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I caught him while on his first solo tour for this project where we talked about the differences between touring with full bands compared to solo. As well as what's coming up for Bad Books, his start in music and seeing some band we may know called Nickleback. Glad to see that he didn't exactly take a lot of influence from that experience! Read on for my exclusive and check out the band as they are going on a run of shows with fellow friend to MusicRemedy.com, The Front Bottoms!
Obviously you've had your share of touring. You've toured with your other bands in the past. What are the three things you must have while on the road?
Um, good podcasts! Podcasts are really important. For a band tour, I don't know it's kind of tough. So I'd say yes, good podcasts, good playlists and cough drops. Cigarettes.
Then maybe how have these shows been going over so far wih the new record just coming out?
It's been awesome! You know I've never toured really with Right Away. I've only played shows, really one off dates over the years. So I was really interested in seeing how it was going to turn out. There's really no way to know how it's going to go over if you've never played it for an audience before. Really, really surprised and overwhelmed with it. I just feel really greatful that people are interested in a side thing that is important to me nonetheless. It's cool for kids to see this different side.
With the tours that you do, it's a little bit more high maintence because you're on a bus and you're playing these big venues. How is it to be kind of just you?
This tour is cool. I miss my friends you know what I mean. The dudes in my band but I think this is so few parts then on a Manchester tour. There's no elaborate set up. This has just been nice and when we get to these venues, normally we load in and all we need is a five minute sound check. It isn't a big deal and it's definitely less stressful. Then there are really nice things about having a bus too. Waking up in a city and not driving or whatever.
Then I want to say it's been about four years between the last two records for this project in particular. Maybe how long has this one been in the making? Do you kind of go back and forth inbetween projects, writing wise?
We put this record together, just meaning like the songs, in I think March of last year. We started to just gather them up and we just started going through all the songs. The songs that I had written. My producer Robert was really important for this project, for Manchester, Just really important in my creative process. He was kind of helping me finalize the songs. So we just kind of went through about twenty five songs or probably fifty songs. Then we got them down to fifteen or twenty. By the time you finish it, you feel like you're kind of late for something. It's like a project due or homework weirdly. To answer your question, last year.
Is there a big sonic difference on this record or is it pretty similiar to the first record, in your eyes?
Yeah, I think so. I mean the first record took us three days to make. The second one took us I think six days to make and this one took us four to five. So, eventually, for that second one we were just adding more stuff but that was kind of an experiment. It just felt like it needed to be very bare bones and just pretty and I didn't feel like I did it super stripped but I wasn't nearly at the point I am with songwriting. Where I'm at now. So I just wanted a record that was just kind of me and a guitar.
Maybe, obviously, all three acts that you are a part of have been around for quite a long time now. This is obviously something very different from what you are doing with the other bands. How do you think doing three bands that are very different has helped you as an artist? To have these outlets.
It's kind of like helps round out the spectrum. Like where Manchester is, it's a lot more high energy. It's a lot more of a physically exhausting show. With this, it's kind of more of a mentally exhausting show and I think those things kind of help each other in both sides of kind of what I do but I've never been against having like really soft Manchester songs too. So it just really has more to do with the story and narrative of it.
Perfect, then maybe a soft one to end. Do you remember the first record or cassette you ever bought then the first concert you ever went to?
Oh yeah I mean I went to really bad shows. I was a big church boy. I'm trying to think of the first like cool show I ever saw. I think honestly what's horrible is that I think the first rock band I ever saw outside of a church was my eight grade year and it was this festival in Atlanta. There was a young up and coming band playing on a side stage before all the good stuff and that band's name was Nickelback. That would be my first secular rock show.
Do you remember the first record or cassette then?
No, because it was really more stuff that I would just get from my cousin. Like I think my first real rock record was Weezer 'The Blue Album' but I was seven. It wasn't until quite a while later when I tried to buy rap CD's.
Then I would hope that you don't think Nickleback influences you but you never know. Do you think those first musical experiences influenced you at all, like maybe the Atlanta scene being so diverse. Do you think that influenced you at all?
No, because we really moved out of Atlanta in order to become a band. Nobody gave a shit about us in Atlanta because we were too young and we couldn't play bars. I don't blame anybody for it. It's just that we were too young so we had to kind of develop in markets that were outside of Atlanta and then once we started getting a little bit bigger Atlanta started paying attention. We just always wanted to be the best. We wanted to be better than other bands.
Then maybe what's coming up after you're done with this tour? Are you going to try and do a bit of both for the rest of the year?
Manchester has been writing. We're releasing a Bad Books record in October then a Bad Books tour after that and then Manchester is just starting on our next record. So it will be a busy year but not that much touring going on.