Share it Please
The band has been a band for so long. You've been a member of this band for pretty much the whole time. What have you learned are the three things that you must have while on tour to survive?
Number one thing for me is actually a practice pad. I want to take that back but it's so important for me to practice because I'm a drummer. Number two thing, iPhone. I mean, ask me ten years ago when I wouldn't have even known what that was but now it's like a must have. Number three thing for me is a tooth brush. It can get pretty dingy out there.
It can be pretty bad.
It's not even a tour thing. It's just a life thing.
Yeah I hope it's not just musicians that use toothbrushes.
I hope not either. We have specialty brushes that no one else has (laughs). I'm joking. We have the ones that you put toothpaste on. I hope everybody else uses those.
Then how has this tour been considering all three of you have been bands for so long. Been doing this for so long. No one's new on the scene.
Well it's awesome because not only have we all been around for a long time but we've all known each other for a long time. Touring with each other although a lot of it was a long time ago. We talk about it almost every night on stage. Alkaline Trio and us. We were on tour in 2000, maybe it was even 1999. It was Saves The Day, Alkaline Trio, New Found Glory all opening up for Face to Face. So we've known them for almost fourteen years now. H2O, we've known them for a long time and we went on tour with them in 2001. So twelve years ago. So it's like a reuniting. The cool thing is that all three of our bands have made careers and are doing well. So there's no signs of us slowing down. I mean we're playing to a massive crowd at House of Blues with the three of our bands. It's been a really great vibe. It's always good when you're out on tour with your friends and just hanging out with people that all have respect for each other. We enjoy each others company and music and the whole nine yards.
Speaking of that history, maybe advice you'd give to bands just getting started and just starting to tour? Maybe they listened to you as kids and kind of just getting started now.
Well I mean you start a band and you want to write awesome songs and you want to go out there and play but it's not easy. You do need to like play a lot of shows. Nowadays compared to when we started, you have the internet. That can help you a lot but it's good and bad. It's great because you can tweet and all of the sudden thousands of people can hear about it instantaneously. You also have to remember that because thousands of people can hear what you're saying, there are thousands of other people doing the same thing as you. So it almost makes for more competition. So I think the best advice is really get out there and do it yourself. There's nothing better then touring and going out in the crowd and meeting people. Selling merch and talking to people and trying to make real connections because with us it helped a lot when we first started. It wasn't just us going out and playing for people. It was the kids who saw us and heard us and liked us. They turned around and they introduced their friends to us. With out us even being there, our crowds started growing. Those are connections that last. Those are some of the same people that are still here now.
Oh I'm sure!
Yeah and they still do the same thing. They bring new people out. One of the craziest things about this tour is again all of our bands have been around for a long time yet every single night, it never fails, that I meet at least one or two people that have never seen us play before. On one side, I'm like, are you kidding me?
I've never seen you play before.
There you go! See? That's the thing. This is something where a lot of these people have heard about us or maybe have even been a fan of us for a long time. They just never had the chance. They don't really go to shows. It doesn't matter what it is. We're just excited to hear about that because that allows us to continue to grow.
Then I wanted to ask. I know it has been a while since you have released a new album of original material but I know you did put out three new songs when you did that live album. Maybe how long in the future do you think it's going to be before kids are seeing a new album?
Well, you're right. We did just put out this live album. So although it wasn't a full record, we had the three new songs. We had started to write a new album but didn't really have more then those songs. So rather then trying to just quickly do nine other songs to make a full record, that's the reason why we put these three songs on top of the live record. We never really take breaks or any of that kind of stuff. Although we don't actually have plans to do another record but that doesn't mean anything. What that means is that it's November and we're touring until the end of the year. Then obviously we'll go home for Christmas then who knows? I don't think we're going to get in the studio in January or February but I can see us probably by the end of middle of next year being in the studio again. Recording and having something out next year.
So maybe for those three songs, do you think the songwriting process has changed over the years or have you gotten into a steady rhythm?
It's pretty much like a rhythm like as far as what we do. Almost all songs start with riffs or ideas at least for riffs from Chad. He makes a rough structure for each song on guitar. No matter what, one of the cool things is that we try and demo these songs. Either as a band or on our own. Even for these three new songs, on the live album, Chad and myself sat down together and we kind of just did rough guitars and rough drums within enough of a rough blueprint to show everybody else in the band. Then you can go from there and you can try to write lyrics over that and start to craft the song but all of us are together when the songs are actually finalized. Obviously in recorded. When we went to record these three new songs, it was one of the smoothest recording processes we've had. Not that crazy things happen when we're in the studio but it was extremely quick. Literally I think it was two days or three days or something and we were done. We did it the same week that we did the two live shows for the live record. So it was one week and we were done with this whole thing. A lot of that is probably because we know each other so well. We just get in there and we kind of bounce ideas of off each other. We see what works and what doesn't work. Everybody has got to be feeling it for us to get it done and when it's done, it's done.
So a full length may come in the future but you're just going to hold off a little bit.
I mean it's not even really holding off. It's just we have this tour scheduled. We don't have anything scheduled right at the beginning of next year but we're also a band to never force records.So we got to get out there and start writing. There's no reason to do that but at the same time, there's no way we're going to go all next year not doing anything. I can guarantee that in addition to probably having more tours, more shows, things like that I'm sure we're going to get in the studio. That's still a long ways away. Ask me that again in about six months and if I answer that we don't have any plans, then you can start getting mad. You know?
Start getting mad at you! Well you have been a band for so long. You're not as much in that state where you have to have deadlines or people pushing albums on you.
Yeah but at the same time, it's like we enjoy getting out there and working. We enjoy playing shows. We enjoy writing music and playing new music so although it's very nice to go home, especially when you've been out for six, eight weeks or traveled a whole bunch you can't wait to get back. Give it like three weeks at home and most of us are itching to get back out on the road again. It's not easy to leave family but at the same time this is your life. It's what we do. It's our life and it's hard to ever take that away from us.
And I wanted to ask you. I know you are now based on a label out of Massachusetts with Bridge 9 Records. A very long lasting punk label. How has it been to be on a smaller label considering what labels you've come from?
Well, Bridge 9. We've released stuff with them before as well. Yeah, I mean it's cool. They definitely are an awesome label. They've made a really good name for themselves. Especially in the hardcore world but also in the punk rock world. For us, I think we're fortunate because at this stage in our career, we can kind of call the shots ourselves. We can pick and choose the labels we want to work with. The management, crew, you name it. So that's where the whole thing with Bridge 9 came about. Like I said, we've worked with them before and they had released a side project and done an EP and vinyl stuff for us in the past but specifically for this record, we wanted a label that wasn't going to do what every other label would have done. Like "Oh man New Found Glory! We're going to do this, this, this, this."It's like they understand music. Especially our music. They all more then anything understand our mentality. We're a band that gets out there. We play shows and we want to bring our records to people and really kind of do some of that ground work. So they do smart things. They are big into vinyl which we think is huge. Especially for this kind of record and they're big into not being like oh we have to get you on the radio. They're not really about that. They just get out there and promote it as kind of a more grassroots thing. It's what Bridge 9 is. It's what they are best known for. If you look at their releases and the release process, that's what they do best. It's a great relationship we have with them and it is what it is. There are no politics involved or any of that crazy stuff. So I think it makes it better for both sides.
Then bringing it softer to end it off, the first cassette or CD you ever remember buying and the first concert you ever went to?
I don't think I could even remember my first cassette. It was a long time ago.
Well your first CD.
My first CD, well I'll give you two because I bought like a single and I'm really not proud of that but then I bought a cool CD too. I bought Nirvana's "Nevermind" so I redeemed myself there I think. Then I bought that when it come obviously in I think like '91. So first concert, kind of same thing. It's not as embarrassing to admit. I went to a festival. It was like a radio show in South Florida and the only band I remember that played was this group called Pride and Glory. It was this guitar player Zach Wild who played for Ozzy Osbourne and this was his own band. I was a guitar player at the time, not a drummer. I'm sitting way, way back and I just remember watching this guy play "Star Spangled Banner". Play guitar behind his head. He used his teeth to play guitar. He was a really good guitar player and I was like this is amazing. I wanted to learn how to do that. I never learned how to play guitar with my teeth and I'm not that good at "Star Spangled Banner" either but I think it was like two weeks later I went to this concert if that's what you want to call it. It was in a club and it was a band called Corrosion and Conformity. My older brother brought me. He was like a super huge metal fan and I was a fourteen year old kid and that's the first time that I realized that concerts can get really violent but still cool. I just remember that I didn't want to get anywhere near the pit so I kept moving farther away but then all of the sudden I realized that there was this guy behind me that was moving these faders and these knobs. It was the sound man and I became enamored with that. Still till this day I'm really into producing and engineering and sound and stuff like that. So I immediately took to that because I was like why is this band so loud? Because when I sit there at home and turn up my sound, it doesn't sound like that. I'm like maybe it's because the sound guy and the microphone.
Oh yeah! It blew my mind.