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This band are veterans in touring in other projects. Maybe what are the three things you must have with you while on tour? Playing these smaller rooms and having vans over big busses to tour in.
Cameron: Three things I've realized I must bring with me. Actually I have an answer for that because I was just talking to my family members a few hours ago today. I realized that on the road it is essential when touring in a van, like in previous projects we were in a bus, I highly recommend bringing your own bar of soap because certain people like myself have very sensitive skin. The hotel soap that we've been using has been making me very itchy and it smells terrible.
Zach: It smells industrial.
Cameron: It smells like you're at a hotel. If we're being honest, it smells like Comfort Inn. It has a very unique smell. Another thing that I would bring on tour would be, I don't know Zach I'll do the last one if you do the second one.
Zach: Every time I go on tour, I just decide I'm going to bring less the next time.
Zach: It's just a pain. Your clothes are going to get dirty and they are going to be next to your clean clothes and they're going to make clean clothes dirty. So it's better to just do laundry like once a week.
Zach: Not much more then a backpack's worth of clothes I find.
Cameron: So a good reliable backpack is number two.
Zach: A good reliable backpack. That's mine, yeah.
Cameron: Yeah and number three, I would say off of what Zach said. That bringing less is more. So I stopped buying socks and I just bought foot spray because it gets the job done and there's no smell. I feel one with my shoes.
You feel one with your shoes?
Cameron: You know just really connecting with the sole, you know what I'm saying?
Zach: I do just buy socks and throw them away then buy new socks because they're only like five bucks and they get pretty gross pretty fast.
Then I know you've been doing this tour for a few weeks and tomorrow is the last day?
Cameron: That is correct.
Maybe how has it been going so far?
Zach: I think this has been the best first tour that we've done. Definitely the first tour we ever did sucked a lot more then this.
Cameron: I would say overall it was a success because we still had fans that really enjoyed The Tragic Thrills for what The Tragic Thrills is. I would say that we were fairly surprised at the draw and the way that our fans handled the new scene because the new venues that we've been playing are completely different and they're really fun. I mean there were some that for instance we played in Philly the other day and the stage was just so crazy. It was so small.
Zach: It was smaller then like a stage in a honky tonk bar in Nashville.
Cameron: It was like the size of a mini cooper. That was the size of the stage and we almost couldn't even fit but it was one of my favorite shows just because of the audience.
Then I know for the first album, it's self funded. How was that considering it's a huge risk going into your first album as a new band?
Zach: I thought it was a really unique opportunity at the time personally. I was going to do it regardless. I just wanted to put it out. I didn't really care what happened. So I wasn't really too worried about the risk at the time. Maybe more now.
Cameron: We put a lot of money into this album. This is a big project.
Zach: Yeah but I don't know. I really wanted to do it. Didn't really know what else to do with our time so we did it. So I think at the time it was really a unique situation because we didn't have anyone telling us if it was good or bad and we just kind of went for it. Most bands don't get that opportunity in their whole career. To not have people, A&R, just intensely guiding the process. It's really huge because you can do whatever you want. So it was cool just to feel like we did it and it was what it was. A unique opportunity.
Then how did you guys go about the songwriting for this record, this first album as Tragic Thrills? Is it one person, is it more collective? Do you kind of bring your own ideas?
Zach: It was a pretty intensive long process. A lot of rewriting. It was basically a year and a half of rewriting and working on about maybe twenty songs and narrowing them down to the ten that are on there. There wasn't any real trick to it. It was just writing lots of songs and it definitely had like a narrative in mind that I wanted to keep consistent throughout all the songs. So that definitely helped. The idea was in no way that it was like a conceptual album. It was more the idea of the narrative and the voice coming from the same place. The same perspective of a human being through the whole thing opposed to having contrasting contradicting ideas through out an album. I find that a lot of albums these days, people don't listen to all the way through these days. You have an eleven song album and it's like eleven shots at a radio hit. There's just a lot of contradiction in that because you'll have your break up song then your power song then your love song. It works in like the radio format but I still like the idea of an album. It bothers me when it's too many contradicting songs. It should be like a singular voice. Not in everything but definitely in what we're doing for an album. It's definitely something that was focused on.
Then you guys are signed to Washington Square. I know it's a very new label but it's also very different, very unique roster-wise. You have acts like Augustana and The Hold Steady but then you have like Deaf Havana. It's a very weird, unique mix but it all kind of comes together. How did being signed to them come together?
Zach: This is super new. We still haven't really done anything yet but we played some shows with Dan in Augustana. So we were really interested in what was going on with Washington Square. We met up with them in New York and they seemed to like the record. It was already out and they liked what they heard. We were just really happy to see that those bands were taking a risk and going with a new label that was just starting out. So it's definitely cool to be signed with those acts. Even though we are very, very different from them in a lot of ways but yeah we'll see what happens. It's super new still so we'll see.
Then maybe this question for all of you because I know you guys all haven't really been part of this interview as much. Maybe the first CD or first cassette you ever bought as a kid and the first concert you remember going to?
Cameron: Ans, what do you think?!
Ans: First CD?
Yep or cassette.
Ans: Oh jeez this is embarrassing.
Gabe: I bet you mine was more embarrassing.
Ans: It was Limp Bizkit, "Did it all for the nookie". Whatever album that one was on. Needless to say, I don't listen to that one anymore but first concert? My brother was really into music and he took me to see some of his favorite bands. I think the first one we saw was Sevendust so I'm like a small little boy at this hardcore show. Skinny Puppy probably opened.
Zach: That explains everything.
Ans: So that was my first experience.
Zach: What about you Gabe?
Gabe: My first tape that I ever bought, I bought that Hanson album that had Mmmbop on it and all that. Then my first CD I ever bought I think was like a 70's disco compilation because somehow I was into that also at that point.
Chris: The first CD I ever bought by myself was Good Charlotte "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
Zach: I used to buy a lot of Weird Al. Started all with Weird Al. I liked Weird Al because he did all the hits. I didn't really care about the lyrics, I just liked Weird Al so that's pretty much what I did.
Cameron: My first concert was Peter, Paul and Mary. It was awesome.
Then to end it off, I know you guys talked about how this is the first like real tour for The Tragic Thrills. Maybe with the album being so new, what is going to be coming up for the band? Maybe are you going to be touring?
Cameron: Re-releasing the new album.
You're going to re-release it?
Cameron: Through Washington Square, we're going to put it out September 30th. So that's really new. I guess we'll really see what happens with the label. Then after that, we're just going to be trying to tour the rest of the year. We don't have anything set in stone but you never know.
Zach: Yeah and we're just working on a new album as well!