The Graduate

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They were supposed to be the new it boys of alternative rock. What happened? With the release of "Anhedonia" the boys were poised for stardom with extremely positive reviews and a great label backing them. The boys toured all over to wild crowds and then something becoming unfortunately incredibly common happened. The band's label folded which left the band with no financial support and not the greatest ability to tour.

Through the next two years the band just continued to keep their spirits up and dropped their highly anticipated follow up just two months ago and since then have hit the road on two tours with everyone from The Bigger Lights to Ludo. The band is grateful for every day they get and told me everything from the really bad to the really good and everything inbetween. We talked with Max, Matt and Corey during their tour with Ludo and you can read it all below! If Alternative Press and Absolutepunk still believe in them to the fullest, you should to! Fall back in love with your it boys because it's their time once again!

Catch the boys currently out with Automatic Loveletter and definitely keep them on your radar!

I believe you guys were just out with The Bigger Lights and with this new record coming out, you did that tour and now this is your first like full US tour. How has it been? Like have you been seeing any familiar faces? Like how have the kids been?
Corey: Yeah it'€™s been good. We'€™ve been off the road for like two years or something so it'€™s good to get back out there and yeah we see a lot of kids that we'€™ve seen over the past four years or whatever that we'€™ve been touring. You know we started in 2007 so it'€™s really cool to see people that have stuck with our band for the long period between records and they'€™re still coming out. Ludo we'€™ve known almost since we started touring too so it'€™s cool to be out with these guys again.

And then it'€™s a pretty crazy story but when you first dropped your last record '€œAnhedonia'€, like you were featured by Spin and they loved it. You were on Warped Tour and all these festivals and then it happened where the record label folded but now with this new record you'€™re getting all the acclaim back and everyone'€™s excited. I know on your posters the guy who runs Absolute Punk said it'€™s like his most anticipated.
Corey: Yeah!
So maybe what was like your favorite moment of everything? Like the highs, the lows through all the trouble but also the good times.
Corey: I think just finishing the record.
The new one?
Corey: Yeah! I mean we worked on it for so long. I mean we never stopped writing for like two years straight. So I mean when we finally got it done it didn'€™t feel real. You know we'€™ve been working on it for so long and we had so many songs so when we left the studio, it was a really cool feeling to be like '€˜wow we'€™re done.'€™ Now we can tour again and we can play these songs live and we don'€™t have to worry about writing for a little bit so it'€™s kind of nice.
You guys maybe have a high point (towards Max and Matt? Through the good and bad?
Max: I would say the time we pulled up to Baltimore to record our album.
Matt: And we knew we were going to finish it.
Max: Yeah like that second night there was like '€˜Oh finally we got back'€™ so that was crazy.
You got back in the game?
Max: Yeah, we were back.
Matt: I agree.

Great and now that it has been a few years since the last release or so, obviously the sound has maybe changed a bit or the way you go about writing your music has changed. Has it matured a lot? Has it changed a lot or is it still classic Graduate?
Corey: I think we'€™ve matured a little bit. I mean I think a lot of bands say that so I don'€™t want to sound too clich?. '€œOur new record is just'€ '€œOh we'€™ve matured on our sound a lot and we'€™ve grown as musicians'€. I mean I think that'€™s all true but I told Absolute Punk this too. I said we didn'€™t you know go and make a '€˜Daisy'€™. You know what I mean so it still sounds like our band. It'€™s just kind of been the next step forward for us.

And then how do you normally go about the writing process? Has it changed? Is it one person, is it more collective?
Corey: We all write together. I think our writing process is kind of slowly starting to make more sense for us. We typically, like the music comes first and then I'€™ll take it and put lyrics to it from like my notebook or maybe I'€™ll just write something fresh. Then after like I'€™ve had like my input then we all kind of get together again and we sort things out with Brian our producer and we just make it sound as good as we can.
Let me know if you guys have anything to add. I feel like I'€™m kind of-
Matt: No, no, that'€™s totally okay!

I'€™ll sit like this! There we go. Then maybe as goofy as it is, what'€™s the strangest place you'€™ve found inspiration? Maybe you read something or you read the subtitles off the television screen and something catches your eye.
Corey: For the new record?
Yeah like a lyric or a song title or something?
Corey: I got married right before we left for the studio. Like two weeks before so that was kind of a different thing to be thinking about when we were in the studio. You know I had only been married for two weeks then we went to go make an album so that was probably the most unique thing.

Alrighty and then is there anything you'€™ve learned through all the hardships you'€™ve gone through and just like the difficulties of the music industry and how fast things can go that maybe you would have wanted to tell yourself when you just started this band?
Corey: Maybe just don'€™t freak out so much. I think we all had a lot of times where we were all kind of freaking out and I think rightfully so. You know I mean it'€™s something that we all want to do and we want to keep doing it so I mean I don'€™t think we should have freaked out as much as we did. Just because it'€™s not like we were going to quit.

And then as one of the bands that have began to make it from Chicagoland, what advice would you give to all the bands there that are trying to break out? Like there'€™s a bunch of really, really talented people playing down there but what advice would you give to people breaking out like when they'€™re just starting to tour?
Corey: As far as touring or just being a band in general?
Well like I know a lot of bands that have done like one or two tours and then the same situation happened that happened with you guys and some don'€™t make it through those hardships. So like what advice would you give to bands trying to pull through?
Corey: Don'€™t stop writing. Don'€™t ever stop writing. We had other friends that were kind of going through the same thing at the time and I mean it happened to us too. You know we'€™d freeze up every now and then. Like we just had to work our way out of it you know. We'€™d just have to keep pushing through it till we got a song. We'€™d maybe write two or three songs that didn'€™t feel that great and then one would come out later. It made everyone feel really good and stuff and you can'€™t stop writing because that'€™s when everything is just going to drag and bring you down more so if people aren'€™t digging the new stuff that you'€™re writing, just keep going. Just keep writing your stuff and don'€™t worry about what your friends think too much because sometimes your friends can make you paranoid about what you'€™re doing artistically.

And then what can fans look forward to? Like this is your only tour you'€™ve done except for the Bigger Lights which is definitely a younger crowd but are you going to be back on the road, going to keep on going?
Corey: Oh yeah. I mean from what we understand we'€™re not going home until Thanksgiving so we'€™re going to be out on the road a lot. So if anybody wants to come see us live, we'€™re out here. Well, we'€™re booked until mid October right now and there'€™s other stuff that'€™s happening that I can'€™t talk about yet.
Sure yeah!
Corey: But I mean we'€™re not going home until Thanksgiving at least and then we might be going out after that too so yeah we'€™re keeping busy. We'€™re happy to be out here playing again because we had a long break so we'€™re glad to be playing shows again.

And then maybe a little goofy one. What was the first record you bought as a kid and we can like go around to do this one?
Corey: What'€™s this one?
The first CD you bought as a kid?
Corey: Oh um, well I'€™m going to say cassette because I'€™m 25. First cassette I ever bought was Green Day'€™s '€˜Dookie'€™ and the first CD I got was Eve 6. And we actually played with them in Illinois a couple years ago which was kind of funny because I was just like '€˜hey you guys were the first CD I bought.'€™ The dude has the tightest pants I'€™ve ever seen too.
We'€™ll go all around for this one I guess. This could get interesting so what was the first CD that you bought?
Max: I can'€™t remember! I remember having the box set of the tapes of Smashing Pumpkins..what album is that? I remember having the first tape I bought but I can'€™t remember the CD.
Matt: Mine was '€˜Smashed'€™ by Offspring.
Max: Yeah.
Matt: That was my first tape. Yeah it was terrible.

And then the first concert you went to and do you think it has any influence on you today? So embarrassing sometimes.
Max: I have a great one. First concert was Bob Dylan. I probably didn'€™t appreciate it enough at the time but I got free tickets and it was amazing.
Matt: Mine was Boyz II men and yes it was awesome. I don'€™t regret it at all.
Corey: My first concert was actually really embarrassing. I was fourteen and it was Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Eminem and Xhibit. I think it was the Anger Management tour. Oh yeah I was like fourteen years old. First concert I ever got to go to. I was a farm boy so I didn'€™t get out that much you know!

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