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The band told me about intentions to do another full US headlining tour this Spring maybe hitting the lesser known markets and how they went about their songwriting for the new record which just came out this summer. Read on for everything going on with the band and definitely pick up the new record simply called 'Attack Attack!'
So a little soft one to start! Obviously you just did Warped Tour and it wasn't your first time around. How did that end up going for you with the new record and everything?
Andrew: It was a lot different! For the first year, we had a lot of driving. Like kind of just accumulating to the ridiculous schedule of Warped Tour and just trying to figure out where we fit like on that tour and how to do best. Like how to attract the people to see us and hear us play. This year was a lot different because we went into it knowing what to expect and you know we were really stoked on our new record and all of the other shows that we had done in the Spring right before that did really well. There was a lot of hype so overall this year's Warped tour compared to last year was just way more relaxed and we kind of knew how to work it and we had great crowds and huge shows every day. It was just really awesome so I mean it was just a lot more relaxed and we knew like what to prepare for.
Perfect then obviously you have been touring since the release of the record so how do you think the second record's been going over?
It seems to have gone over really well. Well it seems to be doing really well. It's very difficult, as a band, to try to figure out when you change your sound how far can you go. How much different can you get away with without fully alienating your fan base because as you go, like as the band progresses, you lose fans. Like the bottom quarter of your fan base just drops off every single time you do a new record because they undying loved whichever record was before that but this one I think we found like the perfect medium. To really push forward but still really showcase the sound that we had from the first record. It seems to be doing really well, the numbers have been really great and we're still stoked with it like the first one too so it's good.
And how has the sound really been changing? I know you have Caleb now on the front vocals. How has it been going, like how have the reactions been since the changes?
Andrew: It's been great!
I know you lost another member unfortunately too.
Andrew: Yeah, we're just used to it at this point. Like we've had lots of line up changes and stuff and each time it seems to really benefit our band and it seems to really push us to be more creative. I mean with Caleb at the front like he's recently started singing like clean singing too. It's come along really well. He's been taking vocal lessons and he's really starting to get like really comfortable with being the front man. Before, he just didn't want to do it at all. He didn't want to front the band just because he never wanted that kind of attention but like he's really grown into it and really owned it. Like if you just watch him on stage now where if you saw him like a year ago, it's really like a night and day difference. I think it's really awesome.
That's awesome and I know you guys posted a new song I believe. It is a little different. Is that a sign of you guys maybe even starting to think about writing a new record or an EP or is it something you just decided to put out?
Andrew: We were just always going to be in a state of creation and writing of some sort. I mean it's pretty early to tell like what is going to happen. When Johnny said he was going to leave the band, we were already working on that song and Caleb was already working on singing. So when Johnny left, we were like well we don't want to leave like that kind of cliffhanger. You know that open note there and be like 'well what's going to happen now? Is it going to suck, like what is it?' so we figured it would be in our best interest to put out something with Caleb singing. I mean Caleb sounds great and so we were just like 'Dude, let's just put out this clip' so people know like hey just because Johnny's gone doesn't mean we can't still like be a band. We can't still do what we're doing so yeah that was pretty much like the whole motivation behind that. Just to kind of get it out there and kind of calm people down. It's not the end of the world. It's not the end of our band. We know it's just the next phase.
Perfect then how has this tour been going in particular? Everyone's a little bit different in their style of music like you have the death core and sing/scream. It's all really different how has it been going?
Andrew: Yeah I mean it's been awesome. Like everybody is friends on this tour. You can't see it but if you looked around our bus right now, I'm wearing a flack jacket. I just bought a two hundred dollar air soft gun today, like an assault rifle. Everybody else did too! We've been having this like air soft feud with Emmure and it's just gotten really out of control. It's not really funny anymore because all of these guns draw blood at this point but I mean yeah, every one's getting along great. The shows have been awesome. The crowds have just been really nuts for every single band and like every band has a huge response. You know there isn't like that weird wildcard band that draws their own crowd and then they leave when they're done. Like everybody's crowds have like stuck together and just have been super supportive. This just has just been like really great!
Then what's like the strangest thing you guys have seen lately? I know this seems pretty crazy with your air soft guns and I'm sure you have been having some fun with those but what's like the strangest thing you've seen?
Andrew: This tour?
This tour, yeah!
Andrew: What's been the craziest thing?
John: The balloons!
Andrew: Oh! We pranked Emmure the other night at the Norva in Norfolk where we bought like three or four hundred balloons at Walmart. Then we filled them all up! We actually had the entire back lounge full from floor to ceiling with inflated balloons and then we had to like pull them all in big trash bags and then run them around the block to Emmure's band wagon and we filled their entire band wagon with balloons from floor to ceiling. That's like the funniest craziest thing. Honestly like it was a cool prank but it really inconvenienced us boys and them because we lived with out like a part of our bus for like two days and it took every body constantly blowing up balloons for twelve hours then we had to figure out how to get them over there. It was really elaborate but it was really funny because they were all bright colors and they're a death core band.
So have there been a lot of pranks on this tour or are they only between you guys?
Andrew: Not really! I mean it's difficult when you get into the prank realm because sometimes if you tour with bands that don't have like a good sense of humor then the pranks get really tragic and like messed up. Anything can happen. Like one time, a band covered our entire van in condiments but it was like twenty degrees outside. So there's like peanut butter and syrup and mayonnaise and mustard like all over the outside of the entire van and we had to stand in twenty degree weather hand spraying at a car wash like blowing mustard off our van with water in sandals. It sucked! There's just certain things. Like some bands do pranks but the balloon thing like we were talking to Emmure about it and they thought it was hilarious. Like balloons? They don't do anything we just popped them and threw them away. It's no big deal but other bands they get carried away and people's feelings get hurt and it's just kind of a really slippery slope but this tour's been pretty good as far as that kind of stuff. Like the air soft thing, everyone has a gun and it's like even and the balloon thing was just funny and that's pretty much been it.
Does this happen on stage?
Andrew: No we don't do it on stage.
John: We try not to!
Andrew: Yeah that's pretty much like our only rule is it cannot happen while bands are playing. Because like if I get shot while I'm playing drums, we play to a click track and stuff. So if I stop, that song's done. Like that's it! You know the set's ruined and so that's like our only real rule. Don't shoot people on stage because you can't go anywhere. Like you just have to stand there and that's not sick at all if you got shot while you're playing.
Then this is a little different. If you could take any three past bands you've toured with, so not like a dream tour like the Beatles, who would they be on a dream tour today?
Andrew: Bury Tomorrow I think first off. Those dudes are rad. Trying to think of who else we've toured with. Stick To Your Guns would be super sick as well as Escape The Fate. We really enjoyed touring with those dudes so I think those would be the three bands that we've toured with that I would want to be out with again.
Perfect and then how does the band normally go about the writing?
Andrew: We just kind of go for it. There's no real rhyme or reason. It just kind of happens. Somebody will be on their computer, you know, writing a guitar riff or using a programming/synth part or programming like a dance beat or something like that. Literally anything can trigger it. It's just pretty much when one person gets inspiration, as soon as they tell somebody else it's just kind of rabid. It just like explodes after that then everybody kind of starts throwing in ideas like on top of it and then usually the song will suck and we'll have to re-write it. I mean it's just kind of whatever. Sometimes Caleb will just be at home because he has a studio in his basement and records bands and he'll just write a song. Or like Andrew (Whiting) will be at home and he'll be on his laptop and he'll pull out his guitar and come up with a series of guitar riffs that we just kind of archive and pull them back out later while writing something. It's literally anything can happen and we'll write a song.
And then you guys obviously have a few songs that have sort of a 'different' name to them like 'Sexy Man Chocolate' or 'Smokahontas'. What's like the weirdest name you've come up with?
John: I don't know they're all pretty goofy.
You guys like to switch it up!
Andrew: I think the weirdest and worst one that we've come up was back in like 2007 when we wrote a song called 'If Guns were outlawed, can we use Swords?' which is just like the worst song title in the world.
John: I don't think I was in the band at that point.
Andrew : Yeah you weren't.
You wouldn't have been okay with it.
John: You got away with that one!
Andrew: I think that's Whiting's and my fault. I think we were the only two that were in the band at that point. It was just awful.
Perfect, then kind of a different one. What was like the first CD or cassette you bought and then the first concert you went to?
Andrew: The first CD I actually bought was Incubus's 'A Crow Left of the Murder' and the first concert I ever saw I think was also Incubus when they did their headliner run on that record back in like 2005 I think is when that was. 05, 06 somewhere around there. Yeah that was my first concert. I've only actually been to like two big concerts. The other one was Modest Mouse and those were really like the only two legitimate big concerts I've ever gone to.
John: What was the question?
Andrew: What was the first CD you bought?
John: First CD was probably like Britney Spears in all honesty. I don't know, I was into weird music back in the day. I was like twelve maybe. First show was Yellowcard. It was my first mosh pit, that was pretty cool!
Then what's going on for you guys in the next few months? Do you think you're going to stay on the road? I know you have the UK tour coming up, going to take a little breather?
Andrew: We're going to be home for Christmas and New Year's. So we're just going to hang out with our families and try to figure out things to buy them for Christmas because we haven't seen them in forever so we're probably going to buy really crappy presents. Yeah we have Christmas then we're doing a lot of Europe at the end of January and beginning of February then I think we have March off and we're pretty much just going to be like writing in between during all the times we're at home because we get bored after like three days. So then in the spring, I don't know what our plans are. We'd like to do another American run in the spring and just kind of do like other markets then all the main cities. That's pretty much it I think for that.
And that's your first headliner tour in the UK or the first ever, even?
Andrew: Yeah first headliner in the UK. It will be our first time going over there!