Features Interviews Broadway Calls

Interviews: Broadway Calls

Scene Point Blank: You recently played a slew of headlining gigs on the Westcoast. I recently read that you don't feel as though you're ready to be more than support on this side of North America. How come?

Ty: We just haven't spent enough time over here. It took us a long time to get to where we are on the Westcoast and we're just now feeling comfortable playing headlining shows. We've spent a fraction of that time here.

Scene Point Blank: The show you played at the Knitting Factory in LA has been well documented online, as have some of the other smaller gigs you've played. How do they compare to something like tonight's crowd of a couple thousand?

Josh: Well there is no barricade. Usually we're on the floor or hanging out with the kids. Here the kids think that we're something different, or that we're a big band. They seem to think it's hard to talk to us. With the smaller shows, we just hang out. They're all our friends.

Ty: Big or small, no matter what size the show, it's going to be more fun if people are singing along to your songs instead of just waiting for the next band to go on. There is definitely an eighth of the amount of kids at our shows, but those are more fun for us right now because they're there to see us as opposed to just wanting you to be done.

Matt: To some extent we get to hang out. There are always some kids who will come up to me at merch and will want to talk. Whether it's that they've seen us before or they know that we're not some kind of untouchable rock stars.

Scene Point Blank: I know that you had befriended The Gaslight Anthem boys while doing dates on the Warped Tour, but when playing with bands like The Offspring or Alkaline Trio is there any aspect of intimidation? Do the people in those bands feel approachable?

Josh: If they approach us I'll talk to them, or say good job or nice set, but I tend to just keep to myself.

Matt: To go out of your way and try and talk to people who everyone else is trying to talk to?it's a bit much.

Josh: Sometimes they'll come talk to us, though. Noodles from The Offspring would come hang out every night.

Ty: It depends on the band, too. If I'm a fan of the band I'll want to get to know them more than if it's just some people we're playing with. Alkaline Trio is a really good example of that. The first night we ever played with them I was on them like a total fan boy, but now we're friends. It's really cool.

Scene Point Blank: I had the chance to catch up with Matt during the Heavens tour. He's a really nice guy. The crowds that you've been playing to have been extremely varied considering the bands you've toured with. Does that ever change the way you perform a set?

Ty: I don't think so.

Josh: We just do what we do.

Ty: If we're playing with a bunch of hardcore bands we might do a Kid Dynamite song or something. We're not showmen. We just do what we do. I prefer bands that are like that. I hate the cheesy rock star talking on stage type stuff. You look at a band like Against Me! who just get up and play their set and say thanks at the end of the night. That's really cool.

Scene Point Blank: The release of Good Views, Bad News has seen you doing a lot of different press and with it has come a lot more exposure and attention. How do you react to that? What are your expectations for this band?

Ty: I don't know what the expectations are. I guess just to stay happy and feel like you're making progress with every record or every tour. You just hope for the best. All we have to do is write the songs and play the shows. We've got a great label and great management to help us out. That's our job.

Josh: When we first started our expectations were just to make a van payment. That was all we wanted. We had another band [the defunct hardcore act: Countdown to Life] who were full-time and decided to slow down. We had just bought this thing and we didn't want to work at a pizza place. We figured if we could just make five hundred dollars a month we'd be happy. Then it snowballed.

Ty: It's kind of getting to the point where since we're on tour all the time it's kind of hard to grasp anything, but we see the progress. The press since the album has come out has been crazy. I'm bad with keeping up with emails.

Scene Point Blank: Is it true that Ty and Josh met when one of you hit the other in the face with a baseball?

Ty: We didn't go to the same school, but we played on the same little league team. Josh said that he could throw a drop ball. I didn't know what that was, but I said I'd play catch. He threw the ball and it bounced off the ground and hit me in the face. I went to school the next day with a fat lip. We're still friends though.

Josh: Our baseball team ruled.

Ty: We won the championship.

Scene Point Blank: And quit the year after, right?

Josh: Well we had football the next year. We were undefeated in that, too. We quit the year after.

Scene Point Blank: How did you make the switch from sports to punk rock?

Ty: We didn't like playing. We just played because all our friends played. When you're twelve years old that's what you do. It was pretty easy to realize that that was not for me and I'd rather play guitar.

Scene Point Blank: You've toured and played with a lot of hardcore bands during your time as a band. Why is it that those kids seem to have such an appreciation for what you do?

Ty: I asked my friend in Portland who was one of the first hardcore guys I knew. He's in his thirties and has been around for a long time and he said that it's cause hardcore kids can see through the bullshit most of the time and we get up on stage and play our songs. That seems honest as compared to a cheesy pop punk band.

Scene Point Blank: The Adeline signing and now the deal with Side One Dummy were big steps for you guys. Given the bands you've been playing with and the growing success has there been any courting from a major? Would you be open to that?

Ty: There hasn't been. I'd be open to anything though. I'd never of thought we'd be on Side One Dummy and here we are. I'd never say never to anything.

Matt: I think it depends on where we are as a band. I think it isn't very smart to jump ahead without a solid fan base that isn't going to turn their backs on you. I think we need to develop that before we could even consider something like that.

Ty: Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Against Me! is a really solid example of having a decent fan base who flakes out on you before even hearing your next record.

Scene Point Blank: I'm guilty of that. Those are the last of my questions. Do you want to plug the upcoming tour with The Bouncing Souls?

Ty: Sure! Bayside is playing, too. I think that's the perfect tour for us. We're really excited to be doing it. Thanks for the interview.


Words: Graham | Graphics: Matt

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Words by Graham Isador on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

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Posted by Graham Isador on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

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