Spotlight Band: Namesake
With the release of their debut album Borders & Fences, the members of Atlanta-based Namesake are ready to make their mark on the pop-punk scene. Lead vocalist Will Crafton, guitarists Brad Wagner and Troy Harmon, drummer Kevin Nordeste, and bassist Seth Van Dusen combine their considerable talents to create a sound that fans of New Found Glory, All Time Low, and The Maine will love.
Recently, Will took some time out from Namesake’s current tour with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus to answer some questions for TWRY.
Interviewed by: Heather Kobrin
The story behind your name is a very cool coincidence – can you tell us about it?
Truth be told, Will’s mom was the genius behind the idea (laughs). She had mentioned the fact that all of us were namesakes of our fathers when we were about 17 years old and playing music. It wasn’t until we were doing another photoshoot and revamping the band that we actually decided to officially change the band name.
I know that the band formed during your last year in high school. How did you all get together?
Well, Brad, Kevin and myself have all been playing music together since we were sophomores in high school. The actual idea for Namesake didn’t come up until our senior year when we took our project in a very different direction. Eventually, we were able to add members Troy and Seth to the lineup shortly after and really bring the team together.
What musicians did you look up to, growing up?
We all had a few common interests, but we all listen to drastically different types of music. Troy and Brad’s favorite band is Def Leppard, whereas Kevin loves metal and pop. See what I’m saying? (laughs)
Did you know from an early age that being in a band was what you wanted to do with your life? Other career choices you considered?
Originally, I was going to just go to college and become a business major. I always wanted to be in a rock band – I think everyone does. Glad I went with my dreams, though.
Tell us about the album, Borders & Fences. Is there a common theme that runs through all the songs?
Well, the title is actually the concept of the album itself. Borders & Fences is all about the different obstacles we faced to get where we are today. It’s for everyone that has ever had to overcome something difficult in their lives.
What’s your songwriting process like? Is everyone involved?
Everyone kind of does their own job in the band. We each do what our title is in the band. Most songs start off just acoustic and vocals, we make it as stripped down as possible, and then just build all around it.
Your producer, James Paul Wisner, has worked with bands like Paramore, Underoath, and New Found Glory. How did you like working with him?
It was an incredible experience. We just had such great chemistry together, and all the songs came together so naturally. We learned a lot and grew as people from working with him – we will never forget it.
Can you take one of your favorite tracks from the record and share a little bit about the story behind it?
“Worlds Away” was pretty personal for me. It was one of the songs we had kind of thrown together while in the studio. It’s about an old relationship of mine in which she and I were starting to feel a great distance between our ideals so much so that it felt like we were “Worlds Away.” We brought it to Wisner and he decided we HAD to record it. Now it’s the first single off of the album.
You recently filmed your first-ever music video, for “Worlds Away.” Tell us about the filming. You had to use a green screen, right?
Yes, we did use a green screen! The shoot was very smooth. I’ve been in contact with (director) Scott Hansen for about 3 years. We have always wanted to work together and finally it was able to happen. We all bonded pretty quickly and were able to wrap the shoot in less than 12 hours. It was kind of weird using the green screen but everyone was really comfortable with it.
What do you enjoy most about playing live?
Just being able to share our songs with other people is the best part. It’s really something when you can have a connection with a large group of people. Everyone walks away with an experience.
During your down time on the road, what do you do for fun?
We try to go see other shows when we can. We game a lot, write new music, and live it up as much as we can (laughs).
What message would you like to leave for Namesake fans?
Hope to see all you NS fans on our upcoming tour with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Sparks The Rescue!
Tour dates with Red Jumpsuit Apparatus:
5/13 Launch Pad – Albuquerque, NM
5/15 Soma – San Diego, CA
5/16 Roxy – Hollywood, CA
5/22 Marquis – Denver, CO
5/25 Pop’s – Sagest, IL
5/25 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL
5/26 Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH
5/27 Al Rosa Villa – Columbus, OH
5/29 The Studio @ Webster Hall – New York, NY
5/31 The Note – West Chester, PA
6/1 Hooligan’s – Jacksonville, NC
6/2 The Rock Shop – Fayetteville, NC