NEEDTOBREATHE recently took up shop on the “Rock The Plaza” stage in Foxboro, MA at Patriot Place for a free show.
The band also filmed a segment fo Totally Patriots while they were there. Totally Patriots is the Kraft Sports Productions’ youth-oriented, Patriots-themed television show that airs on CBS affiliate, WBZ-TV, on Sunday mornings during the football season. The show this year will feature interviews with bands that focus on the relationship between music and football, and how NFL teams like the Patriots influence the artists, personally and professionally.
We sent our resident NEEDTOBREATHE aficionado out to the show to take some pictures – oh who are we kidding, she was just there to support her boys, but she managed to snap some shots for us while she was there! Check out the gallery below.
Do you think it’s safe to say that NEEDTOBREATHE are now New England Patriot fans? To learn more about NEEDTOBREATHE head to their official website here.
July 17, 2011
Rock The Plaza
Patriot Place – Foxboro, MA
Photos by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty
Will Knox was born in London, studied music at Berklee in Boston and now lives in New York City, if that’s not enough to inspire a lifetime of music, we don’t know what is! Inspired and inspiring, his blend of folksy alternative music spins a web of imagery which he captured perfectly by releasing his latest release Lexicon as a comic book. Citing influnces likeTracy Chapman to Ryan Adams to Nick Drake Knox is a true delight through and through.
Currently out on tour with Matt White and Brendan james on “The Troubadour Tour” through mid March we recently caught up with him to talk shop!
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty
Pete Cataldo – Guitar
2009 has been quite a year for The White Tie Affair (Chris Wallace on vocals, Tim McLaughlin on drums, Ryan McClain on keyboards and guitar and Sean P on guitar and programming). Touring with Secondhand Serenade, The Fame Ball (with Lady Gaga), and spending most of the summer on Warped Tour, the band is now out in support of their own headlining tour. Hot on the heels of their major label release “Walk This Way” that debuted in April of 2008 the band is bringing their own unique take of Pop meets Rock meets Melting your face off fun to the stage. One thing you should never do is to show up at a TWTA performance and expect to be merely a spectator, their shows are a full on feast for the senses. Fans come ready for a full on dance party and the pledge to get their booties rocked off by the end of the night.
On their recent tour stop in Boston, TWRY staffer Stacie sat down with Tim and Ryan pre-show to talk shop. On tap? Boy bands, cold showers, Twitter, and Halloween Costumes. Boo!
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | October 2009
Reviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty
Reviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty
Sometimes in the world of music the very thing that we all love the most get’s lost, the music. For The Kings Royal that focus was never lost. Their penchant to write meaningful songs that people loved as much as they did and their drive to make them unforgettable have lead to their well-crafted debut album “Beginning” – and how intuitive indeed because this is definitely just the beginning for this quartet. Each a rock and roll veteran in their own right (Benny Marchant on vocals and guitar, Adam Kury on bass, David Krusen on drums, Sean Hennesy on guitar and Walker Gibson on keyboards) together they have formed and army armed and loaded to unleash a barrage of songs that are reminiscent of the seventies infused throwbacks where the music spoke for itself through masterful musicianship. Some people call it simple or elegant, others just call it rock and roll in its purest form. Crediting producer David Holman for helping them find themselves in the, The Kings Royal have released an album that transcends modern trends.
With early reviews comparing the band to The Doors, that’s quite a bit to live up to but when this band hits the stage, they are definitely summoning the spirits of rock gods gone by. Currently out on tour with Candlebox (with Sean and Adam pulling double duties on stage playing for both The Kings Royal AND Candlebox every night) The Kings Royal are introducing themselves to music fans across the nation and hoping they come back for more. Something tells me they will…again and again.
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | September 2008
Let’s start off with your roots…Sean and Adam, you played together in another band called the Hiwatts, correct? What was the inspiration to form The Kings Royal and how did everything fall into place?
Adam: I guess I can answer this… it really started with Benny. Benny was writing songs and putting together an album and everything… working with some session guys. The drummer that he was using at the time was actually the drummer from Hiwatts. At some point they decided to make it a band instead of a solo project. The drummer Brian (Burwell) brought in both Sean and I, and we’ve been working together for over a year now.
Benny, so this was your baby in the beginning?
Benny: In the beginning, yes.
You just released your debut album “Beginning” and worked with producer David Holman, can you tell us what he brought to the table for you and his impact on the album since a lot of fans probably don’t understand the true role of a producer.
Benny: Oh man, he did so much! I can’t even… let me just scrape a little bit up. He made me find myself. It took me about the year and a half to convince him to work with me. I kept showing up at his house with written music, and he kept turning me away saying “Get another song.” He really just made me find myself, cause all the other music that I was writing and trying to perform was very pop oriented and sort of fake. Not really me. Him helping me find myself which makes me more comfortable on stage because I can be me. This is my first time as a front man and it makes thing much easier. As his role, he crafted the songs. I would bring him the melodies and he would show us where to go and how to do it. The goals that we came up with were just making it a very open sounding record, very old school and retro sounding. He did it! That’s a great producer right there, to start off with a focus and keep going till you create that sound.
Going into the writing for the album, what were your main goals? Did you have a plan per se?
Benny: Yes, we had a huge plan! The plan was to bring music back. Keep it simple. Two guitars, drums, bass, keyboards…
Adam: To be fair, the whole process isn’t really writing records. We didn’t go in and “make a record”. We went in a tracked a lot of songs. When we needed to make a record, we picked. We never went in and made a record, that’s never been in the process for this band.
Benny: Yeah, it’s weird how “Beginning” came about because we weren’t ready to put out a record yet, but this Candlebox tour came around. We were so lucky to become a part of this tour we needed to pick out of the 30 songs. Well out of the 30 we had like 20 done, so we had to pick from those, and have a CD ready to go. So it was kind of spur of the moment.
The Kings Royal – Photo by Stacie
You wrote over 30 songs…how did you narrow it down to those that made the cut? And will fans get an opportunity to hear the songs that didn’t make the cut?
Benny: We kind of have two sides to us, we have strait up rock and roll, but we also have a very mellow Doors-y retro feel. So we put some of those songs on there, but kept it mostly upbeat. We’re saving the other songs. We’ll actually be putting the others on; we’re actually going to be having two more releases in the next year. One is going to be a record, like an actual vinyl on 60’s oriented sound. Songs that didn’t make this record and some that did like “In My Own World” will be on this vinyl. Then we’ll be putting out a CD, there are seven songs that we demoed before we went out on tour. We’re still writing as a band, and we’re going back into the studio when we finish up and get another CD ready to go.
So the work never ends…
Benny: Yeah, we’re going to be very prolific. We’re going to do it, how they did it back in the day, which is just record and tour.
There have been quite few comparisons to The Doors on your new album ….how do you feel about that comparison? Do you feel any pressure being compared to a band that was so influential to music?
Benny: Any kind of comparison to that band and I’m like “Sweet!!” What an amazing band, what an amazing frontman!
So it works?
Benny: That’s fine! But, I also want to make sure I don’t go too far into that barrier. I don’t think we are though. They are definitely a big influence though, them and the Kinks.
Your sound stays very true to the roots of rock and roll and letting the music speak for itself. Is this an approach that you wanted to take or was it more of just a product of you working together?
Benny and Adam: It’s both!
Adam: I think its one of those things that was definitely spoken to approach it that way. I think we’ve all been in a band and thought we’d love to be in something and work that way. When you can actually do something the way you feel it should be done…
Benny: It’s really cool! Every day is just an enjoyable day. Except for when I have to do some guitar work. I have to make sure it’s done right. For Sean it’s a lot easier, he’s an amazing player. I can’t wait till we can go back in because we can have this kid Krusen (Dave Krusen) and Gibson (Walker Gibson) over there. It’ll be really nice to have those two personalities put in as well. It’ll make it full fledged.
Do you want to walk us through a few of the songs on your album both musically and lyrically, to give people an idea of what you’re all about?
Benny: Man… being artsy and creative just whatever comes to your head. “Invisible” is about being an artist, but very scared about what people are going to think about it. “On and On” is a very pompous, you know “that’s right we’re really going to fucking make it in this industry” doing whatever it is we have to do…
You had a month long residency at The Viper Room in LA…for us East Coasters, can you explain what that experience was like?
Sean: It was all about exposure. Personally the Viper Room is a funny place to play for me. Its ups and downs, depending on the night. What did we play? Tuesdays?!
Adam: Tuesday and Wednesdays.
Sean: Yeah, a weekday? One day we’d play at 9:30 and the next day we’d play at midnight. Some nights there were five people and another there was twelve. There was one night we played there, and there was like fifteen people but everyone was just dancing. So we were like “lets just keep rocking, lets keep going till they pull the plug! ” Residencies are fun, because after a while the word starts to get out and more people start to show up.
Benny: The more your name is posted on Sunset Strip; you know… that is kind of a good thing.
What kind of impact has this tour (With Candlebox) had on the band?
Dave: Well it’s definitely gotten this group together. So it’s formed this band. Their drummer was not able to do the tour, so they got a hold of me. Adam and I had just worked together in the studio. So I listened to it and was really excited to check it out we just sort of gelled. Then Walker came in. It’s definitely been a good bonding experience, both musically and personally.
Is it Adam and Sean who are playing with Candlebox as well? How do you manage to rock out two sets a night?
Sean: Lots of booze!
Adam: It’s what we do! We love playing so in that regard it’s not hard at all. You do really look forward to your off days. I think this is the first time on tour that I said “Oh thank God a day off!”
Sean: Two days off! No way!!
Given the friendships among the bands on tour, it must be great to be out on the road with all of your friends. Do you guys get to do any fun things on your days off or are you just catching up on sleep?
Sean: Yesterday we caught a train from Bridgeport, CT and the four of us… this guy (Benny) “slept”.
Adam: He’s an amazing sleeper!
Benny: …and I’m a gamer too, so I’m fine just playing video games.
Sean: So back to me! We went to New York City yesterday and walked around. Went to Coney Island and had a corn dog, had a brewski, hit the Cyclone.
Walker: Sean almost died!
Sean: I almost died…
Adam: Very close to feeling like your kidneys are being shaken up.
Sean: Someone ringing your testicles like a door bell.
Benny, do you write most of the lyrics or is a group effort?
Benny: I write the initial ideas. Then with David he finishes it up. At least on this record.
Simple, timeless, Classic, Elegant are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the band. What one word would each of you use to describe yourselves?
Sean: Single. Chocolaty!
Sean: Yeah, I spilt chocolate in my bunk, and it melted everywhere. I woke up and there was chocolate everywhere.
Benny: What would you say about yourself?
Adam: I would say persistent.
Benny: Yeah, me too actually. Persistent.
Walker: You can’t take his word!
Benny: Do we have a thesaurus in here?
Benny: Driven, I like that.
Sean: I’m sticking with single.
Dave: I’m grateful to be here.
Goofy? You do seem like the goofy guy in the group.
Sean: I’ll agree with the goofiness.
Walker: Sean called me a cartoon character. Maybe I’ll go with cartoon.
Walker: Cartoony, that’s a word!
You have tour dates through mid September…what comes after that for you guys?
Benny: Recording, and then more touring. We’re actually starting to work on, everybody back in LA; they’re starting to figure out where we’ll be come January and February. In the meantime we’ll be recording.
Danny Stevens, Ryan O’Connor, Seth Johnson, Joe Lussa and Timmy Klepek, collectively known as The Audition have been rocking out the tunes on their sophomore album Champion all over the country on this years Warped Tour. An instant fan-favorite, these pop-punksters have found the perfect addictive blend of rock meets pop, with catchy choruses, booty shakin’ beats, and lyrically a bit more maturity since their debut release over three years ago.
In Part III of our Warped Tour exclusive, lead singer and songwriter Danny Stevens sits down with TWRY staffer Stacie to fill her in on their latest album, rumors about the bands demise, and of course, all the hijinx that come along with Warped Tour.
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | August 2008
Your album “Champion” was released in January…your first album in three years. I have to start off by asking, why three years between albums?
Basically we just kept getting really good tours that we couldn’t turn down. We were going to write a record in September of ’06 when we got our first UK tour. Then we were going to work on it in February of ’07 and we got the Jack’s Mannequin tour. Then they wanted us to do it in November of ‘07 and we ended up doing the Boys Like Girls tour. So we were like ‘oh we have other game plans right now.’ Because it was all newer fans and we felt that was more important than putting out a new record at that point.
One of the reviews I read on musicemissions.com, is quoted to say “it was as catchy as the herpes your dorm’s slut has”.
That’s good! I like that!
I thought you’d enjoy that. How do you feel about reviews, be them professional or amateur?
I don’t really read reviews. The only review I read was the Alternative Press review… because it was really good. They gave us a 4.5 out of 5, which is unheard of! So I read that. Got happy about that, but that was really the only one I read.
So you don’t make a habit of reading reviews.
No, cause people have jobs to review for websites and magazines and stuff. If they get assigned your band, and they don’t like your type of music… lets say they are into The Locusts, or harder bands like that… then they are going to give you a shitty review. SO I try to stay away. We listen to our fans, and people that like our band. Not those who hate on us just because they don’t like our type of music.
Take me through a couple of your favorite tracks off the last album, what the songs represent and what inspired them?
The record is about me as a person just living life and about different things that I’ve gone through. About this one guy going through different aspects of life. There is falling in love. There is heartbreak. Pushing someone away and then regretting it. There are songs about sex and scandalous things like that. I wanted to write a record that reflected all areas of life and human emotion, instead of just writing ‘she broke my heart’. I don’t think I wrote a song on the record like that, but I just wanted to put a different spin on the songs.
How do you feel about being compared to other artists out there, such as Fall Out Boy?
It’s cool man! If you want to compare us to the biggest band out there right now. So be it. If it gets people’s attention? Whatever.
You’ve toured with some amazing bands, tell us some of the greatest/hardest lessons you’ve learned on the road, and who you learned them from.
Staying sane! Andrew McMahon taught me that! He is one of my best friends and I look up to him immensely. He’s been doing this since he was 17 and touring. Watching him and seeing how he deals with things has taught me how to deal with people and press and things like that… even stage managers. He treats everybody so well, and with such respect that it’s something that I admire and look up to.
Seems you’ve had a bit of a black cloud over your heads, with a bit of vehicle troubles… tell us what is going on, and how Warped Tour is working out for you now.
Well… It’s raining! We’ll we couldn’t afford our bus, so Seth and I did two and a half weeks in a mini van doing acoustic shows at Warped Tour which was actually pretty awesome. Then our van broke down, but we got the van fixed and we’re back out, the show’s have been great! We’re doing really well on merch, which is always a plus on the Warped Tour cause it’s the only way you get paid. The kids have really been coming out, and hanging out… it’s been great!
Why do you feel it’s important to video blog and such from the road? Is it for your benefit or the fans?
I think it’s really for both. I think it’s going to be cool when I done with all this twenty years down the road to look back and see all these things that I did. With the times right now, with the MySpaces and the Facebook websites, it’s almost like you have to or else people get bored. People want to know what is going on ALL the time, and I think MySpace is a big attributor to that. You can find anybody in the world with the click of a button. It’s been proved to work with bands like All Time Low, where you constantly give the people what they want. Fans feel like the KNOW the band now, even if they don’t. They feel like they are friends with the band just from watching videos. I remember when I was younger and I loved New Found Glory, I would always watch all the videos that they would post. I thought it was the coolest thing. I felt a connection with certain band members. I definitely think it helps out with people coming to your shows, cause they feel like they know you, and they feel like they are a part of something!
Speaking of the fans… some conversation is going on regarding a rumor of a breakup. Would you like to respond to that rumor?
With us? Hell no! Definitely not!
Pranks seem to be a big part of life on the road. Take us through one of your favorite pranks!
We haven’t done any in a while. The best thing we ever did was with a band called Aiden, they are Goth-Punk you know with the black and the eye makeup, and they hate God. When we were on tour with them, they had a black van and a black trailer. We took white shoe polish and wrote the Jesus Fish and “God Squad” and “We *heart* Jesus” and “Jesus Saves”. Then we got a gallon tub of Vaseline and vaselined the entire van, the handles and the entire trailer. I think they said it took them six hours to get the thing clean, and a month later they were like “we’re still finding Vaseline!”
The Audition – Champion
Danny I hear you love Jason Mraz?
I love Jason Mraz!
Do you have his latest album “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things”?
Which of his albums is your favorite and what do you love about him?
I really really like Mr A-Z. I think this new one is my favorite because it’s just so fucking good. It’s weird because the other dudes in the band weren’t big Jason Mraz fans and they started listening to that while I was driving. So they be listening and be like “Damn, this is really good!” then went back and started listening to the other stuff. But, I think Mr. A-Z is my favorite because it’s so eclectic, and he has so many different styles. He’s got a salsa song, he’s got strait pop songs, and he’s got a ballad!
He’s an amazing wordsmith!
He really is.
Do you have any special plans while you are on Warped to rub shoulders with anyone in particular? Or is there any particular band you are excited to see perform?
I’ve been hanging out with Matt from Relient K a lot. All Time Low are like our best buddies. Say Anything… it’s easy to hang out with people on this tour, because every one is all together, all the time, all day long, everyday! It’s not like I’m going to say “Hey I’m going to see what this one is up to…” because I don’t know them, or want to be their friend.
In closing we’re making a summer mixtape from the bands on Warped. We’d like you to nominate a song, from any other band but your own, to go into the mix.
Ummmm… I’m going to have to say The Avett Brothers either the Ballad of Love and Hate or Salina.
Sometimes a band makes such an impact that we have to interview them twice. Such is the case with Safetysuit. With Doug Brown on lead vocals, Dave Garofalo on guitar, Jeremy Henshaw on bass, and Tate Cunningham on drums, Safetysuit’s debut album “Life Left to Go” was released in May and they’ve been on the road 24/7 since then bringing their brand of infectious, melodic charm to music and lyrics we can all relate to. While the cd is a winner from start to finish, where it’s really easy to fall in love with this band is their live performances. On the stage this band lights up and knows how to win over a crowd with their energy and the chemistry that can only come from a band who loves what they are doing.
Currently out on tour with Seether, the band is definitely getting a chance to introduce themselves to a diverse group of music fans from coast to coast. The band recently wrapped up filming a brand new video for “Someone Like You”, which will debut soon on VH1. Lead singer Doug Brown says the song was written for the underdog…and hey..who doesn’t want to root for the underdog.
With their album out a few months, TWRY Stacie took to the streets of Providence, RI to sit down with the band to talk to them about the album, the band, and …Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick-Dowty | July 2008
Since the album was released in May, what has been the most exciting thing that you’ve experienced as a band?
Doug: I have one! Honestly there has been a lot for me. One of the most exciting things is going to a place that we had never been to before. For example Boise, Idaho; we’d never been there. We go there and there are people singing the words, not just to the single on the radio, but to the random songs on the album too. Being able to connect with them in that way and then seeing them after the show and hearing “I love the CD it hasn’t left my CD player.” This is our passion this is what we love to do, so when someone links into that it’s like your meeting. Not to be totally sappy here but that’s been really exciting.
That could have been me saying that… Your single “Someone Like You” has hit #17 on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks, that has to be a pretty good feeling for you? Do you remember where you were the first time you heard the single on the radio?
Doug: I remember a couple different times, that all feel like the first time. We were in Nashville and it was going to spin on a local show, and they told us. I was driving home and I knew to turn on the station. That was cool because we heard it, but we knew we were going to hear it. Another time in Nashville I just happened to hear it in the car. It’s a weird feeling. I think it really hit me when… once we were in Tulsa, when we lived in Tulsa, I remember hearing it there. But, I think what was the weirdest was when we were in Florida, when we were going out with your cousin… we jumped in the car, and here we are in Florida, and she was just flipping through the stations, left it on a station, there was some other random song on and then our song! I remember being in the car thinking “who is this?” and it took me the first few seconds to figure it out. Then it hit me! So to be in a city that isn’t your own and hear it is when it really clicks. It’s really happening.
We know that “Life Left To Go” has gotten a lot of attention since it is the album’s namesake. You’ve said that music is ego-centric and you wanted to flip that. Can you explain to us why this song is so important to you?
Doug: “Life Left to Go” is important for multiple reasons. It deals with suicide. It’s a heavy topic. There are a lot of problems in life, and a lot of really bad things that happen to people, but there isn’t anything worth ending your life over. We wanted to write a song that would speak to someone who was dealing with those things. Try to speak to them, where they are at, and not offer this grand explanation as to how life is going to get better, but just say “hold on” you know, there is more of life left to go, and that there is something around the corner if you just believe. This is why we titled the record that so that it can get out and we can talk about it in interviews like this. Where we can say “Listen, no one is trying to say life is perfect, but life in and of itself is great, and you shouldn’t give that up for anything… so just hold on. If you can, you’ll see some really wonderful things once you turn that corner.
Safetysuit – Photo by: Stacie
Every song on the album has a great message, while I had a hard time determining what songs I was going to ask you about, I settled on “Down”. We’ve all been in those relationships, be it personal or familiar, where we’ve felt not good enough. How did this song come about… what inspired it?
Jeremy: That’s actually the first song we ever played as a band. First song! We weren’t even really a band, we were just friends messing around as friend and decided to enter this battle of the bands competition and this was the first song we played for anybody…ever!
Doug: Down was just a song that came about in my early early song writing days, which is why we hate it so much. (laughter)
Tate: It predated the band!
Doug:It was just a song. I remember very clearly my older brother was basically head over heels in love with this girl and everything went so far as to the solidifying the relationship. They talked and I think he thought it was a lot more than it was, because then all of a sudden it was just over. He was devastated. I remember just thinking; because you know it’s all so easy to analyze from the outside; “Yeah it sucks, but it’s not he end of the world”. You know, don’t let it keep you “Down”. So that’s what the whole songs sort of spun off of, it just kind of talks to the person. People like me, I’m very outspoken, I can articulate what I’m feeling very easily. People like my brother, they can’t, they can be right in that moment and they can’t say it. To give a song to somebody so when they can’t say it can *mimics tossing CD down* “That’s how I feel!” … and that is what we try to do in all of our songs, to give a voice to someone who couldn’t come out and just say it. “Was I not good enough for you?!” Smack!
Tell us how you each became musicians, did music run in your family or was it something you sought out on your own? How did you become the musicians you are today?
Doug: We’re still trying to become musicians.
Tate: I came out of my mother a musician. I’ve always wanted to play music as long as I can remember.
Doug: Tate’s been drumming since he was in the uterus! My dad was just a total rocker. He’s a banker but at heart he’s a guitar player. I used to fall asleep to him playing over the Allman Brothers or the Eagles down in the basement. I was just always surrounded by it. I didn’t really catch an interest in songwriting or playing music for real till I was like 16 or 17 years old. I wasn’t like Tate, I was enthralled in sports for most of my life. I just caught a love. I think the first time I really got excited was when I played someone something that I wrote and they said something like “I totally feel that way!” and I thought “Wow! I’d like to do that again!” ‘I’d like to hear somebody say that to me one more time!”
Dave: Well, for me it’s been a pretty much all my life thing. I think I saw Slash from Guns N Roses on video playing and I though “I want to do that!” I got my first guitar when I was 13 or 14 and I would stand for six hours through out the day in front of a mirror, not plugged in, cassette headphones on, just playing and dancing… as it developed more I’d be in my room sometimes eight hours out of the day or through the night. My mom would come up yelling because I’d be waking her up at 3 in the morning with my guitar just playing. It was the match that became the forest fire.
Doug: Oh, I like that Dave! I’m going to have to use that “The match..”
I hear you just finished wrapping up the video shoot for Someone Like You last week. Can you tell us a bit about what the video will entail and how the shoot went?
Doug: It’s going to entail AWESOMENESS. Start to finish. Ahhh, It’s “Someone Like You”, and “Someone Like You” is written for the underdog. So the video focuses on, the theme. I won’t give too much away – empowerment, making the listener feel like “yeah, I can do this!” There are a couple of scenarios and scenes that walk through the video that show that spirit of “I can do it!” Now, hopefully when listeners, now viewers watch it they’ll get that feeling after seeing that visualization. Become strong enough.
Now will it be blasted out there, or is being release privately or…
Doug: We go to NY on Wednesday to VH1 and they’re going to be a big player in that, and we’ll see what kind of relationship blooms with it. We have a lot of high hopes for it.
Doug, we know on days off you like to unwind with a round of golf, what about he rest of you? How do you unwind on your days off? (Which looking at your schedule seem to be very rare!!)
Dave: Yes! Many rounds!
Doug: Tate, what do you do?
Tate: I like doing programming and working on my rig in my little studio at home. But, recently I’ve had this new found love for fishing!
Did you go fishing today?
Tate: I didn’t! I do however have a really nice travel rod on order. I’m from Oklahoma so I grew up on a farm, fished my whole life. Then I went to school and just got away from it for years. One of our sound guys and I recently went fishing together and it just sort of sparked a rebirth.
Dave: It was the match the became the forest fire!
Tate: Exactly! *laughter*
Let’s get to know each of you a little better, what is one random thing about you that most people might not know?
Doug: You know we should find an answer for this, we’ve been asked this question before and all of a sudden it’s like “What should I say?!”
Tate: I don’t think it’s that we can’t think of something though, it’s like “What thing do I pick?”
Doug: I’m like pretty much OCD.
Tate: That is very true he IS OCD.
Doug: I like to have things in order.
Tate: He makes checklists!
Doug: For instance, I have a backpack, said backpack has many a zipper and compartments. I could, with my eyes, closed grab anything in that bag! I know where every single thing in that bag is because everything has a place. Jeremy might ask me for a converter, and I just need to know where the bag is. Beyond that (points to the table) THAT kind of bothers me. This should be here (straightens out a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper) this should be gone, and this should be even with that. (Takes plastic six pack holder off a single vitamin water and straitens out cups on the TV tray table.) Now Jeremy, being Jeremy, would immediately come over and do that! (hits 12 pack of soda and messes table up again)
Jeremy: No! I’d wait till he left the room!
So if he straightens out the bottles on the shelf with the labels all facing out would you go and turn them just to …
Jeremy: I’d do it when he left so when he came back he’d find them all turned.
Doug: I used to work at a place, and my buddy Brandon would come over to my desk and he would pretend he was talking to me and push my computer over a little bit, drag the cord out in front, and I’d be like “Gah, Why?! Now I have to fix it!!”
Dave: That’s hysterical! I love to read. Love it! I do!
Are you a word nerd?
Dave: No, well kinda.
Tate: Dave loves to read more than play music!
Dave: The things is, is that I’m the most hyper member of the band I think… the most Michelangelo-esque!
Doug: That’s a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference… not the painter!
Oh… I was kinda like Michelangelo was hyper?! I should have gotten that.
Doug: He was hyper while painting the Sistine Chapel?
Dave: I’m really hyper, but then when there is time off I’m quiet.
Tate: Jeremy, what is your random thing?
Jeremy: I don’t know! I’ve been trying to think of something. I’m a cabinet maker.
Dave: Something random about Jeremy is he creates a hunger in his clients. He has all these motivational things that he puts up in his room just keep himself motivated.
Doug: He makes promotional videos for companies. That’s a pretty random thing! Yes?
Sure! You are out on this summer tour with Seether, how is it going so far (we know it’s only been a few dates) and have you learned anything touring with seasoned veterans such as them? They seem to be the kings of non-stop touring.
Doug: They are really nice guys first of all. They are really professional.
Jeremy: Very professional!
Dave: It’s wonderful working with them, because a lot of time when you aren’t working with someone at that level you don’t get that kind of professionalism. So it’s refreshing for us to work with someone who really knows what they’re doing and their on their feet.
Doug: Theory of a Deadman was like that too though.
Can you tell us the significance of the album cover art?
Doug: The theme was “sink or swim” if I remember correctly.
Dave” Like a car crash goes over.
Tate: We were kind of visualizing that moment when you are in a car crash and you go off the bridge into water and there is that moment where you either need to start finding your way to the top or it’s going to take you under. So it’s kind of that decision making point.
Doug: If you listen to all the songs there’s a common thread and that is to just keep going. I think we’ve all had an experience with at least one person that is very dear to us where they just want to give up and that is terrible. Sometimes it’s over something legitimate, like a legitimate depression, and other times it’s over a relationship and something that went wrong. To see people at that point, it just takes the life out of you. We don’t want to paint the picture that life is always great, but we do want to say that there is always hope if you want to see it.
Tate: There is always going to be another day that you can wake up and choose what you are going to do with that.
In closing, we’re trying to make the perfect summer “mix tape”, I’d like each of you to tell me what song you would add to it – what are your favorite summer songs?
Doug: “Viva La Vida” – Coldplay!
Dave: MXPX – “Move to Bremerton”
Tate: Your Vegas – “In My Head”
Jeremy: When I think of summer I think of driving with all the windows down, wind blowing and just drive and drive. Hey! That can be my random thing! I love to drive!! Drive and think and get your head clear. There is a song on a soundtrack… It’s called “Finale” off the soundtrack for the movie “The Kingdom” by Danny Elfman. I would just drive around and blast that thing! …and that would be awesome!
Every summer Warped Tour rolls into town with it’s cast of merrymaking, music and shenanigans. For a music fan, it’s an all you can eat buffet of your favorite bands melting your faces off with their rock, metal, ska, pop, crowd-surfing goodness, call it what you will brand of music. Warped Tour has turned into more than just a music festival, it is now it’s own subculture with the bands on the tour making up their own self-sufficient community that seems to takes care of each other in the true sense of brotherhood (AND the occasional sisterhood!). It’s a lesson that could be learned by a lot of us about doing the things we do for the love of it, rather than for the paycheck.
This year we spent a whirlwind day at Warped Tour in Mansfield, MA catching up with bands, watching a lot of great music, and interviewing as many bands as we could between the tornado warnings and torrential downpours. In part 1 of our multi part Warped Tour coverage we bring you the comedic genius of Alex and Jack from All Time Low and We The Kings.
Interviewed by: Stacie Caddick Dowty | July 2008
Alex Gaskarth & Jack Barakat of All Time Low
What’s it like to be thrown into the music industry at such a young age? (Touring with guys that are 5-10 years older than you, learning what is legit in the industry and what isn’t…)
Alex: At first it’s a little bit overwhelming. I think as time as gone on, over the past two years, it’s become a little more normal for labels to snag bands when they are younger. I think there a lot of bands our age or even younger that are getting signed, and getting put on the road immediately after high school just like us. I think it’s going to become more of a regular thing, cause I think the sooner your start the better you are going to be at that prime time, when it’s time to actually go to that next level.
Jack: We’ve been dealing with the industry a lot, because we started our band like five years ago, and we got signed like three years into it. So we got in pretty early.
Alex: What he said…
I see that you are currently involved in a charity event, with an autographed guitar to benefit “More Than A Zodiac Sign” which benefits the American Cancer Society. What are some of your other favorite charity organizations that you are proud to be involved in and why?
Alex: One of the organizations that we’ve tried to have an affiliation with is “Keep A Breast”, because we really value breasts.
I bet you do!
Alex: …and we want as many people as possible, to keep them.
Jack: Also, To Write Love On Her Arms.
Alex: Yes To Write Love On Her Arms is another one. Invisible Children. It’s really cool being back on Warped Tour now, because a lot of these organizations we met on the tour last year. That is how we got to know these people and what they are all about, so it’s cool to be back out here and support them with the knowledge of what they do.
What are you thoughts on cell-certs? (Fans calling fans that can’t attend shows.)
Alex: That’s awesome! It’s bad ass!
Jack: That happens?
Alex: The craziest thing now is that you can do the video chat on some phones! People are video taping the band playing and it’s going live to this other person. It’s definitely a new age!
I’ve been a part of one that was being broadcast over Yahoo chat, and we had people listening in Sweden and India.
Jack: No more talking shit about Sweden or India…
Alex: We have to watch our mouths now…
Adam Lavine has said that every band has an attention whore (someone has to be!). Who in the band fits this description?
Alex: It’s me.
Alex: Yeah, no doubt!
Jack: I love Maroon 5!
I see you guys are pranksters…
Jack: More like gangsters! Arghhhhhh….chika chika yeah!
What are some of the best pranks you have pulled, or had pulled on you, on tour?
Alex: We killed We The Kings but they were resurrected.
Jack: That was a funny prank.
Um, I was gonna say I just talked to them!
Jack: We were like ‘Ha, now you’re dead!’
Alex: We went on stage for the last song and just cut all their heads off.
Jack: Everyone was like “Oh My God!” – then a few seconds later their heads came back on.
Alex: Someone shit on our van. It was our old merch guy, and it was his last day working for us. So to commemorate the occassion he took a shit.
Jack: So we killed him and his family.
Alex: We beheaded him too, but they weren’t resurrected, we left them.
Being that you guys never yourselves too seriously…
Jack: What makes you say that? How dare you!
What about fanfiction scares you?
(Ed. Note – Q: Wtf is fanfiction? A: Fanfiction is Fans writing fiction about band members getting in on with other fans or bands. That’s the official Websters Dictionary definition at least.)
Alex: It’s not so much that it scares me. It’s that it arouses me to the point that I question my own sexuality. I’ve has sex with so many other people in bands that it scares me.
Jack: It’s awkward. Like “Hey Travis” from We The Kings, “How you doing man?” Uhhhh…
Alex: I’ve fucked Panic At The Disco, I’ve fucked Cobra Starship, I’ve fucked Fall Our Boy…
Jack: So now when we meet those people it’s awkward.
Alex: It’s like so… I’ve fucked you in theory, then their weirded out and it’s awkward for the rest of the day.
ATL Live at Warped Tour 2008 – Photo by Stacie
Was anyone else besides Rian a High School marching band guy?
Alex: He was in the middle school band. He played the idiot. Rian was like Lead Snare. He was bad ass! Rian was Nick Cannon!
Jack: Nick Cannon is hilarious!
Now that you’ve been touring bigger venues over the past year, hitting Warped this summer, do you still go home and practice in the basement?
Alex: No! Mostly because we were eating all the food in our parents houses and they were like “Please just get the fuck out!” No, I think the big thing is that we tour constantly enough now that practice is just the first couple days of tour. You just kinda get into it and get into the swing of things. Once you’ve done it that many times, you really don’t forget it.
Jack: When you are as good as us, you don’t really need practice.
Alex: I once learned to play Eruption with a blindfold on and no fingers. Eruption is an Eddie Van Halen solo for those of you who don’t know. It wails!
Jack: I need to shave my pubes.
Where did THAT come from? That was random!
I read that as youngsters you were into hip hop and top 40 stuff like Backstreet Boys, is that true? What turned you into the direction of playing pop-punk?
Alex: Jack turned me in that direction.
Jack: Yeah I was into Top 40 and Blink-182 was in the Top 40 at the time. I got Alex into Blink by…
Jack: I got Alex into Blink by having him listen to the “Mark, Tom and Travis Show” which is their live CD. After that he was like “Wow, that’s the best band ever!” and we were like “Let’s start a band like that!” and we were like “ok!”
Alex: That is exactly how it happened. Yeah, before we hit puberty our voices were really…now we all sound like Barry White.
Jack: Hey baby.
Do you have any special plans while you are on Warped to hobnob/chin wag with anyone in particular? Or is there any particular band you are excited to see perform?
Hobnob and chin wag…
Alex: I’m not going to hobnob it with anyone! What are you saying Madame?! I’m going to hobnob the shit out of Gym Class Heros.
Jack: Gym Class, Cobra, We The Kings, Every Avenue, The Audition, Just Surrender *big exaggerated deep breath* Set Your Goals… I think that’s it.
Alex: I want to kiss Katy Perry!
Jack: That’s a very bold statement sir, because Travis is dating her, so we may want to lay low.
Alex: I want to kiss Travis as well.
In closing we’re making a summer mixtape..
Alex: a laser… Magma… Mix Tape…
..from the bands on Warped, what’s one song from any band on the tour that you think should be included?
Alex: Is Tyga on Warped Tour?
Alex: Damn because I was going to say Coconut Juice would be a great summer song. Lets go with Skyway Avenue by We The Kings.
Do you have any particular song you would like to include my friend?
Jack: No… Damn it! I’m really bad off the top of my head. Cobra Starship! Paparazzi!
(Alex and Jack bust out into song, singing Paparazzi)
(Travis Clark on vocals/guitar, Hunter Thomsen on guitar/vocals, Drew Thomsen on bass & Danny Duncan on drums)
It’s been said you burst on the scene almost out of “thin air”. Set the record strait tell us how long you’ve actually been together and how hard you’ve worked to get here today.
Travis: The air was really over all pretty thick though the years. We started playing in High School to get girls and stuff, so we’ve been doing this for four and a half – five years now.
Danny: We still haven’t gotten it yet…
Hunter: Yeah essentially we burst on the scene in a sense of getting signed and stuff like that, but not to say we started the band yesterday. I think what it is is that we finally have the chance to show everyone what we’re about on this record and get it pushed, and people are having the opportunity to hear it. That’s why people are having the misconception of us just coming on the scene.
Travis: We still have a long way to go.
Danny: The moon!
Travis: I don’t know the moon is really hard to get to.
The Album (which is self titled) peaked at #3 on the Top Heatseekers chart on Billboard.com. “Check Yes Juliet” is on the Pop 100 and Billboard Hot 100! It has become a summer single of sorts. I hear it just as much as “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry. What do to attribute the success of this song to?
Travis: I think the song just came about at the right time, when there wasn’t anything like this song out there. Like for Katy Perry, there was no song like that, and with “Check Yes Juliet” I don’t know… it’s a good song, I think it just hit people in the right way for a good summer song. It’s definitely a party single.
How important was it for you to sign to an indie record label?
Drew: Very important.
Travis: We didn’t want to get on this major label that put our CD behind every other one that they were presenting on the shelves. S-Curve records literally had like no records; they had a past history of doing Joss Stone and Tom Jones and Fountains of Wayne. They had a really good rap sheet. When they came to us they were like “We’re really going to push your band.” Out of all these other labels, we thought they were really cool. They were one of the labels that really listened to what we had to say about certain stuff, where as some of the majors that we talked to were like “you need to be here at this time and do this.”
Take us through a favorite track or two and how those songs came about. What is the writing process like for you?
Travis: We kind of remember everything because it was such a monumental period in our lives, because it was like “Holy crap we’re doing a real record!” We had an intro to the song Secret Valentine that’s on the record and it was a piano intro, and they took the piano intro out, and we put it in the bridge. Now if the song is our next single, like we want it to be, hopefully we’ll put the piano intro back in. Then I can bring a piano on stage and play.
You play piano?
Travis: I do, I’ve been playing since I was four. The writing process is usually, I’ll come up with an acoustic song and I’ll take it to the guys and everyone puts their input on it and pieces everything together.
Hunter: Another song, “This Is Our Town” ends the record and we’ve had that song for a long time, probably two years now. When we were doing the record we went to the producers and said “We’ve had this song for a long time, and it really means a lot to us, it’s about our hometown and how we grew up and what we do.” And they listened to it one time through and were like “Don’t change anything, we’re putting it on the record!” I think that meant a lot to us. Where we were raised and we get to show that.
Travis: …and we had too much pride, had they said “No” we probably would have been “Screw you, we’re not doing the record.” It was that big of a song to us. It was the only ballad that we wrote, so we were that determined to get it on the record.
Before Warped you were in the UK, how was it? Tell me a little bit about the tour, what it’s like playing in the UK, and the general vibe there.
Travis: Drew was sick the entire time because he’s allergic to sulfur , and the water has sulfate in it. So he stayed hydrated on cold Coors Light.
Drew: I don’t drink light beer.
Travis: The kids there are incredible because with all the bands that come over, they maybe do it twice a year. All the shows are sold out, and everyone is so stoked to be there. It’s weird to think that kids in America get to see their favorite bands like twenty times in a year, and maybe take it for granted, and these kids really appreciate it.
So here you are on your first Warped Tour… playing ALL the dates. How’s it been so far?
Hunter: It’s been so awesome, this has been a dream for us, it truly has. When we were growing up together and starting to play music together we’d all go as a group to Warped Tour back in St. Pete…in Bradenton. We’d always sneak in and pull up and say “Oh yeah, we’re playing today” when we really weren’t and they’d be like ‘Ok, go in right here.” So now we’re actually playing, and we get to roll with all the bands, and meet all these awesome, awesome bands. We get to hang out everyday. It’s one of the coolest tours possibly ever!
Travis: It’s like band summer camp!
What follows this?
Danny: We go out on a co-headlining tour with The Academy Is…and it’s actually going to go over to the UK from September 13th to the 21st.
Travis: Drew is going to bring a lot of water. Then we come back and on October 1st and start a two month US tour.
So I forgot to ask, while you are here, is there anyone here, now that you are on the bill as a band, and not just fans coming to Warped that you are so excited to connect with?
Drew: Against Me!
Travis: Story of the Year, because they’ve been on the past three bills on Warped Tour and we saw them every time we came! Now we’re seeing them from the side stage.
Hunter: They were definitely a true inspiration for our music and our stage presence as well.
Travis: It’s like this year we’re playing soccer with them and stuff where two years ago we were just sprinting to stages. Also, Andrew was with the tour for like three weeks, and we grew up listening to Drive Thru bands like Something Corporate. They may not have had an influence on our music but we definitely respect it. Tom DeLonge is here from Blink-182, so there is really a lot of cool people out here that we are totally stoked to see.
You guys really haven’t had any time off… because you’ve been on the go since the winter time correct?
Hunter: At least! I think last year we started touring like the second week in June when everything started to pick up, and not really getting to go home too much.
Travis: It’s not even like straight through we get like two days off here or there. Hunter and I usually do radio shows…
Danny: We go to the beach and send pictures back, and tell them how wonderful it is.
So when you finally DO get some time off, what are you looking forward to the most?
Hunter: I’m going to go to the beach, put a towel down, drink a couple beers and pass out in the sun.
Travis: I would say for all of us, because we grew up on Bradenton, we miss Guppy’s Hamburger Shop on the Island that has the hamburgers we all love. We miss two for one Applebee’s experience. Just going back to a normal life.
Hunter: Our crew back home! Everyone back home has been pushing us for so long and always been a part of our lives and now that we are getting success they just flip out any time we are played on the radio, or seen on TV. It’s so awesome to come back home and we have above and beyond respect for them. They’ve been pushing us from the start.
I think the first time I saw you guys was on Spring Break on MTV, and I thought “I think I’m liking them!”
Travis: We were sooo nervous! What happened was that we were sound-checking and they had the whole place closed off. Then some kid jumped the rope and ran towards the stage, and everybody followed. We were like “Holy crap, here’s like 2,000 people running towards us right now!” We were just sound checking and we were like “Oh My God!!”
Do you have your scooters out here with you?
Danny: We’ve got four wheelers.
Travis: We didn’t bring the scooters because Drew lost the key.
Danny: Edit that… that didn’t happen!
Hunter: We’ve graduated to four wheels.
But, are you wearing the helmets? Lets face it guys… you have to be good role models now!
Travis: Well, we do have a lot of hair.
Drew: We have so much hair helmets aren’t necessary.
In closing we’re making a summer mix tape from the bands on Warped, what’s one song from any band on the tour that you think should be included?
Travis: Just Surrender – Tell Me Everything.
Drew: Anything by Swayze!
Hunter: Story Of The Year – And The Hero Will Drown
Danny: The Academy Is… About A Girl (Because they just debuted that song on Warped Tour!)