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When I got approached with the opportunity of performing a final interview with the band as what I like to call an “exit interview”, I jumped on it. Lead vocalist Joel and I talked their new record “Soul Sucker” and how the writing/recording process compared the albums that came before it. We also talked both the biggest life lesson Joel learned from doing This Century as well as his favorite accomplishment. I am forever grateful for the time I was able to spend with the dudes and only wish them the best with future projects. Read on for our new interview and pick up the new record, you won’t regret it!
“Soul Sucker” just came out but how do you think the initial reaction has been? Maybe considering the news that came with it too about the band? Like how have the kids been?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive. Which has been pretty gratifying. I think that the news of the breakup probably played into that quite a bit. I think when any band or anything comes to an end, people tend to look at the positives of whatever it was. So you know I think that played into it but I still think that people legitimately like the music which is really cool. I mean from what I’ve noticed. There are some people who reacted not so positively but we’ve never really had that kind of response to any of the other records we’ve put out yet. I think for the most part what we heard back was yeah it’s good and some people were like I’m indifferent towards it. It didn’t really make me feel strongly either way and I think with this record and kind of what I was always feeling is that we went far enough out of our comfort zone that I think it was different enough to make people feel something very strongly. So we did get some negative response but that to me was a great sign that we did something different enough from our previous releases.
Then for you, was there a song on the record that really stands out as something maybe you’re the most proud of on this record?
A certain song that I’m the most proud of? Man, that’s hard to pin. To be honest, it’s more the entire record. I know that’s kind of lame there. You know one that I think maybe I’m proud of, it’s not really on the record. It’s a hidden track on the physical copy. It’s ‘Talk To Talk’ and that’s just because that was the first song that I recorded after I recovered from vocal surgery. So that was like a really special moment. To be able to hear that back and kind of reflect on the whole entire process and how far I had come.
And that was the song that you had released like kind of as a single.
Yeah we kind of released it as a single before we went on the Long and Winding Road show with Nick Santino. It was just kind of one of those songs that we wanted to get out there and be like hey guys we’re still here. We’re going to put out music eventually.
Perfect and then was there something new you guys tried on this record. Like maybe something new in the recording studio or something within the writing process?
There was. Everything about this record was fairly different from what the This Century norm is and that was very intentional. With both our last records, we had quite a lot of time to kind of write and really digest the songs that we had written. For our first one, we were out in California for two months and one month of that time was, actually probably more, dedicated to writing but we had already written a bunch of songs beforehand. So we had the luxury of time. “Biography of Heartbreak”, we had almost too much time unintentionally. That was like a year and a half of writing. “Soul Sucker”, we decided to kind of just lock ourselves in a room for two weeks for the writing process and just do the record in that amount of time. We succeeded at it. To me, it’s still surprising because it was just such a short amount of time but I think when you put that kind of pressure on yourself something cool happens. So we write the record in two weeks time and then the plan was to record in a month but obviously things went a little differently.
Yeah. And then obviously you guys have done this band for eight years. Maybe what like the biggest lesson you learned throughout the project?
Wow. The biggest lesson I’ve learned. I want to make this good.
Just considering you guys have been together since you were pretty much kids.
Yeah it was since senior year of high school. The biggest life lesson I’ve learned. I think probably just be kind to everyone. Just in all of our experiences on the road. You know we kind of tried to adopt that mentality. Just because people respond pretty favorably when you’re just intentional about being kind and people everywhere are just very broken. They’re looking for a kind face. I think that’s probably the biggest life lesson I’ve ever learned from this whole experience.
Perfect and then you’ve obviously been on a lot of tours, you’ve just put our your third record out with “Soul Sucker”. Maybe like an accomplishment that really stands out in your mind for this band?
Probably what we call our TC family. It’s our fans. Our following. Whatever you want to call it. That’s a pretty amazing accomplishment in my eyes. I set out to do music, not to really have fame or attention. IT was more so that idea that you could play music and do what you love but also impact peoples’ lives in a positive way. That’s kind of what bands did for me while I was in high school and I had some rough years and that was a really cool thing. It was so fascinating to me that music kind of transcends language barriers. There’s something almost magical, that sounds really funny, but there’s something that’s unexplainable about music that just kind of speaks to the soul. That was really cool and I think that’s the biggest accomplishment for me is being able to do that and listening to people’s stories and seeing how maybe our music has helped them forget about whatever was going on temporarily. Just kind of help them look at life in a more positive light. That’s really cool.
Perfect and then I know you’re playing some final shows as a band. I know you’ve announced some but is that like a tour that you’re going to be doing or is it just going to be like a set few shows? To like end it off this summer?
Yeah, I don’t know if it’s going to necessarily going to be a tour. It’s probably going to be a little more laid back. Just because we all have different kinds of schedules going on right now. We definitely want to play as many farewell shows as we can. Just because we feel like we really owe that to our fans. It would just be a nice thing. It’s sounding a little bit more laid back. We’re going to try and just get shows here and there but it will kind of be happening throughout the year. That’s kind of what it’s looking like. So right now we have two shows in California coming up here. June 10th, June 11th then we are in Phoenix June 13th. So far, that’s really all we have in the books right now but I really want to get over to the East Coast. I would love to do some international shows so that’s all stuff that we’re kind of working out. Trying to figure out what will be the best time for that. Fans will definitely be hearing more from us about that stuff.
Perfect well thanks for taking the time. Thanks actually for always taking the time. Our first interview with you guys was at Warped 2009.
Oh wow are you serious?
Yeah I was writing for a different website at the time but yeah I’ve been Music Remedy covering you guys for the last couple years. That was like my original blog.
Wow, cool. So you’ve been in the picture for quite a while. That’s really cool!
Do not forget to check out their official website.