Saves The Day

These past few months, pop punk bands have shown that they aren'€™t going anywhere and I'€™ve had the opportunity to talk to both the old and new like Bayside to Man Overboard who are killing it every day! Through all of the bands though, there is one I'€™ve featured here several times and the band has been around for over sixteen years with Saves The Day. Known to many as an emo pop punk legacy, Christopher has been laying the groundwork all of these years to now have Arun, Rodrigo and Claudio to make the staying line up of the band!

While the boys have been in the band for years now touring all over the world, they weren'€™t heard on records till their baby they'€™ve been working on, '€˜Daybreak'€™, dropped September 13th of this year with Razor & Tie. It is a great tying up of the strings the past two records had left and has been topping best records of 2011 lists these past few weeks. Read on for my exclusive time with the boys!

We talked last in June with Chris and then full band the November before a while ago so obviously now '€˜Daybreak'€™ has finally come out!
Chris: It'€™s here, thank goodness!
So how great does that feel to finally have this out after so long?
Rodrigo: So cool.
Arun: Yeah it'€™s still kind of bizarre. It is a little surreal because we'€™ve been working on it for just so long and sometimes, this is the third show, fourth show? Tonight'€™s the fourth show since the record came out and it'€™s still weird.
Chris: It'€™s nice to finally hear people reacting to the songs and they know them now and so they sing along and they get excited when we go on to '€˜Daybreak'€™. It'€™s a really neat feeling. We worked really hard.

Just a little bit! Just a wee bit. And then you guys have both been in this band for a while now. The two of you!
Rodrigo: Yeah!
Chris: We definitely feel the accomplishment altogether. I think it'€™s been a shared experience.
Arun: You know I'€™m almost three years with the band but having the record come out kind of makes it all feel real. I guess it'€™s always felt real to us but in a broader sense meaning they hear what we do together.
Chris: I mean they'€™ve been hearing us on stage together for years now but it'€™s cool for them to hear recorded what we actually do altogether.
Arun: Then with the new stuff, because all they'€™ve heard of us is us really interpreting, they get a chance to hear us on the record.
Chris: Yeah I love to hear people'€™s reactions to these guys on the record. Just saying how much they make the band better.
Arun: It feels good! I got some nice comments from some fans and it warms the heart.
Rodrigo: Sure does! We'€™re proud parents.

Proud parents of the record! Then, when we talked during your time with The Get Up Kids, you couldn'€™t really say much at all. Like the songs, you could talk really only about the ones that had already come out like 1984 and Living Without Love, but maybe on this record what'€™s like the most familiar sounding for past fans of the band and unfamiliar?
Chris: Yeah there are some songs that sort of come out of nowhere on this record. I feel '€˜Chameleon'€™ is a bit of a stretch. I don'€™t think our fans have heard anything like that from us before.
Arun: '€˜E'€™ as well. '€˜E'€™ is a very strange song.
Chris: Even '€˜Z'€™.
Rodrigo: Yeah!
Chris: '€˜Z'€™ could have been on '€˜Under The Boards'€™ I think but it'€™s bizarre in a sort of futuristic way.
Rodrigo: I mean '€˜Daybreak'€™ itself is kind of-
Chris: '€˜Daybreak'€™ is very strange.
Rodrigo: Very out there.
I think one of you guys tweeted me when that'€™s the first song right on the record where it'€™s about ten minutes long '€˜Daybreak'€™.
Chris: Yeah, it'€™s almost eleven.
Rodrigo: Ten minutes and forty six seconds.
Chris: Who knew, right? It'€™s a crazy thing to do. Like actually crazy. It'€™s not a smart thing.
Arun: Never been our strong suit. We shoot from the hip. Make poor decisions daily.
Rodrigo: Yeah I mean I think those songs definitely are characters in a way but I don'€™t think they'€™re like that outside of other songs. You know there is a link. They definitely take a bigger risk.
Chris: Yeah I'€™ve heard people say that too.
Rodrigo: They don'€™t seem unnatural to me.
Chris: Like I'€™ve heard people say that having '€˜Daybreak'€™ come out makes the trilogy make sense as a follow up to '€˜In Reverie'€™ because on '€˜Daybreak'€™, some of those stranger songs sort of sound like they could have been on '€˜In Reverie'€™. Especially, '€˜E'€™ could have been on '€˜In Reverie'€™.
Arun: I'€™ve said this before sonically because of things we were drawing from when we did this record, we'€™ve definitely stepped out of our comfort zones and the challenge was trying to make it all sound cohesive.
Chris: Which is challenging when there'€™s so many different kinds of songs on an album. It'€™s a very diverse record to make it all hold together as a unit was tricky but it was fun. Certainly spent a long time recording.
Arun: And that was part of the reason it was taking so long was that we wanted it to be realized that way. We knew that once we were done, we would just know that it felt right and I feel like at the end of the day, that'€™s what matters.
Rodrigo: You cross a threshold I think with all of the logistical barriers that impeded it from coming out earlier. You reach a threshold where it'€™s like '€œWell, it has been over two years at this point and we'€™re not going to rush it'€ but at that point, it just has to be right and if that takes another year, that'€™s what it'€™s going to take.
Chris: And that'€™s what we kept telling ourselves. It'€™s more important to put out the album the way we envisioned it as opposed to just getting it out there quickly. It was hard at times because we just had to wait around. Wait for the right time to record. Wait for potential tours to show up so we could get through the year.
Arun: But the response I think has been really good. I get the sense from a lot of people that it was worth the wait and at this point, the fact that it was four years or whatever is okay.

Then to have your first tour with it be like Bayside who have also been around for not quite as long but a really, really long time and Vinnie Caruana. How is this tour going for you guys as your first tour with the record? Like that'€™s really insane.
Rodrigo: It'€™s a great package.
Arun: It really is! It'€™s a fun package. The bands are good hangs.
Chris: Everyone just has honest communication. Nobody'€™s here to be famous. They just like playing music and that'€™s refreshing and it'€™s nice having bands that have been doing it for so many years and they'€™re still here for the right reasons. Nobody fell like under the pressure .
Arun: There'€™s no like hype band.
Chris: Right! There'€™s no like sceney bands.
Arun: A band like Transit. They'€™re that sort of newer, I guess they'€™ve been around for a while, bands that are carrying that torch of just doing what feels honest to you.
Chris: It'€™s not about haircuts and that'€™s what it was like when we were all growing up playing music. You play like a VFW hall, like someone'€™s basement with maybe ten people there. There'€™s never a notion of eventual fame and then like Myspace came along and you have a hundred thousand followers and sell five hundred thousand copies of your debut album and you have a clever haircut and you'€™re on the cover of Spin magazine.
Arun: It happens. It'€™s all in the haircut!
It'€™s all about the hair cuts.
Arun: It happened exactly like that.

Then it obviously just came out but being that it had been a while in the making, is writing a new CD even an idea at this point?.
Chris: Always! Always working on new stuff. Even though it took so long, there was always like new songs being written.
Arun: And I think also just with who'€™s in the band and who we work with, all that stuff feels really good and now we can continue to do those on a more frequent basis.
Chris: Yeah we can make another album with in a year and a half.
Arun: We have ideas to do things in between full lengths.
Like an EP or something?
Arun: Yeah exactly! 7 '€œ, don'€™t want to reveal too much but there are some cool ideas. Some of it will just be specific to real die hard fans and some of it other people might like but ultimately there will be another LP in like a year and a half if we can.
Chris: It was fun working on '€˜Daybreak'€™ because it was so sort of highly contextualized so it was clear when a song wasn'€™t going to work in the context of the album and so you just put them aside and there'€™s hundreds of them just laying around. Because if the song was even slightly aggressive, it just didn'€™t feel like it wanted to be on '€˜Daybreak'€™. You know I could tell like which songs felt uplifting or were mercurial in the right kinds of ways and so it was a fun process to sift through the ideas as they were being written and to go '€˜Oh this one works with the concept and this one'€™s for the next record'€™ or '€˜This one'€™s for three records from now'€™. So I'€™m stoked to just get into the demo'€™s and start listening to ideas. Sifting again.
Rodrigo: I'€™m excited.
Chris: I can'€™t wait! You know the thing that helped the most on the day the record came out was excitement about the next album. I just felt so excited about making another album! Like '€˜Yes, '€˜Daybreak'€™s out we can go play these songs live and now we get to make another record'€™.
Arun: We'€™re all just big fans of each other too so getting to work together is like exciting.
Chris: '€˜What would you do with this idea?'€™
Arun: Yeah! I can'€™t wait.

Perfect and then obviously with this record, you resigned to your new label Razor & Tie.
Chris: Thank goodness! They'€™re awesome. They'€™re so great!
Yeah, I love them!
Chris: And they'€™re signing a lot of good acts right now.
Arun: They just signed Hit The Lights.
Chris: Kevin Devine.
Arun: That'€™s a great one! We were really excited when that happened.
Chris: Big fans.
Rodrigo: Yeah, they'€™re great people. They care about music. There was definitely that thing going around where obviously they made a lot of money off the Kids Bop thing.
Times have changed.
Rodrigo: Times have changed and I think they'€™re really working hard at just signing good bands. They have that luxury now almost to just be like these are bands we like. We'€™re going to sign them. We'€™re going to put out their records and I think that'€™s great.
Arun: They'€™ve been cool. Just really supportive.
Rodrigo: Great, great label.
Arun: We'€™re excited.
Chris: Good people too. I'€™m thankful for that Kidz Bop too it'€™s good funding. I need that, you know!

Then how is it to be signed again?
Chris: It feels really good because we made this whole record with out label support and it was stressful honestly because you'€™re the bank at that point. Nobody'€™s behind you saying '€˜Here, go into the studio and we'€™ll take care of it'€™. You have to pay for the studio and you also have to pay your bills (laughs) so it'€™s a weird balance. I don'€™t think it was balanced but now that there'€™s a label, it can be a bit more balanced. It won'€™t just be like bleeding money and really that'€™s an incredible thing for musicians just to have somebody behind you saying '€˜I know you need a little bit of start up money to get your project under way and we believe in you'€™.
Arun: And I think making '€˜Daybreak'€™ almost needed to be done the way we did it.
Chris: Yeah we had to take it into our own hands. I mean it'€™s such a special project. Yeah it'€™s very intimate.
Arun: But we were glad when we, honestly relieved, delivered the record.
Chris: And they were so excited about it.
Arun: They were excited about it. They weren'€™t like '€™What'€™s this ten minute song?'€™
Chris: Yeah they thought it was cool. That we have some strange song opening the album and they had all kinds of great ideas. You know, doing the extra packages with lyrics, sound check passes and t-shirts and stuff.
Rodrigo: I think, you know, in a way they'€™re just music fans.
Chris: They are!
Rodrigo: They just happen to run a business and I think it'€™s exciting for them and it was exciting for us to have all those ideas. So people could be like '€˜What do I want?'€™ Like '€˜How can we get involved in this?'€™ They'€™re really happy, happy.
Chris: Yeah it just feels like peers almost. Just being able to talk to them freely. It doesn'€™t feel like a board room meeting every time you go in there, you know.
Arun: And I think nowadays that'€™s kind of important. Because the world is just a place where labels are a dying thing.
Chris: It had to be a family operation. Like a small group that believes in each other.
Arun: And people that are willing to adapt to how fast the industry is changing because it is. Every year. It'€™s so rapid.
And there'€™s a new really talented band like breaking up every day. Like Augustana just broke up.
Chris: That sucks.
And like The Academy Is just broke up and it'€™s becoming really sucky.
Arun: It'€™s becoming really sucky but it'€™s also something where the bands don'€™t adapt. For us, on the most basic level, we just like playing music. That'€™s what we want to do and continue to play music. It'€™s like alright, we'€™re doing this tour in a van. Alright, whatever we have to do we will.
Chris: Fine with us!

Then I want to say it'€™s the first music video since Arun, Rodrigo and Claudio have been in the band with '€˜Deranged and Desperate'€™ and both of you have been in the band for a while, right?
Chris: First one we'€™ve done in years!
Arun: The last one was like 2006.
Chris: It'€™s been a long time!
And the video can be a bit depressing but also good with all of the kids holding their signs that are like '€˜I love you but you hate me'€™.
Chris: I think he put in at a certain point in the video, they change more. And after the solo, the rest of them are more optimistic. So the director created an arc intentionally. He also is just a smart guy and had an interesting concept.
So how was making that video?
Chris: It was really fun! Arun found this awesome location. It was a abandoned pawn shop in Detroit.
Arun: A friend of mine is refinishing these lofts and he did a lot of real estate stuff in Detroit and I just went to him asking '€˜Do you have any spaces that fit this criteria?'€™ and he showed me that one.
Chris: It was just all broken-down.
Arun: We kind of wanted sort of an old practice space feel of it or something like it.
Chris: It was fun! We just went in there with a bottle of Patron and came out with a video.
Arun: It was hot, it was sweaty.
Rodrigo: It was a very hot day.
Arun: And he did a lot of the filming stuff with the kids after that so it was fun to make.
Chris: And the drawings were cool man. It was a neat concept.
Arun: The drawings were great and , you know, it was just cool to do a performance video.
I know at the end of the video it'€™s your (Chris'€™s) drawing, saying drawn by Christopher Conley, but were all the other drawings were they ones that you drew or did the director make them?
Chris: Some fans made some, other musicians, other artists, friends.
Arun: I'€™m the shittiest drawer ever.
Chris: My daughter did.
Arun: I did not!
Your daughter was in it, right? Is she the one in the kitchen?
Chris: Yeah she'€™s holding a giant picture.
Yeah I recognized her from the Paste father'€™s day project.
Chris: Yeah! It says '€˜I have found a reason to love the world'€™ that'€™s what her picture says.
I thought it was her but I wasn'€™t sure.
Arun: Actually I didn'€™t even know she was going to be in the video and I was just like '€˜Oh that'€™s so awesome'€™ when I saw it!
Rodrigo: I think she'€™s in the end of the video too for a second. Like outside, with a hose.
Oh, yeah!
Arun: It'€™s a beautiful shot.

That'€™s awesome! Then I know this tour is just beginning and you'€™re out for six weeks or something on this tour with these four bands.
Arun: This one is about six then we go straight away overseas.
Chris: With Yellowcard for a month which is cool!
That'€™s awesome!
Arun: Then doing Soundwave.
Chris: Oh, that'€™s right! We just keep going!
Just keep on going over and over again.
Arun: Then we'€™ll see what we'€™re doing after that! More touring.
Because you guys have toured so much in the US. Like this is our fourth but all are in a time span of less then two years because you guys tour so much.
Chris: And the first time that we'€™ve had a new release out actually.
No, that'€™s true yeah!
Chris: I feel like we didn'€™t talk until post '€˜Under The Boards'€™.
It was post '€˜Under The Boards'€™. It was when you guys were out with New Found Glory and Spencer left right after.
Chris: Yeah, it was his only tour.
Yeah then Claudio was here with you guys in November when it was like Motion City karaoke.
Arun: Oh yeah, that time!
Chris: That was fun! How funny!
When you guys all sang with Motion City and Get Up Kids with you Chris the last time.
Arun: I was so nervous about mine.
Which one did you sing again?
Arun: Dissapear. I don'€™t know how he sings that high. It'€™s pretty up there!
I saw them play like three weeks ago when they were here.
Chris: The tour with playing all the albums. Which ones did you see?
I saw '€˜Dinosaur Life'€™.
Chris: Cool, we saw the early ones!
Arun: We saw the early ones in Irving and I saw the late ones in Detroit. They'€™re great, love those guys!
Yeah so good!
Chris: Yeah, they'€™re awesome! Good guys! They have one of the best rhythm sections out there I think. Matt and Tony! So good.
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The Maine

Signed only months into their existence as a band, The Maine for the first time in their career have independently released and recorded their new record '€˜Pioneer'€™! The band has spent the majority of their career being signed to large well known labels and while still having ties to the current one Warner, they took the risk of being held responsible for the success of their new record or the bad news that may come with doing a self release and I couldn'€™t be more supportive of that decision!

I'€™ve gotten the excellent opportunity over the past two years of consistently sitting down with the talented Arizona raised boys and our most recent conversation happened less then two weeks ago when I sat down with drummer Pat Kirch. At the time, '€˜Pioneer'€™ had been out for a tiny ten days and even now it hasn'€™t reached it'€™s one month birthday but already it had a sneak attack on so many best of 2011 lists! Read on for our exclusive!

We had last talked to John and Jared during your time with Augustana about doing something different which it obviously is with '€˜Pioneer'€™. Has that been something you'€™ve been thinking about doing for a while, going into a new direction?
I mean I don'€™t feel like it was too far out I guess. It kind of happened pretty naturally and when we went in to start working on this record, we were just writing songs with out any intention. We actually had nine of our songs fully recorded, mixed before the Augustana run that we did last year. So it'€™s been something that we'€™ve had for a while. We just wrote a bunch of songs with out any intentions and just to write and to record then that would be an album. So it wasn'€™t like we went there like '€˜Alright, we'€™re going to make a record and it'€™s going to sound like this!'€™. We just wrote songs and ended up saying this is an album.

Perfect and then it just came out obviously less then two weeks ago.
Ten days ago (laughs).
You'€™ve been on this tour though. You just were in Brazil how has this been going so far? How do you think the record'€™s going over with the kids?
It'€™s been great! We'€™re playing the record from front to back at the shows which is very interesting. We did three shows before the album was out so before people had heard the record at all. Then now it'€™s kind of been getting better and better and better as the record'€™s been out for longer and longer. So it'€™s been good! I think people are enjoying it and we have an awesome time playing it.

And then you'€™re on this tour, obviously you'€™ve done '€˜An Evening With The Maine'€™ in the past with other bands but this is a little different because honestly it'€™s just you guys. You don'€™t have the openers, you go on right when the show begins, there'€™s no one to warm up the crowd. How has it been going? How have they been taking it being front to back?
It'€™s been great! It'€™s cool! I think it'€™s something where we'€™re doing smaller venues so it'€™s just the hardcore fans that bought the tickets right away. Like the show tonight sold out in a day and a half so it'€™s just the kids that have been there from the start and they'€™re just excited about the band so I think they enjoy it a lot. We end up being able to play almost two hours of songs and we play a little video thing in between then we go and shake hands after and take pictures and stuff. So it'€™s just everything that has to do with our band all in one night.

And then you'€™re going to the UK after this in January. Almost right at the start of the new year.
Yeah we have like a week and a half off and then we'€™re overseas for like a month.
Then will you be coming back to the US pretty quickly after?
Yeah we'€™ll be out in the Spring. We'€™ll be doing a spring headlining tour. Like a full out tour playing everywhere and we'€™ll have other bands playing!

Perfect and then I wanted to ask one more thing about the album! I know you guys self-produced it and I know that you self-released it.
Yeah we were the ones that released it! We did it all by ourselves.
So are you still with the label?
Yeah we'€™re still on it. Yeah we'€™re still on the label and it was something where they didn'€™t want to put the record out and we fought for a year to figure out a way for it to come out and this ended up being the best way to do it. So we'€™re releasing this ourselves then after that, we'€™ll figure it out (laughs).
Kind of in limbo.
Yeah so I think this is a period in time where we don'€™t exist to them and we'€™ll come back and we'€™ll see what happens (laughs)!

Perfect and then, obviously a soft one, what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid and then the first concert you remember going to?
First concert was Third Eye Blind and then maybe the '€˜That Thing You Do'€™ soundtrack.
Then do you think those influenced you at all? Like your first musical experiences?
Yeah I mean, Third Eye Blind at the beginning was a big influence on the band and then '€˜That Thing You Do'€™ made me want to play the drums so I guess me as a person (laughs).
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I pride myself on not just covering the same old genres that tend to be interviewed a million times and while that may make my schedule so full, every opportunity is one I'€™m glad I take and a special opportunity recently was a turn sitting down with Beau Bokan of Blessthefall while they headlined the Fearless Friends tour this fall! Beau as well as the band are a huge part of the current alternative scene and have become known for the growing musicianship especially on their latest release '€™Awakening'€™.

The interview was an excellent time to really delve into their writing process as well as Beau'€™s main influences and turned out to be a great first interview! Read on for our exclusive and catch them on the now announced US tour opening up for We Came As Romans in the spring!

Obviously there'€™s a lot going on with the new CD just dropping so maybe a soft one! What are three things you must have while on the road?
Must-haves on the road! I must have my skinny jeans. I need to have deodorant and must have cereal and milk. Almond milk! That'€™s what we actually put in our rider.
Almond milk, really?
Almond milk, yeah! Most people ask for like food and we just ask for cereal and almond milk and some of the guys get beer but what else do you need? You need a tooth brush. Your teeth get really gross. You know from eating a lot of treats. Must have treats.

And then '€˜Awakening'€™ is obviously not your first record but how has it been going over so far? I know it came out in October.
It'€™s going over great! When you do your sophomore record, well their sophomore record with me so to me this is our sophomore record because with '€˜Witness'€™ I feel we really kind of made it our statement here in the scene and stuff. It'€™s been getting amazing reviews and I always see posts about it. They notice how we stepped up musicianship wise and me as a vocalist I feel like I'€™m at the top of my game right now so yeah it'€™s going great. Everyone seems to really like it so we got lucky! We worked hard on it.

Then being your sophomore record, did the writing change at all? How does the writing process normally go about? Is it one person, is it more collaborative between the band?
It didn'€™t really change. The only thing is that I'€™ve been in the band longer this time when we were ready to write this record so I feel like we were all just more comfortable so we knew how we did the first one and we just kind of went for the same idea. Like we'€™ll all sit down and just write tons and just shred. Whether it'€™s a riff or a chorus or even a whole song and then show the rest of the dudes in the band who will add their parts to it and then they'€™ll bring it to me. I always have the lyrics to my songs anyways so sometimes I'€™ll be like '€˜What I'€™m listening to really matches up with these lyrics I have in here'€™ or '€˜I'€™m feeling this way'€™.

Then maybe what'€™s the most similar sounding song on the new CD for Blessthefall fans and something new you maybe tried?
The most familiar song to the last record is probably '€˜Bottomfeeder'€™. It was one of the first songs we wrote and there'€™s a song called '€™Witness'€™ on our last record and it was one of our favorite songs on the record and so we loved that direction. We kind of had that same vibe and people were like '€™This one really reminds me of this one'€™ so I think those two. '€™Bottomfeeder'€™ is more like an amped up track with like dubstep in it. Way faster.

Then is there something really unfamiliar to you? Like maybe something new you guys tried?
Yeah! I'€™d say '€˜40 Days'€¦'€˜ and '€˜Bones Crew'€™. Well I think there'€™s growth. There are songs that are pretty poppy but those two songs are ones kids have really wanted us to play. Have a little more pop feel to it but with our energy so it'€™s still like heavy but with pop choruses so yeah I think those songs are a little bit farther from what Blessthefall normally does. We just wrote something new and cool.

Perfect and then right now obviously you'€™re headlining on the Fearless Friends tour with people that are all on your label and all kind of similar to you besides really Tonight Alive who are completely different. Maybe if you could collaborate with any of them, like maybe the most different from you or the most similar, who would they be to write with?
To write with on this tour?
Yeah you could pick a singular person too. Like Telle or Chris.
Yeah I would love to collaborate with Chris from Motionless! Me and him get along really well. He'€™s like crazy and I think we just would do something cool. They'€™re kind of opposites to us. They'€™re really dark and goth and have these crazy edgy videos and stuff and we'€™re..I mean we'€™re heavy but we'€™re more like the kids next door. We'€™re the pretty boys type so I think it would be awesome to collaborate with them. That would be cool to do like a good versus evil song. Not saying they'€™re evil but you know what I mean they got that vibe.
Yeah they put out that vibe kind of.
I think that would be cool to do something like that. Like have a song where we go back and forth a little.

Then maybe to end it off, what was the first CD or cassette you remember buying and the first concert you ever went to as a kid?
The first cassette I ever bought was actually, I'€™m kind of embarrassed to say this, but It was MC Breed and it was a song called '€™Ain'€™t No Future in Your Front'€™. It was a hip hop song and it was just the single and after that I bought Dr. Dre'€™s '€™Crying'€™ and that was heavy. I was into hip hop as a kid through living in the ghetto (laughs). So yeah those were the first tapes I ever bought and then the first concert or first show? I mean..
You can say like your first concert because a lot of times it'€™s '€™I went to see a local band play'€™.
Yeah the first show was like a backyard punk show but first concert was Blink 182 in 1996 and it was when '€™Duderanch'€™ had just come out. They were like my favorite band from that day on. I had loved them before I saw them live and I just had the time of my life. Like crowd surfed for the first time. I actually got on stage and ran around. So I remember it like that. There are so many awesome memories from that day. Just singing every single song they had. I knew every song. They only had two records out. I actually still have my ticket from that show. I don'€™t fan out or anything on them though! I'€™ve met Travis a bunch of times and Mark a couple times just in passing but I think like I would love to have my ticket signed by them. Just be like '€™Yo dudes you were my first show and you'€™re my favorite band.'€™ I think they might appreciate it though.

Oh I'€™m sure and do you think those, I mean that obviously still influences you today being in a band and just you as a person but do you think all of those musical experiences still influence you in a way?
Absolutely! I mean those rappers that still live in my city are like '€˜You have the swagger of an hip hop artist on stage'€™ and I'€™m just like '€˜Thank you!'€™ You know that entertainment aspect of it and when I was watching Blink on stage and seeing them having a blast. They'€™re just not caring and making like fart jokes or whatever. They'€™re doing what they love and just having fun doing it and they'€™re icons to a lot of people but they are your every day dudes that you can see on the street but they'€™re on stage and they'€™re playing to thousands of fans. So I took that and that'€™s how I connect to our fans. We have very energetic live shows. We have a blast on stage and we want to be entertaining, you know what I mean! To go up there and be a band who'€™s having fun and just reach out to the fans. I think that'€™s something worth it you know.

Then to end it off, I'€™m sure you guys can'€™t talk about it much but what is coming up? Do you think you'€™ll be steadily touring, may even write considering it was a really recent release?
Yeah we'€™re going to Europe with Asking Alexandria in January so that'€™s going to be fun to go back again. We just got back from there from our tour with Motionless in White and Pierce The Veil. Anyways, it was a blast and we got great reviews. It was crazy! Like Kerrang ranked us as a five for our live show and we were all just like so shocked and so humbled by it. We couldn'€™t believe it you know. We were like we didn'€™t pay them to say that either. So when we saw stuff like that, we were like oh we'€™re going back! Then there are some other plans for more international touring then another US tour and then a cool summer thing. So..yeah! But we'€™re excited and we were talking about even going in and doing an EP. Like a quick three or four songs and maybe a couple remixes just because we always write and we'€™ve been writing some super heavy stuff. I thought it would be cool to like do a quick EP and maybe have a bunch of guest vocalists. Like our friends. We want to hit up our friends and be like oh guys will you do a quick turn on these songs. Just do something special, you know what I mean! I don'€™t know though, we'€™ll see! Ideas, Ideas!
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The Postelles

Going to shows six or seven nights a week can really burn out a rock writer no matter if they'€™re old or young but when a band like The Postelles is on the agenda for the night, I know I'€™m in for a genius time! They are one of the stand outs in a genre that gets me every time and I find myself squeezing into the middle of the crowd and just letting go so whenever I get the chance to sit down with the band, I always jump on the opportunity.

Most recently, I grabbed some time with Daniel and David on a bench in Webster Hall while taking a rare trip to NYC for the CMJ festival where we talked everything about both their debut record which was so long in the making to how they are already recording the second full length record. This band has been making moves non-stop and don'€™t show any signs of slowing down any time soon so get your dancing shoes ready!

So obviously since our last interview, the record'€™s been out. It came out this year a few months ago. Was it something that had been done for a while or did you re-do it?
Daniel: No, it had been done for a while. There was definitely some remixing and mastering things that we might of added on and we recorded a newer song called '€˜Sound The Alarm'€™ that went on it but the overall recording process had been finished for a while.

Then now that it is finally out to the public and everything after being talked about for so long, how do you think it'€™s going over with the fans? Your fans?
Daniel: Oh, our fans! I think I mean we did a headline tour that started off with a CD release show and it went really, really well. I think people actually knew a lot of songs from the record I guess because it had been finished for so long and live clips on Youtube and all that but it was pretty cool. I think people really have been digging it so it'€™s exciting.

Then you'€™ve had the EP put out in the past.
Daniel: Yeah that'€™s true with '€˜White Night'€™.
Yeah the EP '€˜White Night'€™ so maybe for the new CD, for people who have heard of you before, what'€™s the most familiar sounding song for past fans of the band and the most unfamiliar?
Daniel: Well unfamiliar would be '€˜Sound The Alarm'€™ just because it was the latest addition to the album. The most familiar maybe '€˜White Night'€™?
David: Yeah I think '€˜White Night'€™ and '€˜Boys'€™ Best Friend'€™ would be the most familiar songs on the album. Like we had an EP that we did before the album that was the first thing we ever did as a band and some of those songs are now on the album.
Weren'€™t all of them on the album?
David: Yeah, I guess all of them really.

And then you'€™re touring so obviously you'€™re on tour now with The Wombats and then The Kooks are your next tour. What'€™s going to be going on after that? Are you just going to keep on touring like crazy?
Daniel: Well first we'€™re headlining a show in LA.
David: That'€™s true! Yeah we'€™re going to LA December 6th and then take the holidays off then come back in 2012 to start touring.
Daniel: We are recording though.
David: Yeah!
Daniel: Recording our second record right now!
That'€™s what I was going to ask because you'€™ve had the record written for so long. Like even when we talked back then (June 2010) you had pretty much the CD written.
Daniel: Oh sure, yeah! We already have twelve new songs recorded that we'€™re going to sort of get together to make the second album so we'€™ve been recording a lot and writing a lot.
Do you think that will be something that you put out pretty quickly or are you going to wait it out?
Daniel: No, we don'€™t want to wait. I mean we don'€™t know how soon it will be and that'€™s up to a lot of people other than us but we don'€™t want to wait. We'€™ve already done a good amount of touring on this record since it'€™s even been out and beforehand even more so there'€™s no reason to wait.
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'Expect the unexpected' is a sentence we all have become familiar with but we all love the familiarities. A couple of months ago R&B singer Esnavi caught my attention with her single 'Unexpected Love'. The song manages to keep you falling in love every time you hear it which is quite an achievement if you ask me.

After her first single she released her 16-tracks album 'Exit E' which, as many albums, is about her life journey. She had to choose whether to go through with her study or to follow her dreams into music. I assume that is clear by now.

After her single release I got in contact with her via Twitter. She was interested in letting me interview her. It has taken a bit longer then expected (sorry, I am to blame) but here we are. Let's dig around in her past, present and future...

[Q]: First off, congratulations with your album 'Exit E'. What's the story behind the album?

Thank you. The story is about life experiences and discoveries. A part of my life journey which I turned into a musical journey.

[Q]: Eclectic, Soulful, Natural, Authentic, Vivacious, and Intriguing '€“ E S N A V I {Es-Nah-V}. How long did it take to come up with this? Will the description change in due time?

After I decided to adopt the stage name, the adjectives came to me within a few days. The description will never change. It's the essence of my artistry.

[Q]: Comparisons have been made to the likes of India.Arie, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, and Lauryn Hill. As an artist, in what way does it make sense to be compared?

It makes sense because it gives people something to relate to.

[Q]: Did you have an idea or concept for your new album?

Yes. I have a concept for it, the title and musical direction all in mind.

[Q]: Which song on "Exit E" took the longest to complete? Why?

Someday. It had so many layers and elements that had to be exceptionally on point.

[Q]: What is the meaning behind the title, "Exit E"?

EXIT E is my stop on the music highway. The album is a musical journey. When you listen to EXIT E, you get off on my exit and experience that musical journey with me.

[Q]: When creating a track, do you have a set theme and pre-written lyrics, or do you start with an idea or the music first?

It varies. I have a ton of song ideas that I keep in my head. I either start with those ideas, and build the music around them or I hear the music, and the words and melody come to me.

[Q]: In what way has your (marketing-)study helped you making the right decisions along the way?

It has helped me with my decision making skills because I look at everything from a marketing perspective. I always keep in mind that this is a business.

[Q]: In what way have you become part of the (music) corporate business?

By being involved in the day to day operations of the business behind the artist.

[Q]: Most bands tend to change their style due to personal 'growth' or other changes in their live. Over the years what has changed your music? What are the negative sides of this change?

The life experiences I've had. That's one of the things I draw inspiration from when creating music. I don't feel there is a negative side to this change. Since I'm constantly evolving, my music should too.

[Q]: Any plans for a tour? What can your listeners and fans expect from your tour?

Yes, in 2012. They can expect a dynamic, soul baring, electrifying musical experience.

[Q]: Any tour-event, or fan-moment, you like to share with your fans?

One moment that I'll never forget, was a fan who walked up to me crying and thanking me for singing her favorite song during the show. She expressed how it helped her get through a very difficult time in her life. That moment reminded me how impactful music can really be.

[Q]: What is your favorite part of your live show?

My intro

[Q]: Your first album 'Uncommon Ground' was released in 2005. Why has not the album been released? What would you say you learned from that process in comparision to your current album?

It wasn't intended to be released. I sold copies at shows. But it was more of what ppl refer to now as a mix tape. It was an underground project for exposure. I knew the next time around I wanted my music to be officially released on a label.

[Q]: What collaborations could your fans look out for in the future?

They'll have to stay tuned'€¦ ;)

[Q]: What is your main goal to reach as an artist?

To have a lucrative career doing what I love.

A couple of 'simple' questions:
[Q]: What is your favorite movie?

Coming To America

[Q]: What is your favorite music?


[Q]: What is your favorite YouTube clip?


[Q]: Recently, what is a typical day like for you?

24/7 grind

[Q]: Final words?

Visit me on Planet E at
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Chunk No Captain Chunk

Fearless Friends this year gave a whole lot of exposure to two amazing while still new to the label bands that don'€™t exactly call the United States home! While I already posted my interview with the Australian representatives of the tour, I also spoke to the singer of a group of Parisian boys named Chunk! No, Captain Chunk who were just on their second tour of the US but that wasn'€™t how it appeared as the band slayed it the night I sat down with lead vocalist Bertrand!

Still being so new to US touring, I was very gracious of him to take the time to do the interview considering as is sure to be expected their English is still not quite the level of fluency as is their native French. After just a few minutes with Bertrand, I could tell barely a difference and learned so much about what is coming up for the band, how they go about the songwriting process and really through the whole interview learned how much passion this band truly has. Read on for our exclusive and keep those eyes peeled for interviews from the three last bands Motionless In White, The Word Alive and Blessthefall!

You're on tour currently with several label mates. All pretty similiar to your sound, besides Tonight Alive, so if you could collaborate or write with any of them, who would you choose?
Actually Tonight Alive would be good (laughs). Yeah they're just kind of unique but I really like all the other bands of course but yeah it's kind of a tough decision. I don't know how to describe it but yeah totally Tonight Alive.

And then now that you've toured quite a bit here in the US, how's the experience been so far?
Awesome again. It's our second time here and one, once again, that's amazing. We love the United States and for touring and everything, it's the place to be. Especially in our kind of music because everything here is easier to tour and once again, we're having such a good time on this tour and it's just more cold. It's just colder that's all.
It's a little bit chilly!

And then, now that you've really toured a bit in the states as well as at home, do you see the crowds and reactions, is there a difference? Like in how crowds compare?
The crowd is definitely more crazy. Yeah crazier because Europe has a different crowd. It's really just different but for example, we played in Russia. Russia was like the craziest crowd ever. The people are just, yeah, they're crazy. Like very crazy! But here, we have a very good response from the crowd every night. Almost every night. So, that's very cool and yeah we definitely prefer touring in the United States.

Great! And then what are the three tour essentials, like things you must have, while on tour?
(Laughs) I would say, probably, I don't want to be rude but condoms, clean underwear and water. Water, yeah! Love water. A lot of water.

And then you covered Ke$ha for Punk Goes. How did that choice come about?
We were actually debating before what to cover between two songs. Between this one and Avril Lavinge's 'What The Hell?' but everybody from the label told us to choose Ke$ha because like 'Yeah, it's more popular'. So yeah we had a lot of fun recording this and we're actually really proud of it! Because we made it by ourselves, recorded it, mixed it, and everything so it was a good experience.
The whole thing? You made it, produced it yourself?
Yeah, yeah!
That's awesome!
Just the mastering of the final process wasn't. It was made by another one.

And then now that 'Something For Nothing' has been out since July at least here, how do you feel it's been going over so far?
So in July the album was re-released here through the label but actually, things are getting bigger and bigger for us. We have a lot of tours planned for next year and the year is growing so we're really glad and we are actually currently writing the next record. So yeah we are almost done with the writing process and probably, hopefully, next year we'll be recording it but we want to, before that, we want to explore the maximum of this album 'Something For Nothing'. Then the things we have already planned are for next year which is a good way to do that.

And then how does the band typically go about the songwriting process? Is it one person or is it collaborative?
As the singer, I think that every song, well the most important thing in a song are the melodic lines. Yeah, that's the difference between a hit single and a random song. So, I try to write most of the songs and then I send the demo's to my guitarist and then he'll find some riffs and stuff like that. So yeah that's usually how we do it. First, the melodic lines, the basics of the song and then the particular things.

And then what was the first CD or cassette you bought as a kid?
Oh I remember I think it was Green Day's 'Dookie'. Then Blink 182 but definitely pop-punk from the beginning.

And then what was the first concert you went to and do you think either of those experiences influenced you?
I remember my first concert was a shitty little pop-punk band. Pop-punk concert but it was cool and because it was at the beginning of my road into pop-punk and stuff like that. So I remember at that first concert I was like "Oh I want to do that! I want to be in a band!" but it was a long time ago and now I'm inspired by different things. Actually I'm not inspired by pop-punk. Yeah I try to do different stuff that's not pop-punk.

And then what is coming up with in the next few more months for the band? More touring, like you said, or writing, like you said?
Actually, a lot is coming up but everything is not announced yet so I cannot just say it. The next tour is announced already! We will tour with Attack Attack! and The Ghost Inside and Sleeping With Sirens in the United States in January/February and then I cannot say because it's not announced yet but we have a very busy schedule for 2012 for sure! And we have a new music video that's about to release for 'Captain Blood' so...yeah! A lot of things will come during this year.
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Tonight Alive

This sucker for hardcore clearly had to make the jaunt out to Worcester recently to cover the Fearless Friends tour that ended tonight and who could blame me? Insane shredding, great live shows, the most dedicated fans I ever get to see so of course I have to take the opportunity to interview the bands that play these tours as often as I can!

A surprise came though in the band that opened the tour every night with the Australian voices in Tonight Alive who have recently dropped their first EP in the states with the tour'€™s namesake after already having a incredible amount of success around the world. While the band may just be infiltrating the US now, being that this tour was only their second full run of the US, they are sure to be one of the biggest breaking bands on the scene in 2012 so when I got the opportunity to interview lead singer Jenna, I jumped on it!

Read on for my exclusive with Jenna where we talk about everything from her surprising influences to what is to come for Tonight Alive next year as well as even a dream collaboration? We'€™ll soon see that her writing partner of choice has a lot of love for her as well and thanks for always checking in readers, you'€™re the reason why I do this! I sat down with every band on the tour for check in interviews as well as first times around so keep on checking back this week!

Since you are starting to tour a lot here, what are the three things you must have while on the road to survive?
Baby wipes? I would say deodorant I guess but I don'€™t want it to all be about hygiene. Socks (laughs)! Is that okay? They'€™re all about hygiene but that'€™s kind of essential really!

Then you'€™re on the tour with a bunch of bands from your label but you guys are really different obviously from the rest of the bands on this tour! So how has that experience been?
It'€™s been really cool! It'€™s kind of like a flashback to when we started because when we started in our local scene in Sydney, it was just all hardcore metal bands. So we were always opening up for all these heavy bands. We never fit in with them from the beginning kind of thing from our area so it'€™s kind of nice to be coming out on these shows because we had been headlining in Australia so to come here and have to really work the crowd and we sort of have to win them over being so different but we'€™re really enjoying it. We love heavy music so it'€™s perfect!

Then maybe if you could collaborate with any one musician on this tour or a band, who would they be? You could choose like Beau or the Word Alive or Telle.
I'€™d probably like to collaborate with The Word Alive. I really enjoy their music and their live show is always awesome and I really like his vocals and I just really enjoy them all around. So I would love to collaborate with them (laughs).

Then how did the signing to Fearless come about? I know it'€™s pretty new, at least as far as being announced, so how did that signing come about?
Well Sony, we'€™re signed to Sony worldwide excluding America obviously. So Sony and Fearless have recently sort of joined forces I guess you could say so I mean it was easier in that sense because they'€™ve sort of become brother sister labels. I guess we were sort of looking around at independent labels in North America and once we came over for the first time last December to record the album was when we first met up with them and they came to a couple shows. So I mean it'€™s been in the works for a long time but it'€™s been great!

And then the record has been released in Australia really recently so maybe because that is where you'€™re from, how has it been going over so far with the kids?
I think it'€™s been going great. It'€™s something we'€™re really proud of and I knew it was something that Australia could enjoy. I knew it was something where we would win over more people but first and foremost, it was definitely something that was a matured version of our sound and a mature version of our EP'€™s that we had released prior in the past couple of years. So we were really stoked and we toured nationally with Rufio and it was kind of our most successful tour we had ever done and yeah, I'€™m really happy with the album! All I want is for it to come out in America and just to spread the new music.

Is that soon? Is that like early 2012?
Yeah, it is! It will be. I can'€™t tell you the exact date because it'€™s not released yet but it will be early 2012.

Then maybe how do you guys go about the songwriting? Is it one person, is it more collective? Does it change?
Well mostly it'€™s Whakaio and I, the lead guitarist, so I guess for the first two EP'€™s that we released in Australia and for the one we just released here in America, they were written with a program called Guitar Pro and the three of us being Cameron, Whakaio and I we would share the writing and send it to each other over the internet in manuscripts on a program called Guitar Pro and that worked really well for us. Since the album, we'€™ve sort of been writing acoustically first and then recording and sort of not getting ahead of ourselves so we can really work on the band and really have a good core. Especially since writing the album, we'€™ve developed a better writing process.

Then maybe what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid and then the first concert you ever went to?
Well the first concert I ever went to was with my dad but other then that, I went to the All American Rejects with our bassist. I was fourteen at the time so All American Rejects and Jack'€™s Mannequin I think played? It was at a really big venue in Sydney where I live and it was unreal. Anyway, the first CD, I sort of remember more of being given CD'€™s. It was probably Avril to tell you the truth but I know I was really into Hanson when I was young but other then that, me and my friends all shared a lot of mix CD'€™s growing up. So everything I have ever listened to was pretty much shared with me. It'€™s kind of special because everything I listen to is from some one else.

That'€™s really cool! Do you think those experiences influenced you at all? Maybe just you as a person or Tonight Alive in general? Like the CD'€™s you bought and the concerts you were going to!
Totally! Well I would say early on when I first started listening to music, well I always listened to music because my dad shared like all these old heavy rock kind of albums with me, and it was really nice growing up on that but when I started finding it on my own I was listening to Avril and Good Charlotte and Simple Plan and Blink and then they were sort of the first bands that got me into pop-punk I guess you could call it. So they still influence me I feel. A lot of that but not like anyone else would probably hear that but I'€™d say something that kids don'€™t probably know about my influences is that I love this solo artist called Missy Higgins from Australia.
Oh, yeah I'€™ve heard of her!
Love her to death! I love every song she'€™s ever written that I'€™ve heard and I'€™ve just always looked up to her. When I first started playing guitar, I was ten years old and I was listening to her and I learned to sing listening to her I feel. So she sings in an Australian accent really really heavy and thick so that doesn'€™t come through but I just adore her. I do feel like she influences me the most. That'€™s nearly ten years that I'€™ve been listening to her. I just love her so much!

No that'€™s good! Then what is coming up in 2012? Obviously you'€™re going to release it (the record) here in the US but are you going to be touring steadily here? I know you probably can'€™t say much just yet.
I can tell you we'€™re going to try and come to the states at least three times. Well probably max three times but hopefully before summer, through the summer and after the summer but that'€™s as much as I can tell you about that. We'€™re half way through writing the next album and hopefully by the end of next year, we'€™ll have recorded the next full length and I think we'€™re just going to be pretty much on the road a lot of next year. Heading to Europe and Asia. Oh yeah, can'€™t wait!

Listen to a teaser of their album 'What Are You So Scared Of?'
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Breathe Carolina

Lately, the alternative artists I'€™ve been interviewing for years are getting their turn at radio and the '€œmainstream'€ crowd starting with Parachute to current chart toppers Hot Chelle Rae to this next band Breathe Carolina with their current hit '€œBlackout'€! The band is filled with some of the most genuine boys I'€™ve met through my career and I couldn'€™t be happier for them!

Since September of 2009, we have spoken to the band four times with our most recent going down on their most recent headlining tour with Big Chocolate here in Cambridge! So much has happened since we last talked including the release of their third full length '€œHell Is What You Make It'€ and several successful headlining tours this past year and a half. Read on for my new exclusive with the creators of the band David Schmitt and Kyle Even where we dissect everything about the new record to the craziest parts of their journey so far!

It'€™s been a while since the last interview, like I said, it was at Warped Tour 2010. It was before '€˜Hell is What You Make It'€™ came out. Maybe it wasn'€™t even recorded yet so maybe how did you go about the recording process for this record? Did it change at all?
David: Yeah, I mean what we did, well, it was kind of a crazy recording process. We were with all of our boys this time so it was us five in the studio. We went down and recorded a few songs and then we had to do a tour with Mayday Parade so we did a full US tour then went back and recorded a couple more songs then we went to Japan and then came back for a couple more songs then we went to Australia and came back and recorded more songs. So we got to really sit with the songs a while you know what I mean. Like half-way finished songs. It was a cool process because we could really think about all the songs. We didn'€™t have to rush and get it done in like a month and a half. It was a span of over six months working on it but obviously we'€™re here now. It was awesome! It was my favorite recording process for sure. We had a lot of fun doing it. We just would go into the studio and we'€™d go home at night and just party and just wake up in the morning, go and write songs. It was really cool.

And then because you have the full band, I know the two of you have been working together obviously for a really long time, did that affect the process? Were they part of the process?
Kyle: Yeah Josh and Eric were there with us the whole time we were doing the record. It was cool! It was just nice to have more hands in the circle and I think it really made for a more mature record. Pushed our band forward a little bit more.

Then maybe on this one, compared to '€˜Hello Fascination'€™, what'€™s like the most familiar sounding song for Breathe Carolina fans and the most unfamiliar, like something new you tried?
David: I'€™d say like '€˜Sweat It Out'€™, if you really want to take it to trying to compare, like the most familiar new song. I think because it'€™s with me and Kyle switching off vocals. I'€™d probably say that one I think.
Kyle: Going back to the beginning I would say is the most familiar. Like '€˜Wooly'€™ is really close to '€˜Hello Fascination'€™ I feel like. I don'€™t know! They all have their things that they don'€™t do you know. We tried to pull from ourselves a lot. It'€™s kind of hard to take one that'€™s really different. It'€™s tough!
David: Probably the most different song on the record I'€™d say would maybe be like '€˜Last Night In Vegas'€™.
Kyle: Yeah maybe!
David: Yeah! I feel like it'€™s super poppy even for us in that sense. It was a fun song to make. We never really had done songs that are so poppy like that. We'€™ve done poppy but not like that.
Kyle: We had fun writing it.

Well, then obviously, besides '€˜Black out'€™ with it'€™s radio success which was the first major for you guys, how is the album going over in general with maybe your old fans who have been devoted to you before '€˜Blackout'€™?
Kyle: I think it translated well. I mean we see the same people coming out to the shows that have been coming out for the last few years. I think that shows us how our record did and the translation into the radio world. Hopefully kids just keep coming out is all we care about. After that, more new people man come out and hang! We just want to make the party bigger.

It'€™s a not a bad thing! I mean you guys have been working so hard for so long over these past few years. It'€™s off your third full length but I'€™m sure there are kids who are here because of hearing '€˜Blackout'€™ on the radio. You guys have worked so hard.
Kyle: I mean hopefully people are getting turned on to what we'€™re about. Not to hear say of like '€˜Oh that band is like this or like this'€™, hopefully you'€™ll actually stay hooked and hopefully you'€™re listening and if not, then go check it out!

Then as a band, doing these alternatively for so long maybe four or five years now. You'€™re getting pretty far into being a band.
Kyle: It is! I think it'€™s five years in terms of the band being created this next March and four years touring coming up this December.
David: Wow.
Kyle: Isn'€™t that right? Four years.
That'€™s insane though.
David: Maybe it'€™s the third anniversary.
Kyle: The beginning of 2008 we started our first tour.
David: So it will be four years. That'€™s crazy! Yeah, four years.
Well, then maybe obviously a lot of bands are mainstream but you guys have already done three full records, two full Warped tours, touring so much since then. What was maybe the biggest moment for you guys? I mean this is nice, it'€™s good to have radio, but you guys have been doing this for so long, you'€™ve had so many accomplishments it'€™s like an added bonus.
Kyle: Yeah exactly! As a band, it'€™s progressing. I think it was just the first couple shows for me honestly. I'€™ve never been in a band that had a start like that. I didn'€™t know any thing different. It'€™s bigger then anything I'€™ve done.
Do you have a moment? Just like everything I'€™m sure!
David: Yeah, I just, it'€™s everything! It'€™s just crazy you know what I mean. Just keeps going and keeps getting better and we'€™re working harder and harder.

Then what is coming up after this tour? I know you have '€˜Blackout'€™ on radio, the record came out in July, you'€™re on this tour. Are you going to continue to tour steadily in the new year?
Kyle: Yeah, yeah I mean we'€™ll always be touring. What we'€™re doing is kind of up in the air. We'€™re going to go back and write for a couple weeks and just hang out. Rest ourselves a little bit that will be fun. Just kind of wait and see what happens. Have our summer plans but can'€™t say what they are yet.
Thank you so much guys!
David: Yeah, thank you!
Kyle: My pleasure!
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Asking Alexandria

Through my time writing about the up and comers of rock and roll, I have had the always excellent opportunity to speak to the band truly killing it today in the hardcore scene both overseas and here in the US with Asking Alexandria!

My first chat with the band happened with bassist Sam Bettley on their first ever US headliner tour where the band pulled in a huge amount of people to fill the space where I just again caught up with the boy who started the band Ben Bruce just two days ago now at a point much further in their career. The band released their sophomore record '€˜Reckless and Relentless'€™ this April but being the songwriter he is Ben has already started writing the follow up to the record even bringing in a second bus on this tour to start recording some of the tracks. As well as talking about the songwriting of the band, we talked about their journey so far as well as the always important first musical experiences that Ben had!

The band is one of the hardest working bands I have the pleasure to speak too as can be seen currently while on a co-headlining run with Hollywood Undead. The band finds themselves in Maryland today and read on for our exclusive with the band below!

I did talk to Sam last year during your headliner and you'€™ve toured so much since then. You did Warped Tour, you headlined here, you headlined over seas at home. How has this past year been for you?
It'€™s been pretty crazy. It'€™s been good. It'€™s been up and down. We went through a really rough patch a little while ago, well actually we do still drink far too much, but we just went through a period of getting obliterated before we even went on stage. Bad things happened and I think we learned a lot this past year about each other and about touring and just doing it properly because actually last time you interviewed us, it was our first ever headlining tour. We were still babies then. We didn'€™t really know anything. It'€™s been a good year though. We'€™ve had fun playing and we'€™ve met all the goals we wanted to reach and now we'€™re setting new ones.

Perfect and then you have '€˜Reckless and Relentless'€™ out which is the second one but I know you started this band a long time ago so are you even writing the next one?
I'€™ve started writing yeah. I started writing it about four months ago and now it'€™s seriously sitting down and trying to write a lot more. We'€™re actually bringing a second bus on this tour with in the next few days and turning it into a recording studio so we can record on the road.

Then how do you go about the writing process? Has it changed over time since the first record or is it still pretty similar?
Still the same. I just sit down on my labtop and write a bunch of demos and then I'€™ll take them to James and we'€™ll sit down together and go through them and improve them. Same formula as always.

And do you think it'€™s going to be pretty similar to the past release since this new one is so different from the first one?
It'€™s going to be different again. It'€™s still going to sound like us. The choruses are still going to be eighties fueled and anthems but we have to keep it fresh and change it otherwise we'€™re going to get bored and everyone else will get bored of it.

Then I'€™ve talked to a bunch of british bands like Architects and You Me At Six who are just now breaking out here in the states. You guys have been broken out for a while so what advice would you give to bands on their first tour?
Their first tour ever?
Like outside the UK.
Outside the UK.
Like their first time in the states. I know you opened for a Boston band in the smaller room here on your first US tour!
Oh, our first US tour. Yeah we opened for A Static Lullaby with Vanna. I don'€™t know honestly because I don'€™t know how we did it. I know a lot of bands come over and they do struggle and they don'€™t have the impact that maybe they have back home for whatever reason. I don'€™t really know how we did it to be completely honest. I think we just made people believe we were bigger then we actually were and so it caught on.

Then you'€™ve been in this band for a really long time! Did you honestly think it was going to get to this point so fast? Like did you think it was going to catch on that quickly?
No, I hoped as everyone does but you can never know. We worked really, really hard and we did things for the right reasons but there'€™s always a lot of luck involved in this industry.

And then a softer one to end. What was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid and the first concert you went to?
The first concert I ever went to was Deep Purple with my step dad and first CD I ever bought with my own money was '€˜Ride The Lightning'€™ by Metallica!
And do you think that influenced you, those musical experiences as a person or for the band?
Oh yeah! I mean I love eighties rock which is obviously quite apparent in this band and I think a large part of it is because of my step dad taking me to see Deep Purple as a kid and taking me to shows like The Scorpions and Aerosmith and Dire Straits and stuff so definitely. It definitely impacted this band a lot just through me and Danny as well.

Then obviously you'€™ve been touring a bunch, these past years have been crazy, so what is going to be going on? Are you going to be focusing on your record, do you think you'€™re going to be touring again a lot?
Just touring! We'€™re already booked all of next year.
All next year is already booked?
Yep pretty much. Crazy and we'€™re in the studio at the end of March and the beginning of April but that'€™s the only time we have set aside for that.
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While I may not travel into the hip hop genre much, a boy who is always a must have interview for me brought me into that for a night with Modsun. One of the hardest working musicians I'€™ve had the pleasure of speaking to twice, he has finally come into his stride and all the hard work is paying off with the release of '€˜Blazed By The Bell'€™! He told me that this is what he'€™s been trying to do this whole time with hippy hop and finally our ears get to hear it!

Growing up in the Minnesota scene, the brotherhood that the area is known for is clear with Mod as he is constantly helping others succeed in music, records all of his material on his own which he then gives away for free and does it all with no management, no publicist and no agent! Yet he still finds himself on the road with huge names like Shwayze, Scary Kids Scaring Kids and The Summer Set and you can find him on the road tons next year including this little summer tour you may all know about with some of your favorite bands. Check out our exclusive interview below and catch him on the road with Shwayze right now!

So '€˜Blazed By The Bell'€™, your newest one.-
Got the remedy, I'€™ve got the remedy! '€˜Blazed By The Bell'€™ is hosted by DJ Ill Will and DJ Rock Star! It is the piece of music that I'€™ve been really wanting to make since I started doing this. '€™Need That'€™ was my first step in the right direction and then this whole mixtape is literally the definition of what I'€™m aiming to do with hippy hop. Pick it up, it'€™s out right now! Totally 100% free. Go to and get it now. Like I said, it'€™s exactly what I'€™ve been trying to do so I'€™m very proud of it and I'€™m going to play some new songs tonight!

And then is it pretty similar to the last one or is it really different?
I mean it'€™s MODSUN stands for Moving On Dreams Standing Upon None. I'€™m all about it inspiring myself and the fact that you wake up every morning is reason enough for me to celebrate you know what I'€™m saying. I really, really like being alive so every song I write is to make people feel happy. So it'€™s been a constant step in the right direction and now I'€™ve only been doing this for about two and a half years. The only way I'€™ve learned how to do this is by making art. You make more and more songs and you start to find your sound and your sound finds you. So it'€™s definitely a step in the right direction. Definitely goes deeper then our last stuff but it'€™s still hippy hop. It'€™s still hippy hop.

Then you'€™ve been crazily growing since that Summer Set tour. I know you were up for that Rolling Stone cover and you'€™ve been touring consistently with Scream It Like You Mean It. How has it been this year?
You'€™re good by the way! Everybody out there this is a good interviewer right here. Man everything has been amazing. Like I said, I'€™m a totally independent artist. I have no label, no manager, no agency. It'€™s literally me, my best friend Mike Bryant and my lawyer. And obviously Pat Brown and B-Rolla you know what I'€™m saying and we have the whole tour and stuff but for the most part it'€™s literally just me being independent. It'€™s definitely not a job but I don'€™t go to sleep as anything but Modsun and I wake up as Modsun. As an independent artist, you have to be able to do everything your self. So it'€™s been amazing. Like I said it'€™s all led up to '€™Blazed By The Bell'€™ and this whole time I'€™ve never had like official music videos which is a key part to hip hop and for the visuals. I just shot three videos off '€™Blazed By The Bell'€™ Three professional, official, real, director concepted, really cool videos. I think I might be dropping one this week. Look for that this week and the other ones will follow but I mean it'€™s been great and the best thing is that I'€™m totally not satisfied, comfortable, by any means. I'€™m still hungry as ever. Not even half way to where I want to be yet.

You'€™ve been steadily giving away your music for free. How do you think that'€™s helped you as an artist?
A hundred percent! I have my own studio and I'€™m utilizing the fact that it is really easy to record your own music and anyone who tells you different is lying to you. So I'€™m utilizing my equipment and showing that you literally can do this by yourself and that you can literally put out music by yourself and that'€™s how I started and it caught on. I put my very first song up on there (the internet) and it sits right next to my last song I wrote. It shows development. It shows that you can start out and become something. So, everything'€™s good (laughs)!

Then I know you literally just started this tour.
Just started today. I haven'€™t played a set yet on this tour.

Then what is coming up? You'€™re on this one for a while and then?
And then I have an awesome January tour and then I will be out all summer on an awesome tour.
Let me guess!
(Laughs) Maybe you'€™ll see me this summer on a tour with a lot of your favorite other bands!
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A Rocket To The Moon

Back in November of 2009, I headed out to the Love Drunk tour which at the time was a huge event for me and the show where I did my first interviews with bands I'€™ve now talked to three or four times each with The Maine and VersaEmerge but one band I hadn'€™t spoken to again till just a few weeks ago was A Rocket To The Moon!

Despite two band members being from the state I'€™m based in, the band has had an incredible journey since the first record has dropped which lucky for them has kept them steadily on the road across the country which kept them away from this local scene so I definitely took up the opportunity to sit down with Eric Halvorsen from the band when they came back around home. The band has now just about finished the record cycle for their debut record and will hopefully be back in the studio really shortly from now in January before they head out for their first major (besides the UK) of international touring. Be ready to hear new music from this incredibly talented band and read on for my exclusive with Eric about his first musical experiences to what the band will be up to into these next few months!

It'€™s not exactly soft but '€˜On Your Side'€™ has been out for about two years now. Is it in the works to do the new full length?
Yeah! We'€™re writing now and hopefully we'€™ll be all set to start recording in January so long as we have all the songs that we want and we think that the record is good enough to put our name on it and give it out to the people.

So you'€™ve obviously been touring then a bunch. You did your headliner in April most recently then you went to Indonesia.
Yeah we did Indonesia then the UK and then over the summer we did a bunch of Six Flags stuff.
Then how do you think the record'€™s been going over, all of this touring, being that you'€™ve grown so much since that release?
Yeah we definitely evolved a lot since '€˜On Your Side'€™ came out. I think we'€™re focusing a lot more on the music itself and just being real and raw. Instead of you know having a bunch of lasers and keyboards and all of that stuff. It wasn'€™t very heavy on '€˜On Your Side'€™ but it was there. We'€™re just trying to wean that out and just focus more on playing live rock music. I think that side of things has changed. I think the touring side of everything is going really well. This tour kind of happened randomly for us. Like it just was an option. It was either we sit at home and do nothing or we can go out and tour with great people and great bands. It'€™s a fun tour for us because '€˜On Your Side'€™ is so old. We'€™re not really focusing on pushing a record I think it'€™s more just going out and playing music every night. So, it'€™s a lot of fun!

That'€™s why I ask about the new record because it has been out for a while. Maybe do you think the sound'€™s going to change a lot then on that record?/
It will still be Rocket To The Moon but it'€™s definitely going to be far different then '€˜On Your Side'€™. I don'€™t think it'€™s going to be too drastic to where people are like taken aback by it but I don'€™t think it would be fair to anyone if we put out the same record again you know. Especially with how long it'€™s been out. I feel like we would be cheating ourselves and our fans if we put out the same thing.

And that'€™s what seems to be one of the most talked about reasons behind bands calling it quits like The Academy Is and Augustana because I think the fans expect the same kind of music.
I don'€™t really understand that. I don'€™t know why fans are like that because with me at least, if a band is putting out a record then I want it to be different. I want them to be completely new songs and not sound the same. Them playing their music is just as exciting for me to hear it as a musician and a fan as well. To see some one grow and change. Yeah I never really understand why some bands just crank out the same records over and over again. It'€™s a shame too because both of those bands are really great. I love Augustana and it'€™s just really unfortunate that that happened.
I won'€™t lie, I was really excited to have the chance to interview Dan. I'€™ve listened to them my whole life.
Yeah totally. '€˜Can'€™t Love, Can'€™t Hurt'€™. The perfect record. I did hear recently though that he'€™s still doing stuff as Augustana.
Oh so he'€™s still going to do it and just have different people?
Yeah, I guess. I mean that'€™s a rumor and I'€™m not completely sure but that'€™s what I heard last time we were in L.A. but yeah we'€™ll see what happens.

Then, maybe for a soft one, obviously you do tour with bands all over music, like Never Shout and Fake Problems on this tour who are definitely something different from what your fans may be used to but maybe who would be like your dream tour with three past bands you'€™ve already toured with?
That we'€™ve already toured with? Jeez! Well I'€™d love to tour with Hanson again. That was probably one of the coolest tours we'€™ve done just because they'€™re such an amazing band. Watching them every night was such a big influence to all of us so I would love to tour with them again! I usually say friends'€™ bands because those are always the funnest tours. You have to be careful with your choices!
Well, you can make like a festival line up!
Alright! The Maine, The Summer Set, Mayday Parade. If we'€™re going just off music, I would love to tour with The Maine again. Their new record is really good and I'€™d love to watch that every night and then my third. I really enjoyed touring with Fun. I love that band and I love that record and they were one of those bands that I watched every single night live. Plus I loved The Format so it was kind of a big deal. That would be a cool tour!

Perfect then maybe what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a child and then the first concert you can remember? Be honest!
Well the first CD, I don'€™t remember cassette, that I bought I bought two. I bought Hanson'€™s '€˜Middle of Nowhere'€™ and then I also bought the Savage Garden CD. That was both on the same day which is really weird because we ended up touring with one of those bands and it'€™s very surreal and weird to me. I was in third grade and jamming out to Hanson and then now we'€™re touring with them but I guess the first real concert that I was taken to was Stevie Nicks but I was like six years old when that happened. The first concert that I wanted to go to was this big holiday festival. It was Blink 182, MXPX, Liz Phair, Moby (laughs), 311.
It just keeps getting better and better.
Yeah (laughs) it was a really broad line up but yeah that was my first show that I wanted to go to. Now I probably would much rather go see Stevie Nicks.
Well, do you think those experiences influenced you at all just you as musician or Rocket as a band?
Well yeah, sure I mean I'€™d say the first show I went to really influenced me to start playing music and stuff but growing up, my parents were huge Fleetwood Mac fans, Pink Floyd, The Eagles. My dad really loves Tears For Fears so just listening to bands like that I think that'€™s what really shaped my music interests to what they are now but yeah I liked bands like Blink 182 and stuff like that definitely got me into playing music and wanting to be in a band.

Perfect then you may not be able to say specifics and talk about it, but what is going to come up after this tour? After Never Shout, like are you going to focus on making the new record?
Well, yeah we'€™ve already started writing. We'€™re going to write some more and then hopefully start recording around January and then we'€™re doing a bunch of international stuff. Some things I can'€™t say. What is announced though is we are going to Australia for the Soundwave festival in February and then we go to Brazil after that with The Ready Set and We Are The In Crowd. So, very exciting. There are other places in there but I can'€™t say it because it hasn'€™t been announced. Going to be very exciting stuff for us and those are all new places for us.
You haven'€™t been to Brazil yet, really?
Or Australia and the other few I can'€™t name but we haven'€™t done much international touring. We'€™ve only done Indonesia and the UK and I guess you can consider Canada international because it'€™s outside the US.
Crazy because you guys have been touring for so long.
Yeah but really we'€™ve only been on the road, I mean I'€™ve been with Nick for three and a half years, for about three years and then as this band it'€™s only been about two so it'€™s pretty crazy. It seems like it'€™s been forever but definitely been a lot shorter then everybody thinks .
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We Are The In Crowd

With tons of new records dropping these fall, it'€™s hard for a music listener to really break through the good and bad of it all but one band dropped an excellent effort which this writer has been playing for months now with '€˜Best Intentions'€™ coming out from We Are The In Crowd!
I originally got the chance to sit down with duo vocalists Jordan Eckes and Tay Jardine during their time on Warped in 2010 where they talked about how post tour they were going to start putting those words together for the aforementioned release and it definitely was worth for their listeners the time it took to come to fruition. I caught up with Jordan again during their time in Boston on their current tour as direct support for Mayday Parade and we discussed everything about the new record from the writing process of it to what he feels are the most different and similar from the EP to their plans coming up!

So you finally put out your first full length '€˜Best Intentions'€™. So, so new, I mean it'€™s only been out for two weeks but you'€™re playing these shows. How do you think it'€™s been going over so far with the kids and everything?
The reaction'€™s been awesome. I mean we were definitely a little bit nervous because we'€™ve been playing the same six or seven songs for the last three years of our band'€™s existence but yeah I mean kids know the words and they'€™re singing along and we'€™re testing the waters right now. We'€™re playing four new ones. It'€™s a lot of fun though. I mean we'€™re all super stoked to add four songs to our setlist and not be playing the same songs over and over.

Did the writing process change at all for this record? Like compared to the EP?
We had a lot more time which was awesome because for the EP I remember we got the warped confirmation and we didn'€™t have a release so they were like '€˜alright you guys need to go in the studio right now. We need to have you guys record an album.'€™ We had two weeks to write the EP but this time we did the writing in the winter after the Hey Monday tour and all this other stuff, so we had literally so much time to write it. So we had twenty five to thirty demo'€™s to choose from and we had a little over a month in the studio. It was awesome.

Then maybe on this new CD, what'€™s the most familiar sounding song for fans you already have and the most unfamiliar, maybe something new that you tried?
I think the most familiar would probably be like '€™Rumor Mill'€™. '€™Rumor Mill'€™ has the '€™Lights Out'€™ feel to it and '€™CounterPages'€™ had like a heavier feel but I mean we definitely tried to make some more dynamic songs this time around. Like we had '€™You'€™ve Got It Made'€™ which is more of a ballad. It'€™s a little slow. We have tracks with super simple drums and clean guitars and that'€™s probably a little bit different for the kids. But then we have '€˜Kiss Me Again'€™ which is super pop. Like jumping, radio and that'€™s exactly what we wanted it to be. So I mean there'€™s really something for everybody.

Perfect then obviously you guys have grown really fast over this past year and a half. You'€™re direct support for Mayday Parade on this tour. How has this been for you, this journey?
It'€™s been crazy. We'€™re still catching up. I mean for a band that'€™s not even a band for three years yet. For us to be already direct support for a band like Mayday Parade is blowing our minds and I know we weren'€™t up for Warped Tour this year and things happen but it'€™s crazy. I mean it'€™s cool but it'€™s also really hard on us because we'€™re still such a young band and we have to kind of catch up with bands that have been doing it for the last like six or seven years but we'€™re doing our best.

Perfect and then to end it off, what is coming up after this tour now that you have the record out?
After this tour we'€™re home for a little while! We have a couple holiday shows. We have a show in Danbury, a show in Poughkeepsie and I think Glamour Kills is doing it. With The Wonder Years, The Dangerous Summer and a bunch of bands it'€™s going to be real cool. Then we go overseas to the UK with All Time Low and The Maine and then we go to Brazil with The Ready Set and Rocket To The Moon it'€™s going to be awesome! I know Brazil is freaking out so that'€™s going to be really fun and then we come back home for a spring tour that is a co-headliner that hasn'€™t been announced yet!
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There are a few people that through out the past two years I have been interviewing bands that stand out in my mind and one of those bands is Never Shout Never. I'€™ve interviewed them through three records being out with What is Love?, Harmony and Time Travel being their latest and always appreciate the band taking time out of their busy schedule to talk about their music for a bit!

Most recently, being last night, I sat down one on one with Christofer Drew from the band being our first interview since the Harmony Tour around this time last year and he gave me a look into what the next album will be like even though Time Travel did just release. It'€™s a drive that I'€™ve become used to from the band who never stops writing but this time around I learned that the whole band will be having more of a call on the material that will be released on the new record writing their own tracks and all sharing the writing responsibility a little bit more. Read on for my exclusive with Christofer and pick up the most recent record Time Travel!

We have talked in the past it was a while ago.
Yeah I remember you.
Oh you do?
Yeah I do!
So it has been a year but in that time you put out '€˜Time Travel'€™. I know you'€™re always putting out new music, you'€™re always writing and how do you think this one maybe differs from the past releases?
This one'€™s a little more limitless. You know we weren'€™t trying to stick to any style. We just went in there and whatever happened happened. Honestly this album was insane because we just kept stacking up tracks and I was like I just want to make the craziest sounding music on this one. I mean just show people that we'€™re never going to limit ourselves to one genre or anything like that or one sound. So I mean it was just a totally different record then anything we'€™ve ever done which I think is exciting and it'€™s cool to see these kids still connecting with the songs and stuff. It'€™s nice.

Do you still play a lot of the old stuff?
Yeah we mix it up a lot. We play quite a few tracks off '€˜Harmony'€™ and a couple off '€˜What Is Love'€™ and we play a couple oldies like stuff like '€˜Big City'€™ and '€˜On The Brightside'€™ and just laugh and stuff like that.
You still play all the way back to those records?
Oh yeah! I try to play at least one song from every release that we'€™ve done. I always play '€˜Trouble'€™ and that kind of stuff. Just because the kids really dig it and then the OG fans that are still coming out to the shows, you want to give them something that they'€™ll know and stuff like that because a lot of the kids, you know, they don'€™t know the new record yet so we want to give them their money'€™s worth I guess.

And then last time I talked to you was with The Maine and they really are doing something new with their record as well. How do you think that'€™s helped you as a musician? You know how some bands stick to the same genre and the same kind of music forever.
I would just hate to be caught in a stagnant career you know what I mean. Playing the same thing over and over again because I grew out of so many bands growing up that I listened to and things like that. I don'€™t want to see that happen because musically I feel like our band just has a lot to offer because there are a lot of great players in this band and a lot of great songwriters too.
It would just suck to be caught in that same old, same old kind of situation. We already have the new record pretty much written. We'€™re going to go back and record that in ten days. We'€™re setting a ten day limit. We'€™re going to record a new record in ten days, song per day and I think we'€™re thinking maybe psychedelic blues or something like that. We don'€™t really have a name yet but it should be a really cool record. We'€™re just all trying to put out new music and more then anything now, we'€™ve just come to terms with that the only way we'€™re going to be stoked to be staying on the road and living the crazy lifestyle we do is that we'€™re having fun playing the music that we'€™re putting out or if we'€™re proud of the music too. A lot of the older records I was just never too proud of. I never really wanted to share them or show my friends, things like that, just because I felt like I was writing for a certain demographic but now we'€™re just kind of writing for all demographics. We feel like that'€™s the most efficient way to do it is just to write for the parents, write for the kids, write for the older brothers, older sisters, you know. Write for everybody. So everybody uniquely will want to hear the record.

I know you'€™re always writing. You have been writing steadily since you started this project but is it something as well completely different from '€˜Time Travel?'€™
Oh yeah, totally! We'€™re not going to use, we'€™re probably never going to use, as many synths as we used on '€˜Time Travel'€™. I went kind of haywire with the synths. It'€™s nice because I programmed it all myself. It'€™s not like some producer was doing it for us. I was programming in my room in my in home studio and stuff like that. You know there were probably thirty synth tracks on every track on '€˜Time Travel'€™ which is pretty insane. A little over the top so this one, there'€™s not going to be any vocal effects. It'€™s all going to be real. Do a lot of one-takes. It'€™s going to be definitely a raw rock and roll kind of record. It'€™s going to be really chill. Should be fun! I mean the songs are probably the best songs I'€™ve ever written. The parts I'€™m putting in. Caleb is I think putting in a couple songs for it too and I think Tay'€™s putting in a song and Hayden'€™s working on one right now. We'€™re all definitely putting in songs on this one which I think is going to be fun. We did that on this record with '€˜Time Travel'€™. We put one of Caleb'€™s songs on it called '€˜Silver Ecstascy'€™ on it. That'€™s just fun to play. I love singing a song that I didn'€™t write because every Never Shout song until '€˜Silver Ecstascy'€™ was written by me so it was just my songs every time but here it'€™s changing it up and keeps it fresh.

And you'€™re becoming now known as a full band like you guys are a band together.
Yeah it shows. It'€™s actually transposing really well. I didn'€™t know how it would be accepted but I think the photos and the new sound is a little more progressive. It helps, you know! Initiative for the full band instead of a solo project. That'€™s really not where my heart'€™s at. I don'€™t really feel like being the center of attention all the time anymore. It'€™s just not me. I'€™ve never really liked being the center of attention. I more just like playing music and playing with my friends and sharing the spotlight is a little more my cup of tea.

Yeah I kind of see that. I mean I was waiting for an interview and saw you outside and they weren'€™t attacking you as much. I mean honestly I think the first time I talked to you was at AP Tour and they stampeded.
I think maybe the mania is over a little bit. You know the weirdness. So now that I'€™m getting a little older, age is taking it'€™s toll on me too. I'€™m looking a little older too but everything'€™s working kind of according to the subconscious plan that I'€™ve had in the back of my mind the entire career that we'€™ve done so far. Everything'€™s really just on the right track. So nothing to complain about that'€™s for sure!

And how has it been maybe sharing some of the writing responsibilities with your band?
Really low key and relaxing. You know because I trust Caleb, Taylor and Hayden like if I just laid down an acoustic track and just told them to put some fucking music to it I would trust them completely but we'€™re always putting our two cents in and it'€™s just a very balanced thing. Caleb definitely helps out a lot. Caleb is one of the most talented musicians I'€™ve ever met so having him be a part of this band is like a privilege kind of.

Then since we last talked obviously Joplin experienced a huge loss with the tornado. I think you raised something like one million?
Oh I have no idea! The second that we put up a donation site I stopped paying attention. I don'€™t think it was anything that was too ridiculous like a million dollars. I think that was said but I don'€™t think it was close to that. I just don'€™t see how that'€™s possible but I mean maybe we did. That would be cool but it was just a crazy time. A lot of moving, a lot of working. Everybody'€™s working hard for a couple weeks there. Moving their friends, family, things like that but it was an hell of an experience. It gave me a lot of perspective. It also made me fall in love with the town all over again because you don'€™t really know what you'€™ve got until you know half of it is gone so it was just a very enlightening experience. Like it sucked that it happened, you know, but at the same time it brought the whole town together. Everybody is kind of united. It'€™s unanimous there which is really cool.
It was such a random occurrence when I heard that it was Joplin, right away I was just like ah Never Shout. I couldn'€™t believe that it was that town.
So random.

Then obviously you said you'€™re about to go into the studio and this tour is about to finish!
We'€™ve only got about a week and a half, two weeks on it. Then we'€™re going to go home for a bit. We'€™re going to finish up our Eatmewhileimhot album and that should be really cool. It'€™s pretty much done all the way we just have to mix it and we'€™re just going to mix it in my bedroom since I have a nice little studio set up in there and we'€™re just going to keep it chill. We'€™re spending the holidays off which is nice. I haven'€™t been home for Thanksgiving in two years so that'€™s going to be cool to be able to share that with my relatives this year. I mean we'€™re stoked! This time off is going to be great. Christmas is going to be awesome. I really haven'€™t gone Christmas shopping ever for anyone.
Oh this would be the first time?
So yeah this year I think I'€™m going to fly out to New York City and go shopping for everybody. I'€™m going to try and ship most everything back home that I'€™m going to address and stuff. I'€™m just really going to go for it. I just love everybody in my life so much especially right now I'€™m just in a very loving mood. I'€™ll go do that.
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