serious being what each member would be doing if they weren'€™t in Parachute to the serious where we talked in depth about the new record that they'€™ve been working on all summer for you!

This is a little goofy one but take the band mate sitting next to you. What would they be doing if they weren'€™t, maybe not necessarily in Parachute, but in music in general?
Johnny: I know exactly! Yeah, yeah, oh hey this is John Stubblefields and do I just keep going? Okay and to my left here is Alex Hargraves who is usually a bass player but if he were not a bass player or any musician or just anything like that, he would be probably a professional mountain bike designer and the first three bikes that he would build wouldn'€™t work at all but the fourth bike would be the most amazing bike in the world. It'€™d take him three tries but the fourth one would be the greatest thing ever. Everybody would be riding these bikes.
Nate: What kind is it?
Johnny: They pedal themselves.
Nate: That sounds just a little bit more like a motorcycle. I saw this kid riding on the street making a really loud noise and he was on a bike. He just stopped pedaling.
Kit: That'€™s awkward.
Nate: Swear it was one of those power bikes.
Johnny: Alright passing on.
Alex: This is Alex Hargraves. The character I will be-
Kit: I'€™m not a character, I'€™m a real person!
Alex: If you could see his hair right now, you would disagree. Thank god I'€™m talking to a microphone. Uhh he would be a pearl diver off the coast of the Caribbean somewhere. Oiled up skin-
Kit: So true.
Alex: Lovely locks just flowing in the wind. His skipper would be named Ramone. That'€™s about it! Alright, here you go Kit.
Kit: That was beautiful. This is the real Kit French talking and I'€™m going to be discussing what Will would be doing if he were not in the band. He would definitely be I think a two part thing. He'€™d be a pro golfer, well no, no he'€™d be like a semi pro golfer.
Nate: He'€™d show up to every tournament.
Kit: He'€™d show up to every tournament and he would be'€¦who did you play with in Tiger Woods golf?
Will: John Daly.
Kit: John Daly. He'€™d be John Daly'€™s best friend no doubt about that and then he would probably-. He'€™d pick up local sports caster shifts for the local news-
Johnny: Well he'€™d be out of the tournament so quickly he'€™d be able to cover for the rest of the tournament.
Will: It'€™s William Charles Anderson discussing Nathan McFarland. If I had to describe, if I had to guess what Nate would be doing first off he would be an angry old man. An angry man. He'€™d sit on the porch for the majority of the day yelling at little kids walking by. He'€™d probably be some type of history teacher. You know the cool history teacher trying to be cool. He'€™d play like '€˜300'€™ during class and hope that kids learned something from it but I guess he'€™d be a teacher of some sort as that is where he is gifted besides his little fingers. Here'€™s Nate!
Nate: This is Nate speaking-
Johnny: I forgot. Oh man I thought I got out of this.
Nate: If John was not in the band, outside of music, he'€™d probably be like just a total redneck on a farm. He'€™d be owning some land. He'€™d be driving around a Suburu in the city and he'€™d start a label and he'€™d try to sign Craig Morgan once Craig Morgan was done.
Johnny: There'€™s flaws in your deal man! You'€™re going to need to change and come over to my label.

Perfect, now to get a little more to the serious questions. It'€™s been a while since you guys have been back on the road but I know you'€™ve been recording the new record and keeping busy. How have these shows been like being back out with the kids and playing?
Johnny: Sure feels good! It feels good being back.
Will: Johnny can handle this one.
Johnny: Oh okay. Yeah it was a blast making the record all summer but you know towards the end of it you definitely do get sick of just being in a box playing music to nobody. So it'€™s good to be almost complete and out on the road playing for some folks now and road testing new songs. Yeah, it'€™s exciting!

Then is the record finished? Is it still in progress? What'€™s going on?
Nate: Yes! We'€™re going to do a couple more songs.
Will: Out in 2011. This is William Charles Anderson. Out in Los Angeles with Mr. John Fields who'€™s been working on it with us. We have ten songs done. Probably going to do a couple more and finish up some of the older songs that we'€™ve been working on and then yeah pick the ones that go on the record out of that. Some bonus tracks but yeah it should be done, it'€™s basically done, very soon and it will be completely done.

Then do you guys have an idea of when it'€™s going to come out? Is it like 2011?
Will: Yeah definitely 2011 release. The first single'€™s going to come out in December so everybody can hear it then for sure and then the record we'€™re still shooting for a February release or something close to that. We have a date in mind but it will probably change.

That always happens and then how do you guys normally go about writing? I know this is the original band?
Kit: Ish.
Will: Ish. Basically.
Nate: It'€™s just me I'€™m the only one who'€™s not.
Will: The original Parachute. Nate joined us in college but yeah I usually write the songs and then this last record was a little different since when we started writing for it, we were in Europe. So there'€™s a lot of writing I was doing in the van. A lot of it on a computer in a lot of hotel rooms which is unusual for me.
Johnny: And there'€™s no real drums on there.
Will: Yeah the whole album. No drums. It'€™s all the ones that I use.
Johnny: I use mountain drums.
Will: But then we got together at the beginning of the summer and kind of went over all of the songs and picked which ones we wanted to record. We had like twenty five ideas. Either fully formed songs or good ideas that could have been fully formed and then we just picked them. Fourteen out of those that we wanted to record and stuff.
Johnny: Make it an astounding number. Say we whittled it down from two thousand.
Will: We whittled it down from two thousand songs to about fifteen so we really only wanted the best. I was on a spree for three months. I was writing about ten songs a day for three months.
Nate: That still doesn'€™t equal out.
Will: Yeah no.

And then you guys have toured a lot since the beginning. Out of who you'€™ve toured with, who would be like your dream collaboration?
Nate: A dream tour? Oh I'€™m sorry a dream collaboration.
Will: I think Kelly.
Nate: Yeah it would be, it'€™s hard because we only can pick one. It would be fun to do a duet with Ms. Clarkson who we'€™re all big fans of.
Kit: Dolly Parton..but we'€™ve never met her.
Nate: I'€™d like to get a little edge from U2.
Alex: We'€™ve never played with them.
Nate: Wow I missed the question.
Johnny: Oh my god we would need somebody who could actually slay guitar instead of this fool who doesn'€™t pay attention over here. I don'€™t even have an answer let'€™s stick with Kelly Clarkson man. Oh that would be awesome. I have at least three songs in mind that I'€™d like to do with Kelly Clarkson.
Will: One of them is called '€˜Since You'€™ve Been Gone'€™.
Johnny: And the other one is called '€˜Avocado'€™.
Alex: '€˜Since You'€™ve Been Back'€™.
Johnny: (singing) While you were gone!
Nate: That'€™s so bad. This interview is going down the tube I just burped into the microphone. I'€™m sorry! Alright!

Now where'€™s the strangest place you guys have found inspiration, maybe not just necessarily writing a song but like for a title or a cover?
Will: I got you (after catching the microphone as it was thrown). I'€™d say the strangest place I wrote a song was in the middle of St. Petersburg, Russia. As a result of listening to Bene Des music which is like a afro funk style and it was really weird listening to that kind of music and then being in Russia and somehow this song came out of it. It'€™s a great song in my opinion but it just was very weird to write a song about breaking up with somebody when I wasn'€™t broken up with anybody in a style that was totally literally exact opposite of the place I was actually in. So very cool how that worked but very strange indeed.

And then this is like the dream tour question. Doesn'€™t have to be bands you'€™ve toured with?
Will: Okay got it. Alright, we'€™ll each do one. Weezer!
Kit: She said only three.
Will: Oh we'€™ll do five! Weezer!
Big tour!
Nate: Yeah big tour. Package tour!
Will: Some hippy band.
Nate: Yeah. Arcade Fire!
Will: I wouldn'€™t stick around.
Johnny: The Killers. When they get back together.
Alex: Wilco.
Kit: U2!

Perfect and then maybe not on the road because I'€™m sure you'€™ve seen plenty of crazy things but what'€™s the wildest thing you'€™ve seen at one of your shows? Like in the crowd maybe?
Will: There was a dude the other night in New York who was crazy. He was just signing along.
Johnny: He wasn'€™t from around there, he was foreign! Where was he from? I talked to him after! Was it the guy going '€œPARACHUUUUUUUTE'€?
Will: He was a cool bro but he was crazy. He'€™s awesome.
Nate: He was very nice. I'€™m not even going to guess what country he'€™s from because I don'€™t want to offend an entire country.
Johnny: This guy was bizarre though. Big fan.
Will: Parachuuuuuuuute.
Kit: Ay ya ya.

Then maybe personally for this one, what'€™s your favorite song to play live?
Johnny: Um-
Off the old album to maybe not leak anything.
Will: Yeah!
Johnny: Okay! I love playing '€œShe'€ parentheses Liz. That'€™s a grooving tune!
Alex: I'€™m going to have to go with '€œBack Again'€ because it'€™s coming around back again.
Kit: '€œBack Again'€ is a great tune. It'€™s got, for me, all the parts.
Will: Sax solo is what you'€™re trying to say.
Kit: Sax solo is what I mean.
Will: Hmm I would say '€œGhost'€.
Nate: I would also say '€œGhost'€.

Alright then you guys have done a lot of stuff. You'€™ve played in Time Square a while ago which was crazy on the New Year'€™s Eve special, you played arenas. What'€™s been like the biggest moment for you? Like your favorite moment?
Will: Wembley.
Nate: Like Wembley, London. Scratch that off the list of places I want to play.
Johnny: To be able to yell '€œHello Wembley!'€.
Will: Exactly.
Johnny: Check. Oh the kids there were nuts. Like it felt like were in a little club. Like the energy of a little club but there were a lot more people in the little club.
Will: Yeah, we'€™d like to do it again. Headlining.
Headlining Wembley. Next month!
Will: And we'€™re gonna!
Johnny: And Kelly Clarkson will be opening for us.
Will: JK Kelly.
Nate: Jk!

What can fans look forward to with in these next few months? Are you going to be back on the road?
Will: Ooh yeah! We'€™ll be out! We'€™re doing another tour in January with a band TBA. Let'€™s just say it'€™s going to be a great package bill. Co headlining tour so we'€™re back out in January and February .You'€™ll get the new single in December, finish the record after the tour so lots to look forward too!
Well thank you so much!
All: Thank you!
Will: That was a fun interview.
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NeverShoutNever

So here at Music Remedy, I'€™ve been able to steadily keep up with Never Shout Never be it at Warped tour to their headlining slot on the AP tour to most recently The Harmony Tour which is where our new interview took place. Along with talking to Chris, I'€™ve also had the opportunity to talk to several of the band members including Taylor, Hayden and Nathan and through all of this I'€™ve realized something. Never Shout Never is one of the most down to earth, if not the most, band I'€™ve met and interviewed.

They are one of the only bands who are really in this to just do what they love and get to write some sweet songs and through our time with the band we'€™ve seen them go from '€œWhat Is Love'€ to '€œHarmony'€ and spend some time with some of the biggest crowds on Warped Tour this summer! This time around, we talked about everything from what the boys would be doing if they weren'€™t in this band to Chris'€™s spots where he gets the most inspired to what he really cares about. We'€™ve been lucky and incredibly grateful for our time with this band and hope to continue to watch them grow and talk to them through out this time! Read on for our latest and hope you enjoy it! The band has wrapped up the Harmony tour but they will be out on the road for a few dates in January so far and will be working on their new record very soon!

Since we last talked, you guys obviously did all of Warped Tour and now you'€™re doing this (The Harmony Tour) pretty much right away. It'€™s a little goofy to start but what would you say are like your three top things you guys must have with you to survive a tour?
Hayden: Three top things we what?
Three top things you must have on tour!
Chris: Okay! My top three things would have to be sunflower seeds, my iPad and my guitar!
Hayden: I guess my top three things would have to be my cigarettes-
Chris: I forgot that one.
Hayden: Gosh, my music equipment. Well make that a guitar there has to be a guitar and I need my shampoo and my body wash. Got to take showers!
Nathan: My three top things would have to be a practice pad, sticks. That'€™s one entity and then coffee and my computer.

And then I know you all are very serious about music, but what do you think you would be doing if you weren'€™t in music?
Nathan: I'€™d probably would have done the whole drum corps college music thing honestly.
Chris: I would have wandered the world.
Hayden: Probably be working on my ping pong career and getting really good at that. I don'€™t think anybody can beat me but no really I would seriously try to go with my ping pong career.

Since we last talked, I had a quick question at Warped but it was just about Harmony and thinking it was very different from '€˜What is Love?'€™. How has it been going over?
Chris: I don'€™t know.
Because it is different. I know you had talked about '€˜What is Love'€™ in that way.
Chris: I think it'€™s been going pretty good. I mean it'€™s just another album. We'€™re going to put out more you know what I mean.
Yeah you had said like two a year.
Chris: Yeah it'€™s just another album. Not really anything to talk about on it.

Then you said the new record was more for the fans. I listened to a bit of the older material from when you first started but has it always been a tinge folky then?
Chris: Not really I mean it started out on my acoustic but it was kind of because in garage band, I only had acoustic and then I would add other instruments in on that. I don'€™t know, I'€™ve always tried to keep it kind of acoustic based. I mean that could mean folky but yeah kind of folky I guess. I don'€™t know it'€™s hard to explain.
And then like you said last time, you'€™re always writing so I'€™m assuming a new record is probably coming from you with in the new year?
Chris: Yeah we'€™re going to try to do it early like next year and then put it out in like the spring or something.

Then what would you say is like the strangest place any of you have found inspiration? Like for a part of the music? Like from a comment some one made or a place you were at?
Chris: Hmm I think the greatest place for me was my old attic. Whenever I lived in my parents house, I lived in the attic and it was the most bad ass place ever. It had like three rooms but it wasn'€™t finished and we had to put like gears up there. Yeah that was probably my most creative spot in my life. It'€™s hard to be that creative, it'€™s hard to be creative with out like a solitude you know what I mean. Whenever you'€™re on the road, eighty percent of the year you'€™re on this bus and there'€™s no way to get in your element you know what I mean so the songs I write on the road are pretty alright but I like the ones I write when I'€™m at home in like my comfort spots.

Then actually I just found out today that you announced a little run of club shows.
Hayden: Yeah like five dates in January.
Are you excited to go back to that? I know you'€™ve been in these big places for a while, excited to get back home?
Chris: Umm I'€™m down for whatever. I just go with the flow. I don'€™t really think about anything that'€™s booked or care about anything except writing songs and living a good life.

And then I actually talked to Modsun a few weeks ago-
Chris: Nice!
And he told me that he'€™s worked with you a lot and is good friends with you.
Chris: Mmhmm!
Obviously he does something a little different with the hippy hop side of it so if you could collaborate with like anyone, who do you think they would be? It doesn'€™t have to be your style obviously.
Chris: I think collaborating with Modsun would be sick. We like reggae music so we could make some reggae. He could bust out some flow. We were talking about doing it for a while but I don'€™t know. We'€™ve just been really busy. Hate being busy.

So once again last time, we had all these predictions of how you wanted Warped to go because it was your first time around. How did it end up going for you? I mean you guys had some pretty big crowds with so many different types of music!
Chris: Nathan, do this one!
Nathan: Sorry, say that question again? I like spaced out.
Chris: I caught ya, dude (laughs)!
(laughs) Being on Warped Tour, you guys are obviously something different on a tour that has bands like Bring Me The Horizon and Attack Attack to Motion City Soundtrack so how did that tour end up going for you guys? I know you had some pretty big crowds!
Nathan: Umm it went well. We stood out I think as a band because we were different but overall I think everyone seemed to bond with everyone even if they were different genres and different music. We kind of all just came together you know and it was a pretty good experience. Yeahh!

So over the past few years obviously you'€™ve gotten to a point where you'€™re playing the House of Blues same as last time. You'€™re playing all different kinds of music and have come so far from just being known around your town. Are you happy to have gotten to this point, do you really not care? It'€™s just about writing the songs?
Chris: I mean I kind of on and off care. Usually for about three months I'€™ll care and then for about six months I won'€™t care. But really, all it comes down to is music. You know what I mean it'€™s just music. That'€™s the way I look at it. Music'€™s great but I don'€™t want it to rule my life. You know I want to live like a fun life. I have my girlfriend back home so I just want to chill with her. Chill with my family and not let it like rule my life. Like move out to LA and fucking turn into like a rock star you know what I mean. I think that would suck!
You think that would suck?
Chris: Yeah.
Well thank you so much! I really appreciate it.
Chris: Of course!
I know your time is precious!
Chris: No, not really (laughs)!
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Paul Avion

Just one more day, December 7th, before Paul Avion releases his full-length album 'R U With Me'. I had the chance to talk to Paul and discuss his life, music, Africa and his love for 'pataphor'. Yes, what the heck is a pataphor? Well, that is one thing Paul will explain in this very open-hearted interview. After the interview the album title 'R U With Me' will be a lot more personal then you ever could imagine.

Jermy Leeuwis/MusicRemedy [Q]: First off, your album 'R U With Me' is coming out. What's the story behind the album?

Paul Avion [A]: The song "R U With Me" is a prayer. Spirituality of some kind (any kind) has been a big part of the last few years of my life. I also like quantum mechanics, so some of this stuff ends up in songs, for better or worse.

It's also about what the gurus call "duality." Our life is an endless pattern of high and low moods, based on things that happen to us, because the world is split into things we like and dislike: good and bad events that make us happy or sad. When we find the divine, in the form of meditation or prayer, theoretically we become free of the world's ability to tug us around, because there's only the spiritual there. It's also a song about death ("at the end of the show"), and forgetting the trivia of the world to focus on the spiritual, however you perceive that to be. For some people it's a god.

I was listening to a lot of ELO earlier this year, so I gave it kind of a sci-fi adventure twist. That was the idea, anyway.

[Q]: You released three albums before going national. What did you have to do to go national with your new album?

[A]: Money. I saved for at least couple of years, living as close to the bone as possible (my apartment at Sunset Junction is 200 square feet, for example, which means it's basically a bedroom with an attached kitchen. Although it beats the place I was in before, near the Silverlake Lounge, which was a 100-sq. foot room with a bed and a stove side-by-side, no kitchen. I'd make Tang using water from the bathtub, which ... just felt wrong. Although I was so excited to be in LA, they were still good times.)

But even that wasn't enough to do all the things you really need to do: hire a PR and radio promotion company, not to mention the price of recording, manufacturing, mastering and shipping. Postage alone to mail the CDs to radio was $550; imagine that! My bank actually froze my debit card after I left the post office, and I had to call them and let them know it was me who bought the $550 worth of stamps.

But two years of savings wasn't quite enough; the deciding factor was the passing of my grandmother last year, who was in her 90s. She left me just enough money that, when combined with my savings, finally gave me enough to release the record.

There's a saying in LA that most of the successful musicians here are trust fund kids, and I always though that was an exaggeration. And there certainly are successful musicians whose parents aren't doctors or lawyers or whatever. And all the money in the world won't buy you success. But after this, I see the point so clearly, and it's sad.

The good news for me is, after recording and releasing stuff to pretty much no one for so long, I finally was able to release something to a wider audience. Unfortunately for me, the money's pretty much gone now, so it means back to looking for some kind of job, and now it's a recession. But I'm not too worried.

All I really need nowadays is a candle that smells like firewood, a walk, some prayer, and maybe this stray cat I recently rescued. By necessity, my needs have gotten pretty simple. But it's also meant a lot of freedom, for better or worse.

[Q]: What is with you and 'pataphor'?

[A]: Haha, something I made up, I can't quite remember how. Wait, it's coming back to me. I visited Spain when I was a kid and saw a surrealist play called Ubu Rey by Alfred Jarry. I bought a book about Jarry and read about "'pataphysics," which is a concept he invented that's "as far from metaphysics as metaphysics is from reality." The gist is it's kind of an intriguing joke: you can see it as a parody, but it also describes a sketchy conceptual universe that's parallel to our own, with metaphysics as the in-between.

One night I had a dream with a character called "Dr. Hugged-Too-Late", which I thought was a funny name, so I wrote a story where Dr. Hugged-Too-Late was describing 'pataphysics to Jaal Walsh, a raccoon-like spacefarer character I'd come up with as a kid.

"Pataphors" just sort of evolved as I was writing the story.

I seem to remember sitting at my Dad's computer and writing it while listening to Steely Dan's Can't Buy a Thrill over and over. So there are some references to that album's lyrics in the story.

There! That's more than you ever wanted to know about me, 'pataphysics, or my sleep patterns.

[Q]: Did you manage to get a couple of pataphors on your album? If so, could you point us in the right direction, or is your entire album a pataphor (including its title)?

[A]: No, but that's a good idea!

To be honest I was trying to keep the pataphor thing separate from the music for a long time. I figured it was just confusing (and probably is).

But then I saw Devendra Banhart, who I like (I only know his music because he's from the 'hood) has his visual art on his website, so I thought: "Well, maybe I can do that, too."

[Q]: What is your main goal as an artist?

[A]: I guess to be a "sound explorer" like Joni Mitchell.

So often people listen to just one (maybe two) of my songs and say "Oh, Paul Avion sounds like Belle & Sebastian / fill-in-blank."

The funny thing is, I'm almost completely ignorant about modern music, and I've still never heard 1 song by Belle & Sebastian, for example. They must have similar influences. I only listen to older music: the Beatles, Dylan, Elvis Costello, Serge Gainsbourg, Joni Mitchell, Jobim, ELO, Leonard Cohen, etc.

Very occasionally I go to YouTube to listen to a song by a modern artist, out of curiosity, but that's rare. I don't listen to the radio or watch TV, so I'm woefully ignorant about pop culture. I still don't know who Kanye West is, for example, or lots of other people: they're just names I see.

I think of myself, for better or worse, as an old-school songwriter, like Bacharach, Jobim or Leonard Cohen, but with less talent.

The point is, I like to write songs, and to me a good song is one that, when you strip all the production away, could be played on an acoustic guitar in front of a campfire, and people would dig it.

That's how I want my songs to be, and that's how I'd like R U With Me to be viewed, as a collection of songs, not as a trendy, one-trick-pony style-statement.

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?

[A]: Fortunately I get a lot of songs from dreams, which is helpful. I keep a tape recorder by my bed. They come in waves: I'll have practically nothing for 6 months, then suddenly a bunch night after night, probably because I'm not sleeping well.

"Henry Sage" was a song I heard a dream, and so was "R U With Me": actually that was two dreams I smushed together. Other songs from dreams were "Menage," "OIe," "Stand Up Be a Man," and "Stop Joseph Kony".

Songs while awake were "Slow and Steady," "Gentle Mary," and "Mombasa".

[Q]: You travelled/moved quite a lot. Which move changed you the most as a person and your music?

[A]: Paris showed me there was no such thing as escape. Just like Hemingway said in The Sun Also Rises: "Going to another country doesn't make any difference. You can't get away from yourself by moving to another place. There's nothing to that.'"

I read that but somehow didn't believe it. I always thought if I moved to France I would be free: of myself, my shy tendencies, even of music. I would live in some magic world with lots of friends and total freedom from stress, maybe become a cheese maker on a farm.

In France, for the first time I realized moving doesn't change anything. I was the exact same person who feels uncomfortable about the exact same things, and on top of it there was less sun than LA.

So I moved back and started focusing on changing the inside, which is something that's still ongoing, though I'm finally seeing some progress.

[Q]: One of the places you moved to was Africa. Naturally, Africa is not the only place with slums (i.e., India, even the USA, etc...). Why did you choose to give attention to the Africa's slums and not their economic growth and wellness?

[A]: For some reason I've been Googling pictures of the Kibera slum for some years, and I finally wanted to see it first-hand. My Dad's from Ecuador (my Mom's Scots-Welsh, "the more you know"), and I would go to South America as a kid to see my paternal grandparents and see these kids everywhere with no shoes, selling candy.

It's always interested me how people in the United States have such a different idea of poverty and problems than the rest of the world. And it's not that we don't have problems and poverty here: of course we do. But in the majority, what people perceive as "poverty" in this country ("I live in a one-story house!" / "make $20,000 a year!") is absurd.

And the real irony is, our wealth obsession makes so many of us less happy than many of our African counterparts.

The place I lived in Kenya had no toilet seat, water and electricity were off frequently, no hot water capability, and roaches everywhere. (Deeper in the slums there's no plumbing or electricity at all.) Outside people burn their trash, and a little further in, go to the bathroom in plastic bags and throw them in the street or (if you're lucky) in a ditch. Kids walk on all of this sewage with no shoes. Carts sell decayed food covered in flies. (And if you don't believe me, see the vids on my site.)

When I got back, everything seemed beautiful.

Ideally, I'd like to see more gratitude here at home, and help inspire Africans and the US government to demand more from African governments, who are the root of Africa's problems.

And to grumpy people (I hear this a lot) who say: "Wait, we need to help Americans!" I say: "I agree." "Help" isn't a mutually exclusive proposition.

We need to help everyone. Pick your cause -- here or abroad -- and get busy.

People who say "We need to help Americans, not Africans!" are generally people not doing anything for either group. Folks helping Americans have too much heart, and don't have time, to make comments like that.

[Q]: What is your current location? Any future moving-plans?

[A]: I am back in Silver Lake / Sunset Junction, though the crime here is a little bad, so I'd like to move to Eagle Rock, which is nearby and has a nice, small town feel. Unfortunately I got tired of sleeping on a single mattress on the floor and just used the last of my money to buy a decent bed for myself, so I now I realize I'd have to move that, and I hate moving. So ...

[Q]: What collaborations could your fans look out for in the future?

I can name a dozen artists I'd like to collaborate with, from Devendra Banhart to Jenny Lewis, Giant Drag, Elvis Costello, or even Joni Mitchell or Paul McCartney, if I wanted to go nuts in fantasyland. But I'm guessing it's going to be just me for awhile longer.

[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?

[A]: Get up, feed the rescued stray (hope she doesn't scratch me), go to IKEA for breakfast, then maybe walk around the zoo or Target, come home, do any promo work that needs to be done (endless list that takes until evening), prayer / meditation (I suck at meditating, very good at prayer), then put in a movie and fall asleep.

Soon it'll be back to commute / office temp / commute back, sleep. I'm ready.

[Q]: Final words?

[A]: I'm grateful, man. Just grateful.
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The Downtown Fiction

There are a few handfuls of bands that I have been lucky enough to steadily keep up with across the musical spectrum from screamo to boy bands to pop rock and one of those bands that we'€™ve been able to keep up with is The Downtown Fiction. Our first time around when we talked to Cameron was just this summer at Warped Tour and we did a quick run down of everything Warped along with their new record!

Then just this past month, we had the chance to sit down with both Cameron and David hours before they hit the stage in Boston and we learned a few things be it what actually was wrong with Cameron'€™s vocal chords, when we can expect the full length album and some of their first tastes of music be it their first concert and record! The boys actually just put up their '€œDouble EP'€ for preorder as well which isn'€™t new material but it is all of their EP'€™s on one CD for easy access? Pick that up if you'€™re new to the band or a long time fan to keep you held over to their first full length which will be dropping at the latest Spring of 2011!

Take the person next to you so David, you would do this for Cameron and he would do it for you. What would they be doing if they weren'€™t in music?
David: What do I think he would be doing? Probably being in school like we all would.
Cameron: He would be a professional skate boarder.
David: Yep.

Perfect then last time we talked was at Warped. You were only on it for a few days but how did it end up going for you?
Cameron: It was great. It was exhausting though because we were doing it in a van and when you'€™re not in a bus, it'€™s pretty rough. The drives are long and the load ins are early so there'€™s not really any time to actually sleep but it'€™s only a test of endurance. We'€™re happy that we made it through barely but yeah it was a great experience and you know every kid, like in a band in our age group, has like revered the Warped Tour. I'€™m sure just like a million others it'€™s been our dream to play Warped Tour so it was really cool.

And then you had also said the album was in progress, the full length at least. At the time you said early 2011. Is that still the plan or is it going to be a little longer?
Cameron: Yeah 2011 definitely. It'€™s going to be-
David: Probably closer to Spring.
Cameron: Yeah Spring. Looks like it.

And then maybe where'€™s the strangest place you'€™ve found inspiration like where were you, was it for a song lyric, song title?
Cameron: I mean I won'€™t go into specifics but some of the strangest things are just things that friends say that kind of inspire a weird lyric. I don'€™t know, I mean just life happens and you write about it. Usually life is pretty strange so it'€™s pretty easy (laughs).

Then the last physical material you put out was the EP '€œBest I Never Had'€ and it'€™s been out for a while now. I think it came out in March, late March just about. How has it been going over maybe not just by sales but you guys have been touring. You were on Warped Tour for a reason obviously you had to miss out on the last Stereo Skyline tour but how has it been going?
David: I think it'€™s been awesome because we put this out so long ago and it'€™s still had a lot of life. Like it'€™s just these six songs but we'€™ve really been able to push them for a while now.

Then maybe what'€™s your favorite song to play off that EP right now?
David: '€˜I Just Wanna Run'€™ definitely. So much energy.
Cameron: And kids really respond to it. They'€™ve been getting into it so it'€™s always fun to close with a song like that.

And then I know right before the Stereo Skyline tour, you had to get throat surgery, Cameron. What was going on with that like you had to skip the tour?
Cameron: Yeah I got, thankfully it wasn'€˜t too bad, but I got a polyp which is an irritation on your vocal chords and the doctor said it was from being sick and touring while being sick so that was a bad idea and I'€™m trying to avoid being sick at all costs when I'€™m touring. Or else, it could bring back the problems but I'€™m fine now. I'€™m totally fine. I'€™m better than ever actually (laughs).

Good and then you put out the video for '€œI Just Wanna Run'€ not too, too long ago. I believe it'€™s your first one, if you were to take another track out of the music you'€™ve put out so far what would the song be and why?
Cameron: I think we would do something like '€œBest I Never Had'€. I think we just all like the song and I think it would make a good one. The music just kind of lends itself to a video but I'€™m not sure if we'€™ll have an opportunity to make another video for the EP but certainly for the record.

And then maybe what'€™s the strangest thing that has happened at one of your shows? Not necessarily wild because that could be a lot of things obviously!
Cameron: One time on tour, we were willingly-
David: Tasered on stage.
Cameron: Tasered ourselves.
What?!
Cameron: One of the dudes who worked for another band we were touring with at the time had a taser and we decided it was a funny idea to have him come up and taser us on stage. We did it, we manned up.

Crazy and then maybe not necessarily a dream tour like any three bands but if you could take out maybe three past bands you'€™ve toured with to be on a dream tour, who would they be?
David: I'€™d say definitely like Amely. These are like bands we'€™ve toured with?
Yeah bands you'€™ve toured with in the past like a dream package tour.
David: Just like Amely-
Cameron: Great Big Planes. They'€™re some really cool dudes. Yeah we haven'€™t done that much touring and most of the touring we'€™ve done are with bigger bands so we wouldn'€™t want to say that we would take them out. It would be them taking us out.
Yeah that may not work too well.

Perfect then maybe what was the first concert you went to as a kid? Like obviously there'€™s a lot of kids out in line waiting for you to play and it may be their first concert.
David: I don'€™t remember.
Cameron: Really?
David: Yeah. I literally don'€™t remember.
Cameron: (laughs) Well, what was one of your first?
David: Uh, probably Coldplay I think was one of the first big ones.
Cameron: For me, not that I really remember it but I think when I was like four years old my parents took me to see the Rolling Stones.
Nice!
Cameron: Yeah that was a pretty good first show. Not bad.
No, not bad at all!

Then maybe what was the first CD you bought and do you think it has any influence on like what you guys are doing today? Like your style of music!
David: I think the first CD I ever bought was maybe like Relient K. It was like their first album and definitely yeah! We'€™re like that sort of pop rock and I mean they had a lot of cool bass stuff on there so that definitely influenced my bass playing.
Cameron: The first record I distinctly remember buying was '€œEnema of The State'€ by Blink 182 and that'€™s been a huge inspiration. Continued to be an huge inspiration on our song writing and yeah I think a lot of credit has to go to Blink 182. For like a lot of bands in our genre.

Perfect and then the last one. I know you talked about the record in 2011 but do you think you'€™re going to do more touring before the release, maybe taking a little break, what'€™s going to be going on?
Cameron: I think we'€™re going to have a little time off at the end of this year in December.
Yeah like the holidays.
Cameron: And January but I'€™m pretty sure-
David: Probably touring.
Cameron: We'€™ll be touring a lot more. Even before the record comes out.
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California Swag District

When you take a look at me, I may not be your typical bet to be covering hip hop and r&b but as of late I'€™ve taken chances which has allowed me to be able to interview several of the top up and coming acts today in this genre. One of those groups? Cali Swag District who are becoming more and more known everyday due to their success with '€œTeach Me How To Dougie'€ and their brand new single '€œKickback'€. C Smoove, Yung, M-Bone and JayAre have already reached over eighteen million views on you tube for '€˜Dougie'€™ alone along with having the backing of Capitol Records! Along with the you tube success, they will be dropping their first full length record in early 2011 along with hitting the road on a headlining run in January to start off their year!

We were able to catch up with the full band where we talked about everything from their dream tour line ups to their craziest place they'€™ve found inspiration to their first musical experiences. Keep your eye on this band and in this section of the website because this group has definitely whet my appetite to bring you more of this kind of coverage! We'€™ve also sat down recently with Starshell and Far East Movement so look for those interviews soon as well!

If you could head out on a dream tour with any three bands that are current, who do you think they would be?
C Smoove:My dream tour would be Drake, E-40 and Michael Jackson!
Yung:This is Yung speaking and my dream tour would be Nicki Minaj, Monica and Keyshia Cole.
JayAre: Nicki Minaj and Ludacris.
M-Bone:Eminem, Ludacris, Chris Brown. That'€™s it!

Being a relatively new project, how did you all come together as a group?
We live in the same city. Minutes away from each other so we knew each other at school.

'€œTeach Me How To Dougie'€ has become a huge hit all over the country. How has that felt for you guys?
It'€™s honestly a blessing like to see the song grow. We'€™ve been watching all ethnicities doing it, kids all over in the country and even in other countries. We'€™ve been able to see it all over the place like we'€™re here in New York today and we see it here, to see it in Chicago doing it and we'€™re all the way back home in Cali. To see everyone out here doing it, it'€™s just crazy. Oh and this is Yung speaking

What affect do you think the internet has had on your success. Like posting things on you tube, using your myspace?
JayAre speaking. It'€™s dope because I mean we brought it to The NBA. It'€™s just crazy and wild. Once one person is doing it, everybody is doing it. It'€™s just like a disease.

Where'€™s the strangest place you'€™ve found inspiration be it for anything from a song lyric to a song title?
C Smoove: I think I can speak for everybody here with this. We were in Harlem and we talked to Dougie Fresh. We had a long conversation and he taught us a few things about the game that we definitely didn'€™t know before. He is the creator of the Dougie, with out him there wouldn'€™t be a dance. He'€™s a visionary for us.

What was the first CD/cassette you bought and what was the first concert you went to?
JayAre: My first concert was Janet Jackson with my mom and my CD was a Tonic album.
C Smoove:My first album was Nelly'€™s Country Grammar and my mom didn'€™t want me to play it in front of my little brother. First concert was Etta James was also with my mother (the full band laughs).
Yung: First CD was? What was the first CD? I don'€™t really remember. I think it was 50 Cent '€œGet Rich or Die Trying'€. I went to a Prince concert, just playing. It was a Nickelodeon concert! (laughs) It was nuts and I even think it was like Backstreet Boys supporting.
M-Bone:I think my first CD was Dr. Dre and honestly I think my first concert was really actually me like our band performing.

Do you think either has an influence on what style of music you'€™re doing today?
Yung: 50 Cent influenced me in like business. Like to do better business because with his music he has a good business mentality and he knows what he'€™s doing and what he'€™s talking about and that'€™s something that I want to know about too.
C Smoove: Nelly influenced me because he sold a lot of albums and that'€™s what I want to do. He sold a lot, a lot of albums.
JayAre: I don'€™t want to say the tonic album influenced me but it was the clean version it wasn'€™t the Dirty version so (laughs)!
M-Bone: Dr. Dre has got the crazy beats.

What can fans look forward to with in the next few months from the band? New music, maybe even a full length record, touring, what'€™s in the plans?
We'€™re hoping we'€™ll be on the road. The Young Stars tour headlining that in January and we got a new single up '€œKickback'€ with a new music video that'€™s pretty much in every viral place you can go so look for that and we'€™ll be on the road!
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DRUGS

The majority of alternative music fans knew who Craig Owens was. The dynamic front man who had gotten the boot mysteriously from Chiodos last year. We saw him do a few solo shows but then his plans became a little under the wraps. What was he doing? He was making his brain child D.R.U.G.S. happen! It'€™s been something Craig has been working on for at least a year and every other member in the band comes from another successful project to make this band what it is today.
We got an incredibly exclusive opportunity to talk to Matt Good from the band recently and he has had plenty of success on his own coming into this band. Known as the front man from the band From First to Last, he joined the band around the beginning of July and couldn'€™t be more excited for what is to come with this band and I'€™m feeling the same way that he is about it! This a true super group and with a full length being prepped to drop and playing some incredibly insane shows right now on their first tour, these guys are sure to be a huge success with this project. The feedback has been insane and nothing the boys expected! Read on for our exclusive interview with Matt and learn about all they have in the works for you along with his first musical experiences and how the shows have been going!

So obviously D.R.U.G.S. is kind of like a super group. How long has this project been in the making?
I'€™ve been involved since the summertime. Like around the beginning of July but Craig'€™s been working on it for about a year making sure all the members were the right fit and would work well together.


Tonight you'€™re on the second show of the first tour for D.R.U.G.S. How has it been going so far, how are the kids reacting?
Our first show was last night and it was in Craig'€™s hometown. It was at this place called the Crofoot kind of a smaller room but it was really fun and fans of all our previous bands came out. Tons of the kids knew all the words to the song we had released and one other and when we sang those songs, it just went nuts. They were kids crowd surfing and going insane. Even the kids who maybe hadn'€™t heard of the songs were still grooving and moving and jumping around. Actually, the set ended up with people just all over the stage which was amazing at the end. It was really exciting!

For a dream package tour with this band, what two bands would you choose to go on the road with?
That'€™s a hard question because there'€™s just so many bands to choose from them. I would like to tour with My Chemical Romance just because they'€™re our friends and I think our sounds would really pair up and go well together. Can I bring back a band, like have them re unite and go back out?
Of course!
Cool! I think it would be At The Drive In! We would go out on their reunion tour with them.

You'€™ve released the first track for the band on Youtube, online and everything. How have the reactions been off the first material?
Oh um, it'€™s been great. It'€™s been super good. It'€™s way better than I even expected. We wanted to see what kids think, it'€™s a new sound and who we are now. It'€™s seen more positive feedback then I'€™ve ever seen before for what I'€™m doing so that'€™s really great. It'€™s making us think like '€˜what'€™s going to happen now? What'€™s going to go on?'€™ I'€™m really excited about what'€™s going to happen.

So as of now, a full length release hasn'€™t dropped from you guys but I know you'€™ve been working on it and recording it. How far along is it in process? Do you have an idea yet of when it may drop?
Oh we'€™re done. Just making the motions right now to get it all set up to come out. So now it'€™s just the details of packaging and artwork and getting it into circulation which is something that the record label has been handling so we'€™re just getting everything ready for the release but like all the music is done and ready to go!

How does this band in particular go about the song writing process? I mean obviously you all come from different bands and different ways of writing so is it one person, more collective?
Yeah I mean that'€™s definitely true. We kind of had to feel each other out and see like basically how everyone would get along the best. We obviously like you said we all came from different writing styles and different experiences. So what we did is we just tried all different kinds of techniques and every day at the end of the day, we would sit down and pick the songs that we all liked. We would do it all different ways like I'€™d write music and get the vocals put to it, Craig would write a song and bring it to us. We really tried everything!

What can fans look forward to at these live shows? Are you going to be road testing a lot of obviously new material? Is this a sign that the release is soon to come?
Yeah we'€™re playing a bunch of songs off of it but we'€™re still trying to keep it at some kind of a minimum. We still want to keep it under wraps as much as we can so we'€™re playing some songs that aren'€™t going to be on the record or like songs that we wrote as extra material that we never actually tried to record that we really felt would make for a good live show.

What was the first CD/cassette you bought as a kid?
Is it the first one that was given to me or the first one that I went out and purchased with my own money?
The first one that you purchased with your own money!
The first one ever (laugh) oh no. It'€™s really not that embarrassing but it was like Limp Biskit '€œThree Dollar Bill'€ but I can'€™t really say it'€™s embarrassing because his guitar player actually played with From First To Last for a long time!

Well thank you so much Matt for your time and I hope to make it out to your Providence show!
Thank you! That'€™s awesome. That'€™s actually where I'€™m from!
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Bigger Lights

So I'€™ve been waiting for the perfect time to post my new interview with The Bigger Lights and I think right now is perfect with some new music popping up from the boys! A lot of fans were expecting the band to be constantly hitting the road due to the new release but the boys have been taking a bit of a different route. Just doing the Cute tour, a headlining tour and a few Warped dates since the release, I knew I should take the chance to sit down with Ryan of the band at CMJ this October to get the story behind what'€™s been going on! Warning? You may be surprised why.

The band still has a small December headliner with The Scenic coming up to finish out their year but the boys have been incredibly pro active on getting more educated and focused and have already been writing/recording for their next record! It'€™s not that the band was disappointed in the release but it got them to do a lot of thinking. I had a great interview with Ryan at the festival and while talking to him, besides just typical Bigger Lights music questions, we really talked about their place in the scene and what'€™s coming for them! The band has really grown in such a short amount of time that we'€™ve been talking to the boys and I'€™m sure the interview to follow is one that you can'€™t find in too many other places!

Soft one to start! What would you say is your favorite song to play live at the moment?
Lately we've been bringing back "Revved and Ready" which was on our first EP. I don't know if you've heard that song or remember it. It was on the EP. I really love that song and then "So Crazy" too.

Are there any bands that you particularly want to try and catch at CMJ this year?
We tried to go to Phoenix but you had to be up at 10 am and go to this place to try and get tickets if you were an artist on CMJ. I really want to see Two Am Cinema Club at Purevolume. Topher's going to a lot of the seminars that's where he's at right now actually. He's the one who's going to be asking a million questions. He's really gotten into learning what he can about the industry which I think is going to be really helpful.

How did your CMJ set go last night? I know it was as direct support for Cute Is What We Aim For who you were on tour with last time I saw you guys?
Actually Cute Is What We Aim For had to cancel. They had like a family emergency but it went really well. At the beginning, it was more like journalists and record execs and all that kind of stuff but we also, because it was all ages had a lot of our actual fans there so it became a really great show and experience. It was really fun.

Since we talked last, you went out on your first headlining tour with The Graduate and You, Me and Everyone We Know. How did that end up going for you?
It was great. All of those guys are really awesome. We actually just hung out with the other band Weatherstar last night at the show!
Awesome guy! Him and Billy right?
Yeah his name's Billy Toti I believe.

You just put out the new record in March. How do you feel it's been doing so far?
I mean it's good but I feel like we really made this record have a real pop sensibility and we're not sure if that's who we really are. With this next record, we are going to try something new. We actually when we write, we all lock ourselves into Topher's dance studio so it's really cool when we're surrounded by all these windows and beams and everything. For this record, we all really worked together on writing the songs and it was my first time doing it. I mean I know I'm not that great at singing or guitar and drums is my thing but it was fun to be part of the process.

Why put out a new record so soon after the last release?
Well, we went on four tours this past year around the same markets and we've been playing the same material. We feel like the kids may stop coming out if they just keep on hearing the same old thing or may think that oh well I'll just catch them next time around since they'll be playing the same stuff anyways. I feel like to keep up kids' interests, bands have to steadily put out new music to keep their attention. It's something really happening right now.

So are you happy with the record then even though that may not be the funnest thing to answer?
I mean we're happy with it but kids don't realize that we're a lot older then the bands we tour with-
Yeah! I mean I was talking with JK for a bit last time and while kids were singing along because they used to like listen to Cute in High school, he was like '€˜Not me I'm 27!'€™
Yeah! We tour with all these bands who are all younger then us but we're playing the same styles of music as them. I think that's one of the problems these days and maybe a reason we are working on the new record so soon. I feel like people aren't changing up what they write and it's aimed at a certain age group but if a band keeps on doing that no matter how much older they get, I don't think they'€™re as passionate about it anymore. Why do you think bands break up? I'm turning this interview on you now!
I think honestly as much as it's overplayed and said, the scene is possibly close to it's dying point but bringing it back to the point of you saying well the songs aren't changing like perfect example The Friday Night Boys who you know recently broke up. With all of these bands breaking up like The Friday Night Boys, Sing It Loud, Confide, Jersey leaving Hey Monday, does it ever scare you for what can come in the future for your band in The Bigger Lights?
Well I mean you never know really how it's all going to go. Right now, we're great and we're writing this new record and we're getting really excited.

Then finally what can fans look forward to with in the next few months from the band?
Well, we'll be on a small like week long headlining tour maybe in December. We're still considering the bands. The Scenic may be one as we talked about actually from what you were saying before.
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With The Punches

This next band is one that I got to sit down with when they drove through Boston on Halloween actually and they are one of the most interesting I'€™ve sat down with lately. With a lot of bands going the independent route recently, this band With The Punches has been one that'€™s been doing it since the beginning. They print their own merch, design it, keep incredibly active all over social media and are a great example of making it work for yourself.

I sat down with Sam and Jesse at the last date of their most recent tour with Thieves and Villains and Just Surrender and they told me about everything from the journey the tour had been to how two of their members dropped off right before the tour to things as goofy as what they think each other would be doing if they weren'€™t in the band. Read on for everything with With The Punches and be sure to catch them in a city near you soon!

So for a soft one to start us off, take the band member next to you so you would do it for each other. What would they be doing if they weren'€™t in music? It can be goofy, it can be serious!
Jesse: Okay so if Sam was not in With The Punches, he would be a full time season ticket holder to the New York Rangers. He would have had his first and probably second liver replacement surgery and probably running the largest gold foil apparel company this side of the West Coast.
Sam: Nice! I got to think of something good. Alright well being a lead singer, Jesse would most likely be working at Chippendales as the lead stripper and making sure that all the other strippers there were doing their job and he would probably also be replacing Ke$ha on the weekends when she'€™s wasted and doing her parts and singing her shit so that'€™s definitely what he would be doing.
Jesse: Yep.
Sam: No I mean like vocal fill ins in like a wig and dressed up. He would look like a dude wearing a chick'€™s outfit like she does so it would be totally cool.
Jesse: I'€™m primed for it already.

Then considering it'€™s Halloween, what'€™s been your favorite costume for yourself so far?
Jesse: My favorite costume that I'€™ve ever worn?
Yeah!
Jesse: Man I gotta say I'€™m really bad about wearing costumes.
Uh oh!
Jesse: Because yeah we'€™re just on tour all the time so costumes aren'€™t the easiest. I will say my favorite Halloween costume that we'€™ve come up with yet was to have the Ninja Squirtle. It'€™s kind of like half Pokemon, half ninja turtle. I think that would be the best one I'€™ve seen on so far.
Sam: Uh, I don'€™t know I haven'€™t really dressed up in a few years but I went as Will Ferrell'€™s character from Semi Pro a few years ago and that was pretty funny. Especially because it was like negative twenty degrees outside and I was wearing the short shorts and I'€™m just like '€˜Oh my god it'€™s so cold!'€™
Jesse: It'€™s hard to be in costume as a touring band on the road.
Sam: When I was a little kid though I was a ninja turtle that was pretty cool but I was like five so that was a long time ago.
A while ago yeah!

Then how did With The Punches come to be?
Jesse: Started writing songs in the end of 2008 and-
Sam: 2007.
Jesse: Yeah 2007 started writing songs and didn'€™t really form a band until 2008, 2009 when we put out a record called '€œKeep it Going'€ but it really was just a matter of finding the right people that wanted to do this and tour as quickly as possible. So Sam and I had been close friends for a while so it was just a matter of me trying to get him to come do it at first and then since then, it'€™s kind of been like Dustin and I who started this originally and Sam and it'€™s really just like our three part wolf pack from then on. So we haven'€™t really, we'€™ve had some other members and we'€™re currently going through some changes but the core has stayed this. The three of us doing what we do.

So then how has the latest EP been going over? Maybe not necessarily sales but by the kids at the shows and everything?
Jesse: Well our new record is soon to be coming out. Most likely next month and it'€™s called '€œIt'€™s Not The End of The World'€ but a few months back we released a song called '€˜Dead weight'€™ that is a demo off the new record. It seems like it'€™s probably one of the favorite songs in the set so it'€™s very cool how well that'€™s been received so we have high hopes for this new EP.

Then with the new EP, did the sound change at all? Like the writing process and everything for that one or is it pretty classic?
Sam: Yeah when we did the last one we kind of just, we all lived kind of far away like Jesse and Dustin are from Newburg which is like an hour north of New York City and I'€™m from Long Island and the two old dudes in our band are from like Central New Jersey which is like another hour from the city south. So we would only really get to practice like once a week at the most and we would write and just kind of force things together. It came together really well like we were really stoked on it but we put in a lot of work and like I started writing a lot of the bases of the songs for the new stuff and we kind of just built off of it and the last song that we have on the record that we'€™ve been playing just is two clean guitars and Jesse singing on the tour so far that we wrote for us like a week before went into the studio with out the other two dudes because they bailed on us like last minute.
Did they really?
Sam: Yeah it was pretty shitty but we were actually able to pull together and I think it'€™s going to be the strongest song on the record. We'€™re all really stoked on it because we got a great response like playing it last every night just with two guitars. It'€™s a very bass driven song so when I actually get back to doing that it'€™s going to be pretty great. We'€™re really, really stoked to just get it out there and have people hear us. I mean it'€™s been almost two years since we released something so we'€™re kind of stoked on it.

Crazy so I know you'€™ve been on this tour with Just Surrender and Thieves and Villains and then you have a bunch of like local bands that are added on today. How did the tour end up going for you guys? Are you sad to see this go?
Jesse: So sad for it to be over today. Worse news of today is that it'€™s over. It'€™s been a blast! Thieves and Villains are an incredible band and it'€™s honestly been like a legitimate inspiration for me since we started this tour and Just Surrender are awesome. I grew up around those dudes kind of like we'€™re all close in age and they came out in the scene a couple years before we ever got this going so it'€™s real cool that we get to be out on tour with them. They'€™re all hometown dudes. We'€™re all kind of from the same area so it'€™s been an amazing tour. I have nothing but good things to say about it.
Those guys have been around for a while!
Sam: Yeah they have and like we finished in the studio the Monday before we left for tour which was the following Friday and we almost weren'€™t able to do it because we couldn'€™t find a replacement. We had two kids come up from Virginia that were supposed to play guitar and drums and when they got there, they just weren'€™t able to do it as well as we had hoped so we went out acoustic for a few days. It was actually a lot better than we thought it was going to be but we were able to get our fill in for this tour to come out and it'€™s just been a lot of fun playing with four peeps and just going on stage and doing it as hard as you can every night no matter what.

And then if you could take out maybe three dream bands to tour with, who would they be?
Jesse: Blink 182, New Found Glory and the Movie Life.
Sam: Sick! Definitely The Movie Life and New Found. Those are like our three collectively favorite bands usually.
Jesse: That'€™s pretty solid.
Sam: But we could give you like a million.
Jesse: If the list could go on , it would be a really long time.
Sam: One thing that the three of us care about is music and that'€™s pretty much the only thing that we really give our all to you know. We'€™ve tried so long to get to this point we'€™re at and we'€™re just thankful that even with all the shit that we'€™ve had so far, we'€™re still able to do it and we'€™re never going to stop no matter what.

That'€™s great! Then maybe what'€™s one of the wildest things you'€™ve seen at one of your shows? It could be this tour in general, maybe or while on the road?
Jesse: Wildest thing on this tour? I wouldn'€™t say necessarily wild but I would say that the best reception and the most comfortable thing we had was the first night of tour. We played in Rhode Island and we were acoustic and it was not what we wanted to do but kids came out to see us and they were climbing on stage and grabbing the microphone in a acoustic setting which I'€™ve never seen at a show before so I feel like that is something that I know I'€™ll never forget. I think it was really, really cool.
Sam: Yeah and outside of this tour, I think the coolest thing that we'€™ve ever seen was when we were in Modesto, California playing in the middle of nowhere at this weird arcade place. We'€™re outside just loading our stuff back up and this dude'€™s getting arrested and we see him in handcuffs getting walked over to the cop car and he'€™s just cracked out of his mind. Starts crip walking all the way to the cop car and the cop was just like '€˜What are you doing?'€™ and he was like '€˜Don'€™t even worry about it yo!'€™

And then being a band that does tour a lot, you are touring full time and playing all over the country. What are you three top tour essentials that you must bring with you?
Jesse: Baby wipes, toothbrush, deodorant and Axe.
Sam: I bring Axe they all hate it. Jesse and I use it sometimes. I'€™ll spray it on Dustin occasionally and he gets so pissed off. He'€™s like '€˜I can'€™t breathe! What is this grossness?'€™. I'€™ll be like '€˜Sorry dude I like to smell good. I don'€™t like to smell like an asshole'€™.
Jesse: Exactly.

Then what can fans look forward to if they haven'€™t seen you guys before? I mean if you'€™ve been playing in New York and then you started touring.
Jesse: Expect to see a band where if you love the songs and you know the words then it'€™s your turn to sing them and that really we get up there and our thing is to play the song and for myself personally, just try and get the microphone in front of as many kids as I can. So that everyone can sing along like now that we'€™ve written the songs and we appreciate people being into it, we just love being able to share it and let them sing along. So anyone that'€™s never seen us, come out and expect to sing.
Sam: Yeah and our biggest thing is that we go on stage and it could be for one person or it could be for a thousand people like we'€™re going to give it our all every night. We'€™re just trying to bring some passion back to the music scene and not just be a band that'€™s going out and doing the new pop thing or you know the new hardcore thing or adding break downs and doing stupid shit just because. Like we do this because it'€™s what we love and it'€™s what we grew up on. Like we grew up on pop punk at it'€™s pike and watched it deteriorate into a lot of shitty music that people just kind of branched off of and just made more terrible bands. There'€™s a ton out there and we'€™re just trying to get back out and you know actually make a statement and just show people what music'€™s really about.

Then I went on your myspace obviously to check out some of the music and I saw that you had a spot for donations so obviously you have fans that follow you on myspace. How has that all affected you, having that available like social media?
Jesse: Um as far as like donations stuff, we haven'€™t really used a whole lot now but we were in a tough spot on tour.
Like part of it all.
Jesse: Yeah absolutely. We were in a really tough spot on tour not that long ago and having donations set up was huge and helped us get back home. We were in a really, really tough spot with no van and no money so kids have been amazing for that. We also run our own merch store. Sam does all of our designs and we print all of our own merch in the hopes that we can get people to continually just stay up on what we do even if we don'€™t have a new record out. That we'€™re putting out new stuff for every body to pick up and enjoy what we do you know.

Perfect then what can fans look forward to in these next few months? I know you guys said that you have the new EP coming out which is exciting but are you going to be on the road supporting it? I know it'€™s pretty much a full time thing for you guys.
Sam: As much as possible. We'€™re going to release our EP with in the next few weeks hopefully before we leave for tour on the 26th and we'€™re going to be out for a month then we'€™ll be home for like a week then we'€™re hopefully going to be out for the rest of the year after that. We'€™re actually hoping to write and release a full length before this summer coming up because of how long it took us to release our EP. We just want to get as much music done as possible but we'€™re just going to play it by ear whether it'€™s writing more music or touring. One of the two. We just want to be out doing this full time.

Great and then what was the first show you went to or first concert you went to and do you think it influences you at all today?
Jesse: Um yeah I would say first show was like make or break for every body but I know for myself I was involved in all kinds of music. My parents were cool to get me involved in different music, not just punk rock and a lot of kids will say their first show was crazy. Scene essential bands that may or may not be bands that they had actually seen. I went and saw like pop rock bands that I thought were amazing when I was younger with my parents. So those kinds of things shaped my mind at a really young age just to play music no matter what and then thankfully later on, being in a lot of bands I know Sam and I specifically one tour we talked about was Taking Back Sunday and Saosin and a bunch of other bands and My Chemical Romance.
Sam: Yeah we didn'€™t even know who they were.
Jesse: And Moneen and I would probably say it was the best show I'€™ve ever seen.
Crazy line up!
Jessee: Absolutely. Incredible!
Sam: It was Saosin with Anthony Green too which was pretty really, really awesome.
Jesse: Perfect show, absolutely!
Right in the beginning!
Both: Mmhmm!
Jesse: Very early yep.
He only did like one EP! Well I think that'€™s all I have for you, thank you so much!
Jesse: Thank you!
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