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In our first interview, I got to know a little bit about the writing process for their most recent record 'A Little Bit Faster', their first experiences in the UK and what they were most looking forward to in their return to Japan with Valencia, Anarbor and Artist vs. Poet. Check in later this week when we'll be posting a review of their live show which we'll be checking out in a few days along with a new interview coming soon. Read on and meet one of this editor's favorite bands to keep an eye on!
How has your first record, now that it's been out for a little under a year, how has it been being received/been doing?
'¦It's kind of a hard find nowadays to find people our age at least writing in some kind of real context, not talking about high school anymore. You know we're 20, 21 and it's like time to stop doing that kind of stuff, stop wearing neon so I think people appreciate that you know we have opinions and we choose to speak about things and we're there for our fans. There's a definite feel that's really happening, it's been it's own natural cycling that's been going on for this past record which yes has been out for a little under a year. It definitely builds up and builds up and around the world it's starting to get a lot more attention. I think we're just going to keep continuing doing our part with touring, keep putting information out there and hopefully people come out to see us and grasp on to it and hopefully love. That's going to be our challenge always is to constantly defeat the past.
Who would you say are maybe some of your bigger musical influences, personally or for the band?
Well I mean the first album I ever bought was 'The Black Album' by Metallica when I was six and that kind of really helped develop my, technically speaking, kind of my style of playing. It's weird to see like a eight year old kid with your dad right there reading his newspaper and I'm sitting there learning Megadeth cassettes by ear but that's kind of what was happening. I did that for years and years and just for some reason I was just so into metal and so into the raw aggression, the raw emotion that existed within it. So you know, I got into Pantera, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica of course then I really started getting into songwriting when I was starting to take singing seriously when I was sixteen, seventeen. When I was finally falling out of the whole puberty change which was definitely a struggle for any young artist, young aspiring artist. I have a feel for Justin Bieber. Whenever that happens for him, but I feel he's really talented.
I listened to everything growing up. I grew up on reggae roots music, grew up on you know country. I would pop out a Bone Thugs and Harmony tape and pop in Slayer, like I just listened to everything. I think any real artist of any real genre is what we all really really admire. Like shit, I think Lady Gaga has some of the craziest balls out there and she's a real artist.
Then how do you guys typically go about the songwriting process? Is it one person, do you just write all of the lyrics or is it more of a collective effort?
I think the system of songwriting that we naturally grasped on to started with me as a songwriter taking care of the melodies and the lyrics because we always had a struggle with doing that and we've been writing music since you know I was thirteen for me. Me, Jay and Chris have been playing since then so what we've really found is that we have a huge love for the melodic aspects of a song and we found that starting a song like that is what works for us so I'll take the melody idea of a song and just put it into context with the idea and then I'll take it into the garage which is my little ghetto-fied project studio. I'll just record it acoustically you know maybe on the acoustic guitar, maybe lead with the verse, pre chorus and chorus, however it naturally goes or a bunch of programming stuff and vocals. It really kind of just depends on the song and the mood and what I'm going for initially. Then I bring it to the guys and then we finish the painting together. That's kind of what's been happening but we're definitely trying to broaden our horizons so I see things kind of changing minimally just to get as many different dimensions covered as possible.
Now all about touring. I know you're going back to Japan at the end of May with Valencia, Anarbor and Artist vs. Poet. I know you've gone before, I believe you were there last year when the record came out. What are you most looking forward to going back now?
Like I said, we're the biggest fans of natural progression so I'm excited to see what our last trip there did and the aspects of it. We've had tons of people really won over from that trip and people would fly in from Japan, like really adamant fans were flying from Japan to just Orlando dates specifically to come see us so we'll hopefully have that kind of momentum and hopefully it has gone around the country a little bit more and we can just gain that many more fans and this time we'll do the same thing and it's all about a constant build.
That's crazy that they flew all the way to Orlando.
Yeah it's happened I think every Orlando show we've played since then. At least a couple and then you know they'll come to San Francisco or go to LA, it's really cool, New York City.
Then you just did your first trip to the UK on your tour with The Friday Night Boys. How did that end up going for you, like you said you're a big fan of natural progression but never being there, how did it go?
Yeah, um, it was awesome. You know we didn't really have high expectations. We have a really great team over there. Our guy who works you know for the Hopeless branch in the UK and there's Navi who we were really kind of strategically approaching it with press and they wrote a lot of good things. We are building relationships with Kerrang and everything and that's all great but I think the main thing was just people that just really found our music years ago. You know we got numerous people every day just coming up to us, approaching us about how they've been waiting for years upon years for us to come so that was a really cool thing and obviously our expectations were blown. We get excited when people are really passionate about our music just blocks away but they're sitting there in a whole other country singing the words back to us. Definitely a good time! London was an amazing show. Every show was definitely worth it so for our first time there, it was definitely a success.
I watched some of your video updates from the Take Action tour, I believe your most recent tour in the US and you said you were filming your next video for 'Deathbed' this month. How did that go for you guys, did it happen yet?
It hasn't yet but this Thursday we fly up to New Jersey. We're kind of solidifying everything this week as far as props and wardrobe and they're just getting all the shot selections down. It's cool because we're definitely taking a shift and change. Obviously experience is the best way of learning and experiences are the best teacher so we definitely have experienced three videos now. We've definitely taken a disliking to some of them and it's hard to find people nowadays that really are able to portray their music into visuals and I think with this video, we're able to do that and bring a whole new artistic standpoint to it with you know cinematic production, putting a few nickles behind video making so it will be a good time.
What can fans, I mean, you did SXSW, you did Take Action, you went to the UK, now you're going to Japan, look forward to in the rest of the year? Are you going to be doing more touring like maybe another US tour?
Yeah, a week or so after we return from Japan, we're setting out on tour. It's a summer tour. I don't even know if we're allowed to announce it but it really doesn't matter. We're going out with some friends and covering the whole U.S. We're going to definitely visit all the spots that we've played for years and do the same old small club thing. You know we're going out with Every Avenue, Sing It Loud who are good friends of ours. It will be a good time and we're just going to keep doing our thing and really count on our fans because I really feel like we're building a family among them. It's really cool to see finally that people are starting to get the point of what our music is to us and what we want it to be. We want it to be able to bring people together and it seems like it's doing that to a small degree now but of course progression takes it's course and years from now it should be different.
A little goofy one to end it. If you could collaborate with any other artist or band, say one that you've toured with in the past, who would they be and what do you think the song would be about?
We were actually talking last night about that. The Motion City Soundtrack and Rocket To The Moon tour came through Orlando and we were hanging out with Rocket To The Moon and we're real close to them so Justin, who was in Brighten, me and him love songwriting and everything so we actually talked about it last night. We had been talking about it for a while so some day we're going to do it. I don't know what it's going to be about but it's definitely going to be about something other than a girl. I'm going to challenge him but no it will be a good one.