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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Big Big Buildings

Funny how it happened that I recently got to see Big Big Buildings live in Boston and I'€™m glad I took the opportunity. For the band is something definitely not seen before in this city. The one man (and sometimes with a band) act is quite possibly one of the brightest spots I'€™ve seen in Boston as of late and I got the chance a few days later to sit down with the brains behind the operation Adam McElreath.

We talked about everything from his dream tour mates to his debut full length which drops this month '€˜Be Not Aglow'€™ and with a bang on October 13th at TT The Bear'€™s for the record release. It'€™s a huge undertaking to do a full length especially when you'€™re on your own but if you ever get the chance to meet Adam, you'€™ll realize he has plenty of drive to do so. Check out the record on the 13th when it drops and let me know what you think! For now, meet Big Big Buildings!

A little soft one to start! If you could go out on the road with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be and why as Big Big Buildings?
Okay! They have to be alive?
They have to be alive.
Okay. Probably The Appleseed Cast, The National. Let'€™s say The Spin Doctors.
The Spin Doctors? You can ask them, you know, at the show.
Oh yeah no I'€™m going to totally be in that crowd. Yeah I love this band The Appleseed Cast from Kansas.
Yeah I interviewed them this year.
Aaron, yeah.
They continue to impress me with every new thing they put out. I love that band and they have such a huge sound. They'€™re my favorite band that'€™s doing anything right now. Very visual music. Very ethereal. I dig it!

Perfect then how did Big Big Buildings start? Like the project itself?
Well I was in bands in high school and we played kind of like hard rock and stuff and at one point, I decided to record just an EP of acoustic stuff and that allowed me to become a better musician because it was just me focusing on whatever notes pleased me at the time. So me doing stuff solo came about in high school and I really started playing out around like eighteen, nineteen and just kind of putting out like self-released EP'€™s with art that I did and basically self-produced, self-over produced. It started the day that I decided to just write songs on acoustic guitar and play them for people. That'€™s basically it.

Then I know you talked about at the show that you have the new CD. That full length?
Yeah it'€™s the first full length release I'€™ve ever undertaken. It'€™s going to be kind of like a mix tape. It'€™s kind of me dipping my hands into every little tool that I could ever possibly utilize. I write acoustic songs but I also like to manipulate sounds and stuff. I like to take things and turn them on their ear. So I'€™ve got this kind of wild sound, this ebb and flowing thing that I do but I also just sit and write something on an acoustic guitar. I like to have a contrast between two things so there'€™s more like full band orchestral stuff that I just wrote every part to myself and there'€™s also just me strumming a simple song and singing. And then there'€™s like everything inbetween.
So that'€™s what the record is?
That'€™s what the record is.
Is that how you'€™ve always done it or is the first time?
It is, it is how I'€™ve always done it because I'€™ve always recorded my own stuff so I'€™ve always had a computer handy and that'€™s both a blessing and a curse because sometimes I spend too much time trying to build this giant moving object when I shouldn'€™t think it through so much.

Then obviously you played the other day. I don'€™t know how often you'€™re playing but do you think you'€™re going to be playing more shows?
I will be. I chose a very bad time to release the record because I was aiming for mid-October and CMJ is basically bringing in all these bands that are clogging up all the venues for that time. Not clogging up but they'€™re playing and those bands aren'€™t really changing or dropping off so I want to play more shows. I want to play more shows now. It'€™s just tough because I don'€™t have the means to travel and I'€™m totally broke. However, I always want to play more shows. Every time I play a show, I want to play more shows.

Then how do your live shows normally go about? Do you ever have like a full band?
Yeah sometimes. I basically have a band that'€™s made up of a bunch of other local bands. Like I'€™ve kind of taken, picked and chosen, from my friends and people I know who play music. People I know who would be interested in working on something that I believe in and sometimes I can get them together to play but I mostly, I'€™m very, lax in the way I do things. I choose last minute what I want to do in the instrumentation of a show and I usually put together a band last minute and sometimes some people can'€™t play and I end up with not playing with a bassist or not playing with a drummer but that just means the show is something different every time it happens. It'€™s everchanging. I'€™d like to play with a band more but I'€™d also like to branch out and get on stage and make weird noises. It'€™s something I like to do. I'€™m very polar in the way I approach things. Sometimes I want to make a big rock festival sound and other times I just want to write a literary song where you close your eyes and drift off too.

Then these are a little bit different and bringing it back. What was the first CD or cassette you ever bought? And first concert you went to?
The cassette? Well my mom was really into music so I really didn'€™t buy music on my own. I just kind of listened to what she had because she had a pretty extensive collection but I think the first cassette I ever claimed as my own was '€™Don'€™t Be Cruel'€™ by Bobby Brown which is something that I still marvel in. I feel like he'€™s such a disgusting character in the social eye but I think he wrote some of the greatest pop songs, in my opinion, ever. I really, I can'€™t explain to you how much I respect Bobby Brown. For his music, for his music! I really like Bobby Brown. I also used to sing to my bedroom wall and pretend I was in front of an audience to this cassette from another band Creation and they were affiliated with New Edition. They'€™re kind of like a really young New Edition. They had a song called '€™Ayeshia'€™ and I had the cassette single of that and that'€™s a song I'€™ll still love for the rest of my life. I think Aerosmith was the first CD that I ever really got into. It was '€™Get a Grip'€™. It had '€™Crazy'€™ and '€™Amazing'€™ and '€™Crying'€™. Yeah then Green Day at age seven. They were the first thing that I really identified with.
Green Day.
Yeah my mom got me '€™Dookie'€™ when I was seven years old and I was in second grade. I remember listening to it and thinking I'€™m seven years old and there'€™s a lot of f words in here. Somehow my mom trusted me enough to listen to this because she knows that I like it. I remember being very thankful for that. Being seven years old and listening to Green Day was kind of the way it goes. My seven year old cousins are really into Green Day right now.
It'€™s kind of unbelievable. They'€™re just still so huge. It was the first taste I got of heavier music. Heavier music that wasn'€™t Aerosmith.

Then maybe the first concert you ever went to?
First concert holy shit. Well I'€™m going to say it was Billy Joel. I think that'€™s the earliest concert I can remember seeing. My mom took me to see Billy Joel and I don'€™t know if this is something I fabricated in my imagination but I remember it was at Boston Garden and Billy Joel played on a rotating stage and we were behind him so we turned around it was this big joyful moment and he was just wailing on his piano and I looked at him and I just gave him the thumbs up and he wailed his hand along the piano keys and just shot a thumbs up right back at me. It was unbelievable. I'€™m still not sure if it actually really happened but I remember it being incredible.
You were like that close that he could see?
See we weren'€™t even really that close and that was what was so amazing about it. I was just a kid sitting maybe ten rows back and I just got the urge to go like you'€™re killing it Joel and he sent it right back to me. It was amazing. It was incredible. I'€™m pretty sure that'€™s the first concert I ever went to.
That'€™s a pretty good first concert!
Yeah then when I was a teenager I started going to shows on my own. The shows that I liked.
Do you think those influenced you? Like personally, those first musical experiences?
Oh yeah! I mean definitely. Well going to Skate Fest in Worcester and seeing just like a bunch of pop punk bands. I saw like OkGo they were just coming out at the time. They were awesome. I saw like Fairweather and Fake ID. Like Yellowcard. Just a bunch of pop punk bands but I remember being amazed at how many bands there were and how many people stuck around to see them and as much as it'€™s like a taboo thing for most people at this point, it was very influential for me and it made me want to play music.
Good answer!
Yeah that was good!

And then is the CD still aiming for next month?
It'€™s probably not going to happen next month to be honest. I'€™m trying to be professional about the whole thing and actually have like a solidified date to give people but I'€™m not going to lie to everyone. I'€™m not that professional. Since I'€™m doing everything myself, I'€™m going to make sure it'€™s where it needs to be and there'€™s a teaser video online for it right now that I just put together like a week ago. It'€™s a preview of one of the songs and it'€™s a bunch of footage I shot. It'€™s getting closer in that respect that I'€™m actually putting stuff out to draw people to it but I'€™d say the record is about ninety percent done and I just need to book a show. As soon as I book a show, we can throw an extravaganza.
Throw an extravaganza?
Yeah! I don'€™t know what will be planned for the show but the record will obviously be available. A bunch of my art will be available so we'€™re going to come up with some kind of maybe put a band together. Maybe not. Experiment with some stuff. See if we can get more time. Play longer so we can stretch it out and maybe do something psychadelic.
That would be good!
Jump all over the map.
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