With The Punches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Needtobreathe is definitely something special. They may be seen as a Christian band but their southern rock laced in with a good message is something incredibly rare these days. Seeing them live after our interview, I understood why this band has become something so big. The crowd was filled to the brim with fans singing every word and dancing through out the set!

Earlier that evening, I had had the chance to sit down with long time drummer Joe Stillwell who originally collaborated and started the band with Bear and we talked about everything for this band. Be it the fact that they plan to hit the studio to record their next record right after the Rock Boat to how they normally go about the song writing process and everything in between. Along with the serious, we talked about the goofy including their top tour essentials to Joe'€™s first musical experiences and how they influenced him today. Enjoy the interview and catch the boys as they finish out this current tour!

To start it, this is a twitter question from @smificki for you. Why did you decide to combine at this show?
Us and GRO, why we decided to combine? Well I mean we'€™re buddies with them and we'€™ve known them for years and years and when you'€™re doing shows in the same town on the same night with bands that you'€™re buddies with and you know you kind of draw a little bit of the same audience, it just kind of works out. So you might as well just combine the show and get every body into it, you'€™re good to go. Instead of having to choose between well do I go to see Needtobreathe or Green River Ordinance, like just combine the shows. It could be fun!

And then she actually wanted me to ask about the Rock Boat, which I was going to bring up considering both of you are actually playing this year. What are you most looking forward to?
Yeah I'€™ve never been on a cruise before so it'€™s going to be interesting for me. I just hope I don'€™t get sea sick but I think, like I'€™ve heard that a lot of the bands like change out members and there'€™s a lot of jams that go on and stuff. So I'€™m really looking forward to that. To getting in on some of that.

Perfect and then you'€™ve been together for a while with the project starting about ten years ago. It'€™s been the same line up and you added a touring member I believe. Did you ever imagine that you would get to this point? I mean you'€™re playing the House of Blues that fits up to 2,500 kids.
I think you imagine that you might, like you dream that you might but it seems a lot farther off back then and I mean just in the last two or three years since like our live touring has really kind of stepped up as far as people coming out to shows. Mostly since the release of '€˜The Outsiders'€™, it'€™s kind of taken off like leaps and bounds. So I mean at that point, I think a couple years ago I was thinking '€˜Oh we can definitely do this'€™ but then ten years ago I was thinking you know I just hope we can afford to buy a trailer (laughs). Like hopefully we can get all of our gear to the show on time.
And both of you guys have been around for a long time. I know they started when they were in like high school!
Yeah and I think the first show we ever did with GRO was maybe like five years ago. Something like that. Down somewhere in Texas like in Fort Worth or something like that, maybe Dallas I can'€™t remember.

And then I know you'€™ve put out the EP but it'€™s been a while since the full length. I think a year-
Yeah a little over a year.
A little over a year so are there plans to start maybe writing/recording or has it already began to happen?
We'€™ve already started demo'€™ ing. We'€™ve got a lot of song ideas down and like we have our own studio back in South Carolina so that'€™s where we do most of it. We haven'€™t actually gone into properly record the record yet. It'€™s all just demo ideas at this point but probably right after the Rock Boat is done we'€™re going to head into the studio and really put our nose to the grind stone and get it done.

Perfect, then how do you normally go about the writing process? I mean you guys have been working together for so long on this project.
Well the way it is now. Bear and Bo are the two main song writers and they'€™ll come up with a general idea or have like a verse and chorus or they'€™ll just have a riff or something and then they bring it to us and we all just kind of throw our hat in. It morphs into whatever it eventually becomes. You know sometimes we'€™ll have a song like a proper song in ten minutes and sometimes it will take us days and days of hashing things out to really get it right.

Then maybe what'€™s like the strangest place you'€™ve found inspiration from like be it for anything from a song lyric to a song title?
Hmm strangest place we'€™ve found inspiration. I don'€™t know if this ever made, really kind of developed into a song but like a few years ago, our van burned completely to the ground on the side of the road. We were sitting on the side of the interstate watching our van just kind of go up in flames and like it felt a little surreal. Like I didn'€™t feel as upset as I thought I might. I felt a little more just like '€˜uh it'€™s okay. It'€™s just a van'€™ kind of thing so that was inspiring for me and I think the other guys felt a little different. They were different emotions flying around at that point but I don'€™t know that'€™s probably the strangest place I'€™ve ever felt inspired.

Then I know some of the story of how the project began. I believe it was Bear and Bo who were brothers and went school-
Bear and I.
So you and Bear went to school together.
Yeah Bear and I roomed together in college so we started the band and there were some other people from our school that we were playing with as Needtobreathe but it didn'€™t really work out and it came down to just me and Bear. Then we decided to get Bo and Seth and kind of go for it that way and it worked. We'€™ve been doing it ever since.
Yeah no changes in the line up. Pretty rare these days!
Yeah it'€™s incredible.

Then you guys are a touring band and on the road a lot. What would you say are your like three tour essentials that you must have to survive on tour?
For us, Diet Coke or (looking at his current can) the Polar Diet Cola whatever this is. We drink way too much Diet Coke. Also you got to have peanut butter and jelly and what else? Tyler, what'€™s another tour essential?
TM: Socks.
Socks. Clean socks apparently. It'€™s kind of like in Forrest Gump whenever Lieutenant Dan says '€˜Got to protect your feet. They'€™re your most valuable assets'€™. Socks.

Then maybe what'€™s like, not on tour because I'€™m sure you'€™ve seen plenty of wild stuff on tour, maybe what'€™s like the wildest thing that'€™s happened at one of your live shows?
Um gosh. One time, this is more of an embarrassing moment. I don'€™t really know how wild this is but we were playing in Greenville, South Carolina which was basically like our hometown show. Playing in front of I guess probably about 3,000 people outdoors and up on this big stage in downtown Greenville. We'€™re getting ready to go play, our intro music playing and we'€™re going up to the stage. I'€™m not typically the first one on stage but tonight, you know, I happened to be the first one walking up on stage and my drums were up on this platform up on the risers but it was kind of an awkward height. You couldn'€™t just step right up onto it and there were no steps so you had to kind of just jump with one foot and I started to jump up onto it but then my other foot kind of like caught on the edge and slipped off. So I tumbled into my drum set just like had to brace myself on my seat and everything. All the mikes were open so it was like a huge sound just rattling around and I was like the very first one just as we'€™re trying to look cool and I just take a dive.
First one and at hometown.
Oh yeah it was very ridiculous.

Then obviously you'€™ve toured a lot! You'€™ve toured with bigger bands, with smaller bands. Like obviously you'€™re headlining this show in particular with Green River Ordinance opening. What would be like the three past bands that you would want to bring out now on like a dream tour?
Oh gosh like would we be headlining and them opening? Any three opening bands. Gosh! Mumford and Sons would be one, they would definitely be one. I think honestly, I think, a really really fun show. We wouldn'€™t be headlining this show. It would go Mumford and Sons, Needtobreathe, Radiohead. That would be my ideal show. That'€™s just me.

Then what can fans maybe look forward to with in the next few months? Do you think you'€™re going to take a little break? I mean you have the rock boat, you have this tour?
Well we'€™ve got this tour that goes through the end of December and then we have the Rock boat in January and then we'€™re going to be in the studio for a couple months working on the new record and you know who knows after that. That'€™s a little too far in advance to be planning right now.

And then two goofy ones. What was like the first cassette you bought, or CD? Then I'€™ll do the second part of the question!
The first cassette I ever got was-. I can'€™t remember which one came first. I got the C+C Music Factory cassette. You know the one with everybody dancing on it and the soundtrack to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. Those were my two first cassettes.

Perfect and then the first concert. Do you think it influences the style at all you'€™re doing today?
First concert I ever saw was actually a really big concert. It was Van Halen. It definitely influences us. Well it influences me just seeing that big of a production and like how just huge it was. Like how big a band can really get so it was pretty inspiring for me.
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The Maine

So over the last year or so, I'€™ve been able to stay up to date with a band that steadily is one of the main stays in the alternative scene since the beginning with '€œCan'€™t Stop, Won'€™t Stop'€ with the Maine. Up until now, we'€™ve always been lucky enough to sit down with Kennedy Brock which has created a great grasp of what the band is about and what they'€™ve been up to but the other night I sat down with John O'€™Callaghan for the first time. Familiar fans to the band know that John not only is the front man of the band but always writes if not all, the majority of the lyrics for the group. It'€™s always interesting to sit down with the person who really has to deal with the criticism that may come with a certain song or the idea projected and I'€™m really glad that it worked out that we had this opportunity.

At this time in their careers, it'€™s a scary time. A second record for a band can either aid them a lot or start losing some fans and for this record, they definitely took some risks. Through my conversation with John, we talked about their first tastes of mainstream and the criticism that may come from fans because of that and just people in general and for these guys it'€™s something they just don'€™t care about any more. It'€™s about the music and please do read on because this is one of the most real and intelligent interviews I have had so far through all of this! In this interview, John also dropped that their new music video comes out in a week so I hope you enjoy that little exclusive bit of information and the interview as a whole.

So with this new record, I know you guys did a lot of communication like you guys did a lot of video blogs about the new music and stuff. How do you think that'€™s helped this record, '€œBlack and White'€?
Know what, I think it, hopefully, the goal was to kind of express how much effort we put in to the whole process. You know I don'€™t think a lot of people understand how much time it actually takes to make something like a full length record. We'€™re really proud of the record as a whole and I think we just wanted to convey that. I mean I'€™m not sure how it'€™s really helped. I don'€™t know how you can judge that but I think by the views and like people being supportive of it I think it'€™s helped for sure.

I know you'€™re playing Soundwave this year and you'€™re playing with a lot of big names like Third Eye Blind and Slayer and you'€™re also playing with a lot of old label mates like Mayday Parade and Every Avenue so what are you most looking forward to playing it?
I don'€™t even know what to expect. I guess initially I'€™m just excited to be going to Australia. I'€™ve never been there, I haven'€™t even been there for leisure so it will be a lot of fun. I heard it'€™s a lot of traveling so I think we'€™re flying pretty much every where so I'€™m not sure what to expect. Really excited to see, I mean Never Shout'€™s going to be there, Mayday is going to be there so we know a lot of people so hopefully it won'€™t be too overwhelming once we get over there. So hopefully it will be a blast!

And then '€œBlack and White'€ I think broke a lot of stereotypes for you guys. It was a little more rock at least '€˜Inside of You'€™ which is the first single off of it-
Mhmm!
A little more rock! Like was that your goal to really expand a bit on the music?
Yeah! I think we were just trying to like create some sort of distinctive sounds as opposed to a medley of music and song. I think we were trying to create some sort of cohesion and I felt like we did that. Felt like one of the biggest things was we added a hand organ through out the whole record and I felt like that was something that we pulled from like Tom Petty and other bands like that but like things like that kind of meshes it altogether and makes kind of sense of the whole record and I feel like that was the goal and the goal in the future is to create an even more distinctive sound and continue to not necessarily set ourselves apart because that'€™s not what we'€™re trying to do. We'€™re just trying to create a name for ourselves and a sound for ourselves and I feel like that'€™s what a lot of successful bands have done in the past and that'€™s what we'€™re trying to do. Trying to pull from.

Perfect and I know like from talking to Kennedy you do a lot of the writing, well most of the writing. So how do you think you'€™ve grown personally as a songwriter?
Um (laughs) you know with the experiences that I (laughs) had songwriting for '€œBlack and White'€, I was writing with people that I mean you'€™ve heard all their songs on the radio. They'€™re not necessarily the voice for the song they'€™re the people behind it and I felt like that was the most influential part of my career as a songwriter thus far. It helped me so much just thinking about songs as songs and not necessarily as sounds. You know there'€™s so many references I can make but there is a reason why the songs, most of the songs that you hear, are popular and liked by a lot of people because they can be any different style of song. So I felt like that was super beneficial and I learned so much and the goal for me, my personal goal, for this next record is to not write with anybody and just if I want to write with somebody it will just be for fun. Not going in with this mentality of we have to write a single for the record you know. I just think we learned a lot about ourselves as artists and creatively I think. Hopefully it will help. I mean I'€™m going to give it a shot and I'€™ve already written so many songs since then and just in the past like three, four months I'€™ve written god knows how many songs but it'€™s just fulfilling to kind of see the progress of where I started out. In writing for the first EP we wrote and put out and now like I think content and lyrics for me I was always a little un easy about putting out too heavy of things or putting out too much of myself which is why a lot of the earlier stuff is more about things that I'€™ve never experienced because it'€™s easier. You know you don'€™t put yourself out there so you'€™re less vulnerable so that'€™s what my focus is. To be as honest and as open as possible from here on out.

And then you'€™ve covered a lot of songs in the past. I know you did one for Billboard and then obviously when you did the Classic Rock compilation. Maybe if you were to cover a band you'€™ve toured with in the past, who do you think they would be?
Oh man!
I know you'€™ve been lucky enough to tour with so many big guys.
Yeah! I mean we'€™ve toured with so many bands with so many great songs. I think it would be fun to maybe try our hand at this band called Brighten. They'€™re from Chico.
Yeah Justin'€™s-
Yeah Justin is in A Rocket To The Moon as well but I think that would be fun to try to cover a Brighten song. He'€™s the most incredible songwriter I know so I think just song wise I would probably choose one of his or A Rocket To The Moon. Either one.
I'€™ve worked with a lot of bands that always say Brighten.
Really?
Like There for Tomorrow Maika Maile. I work with him a lot like every time he comes through and every single time he has such good things to say about them!
Yeah dude great guys man. I'€™m actually going to Jimmy'€™s wedding in January. Jimmy the drummer is getting married so it'€™s going to be an awesome time.

And then this summer you went out on a headlining tour and you brought out two up and coming acts from Arizona as well in This Century and Austin Gibbs. It was like their first big national exposure so what was like your tour like that? Like big people bringing you out, maybe taking a risk by bringing you guys out. Like the one that began to open the doors?
Well the first tour it was Brighten and The Morning Light and us and it wasn'€™t necessarily like anybody taking anybody under their wings because we were all good friends but it was more just like-. It was just like that family vibe which was awesome and it taught us a lot about what it means to be true. You know what it means to be honest and what it means to be real and I think sometimes you can lose sight of that especially when more people start showing up to your shows. When great things start happening or even terrible things start happening, you soon find out a lot about a person. You know from adversity or success. I think that tour kind of opened the gates if you will but as far as a band taking us under their wing, we were fortunate enough to go on a Boys Like Girls tour, we'€™ve been on a couple, but the first one that we did. Good Charlotte was with them and Metro Station as well and Good Charlotte really kind of just showed us the ropes. I think that'€™s a lot of where that mentality comes from is kind of being true to yourself and then regardless of the success and fame and fortune and you know whatever troubles or misery or whatever it is I think they kept it really even keel. I'€™ll never forget that first day. We were in Chicago and we were all in our dressing room and Benji and Joel rolled in and we were like little, little kids. We were like '€˜Oh here'€™s a chair, here'€™s a chair!'€™ you know what I mean and that tour, that'€™s something that I'€™ll remember for the rest of my life. That was pretty awesome!

And then you'€™ve put out one video I believe for this record so far but obviously you'€™ve done a few videos in the past. Maybe what was like your favorite to make? Like you have '€œGirls Do What They Want'€-
Yeah it'€™s kind of like a montage thing.
Like tour video!
Yeah!
Then you'€™ve done like '€œEverything I Ask For'€ and '€œInto Your Arms'€-
We did one for '€œEverything I Ask For'€ and then '€œInto Your Arms'€ and then I don'€™t know whether '€œGirls Do What They Want'€ came out before or after '€œInto Your Arms'€. Actually, my favorite one that I'€™ve done thus far has been or will be one that we'€™re releasing in a week.
Oh wow!
I think a week. I think that'€™s what Pat said today but we shot it with our buddy Loren back at home. He used to play drums in A Rocket To The Moon and that was by far the most fun that I'€™ve had because it was so laid back. I'€™m really excited for you to see it because it'€™s definitely an interesting idea and it was just kind of a spur of the moment thing. We just threw it together. Doesn'€™t necessarily pertain to the song which I like a lot. It doesn'€™t have really anything to do with the song and once you see it, hopefully you'€™ll see why we had so much fun but we shot it in Arizona and it was just homies (laughs). It was awesome!
Cool how this out worked out then!
Yeah!

Actually this was pretty strange but I was at work and I heard '€œRight Girl'€-
Oh very cool!
And I thought that was pretty neat because unfortunately no one there knew you yet so I told them about past interviews with the band so you had a bit of mainstream success which a lot of alternative bands are on it now like Hey Monday and The Ready Set. How do you feel like, do you think it'€™s a good thing that is going to help the alternative scene or do you think it'€™s going to hurt it? How do you think it'€™s affecting it?
Well to tell you the truth. I mean radio has it'€™s own track record. Radio doesn'€™t sell records any more. That'€™s apparent. It sells singles and for a band that is trying to push all their songs, I'€™m not worried about whether '€˜Right Girl'€™ goes anywhere. You know that'€™s personally. I'€™m letting every body else that should be dealing with that stuff, let them deal with it. So for me personally I mean is it satisfying? Yeah. Is it gratifying? Of course but I mean I'€™m not worried about it. I don'€™t even look at the reports that I get. I just delete the email because that'€™s not my focus. My focus is to blossom the band and grow it as big as we can pushing all the songs in unison.
Well you guys have been together for a long time now-
Yeah!
It'€™s not going to like affect you guys making music.
Yeah and I think we have a pretty clear idea of where we want to see ourselves in the future and where we want to see ourselves you know now.

How do you feel maybe you'€™ve matured? You'€™ve obviously grown up since the last album. Just aging yourself but you'€™re not teenagers any more you'€™re not 18. How do you think you guys have matured since the beginning? Like it'€™s a little bit more rock but like yourselves personally in this band together?
Before, it was really easy to say that you weren'€™t really worried about what anybody else was saying about you and you know as well as I do growing up when you go to high school or even middle school that'€™s a really hard thing to actually act on and actually just let it ride. I think we'€™re at a point where that'€™s the case. We don'€™t care anymore. I don'€™t care. I don'€™t care at all. I'€™m not worried about it. I'€™m twenty two years old you know what I mean. My mom knows everything that I'€™ve done. She knows everything that I say.
Does she read all the stuff?
She reads all of it. She actually comes to me when people write bad reviews and stuff like that. She'€™s always telling me. I'€™m like '€˜Mom don'€™t read those'€™ or '€˜Don'€™t listen to them'€™ but I really feel like I'€™m at such a point in my life where there'€™s too much positives to think about any of the negative and I think that'€™s how all of us feel. This is fun and when this isn'€™t fun and when this becomes a job I mean there has to be some sort of sense of responsibility right now but I'€™m twenty two years old. I should be graduated from college. All my friends that did don'€™t know what they'€™re going to do and I know what I want to do at least for right now. The school that I went to I'€™m pretty sure that'€™s not going to move. They'€™re not going to up lift the foundation and move it. So I'€™m having a great time and I think we'€™re not taking this for granted as much as we used to. It'€™s hard not to take it for granted sometimes. It'€™s hard to kind of be excited about things all the time but we'€™re definitely working on it and I think we'€™re at the point where this is the most crucial time. The next two months in my opinion are the most crucial points ever. This is like '€˜this is it.'€™ We'€™re going to record on our own and then-
A new record?
Yeah I mean just for our sake and the focus is still '€œBlack and White'€ just because it'€™s so fresh and not fresh as in like cool. Fresh as in new.
So cool, so fresh.
Yeah but yeah we'€™re going to give it. Well I'€™m going to give it as much as I have in me and if nothing comes from it, nothing comes from it but I have a good feeling about things I do.

And then what do you think is going to be going on? Do you think you'€™re going to be focusing on recording, are you going to be taking a little break, playing more shows?
Well we definitely have two months off. This December and January so we'€™re going to go, I mean I'€™m going to write as many songs as I can. We'€™re going to write as much as we can together and then we go to Australia. We'€™re doing a lot of international stuff which will probably take us up to the summer and then tour again. Back in the states.
Yeah! Well thank you so much!
No problem! Thank you!
It was great to get a different vibe of it!
Absolutely!
Continue Reading...

The Summer Set

With a front man trying to be crazier then Tyson Ritter every day and the rare girl drummer being included in a line up, I knew when The Summer Set came through town earlier this month I definitely wanted to take the chance to catch up with the band! We talked to lead singer Brian Dales at Warped quickly about their plans for their new record and how Warped had been going for them but this time around I sat down with the full band just minutes before the show started in Boston!

The current headlining tour the band finds themselves on will be kind of like their last '€œhurrah'€ for this record so definitely make sure to catch the band near you as the tour comes to an end soon but be excited for so much more to come! The band plans at the moment to head into the studio this winter to have a record out for you this upcoming spring and to hold you over to then, definitely take a look at the interview. Topics range from the serious being how this new tour came about and how they decided the direction to the goofy with what they think each other would be doing if they weren'€™t in this band to their inspiration for '€œThe Boys You Do'€! Thanks again for the interview guys and we'€™ll see you in the spring!

Alright! Take the band member sitting next to you so you would do it for John first. What would they be doing if they weren'€™t in this band, I'€™ll pass it around!
Brian: (Laughs) Living on the streets? (whole group laughs) A homeless drug dealer.
John: That'€™s awesome! What would Josh be doing? No, no, it'€™s like for the next person so you'€™re going to say what Jess would do. Um, well Josh would actually be a nurse because he was actually going to nursing school. Very prestigious.
Josh: Jess would be-. I think Jess would probably be donating a lot of her time. She'€™s really into like philanthropy. She'€™s definitely big in that. She'€™s probably the biggest philanthropist I know or is it full on rapist?
Jess: Full on rapist.
Josh: I don'€™t know Jess, you know-
John: Iron Chef. She'€™d be a cook.
Josh: That was the typical response. I was trying to mix it up a little bit I'€™m sorry.
Jess: Alright, I like this. I think Stephen would be, I don'€™t know he'€™d probably be a teacher because he'€™s studying. Teacher or-
Brian: President of the United States!
Stephen: Well, that'€™s coming later.
Jess: Yeah president for sure. Something in politics.
Stephen: Do I do Brian? Oh Brian, if Brian wasn'€™t in this band he'€™d definitely be in college like playing tennis. Definitely playing tennis in college.
Brian: (singing) I love college!
Stephen: He'€™d probably be on like student government and stuff and like just being really obnoxious and loud. He would! He'€™d be in college playing tennis and doing student government.

And then last time we talked (to Brian) was actually at Warped in Hartford but you told me about the new record-
Brian: Hopefully.
Hopefully working on it. Is that still going? Have you guys started writing? What'€™s been going on?
Brian: Yeah we finally started writing. I think we'€™re going to hopefully make a new record this winter like January, February, get back on the road in the Spring.
Stephen: And we'€™re all very excited about this new record.
Yeah?
Stephen: All very excited!
It'€™s been a while since the last one?
Josh: Not really it'€™s been about a year and two months (burps). I apologize.
Jess, don'€™t you have fun?
Jess: I love it!
John: You mean Jeff, right?
Stephen: Courtney burps.
Josh: More like grenades.

And then maybe what'€™s the strangest place you'€™ve found inspiration? I know you said that everyone has a part in the writing and the music process.
Brian: To me it'€™s still the fact that like all of '€œThe Boys You Do'€ was written solely off of one scene in the movie '€˜Baby Mama'€™ in the kitchen. It was written from a scene in Baby Mama which is really not the best movie ever and we wrote it in the kitchen. So essentially, still the weirdest inspiration.
John: That was the weirdest place.

When we talked in Hartford, it was still pretty early on in Warped Tour. How did it end up going for you? Like what was one of your wildest shows?
Brian: Detroit was my favorite show on Warped Tour.
Stephen: New York.
John: Yeah New York and Detroit were amazing.
Jess: And all the Canada dates.

Then when we talked, all you could say is that this tour was going to be wild. It'€™s obviously a little different and you have like your pop punk and your rock but then you have Modsun who'€™s like hip hop right in the middle of that-
John: Yessss!
I know it'€™s just begun but how is it going so far? I mean obviously this show is insane right now with all these kids.
John: The kids have been really good. It'€™s like the kids every night have been having a really good time from what I'€™ve seen! When we first made the tour line up It seemed like a lot of tour line ups, especially in the last two years, especially in this kind of scene have happened a million times over and over again. You go to a show and you hear literally like three hours of music of bands that all sound the same and like that was the last thing we wanted when we did our first headliner so we wanted to take a chance and branch out a little bit. Brought Gibbs out who-
Brian: A friend of ours from home.
John: is a friend of ours from home. He'€™s folk rock. Yeah we just wanted to give a different vibe and every band on this tour officially does sound different which is awesome.
Brian: And pretty much no band on this tour has ever really toured together.
Josh: So it works out really well. Really wanted to take a step out.

And then how has your first headliner been going? I mean you guys have been touring in general for a long time. I think since at least '€˜08 all five of you.
John: Yeah.
Brian: It'€™s great. Like last night in New York was like one of my favorite shows probably in the history of this band.
John: And everyone, it feels weird when you start a tour you always want to see like who'€™s the douche bag on the tour, like who'€™s the quiet guy. Everyone on this tour like, every tour there'€™s always some one who'€™s like a little rockstar or something like that. I legitimately like every one on this tour. Everyone'€™s awesome.

Then what would you say, you guys have been touring a lot, are like three tour essentials that you need when you go out? I mean Warped is probably a whole different story but-
Brian: God don'€™t say that word.
(Laughs) Don'€™t say that word? You guys are like, we'€™re done! No more!
Brian: Um'€¦what was the question again? You lost me at Warped.
What are the three like tour essentials that you always need?
Brian: Ipod.
Jess: Computer!
Brian: That'€™s about it. Honestly I'€™ve slowly gotten to the point where honestly I don'€™t really think I need to take my computer on tour anymore. I feel like I use it less on every single tour now.
Josh: I don'€™t have a computer but I still rely on everybody else'€™s computer.
Brian: I rarely use it anymore.
John: I'€™ll come into the green room and Josh will have my computer out. He'€™ll be like '€˜oh yeah, by the way'€™.
Josh: Oops sorry about that.
John: Yeah I need a good book like for sure. Ipod.
Josh: We haven'€™t really done any reading on this tour though because John and I become True Blood junkies.
Brian: We also haven'€™t been doing any reading because we honestly haven'€™t been doing much sleeping and a whole lot of driving.
John: And a lot of True Blood.


Then maybe not a dream tour but like any three past acts you'€™ve toured with, who would you go out with again like on a dream tour?
Stephen: Past acts that we'€™ve toured with. Rocket!
Josh: A rocket to the moon!
John: Rocket for sure.
Brian: Eye Alaska!
John: The Cab.
Brian: Everyone on this tour and who else would be fun to tour with?
Josh: Oh Cartel!
Brian: Cartel yes! Number one.
John: Those guys are awesome!
Stephen: This Providence too.
Josh: I was just thinking about This Providence today. I really want to know what'€™s up. I want to know! I want a new record!
I talked to them back in April actually here and they said they were taking time off for a new record like really making sure it'€™s exactly how they want it
John: Yeah I love them.
Brian: David lives in LA now and makes clothes. I didn'€™t even know he moved because he'€™s from our hometown.
Oh!

Then maybe what would you say is your favorite song to play live? Obviously you'€™ve been playing these songs for a while now off the first record.
Brian: Right now definitely we'€™re playing a lot of new songs on this tour that we'€™ve never gotten to play before. Well, not like new songs but like songs off our album that we'€™ve never played and '€˜Where Are You Now'€™ is like far beyond my favorite song we'€™ve ever played. We also add some cool shit.
Josh: I also get to play a sweet guitar solo.
John: Give a little love to Tom Petty.

Then I know you guys did the AP Sessions, I think it was right after the AP tour?
John: Yeah the last day.
Jess: In Cleveland?
Brian: Oh that live thing? The video thing?
You forgot? That was great.
Brian: That was awesome.
Stephen: The video turned out great.
Brian: (starts singing) Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun. Sorry.
Perfect, how did you choose the songs because I think it was only like a handful?
Brian: We played..what was it? Punch Drunk Love, The Boys You Do and we played part of Lit by accident. We really just kind of made those up on the spot.
John: Like we didn'€™t play Chelsea. We never even discussed it. Just all of the sudden we started playing that riff on my guitar because we were just in this giant room, cameras all around us and frankly we just felt a little unprepared and just felt like fucking around.
Brian: But I mean we didn'€™t even play like '€˜Chelsea'€™.
Stephen: We did play Chelsea.
Brian: No we didn'€™t. We played Punch Drunk Love and The Boys You Do. We were just like '€˜alright cool'€™. It just happened, I guess we were just in the mood to play those two songs.

Then maybe we can go around for this one. What was the first concert you went to and the first CD. Do you think it influences you at all today like what you guys are doing as a band?
Brian: First concert I ever went to I was like two or three months old and it was Bruce Springsteen and I guess technically it was when my mom was pregnant with me but I was kicking along to the Bruce Springsteen concert. First CD was somewhere between Bruce Springsteen and Hanson. Mmmmbop!
John: You bought a Hanson record?
Brian: I think so. I think I thought they were girls. I thought they were really hot on the cover. Turned out they were all guys.
Nice.
John: My first record, no, first concert was, like first real concert was Blink 182 and No Doubt which was awesome before they broke up and then my first CD was You, Me and-. Who was it?
Brian: Matchbox 20?
John: Yeah Matchbox 20. That was the first record I ever bought which is really cool because we just went out to LA and we wrote a couple songs with Matchbox 20.
Nice!
John: Yeah that was during our first record. It was really cool.
Stephen: Yeah that was pretty sweet!
Josh: Um, my first concert was pretty life changing. I mean not that it was some epic band but it was a band from our hometown Authority Zero but it was just like the craziest show ever. When you'€™re twelve or thirteen, you see a band and everyone goes bonkers for them, for your first concert experience, it'€™s like holy moly!
Jess: I think my first one was like Spice Girls?
Brian: Makes sense.
Stephen: I think my first concert was the same with John being Blink 182 and No Doubt!
Continue Reading...

Lights

A few days ago, I reconnected with one of the most talented people I have worked with so far in my career. That girl is Lights. The last time I caught up with Lights was at Warped 2009 in Montreal where she had already achieved gold status on singles and was killing it at Warped every day. Since then she has toured the UK countless times, released her debut record '€œThe Listening'€, toured with Owl City, headlined several tours and when she sold out her show in Boston a few nights ago with the longest line I'€™ve seen yet at that venue, I knew we had a lot to catch up on.

Honestly, I wasn'€™t sure what to expect going into this interview but it feels like she has gotten more and more down to earth the more and more success she has and is constantly smiling through everything. We talked about everything she'€™s been up to including her cameos on the new Bring Me The Horizon record to her own record coming in 2011. Read our exclusive interview below to see how the journey has been for the incredibly hardworking Canadian songstress and catch her on the rest of this tour because she'€™s about to head into the studio to record some new music for you!

So obviously a lot, a lot has gone on since Warped '€˜09. You'€™ve gone to the UK several times, spent a lot of time on the road with Owl City, you'€™ve put out your record '€œThe Listening'€ which has already been out for over a year. How has this journey been for you? Did you ever imagine it would get to this place so fast?
Well the journey has been fantastic though it doesn'€™t feel fast (laughs). I will say that I mean I feel like I'€™ve been working every day of my life for about three years now. I mean since I saw you at Warped Tour, we haven'€™t stopped touring basically and it'€™s incredible. You know it'€™s a really great example of when you pour everything into something that you have and put in all of this time in then you can actually see some results. Encouragement to everyone out there it works!

And then how has the natural progression been? I mean I know you have been certified gold and you'€™re constantly playing bigger rooms. How has the progression been?
It'€™s been good. I mean it really pays off in these shows and coming back to the same places. You can see the difference when you go to a place and then come back maybe five, six months later and there'€™s people at your show, a few more people at your shows you know. It just goes to show that if you have something good, that you'€™re really proud of, people will come out and in a natural way.

Then the record came out a few weeks after your run on Warped '€œThe Listening'€. How has that been going over now that it'€™s been over a year? How are kids, sales?
Um, I mean I don'€™t ever pay attention to sales. It'€™s one of those things I never look it.
It seems like that a lot these days which I love!
(laughs) Yeah exactly.
But I mean obviously it'€™s grown. I mean I saw you a few months back when you were here with Paper Route and Owl City I was working with Paper Route. The show was insane, sold out, everyone singing your words-
Oh yeah!
And not just Owl City'€™s. How has it grown?
It'€™s been amazing. Well in one way, on twitter. You know I'€™m on twitter and I'€™m getting more followers every day that'€™s a good sign. It'€™s good, I think it'€™s going the way that I want it to. The best thing is seeing people saying that they really identified with a song or this song has really helped them through like stuff and that way you know it'€™s resounding with some people and that'€™s what really matters. It'€™s really hard to gauge the success of something especially now in a time where nobody'€™s really buying records. You look for it in other ways like who'€™s coming out to your shows, how many people are coming to your shows you know, how many views you have on something when you put it out. That'€™s the only way I guess you can gauge it nowadays.

And then I know the album is in the works to come out in Spring 2011.
I haven'€™t announced anything yet (laughs).
That'€™s what I was going to ask like. Is it still obviously in the works?
Yeah it'€™s definitely not done. Well considering that I'€™ve been on tour ever since, it'€™s been awfully tough. Ever since before the record came out right?
Oh yeah you'€™ve been out constantly.
So where do you find time to do a new one and it'€™s definitely one of those things that'€™s weighing down on my mind because I want to make something really good and amazing but when you'€™re always on tour it'€™s impossible. So after this tour, I'€™m going to take a little time off and it'€™s not really time off when you'€™re making a record but I'€™ll be working on a record over the winter and hopefully something will come out next year sometime. I mean there'€™s no set date and I think the reason that the rumor is probably flying around-. Well it'€™s not necessarily a rumor because there is something coming out eventually you know what I'€™m talking about. I just put out a new song a few weeks ago '€œMy Boots'€.
Yeah!
Yeah so that'€™s always an indicator that something new is in the works and it is and I knew I was ready for that when I put it out so I'€™m definitely working on it. Not anywhere near done though!

And then how do you normally go about the writing process? Is it different every time, does it just depend on where you are? How does it come about?
The songwriting process? It'€™s different all the time. With '€œThe Listening'€, it was much different because I obviously wasn'€™t really touring. I didn'€™t have a solid fan base and when you'€™re writing for yourself, you'€™re not writing for anyone but yourself. I think that'€™s the way it should always be. You always make the records you want but it gets harder to not focus on what other people are saying the more of a fan base you develop. So I'€™m trying to ignore that as bad as that sounds (laughs) in working on the next record. It will be different. It will be a different place that I'€™m coming from. I'€™m not in the same place that I was a few years ago. You grow up, you want to get better and after two and a half years of straight touring you'€™re better at what you do. You'€™re better at singing and you'€™re better at knowing what'€™s going to come across your path so there'€™s a lot more, a lot of different factors that are going to come into play that weren'€™t there for '€œThe Listening'€ and we'€™ll see what happens. I'€™m excited!

That'€™s really exciting and then you dropped your acoustic EP in July of this year and I know you came back here. I know you'€™ve played here a lot at the Mid East I believe actually.
Yeah, oh yeah! It'€™s weird like I always come here. The only time I didn'€™t play here was with Owl City.
And now you'€™re downstairs so obviously it'€™s growing.
Yeah!
Why did you decide to do this? Because it'€™s obviously a different side of you and your music?
Yeah! Well a couple of reasons actually. One of them being that it was a direct result of the ability to answer to what fans want based on multi-media platforms like twitter and you tube. I was getting good response on acoustic videos that I was putting on you tube. People were like '€˜Oh I'€™d buy an acoustic EP if you put it out'€™ and I'€™m like '€˜Hmm'€™ (laughs). So there'€™s that and people seem to really resonate with what I was doing acoustically and it brought people closer to the songs and that'€™s exactly the other reason why I did it. I put a lot of effort into the way the songs are written. You know the structure and the way that all the lyrics go with the melodies and sometimes it'€™s lost a little bit in co production. I mean that'€™s my sound and that'€™s what my music is but it'€™s nice to strip that away once in a while and show people exactly what you are. You know and it was a little vulnerable and I was a little nervous at first. I was like '€˜Are people going to like this?'€™. I just made it on my own at home and I just put it out and it was like putting out a picture of yourself naked only less scandalous.
Well it is really scary to do!

Then maybe where'€™s the strangest place you think you'€™ve found inspiration like someone said something to you, you experienced something? What was like the weirdest place you'€™ve been inspired from?
Probably '€œHeavy Metal'€ magazine. I don'€™t know if you'€™ve ever read that but it'€™s like this kind of adult fantasy sci-fi metal magazine that'€™s been out for, or issues have been coming out since like the sixties, seventies. I find it really inspiring to read those (laughs)!

Then you'€™re obviously, it'€™s very talked about, on the new Bring Me The Horizon record which is something maybe seen as strange by some of your fans. I know though that from the past, you'€™re in to bands like that like Gallows but some one probably wouldn'€™t expect that from you especially with Oli. How did that come about? I mean you'€™re on two songs on it!
Well I mean I think that the people that follow my music mostly do kind of expect that from me. I just put out a song with Silverstein earlier so it was similar right and it'€™s something I really enjoy doing and it'€™s branching out into a different thing. Those things always have to happen really naturally. I can'€™t be like oh I want to do something so different from my music. I can'€™t call up Cradle of Filth and see if they can let me sing on their new record like you can'€™t force things like that. You just have to let it happen organically and happen when they happen so basically that was a result of, well I met the Bring Me The Horizon guys a couple years ago. We just randomly met on tour in like a blizzard in Rhode Island and we were snowed in and I didn'€™t know who they were and they didn'€™t know who I was and we just hung out and we had a good time. Played video games you know and this summer, their manager was on face book who'€™s a good friend of mine through all of this. Through all the connections and just people you meet along the way and he said we'€™re finishing up the record and I was writing in LA at the time and he said '€˜we'€™re finishing up some vocals here. Oli took a day off Warped Tour and we'€™re doing vocals if you want to come in and do some too'€™ and I was like '€˜Sure?'€™. So he sent me the song and with in literally like forty eight hours, I learned the song and we went in and did it and then while we were in the studio, they were like '€˜do you want to throw some thing on the end of Crucify Me?'€™. I'€™m like '€˜Sure!'€™ so it was so spur of the moment and it was really natural and cool and Oli'€™s really chill with the melodies that he'€™s coming up with. It'€™s neat!
No it'€™s a great mix because it sounds so angelic compared to Oli.
Oh it'€™s so cool. The juxtaposition is nice! That'€™s why I really enjoy metal, you know, and like hardcore (laughs) because there'€™s that sort of sense of gentleness that you can somehow find in all of it.

It sounds really great and as a singer songwriter, maybe that was the collaboration for you but is there anyone that would be like a dream collaboration for you?
Yes (laughs)!
Truth comes out!
Um well it'€™s not really a secret but I do have this big thing for DeadMau5 and I would love to do something with DeadMau5. I also recently have been listening to this awesome deejay from France named Mondkopf and I think it would be really neat to collaborate with him.

Then you'€™ve toured with a lot of big names in the past when you were just starting like Boys Like Girls and Cute Is What We Aim For, obviously Owl City and a bunch of different guys. If you could pick maybe any three past bands to tour with, who would they be like on a dream package today?
Any band that I'€™ve already toured with?
Yeah any bands that you'€™ve already toured with.
There'€™s like a million on Warped Tour I don'€™t know if those all count. I would say, I mean we did a little tour with Protest The Hero. I would say them because they'€™re just such good guys and their music is so good. They'€™re so talented right? Let'€™s put this crazy tour together. It would be Protest The Hero, Keane, we toured with Keane last fall and Paper Route! That would be an awesome tour.

Then maybe what'€™s the strangest or wildest thing you'€™ve seen at one of your shows like in the crowd because you do have a really wide varied fan base. You have like the frat boys and you have like the ten year old girls so maybe what'€™s like the strangest thing you'€™ve seen at one of your shows?
I mean mosh pits have broken out before in '€œFebruary Air'€ right? Um, the hard core kids come out and butt it out in a little mosh pit. There'€™s a kid that comes out to all my shows in London wearing a banana suit and carrying maracas so that'€™s pretty sweet and he'€™s always there. There'€™s little things like that. You know there'€™s familiar faces along the way. There'€™s like this one motorcycle dude that comes out to a lot of my shows and brings me sweet motorcycle style shirts with like eagles on them. He'€™s awesome he'€™s from like the Detroit area. It'€™s weird like everything I see excites me. There'€™s never a show that'€™s just a normal show.

And then what can kids look forward to? Obviously it'€™s not a break recording a record. I'€™ve been talking to a lot of bands that are doing that as well right now.
Yeah exactly but I am going to take a little week of vacation with my family. It'€™s been years so I'€™m looking forward to that.

So do you think you'€™re going to be back on the road after the record? Going to go back right into this insane cycle? Are you going to take like your time on this record?
It'€™s a pretty consistent flow at least for the next five or six years. It'€™s going to be tour, tour, tour, record, tour, tour, tour, maybe a week with my family, tour, tour, tour, record. It'€™s very intense but it'€™s my job and it'€™s what I do and I can'€™t complain because I'€™ve been very, very blessed that I can actually do something that I really love for a living. It'€™s intense and it'€™s a lot of work and you get tired but I get to completely indulge in it and make exactly what I want to make and make the whole world listen to it.

What was the first concert you went to and then the first cassette or CD you bought?
(laughs) Okay, okay! The first concert was actually this girl called Rebecca Saint James when I was eleven and she'€™s a christian artist and it was at like a school gym or something. It was very inspiring to me. For days after I was drawing her on the computer, in pen. Like pictures of her with her hand up in the air in these really epic like silhouettes. I was really excited. In fact one of her songs, I adapted the lyrics into a short like paraphrase, translated it into german and I tattooed it on my arm so that'€™s written on my arm. She'€™s a very, very talented woman. For cassette slash tape, it was definitely a tape! It was definitely a cassette and it was, in fact, by a band called DC Talk and it was their first record which was like a rap project thing and it was really awesome.
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2AM Club

This next band is one I found back in June when I saw them headline the Dirty Pop tour in Cambridge and since then I'€™ve seen them release their debut record and hit the road with powerhouse Mike Posner touring all over the country! Currently they find themselves co-headlining across the country again with Runner Runner this time which found them right back in town just a week after our interview. I sat down with Marc and Tyler who share vocalist duties in the band only minutes after they played their set at Northeastern and we talked about everything from how they feel the record'€™s been doing to their MTV play to their current tour!

If you haven'€™t caught this band yet, get yourself out to one of your live shows and be ready to dance. One of the most original bands I'€™ve had a chance to interview over time, they are definitely a no miss and every music lover should experience a live show from them! The boys definitely bring the party to the show and with their little bit on the scandalous side lyrics, they'€™re sure to make it big and you'€™ll want to be one of the ones who knew them in the beginning!

If we could just go around once and say your name then what you both do in the band.
Marc: Hello my name is Marc and I am one of the vocalists for 2AM Club.
Tyler: And I am Tyler and I am the other co-vocalist with Marc.
Marc: Co!
Tyler: Yes!
Perfect and then like we just talked about, the Mike Posner tour just finished which was a huge tour for you guys with Stephen Jerzak, Bad Rabbits and Far East Movement which is a little bit of a crazy mix up there. How did it end up going for you guys?
Marc: It's really cool. It was amazing because we met Mike like a year, over a year ago so just to see what he's been doing and all the touring he's done and all the hard work and the way he communicates with fans and to really be a part of his first coming out headlining tour was awesome for us. You know it's something to aspire to and look up to. I mean his kind of success and the path that he's taking to achieve it.
And then you already talked about this a bit but you're playing CMJ and you guys are from New York so what are you most looking forward to? Is there anyone that you're going to try to see? Maybe a band that you really listen to?
Marc: Oh man in terms of CMJ? I don't even know who's playing like I'm sure like the coolest things in the world are happening.
There are some pretty big guys like Phoenix and everything.
Tyler: Oh really they are? That would be amazing. What I should do is I think there's always cool websites that are dedicated, like the cool blogs or whatever that are dedicated to like what you should actually see every night. So hopefully because we're randomly going to be there for the next couple nights and we don't really have shows till I guess Friday or whatever so I think you know we'll probably hop around and we'll have to get back to you. We'll tweet to you what we saw-
Marc: Yeah.
Tyler: And then tell you the best.
Marc: And we're definitely going to try and check out Bad Rabbits just because we got to play with them but when you are on a tour with some one, you don't really get to see them. We went on so close together, our set times were close so we never got to like really experience them and they're awesome so that would be fun. You know we're like family now so it's cool.
They're awesome guys. Then the new record, your first one, just came out in September so it's really, really, really new like barely over a month but you've been on tour since and it's being played on MTV so how has it been doing? Maybe just by the kids, not necessarily sales?
Marc: I think it feels like since it's now been a month that in a way it sort of has its' sea legs for us and it's kind of been out in the universe for you know a little tiny span of time. To where I think enough people have it, where like people get to hear the songs that they always just had to youtube or stream online and not be able to take it home and so far the reaction's been amazing. I mean I think everybody, I think what we always feared and what everybody fears in putting out the first official record is that there's going to be like immediate 'you didn't do this!' and 'you didn't do that!' and whatever. I think so far it's been positive like all the reactions and all the kids and the people who have been following us before and the people who are just kind of hopping on now. It's been positive across the board so we all hope to keep that moving.
Then the first video like I said is being played on MTV and kids are watching it, "Worry About You". How does that feel? I mean you guys have been working so hard and to finally have this moment where you guys are known. Kids are watching you all over the country.
Marc: It's a trip. We've pretty much been full time playing shows for about a year now and for the first part of that year, it wasn't as intense. The touring but we were playing, you know, like to four or five people in St. Louis and just to see it now. Everywhere we go, there's just kids screaming for "Worry About You". Throwing their hands up and really connecting with the song and feeling it and just to know that MTV has been a huge part of that is really cool because obviously all of us grew up running home and watching TRL and I think we like missed out on the like MTV TRL phase of the planet (laughs) but it's cool now that it's all incorporated online and people are tweeting about it and on facebook and all these multi-platform things that are going on. So, it's amazing. It's a lot of fun and I think we really also just got to be a part of this MTV VMA tour that was really cool with The Ready Set and NeverShoutNever so I mean it's been great.
Tyler: And honestly like big shout out to MTV.
Marc: Yeah!
Tyler: Because it is primarily, we all see the reality shows and everything that they play but we've been able to develop a relationship that feels like a really,sincere like cool thing. Like we're a new band that nobody really has to care about and none of these organizations or companies or whatever have to get behind us and the fact that they've gotten behind us and have been playing the record and we've done a couple big promotions with them and we did the tour and whatever so it feels like, I think that kind of thing can still happen. Big, bad, evil companies can still, you know, be music oriented and get behind a new act so I think it's cool!
And then how do you normally go about the writing process? Is it the two of you collectively, is it the full band? How does it normally go about?
Marc: We all fight it out. We write together all five or six of us and I mean for this record it was primarily written in a little garage in Brooklyn that had a lot of cool instruments and a lot of vibes to it called Excello and yeah we kind of got in there. Some one would have some sort of inspiration whether it's a song lyric, a melody, a chord progression or even just like a guitar lick and then if we all dig it, we all build it together. That's kind of the way we found our sound and cultivated it was our making sure that we were all happy with what we were doing in our song. If we could look at each other and really feel like 'I'm feeling what I'm doing, are you feeling it' like we're in the same boat right now and this is a happening thing for both of us, that's when we knew it was good. It was kind of like the feeling of having sex or something.
Tyler: I was going to say like a good date. I wouldn't know because I haven't had sex so I'll say a date.
Like I said, I caught a bit of you guys on the Dirty Pop tour at the beginning of the set but like obviously this is very dancey, very fun, you always get the crowd moving. Has it always been this way, is this like what you set out to do?
Marc: We were kind of barber shop quartet at first (laughs) so we were just kind of doing the hair cut circuit.
Tyler: Yeah we did barber shop where we were just kind of cutting hair. I think tonight it was cool because it was a college show but it was a little bit of like a smaller, small room. Obviously intimate, almost like a coffee shop literally (laughs) vibe and we've come sort of full circle in a lot of ways because when we were first trying to book gigs and just finding anyone who would let us play, it was a lot of like playing in like the quad with our own speakers at a college where it wasn't even really a college sanctioned show and so it's cool to like come back around and be able to just have sort of a more intimate experience because a week ago or whatever when we were in Boston, we were at the House of Blues and it was with this big tour that's almost like a festival. There's all these acts on it and it's just kind of madness and amazing but then you have on the other end of the spectrum being able to like sit in a coffee shop and look into peoples' eyes and sing songs and I think get a little bit better of an idea of what people are kind of connecting to and how they're connecting and what songs are doing well. You know you can literally reach out and touch somebody and you know ask how they're feeling as opposed to like saying it on the megaphone with speakers like 'how are you guys feeling?!' so I think it's just always been every type of situation we can get into and connect with people is amazing because that's an opportunity in itself.
Then you guys are actually back in Massachusetts in less than a week I believe on your headliner tour with Runner Runner?
Marc: More like a co headlining tour. We're going to switch around. It will probably just be something where we'll flip a coin and see who plays first and last. Kick off!
But what are you most looking forward to for this tour? Kind of all about you guys if you're coheadlining it's a little different but-
Marc: I think on this last tour we did with Mike, we played a twenty minute set and so that usually equals six songs and our album is eleven songs and we have some b-sides so what I'm looking forward to most is just being able to play more material and every time we would get off stage on the Up in the Air tour, there would always be kids that were like 'oh you didn't play Only for Me or you didn't play you know insert song there' so it will be cool to actually get the whole like thing out there. I mean we live to play live so the more songs we can play and the more experience on stage ourselves and in turn the more the audience can experience with us is our favorite so for me, it's playing more songs and really focusing on getting our whole album out there live.
Maybe not on tour because I'm sure you see plenty of wild things that you could probably never talk about, maybe what's the wildest thing you've seen at one of your shows?
Marc: Man this tour? This kind of sucks actually but there were like a lot of girl fights. Like there was a girl fight every night. It was ridiculous. You would look in the crowd and all of the sudden, there were like two seventeen year old girls punching each other and then the guy runs over and he's like picking some girl up and throwing her this way and we're like supposed to be playing and we're like 'what are you guys doing? Can you please stop!' So that was pretty weird.
Tyler: Just passion. Hopefully if there's enough passion in the room for seventeen year old girls to pull each others' hair out then we're doing our job as performers.
Seventeen year old girls fighting over you. And then-
Marc: Sorry they were all nineteen years old.
Tyler: I didn't say they were pulling my hair or anything. I don't know, this is between them!
And then what can kids look forward to if they haven't seen you guys play before? If they've just heard the CD.
Marc: Just an experience. I think really because we are hopefully getting better at our craft every day and we are by no means anywhere near where we want to be as performers and as musicians and I think if you come to a show, or if I go to a show I think if we go to a show we want to have an experience and have it be like you know you walk in and you enter this realm where you kind of can't get it anywhere else and you can'€™t get it through a CD through some really nice Kenwood audio speakers. So I think that's what we try to bring to people is from when you hear the intro music go on and our set starts and hopefully you can kind of enter a place that's unique and something you can't get through just sitting on a couch or watching TV.
Then what can kids look forward to? Do you think you're going to be back on the road, taking a little break because you have been touring a lot lately.
Marc: There are no breaks. We're going to tour as hard as we can over the next, you know, six months to a year and just bring this live show to all the corners of the earth that will allow us or have us I guess. I mean the holidays are kind of like a dead time in the industry over all so we'll be hanging out with the family as much as we can when we're allowed time off but yeah I mean we want to play for you. We want to come to your city, we want to be there on stage and I think like I was saying before it's our favorite thing to do. Play live and you know the feeling when people have the CD and they can go experience something live and it transcends what they've been listening to and they can really like sing with the singers and air guitar with the guitar players and everything, it's the best thing to see all that interaction go down so yeah we'll be on the road.
And then a little strange one for the next one. Take the bandmate sitting next to you so of course it would be the two of you about each other. What would they be doing career wise if they weren't in music?
Tyler: If they weren't in music?
Yeah. So, like what would Tyler be doing?
Marc: I think Tyler would be in.. The Penis Soliloquies. It says that on the wall.
Tyler: She's like..'And then things got weird!'
Marc: Man that's a good one. For me, I don't know, I would probably say, I think Tyler if he chose to would probably be a very successful writer but I'm not sure in which arena he would be using that skill.
Tyler: Ooh spicy!
Marc: He'd be writing like romance novels that like competed with Danielle Steele (laughs). Multi million dollars. He'd probably have a lot more money.
Tyler: Fuck that bro! I think Marc and I think this is one of the things that Marc really enjoys and this is going to sound like maybe not as much money (laughs) but no, no, no, is playing sports and kids and interacting with kids. I think that there is something in like the interaction between Marc and like young people and I think he really, really enjoys that and I don't know. Maybe like a professional YMCA team leader or something like that but I don't know, maybe it doesn't sound glamorous but it's probably the most glamorous at the end of the day.
Marc: Woah man I kind of want to hug you right now. No joke! I love that. I have a lot of little cousins and brothers and sisters and I love to play catch. It's one of my favorite things!
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