Jeremy Smith: Lead Vocals and Piano
Jonathan Smith: Vocals and Drums
Jeremiah Ricks: Vocals and Guitar
Micah Ricks: Bass
For new fans, tell us how Days Difference came to be, what’s your story?
We met on stage at a school concert in February 2004. Jeremiah and Micah were in the school band. Minutes before the show started everyone realized the band’s drummer and piano player had not showed up so Jonathan and I jumped on stage and saved the day! All four of us had an immediate connection and started the band a few months later.
How would you describe your sound?
Coldplay meets Metro Station.
Tell us a little bit about how the songwriting process. I know you (Jeremy) is the lead songwriter, but once the lyrics are written, how does the music flow from that? Is it a collaborative process?
I love songwriting because because no two songs are ever written the same way. Sometimes I start with an instrumental idea, other times a lyrical concept comes first. Once I finish the song the guys and I work together to finish the arrangement.
Watch the video for Are You Happy
You’ve enlisted the help of some veteran songwriters and producers. How have they impacted the band’s sound?
Co-writing has made me a much better writer, and working with producers really helped us define our sound. The co-writing and production helped us reach our potential.
What do you think sets your band apart from others in your genre?
My voice and our songwriting.
Bands with brothers can be a great thing, but it can also lead to some interesting challenges (a-hem, Oasis). The makeup of Days Difference is pretty unique, with two sets of brothers: Jeremy and Jonathan, and Jeremiah and Micah. How does this affect the band, if at all? Is there any sibling rivalry?
Being two sets of brothers has only made us closer. We argue about funny things like movie quotes and song lyrics. One time we argued about whether or not the White Stripes sound like The Raconteurs; that argument is still in up in the air actually.
You weren’t always interested in pursuing music, can you tell us what finally made you take that leap?
My senior year in high school convinced me to make that leap. I was taking college classes, and I got tired of studying things I had no passion for. I realized I was happiest when I was writing music and performing on stage. So I took the leap. It is the best decision I have ever made.
The band embarked on its first nationwide tour in 2007, but things didn’t go quite as planned. What happened?
We call that tour the tour from hell. Two days into it our trailer tire fell off, and the axle broke. We had to buy a new trailer. Then a promoter got hit by a car, and that concert was canceled. Jon got a concussion. Micah broke his collarbone. Another promoter stiffed us. We got a $350 parking fine in New York City for parking in a place a cop told us we could park. And on the second to last show of the tour the venue owner died. That concert was canceled, too. This all happened in a two week period.
Things seem to have turned around in the last year or so. You were signed to Universal Motown, released your debut album and were cast as members of Miley Cyrus’s backing band in the big-screen version of Hannah Montana: The Movie. Was there a moment when you thought, I can’t believe this is happening? Were there any moments in which you found yourself star-struck?
Every moment from when we first signed with Motown until now has felt that way. Seeing where we were and where we are now is just amazing. We are so fortunate. And when we were filming our scene in the Hannah Montana movie I was blown away. Miley was so down to earth, and Vanessa Williams was on set. I had a major crush on Vanessa when I was younger. I still love her movie Eraser.
What do you think is the biggest thing that’s missing from today’s music?
What’s the current status of your debut album? Is there a release date yet? Can you take us through a few of the tracks musically/lyrically?
The album is available on iTunes now and hits stores in early 2010! “Are You Happy?” is an exciting song with a grooving bass line and driving drum beat. It also features auto tune. (I think people will be blown away by that element.) The opening lyrics in the song are “You’ve got a boyfriend, I’ve got a girlfriend, I keep on wondering, are you happy?” That lyric is the soul of the song.
“Falling into You” is a catchy, fun pop song. The lyrics will make your girlfriend say, “Aw.”
You have a few shows lined up in December. What’s up next for the band?
Christmas time! Which means presents and lights. I am very excited. After the festivities, though, the label will take “Are You Happy?” to radio, and we’ll tour for a few years with little to no time off.
What would you like to say to music fans who are checking out Days Difference for the first time?
Hi! My name is Jeremy. What’s yours?