Back in September of 2009 I did a phone interview with this next band who had just released their debut full length '€˜Losing Sleep'€™ with their debut single '€˜She Is Love'€™ being all over radio! Since then, I'€™ve steadily interviewed the band to the point where they are now six months in to having their sophomore release '€˜The Way It Was'€™ out. Through these last two years, I'€™ve seen them kill it to packed rooms, steadily have their music all over the radio and open the show for The Goo Goo Dolls and The Fray to having current radio mainstays Hot Chelle Rae open for them on the road! Yet this time, it was a little bit more low key when I met up with Will and Nate on a day off in Boston during their acoustic run as a twosome! Read on for a quick catch up with the guys as we talk about their upcoming tour with OAR to the fact that they'€™ll be on the road non-stop in 2012!

Last we talked was during the Goo Goo Dolls tour in Boston so it hasn'€™t been too long since but the record has been out for about six months now. How do you think that'€™s been going over? Playing these shows and everything?
Will: I think this last tour really helped us realize how well it'€™s been doing. You don'€™t really know until you do a headlining run and your fans are there kind of singing along and I think we realized '€˜Okay!'€™ and I think we brought in a new fan base which is awesome. I think with '€˜Kiss Me Slowly'€™ now being the single, we have a couple more singles and then shotgun sort of speak. I think it'€™s a great start and I think it will just get bigger. It'€™s just awesome!

Then you played with The Fray last night in Worcester, how did that go?
Nate: That was a great show! It was sold out. 1600 people. Great to be kind of having a more intimate sound just being Will and I and we had a great time. Loved meeting the guys in The Fray and their fans are fantastic. We'€™re big fans, excited for the new record!

And then you have a bunch of shows coming up. I know you play a ton in December and then you'€™re back on the road in January. Is it acoustic or is it full band?
Will: The December dates are acoustic and in January, when we go out with OAR it will be with full band again rocking and rolling! So we'€™re really excited about going out with OAR. We toured with them way back a couple years ago. Two or three years ago to colleges and now it'€™s fun to go back with them and see their cool fans and hang with them because they'€™re good friends.

Do you think you'€™re going to continue to tour a lot in 2012? Are you going to focus on writing maybe even again because the last record was so long in the making?
Will: Yeah I'€™m always writing so that'€™s not really a factor into the equation. I wish it was that would be great but we just kind of always write so I think we tour, tour, tour until we start recording. No real breaks but it will be exciting!
Nate: Regardless of what it is!

Since it was a catch up interview, the next single is on radio now or is it coming?
Will: '€˜Kiss Me Slowly'€™ is on right now.
Nate: Will be into 2012!
Will: It'€™s exciting! It'€™s doing really good and people are really responding to it which is awesome.
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The Cab

The music industry is changing more and more every day and artists are becoming more strong minded and determined as it does so. One shining example would be the boys in The Cab! Despite beginning persay as a signed, major label band with Fueled By Ramen where the band released their first record '€˜Whisper War'€™, the band has now left their label and independently released '€˜Symphony Soldier'€™.

Definitely a departure from Whisper War, it is still clearly recognizable as The Cab in a brilliant way yet still is something a little bit new and more mature. The band has become known for their lyricist skills as well as the strong musicianship each member brings to the band. Read on for our exclusive with Alex Deleon during their time as support on their last tour with Simple Plan!

Last time we talked was at Warped 2010 so it was before 'Symphony Soldier' was coming out. How is it to finally have that record out?
I mean it's just a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders. We fought so hard for that album to come out. We were told no by so many people. That it wouldn't come out or that it wasn't good enough. So I guess just to finally have it out and just to be able to prove all of them wrong and just to give a gift to our fans. They waited so long, so patiently at times, not so patiently at others but I feel for them. We wanted to put that album out so bad so I guess when we finally got to put it out it was just great for everybody. Everybody involved in it.

And now that you are independent and not with a record label right now, how has that time been? Like having full control over everything with this record?
You know it's great! We don't have anyone to tell us how to do it or how your band should be, it's just all doing it yourself. I mean obviously being independent has been kind of a challenge but it's been great so far and the fan response has been incredible. Just to get back out on the road just doing what we love to do I think that's what's most important. It hasn't been too big of a difference or an effect. I mean album sales are just as good if not better than where 'Whisper War' was and that was with a full label. You know like marketing and promoting and pulling all there money into it. It was just putting our own money into it and we just kind of fought for our fans, fought for us.

Then do you think that's a possibility that you may re-sign in the future?
Yeah I mean it's possible. We could stay independent forever or we could sign a massive record deal. Depends on the deal you know and depends on that through the bottom line if you have some one that believes in you and wants the same direction for the band that we do. If we find a label that will support us and believes in our songs as much as we do then yeah we'd love to sign with good people.

Then you were taking it kind of easy tour wise while you were focusing on the record and now that you are back to the touring ways that you were in the past having the tour already announced with The Summer Set for 2012, how has it been going so far?
I love the ride. I live for traveling it's my passion in life so any chance that I get I take. Being at home is great but you start getting bored. Especially once you've toured once and you get to experience it, it's really something hard to get off of. It's hard to not tour because you're not getting that constant sensory overload. Especially when we go overseas, like we just got back from Japan. We're going to Australia early next year and possible other places after that so I live for that you know. That's what I love. I think I can say the same for the other guys as well. We have fans in other countries that listen to our music! To be able to encompass the entire globe is really flattering and awesome.

Then maybe a softer one! What are three things you must have while you're on the road?
Some are the most obvious. Having a tour bus. To be honest, I would say my laptop and iPad but that all got stolen a few weeks ago from me. I was pretty bummed but I think the most important thing to have on the road is just friends. People you can hang out with and talk to. Tour is so much better when it's with people you actually love. Like your friends and family.

And a local band member in Boston actually wanted me to ask you, @NuzzOSA! Is it something that's in the process of being recovered? Is it something you had a back up of?
No I don't have a back up but I still have hopes that, we're actually still working on the case, there's still people on it and there's still leads so I'm hoping that I get it back. Oh well! So no I don't but the good songs I remember and the ones I don't I'll just write more. I guess it wasn't meant to be.

And then the first CD or cassette you bought as a kid? And the first concert you went to?
That I bought? I think when I took the money for the first CD I ever purchased it was Nelly's 'Country Grammar' at Tower Records. It's crazy. I was so stoked about it. I can picture him on the cover shirtless and first concert was Garth Brooks with my mom. He was her fave. First rock concert was , other then my dad since he was in a band, was Incubus and my first pop concert was NSYNC.

Then do you think those experiences influenced you at all?
Yeah I mean the band is a mix between hip hop and NYSNC and Incubus and Brandon Boyd definitely influenced me as a front man. Justin Timberlake influenced my music immensely. Michael Jackson, all that stuff. I think everything you listen to somehow influences your music.

And then coming up, you did just announce the tour with The Summer Set coming through. Are you going to be maybe writing since Symphony Soldier was so long in the making? Touring, writing?
Yeah just touring a lot. Definitely I'€™m sure I'€™ll be writing. I don't want to wait another three and a half years. I mean we're always writing. I'm constantly writing songs! We all are so we'll be writing and hopefully we'll have something out early 2013. So that will be about a year and two months and that's probably the goal.
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Hit The Lights

Not many bands release their record in January considering all of us are getting back into the swing of things, but Hit The Lights will be dropping their new record January 31st and before it even hits, they'€™ll have already been on the road with D.R.U.G.S! It'€™s a stamina and work ethic though that the band is recognized for despite the band not being on the road steadily for about two years. Now though? The band is ready for action and everything thrown at them!

I got the excellent opportunity to sit down with Nick from the band during their first real tour back with A Loss For Words, Such Gold, The Story So Far and Divided By Friday and I learned everything about the new record '€˜Invicta'€™. It'€™s their first record in approximately three years as well as their first with acclaimed indie label Razor & Tie and we delved into what makes the record different! As well as talking about the record itself, the boys opened up a little bit about why this record was so long in the making and explained why they took such a break from the road! Catch them back in my town January 22nd and check out their website for all their upcoming dates!

A little soft one because obviously with all that'€™s going on. You guys have been back on the road as of late being that you'€™re headlining this tour. What are three things you must have while you'€™re on the road?
Nick: Feel free to help me out, Dave!
Dave: What was the question?
Nick: Three things you must have while on the road! I actually always like to have a little bottle of whiskey or something. I like a little sweet before I go on.
Dave: It would be more like a big bottle of whiskey.
Nick: Just a little bit! Nothing crazy! Usually, I like to have my own little bottle of whiskey or something.
Dave: I think right now what I'€™m learning is clean socks are one of the most important things that you can have.
Nick: I think those should be of note.
Dave: I just happen to have some here in my hands. Just as you have the whiskey, I'€™ve got some clean socks!
Nick: Priorities! Yeah!
There you go!
Dave: Then of course your dog! Don'€™t forget your dog.
Nick: iPhone for sure! That'€™s basically what you have for entertainment for the next month and a half or whatever and for directions too! So yeah those are pretty good! Whiskey and iPhones and clean socks is pretty good!
Yeah, always good!

Then maybe you'€™ve put out the EP with the record obviously coming in 2012. How is it to like have that new full length coming out considering it has been a while? It'€™s been about three years now.
Nick: Yeah, it'€™s been a really long time! We went through a lot of crap trying to make the record so it'€™s nice that it'€™s finally coming out and that'€™s a big reason why we had the EP. To release some of the songs early just because it'€™s been so long and it'€™s coming out in January so just getting it out and getting something out there a little sooner. I know kids would be stoked and from what we all hear, they are! But yeah, that'€™s why we released the EP in the first place because it'€™s been so long and it'€™s just such a shitty wait (laughs). So hopefully it will all be worth it and then kids will be excited about it but I think they will. I know I'€™m proud of the record.

Has it changed a bit? Like sound wise?
Nick: Yeah I think it was a change. Like I said, the writing process for this record was really weird because we went through a couple labels and stuff and we saw kind of the major label side of things where we were writing with songwriters and stuff and I think the songs probably sound different because coming out of that I think we were all just kind of on an '€œego-loss'€ kind of thing. Especially when you'€™re at a major label, where everyone'€™s telling you what to do, what you need to do or otherwise you'€™re going to fail and stuff and it'€™s easy to lose a sense of who you are and why you'€™re there in the first place. So I think that'€™s why a lot of the songs on the record are kind of a revitalization of us kind of taking control again and doing what we want. So it is a little different but I don'€™t think it was something where we were trying to be different. I think it'€™s just something that happened out of all the drama and stuff that took place while we were making it. I think it'€™s still Hit The Lights, I think it sounds like a Hit The Lights record through it but no one wants to make the same record twice. Especially after three years, we don'€™t want to release another '€˜Skip School'€™ it just wouldn'€™t make sense. So yeah I think if it fits well with your sound, then it'€™s good!

And did the songwriting change or how does it normally go?
Nick: The only thing that really changed is we have four songwriters in the band. Dave stepped it up a lot on this record with a couple songs that are just fucking great. Same with Kevin cranking out some amazing stuff and Omar and I write too so. All these songs, we brought in these ideas and everyone was collaborating and putting their two cents in. Everyone'€™s got their own kind of sound you know to their songs so it was very collaborative and that goes along with the producers too because we used two different producers on this record. I think their sound of their parts of the record plays a very big part in shaping the songs and how they turned out.

Perfect and then you signed to Razor & Tie who obviously have a lot of independent feel bands like Saves The Day and that kind of thing and Kevin Devine. How did that come about signing to Razor & Tie?
Razor & Tie! After we were done with our deal with Triple Crown in 2009, we got off Warped Tour and started talking to new labels and stuff and Razor & Tie was one of the labels we talked to as well as Universal Republic who we were originally signed to. So coming out of it, we finally got released from our deal with Universal but Razor & Tie still laid the offer down and they kind of let us know that they were going to let us do the record we wanted and stuff so it was a really easy choice and so far, so good. Like everyone there has been amazing and actually gives a shit about the record! They call us and always stay on top of their stuff so it'€™s been a really positive thing so far.

That'€™s what I hear! They really let you be hands on and they don'€™t control it all. Like you control things, I know Saves The Day told me the same.
Yeah which is absolutely fucking great and that'€™s always a risk you take. For them to have that kind of faith I guess in us was another thing too. Like a really reassuring thing that we were just fucking ready to get in the studio as soon as possible. So being there and knowing we had a label behind us, backing us on all the ideas that we had was definitely inspirational and helps with the writing and stuff.

And then how has this tour been? I know you'€™re headlining and you have A Loss For Words, The Story So Far and then Divided By Friday. How has it been so far, like being in the headlining spot?
It'€™s been going great! We actually had a band called Such Gold on the beginning of the tour.
Yeah, great band! They were on the first leg of this. So really Divided by Friday is the only band that'€™s been with us the full haul.
Oh, really?
So, yeah! There were some rough dates in between. California'€™s always great but I guess once we get over to the East Coast, things always pick up for us. We'€™re definitely more of an East Coast band.
And so is A Loss For Words I mean these shows must have been pretty great!
Yeah, that was another thing too! I was so happy about that. We'€™ve known A Loss For Words for years and stuff so I'€™m glad we got to work this out and they get to be on the road with us. All good dudes and again, so far, especially all the East Coast shows have been fucking nuts. Kids have been going off so it'€™s fun! I'€™m happy. I think we'€™re all stoked to be back on the road and playing good shows!

Then what is coming up? Obviously you have the record coming out which is huge. Really start out the year with a bang having that out in January but are you going to keep on being on the road?
Yep! Right now, we'€™re pretty much booked till Spring and I can'€™t really talk about the tours yet and we'€™re going to continue doing that and doing overseas stuff too. We'€™ve been off the road for like two years so we'€™re ready to get the fuck out and just do it all again! More then ready!

Then how was it to be a band that was always consistently touring and playing shows, to be like at home for so long?
At first, it was really nice. We were home for a while so it was nice to be home and see your family and stuff. Dave and I have a house together and our dog stays with us. It'€™s always nice to be home for a little bit. After a while though, it definitely starts to wear on you and especially when it got to the point where like we weren'€™t touring because we were too busy trying to write these songs to be approved for the record. It just got to the point where it was like '€˜I'€™m going to kill myself!'€™ You know! You'€™re just stuck in Ohio! We used to live in like a backwoods Ohio town. It'€™s very rural and there'€™s nothing to do besides drink with your friends and stuff and after a while, you'€™re just like I have to get out of here! And it wears on you for sure. So, yeah it wasn'€™t fun!
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