The Summer Set

When I first sat down with this next band'€™s front man Brian Dales at Warped Tour this past summer, I definitely realized that even at that point the band was one that had broken out that year. With an incredibly successful debut record '€˜Love Like This'€™ and two undeniably successful singles in '€˜Chelsea'€™ and '€˜Boys You Do'€™, tons of touring under their belts and an unbelievable bond as a band I knew that they could only go up from there! Since that interview, I caught up with the band as a whole when they were out on their fall headlining tour a few months later where I learned that the band was about to go into the studio to do their sophomore record.

That record is now about to drop and it'€™s been a recurring topic in my interviews with the band this past year and most recently, I got the chance to sit down with John Gomez of the band during their time with All Time Low where we discussed in full everything about '€˜Everything'€™s Fine'€™ which drops July 19th. We talked everything from how they come up with the title of the new record to how they really feel they grew up with this record to even some song titles and lyrics behind them! I definitely feel lucky that I'€™ve been able to steadily cover and interview this band and I hope that you enjoy our latest interview!

Last time we talked it was like the last hurrah for '€˜Love Like This'€™ on your fall headliner and now we'€™re at the point where you'€™re done with the new record. I believe it'€™s finished?
Yes!
So it'€™s all done?
All done! Just got the final.
How excited are you to finally have this record ready to roll?
I'€™m so excited for it to be done finally. I mean it'€™s been like a year in the works and writing songs, scratching songs, re-doing songs, taking parts of songs into new songs. On this album I was really excited because I feel like we were a lot more, not that we weren'€™t sincere in '€˜Love Like This'€™, but a lot more sincere and honest in this record. It kind of sounds like a journal I feel like this record. It'€™s a little bit different in the style of writing. It'€™s not as much like in your face pop-punk like our song '€˜Girls Freak Me Out'€™. It'€™s not like '€˜Have you heard about the new girl on the block?'€™ kind of stuff. It'€™s a little bit more personal like close to our hearts. It'€™s a little bit more I have to say honest. It'€™s not as in your face. It'€™s a little bit more sincere I'€™d say.

That'€™s great! I believe the title is '€˜Everything'€™s Fine'€™ I want to say. How did you come up with that title? Is there a story behind it?
In the last like two years, we'€™ve learned a lot about ourselves I think. Whether it'€™s been relationships with people back home and seeing those fail or go well or just change in general. This lifestyle we live so we kind of in the middle of writing this record realized that a lot of it is very uplifting and about like young love and about how like we'€™re growing up but we'€™re still young. You know what I mean? There'€™s a lot of kind of reflection back even to a first love and stuff like that in this record and it'€™s funny how the producer was looking at it at one point. He was like '€˜You guys are talking about how you were young in a lot of these songs and stuff like that'€™ and he was like '€˜what does that mean?'€™ He'€™s forty he'€™s like '€˜you guys are still young kids'€™ but I feel like there'€™s this time period we caught that captured I think a lot of things kids go through. From high school to like even twenty two, there'€™s a lot of change that goes on. That'€™s kind of what we tried to like capture in this and in it there are some songs. Like sad songs about some break ups that Brian recently went through. A break up with a girlfriend and some people have had relationships die. We were kind of listening to the record back and I was sitting there one day. Sitting there listening to this one song that'€™s kind of a little bit sad and then listened to another song that was happy. It was just like '€˜Wow.'€™ I guess in the end of everything like everything'€™s fine. Everything is going to be fine and we were like '€˜Woah. That kind of sounds like a title of the record'€™. We started laughing like that'€™s fucking hilarious. We were listening to super kind of depressing songs next to this really happy song and we were like alright everything'€™s fine. Everything is going to be fine. So that'€™s why we put it with this sad face that we'€™ve been leaking out on the internet. This kind of idea of like the ying and the yang, the good and the bad.

Perfect! No, that'€™s awesome and then do you think maybe the writing process changed for this record or is it like classic Summer Set?
It was the same kind of recording process. I'€™d say we experimented a lot more. The songs kind of opened themselves up more where as opposed to on '€˜Love Like This'€™, we jammed some on acoustic. Like me and Brian then we'€™d bring it to Jess and just be like let'€™s rock it out. Let'€™s get the electrics over it and stuff like this. With some of the lyrics, it was like we could have gone really hard on some of the songs and just hit them like really rock and we were like dude what if we wrote this song down and did it in a different way then a normal pop-punk song? Maybe this isn'€™t a pop-punk song. That was kind of a struggle we had during the record. We were like '€˜Do we keep you know our whole record going as this pop-punk rock thing or do we show some diversity and change some things?'€™ and I think on this record we did. We kept old true to ourselves but we also weren'€™t afraid to do some deep, new things so hopefully people will catch on to this and like them or hate them. I hope people feel one thing about it. I hope people love the album or absolutely hate it. I don'€™t want people to just say '€˜ehh I don'€™t know'€™ afterwards. I want people to think to themselves '€˜Oh, that'€™s good!'€™

Perfect and then what do you think is maybe the most familiar song to Summer Set fans on this record and maybe the most unfamiliar?
On this new record?
On this new record.
I'€™d say one of the most classic Summer Set songs would be a song called '€˜Must Be The Music'€™ and the most unfamiliar would be..there'€™s a lot (laughs) of unfamiliar songs! I'€™d say the most would probably have to be the song called '€˜Thick as Thieves'€™. It took a really quirky way of writing it where it was this idea of this relationship that everyone'€™s experienced whether it'€™s your friends, your parents. Where that person'€™s not right for you and they don'€™t want you to be together that kind of thing and we were like are we going to talk about this from a real standpoint? Like our lives? We decided in this one song to tell a story in a completely outlandish way. A story that didn'€™t happen to these two people. It almost sounds like they'€™re running away from the government. We decided to get weird with the lyrics in this one. That'€™s probably the most unfamiliar song for them.

And then maybe how do you think this record, well obviously you guys have grown up since you wrote '€˜Love Like This'€™ quite a lot, but besides that do you think it matured a little bit? Do you think it sounds a little bit different?
I think it has. It really has! I think that the overall energy is different. It'€™s uplifting and it'€™s still energetic but it'€™s not energetic in a 2003 kind of Blink 182 way where as I feel '€™Love like This'€™ is. I think it'€™s energetic in the lyrics and the actual content and not just necessarily the production of it. I feel like you'€™re hearing the words. It'€™s uplifting as opposed to hearing some really upbeat pop-punk song. It'€™s the same but it'€™s different. I feel.

Maybe for this release itself, where would be like one of the stranger inspirations for a song idea, a lyric? Something some one said.
I think a song that we went out there lyrically with was this song '€˜Mona Lisa'€™ and we kind of described the way. Basically the overall thesis of the song was that you love this girl more then anything and instead of just kind of saying it in normal different ways, we decided to say it using worldly ways. Like I can go catch the moon for you but it wouldn'€™t compare to you. I can go and buy the Taj Mahal for you but like it wouldn'€™t compare at all. We kind of went in to it using these outlandish like iconic ways like climbing the whole Great Wall and these almost like worldly senses to do this out there. Like kind of show like wow, you must really love this person. We definitely didn'€™t go and catch the moon. It'€™s very unrealistic but I see it as more metaphorical so we kind of went out there with that one.

Awesome no that'€™s so good! And then maybe as a person or as a band, who would be like your dream person to collaborate with?
Dream person to collab with?
Yeah like dream person to have on a song with you guys or like in the writing process?
I would love to work with, more than anyone, probably Pat Monagahan from Train. I would love to work with Train. I love them lyrically. I love their vibe. I'€™d die if I worked with them.

Perfect and then this tour obviously comes to it'€™s end tomorrow in Baltimore but how has this tour been going for you guys? Like getting ready for the new record, the fans getting ready? Being on such a big tour with Yellowcard and All Time Low. How has it been for you guys as the opener every night?
It'€™s been incredible. The reaction'€™s been awesome. It'€™s cool to hear kids, each tour, kind of you can hear them singing over the PA a little bit louder and this tour, the energy was awesome. Definitely like just so stoked on all of it and making new fans. The transition to this new record is exciting. At the same time, everyone we'€™ve toured with is so amazing. Like I'€™m so sad. It snuck up on me and I'€™m trying not to be the typical tour thing of '€˜Oh it went by so fast'€™ and going up to everyone being like '€˜Dude I'€™m going to miss you'€™ but it'€™s true.

And then you have a lot coming up that you guys have already announced. You'€™re going to the UK I believe you'€™re headlining, you'€™re main support for We The Kings tour this summer. What are you most looking forward to? Like you guys aren'€™t stopping.
I'€™m excited. I'€™m really excited to go over seas and meet people overseas. Like they'€™re excited, they'€™re catching on to everything but what'€™s funny is that Love Like This just came out in the UK. It came out probably like three or four months ago out there so they'€™re kind of really new to it and to get that support for our first record when our second one is coming out is really cool because we'€™re going to go out there and be able to kind of meet all of these kids. I'€™m excited because we started touring in the US with like 200 to 500 person clubs. Small clubs where we could meet every kid and see every kid and then you start getting a little bit bigger and we'€™re going there and back in the UK going back down to the same size small clubs and it will be cool to meet every kid face to face.

You guys have been together since you were in high school and obviously you'€™re still doing it today. Maybe what was like the first real life moment, like knowing this was going to be something?
It'€™s crazy. I was looking out and there were four thousand kids inside. We'€™ve played you know amphitheaters with ten thousand people before but never in a indoor venue like that. I mean it was wild to look out there and I remember I was sitting there and sometimes you just black out during your shows. You kind of do this everyday. Sometimes it'€™s not as cool. You don'€™t take in as much as you should but I remember that one show and just sat there and remembered thinking I'€™m not going to move on stage. I'€™m not going to interact with fans for this song. I'€™m just going to sit right by my amp and I'€™m just going to look and take this all in. That explains how shocked I still am at this point that I'€™m doing this and it'€™s real.
Continue Reading...

Parachute

It'€™s definitely been a while since the freshman release for Virginia based Parachute but the new record that drops today in '€˜The Way It Was'€™ definitely makes it worth the wait. We'€™ve been treated to a few advanced songs from the record be it through music videos and/or singles but to hear the whole CD in one listening and one sit down makes it clear how good of a record this one truly is.
I was lucky enough to catch the band live last October where those in attendance were treated to a selection of tracks off the record including '€˜Halfway'€™ which seems to be the landmark of the record and '€˜You and Me'€™ to '€˜What I Know'€™. So of course, these ring out as the most recognizable for me and in a great way. From the beautiful lyrics written for these tracks to the musical backing that has become familiar to Parachute fans including the not so traditional saxophone skills from Kit French it is definitely not a disappointment in the least.
Recently I got the chance to sit down again with the front man of the band Will Anderson where we pretty much discussed everything to do with the new full length be it the tracks that will be the most familiar and most unfamiliar to the fans that have been listening to the band for a while to the plans that are to come in the future including their time out with The Goo Goo Dolls this summer! We also talked about the latest music video for '€˜You and Me'€™ and the idea behind making four low budget music videos in comparison to one big budget video for the record. If you'€™ve been a fan of the band for a while, you'€™d know that with these videos coming out for '€˜The Way It Was'€™ the band has more then a handful of music videos for these two releases alone and I think that'€™s something that creates a staying fan base. Read on for our exclusive interview with Will and pick up the brand new record which drops today!

Alrighty so we did talk during your fall headlining tour and being a while ago, the album at that point was almost done. Now that it'€™s about to come out in two weeks, what are you most looking forward to with finally having this record out?
Oh I think just showing the songs off. I think a lot of the fans know the song titles and kind of what they'€™re like but I'€™m just really excited to show them the finished product. We'€™re just super, super excited because we have nine we think really, really good songs. I think one that the fans are going to be really excited about once they finally hear them so just to finally get it out alone is a great feeling! We'€™re excited. We'€™re really pumped.

Perfect and then it has been a while since '€˜Losing Sleep'€™. So maybe how would you say it maybe differs or compares to your first record?
Well I think the new album is definitely just better songs. I think it'€™s better production. I think as a band we gelled in the past few years in a way that I think it really cliqued this recording. I think we hit a new level as musicians and as a collective goal that'€™s really something. We'€™ve always been best friends and in our opinion a good band of friends that has finally hit our stride it feels like. It'€™s one of the albums that just sounds different. It'€™s sounds bigger, more expansive, more ambitious then I think even we were expecting and just with out being pretentious. I don'€™t know. We really wanted it to be huge with out trying to be huge and it ended up that way. I think it was just the natural progression from where we were as the result of playing live. I think we really gelled and just cliqued for some reason. Not for some reason obviously but just cliqued in a way that we hadn'€™t quite felt or experienced yet once we started recording this one.

Awesome and then as strange as this question may sound, what would you say will be the most familiar sounding song to fans of you and the first record and then maybe the most unfamiliar?
I think the most familiar song will probably be the first song. It'€™s called '€˜White Dress'€™. I think it'€™s a good, it'€™s like our original stuff but bigger. More ambitious. I think the least familiar song would probably be something like '€˜What I Know'€™. '€™What I Know'€™ probably is the least familiar in terms of the style that it is. It is familiar that'€™s the hard thing because, well a lot of my friends have heard the record and they'€™ve told me '€˜It'€™s clearly you guys. It sounds like you guys at the next level'€™. I think everybody will find that certain songs are different which will be cool.

Perfect and then like you said you have released '€˜You and Me'€™ and other songs off the album. How do you think it'€™s maybe going over so far with kids? Like how have the reactions been?
I think better than I even expected. Especially with that song. I mean obviously we know '€˜Something To Believe In'€™ was going to be on the radio and we knew that it was going to eventually get to a point where people would be downloading it and we'€™re excited about it but with those two, to see the response it'€™s gotten with out any radio play and with out anything really prior, these past three or four days have been amazing. Just really kind of unexpected and exciting.

Perfect and then you did just drop the video for '€œYou and Me'€ just a few days ago. How did you maybe come up with the idea? I know it'€™s you guys around town on your bikes!
Well what we decided to do was instead of just doing one really big budget video and that be it we wanted to take the money we would have thrown into one video and make four videos. So with that, in the process we had to balance making a great music video and trying too hard. So for '€™You and Me'€™ we wanted something cool and we talked about it and we just wanted something simple and for some reason riding bikes was always something that popped into our head when we were listening to that song. We just decided to do it and keep it simple and not try too hard to make anything because as a band we always wanted to make great budget videos on a small budget so we decided we'€™ll just ride around and have fun doing it and mix it with live stuff and hanging out and I think it nailed it and we really just wanted to capture the essence of the song and it worked out.

Awesome and then you are out with the Plain White T'€™s right now but you are going out with The Goo Goo Dolls which is huge this summer. Being such an historic band, what are you most looking forward to just during that tour? With them and Michelle Branch?
Oh wow just getting to play with one of the bands that you grew up listening to is always a pinch yourself moment and Goo Goo Dolls are one of those bands that I think all of us went through a phase of just loving that band. It'€™s funny but even the too cool kids liked Goo Goo Dolls like back then. They were the jam! So to get to play with them, we'€™re just really excited to hear them every night and especially excited to be playing outdoor amphitheaters with big stages. Summer time touring is always fun.

Awesome and then like I said, you are still out with the Plain White T'€™s on that co-headliner tour. So it'€™s kind of goofier and you'€™re always touring but what would you say are like the three things you must have while on the road to survive?
Ooh, great question! Sheetz which are gas stations, my labtop and probably healing ointment skin care.

Perfect and then maybe what was the first CD or Cassette you bought as a kid?
Ooooh No Doubt'€™s '€™Tragic Kingdom'€™. First CD ever! I went into the store and I remember going to Tower Records in third grade, 1996. No! '€˜97 fourth grade and bought that album.

Awesome and then the first concert you went to and do you think either of those musical experiences influenced the style you'€™re doing today?
Yeah both of them were No Doubt! No Doubt was my first show too in second grade they'€™re so good. Like seeing them getting to do that. Being four high school friends getting to play music together in an arena! I knew I always wanted to do this and then to see them do that it was just like '€˜Yep, that'€™s it!'€™ It really did!

Perfect and then I know with this record obviously you'€™re on this tour right now with Plain White T'€™s and you'€™re going out this summer, what'€™s the plan for these next few months or like this next year? Just plan on staying on the road, maybe going overseas?
Yeah we'€™re going to be here in the states with the Goo Goo Dolls all summer and we'€™re going to do our headlining tour. We'€™re going to go to the UK and Europe and hopefully over to Japan and Australia. Do that this fall and come back late fall through early winter and do some more US headlining touring. So lots of touring basically!
Continue Reading...

Black Veil Brides

A month from now to the day, Black Veil Brides will be releasing their second record with in a year and that'€™s definitely an accomplishment! My first interview with lead vocalist Andy Six happened the day before their first record '€˜We Stitch These Wounds'€™ dropped and since then they have steadily headlined not only in the US but around the world even including being in Japan during the earth quake and tsunami that came with it and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon!

I had the second opportunity to sit down with Andy during their time headlining the AP Tour this year and already since our first interview, they have grown to three times the amount of the success they had then. Last July when we first spoke, the band was still in the Durango Andy speaks of and they have come so far since then!

The new release drops June 14th and we talked about how the writing process went for the record along how it will sound sonically. Along with touching on the record, we talked in depth about their time on Warped Tour this summer along with their upcoming touring plans that will take them all the way to January of the new year. Read on for our exclusive with Andy and definitely pick up the new record when it hits shelves!

Now that it has been, I think it was like the day before the record dropped, so it has been getting close to a year that the full length has been out. Has it met your expectations for your first record being that you have had this band for so long?
Certainly I mean I think that with the record selling as well as it has been, I don'€™t think I can be disappointed with that. In terms of what the album is on a musical level, we were happy with it. I think that we had a limited budget and means with which to make the record so it obviously has signs of that because we were on a very small independent label but now going into this tour we had just finished our second record which will be coming out June 14th. That is sort of I think a continuation of everything that we wanted to do on our first album. We'€™re sort of bringing all those elements together but yeah I think the first record, it'€™s everything. It started our career. We can'€™t really think badly about something that really jumpstarted our career and I still love all those songs to death. They mean a lot to me.

And then so you have already finished your second record and it'€™s already coming out?
June 14th it comes. We'€™ll actually have two records out in one year because the other one came out on July 20th of 2010 so (laughs).

Do you think things have changed a lot? Since I know you started this project when you were fourteen I believe.
When it was just starting yeah.
Do you think the writing has changed with this second record?
Sure I think like anyone, I mean I'€™ve had a lot more experience in the last year of touring and being on the road and everything. I think that all of us have really matured in what we do and in our writing style. Just improving as a band and I think that we'€™ve really grown and in a way that it was just natural. It was never wanting to write something that'€™s different or better. It was just taking all the elements of the first record that we loved and we'€™re happy about it. We'€™re putting them in and bringing them to a bigger scale. Sort of like Black Veil Brides on steroids. We'€™ve enjoyed what we'€™ve previously written and we'€™re just making it bigger and better.

And then you have been touring really, really steadily since that tour. Like constantly.
Yeah we'€™ve been touring pretty much every day (laughs) since then. I mean I think we'€™ve had a couple weeks off here and there but yeah we'€™ve been on tour all year and then honestly it'€™s not really any different. When this tour'€™s over, we go to do a headliner or first we actually do a festival run in Europe and then it ends at Download in England and then come back and the record comes out. Then we go on Warped Tour. We'€™re on the second main stage at Warped Tour and then after that we go to Australia where we do Soundwave Festival and then after that we go to mainland Europe and do a headlining tour there. Then we come back and do a headliner in the states and we go to South America and that puts us toward the end of January and next year so (laughs).
That'€™s awesome that it'€™s already all planned!
Yeah!

Perfect and then actually I talked to Kevin at the Warped Kickoff and you guys are one of the bands that he'€™s most excited about. About having you on this summer and despite the controversy and the fans that follow you and he'€™s really excited about having you out. What are you guys most looking forward to being out there?
We'€™re really not a controversial choice though considering what the band is. It'€™s only a controversial choice if you look at Warped Tour in the context of it just being mosh metal bands. Like when you consider that a band'€™s main influences are The Misfits and The Dead Boys and like punk bands, it'€™s really not that controversial but when you take away that context and you look at what is essentially a punk rock festival and you put in only like christian mosh metal bands for five years, you sort of, I guess, become controversial and that'€™s great! But I mean, you know, we embrace it. We just see it as we went to Warped Tour when we were kids and we saw bands that we loved. It'€™s nice to know that we can be there and then bring something that is our own brand of rock and roll and have fun in that way. You know we'€™re all excited for it. I mean it'€™s a great opportunity and we'€™re stoked.

And then maybe, this is kind of different, but who would you say is like the most similar band to you on this tour and maybe the most dissimilar?
On Warped Tour? Jeez I don'€™t know.
Hard to say similar because you guys are so different.
I can'€™t really think of anyone that, I mean there are certainly bands that work in the context of what we do, but I can'€™t think of any that are on that tour. There'€™s bands that I look forward to seeing that aren'€™t like us at all though but I took influence from like Street Dogs and those kinds of bands but yeah I think that in terms of there being some one like us, I think we'€™re kind of polarizing in that sense. We just don'€™t really see like another Black Veil Brides on that tour which is maybe why everybody'€™s so up in arms about it (laughs).

And does that just make you more excited to have that experience because so many kids are like emailing and saying '€˜why did you book them?'€™ '€˜what is this choice?!'€™
Certainly! I think it'€™s going to be fun. We'€™re scrappy dudes too so there will be some interesting days on that tour where some hardcore kids can get real tough. It'€™s very embarrassing to get your ass kicked by a dude with mascara. I just got to say that it'€™s a tough thing. Need be, it will happen but more than anything we'€™re excited about our audience being there and having a good time and a positive time as far as that. If there are people that throw things at us, we'€™ll throw them right back at them.
Going to stand up for yourself.
Obviously. We have to! That'€™s the message of the band. Be yourselves and be who you want to be. Don'€™t let anybody mess with you. Grab the world by the throat and if it'€™s in rebellion or in these rock and roll tendencies, people lose. People lose sight of the idea of what rock and roll was. It was dangerous! It was music that was about rebellion. We'€™re not interested in being the most dangerous band in the world but we just want to have fun. By like our basic moral code, we have rebellious tendencies. We like to just stand up and be who we want to be. If we want to wear paint all over our bodies and make up on stage, it'€™s because we enjoy it and we'€™re going to do it! If someone has a problem with it, we'€™re the first to ask them why and usually they don'€™t have a real response so it'€™s all part of what the message of the band is and we agree that we would be disingenuous if we were anything else. We can'€™t talk about it ourselves but we can talk about it in interviews and everything else that goes with it. We can'€™t just say '€˜oh go be yourself'€™. It'€™s easy for us to say because we'€™re in this bus and we'€™re up on stage but if someone messes with our audience or messes with the army as it were, we take that very personally.

Perfect then obviously you are headlining this tour and with it, you'€™re with pretty some big bands like D.R.U.G.S. whose members have been in this scene for a while but you do carry a lot of the fans obviously as you can see from the make up and the shirts in line. How do you think you'€™ve grown maybe just over this past year since the first record came out?
A natural progression I think. The way that we'€™ve come up is sort of strange because we had fans before we had any money or means of touring. It was just because of the nature of what our fan base loves about the band sort of the community sense that we have where you throw yourselves into the make up and feel like you'€™re part of something literally. At the shows and with the band and you feel like you'€™re at home and that'€™s something we had when we were still touring in a Durango that fit five people. Trying to get to shows and book shows wherever we could but there were always kids there because there'€™s an excitement about being part of this band. There wasn'€™t a disconnect of band and fans, it was more like a community and I think that that'€™s something that just over time has obviously changed to the point where we can'€™t obviously spend as much time now with our audience as we would like to because of the natural progression thing. The audience getting larger and the shows being in bigger venues but I think that for us this progression, it was natural, and that'€™s something that we were surprised by. I think that everybody wants to grow and when you have a message to give somebody, you want everybody to hear it so I think that by word of mouth and because our audience has become so dedicated to the band, to the fan base of the band and the band itself, I think that that'€™s sort of something that just had to happen.

When we talked and since then I'€™ve talked to a lot of bands that always want like a piece of you, like taking a piece of your clothing and I talked to Chris of Motionless In White recently about even taking skin. Maybe what'€™s been one of the crazier things that some one has done on this tour? Like grabbed your shirt?
I don'€™t really wear much clothing on stage anymore to be honest. I just wear suspenders and nylons and it'€™s become my new stage thing and I normally lose the suspenders. It'€™s more practical then anything else just because I can'€™t even wear shirts on stage anymore because our audience likes my shirts I don'€™t know why. I smell pretty bad on stage but they enjoy the cloth. Maybe they'€™re making something out of it. A doll or something!
An Andy doll.
Maybe not even an Andy doll. Maybe some sort of crazy black voodoo doll made of black t-shirts.

Then you were on the cover of AP last month and I know you'€™ve been doing this band for a really, really long time and maybe for the rest of your band to be on the cover. You'€™ve already been the top of the top in your careers while for most bands that is the top but what was your reaction to that?
It was great but it was just another step. It'€™s not really the top, is it?
No it'€™s not the top (laughs)!
(laughs).
We'€™ve already established that!
No it'€™s cool but I want to be on the cover of all the magazines. I'€™d like to be on the cover of like some sort of magazine that isn'€™t even music related. Yeah I mean it was a great feeling. Obviously, I'€™m not dogging the idea of being on the cover of such a cool magazine. It'€™s some sort of an institution in terms of rock magazines. In the states, especially. Especially, you know, when I was younger it was a huge deal and I would read it all the time but the people were at AP were very complimentary I suppose and we'€™re very much appreciative. I don'€™t think any of us were like '€˜wow, we'€™ve made it.'€™ We were like '€˜wow, that'€™s great. What'€™s next?'€™ That'€™s just sort of always our mentality. Maybe it'€™s the ego or something. We may be a bit too cocky but we think we can take over the world and to this point, nobody'€™s really trying to stop us.

That'€™s what I was going to ask because I was going to say some people would see that as huge but you guys have been steadily progressing. Where do you want to be in like one year? I was going to ask for the record but obviously that'€™s so quickly coming out.
This. Just being in the band. Ultimately, I mean, at the end of the day what I want for my career is to feel like I was able to maintain my sense of bringing a message to an audience and just getting bigger and bigger and then eventually playing like a giant stage or the entire world. Like if we could just build a stage on the clouds where everyone was forced to listen to us play all the time, I think that'€™s the top. I don'€™t think I could get much higher then that. Maybe! Maybe we could figure out something after. Maybe if there were like giant Black Veil Brides shaped fireworks going off at the same time. If we could maybe somehow project our logo over the entire ocean. These are things that..these are long term.

Then you have been doing this for a pretty long time like pretty much your entire adolescence. You'€™re only twenty but did you ever think it would get to this point? Like was this always something you knew was going to happen when you were younger?
I don'€™t think anybody should do anything if they don'€™t think they are going to be the best at it. If they weren'€™t going to be the most successful at it. If you don'€™t for see yourself having the most success then just don'€™t do it. If you want to do something, do it well and then practice and work your ass off. Rock stars and bands aren'€™t crapped out of the sky. It'€™s people that work really hard and really is just a regular person and that'€™s something I realized very early in life. My heroes weren'€™t magical people. They were just guys that knew what they were doing and they worked their butts off. So I think that for me, it was always about work and making sure that I didn'€™t lose sight of what I wanted to do and while other kids were maybe being distracted by stuff and not putting their all into being in a band, for me it was always a hundred and twenty percent what I wanted to do and I don'€™t really think there was anything that distracted me. So in terms of the success happening, I think it'€™s something that you have to expect if you want it and then if you put in the work you can always expect results. There'€™s never been a situation where someone did all the work for something and they had it in their hands and then it just disintegrated. So if you work your ass off for something, it'€™s going to happen. It might happen in a different kind of steps then you want it too but that'€™s more relative. I think on the base level of what we do in terms of being in the band, if you work for it then you obviously increase your chances and then there'€™s got to be luck. Well not necessarily luck but there'€™s got to be a way to resonate the audience and that audience then carries you. You work up to a point and then it becomes your fans. You continue to work your ass off and tour, your fans and the band sort of become one giant sort of emblem of all the work that'€™s been put in.

And then just a small one. I know Matt Good is on this tour who was the front man for From First To Last. How has that experience been, just a little quickie one, coming back with him on this tour and him being in a completely different project?
It'€™s great! He'€™s my best friend in the world. We have like four matching tattoos together. No man it'€™s great! He usually rides in the bus. We have an extra bunk in the back that he usually stays in and he'€™s usually with us but yeah no Matt'€™s the best. We love him! Honestly, it'€™s never been a weird situation because that was the only support tour that we ever did.
With From First To Last?
Yeah we started headlining right after that and in terms of states, we'€™ve done some support in Europe and stuff but we'€™ve never supported in the states again and that was our only one. So he sort of takes a little bit of pride and joy in knowing that his band was the only band that ever took us on tour. Even though he didn'€™t know who the hell we were when he took us out on tour. His booking agent just agreed to put us on as like second of five. However, we sort of made that as our entrance into touring and showing people how a band who no one'€™s ever heard of has a lot of fans (laughs)!
Continue Reading...

Hey Monday

Since we'€™ve caught up with the band Hey Monday just at Warped Tour last summer, already so much has changed for the band in a positive way. Just after I talked with Alex Lipshaw at Warped, a few things were announced so shortly after with the loss of Michael '€œJersey'€ Moriarty and instead of having a new LP the band instead had an EP put out. Despite those hardships, it is clear that the three original members in Mike Gentile, Cassadee Pope and Alex Lipshaw have only learned and grown from the rough experiences they have had over this past year.

I got the chance to catch up with the band again at one of the last few dates of the Dirty Work tour that just finished and we talked about everything the band is up to with in these next few months! They just got home from Indonesia where they played a headlining show with A Rocket To The Moon and The Downtown Fiction in Jakarta and with a week in South America, the gang will be settling down to write and record some new music which will result in a new full length for the band. As cheesy as it may sound, '€˜Hold On Tight'€™ for a follow up to their incredibly successful first record and keep your eyes peeled for everything coming from this incredibly talented band in the next few months!

It has been almost three years I want to say since the full length '€˜Hold On Tight'€™ dropped.
Cassadee: Yeah!
In 2008! How excited are you guys to finally be like back in the studio? Like hopefully making a full length?
Cassadee: I mean it'€™s just exciting to write together again. It'€™s been a while and you know obviously releasing an EP wasn'€™t our decision because we were really excited about releasing a full length and when we found out, we were pretty bummed out. It was just one of those things where you'€™re on a major label and sometimes they make decisions and you have to kind of just deal with it and hope that after you just kind of roll with things that eventually you'€™ll have more of a say in the long run. You know we trusted them with it and it was just basically like bad timing and we didn'€™t want to release it when all these crazy big artists were releasing their albums. We didn'€™t want to be overshadowed so we decided to wait and I feel like it was a good decision in the long run because now it'€™s like we'€™re finishing this amazing tour with All Time Low and the things we have planned. It'€™s so spread out so we have a lot of time to just write and go into the studio and make a bad ass record and release a full length and that will be really good!

Perfect and then you have toured so much since that record came out. I mean I saw you guys for the first time with Fall Out Boy like '€˜09.
Cassadee: Oh wow jeez!
Alex: Long time!
Oh yeah! Long, long time ago. I honestly did not know who you were and you were first to play. Stuff like that! How do you think that time as the three of you in this band has been helping you since the beginning?
Mike: Go for it Alex!
Alex: I think that for us, touring is the number one factor when it comes to making a band tight. I mean we'€™ve been booked to be on tours pretty much ever since the Fall Out Boy tour. So yeah, I mean traveling every single day together. Also, when you'€™re on tour say you like mess up on a show you always have a show the next day which is kind of like saying you can put it behind you and stuff like that. When you'€™re in like a local band and you play a show once a month and you mess up like a small thing on that show, it just eats at you. Touring'€™s definitely, it just makes you a lot better as a musician and as a band I think.
Cassadee: Agreed.
Mike: And I think because of it, the three of us have this insane bond because in the past three years we'€™ve had so many incredible things happen to us and so many just pretty horrible things happen but we'€™ve gotten through it together. The three of us and we'€™re so close because of it and it'€™s just made us a better band and now we just have such a positive outlook on everything because of our past experiences and I feel like the best way to know something is to learn from an experience and we'€™ve had a lot of experiences to learn from. So we'€™re just going to go into everything knowing what we know and it'€™s going to be awesome.
Cassadee: Yeah!
Well that'€™s a great thing to hear!
Cassadee: Thank you!

Of course you'€™re welcome! Maybe do you think the writing'€™s going to change with this record or is it going to stay pretty similar to like what you guys have been doing? I know when we talked, you had been writing with Butch Walker.
Cassadee: Yeah!
And collaborating some with other people. Is that going to change, happen again with this record? Classic Hey Monday?
Cassadee: I think it'€™s probably going to go a little more towards how Hey Monday sounded before and also at the same time, I feel lyrically I mean I'€™m growing and I can'€™t help it. It'€™s just life! So I feel like lyrically, that'€™s going to mature even more but musically I feel like it'€™s going to be more fun then the EP and a little more lighthearted. We'€™re all in like a different place then we were during the EP. It'€™s like a little bit more of a freeing kind of place and we'€™re all really happy and there'€™s nothing really dark going on in our lives right now. So it'€™s definitely going to be like a lighthearted kind of fun record but as far as songwriting goes we'€™ve been writing, all three of us, a lot recently and I'€™d still like to be thinking of doing some co-writes. I'€™ve done some in Nashville and I want to go back there because that was amazing and next time we'€™ll all go together but I went there alone and it was amazing so they'€™re just like stoked to go and see it for themselves. So that will be fun!
Perfect! No it looks like things are really shaping up.
Cassadee: It is, yeah! Always good things.

And then now that you are two EP'€™s and a full length in. I know you guys did the Candles EP as well and did the video for Candles which was on the first record, how do you think it'€™s all been going over with the fans? Like with that EP and going on all of Warped last summer.
Cassadee: Well ever since Warped Tour, I mean we'€™ve gained a lot of fans that we never would have gained because Warped Tour is slightly more masculine, more like harder demographic so that was cool and it gave us fans and then the Candles EP. When that came out, it was just all really good timing because everyone from Glee like used Candles in their show and that really helped but yeah the fans seem to be taking to it pretty well. It'€™s definitely one of the best received songs we play live. Like the kids seem to really get into it and I feel like it'€™s always been a fan favorite since the beginning but since we'€™ve kind of revamped it and re-recorded it, it was given another life. So we'€™ve sort of kind of given it another shot and are giving it, you know, the actual chance that it deserves.

Perfect and then maybe who would you say is like your dream collaboration for you guys? Like you'€™ve sung on songs, you'€™ve worked with other people.
Cassadee: I would love to do something with Michelle Branch someday. I love her. She could write, cowrite, anything.
Alex: I would kind of love to like write with the guys in Yellowcard. I think that that would be awesome. Maybe. I don'€™t know.
Mike: Oh man! That'€™s so hard. I would, hmm, love to do some stuff with Blink. That would be pretty crazy or like Patrick Stump would be awesome.
Cassadee: Mmhmm!
Mike: I'€™d love to just work with an artist that has done it and experienced it and they know what it'€™s like to be in a band. They know what it'€™s like to write and record a record and they know what it'€™s like to just do your thing and have somebody oversee it. Make it a better product instead of trying to make it something that is really not so that'€™s why I would love to work with people like Mark and Tom or Patrick. Somebody who just gets it.
And those guys (Fall Out Boy) are all really doing something different from what that band was doing, it'€™s really great!
Cassadee: Yeah going into all different avenues it'€™s awesome. Good things!

Then this is kind of a different question but what are like the three things that you must have while on the road to survive? Maybe personally and not just as a band.
Cassadee: I'€™m pretty generic. Cell phone.
Alex: Computer.
Cassadee: Computer. I don'€™t really use my computer on tour but.
Mike: Yeah I mean iPhone kind of takes care of all of that. I mean you can do everything with it.
Cassadee: iPhone I guess. To be specific!
Alex: The iPhone. Tooth brush.
Mike: Hair straightner (all start laughing).
Alex: Electric shaver.
Cassadee: We'€™re getting greedy!
Mike: We'€™d get pretty grody if not.
Cassadee: One thing!
Mike: I thought you said three things!
Alex: Yeah me too my bad but alright and this beautiful painting right there (pointing at a painting on the wall).
Cassadee: Pretty lady!
Mike: That'€™s a dude actually.
Cassadee: No it'€™s not.

Then like I said you did do the video for Candles which was on the first record. How did you guys come up with the idea for that video?
Cassadee: Well ever since we wrote the song, I had this idea. It was actually going to be another girl acting through out the video and I had like a different kind of treatment but we kind of dumbed it down. It would have taken too big of a budget to make the video as I wanted but we dumbed it down. We just wanted it to be like a dark, more elegant video and we'€™ve never done it before. Like the three videos we'€™ve ever done are just super poppy and colorful and fun and we wanted to show a different side to us and the song is very like melancholy and sad.
Mike: Dark but with a hint of light like at the end of the tunnel.
Cassadee: That'€™s true!
Mike: Which is kind of portrayed through the dark video with hints of light in the room.
Cassadee: With hints of light passing by. I guess it is a pretty artistic video if you look into it.
Mike: We really just wanted it to be hipster.
Cassadee: You could think of a lot of symbolism and whatever but you know when it comes down to it, it'€™s just a sad, sad video and sad song.

Then to end it all off, you guys have been busy. You did your headlining tour this past fall with Cartel and The Ready Set, you'€™ve been touring steadily. What'€™s coming up like in these next few months? Are you focusing on the record? Are you going to be taking a little break from the road?
Cassadee: We haven'€™t had any plans come up for the summer so honestly we'€™re going to take that time to write and hopefully come up with a plan to get into the studio and start recording but as of right now the only things we have planned are straight after this. We'€™re going to Indonesia for a show with Rocket and The Downtown Fiction and that will be really fun and then in August, we'€™re doing a week in Brazil, Argentina and Chile so that'€™s all we have planned right now but most of our focus is going to be going towards the next album and making that happen!
Continue Reading...

All Time Low

Back in May of 2009, I ventured out to see my favorite band as a kid in Fall Out Boy and while in line for the show four boys walked past me that I didn'€™t recognize which led to girls sobbing and running after them. Those boys were All Time Low and at the time they were second out of five. Since then they have steadily grown to be at the point where they are about to release their senior record '€˜Dirty Work'€™ and luckily enough I was able to sit down with lead vocalist Alex Gaskarath and guitarist Jack Barakat in Boston a few days ago to talk about it!

To say they'€™ve come far in their career from that point is an understatement. Since then they have headlined and sold out venues that hold over five thousand kids and have hit number four on the billboard charts! Meeting their freshman year of high school and now being eight years further into their career as a band, it is still the original line up and still filled with that wit and humor that has made fans fall in love with their personalities. We talked about the wild way Alex and Rivers Cuomo wrote the new single '€˜I Feel Like Dancin'€™ to those influential first records be it Madonna to Aqua and even more. Read on for our exclusive!

Not exactly a soft one to start but the new record Dirty Work comes out in just over a month on June 7th. What are you guys most looking forward to with like finally having it out?
Jack: I think it'€™s going to be cool to finally play new songs live. I mean we'€™ve been playing the same tracks, I mean the last record came out two years ago?
Alex: Yeah.
It'€™s been a while.
Alex: Yeah! It'€™s the appropriate time to release a new record I think and, I don'€™t know, we put our hearts and souls into this one so we'€™re really excited to get it out now and yeah like he said I'€™m ready to play some new songs live. Fo shizzle.

Are you guys playing any of the new songs or just the single?
Alex: We did. We'€™re playing the single which came out a few weeks ago and we'€™re also playing a song that we leaked called Time Bomb. But that'€™s it. Nothing else.
Nothing else.
Jack: You get nothing more!
Alex: Top secret stuff.

Perfect and do you think maybe the process changed at all because it was your first major label release? Like the writing and recording or was it still pretty similar to Hopeless?
Alex: No I mean I think it'€™s pretty similar to what we'€™ve been doing. You know I think the major label wasn'€™t really a factor in the growth. Apart from the fact that we did get to work with some people that we may not have been able to work with before. You know like Neil Avron. You know I think the creative process was pretty similar.
Jack: The only difference was us using the major label money to go to strip clubs.
Alex: Yeah.
Nice.
Jack: And food.
Alex: We ate up most of our budget on strippers and food.
Beautiful.
Jack: And sometimes food off of the strippers. Mostly strippers.
Alex: Costs extra!
Jack: So that ate up a lot of the budget as well.
Alex: Shit'€™s expensive.
Yeah, probably a little bit!

Then maybe what was one of the like stranger places you guys have found inspiration? Like maybe on this record or in the past?
Jack: Especially with the last record, we'€™ve kind of toured the entire world. We'€™ve done like the whole-
Alex: I don'€™t think that'€™s what the question was. Where was the strangest place you'€™ve gotten inspiration?
Jack: Yeah, I mean we'€™ve been to countries in the past year that we haven'€™t even really known much about.
Alex: When you said the word gross in '€˜I Feel like Dancin'€™, what was your inspiration for that?
Jack: You know I was just thinking like we hadn'€™t really said that in any of the songs before.
Alex: What exactly was gross to you? Was it a statement about society? Was it a statement-
Jack: She'€™s interviewing us!
Alex is just helping out!
Alex: I'€™m just trying to encourage you. I'€™m just trying to make you shine. Um I think some of the better, some of the cooler inspirations, came from some rough times I had with some relationships and bouncing back and forth between being involved with someone that I have strong feelings for and also exploring feelings for other people. There'€™s a lot of weight in that kind of situation and a lot of forces pulling in all different directions so a lot of the record is about scenarios that played off of that with out going too much into detail and exposing Charlie Sheen for who he really is.
Jack: You know he released his own bath salt which is packaged in a cocaine packet? How crazy is that?
Alex: He'€™s an idiot. Huge idiot.
Jack: It'€™s like bath salt but it'€™s in a shiny tin foil thing with a sticker on it. It'€™s pretty fucking weird!
Alex: What a douche.

Alright then maybe, you guys obviously have been in the band since you were fourteen and in high school together.
Alex: Oui!
A little bit, a little bit of a long time.
Alex: Oui is French for yes. O-U-I.
Wow, thanks for helping!
Jack: O-E-I. That'€™s how they say it in the US. O-E-I.
Awesome so maybe what would be like the most familiar sounding song off this record for the fans and maybe the most disfamiliar?
Alex: I think..ooh! Disfamiliar.
We'€™ve been discussing this all day. Is that a word?
Alex: Disfamiliar, I don'€™t know!
Dissimilar, like maybe the most out of left field for you guys.
Alex: I got you. Call yourself a journalist (all laugh).
Jack: Making up words (laugh)?
Alex: Disjournalist. Fuck (laughs), what was the question? Okay no I got you.
Jack: Unfamiliar. By the way (laughs).
Alex: I think one of the more familiar sounding songs on the record, there'€™s a few, where we tapped into the old school All Time Low energy. There'€™s a song called '€˜Heroes'€™ that really goes back kind of to the pop punk that started us. I think, you know, '€˜Time Bomb'€™ is something that could have been on the last record. I think there'€™s some songs that are small departures from what we were doing on the last album but then there'€™s a few that are very disfamiliar such as, the song called '€˜Return the Favors'€™ that'€™s pretty strange for us. Song called '€˜No Idea'€™ and a song called '€˜Guts'€™ that are sounds we'€™ve never really played with before and it was a lot of fun making those songs because it'€™s fun to push yourself sometimes.
Good!
Alex: Yes!

Good answer then you did write '€˜I Feel Like Dancin'€™ with Rivers of Weezer so how did that collaboration initially come about?
Alex: It was kind of random. I mean we didn'€™t know him at all. We just kind of threw the idea out there at our label because they were on Interscope. They were our label mates and we kind of had our label reach out and just say '€˜Hey we got some new kids on the label and Alex would love to sit down and write a song with you. He'€™s a big fan'€™ and Rivers came back with a yes! It was that random and I went over to his house and we grabbed our acoustic guitars and turned my phone on record and that'€™s how we wrote the song. We just kind of jammed and sang stupid lines into my phone and that'€™s how it come about. That'€™s magic!
Magical!
Alex: (To Jack) You clapped right in my ear and it made my ear ring. I like hurt my ears. I need a doctor.
You may need to go see a doctor tonight?
Alex: Yeah.

Pretty awesome then who would be your dream person to collaborate with? Like for both of you!
Alex: Um okay..I'€™m going to let Jack answer this one first so I can think of one.
Jack: I'€™m going to answer for Alex and say Dave Grohl.
Alex: Dammit! Dammit!
Jack: I knew that'€™s what you were going to say.
Alex: Damn you Roger. Yes Dave Grohl would be a huge one for me! Also, Lady Gaga would be a fun collaboration I think. She seems like a very creative hip chick and I could possibly try to seduce her at the same time.
When you'€™re working with her?
Alex: Mmhmm.
Professional and then do you have one, Jack?
Jack: Lady Gaga.
Lady Gaga.
Jack: And I would watch the video tape of Alex seducing her and that'€™s how I'€™d get seduced.

By the two of them? Perfect. Then the first time I ever honestly heard of you guys was when you were out with Fall Out Boy.
Alex: Oh nice!
A long, long time ago.
Alex: Yeah!
Before I was even into this kind of stuff but obviously Fall Out Boy is pretty historic as we all know. You guys have toured with a lot of historic bands in the past like Third Eye Blind and Good Charlotte this past summer. Maybe if you could go out with any three dream bands, who would they be? They could be broken up even.
Alex: I would love to do a tour with us, Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind and-
Jack: Blink.
Alex: Blink 182. That would be a fucking serious tour.
Jack: Yeah we would definitely headline.
Yeah, all over that!
Alex: That would be a lot of money.
Jack: Yes.
Alex: To pay those bands.
Jack: Yeah we'€™d headline though.
Alex: That would be difficult to get to happen I think.

Now you may have a video already in the making but I don'€™t think one'€™s already out for this record. We don'€™t have to talk about it!
Alex: No I want to talk about it! Let'€™s talk about it!
Oh you do want to talk about it? Let'€™s talk about it then!
Alex: We shot a video for, well the first single '€˜I Feel Like Dancin'€™, it two weeks ago? About two weeks?
Jack: Yes!
Alex: And we just saw the second cut of it and by god is it funny.
Jack: It'€™s very sexy.
Alex: It'€™s a sexy video.
Jack: It'€™s probably the sexiest thing we'€™ve ever done.
Alex: It could well be.
Jack: We'€™ve done a lot of sexy things.
Alex: Could be the sexiest video ever.
Jack: We'€™ve taken pictures in our underwear. We'€™ve really done it all.
Alex: When it comes to sexy, some would say that we'€™ve really done it all but I think we'€™ve gone above and beyond this time. We'€™ve really proven ourselves. This is Blue Steel for us.
Jack: You know we also believe body hair is still in.
Alex: Yeah!
Jack: We'€™re bringing back the eighties!
Alex: There'€™s a whole thing about like '€˜Oh guys shouldn'€™t be hairy'€™ but you know what? Maybe they should!
Jack: So should girls!
Alex: We are ape descendents are we not?
Jack: We are! We'€™re men.
Alex: Monkeys are hairy.
Jack: We eat with our hands. Sometimes our feet. Sometimes off strippers.
Alex: All comes full circle.

Maybe! Then this is taking it a little bit back but you guys are still pretty young we'€™re all pretty young like 22, 21?
Alex: 23! I'€™m 23.
You'€™re 23? Yeah, older!
Alex: Older! Old as fuck.
But what would you say was the first CD or cassette you bought as a kid and then the first concert?
Alex: The first CD I bought with my own money was Metallic'€™s '€˜Black Album'€™.
Jack: First record I bought was Aqua.
Alex: Here'€™s-. Dude! I remember the first five records I ever bought and it'€™s so bizarre and like not coherent. It was Metallic'€™s '€˜Black Album'€™, whatever Madonna record was out at the time. It'€™s that one that has like the slow song (starts singing) '€˜You only see what your eyes want to see'€™ you know that song? That one!
Frozen?
Alex: Yes!
Jack: Yes!
Alex: That'€™s the one! I have that album. Backstreet Boys '€˜Backstreet'€™s Back'€™. Third Eye Blind'€™s self titled album and shit I think Green Day'€™s '€˜Dookie'€™ or '€˜Nimrod'€™.
Jack: '€˜Dookie'€™ was top five for me.
Alex: Those were the first five records I ever purchased for myself when I had an allowance. It'€™s pretty good!
It'€™s a pretty good five!
Alex: Shows my broad taste of music. Even at a young age. Even as a wee lad. Yes!

Then maybe your first concert and do you think those influenced you guys?
Jack: Ironically enough me and Alex'€™s first concert was the same but we didn'€™t go together.
You didn'€™t go together?
Alex: It was Fate-d.
Jack: It was a festival called HFS Festival.
Alex: Tival! Jack and I coming together is a lot like the characters in Lost. It was sort of like we were always connected. We were always meant to be together. To be with each other.
Jack: That was a cool festival. It was like Sum 41, Good Charlotte, Linkin Park.
Alex: Limp Bizkit.
Jack: Limp Bizkit.
Alex: It was pretty cock rock but it was awesome. I was very excited about it. It was cool they did it in the Redskins stadium.
Jack: We were high we were drunk. We were having a great time!
Alex: There were a lot of people! I think that was the first time I saw anybody smoking weed actually.
At that festival?
Jack: That was my first time smelling marijuana. I remember being like to my brother '€˜what is that?'€™
Alex: I remember being like (sniffs).
Jack: He was just like '€˜that'€™s weed'€™ and I was like '€˜Okay'€™.
Alex: And then he bought some (laughs).
Jack was five.
Jack: I thought it was a kit kat.

And then it'€™s a little heavier but you guys have been in this band since you were like fourteen and obviously you'€™ve been doing it for about I want to say eight years?
Alex: Yeah!
Jack: Yeah about eight years!
So did you honestly ever think that it would get to this point?
Jack: Yes. We knew all along!
Alex: Just a logical progression into our eventual stardom.
Yeah eventual stardom (laughs).
Alex: No honestly-
Jack: I would have been a huge dick in high school.
Alex: Hey you know what? I'€™m going to be famous. Fuck you! Do your homework!
Jack: No!
Alex: No I don'€™t think any of us planned or expected this. It was really just something we were doing for fun. We all liked music. We were all fans of the same bands. It just made sense you know, bro? We just got together and we were just jamming and then (laughs) eventually it started becoming a little more successful locally and I think that'€™s when we started to get a taste for the next step. A hunger for it. As it were. We went for it and now we'€™re just addicts and I'€™m not going to be satisfied till I take over the world.
Jack: Then I'€™ll go to rehab and you know that whole story.

Then maybe, obviously you guys have this record coming out, but the tour ends tomorrow at home in Baltimore. Then what'€™s coming up for you guys? Are you going to be staying on the road? Are you going to be going over seas? What'€™s in the plans?
Alex: We'€™re always going to be on the road.
You guys are always on the road.
Jack: We'€™re born to run.
Alex: We (laughs) we tour quite a bit. Yeah I don'€™t think we have any plans to stop right now. After this, we go pretty much straight back overseas and then back here.
Jack: Yeah we'€™re born to run every day.
Alex: Born to run, baby! I think with in the year, I think we'€™re pretty much going to circle the world. In the fall, I think we'€™re probably going to like Australia, Japan and all that. So it'€™s going to be rad!
Continue Reading...

Sparks The Rescue

Weekly starting today, I'€™ll be featuring an interview with a band who'€™s new record drops that day and the first one up? Sparks the Rescue! The great rock band based out of Portland, Maine has just dropped their sophomore record '€œWorse Things I'€™ve Been Cursed With'€ today and it only impresses me beyond my expectations. From stand out tracks like '€˜The Weirdest Way'€™ to '€˜Better Side of Me'€™ I'€™m sold on the lyrics and after talking to the band through the past year and a half or so, I know how hard these boys work and it'€™s definitely paid off!

For this record, they all moved into a house in Maine to write the record and it must have worked beautifully for them because this is quite possibly the best pop-rock record I'€™ve heard so far this year! Recently I spoke with Toby of the band to talk about the record where we talked about everything from what may be the most left-field song for the band to their dream collaborations. Read it all here!

So the new record '€œWorse Things I'€™ve Been Cursed With'€ finally comes out May 10th. What are you most looking forward to with finally having this sophomore record out?
Just being able to, you know, have people hear new music of ours because we haven'€™t put out a CD in like a year and a half or something and also being able to play new songs at live shows now. That'€™s always my favorite part of releasing new music is going out and playing in front of kids and seeing like what their reaction is and people are into it and stuff like that.

Awesome and then you just played your record release show along with releasing a few of the tracks off the record. How do you feel it'€™s maybe going over so far with the fans? Meaning the new material.
Yeah it'€™s been going really well like when we released '€˜She'€™s A Bitch and I'€™m a Fool'€™, we played Ohio the next day after we released that song and there were like a handful of kids that already were singing along to it and like the release show in Portland was crazy. Just like how quickly the kids had learned the words to the new songs and stuff. It kind of gives you the chills, you know. It'€™s really awesome that we have kids that like are that into our band and that'€™s how we can move up and play shows. We'€™re stoked that we can release the whole record.

Awesome and then last time we talked was actually in Boston at the Christmas Brings Me Down tour and after that tour, you went out with The Dangerous Summer, The Graduate and The Scenic! Maybe what'€™s one of the crazier things you'€™ve seen lately like on that tour?
Well The Dangerous Summer tour was pretty wild. We went all the way to California and back. I would say the craziest thing that happened on that tour wasn'€™t even musically related. It was when all of those tornados were going down and we were pretty much in the exact path of destruction. So in the past few weeks, I'€™ve seen more tornado devastation then I'€™ve ever seen. We had to like postpone our sets forty five minutes and huddle in a hallway with everyone in the venue. That'€™s probably the craziest thing that'€™s happened at least to me on that past tour.

Perfect and then I'€™ve heard the record and it'€™s definitely something where I feel you guys have really matured and grown with this record. You have Spose the rapper on it and a lot of different genres kind of involved. How do you feel you'€™ve maybe grown with this record in comparison to the first one?
I think we'€™re trying to step out of the cookie cutter pop punk band and just try to be a rock band. We all moved into a house in Maine for two months and wrote and demo'€™ed. We didn'€™t want to be like afraid to try new stuff like there'€™s a song called '€™Holiday'€™ on the record that totally comes out of left field from anything else on the CD but we didn'€™t want to be afraid to do that kind of stuff. We didn'€™t want to be afraid to have a rap on a song or do a song that has swear words in it. We just kind of like wanted to broaden our horizons a little bit and I'€™m sure some people are going to hear it and be like '€™Wow, that'€™s kind of bizarre'€™ but I think it flows well as a whole CD. Twelve songs. Beginning to End. I think it all sort of makes sense together.

Awesome and I was actually going to ask about that. Maybe what track on the record do you think will be the most familiar for fans of the band and maybe the most unfamiliar?
I think the first few songs are probably pretty similar to '€œEyes Set To The Sun'€. '€™Holiday'€™ has kind of a Mexico ('€™Hello Mexico'€™) vibe to it so that may not freak people out too much. We did a more of a ballad-y top song at the end of the CD called '€™How To Make A Heart Hollow'€™ which I thought came out really good and we had one of our good friends Jessica Leplon who sings for the band called The Morning Of, she came in and sang back ups on it. That was the first sort of slower kind of song we had written in a long while so I think that one might be the most different.

Perfect and then like you said you did collaborate with Jessica from The Morning Of and Spose so you have a few collaborations on this release. Who do you think would be like your dream person to do a song with?
I don'€™t know I think a lot of us in the band would really like to write a song with Butch Walker at some point. We'€™re all pretty huge fans of him and his work. I think that would be really cool!

Then I don'€™t believe a video has dropped yet for this record. Maybe if you could take any of the songs off of it right now to do a video for, which one do you think it would be? You may have one in the making already.
Probably '€˜Worse Things I'€™ve Been Cursed With'€™ because to be honest it'€™s my favorite track and I think it would be fun to make a video for that.

Awesome then actually this is a pretty quick interview but maybe what'€™s going to be coming up in the near future and the next few months for the band? Are you guys planning on staying on the road after the Go Radio tour? Like what'€™s going to be going on!
Yeah we are planning to just stay busy as soon as this record comes out. We want to be working a lot so expect to see us on tour most of the summer and just hopefully come out and say hi to us because we love making new friends!
Continue Reading...

Thanks to:

Blogger, Google and of course Jermy Leeuwis.

Flickr Photostream