This Providence

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Lately it seems like punk rock with a pop tinge has been taking over the world but one act that is making their own name for themselves are the Seattle based This Providence. They most recently did their first headlining tour ever but over the past years they'€™ve released the incredibly successful '€œWho Are You Now?'€ and have steadily toured across the country.
Recently, I sat down with David Blaise and Dan Young of the band and we talked about everything from their possible gospel connections to what they would be doing if they weren'€™t in the band to their writing process. The boys told me that after the tour, they would be taking a break to sit down and write/record their next record, but to watch for the band on the online radar. Hopefully the boys will be back on the road soon and we'€™ll be able to watch for the new record but for now read on for our interview!

If you could collaborate with any other band on this tour, who would it be and what do you think the song would be about?
Dan: We'€™ll probably mess around with something. Who knows what will come of it.
David: We would be happy to do that with any band though on this tour. We all respect their music.

Then, this is your first time headlining a tour. How has it been different from the past tours? Like being the center of the show.
Dan: Well, exactly that. We are the center, we have everyones'€™ attention and that'€™s strange like it feels weird to us but awesome.
David: Yeah, seeing the kids every night and knowing that that'€™s pretty much you doing that is kind of un real and so it'€™s been obviously different because you know we never had that. We can kind of see in other tours you know clumps of our kids and little areas sing along but this time it'€™s like just a giant group of kids enjoying themselves to our music.
Dan: Yeah, it'€™s good to know when you'€™re on stage that every one, you don'€™t have to win people over. They'€™re already there to see you so you know that'€™s really comforting. I guess it allows us to be ourselves a little more too.

Then, you'€™ve toured with a lot of big names like just coming off with Motion City Soundtrack and Hey Monday in the past. If you could go on a dream tour with any three bands, who would they be?
Dan: Jimmy Eat World.
David: Oasis.
Dan : Oasis. (starts laughing). Dead or alive?
David: I mean obviously the Beatles.
Dan: Well, yeah clearly The Beatles but that'€™s a boring answer. The thing too is we would look like idiots on that tour.
David: But yeah, I think that'€™s a solid answer. Those are all big influences.

What'€™s the craziest thing you'€™ve seen while on the road?
Dan: Well, I was going to say we'€™ve seen a lot of male genitalia because (laughs) bands love to flash each other for some reason.
David: Nothing really too crazy. Oddly enough.
Dan: I think the craziest thing that we'€™ve seen is people on the streets like everyone else sees. Just the weirdos like playing with boxes. We'€™re always in urban areas you know.
David: I mean on this tour, we got stuck in traffic for about two hours and we were with The Bigger Lights. There was this oil tanker.
Dan: Dead still in traffic.
David: This oil tanker like exploded. You could see the fire from a little bit back but we like drove past it and it just like was engulfed in flames. It'€™s ridiculous and then you know there was a green man that came out and danced around too which was a little weird.
Like full on green?
Dan: Yeah, well because we were stuck in this traffic so we decided we would hang out so we set up some lawn chairs and had some snacks, sang some songs on the freeway.
David: It was kind of more the craziest thing everyone around us saw.
Dan: Yeah, who does that in the middle of traffic?
David: Have a barbecue.
Acoustic set.
Dan: Yeah, exactly!

What can fans look forward to if they'€™ve never been to one of your shows?
Dan: Um, I think what we do differently from a lot of bands, especially american bands, is we just are very relaxed on stage. You know we kind of just take our time and do what we want. We don'€™t want to have any like gimmick or anything like that. Try and be shoving everything in everyone'€™s faces.
David: It'€™s just a little more rock and roll. We don'€™t use any tracks or anything. We just play everything how it is and if it doesn'€™t sound like the CD, it'€™s for a reason you know.
Dan: We just like it to be real.
David: And it'€™s just a fun time. I mean every one seems to enjoy it and everyone'€™s dancing.

What'€™s your favorite part of touring?
David: Hang outs.
Dan: I just love playing music.
David: That'€™s true I mean.
Dan: Hangouts are on a par with it almost though.
David: Yeah. I guess it'€™s about the same. I mean, to me it'€™s amazing to be able to do what we want to do and be playing music for a living and we'€™re able to do that now and especially doing a headliner. You know, seeing the support that we'€™re getting for doing what we love to do. It'€™s un real but also the hang outs. Getting to meet everyone and meeting all these new people, even fans. Being able to meet new fans and just seeing like how awesome people are.
Dan: We'€™re constantly making new friends.
David: It'€™s kind of the, I guess the boost, in the career you like know you'€™re doing well I guess when you see all these new people. Kind of helps you to continue playing music.
I mean you already have people in line. Like a lot of them too. You must be doing something well!
Dan: Well, part of that is that we have a meet and greet for the first twenty people in line.
You shouldn'€™t have told me that!
David: We should have just gone along with it!
Dan: It'€™s like a big thing. Just blowing up right now! No (laughs along with David).
David: I mean it'€™s cool that kids are out that early. In Portland, there were people out at two in the morning.
Dan: Yeah, it'€™s not uncommon for people to be here at like seven or eight in the morning.

Now, this is kind of random but how did you choose This Providence for your name?
Dan: Well, we had an old band name that conflicted with another band that was more developed then us. So we with the small fan base that we had at the time, we kind of sent out a email blast that said '€˜Look guys if you got any names, we'€™d love to hear some ideas'€™ and some one sent in the name, with just the word Providence. We looked up the word and really liked its'€™ meaning which is you know divine intervention or kind of the concept of fate and destiny and that sort of thing. So, Providence was already a gospel group (starts laughing) from the nineties or something.
David: Very similar styles.
Dan: So we decided we'€™d try to be poetic and throw a This on the front of it. So, there you go! This Providence.

And then the last album came out just over a year ago or so. How has it been doing so far? I mean you guys have done a whole lot of touring since then, how have the kids reactions been now that it'€™s been out for a while?
Dan: Um, awesome.
David: I don'€™t think we can ask for anything better. All the kids have been really supportive and the singles off the record have done really well with MTV and even the radio in Seattle. So, it'€™s been really cool. I mean every kid'€™s known like every word to every song at the shows.
Dan: I think the only thing that'€™s lacking is that it didn'€™t get the exposure I think that we really wanted it to see. So, I don'€™t know. I feel like we win a lot of people over at our shows as well. We'€™re not doing absolutely massive tours or anything where we could do that. We'€™re super proud of it and how well it'€™s done.

Then, how do you go about the writing process? Is it one person, more of a collective effort?
Dan: Kind of different every time. Usually, I'€™ll sit down with a guitar and write a verse or a chorus or something and show it to the guys. See if I should continue working it , sometimes Gavin will write like a good portion of a song to the music side of it and I'€™ll come and slap some lyrics and melodies over it and it works really well.
David: I think we just get a different sound and feel on this record. There are some that are very, you know simple and that'€™s obviously Dan'€™s writing and Gavin has a lot of little things going on you know.
Dan: I think this next record will be a little bit more of a collaborative thing where I really want to like have the songs translate well again in like the live setting. So I really want to like write a song and jam it and just take it the direction that the jam takes us down.
David: A little more organic then the last record.
So have you started working on that album yet?
Dan: We'€™re writing you know. We don'€™t know when we'€™ll record but we just want to write a shit ton of songs and take you know ten or eleven of the best songs and make an awesome record. However long that takes to get to that point.

You worked with Matt Squire on that record. He'€™s worked with a lot of big names in the scene like Panic! At The Disco and All Time Low and a bunch of guys. How was that experience working with him?
Dan: Yeah, working with Squire was awesome, don'€™t get me wrong but that whole thing like other bands he worked with didn'€™t affect our decision so much as how well we got a long with him and how much easier it was to work with him. He just was the right fit for the record I think.
David: He was the most passionate about the record and that'€™s really what made it you know the deciding factor, not necessarily the bands he had worked with.
Dan: Having someone produce your record you know sometimes the producers can just record it and it sounds okay. If there'€™s some passion behind it you know, Matt Squire was just stoked.

It'€™s kind of crazy but if you weren'€™t in this band, in music in general, what do you think you would be doing? I did Hello goodbye a long time ago and they picked graphic design for example because that'€™s what they were doing before the band.
David: (laughing) That'€™s kind of perfect actually.
Dan: Yeah, I don'€™t know. I wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid.
David: I wanted to be a football player.
Dan: Yeah, see that'€™s a way better answer then graphic designer.
David: But I mean I'€™m not going to be a football player. Look at these arms!
Dan: Yeah I didn'€™t think I was actually going to be a pilot, I wanted to be in a band but I didn'€™t think it was actually going to happen.
David: That'€™s true. I was like in eighth grade when I was like '€˜I want to be in a band!'€™ or seventh grade. I think I would probably be doing, I would be trying to do sports and graphic design because I was into all that early on and I'€™m not a athlete at all. I would fail miserably, I was in track and I did football and I was, you know, not good at either of those but I'€™d probably be one of those guys that always- I was like Rudy maybe. You know, where he'€™s like a little too skinny, little too short for his game. I'€™m not short but you know, he just had the heart at least. I hope that I had the heart to at least play maybe a little game.
Dan: I mean that'€™s kind of how we do music, it'€™s not like we'€™re the best musicians in the world.
David: Yeah, we got the heart you know!

Then after this tour, what can kids look forward to this year?
Dan: I don'€™t know. We'€™re just going to be like taking some time off. We'€™ve been so busy with this last record.
David: With all the touring.
Dan: I think the record was out a year, and before that we were on tour. We toured like nine months in 2009. It'€™s just time for some time off and work on some songs.
David: Do some writing. Just making sure we have a perfect record this time around and hopefully that doesn'€™t take too long but you know. We don'€™t want to promise anything so we'€™ll be active still if not touring. At least doing random things like video updates. Twitter and blogs, this and that.
Dan: So there you go. Some online entertainment (laughs). For the short answer.
David: There you go!

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