Share it Please
I recently caught up with Zac and James from the band where we talked about literally everything on the planet it seemed. The interview started out with your normal three tour essentials which ended up being about ten but yet somehow ended up being about this great little place in Brooklyn to eat that no one really knows about called Taco Bell. Along with the brand new EP dropping today, the band was featured in the brand new issue of AP and are sure to have plenty surprises coming up for us with in these next few months! So keep your eye on this talented band and catch them when you can. Pick up the new EP on Bandcamp and Itunes today just for personal suggestions as well!
So a lot has happened since we last talked. You went out with Cash Cash and Down With Webster on separate tours. So a little goofy one to start what are your top three tour essentials?
James: Dave Rublin is one.
Zac: Yeah he's our bass player. Got to bring him along. I sometimes forget, I know you sometimes forget, so you always have got to be on the ball with that.
James: We're like don't forget Dave everybody! He's just so little you know.
Zac: No um let's see. First thing is you need plenty of alcohol. Now I know every one says don't drink and drive but we love it. No (both laugh)! Not while we're driving but seriously like it's ridiculous how many open containers we have all around our van. Not from while we're, you know, well we're very responsible. We always have a designated driver. We don't drink while we're driving but-
James: It's just like after shows all the bands party and sometimes we don't know where to go so everybody sits outside the van.
Zac: Yeah it's a big thing that we've done with Cash Cash and with Down With Webster and every band that we've toured with. There have definitely been so many nights where you're like in West Virginia and you're like what the hell is there to do in West Virginia at one in the morning? So it's like 'well hey we have like four vans why don't we just go sit in an open parking lot and just drink our own beers?'. So you always have to be prepared for that because you're always like, you want to be the cool guys with all the alcohol so you're like dude wow I got this handle and that handle and like this case and everyone's like oh The Blue Pages are the party guys. Next big thing is-
James: My personal thing is broccoli and hummus. You can't forget that because when you drink alcohol you got to have something healthy to balance it.
Zac: Mhmm we have a little cooler in our car in-between the front two seats and that's where we keep all of our vegetables and hummus and all of our jelly for our pb&j's and our apples and oranges. So all of our food, because you know it's like you don't want to be eating Taco Bell and McDonald's for every meal well I want to be eating Taco Bell for every meal.
James Well I don't!
Zac: But sometimes it's just not the best. So it's like, you know, you got to make your own meals. So you should definitely have some healthy snacks kept in the van.
James: Also I love Scooby Doo snacks.
Dave: He loves the fruit snacks.
Zac: Yeah'¦what do I eat for a snack?
James: They have a special like white flavor that's awesome.
Zac: What's my snack of choice?
Dave: Ramen noodles!
Zac: I do that a lot too. I always go into gas stations with the little cup of soups and I'll like ask them if I can use their hot water. They always let me it's great so I'll have a nice little like cup of soup. It's a good meal! You know it's handy, it's convenient, it tastes delicious, it has vegetables in it. Sometimes you get the shrimp one with the little shrimps.
James: I love the shrimp ones.
Zac: Maybe keep a little bottle of Tabasco sauce in there to make it a little spicy. Then what's the last thing? Oh you know what else? You know what else we bring on? This is the number three thing. Tons and tons of sport gear.
James: Oh yeaaaah!
Zac: For example, we have like in our van we have Frisbees, we have a wiffle bat, we have soccer balls-
James: I thought you said sporks.
Zac: No, not sporks. Sporting!
James: Well you need plastic silverware all the time because you're always eating stuff you know, like stuff in the van. That's why I was like good call man because I was thinking you said sporks.
Zac: No, for the van parties because you know like a van party in a parking lot is cool but it's like 'oh shit we got wiffle bats too. Wooo!' And then we'll have a big wiffle bat game at like three in the morning. So you know wiffle bats, Frisbees, footballs, soccer balls. You know what my big thing is I bring, okay, so for me personally I always bring, on every tour I bring a little skateboard. It's called a Flex Deck. It's like this little tiny skateboard but it rides like a long board so if we get to a city early, I'll cruise around the city and just like explore. Then also Devil Sticks. Remember you hold the two sticks in your hand and you have one and you do it back and forth. That one's super fun too for me.
James: Really fun.
Zac: Yeah they're really fun (laughs) and people think you're like, people are always so impressed because it's like 'woah, are you like in a circus or something? How do you know how to do that?' and it's like no I'm just kind of a nerd and practice Devil sticks in my spare time. It's like NBD, no big deal! So'¦sports gear.
And then how did those tours go with Cash Cash and Down With Webster? They're both really similar to your style like hyping up and dancy with the crowd and everything. Like how did they end up going for you? Maybe gaining more exposure from all their fans?
James: It was awesome. It was a lot of fun. Love all those guys.
Zac: Yeah definitely sweet.
James: We have a lot of good memories.
Zac: And it's great now because we just moved to New York and it's awesome because especially for like Cash Cash and All Night Dynamite, they're in the city at least once or twice a week. So now we get to chill all the time with those guys so it's great getting to be in the same city with all these guys that you basically lived with for a while. It's a lot of fun.
Aren't they just in New Jersey?
Zac: Yeah they're all in New Jersey but they come in all the time. It's so close you know it's so close to the city and there's always something going on in the city so it's great.
Then if kids haven't seen you before, this is kind of a different crowd then you're probably used to, what you just had tonight but what can kids look forward to in coming out to a live show?
Zac: It's not that much different. It's not that different then what we're used to but people can always just expect to have a really good time, good music, good vibes bro. Good times, dance, have fun, energetic, sex, dancing. Get ready to meet a boyfriend or girlfriend. How's that? (laughs)
Perfect, then what would you say is your favorite song to play live right now? We can go around?
Dave: Anything by Journey. Anything by Journey.
None of your songs.
Dave: (Laughs) No! That's why I shouldn't be here (laughs).
James: That was actually a great answer. Where are you going? Sit down!
Zac: Alright do it dude. Do it! Dude go, go!
James: This is how the Blue Pages pick up chicks. Just watch!
Dave: I lost my mommy can I come home with you?
Zac: Hey tell her. Okay here so I don't know if this goes into this interview but this is a good game that we play especially on tour. It's called, oh here it is!
(As we watch Dave on the prowl!) Boom, look at him! Oh she's going to go, I think she's gonna do it. She's gonna do it.
James: Oh man nope.
Zac: Man she's not going (laughs). Okay so we have this game that we play on tour and in life and it can work for both genders.
James: I got what's his name from Let's Get It so good.
Zac: (laughs) Okay so the game is called 'Tell Her'. So say you're with your friends and you're all hanging out, you're at a bar, you're at a club, even here at Northeastern or wherever you're at and you see, you know, one of your friends sees a girl that they're attracted to and he goes 'oh man that girl's so hot' you go 'Tell her!' and if you call him out, if you do tell her, that person either needs to go tell her exactly what he said or he has to buy you a beer. So basically right now we just called Dave on tell her because Dave was like 'ooh'. Well it was like 'Oh man that girl's really cute, I'm going to go talk to that girl'. We're like 'tell her' so basically now he had to go tell her that she is really cute and go talk to her and if he didn't, I could call him out and make him buy me a beer. It's a win/win/win because if the person doesn't tell then they have to buy you a beer so you win because you get a beer but you know it's kind of awkward at first but it kind of gets you out of your comfort zone and it kind of gets you out talking to people so it's a win for them too. Obviously it's a little awkward at first but it's a win. It's a win for every one.
James: Except for the girl.
Zac: Except for the girl (laughs). Sometimes you'll play the tell her game where they can just go talk to her and sometimes we'll play it where you have to say exactly what you said so, you know, sometimes a guy says something a little not pc about a girl which guys sometimes do it's natural.
James: Guys always do.
Zac: And you say tell her and they have to tell her exactly that then it's like, we definitely have friends that had to be like 'yo, I'm sorry this is rude but you have an amazing behind'.
James: Your behind is quite lovely.
Zac: And you know, like you think that it's like they're going to get slapped in the face but like the majority of the time, it actually works out better. Like the girls usually kind of laugh at it, they think it's kind of cute because you're allowed to explain like 'hey, um, you know I play this game with my friends. It's kind of silly but it's called Tell Her'. You did it! You see now he does not have to buy me a beer.
James: He has a new girlfriend.
Zac: Now he has a new girlfriend.
Dave: Her name's Jess.
Dave: Jess Freeman. Probably jewish.
Zac: Probably jewish, for us that's good. We can introduce her to our parents.
Dave: She said add me on face book. Done!
All three: Woooo!
Dave: You owe me a beer!
Zac: I love it! No, now you don't owe us a beer.
Dave: Oh yeah I forgot the rules of the game.
Zac: Sometimes Dave just likes to make up his own rules to life actually.
Dave: Yeah man I showed up on time, you owe me a beer. New rule. Never show up on time, no matter how much they tell you it's a great opportunity.
Zac: Like hey guys, I played a really good show tonight you all owe me a beer. Wait, wait a second. That's not a game. That's not a game we play! Tell me how awesome I am or you owe me a beer. Boom, wooo!
So funny! Alright, this is a little more serious I guess. I took a look at the myspace just to get a hint of some of the new music. Your new EP came out after we last talked I think the Rocket To The Moon show was the last time.
Zac: Oh really?
That's the last time. Did it come out post that?
James: That's a good question. I don't know.
It said you were going into a new direction.
Zac: What does it say? The Blue Pages, in parentheses, are going in a new direction?
No, it's like a tweet. Like you tweeted it.
Zac: Okay well here's the thing about moving in a new direction. Alright, sneak peek. This is a sneak peek. So you know we just moved to Brooklyn and it's great, everything's great. We've been writing and recording tons but that's kind of what we're doing right now. We're laying low, we're not touring too much and you know we recorded this song. It's called 'Fight For You' and it's a song that we've been working on for a while that we had written but we didn't know what to do with it because it's a little slower, little more ballad-esque and we've recorded it and like the production style of it is way, way more kind of Coldplay with a little electronics. No one really knew what to think of it at first, it was kind of like yeah this is really interesting but we sent it out to a bunch of people and our friends.
James: Don't give away too much.
Zac: Basically we felt so good about the song and our friends felt so good about the song that a lot of the things that we've been writing and recording recently kind of has like a more Coldplay, The Script but still like electronics type feel.
Is that giving too much?
Zac: There's more guitars too then what people are used to. Well our last album that came out was just super, super straight up like electronic dancy pop which is great but now it's like we're just starting to kind of incorporate more of our live show, more of the full band experience but still keeping you know those keyboards and like a strong electronics root to it. Does that make sense?
James: It's gonna be different. It's going to be cool. It's going to be really cool. I think people are going to like it.
It sounds good.
Zac: Yeah. So we have I think about four songs. Four new songs like that kind of feel finished and then we're going to just keep pumping them out. Go from there, maybe we'll release a new EP who knows! I don't know, we'll see.
And then, so Nighthawke came out in April I believe. Something like that. How do you think it's been doing? I mean obviously kids were into it tonight.
Zac: I think it's going pretty well. We had fun doing it you know. It was really cool. Nighthawke was sweet because our producer who actually also played tonight he's in the band Media Made. Christian Medice is our producer and Nighthawke was, it wasn't even kind of intended to be an album, it was just like we were kind of working on these electronic tracks together and then we had just met Christian and he was just starting out as a producer and we just kind of collaborated on that and like basically we took our tracks and he just basically did our vocal production and he added some things in here and there but it's great because we've built such a strong relationship now. We all just work together and he's almost like-
James: I'm having dÃ©jÃ vu right now.
Zac: He's almost like the fifth person, Christian-
James: I swear I've dreamed about this.
Zac: I've dreamt about this James.
James: How dare you?
Zac: Little known fact I have a Masters degree in English. No, I don't. No my English is terrible but Christian's like basically the fifth member of the band you know. He helps us so much with all of our production. He's just amazing and-
James: And now he's officially my facebook boyfriend which is great.
Zac: Yeah they just made it face book official but going back to Nighthawke, it's a cool album. You know it was so much fun to do because that was our first experience working with Christian who has really helped us grow as a band.
And then if you could collaborate with any other live musician, who do you think they would be? Like some one that is current right now.
Zac: Does the pope count? I know he just come out with a new album not that long ago. He came out with like an album on like Jive Records or something.
Zac: It was something like maybe it might not be Jive-
James: It was Jive.
Zac: It was something wild. Like wildly major and like really? Is the pope like getting his flow on? Like what's going on.
James: It was Jive I'm positive it was Jive because I remember thinking..Jay Z's on Jive right?
Zac: No Jay Z is on Def Jam/Island. It was something with a lot of rappers I know that. Something with rappers. It was like what?! This is so weird and I'm jewish but I don't even know what the pope would do on my album.
James: She's writing Zac is jewish.
Zac: Zac is a'¦
Yeah that's exactly what I'm writing.
Zac: '¦jew. Don't publish this. No I'm just kidding!
And what's the strangest place you've found inspiration? Be it for a song lyric, song title?
James: In his arms.
In his arms?
Zac: How 'bout that? In his arms. That's a good song title right there.
James: That is!
Zac: Look at that!
James: That's almost a Phil Collins 'In her Arms'.
Zac: Oh yeah yeah.
James: Isn't that a Phil Collins song? You can do a twist on it with 'In His Arms'.
Zac: Sung by a dude to a dude. Look at that. Don't even go like 'and she said' blah blah blah in his arms. Don't even do that at the end and say like-
James: How comfortable you feel in his arms.
Zac: Yeah just like you're my bro. We're bro ing out. It's a bro sesh. How's that for inspiration right there? In a interview.
And then the last few ones. What can fans look forward to with in these next few months? Do you think you may be putting out new music, is there any full length possibility? I know you guys haven't done that yet.
James: The new music is going to be bomb. It's going to turn a lot of heads.
Then take the band member next to you so obviously you'll just do each other. What would they be doing if they weren't in music or The Blue Pages?
Zac: I know what he'd be doing.
James: I know what he'd be doing.
Zac: Woah! Alright I want to know. You go first! I want to know what I'd be doing.
James: Zac would be cutting peoples' hair, working as a stylist.
Zac: (laughs) Oh that's my new hobby.
James: Because he cuts everybodys' hair in the band and in other bands too.
Zac: Yeah okay so I started cutting Blue Pages' hair including myself. I started cutting my own hair then everyone was like 'woah zac, you have such cool hair. Will you cut mine too?' in our band and then other bands in New York were like 'hey I like your hair' or 'hey I like that dude's hair' so now I'm cutting other bands' hair but it's funny because I don't own any of my stuff. It's just actually Christian, our producer and the singer of Media Made. He has like a buzzer and like some scissors and stuff so I have to go to his house to do it so Christian and I have this joke where it's like 'Come record a track and get a haircut'. It's the Zac and Christian salon east studio. I'd be a hairstylist. That's my new thing. My new pasttime. This guy would be living, no he would go to South Korea because I know that's his number one thing that he wants to do right now. That's his number one place of travel or he'd be hiking, he'd be trying to find a way to hike Everest because he's a big hiker. So he'd probably be hiking-
Zac: -mountaineering or trying to go somewhere in Asia.
Zac: Pretty accurate.
James: Yeah a few things off but Tibet.
Zac: You've been talking about South Korea so much.
James: I know I've been talking about South Korea because it just seems awesome. Feels like the bomb the whole thing seems awesome. The other day I spent about four, no I didn't spend four hours, I spent. Get out of here!
James: We almost did but for about an hour before I fell asleep I was watching you tube videos of people just walking around South Korea and got really scared.
James: And really lonely.
Zac: It's interesting because like we just moved to Brookyln and we're from Boston and in Boston-
James: I hang out in Chinatown all the time.
Zac: In Boston-
James: That's the weird part.
Zac: There are a bunch of south Korean students that for some reason I don't know are attracted to us, we're attracted to them but we have a lot of south Korean friends in Boston. Not only from Berklee where we went to college but just from all around town.
James: Now it's weird because in New York, I have a lot of Nepali friends that are sherpas.
Zac: This is true.
James: This is definitely true.
Zac: Yeah he went and played with-who did you play with?
James: Oh I played guitar. This is so funny. I played guitar for the New York City Nepali Sherpa community with a traditional Sherpa band. All these dudes-
Zac: This is serious.
James: This is serious. There was like seven hundred Nepali people, I was the only white person there but it was awesome. A lot of these guys that I know all were Mount Everest guides so they used to climb Mount Everest.
Oh my god that's crazy.
James: And it's interesting there's only really two ways to view them. People either view them as like the dogs of the Himalayas because they carry my stuff or they view them as like these kind of like mystical people because you know down at sea level, I can probably do more push ups than any of them or like run farther than any of them but once you hit 15,000, 20,000 feet with these people they're running circles around you because their bodies are built different then ours. But it was really fun. I ate nepali food. I've had it before a bunch of times but it was really nice to have it again. Tried to meet some nice Nepali women but it didn't work out so well.
Zac: Sorry I'm trying to RSVP for this god damn Two Door Cinema Club show tomorrow. I'm really just trying to get my culture on.
Getting your culture on?
Zac: Love getting my culture on. Love going to different cultural events.
Well then maybe to end it off, I didn't know you guys had moved to New York. I thought you guys were still based here so how has it been different? You guys have been so established in Boston how is the scene different in New York?
Zac: Just crazy awesome.
James: It's so sweet. I can eat at different kinds of restaurants every day and I hear like thirty different languages every day.
Zac: And you know for me it's like obviously I love Boston and I have a lot of close friends here still but the thing about Boston is it's obviously a college town and a lot of my friends who I went to school with and kind of grew up with in Boston they've all graduated and moved to New York so it's like you know I felt when I stayed here after I finished school, it was like wait a second. All my friends left, this is kind of weird and now in New York no joke like first of all like I said before it's so sweet because all of my friends in like Cash Cash and All Night Dynamite, Media Made and Christian, you know all of our friends they're all in New York. It's like you can go anywhere and just see all of your friends but also living in Bushwick which is where we live in Brookyln, no joke at least once a week I will run into a friend of mine from college. Seriously from Boston where it's like woah, you live in Brookyln? That's crazy! Oh my gosh I totally didn't know that. It's like 'Nice, let's hang out! Let's get together.' It's like I'm seeing all these old friends which is so sweet. I wasn't even looking at you this time and you just wanted to go in.
James: The best part though no joke about New York that Boston can never have is they have these in Bushwick $3.50 foot long subs. They're amazing. Ham, cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes on a nice loaf of bread. Freshly cooked (laughs).
Zac: Well here's the thing. We never make like eye contact much so when it's like every time we do, I just think we both get the wrong impression where it's like is this when we make out? I think it is (starts encroaching on James) Oh god! It's always so weird because I don't know, some people always like when they're on stage together in a band, they'll look at each other and be like 'oh yeah we're rocking out. Sweet!' but James and I never do that. Like, we just kind of like-
James: I feel uncomfortable when you look at me like this.
Zac: We'll come rock out like next to each other but we still don't look at each other. So sometimes we'll look at each other and kind of catch eyes and its' like woah, woah, woah bro bro bro! Woah, dude come on! Woah, not cool bro. That's why now when we're just sitting here it's weird.
James: Also, there's Boarshead ham because they don't have Boars Head ham that much in Boston. I don't know even know if it does exist. Boars Head is awesome. You can't even beat that for $3.50.
Zac: You can't make that for that price.
James: Yeah can you find that anywhere? Delicious tasty footlong sub for $3.50.
Zac: Woahh! Really the New York culture is awesome. I just went to this new Mexican place the other day and, uh-
James: I'd love this place what's it called?
Zac: Hold on it kind of has like a bell. Okay it has like a bell as the logo. It's kind of like this purple bell. It's a Mexican place, a taco place? Taco Bell!! Yeah, yeah, yeah. You've heard of that?
James: Love that place!
Zac: That place is so good. I just had it. It's in New York, the culture there is amazing. So you know you get these cool things in the city that you just can't get anywhere else in the world.
James: Also, there's really cheap Chinese food and you know my favorite-
I heard it's sketchy though.
James: Hell no it's not sketchy.
I've heard that about like four dollar Chinese.
James: Nope. Whoever said it's sketchy is an idiot and I will personally kill them.
Zac: Woah! Hostility.
Gonna go to Montreal.
James: Oh well I'll find them because they obviously know nothing because I eat that stuff like it's my job. I go to the Brooklyn Chinatown a couple times a week. I eat, I chill, I love it so much and I get okay-
Zac: I haven't had Chinese once in New York.
James: Should I say this aloud or will it be too weird?
Zac: Depends what you're going to say.
James: Once we talk about Chinatown, you know where I'm going with this.
Zac: Is it hand jobs?
James: Yeah. No, I'm just kidding.
Zac: Alright, I'll say it. There's this place where it's like this really local Chinatown, this is weird, in Brooklyn.
James: There's no white people literally. Like you go there and it's no tourists.
Zac: It's like Chinatown but no tourists. Okay and you can get an hour long massage for thirty dollars.
James: No twenty five dollars. You got the wrong one.
Zac: Which is so cheap but hold on. Along with the massage, an hour long massage you get a shower, a hair cut, a massage and a happy ending. (laughs) For twenty five dollars.
James: They do not give you a happy ending. Come on, this is real. This place I go to about once a week is twenty five dollars. They wash your hair, your face, they wash your ears. You can get your fade done there, whatever you want for twenty five bucks.
Zac: It's called Christian Medice's apartment.
James: No but the only thing that's weird. The only thing that's weird about it if you can get over this, it's amazing because they stretch you out too. They lay you on your back, they pull your legs out, they pull your arms everything. They stretch your whole body out. The only thing that's weird is that it's open. People are just watching you like they can see you but it's not like strange because it's other people getting massages. Everybody is there doing the same thing, everybody is getting their massages which is weird because you're just sitting there getting a massage and some one walks by but you get over that real quick because it's like a bunch of asian dudes that like don't speak English.
Zac: But I'm telling you, look, I'm being honest with you. People always think you get hand jobs in these places and no, you don't get hand jobs. Even if you were to get a hand job, there would be like thirty people staring at you and that would be weird because then you might as well just do porn.
James: Actually it's really, really amazing and I love it and if anybody thinks it's sketchy, they should go check it out. It's 820 54st street in Brooklyn, New York. That's weird that I know that, right?