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With the first song off the record 'Girl Parts' receiving rave reviews, I knew I should take the opportunity to talk to the band when I could and recently caught up with the band while they were enroute to their show in DC! We talked everything from their inspirations for some of the songs they've written for their new record to what they consider tour essentials to 'survive' while on the road. Read on for the exclusive with the band and catch them on tour right now!
A little softer one to start obviously you guys are a touring band and you have been for a few years. Maybe what would you say are like the three things that you must have while on the road to 'survive'?
Things that we must have on the road?
Things that we must have on the road. Well (laughs) I mean recently now that the tours are starting to get longer we've been talking about asking for underwear at each venue because if we have like fifteen dates in a row it's just hard to pack that much underwear. So clean underwear is a big one and that's the first answer I'm going to give you. What else, guys? I mean fresh food is always important like if you have the option. Like if there's a fast food option and a healthier food option, try to go for the healthier food option. Eating right is really important. What else do we need on the road? I guess we don't really need anything. Water! Water, we steal water from all the venues we go to. We just take bottles and bottles of their water and Ian says that you need KY Jelly (laughs). So yeah, KY jelly I guess (laughs).
Perfect! Then obviously to make it a little more serious you guys recently signed to Fearless. How did that signing come about with them maybe over other labels?
I guess we had always spoken to a few labels. It was never like crazy with other labels but Fearless saw us perform at CMJ this year and they just made it very clear that they were interested and they could offer us everything that we would want from a record label and we would have full support from them. So we only, you know, like had a few discussions with them and it became pretty clear that we were on the same page so it was really kind of a very easy decision for us. Just from the standpoint that they were going to be fully supporting us and the fact that they were just really interested in helping get our music out. Out of my basement basically. Cause that's where it was before that so.
Beautiful and then I know you're putting out your first studio debut album on August 30th. Maybe how did that songwriting go for that record? Was it more like one person, is it more collective? How does it go about?
Right well our songwriting has never changed. It's always kind of been the same where usually Henry our guitar player will come in with music whether it's fully formed into a structure of a song or if it's just loose ideas. We usually all attack it at the same time. Like the four or five of us sitting in the basement and it's very together. Just the process and lyrically, I mean most of the record is me and Ian. Ian the singer and me being the drummer obviously, we generally mostly handle the lyrics but I mean there's a song that Mike our guitar player brought in fully so that one is his and there's one that Henry brought in fully. That one is going to be the iTunes exclusive song so everyone can write if they want to but everyone kind of has their place in the process of writing the songs. Super collaborative. So we'd like to keep it that way. I mean we've written songs post this record and it's still the same way so I really enjoy our writing process.
Great and then maybe where would you say is one of the stranger places you've found? Like maybe if you've found inspiration like something some one said or something that happened? Like anything from like a song title to even a lyric?
Yeah, most of our inspiration I guess for this record mostly comes from things that we've experienced or things that we've seen happening around us. I know that a lot of things that I write about have to do with things that I endure specifically. I'm trying to think of strange things that influence our writing. I mean we're definitely inspired by other bands that we listen to and we're definitely inspired by literature and things that are happening. I feel like that's a boring answer but I don't really know of any thing-Ian, do you have anything strange things that influence you when you write lyrics? Do you have any that you want to share? For example, Ian said that one of our songs the closing song on the album is like a collection of kind of fucked up things or stories that we heard in high school. Like things that people had done or things that people were going through so I guess it's more just like pretty normal (laughs). Which is kind of boring.
No that's really good and then your song 'Girl Parts' was released pretty recently. Maybe what's the story behind that song?
Behind 'Girl Parts'? Yeah 'Girl Parts' the basic story is two friends who have a very casual kind of sexual history and they're kind of very lusty for each other. I mean it's open to interpretation but basically there's obviously some fighting words and very intense reactions to each other. So I mean people are going to make to and interpret that song however they want but I guess from when me and Ian wrote that. I mean I wrote the choruses and Ian he wrote the verses and it was kind of just about a very intense relationship that is non-traditional and it just sets itself up for disaster sort of. It was Ian's idea to make it a girl and a guy singing at each other so I guess in that we were kind of hoping that people, like guys and girls, could hear that song and relate to it who have felt those things and maybe even like said those similar things to someone they were having sex with (laughs).
Do you think that's a good indication for fans of the band of what's like coming on this album or is it pretty different?
No I mean I don't want to pigeon hole the record at all because I mean there are a lot of themes on the record but generally like a lot of it is influenced by either failed romances that we've had or awful sexual experiences that we've had or really bad or really good relationships. Where you know it's just a lot of whats happened in the last few years for us so that obviously came through in a lot of the songs but I don't like to think of it that way totally because there are a lot of other great things in the album that are there but that song definitely does sum up a lot of the emotional charge of the album.
Perfect and then this is a little bit different but I know earlier this year you toured with Young The Giant and then you're out with White Denim and MAZES now with touring a bunch which is pretty awesome. Maybe if you could tour with any three bands or acts, who do you think they would be? Like anyone they could be broken up even.
Oh, man! Any band that we can tour with?
Any band, like three!
What is a dream for us? She said they could be broken up or together now? I know for me like I would die if we were opening for Strokes. I mean that's just my personal like I love them. They got me into music. That would be a dream for me. What's another band? Arcade Fire would be incredible. Henry says the original line up of Misfits back in the day. The Cribs are another one that hopefully we can one day do. We have a lot of similarities and team members so hopefully one day we can pull those resources together and play a show with them because we really love those guys. Yeah but all the bands we have toured with have been really great. Each tour has been like super eye-opening and we've learned things from each tour from watching the headlining band and hopefully the tours will continue to get better and better and better and one day we can open for Queen maybe if they come back. That's the ultimate dream really. To open for Queen but in all seriousness Queen back in the day was great. You can put down Queen for it if you want (laughs).
For a kid coming out to a live show what can they expect? Is it really energetic, is it a little more laid back? Does it get mixed up how does it go?
Our live shows? They are super energetic. Ian just uses his body and goes nuts. We all kind of thrash about and make sure that the audience is having fun. I mean the goal I guess is to move the people in the audience literally and figuratively. If they're dancing and having a good time and thrashing around then we've kind of done our job. I don't think any of us believe that doing music is just going up on stage and be droning over the audience and you don't really move. I think that's for other people to do which is fine but we definitely think our speciality is our live energetic show.
These are obviously a little different and going back to when you were a kid but what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid? Then the first concert you went to and do you think those influenced you?
Oh my god we were just talking about this! My first concert was Weird Al Yankovic at like a county fair in New Jersey. I was a huge Weird Al fan and we were just talking about how he's releasing a new album. So that's really exciting that you asked me that. So that was my first concert. What were some of your first concerts? Henry's first concert was like the Mike Love version of the Beach Boys version that still tours around today without all the original members that was Henry's first concert. Ian, what was yours? Okay Ian's first concert was Eve 6 at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Mike, what was yours? Oh my god and Mike's first concert was 311 (laughs) that's awful and Hoobastank. What was that, like 1980? Oh no that is terrible and then my first CD that I bought was either Big Willy Style by Will Smith. His first rap album or The Beatles' 'One'. I bought them both at the same time I think. Those were my first CD's. I was also a huge Backstreet Boys fan so I had their CD's and I think that was maybe my second concert that I went to.
You're laughing but you shouldn't be because back in the day they were really tight (laughs).
Then to end it all off obviously you're on this tour right now with White Denim and MAZES and still have a while to go but then are you going to be touring until the record comes out? Are you going to be touring this summer, what's going to be going on?
I think for the rest of this summer we have this tour and then there are some things happening in August. Like we're playing the Escape To New York festival and that will be our first festival. Then we may go to California but I don't know if that's happening then I don't know. I guess at the end of August our album comes out. I assume from then on for the rest of the year we're going to be touring. I know that we are definitely going to be touring this fall. I don't know with who yet but it's being worked on. I think the next year is pretty much going to be on the road mostly and we're ready. Like we're ready for it. We're ready to tour the record so we're very excited.