Emery

Recently I got the chance to cover the Transmission Fest which hits two cities every summer in Worcester and Hartford! It'€™s a bunch of bands that come together to play one date and this year'€™s line up included Dance Gavin Dance, Let'€™s Get It, Stephen Jerzak, The Sleeping, Transit, We Came as Romans, Silverstein and Emery just to name a few. At the show we talked to several of the bands but one in particular that really stood out to me was Emery.

Emery first began about ten years ago and since then have released five successful records with Tooth & Nail over time. They were one of the bands that were on the Scream It Like You Mean It tour all summer that combined with another tour and several other bands to play this date. They released their latest record '€œIn Shallow Seas We Sail'€ just over a year ago and have plenty of music coming to you including both some acoustic material and some much heavier material then in their past. Read on for our exclusive interview with Devin who has been playing drums for the band since the beginning. We talked about everything from how they feel they'€™ve matured over time to their journey with Tooth & Nail to what we can look forward to in the future from the band!

So we'€™ll start with a little soft one. Now that this tour is almost over, I think you only have a few dates left. How did it go for you guys?
Oh the tour'€™s been great. A lot of kids have been coming out. There'€™s a lot of bands on the tour so it'€™s kind of a long show every day but it'€™s been great like great turn outs and super cool crowds so we'€™ve had a good time.

You'€™ve been around for about ten years now-
Yeah pretty much. We started right around the beginning of 2001 like 2000 so yeah pretty much about ten years.
And another band who is headlining the tour Silverstein have been around for that same landmark too. Were you guys aware of each other before this tour? Had you worked together before?
Yeah we have. We toured together in 2004 so it was like one of our first tours that we did like when we first started touring full time and so yeah we did one of them. It was funny. It was Silverstein, Alexisonfire us and Hawthorne Heights and so it was kind of funny to see how all of those bands kind of went on and had long careers. Everybody'€™s still going I guess so it'€™s kind of funny because we'€™ve known about each other for a long time but we'€™re still trecking it out.

When you first started this band, did you have any idea you would get to this point today as a band?
I don'€™t know if we thought it would happen or we just kind of hoped. We were like hoping we could make it to the stuff going on in like Seattle and we just wanted to be able to make music and play shows and so we recorded our first album and decided to play some local shows around the Seattle area. We hoped that we would build a little fan base and we were able to get signed and stuff, touring so yeah this is kind of here we are five albums later.

You'€™ve been on Tooth & Nail pretty much since the beginning which is a pretty independent label. What'€™s been your favorite part of being a little bit more independent and not going to a major?
It'€™s been great! Like we'€™ve had a great experience being on Tooth & Nail being independent. I think being with an independent label you always don'€™t have to worry about being lost in a big pool you know but as far as being on a major label we'€™ve never had that experience. So I don'€™t know exactly what it would be like for us but I'€™ve heard good and bad. I'€™ve heard you get swallowed up, you kind of just get lost in the midst of it all but also it can be good because you probably get more radio exposure, possibly more fans but it just depends you know. Some bands have gone from independent to major and their career has ended or some people have gone from major back to independent so it just kind of depends on the band I guess. We feel like it'€™s been a good fit for us.

Your last full length record '€˜In Shallow Seas We Sail'€™ has been out for just over a year. How has that record seemed to grow on kids over time?
It'€™s been going well. Like we were super happy with how it turned out. We felt like it was a good compilation of like all our albums in the past and just who we are as a band. It'€™s sold great like we'€™ve had tons of good reviews like from kids who have bought it or downloaded it. They seem to really like it and we'€™ve kind of had like pretty much a hundred percent positive feedback and with some albums, you usually get a little bit of bad, little bit of good but this one has been like all great so we'€™re super happy about that.

And then are there plans to start writing/recording a follow up to the record yet?
Yeah we'€™ve been writing and recording parts. We'€™ve kind of been all on and off tour for the first part of the year and so yeah we recorded for a couple weeks at a time and we'€™ve probably got about half recorded but we want to do like a couple different things. Like really heavy kind of music type album and also an acoustic type thing so we wanted to kind of mix it up. We'€™ll see how it goes. We'€™re not sure which one will be released first but we'€™ll get that figured out.

So you'€™re going to do like two musically themed style records?
Basically yeah. We'€™ve got to figure out the details of it and see when but when we'€™re done with this tour, we'€™re going to finish those songs so we'€™ll see how it goes.

And then how do you feel the band'€™s sound has really matured or changed over time now that you'€™ve released five records/lps/etcetera?
Well basically we feel like we'€™ve changed as a band just because as you get older, your influences change. When we first started, we were probably more influenced by like hardcore, emo kind of sounding stuff you know the early stuff and then over time my influences were anything from just pop radio country anything so we like to change it up but we feel like if we made the same album over and over again it would be kind of a cop out and kind of a rip off for our fans. So we like to, even though we sound the same and have our elements in it, we always try to change it up a little bit and so we feel like we'€™ve been pretty successful at that and hopefully our fans can appreciate that over time.

And what can kids look forward to in these next few months from you guys? Are you going to be back on the road, taking a little breather?
After this tour, we'€™ll probably, well we'€™re going to be home for a while for at least a couple months or so. Just to finish the album and spend time with our families and stuff like that. We'€™re doing some festivals, spot shows, we'€™ll probably do another tour probably like in the late fall but we just don'€™t know exactly what that is yet so we'€™re going to figure all that stuff out. I mean we will get back out at some time.

If you could hit the road for a dream tour with any three bands that you'€™ve toured with in the past, who do you think they would be?
One tour? That'€™s tough. Well for bands we'€™ve been on tour with that'€™s tough. We'€™ve toured with Story of the Year before who we'€™re touring with today and that was one of the best tours we'€™ve done. We played with them in Australia for like a couple weeks and that was awesome because it was just really fun and we had a great time. So Story Of The Year would be fun. I mean we'€™ve toured with a lot of cool bands from Tooth & Nail like MeWithoutYou. We'€™ve always had a great time with those guys. We really love some of the Canadian bands. We had fun with Boy'€™s Night Out and Alexisonfire. We had a lot of fun with those guys so I would say we had a good combination of some of those bands because usually every band we tour with, we usually enjoy hanging out with. It'€™s fun!

Then clearly to end it off you'€™ve been a musician for a long while but was there anything else you wanted to be at all when you were younger?
When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a athlete. Like I played a lot of sports growing up so when I was really small I probably wanted to be a professional baseball player and then I kind of got into basketball and all that stuff. Really I sang my whole life from the time I was like four years old and I always did it like, not because my parents wanted me to but because they knew that I had some sort of talent. They wanted me to sing any time and every time that I could so I got a little burned out on it. A little bit but then as I got older, I realized that I could write music, could do all this different stuff with music and it wasn'€™t just you know this one little thing I had to do. Now I love music, it'€™s definitely my passion but I guess if I had to choose a career, I maybe would have done something with sports or now I love playing golf so if I could be a professional golfer that would be the best thing ever but that'€™s not going to happen.
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Thieves and Villians

Thieves and Villians are pretty much a perfect complement to their tour mates on their current tour with The Scenic. Their pop punk jumps around all over with their new record '€œSouth America'€ and is definitely a winner! I got the opportunity to sit down with Joe Penna from the band just before my interview with their tour mates and he made for a great interview. We talked about everything from how they believe the record is doing, the craziest things they'€™ve experienced while on the road and their touring plans for the next few months! Check it all out below and give the tour a chance. They'€™ll be pulling through Melrose, MA on Saturday and are in New York tomorrow night!

A little soft one to start! If you could tour with any three dream artists like in your scene, who do you think they would be?
If we could hit the road with any three artists in our scene, who would they be?
Yeah.
Definitely Manchester Orchestra would be a definite. Tokyo Police Club and I don'€™t know. Oh Weezer!

And then I know the tour is just starting today with The Scenic but with '€œSouth America'€ just coming out two months ago, what are you most looking forward to with this tour? Like continuing to be back on the road?
Well we took about like ten days off from being out since early June so we'€™re definitely looking forward to it. We'€™re touring with The Scenic! They'€™re great guys and definitely looking forward to having some fun. It starts tonight in Brooklyn and works its way up and then down the east coast but looking forward to making some new fans and definitely hanging with The Scenic a lot.

Good! And then it'€™s been a little under two months I think it'€™s more like a month and a half since the last record dropped and it'€™s been a while for you guys to put out new material in a full length form. How has it been doing so far maybe based on the tours, how have shows been?
Oh they'€™re doing very well. The response has been great! A lot of the reviews that we'€™ve been getting back from outlets like AbsolutePunk.net and the other various outlets have been all positive reviews and people seem to love it. We get great feedback on twitter and on face book, myspace, etcetera so we'€™re really excited. We'€™re really happy with the way everything'€™s going and it'€™s definitely different so we figured it would be not very quick out the gate but everyday it'€™s growing bigger and bigger so we'€™re definitely excited about it!

Then how did the band actually come to be? I know you guys have been around for a few years now!
Yeah actually Chris Penning, the guitarist and vocalist and he actually plays keyboards too, he was in a different band and so was Sergio and they met just through the local music scene. Sergio and Chris the bassist now knew each other from a previous band so he knows Chris and I know these guys through a mutual friend that helped me to get into it with them and that'€™s pretty much how we'€™re all here now.

Perfect and then how did the decision to sign to Victory Records come about for you guys and to put out the new record with them?
Basically Victory reached out to the band Thieves and Villians and they talked and stuff like that. They showcased for them and then one thing lead to another and we signed!

Perfect. With the record out, how does the songwriting process normally come about for you guys? Is it different every time, is it one person, more collective how does it all come about?
As far as writing goes, it'€™s collective and it'€™s not that every song is very different. Sergio and Chris Pennings are the main song writers of the band and they would bring like an idea to the table and then we would all kind of mix it together with all of our ideas put together so it'€™s definitely collective and initially most of the songs are written by Chris and Sergio and then the rest goes from there.

Alright and then the last two to tie it all up! What'€™s the craziest thing you'€™ve experienced maybe at one of your shows? Maybe not necessarily on the road in general!
The craziest thing we'€™ve seen on the road you guys(while on phone talking to the rest of the guys in the band!) I don'€™t know it'€™s a hard question to answer because we see crazy things on a daily basis. There'€™s got to be something that sticks out to some one. For me I don'€™t know it would definitely be that I got attacked by a scorpion in Arizona. That was pretty crazy and it was really small so apparently the smaller they are the more poisonous.
Oh ew!
Yeah it jumped out of my drum case and it was in the middle of the desert. It was definitely an experience. That'€™s probably not the craziest thing but that'€™s all I can think of right now.

That'€™s still pretty crazy and then the craziest place you'€™ve found inspiration like maybe for anything from like a song lyric or a song title?
The strangest place we'€™ve found inspiration (to the guys once again)? Ah Sergio? Album covers, etcetera?
Sergio: Oh for like a song? Um books. Books would definitely be one.
Yeah like there'€™s a song on our record called '€œA Song for Dean Moriarty'€ for Dean Moriarty from the books or the novel '€˜On The Road'€™. And then there'€™s a track called '€œVirginia Woolf'€ on the record that'€™s inspired by the author Virginia Woolf. Mostly books and stuff like that.

Awesome and then the last one. I know you'€™re on the tour now and then you come back out with Just Surrender I believe soon after. So what'€™s going on for you guys? Are you just going to be constantly on the road promoting this album, playing new shows, what'€™s going to be going on in the next few months?
Yeah our plan is to basically keep grinding as hard as we possibly can staying on the road. We'€™re going out with Just Surrender in mid October to the end of October and that rolls into another tour. We'€™re going to be doing a West Coast tour in November with a band called Motel Lights out there. We won'€™t be home for Thanksgiving and we don'€™t really care. We just want to keep pushing and keep going as hard as we possibly can.
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The Postelles

The Postelles are bringing back the retro and fun of the fifties in a modern way with their debut record dropping this October and luckily they are broadening their horizons all over the US. Since our interview, the boys have been back in Boston a handful of times and are actually returning to the city tomorrow night! Though their debut is just coming out this October, the band has been actively touring since early 2008 and have already created a huge fan base.

Fresh off their full US tour with Hockey, I got the chance to catch up with Daniel and John from the band right after they played an electrifying set at the Great Scott and we talked about everything for the band. Be it their attempts to add bison to the band to how they first got together to their non existent future plans to their not so pc ways of getting people going at their live shows, I had a blast with the guys! Come out to their shows coming up to get a sense of quite possibly the most entertaining band from New York these days!

What'€™s one of the crazier things you have seen while on the road?
Daniel: I don'€™t know, that'€™s a good question!
John: Oh Montana! Just seeing Montana in general was crazy.
Daniel: That was cool! I mean we saw, what was it? Antelopes right?
John: Bison maybe?
Daniel: Bison! Seeing bison in Montana was pretty cool. They'€™re very big and we asked them to join the band but they weren'€™t willing.
They weren'€™t going for it?
Daniel: They weren'€™t going for it, they weren'€™t down, they didn'€™t know any instruments so they didn'€™t join but they were very cool to see from far off. The animals of the earth they were crazy! We had a good night with them. Tipped a few over, they got up and punched us in the face. It was good! Are they buffalo? Are they bison or buffalo? You can make a mix of bison and buffalo but it would just be kind of bison.
John: Let'€™s not go there.
Daniel: Let'€™s go there!

Then I know you all met a while ago I believe in high school. So is this is the original line up today?
Daniel: Yeah! Oh no, I'€™m a liar. Did I just lie?
John: No it is!
Daniel: For the Postelles it is?
John: Well, we'€™ve all known each other since high school. We'€™ve been in various different bands. This line up represents the majority, like three fourths. We went through a lot of drummers. It'€™s always been Billy though.
Daniel: It'€™s all about Billy all the time. I would say yes, he would say more but I'€™m a man of few words.
John: Never are you a man of few words.
Daniel: Nothing wrong about that.

I know your full length is coming out in July, the 27th but your EP '€˜White Night'€™-
Daniel: Yeah March 2nd, you got it! You nailed it. I was reading your questions. You nailed it!
I did my research! How has the reaction been so far for the EP?
Daniel: Yeah you did! I think, I hope good. I mean I think when people say it to our face they like it but hopefully behind our backs they'€™re not saying the opposite but I think it'€™s been pretty good. I think we just wanted to release an EP to sort of have a little taste of what the album was going to be like. I think it'€™s done pretty well. It was actually funny when we went on our UK tour a few weeks ago or few days ago whatever, people there sort of knew the EP a little bit and I was sort of surprised about that because people in Boise, Idaho didn'€™t know the EP at all but people in Sheffield, England knew it so I don'€™t know!

That'€™s so crazy, what can fans look forward to with this full length since there have only been EP'€™s out before?
Daniel: With the album? Hopefully more songs.
John: Full length!
Daniel: It'€™s a full length, it'€™s lengthier and it'€™s a lot longer! I would say like eleven songs.
John: It'€™s really a combination of what we'€™ve been doing for the past couple years so we'€™re really excited for our first real full artistic statement.
Daniel: We feel it'€™s a big representation of our band. It'€™s the best representation of our band and we'€™re really proud of every song I think in a different way. Are you writing it down or are you recording?
Oh, I'€™m just writing who says what.
Daniel: I just don'€™t want to talk too fast.
Yeah I just saw the names and stuff
Daniel: Oh yeah my name'€™s Daniel but I think we'€™re really, really proud of it and it was an incredible experience recording. I think we love playing live and we love recording it in sort of a different way. It was amazing, really excited to show people. Very excited for that date July 27th.

How did you go about the writing process in general? Is it more collective, is it one person?
Daniel: No, it'€™s very collective. I mean it starts I usually have like maybe a chord change or melody and then we orchestrate all the songs together. We really sort of lock ourselves in a rehearsal space and sort of jam out till we think it'€™s perfect. If we really think it'€™s perfect, we sort of look at each other and just have that feeling of '€˜this is right'€™. We love the writing process. I think that'€™s actually my favorite part of the whole thing is sort of creating and coming up with the ideas. That'€™s John'€™s least favorite part but it'€™s my favorite part.
John: Me too!
Daniel: It is? He lies, he lies.

Then how did you both personally start getting into music?
John: I don'€™t know, I just always really listened to my parents'€™ records collections and stuff like that. I played cello from an early age and then started rapping and that'€™s it.
Daniel: I can one up you on that. I listened to my grandparents'€™ records.
John: Nice.
Daniel: So I would go to their house and listen to those records which was strictly Black Sabbath.
John: His grandparents were crazy.
Daniel: They were crazy! My grandfather'€™s hair was dyed green.
What?!
Daniel: Yeah yeah no. I'€™m totally lying but I would say that when I was very young I listened to the Beatles and the Stones. I didn'€™t listen to Stones actually, what am I saying. The Beatles and stuff but you know I don'€™t know I always can remember music in my life and it'€™s the most important thing for me in the world.

Then what can people look forward to-
Daniel: Absolutely nothing.
at your live shows?
Daniel: Our live shows are bland. I think that our live shows, we take a lot of pride in our live shows and we really want to have the audience sort of feel like they'€™re a part of the show in a way and I feel like a party and hopefully that gets across in our shows.
John: Right, absolutely! I agree.
Daniel: Because I don'€™t want to hear in the van two hours later that you disagree.
John: I agree fully.
Daniel: So yeah, it'€™s like a party. We spike the punch too.
John: He spikes the punch at parties.
Daniel: I spiked it all. I tried to think of a past tense word for spike and I almost said spoke. Spoke the punch.

Like you said obviously nothing is going on in the future but I know-
Daniel: No! Absolutely nothing.
Absolutely nothing, no Bonnaroo no nothing.
Both: Nope!
Daniel: Canceled because of rain. I canceled it.
What are you most looking forward to? A huge festival no doubt.
Daniel: Yeah Bonnaroo'€™s amazing and it'€™s a great experience and there'€™s so many good bands around. I'€™m most excited for that I think. What about you John?
John: I agree.
Daniel: Do you ever just disagree in public?
John: I disagree but I'€™m really excited for Bonnaroo as well.
Daniel: So what are you most excited for?
John: Bonnaroo! Not the day we'€™re playing though. The next day!
Daniel: I'€™m excited for Thursday, he'€™s excited for the day the festival is over.
John: I'€™m excited for the van ride.
Daniel: Yeah he loves van rides probably. Loves them!
More excited for the van ride.
John: Totally it'€™s going to be great!

And then a little goofy one! If you weren'€™t in music, what do you think you would be doing?
Daniel: Does humming count? Can we be humming? John would be a hummer. The car because he'€™s sort of built like that and he'€™s a gas guzzler but I would be I don'€™t know I have to think about it. I'€™m expanding peoples'€™ minds in this and I would work at Marshall Realty. I would be a rental salesman. I would be the CEO of that company which I think they asked me for a resume and I sort of gave it up but yeah you got to write down that it'€™s right next to us right now just so that people don'€™t think I'€™m completely out of my mind but yeah you know I'€™d like to be one of those police man people who sort of direct traffic. You know they have the orange things on? I like that. I would do that!
John: Always in control man.
Daniel: Yeah you control the traffic. I was going to say it'€™s funny because I pretend to control the traffic. I tell people to stop all the time. It'€™s a lead singer thing.

Then to end it off. What was the first show you went to and the first record?
Daniel: Wow.
And do you think it influences you at all today?
John: For sho!
Daniel: I would say no it doesn'€™t influence me but no, no that'€™s not true. First show I ever went to was James Taylor and randomly Steven Tyler came on stage. I don'€™t know what song he sang I was like four. The first album I had I think was Outkast'€™s '€™Aquemini'€™ and that'€™s not even a joke that'€™s actually true and the second album I had was Spice Girls '€™Spice World'€™.
I'€™ve interviewed some one who had the exact same answer. Christopher Drew.
Daniel: Oh really? I got to meet this guy!
And what about you?
John: First show I went to was Bruce Springsteen.
Daniel: Rick Springsteen.
John: Rick Springsteen brother of Bruce.
Daniel: He talks about this all the time. He'€™s a huge fan of Rick Springsteen. '€œI was born to die'€. That'€™s his big hit.
John: And I think it was probably some Green Day record. Like '€œDookie'€.
Daniel: Oh Dookie actually that was my first record. I lied about the last one. Dookie on cassette. I had a babysitter I think who babysitted me until I was eighteen.
John: Still does actually.
Daniel: And he gave me Dookie. Yeah right now. It'€™s John and he gave me Dookie and I thought it was great. That record'€™s amazing.
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Shontelle

After her hit-single 'Roll', up-and-comer R&B star Shontelle just released her album 'No Gravity'. The preview for new same-titled single is already gearing up. We sat down with her to talk about her album, her Caribbean roots, her goals and she even gives a couple of pointers for indie-artists!

Shontelle interview
[Q]: First question, love the new song '€˜No Gravity'€™. What'€™s the story behind the song?
The story behind '€˜no gravity'€™ is umm'€¦its like a cute love song really. I was literally just thinking about what you feel like when you have that love - it just makes you so happy and excited and you really do feel like you'€™re walking on thin air in a bubble and singing '€œla la la'€. That'€™s literally what it is you'€™re just happy to be in love. And so you feel like there'€™s no gravity, you'€™re just floating through space.

[Q]: Okay here'€™s something I didn'€™t know and you can let me know if it is true '€“ although your aunt was a popular artist your family had concerns about your music career. How come?
Even though my aunt was a popular artist back home in Barbados they were '€“ you know- that'€™s my mom'€™s sister so my mom would know first hand the challenges and like the struggles and how easy it is '€“ more easy to not work out than it is. So they were just really nervous more so, I guess as parents they were gonna be nervous.

[Q]: What was your aunt'€™s name?
Her name is Kim Derrick. And she still has a band in Barbados.

[Q]: Nice, and do you play with the band every now and then at home?
Yeah I actually used to play with them just before I got signed too. I had started performing with her it was pretty cool.

[Q]: How did you manage to craft songs for top artists while attending university?
Wow I sometimes wondered that. I don'€™t think I really thought about how '€“ you know when you love something you just do it so time management wasn'€™t really that challenging for me I would just do it. I would just figure it out. I know I had to go to to school there were certain things I wanted to accomplish academically and I just knew I had to do it and likewise with music there were certain things that I just love doing - I just loved it and I couldn'€™t help myself anyway. And that was basically it I never thought about it I just did it.

[Q]: What is your main goal as an artist for you right now?
I think for me right now the most important goals for me its really just establishing myself as an artist '€“ as a household name. I want to win grammys I want to really be accepted as an established artist and really touch as many people as I possibly can so for me another goal is to establish myself worldwide I don'€™t really want to be in a box. I think primarily for me as far as goals is definitely just really using this second album '€“ my goal is that it'€™s really gonna establish my career.

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics or do you start with an idea or the music first?
When I'€™m writing a song it can be either of those things or a combination. There are times when you completely start from scratch sometimes you have a theme or a concept that you know '€“ ok this is what we'€™re gonna write about today. Some times u hear the music first - a beat and it just inspires a theme or it inspires you to go a certain way with the writing. It can be either way and I have and still do write using all those different methods.

[Q]: What collaborations could your fans look forward to in the future?
In the future well on this album as far as collabs go there'€™s Ashel Roth, theres Pitbull theres The Dream. I got to work with really cool people like Rock city, the Jackie Boyz, Bruno Mars, tony kanal from no doubt Rodney jerkins of course, you know I got to collaborate with an amazing slew of talent. Right now I'€™ve been able to collaborate with Rihanna so we actually worked on a song together that'€™s gonnna be on her upcoming album '€˜Loud'€™. That'€™s pretty exciting. Other than that I don'€™t know we'€™ll see where it goes. Hopefully I get a lot more phone calls also I recorded a song with JLS and they'€™re like a huge boy group from the UK. The collabs are comin in '€“ we'€™ll see- there are some people that I would like to work with, like Alicia Keys and Jay-Z.

[Q]: In what way do you reap the benefits in the music-business of your law-study?
Ah well law definitely '€“ the fact that I have studied law definitely helps '€“ there are benefits. I really call it shark repellent because what it means is that because people know this usually they don'€™t even come to me with half the stuff that they usually go to other artists with because they know that I already know [ laughs]. I actually am probably one of the few artists you know '€“ I actually read the right contracts. It makes it easier to weed out BS for lack of a better word.

[Q]: Is your law study helping you choose the right contract?
Yeah definitely. Even as far as me being able to know if my lawyer is any good. It helps you make a lot of good decisions and definitely I do read every contract that comes my way. I don'€™t even leave things to my lawyer. We work as a team together.

[Q]: Could you spare indie-artists a few pointers/ tips when signing a contract?
Like I said, It'€™s definitely important '€“ even if you think you don'€™t understand the legal words the most important thing is that you '€“ just don'€™t a sign a contract until you really understand. So even if you feel like '€˜I have the best lawyer in the world or the best manager in the world'€™ its still really important that even if you don'€™t understand what you have read, ask a million questions until you really understand what that contract means because it really is just a matter of saying '€œyes and no'€ '€“ agreeing to the terms and conditions. That'€™s the most important thing. Even if you don'€™t get it, ask until you get it. Don'€™t sign it until you understand.

[Q]: Recently, being that your other album'€™s coming out what'€™s a typical day like for you?
Oh my gosh yeah, a typical day for me is crazy but of course with an album coming out my day starts for me before the sun comes up. I'€™m either on my way to the airport, flying to a radio show or flying out somewhere to do press. I spend long hours doing phoners or interviews '€“ like right now and it gets later to the evening time when there'€™s shows so I might be doing club appearances or performances or radio shows and stuff like that so right now my schedule is extremely hectic.
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The Best Week Ever

Next up is something a little bit different then we'€™ve been covering in the past but kind of serves as a pre-cursor to what interviews are to come tomorrow. I'€™ll be posting my latest with two extremely talented girl fronted groups tomorrow in Versa Emerge and Gold Motel and decided that a great introduction to that group would be the up and coming Poughkeepsie raised The Best Week Ever!

Fronted by Lacey Caroline and Tom DeGrazia, some may compare them to fellow Poughkeepsie band We Are The In Crowd but they bring an incredibly fresh sound that sets them apart! In our interview with Tom, we talked about everything from who their dream tour would be to their major influences and how they typically go about their live shows! Read on for our exclusive interview and catch them live if you live in the New York area next month!

If the band could tour with any three dream bands, who would they be and why?
I'€™d say we would be into touring with U2, Blink 182 and Something Corporate because they are all huge influences and they draw well!

How did The Best Week Ever come to be?
Tom and James have been writing music for awhile and eventually found Lacey through mutual friends. Dave joined on drums about a year later!

Who would you say are some of the bands'€™ bigger musical influences?
Pretty much all the late 90'€™s/early 2000'€™s pop punk like Yellowcard, The Starting Line, New Found Glory, etcetera.

What can fans look forward to when coming out to one of your live shows?
High energy, a TON of crowd involvement and a few one liners that may make you laugh!

What'€™s the craziest thing you'€™ve experienced or seen so far as a band, maybe at a show, on the road?
Well we'€™ve had a few crazy experiences! A more memorable one was when we got lost somewhere in Connecticut and ended up at the '€œNitey Nite Motel'€. It was straight out of a slasher flick we heard screaming and banging all over! It totally freaked us out.

What can fans look forward to within these next few months from you guys?
We'€™ll be releasing a TBD cover song and playing a few regional dates in October and then plans for a Christmas EP are also in the air.

And then to wrap it up, what was the first CD you bought as a kid and the first show you went to?
First EP I ever bought was Saves The Day'€™s '€œThrough Being Cool.'€ First show ever was LFO at Jones Beach, haha.
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A Rocket To The Moon

Did I just say I was holding onto my Chicago scene a little? Well if any of my past interviews with Boston bands show for anything like View From An Airplane, The Bay State and Lannen Fall, the biggest example of me following the Boston local scene would come across in my coverage of A Rocket To The Moon. Writing up my latest interview with them, I'€™ve realized that since November Music Remedy has really followed this talented band'€™s career over such a short time through our conversations with them!

Dropping their debut full length, touring with everyone from We The Kings to Hanson who are their current tour mates, this young quartet has quickly grown. Catching sets from the boys over the past few months while covering local shows, I definitely was up for sitting down with Eric Halvorsen via the interwebs while two of the other tour mates were on Warped Tour this summer playing acoustic sets! This time around, we talked about both the serious and the silly. The boys have dropped the news that they'€™ll be both be touring as main support for All Time Low this fall along with announcing the release of their new EP on November 5th that features both re-done tracks from '€™On Your Side'€™ along with a cover of '€™Single Ladies'€™. Also get a sneak peek of the new Rocket video concept that Eric and James Cameron have been collaborating on! It'€™s a winner.

Last time we talked with the band, you were planning to put out some new music and I know you'€™ve put out a new song. When can kids maybe look forward to new music?
As far as a new album, kids might have to wait for a little while for that. But we are planning on releasing some special stuff like an EP of songs from '€˜On Your Side'€™ that we re-did with our friends in Larkin Poe. I am not too sure when that is coming out though.

Are you writing/recording a new album/ep maybe?
Last tour that we did we were throwing around a lot of ideas for songs! Justin is always writing stuff too because he is a machine haha. Hopefully we can get back in the studio soon.

You'€™ll be hitting the road later this summer with the iconic band Hanson. What are you most looking forward to from this experience?
I personally am looking forward to playing to a different audience. I know that our fans will be there as well but Hanson has such a dedicated fan base and I'€™m really excited to see how they react to us. I am also looking forward to watching them every single night. They have so many great songs and seeing those live I'€™m sure will be quite entertaining.

Since this band originally started as a solo project, how do you feel now that it'€™s a full band the sound has really matured?
I am just happy that we finally have a solid line up. I was the first permanent member to be added and before Justin and Andrew joined up, there were a lot of line up changes which can wear on the band a lot. So now that we are all on the same page, it feels really great. I definitely think things have matured a lot too. If you come out to a live show, you can tell just by watching the set. I'€™m happy with how things are moving.

You recently put out the video for '€œLike We Used To'€. If you could pick any other track off the new record to do a video for, what song would it be and what'€™s the craziest concept you could think of?
I would like to do one for '€œShe'€™s Killing Me'€ because I think it'€™s a fun song that would work well with a video. As far as crazy concepts go, I'€™m thinking of maybe signing on James Cameron and doing the most expensive video ever. 3D obviously, hover crafts, aliens, the whole deal. Be on the look out for that.

Finally, what can fans look forward to within these next few months? More shows, touring, new music?
Fans can catch us this fall with Hanson and then we will be releasing some more shows for the rest of the fall. So come catch us on tour!
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Gold Motel

I'€™m pretty sure the reason I cover so many bands coming out of the Chicago scene is because secretly I wish I was able to attend all of these shows, listen to all the bands and really immerse myself into it. Slowly but surely, I'€™m falling more in love with the Boston music scene every day but for now I take it back to the good old days doing interviews with bands like AM Taxi, The Graduate and today'€™s in Gold Motel. Even though the band is based in California, the lead singer Greta is a famous main stay in Chicago. Being the lead singer of the extremely popular Hush Sound who toured with such pop punk legends like Fall Out Boy and Motion City Soundtrack, her fame carried on to her current project and is something I'€™m a little more into.
The summery tunes that they sing really get caught in your head and their style about them completely complements it. During my exclusive interview with Greta, the rest of the band were strumming their guitars while sitting on a blanket in the warm air and provided a soundtrack to everything Gold Motel. Get excited for the new project and catch them when they play a show in your hometown!

If you could tour with any three, say dream bands who would they be and why?
Okay, I'€™d say my top three as a band would be Spoon, Vampire Weekend and Wilco. Those are the bands we'€™ve been listening to or that we do listen to a lot in the van. I'€™d say those are the three.

Then what made you first personally start getting interested in doing music?
Well, I started playing music when I was a really little kid. It was never like a decision. I just started writing when I was like three or four years old. Then my mom put me in voice lessons, so I'€™ve just been writing music forever. It'€™s just more like a natural state of being then it is something we really have to try to do or I really have to try to do.

Then your first full length '€œSummer House'€ comes out this summer. What can fans look forward to with this record?
Well, it'€™s really energetic. It'€™s a good soundtrack to summer time. You know I kind of wrote all these songs envisioning people just driving around with their windows down listening to the songs and just kind of like blasting music, having fun with their friends. So, I think it'€™s fun and it'€™s smart and it'€™s poppy, energetic and I just think it'€™s a really solid album.

How do you normally go about the music writing process then? Are there some collective parts to it?
Well, I wrote all the songs on our EP, the first five songs that we released. Then, the band brought a few songs to the table. Our guitar player Eric wrote '€˜Safe in L.A.'€™ and he and I kind of cowrote the lyrics and then Dan and I wrote a song called '€˜Stealing The Moonlight'€™, both of which are on the full length album. Pretty much I write and then we collaborate a little, you know that'€™s what we did for this album and then hopefully we'€™ll collaborate more in the future.

If you could collaborate with any other artist, maybe say someone you'€™ve toured with personally, who would it be and why?
With The Hush Sound, I toured with a lot of people I'€™d like to collaborate with. Personally, let me think, oh that'€™s such a good question. I love Ok Go, they'€™re really awesome. I love the Phantom Planet guys, I would love to work with them. They'€™re really good friends so that would be fun.

Who would you say are some of your bigger musical influences as a band?
Well, personally, as a band we all overlap. We all love Elvis Costello, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Zombies, the Motown music, all the good pop stuff. Personally, I also grew up on Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary and a lot of folk stuff like that.

What would you say kids could look forward to when coming out to one of your live sets?
I think it'€™s very energetic, I think it'€™s very authentic and it'€™s just fun. I don'€™t know, it'€™s just fun music and we perform it with a lot of energy.

What would you say is your favorite part of touring?
Touring? My favorite part is actually playing and it'€™s unfortunate on tours that that usually ends up only being about a half hour to an hour a day but I like meeting people at shows. I like observing new towns, trying new foods that are specialties in all different cities and just kind of having new experiences.

You'€™ve put out a few videos so far. If you could pick any other song to make one for, which would it be and what would be the craziest concept you could think of?
Well, I would love to work with Michel Gondry. Eddie O'€™Keefe who did both of our videos is an amazing friend and he'€™s making the videos for the rest of the album but I'€™m talking like dream directors. It would be really cool to make a video with Michel Gondry, doing something involving us all painted in gold like blue men are painted in blue, we'€™d all be painted in gold and it would be just Michel Gondry'€™s crazy vision and it would be for the song '€œSummer House'€.

What can fans look forward to in these next few months? I know you have the new record coming out, are you planning more shows? Touring?
Yeah, we'€™ll be touring a lot this summer. We'€™re about to announce some dates that will fall right around the album coming out and we'€™re just going to take over the world in a very nice way.

Some goofy ones to finish it out. I know you'€™ve been in music for a long time, if you weren'€™t in music, what do you think you would be doing?
If I wasn'€™t working at all in the music industry, I'€™d probably be doing something in literature. Like whether it'€™s teaching or writing, or being an editor, probably something like that. I don'€™t know, I like English and like the language. I like speaking (laughing).

Then what was the first CD you bought and the first concert?
The first CD I bought with my own money was The Get Up Kids '€œRed Letter Day'€ EP, think I was about eleven and then the first concert I saw was Weezer at the United Center in Chicago.
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The Scenic

Need some true and blue '€œreal'€ pop punk? Well I have your next band for you in The Scenic! The Philadelphia raised boys are currently on the road with fellow Victory Records band Thieves and Villians and will be here near me on Saturday! They are dropping their new full length record on Tuesday '€˜Bipolaroid'€™ and if the new single '€˜Uh pop punk it seems these days but these boys bring something incredibly fresh and I'€™m sure soon enough they'€™ll become a huge name! Oh'€™ is a sign of what'€™s coming then we'€™re in for a real treat. Everyone calls themselves.

The band has changed the line up a little bit with this new record and included in that group is much loved local Boston musician Jay Gatt who previously led the band Lannen Fall. After this extremely loved group disbanded this past spring, we haven'€™t heard much from the guys and after checking out their latest video before this interview I thought I recognized him! Read on for everything The Scenic in our interview Zach be it about the craziest thing they have seen on the road to how the journey has been being on a label to what kids can look forward to with this new record.

You start your new tour tonight with Thieves and Villians and being that it'€™s so close to the new record coming out, what are you most looking forward to with in these first few days? Like being excited about the record and the kids getting excited?
Oh well I mean we'€™re just excited to get out and play. It'€™s been a while and we have a couple new guys and I'€™m just stoked to play some shows and try and play the new stuff as tight as we can and be energetic about it and we want to get out and do what we do!

Then the new record hits shelves in less then a week on Tuesday. What can fans look forward to with this release? Do you feel it'€™s(the sound) matured at all since the last release?
Yeah it'€™s definitely a different sound for sure! We all grew up just you know loving like mid nineties pop rock like Weezer and Third Eye Blind, Nirvana, Everclear and all that like kind of stuff. With this one, there is definitely a lot less of a effort on this record to fit in to any sort of scene like the effort was just to write some pop rock tunes that we dug. I don'€™t know I feel like we accomplished that. So it'€™s definitely different!

Victory'€™s definitely one of the bigger indie labels out there. How is it been working with a major record label compared to doing everything all on your own?
I don'€™t know Victory, one of the great things about them is they just kind of as an artist you just get to be who you are. There isn'€™t any pressure from them to do one thing or another. They sign you and they sign bands they believe in and they'€™ve just kind of turned us loose. The one difference is that they give you a great recording budget which allows you to work with who you want to work with and lets you have a good quality recording and then I think the thing that really benefits us the most is just that there'€™s a team of people working for us! I mean we just went out to Chicago where Victory is and we did a video with them and it was all done in house and it was just awesome! I think we accomplished all of that for a lot less money then it would have cost us to hire out and find another director and all those kinds of things. It'€™s cool because it'€™s definitely a label where so many bands come up and it'€™s a kind of DIY thing. Like booking shows and trying to figure out how to build your band and I feel like they have that kind of same idea. Like they get that, not just a signed band like twelve million out there in pick up sticks. I feel like they actually take an interest in their artists.

Then how did the decision to sign to Victory come about? Like how did it happen?
Well I actually wasn'€™t in the band at that point but I'€™ve heard the story so I'€™ll give it to you as best I can. The guys had gotten together and I think they went and recorded like three decent quality demos and Frank our bass player just started kind of blasting labels. Victory was one of the first to respond and they had the guys come out and play a showcase and I think they signed pretty quickly. I think that with in even three months of being a band Victory had a deal on the table and they just kind of jumped at it and went for it.

Crazy and then how did The Scenic come to be? I know you weren'€™t in it originally but maybe like how the line up is today?
When I came out I was the first guy that wasn'€™t one of the original members. Since the guitar player Dan left, I'€™ve been playing out with The Scenic for probably a little over a year and a half at this point. Trying to think how the whole thing went down. It was just nothing new. Band members change it'€™s never easy. It'€™s not easy being a band at our level. There'€™s not a whole lot of money involved, there'€™s tons of shows and you'€™re gone all the time but just through some different things that came to pass like our drummer needed to leave and then our other guitar player was kind of dragging his feet so when we finished recording he decided that it wasn'€™t for him anymore but the guys we have now. We'€™ve got a buddy of ours'€™ playing drums. He'€™s a great drummer, great kid. We'€™ve known him for a while and we love him. He'€™s been playing awesome and he'€™s really contributing as far as working for us doing whatever needs to be done and then just recently our buddy Jay who was in another band in Boston called Lannen Fall for years and years. His band'€™s just kind of disbanded recently and he'€™s come down and is playing shows with us. Definitely the most talented line up I'€™ve been a part of since I'€™ve been out here. I think the set is definitely sounding big I'€™m excited about it. I think that all these things like the ups and downs of a rollercoaster being in a band kind of happens with a purpose. I think we'€™re in a good spot as result of, not as a result of but through all the turmoil, things have worked themselves out pretty great.
I actually thought I recognized Jay because I actually interviewed him when he was in Lannen Fall when the band was together!
(laughs) Oh yeah?
Yeah I thought I recognized him because of the interview and seeing him play at local shows I was covering.
Cool! Yeah it'€™s very cool because he'€™s just a killer guitar player and then we found out he'€™s a great singer too and I'€™m really excited to play some shows with because I feel like our live show between me doing background vocals and obviously Jeremy he'€™s our lead singer and then now with Jay on board, we'€™ve really just got like a sick vocal presence live so I think that could be cool and I'€™m excited for people to hear it.

That'€™s what I was going to ask about too. I know it'€™s been a while since you guys have been back on the road. What can fans look forward to when coming out to these shows? Are you playing new music live? Maybe it'€™s someone who'€™s never seen you before, what can they look forward to?
Yeah that'€™s kind of been a thing lately. Looking outward, we'€™re thinking over a lot of things. I mean we'€™re not a huge band, we haven'€™t sold a ton of records so we'€™re kind of like '€˜okay what do we think we'€™re going to do?'€™ Right now the set is kind of half stuff from the old record and half of the stuff from the new record because we definitely don'€™t want to alienate anybody but at the same time we are really excited about the new stuff and we feel that our identity now as a band with this record we'€™ve got a good mix. I feel like we can win some one over that'€™s coming out for the first time. We'€™ll just kind of see how it goes. I hope you know like we were saying I hope that we can be more mobile I don'€™t know (laughs). It'€™s kind of hard to say because you know you go out and you just want to play your tunes as best as you can and be energetic and have a good stage presence and hopefully you know make some further impact on kids.

Fantastic and then two little stranger ones. What'€™s the craziest thing you'€™ve probably seen at one of your live shows or during touring? Just generally on the road!
Craziest thing at one of our live shows. I'€™m trying to think I don'€™t know if there'€™s anything completely insane. Jeremy every night finds something extremely inappropriate to say to somebody while I'€™m rolling my eyes but that'€™s kind of crazier then a few stories. As far as like crazy stuff on the road, we'€™ve actually had a pretty smooth ride so far touring like we haven'€™t come across anything insane. Never had any accidents, nothing weird has happened apart from driving a little bit sleep deprived and like having delusions of seeing elephants and giraffes on the road. Besides that, we'€™ve been pretty good. We'€™ve been pretty fortunate so far.
Delusions are still pretty crazy though.
(laughs) Yeah well this past summer, not this summer but during the one before we had like this seven or eight days worth of shows run on Warped Tour but we decided we were going to go out and try to promote. We were working for The Ataris, friends of ours, and they were on the first three or four weeks of Warped Tour. I don'€™t know exactly but we were just in a van and trailer and we were just hustling records all day and then doing their, you know, tech-ing for them and they would play and we'€™d just get in the van and drive all night. That was probably the most intense road stretch for the band so far that I'€™ve experienced since I'€™ve been out here but that was good times. That was rough but it was a good bonding time.

And then let'€™s say if you could hit the road with any three maybe dream bands for you personally or bands in your scene, who would they be?
Oh dream bands! Well we'€™re all huge fans like I'€™ve said of like Weezer, Third Eye Blind. Those would probably be the ultimate dream bands those two and then I think for me personally I would love to throw Brand New in there somewhere. I'€™m sure Jeremy would come up with a whole bunch of off the wall ska bands and punk bands that we don'€™t like actually sound anything like and then Frank would probably want to be on tour with Nirvana but obviously that'€™s not going to happen.

Perfect and then the last one! With the record coming out and obviously being on this tour, what can fans look forward to with in these next few months? Are you going to be out on the road for a while supporting it? What'€™s going to be going on?
Yeah we'€™re just going to be out touring. We have this run with Thieves and we'€™re working on some things for October. We had some plans for fall touring which kind of drained but we'€™re going to scramble and put together a bunch of local stuff so they can keep their eyes out for dates in the northeast. In November, we'€™re going out with Just Surrender. That'€™s going to be a full US tour and then in the first part of December we'€™re talking to a handful of different bands that are packaging up. It'€™s going to be good! Hopefully we'€™ll be busy, be on the road and just keep pushing. Hopefully we can land some good support tours to help ourselves get a broader audience.
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VersaEmerge

It had been a while since our last time we had caught up with Blake, Devin and Sierra of VersaEmerge and since our first time in November with the band, they have recorded and dropped their debut full length, had played most of the Warped tour playing it all this summer and announced their first headlining tour of their career! This time around we didn'€™t have too much time with the extremely time deprived band as most are at Warped but we still learned about how the new record is doing in their live shows and what kids can look forward to in the future. It was short, sweet, a pre cursor to what should be an amazing fall/spring for this talented band. Plans are in the works to cover or interview the band in a fuller sense when they come back to Boston at the end of November so look to catch up with them then but for now read one of our catch up interviews we did at Warped with Sierra and Blake!

'€˜Fixed at Zero'€™ has been out for so short but already everyone'€™s talking about it which is awesome for you guys as your debut. How has it been doing at Warped? How are the kids?
Sierra: It'€™s actually doing really well. A lot of kids like it. Kids who haven'€™t heard of us who have just happened to check us out, they'€™re getting it. They like it and they tell us which is really cool.
Blake: It'€™s really cool too because we'€™re playing like four songs off of the new CD live so like I don'€™t know, we'€™re just really happy to be playing new songs finally.
Sierra: Yeah (laughs).

Last time we talked, you were about to jump into the recording studio for this record. How did the process go for you? Was it up to your expectations?
Sierra: Yeah it was a great process. I mean we'€™ve never been in the studio that long to work on a full length record, just little quick EP'€™s so going in there with the songs that we had and being able to kind of twist and work on new songs and write while we were there, experiment with different sounds and kind of like delve into the music a little bit more was definitely a great experience.

What can fans look forward to these next few months? Are you going to be on the road again pretty quickly supporting this record?
Blake: Definitely! We'€™ll be touring in the fall whether we'€™re headlining or supporting. We'€™ll be definitely touring the record.
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Wonder Years

The Wonder Years are living the life right now, honestly. Currently finishing out some time in Australia along with playing as main support for the upcoming Four Year Strong full US tour, it'€™s sure to be their season. Not to even mention the re-release of their January full length '€œThe Upsides'€ with a bunch of bonus tracks. Knowing all of this was going on for the band, I knew I should jump on the opportunity to talk to front man Dan '€œSoupy'€ Campbell when I could!
Since it was my first time around with the band, we covered a lot of the basics as I normally do. I learned why they chose The Wonder Years for their name which is something they chose because they didn'€™t think they would even last to why this new re-release is so special. Read on for our exclusive and learn something new about quite possibly one of the most well known underground bands out there currently!

If you could tour with any three acts that you've toured with in the past to make a dream tour with, who would they be and why?
Blink 182 for getting me into this genre, the Get Up Kids for being my favorite band of all time and Living With Lions to cause trouble and have a good time with.

How did the Wonder Years come to be?
We got bored and started writing songs for fun and it just continued to progress.

Why the Wonder Years for the name?
Because when we started, we never thought we would play a show so we picked the first name that came to mind.

How does the band typically go about the songwriting process? Is it one person, more of a collective effort?
It always starts with one person with an idea but a song is never complete until each of us have helped work on a song.

Your new release comes out September 21st. What can fans look forward to with this release? Has the music style changed, matured? Is it classic Wonder Years?
This release gave us a lot of freedom because it was just adding bonus material to The Upsides (our full length that came out in January) so we were able to write songs that we wouldn't typically put on a Wonder Years record. I think we did some creative stuff and I think people are going to like it for what it is but shouldn't expect future Wonder Years songs to sound like these.

What's the strangest thing you've found inspiration in, be it for a song, an album cover, etcetera?
I find inspiration all around me all the time. I guess it depends on your perception of strange but we certainly have songs that reference everything from Lucky Charms to Blacklisted to Arrested Development.

You're about to head on a tour of Australia and then almost immediately after you'll be going out as main support for Four Year Strong. What can kids look forward to when coming out to one of the live shows? Will you be playing new music at all?
Kids can expect 100% of us on stage every night. We never play half ass shows and we always leave stage knowing we poured everything we had into a set. There is a chance we'll be playing one new track on these tours but I'm not totally sure yet.

And what's one of the crazier things to end it off that you've experienced so far on the road?
A few days ago, I got to hug a kangaroo. I think that tops the list!
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The Swellers

Through this time, I'€™ve worked with several Fueled by Ramen bands be it the love song singing boys in Rocket To the Moon to the rock and roll crew in This Providence to the newly signed to the label Fun but the most recent and quite possibly one of the most interesting bands on the roster is The Swellers! Being a band that I'€™ve had on my radar for years be it on tour line ups to myspace play lists, I knew that it was an opportunity I should definitely take to talk to co-founder Nick Diener.

Nick started the band in 2002 with his brother Jono and ever since then, the band has put out several records, played with punk rock legends like Paramore and Anti Flag and have no signs of slowing down any time soon. Being on the road constantly, the band directly after playing their run of the Warped Tour continued to hit the road on their current tour with Fireworks which is stopping by here on Thursday and we talked about all of that and much more! From how the new record is shaping up to who they would take out on a dream tour to everything that'€™s going on at Warped for them, we covered everything all in our exclusive below!

So a little soft one. If you could tour with any three bands on this tour, who do you think they would be?
How many bands do I have to choose?
You can do three, you can do two.
Okay three. I'€™ll take Motion City Soundtrack because they'€™re just the best. I would love to put Bouncing Souls on that tour. Oh man and then our new friends in Fake Problems. I think I would put them on too, I think that would make a really good tour. I'€™d probably have to add like a couple more bands and make a different tour because if I had to do another one I would do Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals and Polar Bear Club. So yeah there are a bunch of different worlds that I want to combine like we have so many awesome friends in bands on this tour that it'€™s hard to pick but it'€™s so much fun watching them every day.

And then Ups and Downsizing has been out for a good while now. What have fans reactions been to the record so far maybe in comparison to the past because I know this is your first major label release?
Yeah like basically we started making records on our own and then we moved on to making records on a really small label and this is our first record on a big label. It'€™s definitely sold way more copies then any of our other ones just because of all the help and all the touring that we'€™ve been doing. So we always thought like in our punk rock community the mantra is '€˜I liked their first album the best'€™ and kids always say that they always mean it but with us, we try to play some of our old songs and kids just don'€™t know them. Kids are just watching us like nodding their heads and then we'€™ll play the new songs and kids sing along. So we'€™re in a pretty weird demographic where people are actually liking our new stuff better then the last record and I'€™m really happy about that. I mean obviously there'€™s some people who like our older stuff better but you know everybody has different tastes but I'€™m really happy with the response. All the reviews were great, the label loved it and I'€™m just ready to get working on number two already.

And that'€™s actually what I was going to ask about next. Are there plans to start writing/recording the new record? What'€™s going on?
Yep! We'€™re always writing. Always, always and we actually record whenever we'€™re home. Just getting ideas down and stuff like that but I think with this one since we know it'€™s going to be on Fueled by Ramen we have a lot more support behind us and we have a lot more ambition to make this something awesome. With Ups and Downsizing, we recorded it before we even knew who we were going to sign to. We just kind of made the record and said alright, now what? Yeah so this next one is definitely going to have a lot more focus and drive and I'€™m really excited to get it done finally because we'€™ve been waiting for so long.

Perfect, and then I think you'€™re jumping pretty much right back on the road after Warped tour. I believe it'€™s a full US tour, can you talk a little more about that?
Yeah we'€™re touring with our good buddies in Fireworks. They'€™re a band out of Detroit that'€™s doing really well. They'€™ve been blowing up in like the pop punk scene touring with New Found Glory and all those guys and there'€™s two up and coming bands that are doing really well with Transit and Man Overboard that are opening and it'€™s going everywhere! It'€™s going all over the US, parts of Canada and it'€™s like six weeks long. It'€™s out of control but it'€™s going to be good. It'€™s sweet after being on Warped tour because we'€™re going to hit up all the places we just played and then places we didn'€™t play yet.
That'€™s like four months straight on the road, crazy!
Yeah we haven'€™t really stopped touring since the record came out. We haven'€™t had more than a month off!
Awesome.
It'€™s out of control but it'€™s what we do so I'€™m loving it!

Perfect, then it'€™s been a while for the band but you guys aren'€™t newbies to the tour. You have been on the tour in the past right?
Yeah we played only a few shows here and there but this is our first time on a big leg of it so it'€™s really exciting to see how everything works behind the scenes but yeah 2005 was the last time we did like five or six shows on the Warped tour. So we'€™ve been long overdue to make it back here.

So how has Warped Tour been doing for you guys so far this summer?
It'€™s been great! I think it'€™s one of the coolest tours we'€™ve ever done. Really, really hard tour. You have to really promote yourself and let people know when you'€™re playing and that you exist. Um, it'€™s really hot so most shows you know you show up at night, the sun goes down, you play then you leave when it'€™s dark. This is like you wake up and it'€™s hot and you pack up and it'€™s just still hot and you drive. Pretty much out of control. Good though!

Then what'€™s one of the crazier things you'€™ve experienced or seen on this tour? A lot of people are saying things citing the Rejects but maybe something a little different.
Oh yeah, there'€™s a bunch of our friends who get really crazy and you know everybody'€™s drinking and doing whatever and eating a bunch of food at the end before bus call but I'€™m more laid back. I like to just hang out, watch movies and talk, do things like that. So I usually just hang out with Justin from Motion City Soundtrack and we work out together and then we also just have movie nights when we'€™re too lazy to work out. So we kind of have our little geek club. We will go out and hang out with our friends and we'€™ll all have a good time but most of the time we like to hole ourselves up so I think that'€™s one of the coolest things about Warped tour is the fact that we'€™ve gotten to strengthen some friendships and just do all kinds of stuff. It'€™s really cool.

And then where can fans find you at the tour? What stage are you playing, are you going to be doing signings, what'€™s going to be going on?
Oh well we play on the Ernie Ball stage! We'€™re one of the headliners with like Mayday Parade and Emarosa so we'€™ve been having a really cool time slot every show so far. We kind of got started on the Ernie Ball stage back in 2003. We played like the local show in Detroit so now we'€™re actually headlining half the Warped tour and I think that'€™s really cool. We do signings at our tent, The Swellers tent, after every show we play and sometimes we do them elsewhere like we'€™ll post it on twitter. We go to the Atticus tent or something like that but yeah otherwise we just wander around promoting trying to sell stuff and make ends meet I guess.
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Artist vs Poet

With crowds of up to 1,000 kids on the regular, Artist vs. Poet has come so far in just the past few months with their debut full length record '€œFavorite Fix'€. Cited as one of the most listenable records so far this year, it'€™s no wonder why they were one of the biggest hits on Warped tour! Knowing the buzz about them going into the tour, I knew they were one of the bands I wanted to talk to!
Being our first time around with the band, I talked to Tarcy about everything AVP. Be it how they first began to what their plans are for this fall which actually have just been announced! The boys will be heading out on the Fearless Friends tour with four fellow label mate bands so be sure to catch it! We also talked about their experience so far on Warped including the craziest thing they'€™ve seen which included the All American Rejects just like we had with the Summer Set. Tyson Ritter crazy, what are you guys talking about? Read on for our exclusive and catch the boys when they come through a town near you!

So '€˜Favorite Fix'€™ came out in March. It'€™s been a few months since it came out. How do you think it'€™s been doing, maybe from kids'€™ reactions at Warped?
It'€™s been good! I mean Warped Tour has been the most receptive tour we'€™ve ever been on. I mean we get at least around six to eight hundred kids watching us a day and in Canada, there was like a thousand kids watching us and we just got back from Japan on it and it'€™s been going really, really well!

How did that tour go in Japan? I know fellow tour mates here too Anarbor had to drop off unfortunately but how did the rest of it go with There for Tomorrow and Valencia?
Awesome! It was so good! There were kids waiting for us at the airport, it was crazy! It was amazing. They didn'€™t know the language but they knew the words to the songs so it was sick.

Then how did Artist Vs Poet first come together?
Um, through myspace! I posted a bulletin after my old band broke up and I was just like '€˜I want to write some new music'€™ and our guitar player responded to it and we wrote three songs within like the first night and it just kind of came together from there. We found our other guitarist on you tube, our bass player used to be our merch guy. It just kind of all came together really weird.

Then How has Warped Tour been going for you? Like I believe you'€™re on it for the whole thing and is it your first time?
Mhmm!
So as a newbie to the tour, how has it been going?
It'€™s been going amazing! I mean it'€™s tiring, it'€™s really tiring. I get up at like seven in the morning and I probably won'€™t go to bed till 2, 3 in the morning so the off days are when I get to sleep but it'€™s been amazing though. It'€™s going to be a great experience!

And then what'€™s one of the crazier things you'€™ve seen so far this summer? I know it'€™s only been a few weeks but maybe at one of your shows.
I'€™ve never seen this just because the bands we tour with are not huge but during All American Rejects a bunch of girls just took off all their clothes. Yeah that was probably the craziest thing I'€™ve seen. It was like three or four girls just took off their clothes. Stupid people!

Where can fans find you this summer? Are you doing signings?
Yeah we'€™re doing signings everywhere. We do one at our tent every day and we'€™ll do one at a sponsor'€™s tent. Like today we'€™re doing the Wonka tent.

Fun! Then what stage are you playing this summer? Where can they find you?
The Glamour Kills stage!
That'€™s a great stage, a lot of fun ones are on there like The Summer Set and Sum 41!
Amazing bands! Enter Shikari which is one of my favorite bands let'€™s see and then the stage that'€™s right connected to us is the Ap stage with like The Rocket Summer, Never Shout Never!

And then what can fans look forward to after this tour? Are you going to be back on the road, what'€™s going to be going on?
Yes, we are! I can'€™t announce what it is just '€˜cause I'€™ll get in trouble? The headliner should be announcing it this week so it'€™s going to be a sweet time!
So it'€™s going to be a fall tour?
Yeah, it'€™s going to be a fall tour!

And then I don'€™t think you put a video out yet for a song on the new record. Is there one coming though?
Yes, there'€™s going to be one for '€˜Adorable'€™ and it should be out hopefully within the next month. Yeah we should be getting a rough mix pretty soon so we'€™re excited.
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Hot Chelle Rae

I'm a big of fan of bands that can both be incredibly serious when it comes to their music but allow themselves to laugh as well and one of those bands who fits that description perfectly is this next one in Hot Chelle Rae. I had the opportunity to catch up with these Tennessee raised boys during their recent show at Six Flags New England where we talked about everything HCR related. Be it their pretend stories of how they started compared to what really happened to how they'€™ve stayed strong and focused through out their careers, we talked about everything! Along with the serious questions, I also learned who of their influences they'€™d want to cover musically and how their experiences were both on Warped Tour this summer and their time in Australia with Boys Like Girls!

Dropping their debut full length '€œLovesick Electric'€ in October of 2009, the band has been constantly on the road since it'€™s release and will continue to do so this October where they will be playing as direct support for Parachute. With the record close to hitting it'€™s one year anniversary, the boys are sure to just get bigger and bigger in the music scene and hopefully we'€™ll be able to watch their journey as they grow and so will you. Catch them in a town near you with the tour starting October 19th! For now though, you can find our exclusive interview with R.K and Nash below!

You just finished a run on the Warped Tour. How did that go for you?
R.k: It was good! Yeah I think it was successful. We got to play for a lot of people that we'€™ve played for before and a lot of new fans. It was really, really, really hot. Almost unbearably hot.
Nash: Yeah I think it was one of the most difficult things to go into because we came straight from Australia. Landed the night of the sixteenth and the seventeenth was the first show and so there was no like time with the jet lag thing going or to acclimate so we just went straight in to full on days. It was really rough but once we got the swing of things it was really good.
R.k: We had been in the forties in Australia and then we came back and it was just in the one hundreds which is quite a temperature change.

Were there any bands that maybe you were able to see or meet on that tour that you had listened to?
R.k: Yes we had previously toured with Mayday Parade and The Rocket Summer and we love both the bands. Like we love their music and especially we became pretty close to The Rocket Summer and it was really good to get out there and hear Bryce and hear them every day. It was a good hangout and it was fun. Definitely fun!

Then maybe what'€™s one of the crazier things you saw? There are some insane bands on that tour lots of troublemakers!
Nash: There'€™s definitely some troublemaking bands on that tour. It was actually during the shows that we saw the craziest stuff. There was one band that ordered the crowd to part like the red sea and then all order them right after that to run at each other and knock each other over.
R.k: Like The Lord of the Rings.
Nash: It was like a battle scene.
R.k: I saw a girl walking around during the day in a thong and she had her butt cheeks tattooed in tiger print. That was kind of weird and then I also saw a dude like pass out of heat exhaustion like right next to me during one of the shows on the last date. It was like 113 degrees in Kansas and it was like really, really intense. I watched this guy pass out that was pretty crazy.

And then you played like you said in Australia with Boys Like Girls right before Warped. If you could play a show in any country, which one would it be?
Nash: Australia!
R.k: Yeah (starts laughing).
Nash: Australia was sick. It was super cool. The fans were amazing like we would literally walk back to the dressing room afterwards and kind of be hanging out. Get on face book and we all just have like forty friend requests just to our personal ones that are like fairly hard to find so they'€™re super intense, diligent, amazing like they scream louder then anyone.
R.k: They'€™re pretty high up on the list. Japan as well. We'€™ve never played Japan so that'€™s definitely up there too.

Then maybe not a dream tour with anyone but maybe a dream tour of like three bands that you'€™ve toured with in the past, who would it be?
R.k: I think we all, we haven'€™t toured with them in the past but I think our dream tour would be to like go on tour with Maroon 5. It doesn'€™t really show in our music but we'€™re heavily influenced by them. They all kind of really hit us around a time in our lives musically where we were just really sponges and it'€™s music that we all just loved.
Nash: For bands we'€™ve toured with in the past I think definitely The Rocket Summer with Boys Like Girls and you know Third Eye Blind was really sick when we got out with them. The Academy Is was cool and kind of like any combination of those bands would be really cool.
R.k: Good pop rock music, we'€™ll go out. We'€™re down!

And then how did the band come to be? I know you'€™ve been together for about five years now.
R.k: Yeah we'€™ve been out about five years.
Nash: It was a stork that flew over at one point.
R.k: Yeah.
Nash: And it dropped us off!
R.k: No I met Nash at a music store that was like the place you used to just go to buy gear and he was doing like a singer/songwriter thing and I was doing a very similar kind of project and a friend of ours kind of suggested that we get together and work together and you know we kind of started playing a little bit of music together. Then we started writing and as soon as we started writing the band happened very, very shortly after we started writing songs together because we enjoyed writing together so much. We went through lots of drummers and bass players through a period of time. Jamie'€™s obviously my brother so he had been practicing and playing while we were working and trying to hone our craft and the whole time Ian and Nash were friends as kids and Ian'€™s a really good musician and he just picked up the bass and joined the band. It'€™s just like four best buds decided to be in a band together. Pretty easy!
Nash: Yeah it was pretty cool just the fact that we were all hanging out anyways! Like minus whoever was drumming and bass playing you know at the time. They'€™d leave, we'€™d all be done with rehearsal and then it would be like us four. So the fact that we ended up being the ones in the band really helped the camaraderie and like the brotherhood aspect of it.
R.k: It was difficult to get to that four, to that line up but once we finally got it, it was so obviously the right line up. We knew it right away.

Then there are multiple stories about how you got the name. What do you think is like the craziest thing you'€™ve made up when someone asks you that? I know you had like a myspace stalker-
R.k: That'€™s actually true!
That'€™s true?
R.k: It'€™s true! We did go through a period of time where we were like making up stories when we first started.
Nash: I think that the best story we came up with was, we only used it a couple times, that Chelle Rae saved us from a shark attack and an ex member had had their leg bitten off but we all survived.

And then like I said this is the five year anniversary for the band as Hot Chelle Rae. Did you ever think you would even get to this point today because a lot of bands stop after like two years?
Nash: There have been many points in our journey so far I'€™ll call it that were full of uncertainty but the thing that kind of brings us together is that none of us give up and that we don'€™t stop until we achieve our goals and our dreams. So I don'€™t think there was ever a point where we ever thought we were just going to like disband or you know stop what we were doing. It'€™s kind of like we'€™re going to go until we get what we want.
R.k: There'€™s a lot of blind ambition in this band like there'€™s definitely moments where like you really have to put yourself in check but most of the time we just kept our heads up and like just kept working. We knew this band was just going to be a perennial thing for us. It'€™s going to be forever so that kind of helps you along.

And then Lovesick Electric came out in October of last year. Your first full length I want to say. Since you'€™ve been touring a lot since then you did the Warped Tour, the Boys Like Girls tour, Rocket Summer, how do you feel the record'€™s really grown on the kids? How'€™s the reception been?
R.k: It'€™s been good so far. I think it'€™s spreading slowly but surely. I think the more people that come to the shows realize that we tried to make a record that'€™s worth buying and not just a few singles that are trying to cut a great full length short but I think it'€™s going good so far. I mean I feel like the people that are buying it are really receiving it well and we'€™re making life long fans that we'€™re really, really happy to have.
Nash: Yeah I think one of the coolest things to see about the record is that every one, whether it'€™s twitter or face book or what not, they tell us that their favorite songs are different songs. So hearing that you know, it'€™s like eleven different answers for that question is great because it doesn'€™t mean that you have a couple obvious good songs and the rest are kind of just thrown in there. We'€™ve worked hard at every song and it'€™s cool to see that at shows.
R.k: One thing so far that I think as far as the record goes that really made me proud of what we did is that when we were on the last day of Warped Tour. This girl came to our merch table when we were like signing posters and like taking pictures with everybody that came to the show. She went up to our merch girl MJ, bought the CD and she'€™s like '€˜I already have the CD but I accidentally left it at home and I wanted to listen to it on the way home'€™ and I was like that is the coolest thing that I think I'€™ve seen a fan do is to be that dedicated to a record. That'€™s so cool!

Then the last few. If you were to cover one of your major musical influences growing up, who would they be?
Nash: We'€™ve talked about covering Cheaptrick and in the past, we'€™ve messed around covering Queen and Katy Perry and stuff like that but one of our influences? We'€™ve talked about doing Third Eye Blind. It'€™s really hard because like our tastes change week by week so one week we might want to do you know a Beatles cover or the next week we may want to do a Muse cover.
R.k: I think that if we were to cover an actual influence, we were all very influenced by the Beatles. That'€™s like one that we all just agree on completely. Every single one of us just kind of started with The Beatles. I'€™d like to take like one of their songs and try to make it different. It would be cool!

And then on this Six Flags tour, what would you say has been your favorite ride so far?
Nash: Well we did, I can'€™t even remember the name of it, but it was a wooden roller coaster and it was dark because it was after the park hours and we took off and couldn'€™t see anything for like the first bit of it and it was really cool. Like just not being able to see where you were going and not knowing what the next turn is going to do was a lot of fun.
R.k: I liked X2. X2 was insane. There'€™s fire on that roller coaster!

Then the last one. What can fans look forward to within these next few months?
R.k: Hopefully lots of shows!
Nash: Playing as much as possible and getting to every area of the country so hopefully people can come out.

Well I think that'€™s all I have for you guys!
R.k: Cool well thank you so much!
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The Audition

I'€™ve known about this next band I interviewed for a while now. It may have been from past friends touring with them to catching them when they opened for Cobra Starship in the summer of 2009 but it all led up to the chance to sit down with Danny Stevens, the lead vocalist for The Audition this past spring! Quite possibly one of the hardest working bands in the scene that I'€™ve encountered, they put out three full length records in the past three years along with their debut in 2005 yet still continue to tour over the country a million times over and show no signs of slowing down any time soon!

Sharing the bill with bands like All Time Low, Hawthorne Heights and Jack'€™s Mannequin just to name a few, the band has been releasing full length records since 2005 and EP'€™s even before then and we talked about it all in our exclusive interview below! Read on for everything from how they feel Great Danger is doing to what Danny would be doing if he weren'€™t in the band to what we can look forward to during the rest of this year!

If you could collaborate with any other band on this tour be it Anarbor, The Bigger Lights, Artist vs. Poet (who were on in the beginning) or This Providence, who would they be and what would the song be about?
Collaborate as in write a song or collaborate as in like sing a song with them?
Write a song.
Write a song! Okay, well I don'€™t know. I like the poppy feel of This Providence but I love the technical and like cool feel of Anarbor so either one of those two for sure.

And then how has the tour been going so far for you with the new album coming out so recently?
It'€™s been going really, really well. Tons of people are singing the words which is surprising because it'€™s only been out for a few weeks. You know, it usually takes a few weeks, a few months to pick up but a lot of the people are really just singing all the words to the new songs and it'€™s awesome.

How did the band actually come together?
Um, we got together in 2005. The Audition was a band before I was in it and they would come play shows with my high school band in Michigan where I'€™m from. I'€™m from Detroit and basically became really good friends, started hanging out when they'€™d come here. We'€™d go there and you know hang out and the guitar player, Bob from the Hush Sound. I don'€™t know if you'€™ve ever heard of them. He was actually the original guitar player-
Yeah, I'€™ve heard of them, I grew up in Chicago!
Oh okay cool! So he quit to start the Hush Sound and I joined to play guitar and then like two weeks into me playing guitar, I was singing! (laughs)
So, you joined to play guitar?
Correct.
Then you became the singer?
Yep.

And what made you first start wanting to do music personally?
Honestly, I don'€™t know. It was a weird thing because I was about twelve years old and I just got the idea in my head. I guess little kids do this all the time where they just want something you know and I just wanted a guitar. I didn'€™t listen to music, I didn'€™t grow up with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and all that. I just didn'€™t and I just wanted a guitar so badly and so my mom was like '€˜yeah we'€™re not buying you a guitar. You'€™re going to work, if you really want it, you'€™ll do chores and you'€™ll buy it with your money.'€™ I was like '€˜alright'€™ and I did. It'€™s funny because they bring that up a lot, they'€™re like '€˜man, we should have just bought you the guitar now because now we feel bad because you know we thought that you were just in a phase and were only going to do it for so many weeks and just give up on it'€™.

Who would you say are some of your bigger musical influences maybe for this album or just over time?
Um, (clears throat), I'€™m huge into just really good singers. I mean, I guess it makes sense being one uh, not a really good singer but a singer. I love Rascal Flatts, I love Jason Mraz, I love John Mayer, I love Anthony Hamilton, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder. I'€™m huge into country and I'€™m huge into soul music so a lot of people from those genres.

'€˜Great Danger'€™ just came out a month ago, and how do you feel it'€™s been doing so far with the kids maybe in comparison to the last records?
I don'€™t know man when kids know the songs, it doesn'€™t matter which album it'€™s off of. If they know it, they know it and they love singing along which is great because, you know you see a lot of bands that kind of..people know the words but they don'€™t really get into it but for whatever reason, whatever we play with some of our songs, people just go ape and just love it you know.

I don'€™t think you'€™ve put out a video for this album-
No we actually just recorded one in LA.
You just did?
Yep.
Okay because I was going to ask you a question if you were to pick any song on your album to do a video for, what would be the craziest concept you could think of?
The concept we have is actually pretty wild. It'€™s something totally different then what we'€™ve done before. It tells kind of a story, it'€™s all about the fans. It'€™s going to be cool. I hope people understand it. It'€™s not too weird but you might have to watch it one or two or three times, well obviously once, to really understand what'€™s going on it but it'€™s definitely cool. It'€™s different.

What would you say is the craziest thing you'€™ve experienced while on the road or seen?
I think it'€™s just crazy. The whole thing is just crazy. You know like in a new city every day, you know what I mean. I'€™ve been to the UK almost twenty times, I'€™ve seen the world so that'€™s the craziest part about it. It'€™s just everything honestly.

If you weren'€™t in The Audition, what do you think you would be doing?
I'€™d either be playing professional ice hockey or I would be a English teacher.

Kind of random, usually just to end it off, what'€™s your favorite treat?
You know what? I don'€™t really like candy. I'€™m not a big like cake, candy, cookie person but the only candy that I really really love is Snickers bars. For whatever reason, I fucking love Snickers bars.

What was the first show you went to as a kid?
Uh the first show I went to was New Found Glory, H2O, Rx Bandits in Detroit at what is now the Fillmore which used to be called the Safety Center.
And then the first CD you ever bought?
First CD I ever bought with my own money was probably like a Limp Biskit album (laughs). Probably.
Bringing it back!
I honestly think it was a Limp Biskit album.

And then I know you'€™re going to be going out with The Rocket Summer or Bryce Avary in the UK. What else is planned in 2010? Just a lot of touring and shows?
I mean yeah just pushing the album as much as we can. You know, touring. We have some really big things lined up for the end of the year, this year. Really, really big things that I can'€™t really talk about. I'€™ll either get sued or it won'€™t happen, so we'€™ll keep that under the radar for now.
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There for Tomorrow

Over the past year and a half I'€™ve experienced a lot of different styles of bands but one that has always been a stand out is There for Tomorrow. Hearing about them from past interviewed bands like VersaEmerge and Rocket To The Moon, I had only heard good things so when the opportunity presented itself to talk to front man Maika Maile I knew I should take it and I'€™m hundred percent glad I did.
In our first interview, I got to know a little bit about the writing process for their most recent record '€œA 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 '€œDeathbed'€ 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.
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