Interview by Alexa & Mandy
June 13, 2007
Estrella: Could you please state your name and what you do in the band.
Alan: Hi, my name is Alan and I play bass.
Nick: I’m Nick and I play drums in the band.
Estrella: Could one of you give me a rundown of how all the members met?
Alan: So me and Caleb, we sort of grew up playing music together ever since about junior high. I actually used to play guitar and he used to play bass, until he got way better than me at guitar, so then I played bass, but that’s a whole different story. We’ve been playing in various bands with all different sorts of genres for a long time.
Estrella: What previous bands were you in?
Alan: So no one’s going to remember the bands, since they were nobody bands. Me and Caleb were in a band called The Destitute, then we were in a band called Constance. The Destitute was like rock and roll, Constance was like really light pop emo, like Dashboard with better lyrics. And then we formed a metal band when we met Kevin. Me and Kevin cofronted it, like dual vocals and it was more about the performance then it was about the music. We had projectors on stage and auxilary procussion sets, fire breathing, really crazy crazy stuff. Nick was in a little band called October Fall for a little while until he left because…
Estrella: When did you leave, recently?
Nick: I was only in the band for about a year.
Alan: Well yeah, so we met Nick in high school. Me, Caleb, and Kevin met Nick in high school and we weren’t really all that great of friends with him in high school, we were good friends, not great friends. After graduation, after me and Caleb both graduated, during Nick’s senior year we just became really great friends. Eventually, took a little acoustic project that me, Caleb, and Kevin were working on and we turned it into a full band thing with a girl named Kerri, who unforunately had to leave the band because of personal reasons. So we met Alida through a mutual friend, really good friend, and she’s been great and we love her a lot and she’s perfect for this band.
Estrella: How has your tour been with the Audition?
Nick: Great! It’s been so great. This was actually the first time I got to meet some of the guys. I’ve known Joe for about four years now, but we were never really acquaintances, I had just seen him around type.
Nick: No, no, not lurking. I had actually played shows with them when they had just first started out. The tour’s been great. Along with The Audition, there’s New Atlantic, Monty Are I, and The Graduate, who are all great guys too, so it’s been a great tour.
Estrella: If you were to describe your music to someone, how would you describe it?
Alan: Well I would go with the route of like a pop rock, lot of harmonies, a big focal point on the CD. There’s a lot of straight up rock and roll and a lot of melodic parts. There’s a wide range of influences, it definitely touches on a different a lot of genres including like folk, pop, old rock, classic rock.
Estrella: Who are some of your personal influences as a band.
Alan: Early 90’s and the mid/late 90’s as well. Pretty much all of 90’s music. Bands like Mineral, Cap’n Jazz, The Promise Ring, Appleseed Cast for sure.
Estrella: Sunny Day?
Alan: Sunny Day Real Estate for sure. Of course, who isn’t influenced by the classics – Bob Dylan, The Beatles? stuff like that. It’s impossible to not be influenced by that stuff. We love that music. We are all big fans of that kind of stuff.
Estrella: Who are you currently listening to?
Estrella: It’s okay if it’s Justin Timberlake.
Alan: The new Justin Timberlake album is really good.
Nick: You go first.
Alan: I’ve been listening to a lot of Appleseed Cast and Motown, especially Marvin Gaye, for sure. Pretty much whatever Nick plays in the van, I listen to. I’ve been listening to Mineral a lot. I’ve been going on an emo kick lately. Like a 1997 emo kick, from that era.
Nick: I’ve kind of just been listening to everything from Haste The Day to HelloGoodbye to The Beatles. I don’t know, it’s a wide variety. I can only fit so much on my 20GB Ipod and we have long drives and I kind of have to play anything and everything to just keep it new. Being on tour, I listen to a lot of different music.
Alan: I want to mention also the fact that I really like to listen to music that’s geographically relevant. If I’m driving through North Carolina, I listen to a song by James Taylor. If I’m in Portland, Oregon, I’m listening to Elliott Smith. If I’m going through Texas, I’ll be listening to some… Willie Nelson maybe. I don’t know. I’ve been listening to a lot of Appalachian music too. Anything with a banjo and a mandolin.
Nick: Detroit… Eminem.
Alan: Detroit – Eminem, that’s good.
Nick: Or Insane Clown Posse.
Estrella: When it came to signing with Victory, how did that come about? You are somewhat the exact opposite of what Victory has signed in the past (other than Straylight Run, The Forecast) ?
Alan: Victory’s in like our backyard, you know? We’re in Chicago, they’re in Chicago. Chicago band, Chicago label, it just made sense. We created a buzz in the city and they heard it and we showcased for them and they loved it and we’ve been with them ever since October.
Nick: October 31st, Halloween!
Nick: We went into the office in the morning, way too early in the morning, and signed a contract on Halloween and then I went trick or treating.
Estrella: What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t in a band?
Alan: Before we were in a band and right as we were starting to get together, I was actually enrolled in a school in Chicago called Moody Bible Institute where you learn about the bible and stuff like that, I would probably be on my way to being a youth advisor or an overseas missionary trying to help in Africa or something like that.
Nick: I’m just going to answer this honestly, I would honestly probably be saving up money and just do what I’m doing now just like traveling, I don’t know. That and living in Tennessee.
Estrella: Have you gained any good tour stories while you’ve been out with the Audition?
Nick: I’ve gained a lot of weight.
Alan: We’re really poor on this tour. We got thrown on last minute and we don’t really make money at shows, we have to sell merch in order to buy enough gas to get to the next venue, so we have a lot of stories because we get to stay at a new person’s house every night.
Nick: Never a hotel. Unless, that’s thrown in the mix with the person who’s putting us up for the night.
Alan: Someone sometime, someone’s parents owned a bed and breakfast and they let us stay there for the night.
Nick: Yeah, they gave us to free rooms and breakfast in the morning, it was awesome.
Alan: It was a great experience. In New Orleans? We stayed at the biggest house I’ve ever even seen. The biggest house I’ve ever lied my eyes on. Like I got lost every hour because it was that big. So yeah, we have a lot of crazy stories, a lot of michief.
Nick: Yeah, but we won’t get into that.
Estrella: Sketchiest town that you’ve ever played?
Alan: On this tour or ever?
Nick: I’ve got two. Milwaukee, we went to a bad side of it. I didn’t even think of it being that bad but we got into a bad part. People were telling us which side of the street to walk on. Even though I love Milwaukee, we just happened to be in a bad part. Then also St. Louis, again I love St. Louis.
Nick: Yeah Nelly, represent! The venue, I’m not going to say what venue it was but we had CDs shipped to the venue and they came out missing at the end of the night and we lost a lot of money that night.
Alan: I’ll tell you what venue it is, it’s the Creepy Crawl. The Creepy Crawl in St. Louis. Don’t ever book a show there. All you bands out there, don’t ever book a show out there because they’ll steal your stuff.
Nick: But the kids are great.
Alan: Yeah, the kids are great but not the venue. Play St. Louis because St. Louis kids are crazy and the show was awesome because of the kids, but avoid the Creepy Crawl.
Estrella: Favorite town that you’ve ever played in?
Nick: I’ll answer this one, you can add on. First off, every town we’ve played on this tour has been phenomeonal. All the kids, every single kid, we’re a very intimate band, we like to go and meet all of the kids.
Alan: That’s where we’ll be right after this interview. Merch and talking to kids.
Nick: Every single venue, if I had to spit out a couple – Albuquerque, NM was a great show.
Alan: Unexpectedly, but it was a great show.
Nick: All the way from Portland to San Diego, the west coast and the east coast has been awesome too. Every show but I love being in Chicago, hometown. I’m already hearing that presales are out the roof for House Of Blues in Chicago.
Estrella: Your show in Philadelphia is almost sold out.
Alan: Is it?
Alan: I’m really psyched for Philadelphia.
Estrella: Just to clear up the rumors, I’ve been hearing many stories about whether or not Alida is permanent, would you care to comment on your situation with Alida?
Nick: That’s not true.
Alan: That’s absolutely not true.
Nick: She’s so permanent.
Alan: And we love her and we’re so glad she’s in the band. She’s a breath of fresh air. She’s great. We love her like our little sister, except sometimes we love her like our Mommy because we all miss our Mom’s and she takes care of us.
Nick: Yeah, she put a band aid on me the other night.
Estrella: Your dates you’ve been playing actually don’t have you listed for playing with the Audition in Baltimore, MD date (which is conveniently where we’re from), what’s the situation with that?
Nick: That goes along the lines of, we got thrown on this tour. The Baltimore show runs on the lines of we got thrown onto the tour a little late and some of the venues just don’t have time for us on the bill, so we just go to the next stop. Most of the times, we stop by the venue and play an acoustic set anyways.
Estrella: Best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn.
Alan: How about that Halloween show? Remember that, in Wheaton? It was a great show…I was a skeleton, that was my favorite. One year, I was a 3 legged man and that won a competition.
Nick: I don’t really have any. I don’t know.
Estrella: Best subjects in high school.
Nick: I fucking hated high school.
Estrella: That clears best and worst then.
Nick: I’m just to be glad to be out of that hellhole.
Alan: For me, Photography class. I like History a lot and I like English a lot.
Estrella: Worst subject in high school.
Alan: Math. Algebra sucks.
Estrella: If you were stranded on a desert island and you could take three things to take with you, what would they be?
Alan: My copy of Infinity On High…
Nick: You just opened a whole new door for me.
Alan: I would bring…
Nick: What 3 Fall Out Boy albums should I bring?
Alan: I would bring my Cute Is What We Aim For hoodie.
Nick: Yeah, with the anarchy sign over the band name.
Alan: And I would bring my copy of Seventeen magazine… with Pete Wentz on the cover!
Nick: Oh man, I would bring well your hoodie, so I would have to bring my Clandestine hoodie. Actually no clothes, I would just bring a twinkie.
Estrella: Lifetime supply?
Alan: No, just one.
Nick: Just one. I would bring a twinkie, probably a bottle of Jack Daniels.
Estrella: Just one?
Alan: Just one.
Nick: No, probably a few. I would need a few.
Estrella: A nice supply.
Nick: Yes, a nice big box of Jack. Then last, I would not take any clothes because no one would be with me.
Alan: Your birthday suit?
Nick: Yeah, my birthday suit, I’d be totally naked.
Estrella: What can we expect from you guys in the future?
Alan: We have some serious tours set up for later. You can expect us to tour like crazy and you can expect us to write a lot more music, that we’re really proud. We already have a whole lot of songs in the works for the next album because we’re really anxious to get Alida’s voice on an album.
Estrella: Is there any bands that you would like to plug into this interview that you don’t feel are getting enough attention?
Alan: There’s this little band called Zookeeper. It’s Chris Simpson from Mineral, it’s his new project, it’s a lot more folk oriented. It’s absolutely great. You can find it on Myspace at www.myspace.com/zookeepersworld, so you should check that out.
Estrella: Any closing statements.
Alan: Wake up and rage!!!
Nick: We’re 1997, listen to our music and come to shows and have fun and talk to us!