How did you guys get so interested in music and becoming a band?
All of us pretty much from day one, this is something we all had our hearts set on to do. We decided to do it and here we are.
You guys have been together for about three years.
We've been together for about six or seven years.
You guys just came out with a record called The Autumn Effect. What three songs off that record do you think represent your band to somebody who is just discovering you guys for the first time?
Honestly there's not one song I can pick out. I have to say all of them. The whole record as a whole. People these days are so jaded on buying albums based on just hearing a song off the radio. I find myself in the same boat. We try to write our record so that you're not just getting a couple of singles and a bunch of filler. I've got to say the whole record. I can't say that one song is going to represent the whole band.
You guys put a lot of thought into the songs you write. What do you like to write about?
Just basically life experiences. This record is written about everything I'd say happened to us in the past four or five years. "Wasteland" probably is the oldest song on that record. That song was written probably three years ago. Some of the songs were written when we were rehearsing for the record and then some of them were written I guess three years ago. So everything that's happened in between.
I like the part where you guys were talking about your song "Prey" where you said that there are people in L.A. who drive cars worth more than some of the houses in Tennessee.
Right. That's for sure.
Why do you think people are so materialistic like that?
It's just a totally different part of the world. L.A. is in a league of its own as far as being so different than any other city in the United States. I can't speak for anybody else but the materialism is maybe something they're into or maybe it's something that makes them feel better about themselves. I don't know but I don't understand it. I'll tell you that much.
I never have either. My dad is Native American and one thing that was impressed on me is that it's not material things that make the world go around.
Right, exactly. I think a lot of people fill up these voids in their lives with materialistic things and at the end of the day, it's not really going to make it any better. If you can't feel good about yourself, you're going to just buy yourself.
How long did it take to put the record together and tell us a little bit about the person who produced it.
We did a record with Josh Abraham and we started it I guess in late February. It took a couple of months but in choosing Josh and working with Josh it was a great experience for us because he let us make the record that we wanted to make. It wasn't one of those situations where you go in and sit in front of this producer who's like "this is how it's going to be and my word is the final say." We came into this and we got signed off the songs we had already written. He was there to throw us input when we needed it. Most of the time he just let us take the reins and steer. Ryan Williams, the guy who engineered, was incredible at the same time. He was just as big a contributor as anybody else on the record so we always give that guy big props.
I think it's cool that you can go in and do the record the way you want it done. People always tell me about these producers who want everything their way. I'm thinking that if you don't do the record the way you want it to be then it doesn't really represent your band.
Exactly and that's the perfect example in this day and age of so many bands. You open up the inside of CD booklets and read who wrote what. Half the time it's one of the producers or a guy who came in and helped them write songs. It's like the record label has a bunch of puppets who play a bunch of other people's songs. You're going to get big shot producers and big shot songwriters and then have them write songs for people who can't do it themselves. Personally it makes me want to puke. I would never put out the music we've created if we hadn't done it ourselves.
These songs are about your lives, not about the life of some producer.
Grabbing some jackass Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter whose written for country artists and pop artists and metal artists and whatever. I don't get it. I'll never get it. These people are trying to make a quick buck with these bands and trying to write stuff that they think is going to be and the keyword here is think, it's not writing from the heart. No one said that you couldn't write from the heart anymore and have people not get into it. I think that's one of the most gratifying things that we've seen with what we've done. We did write from the heart and people were getting it. People are really getting into the music and digging deeper into the record and us as a band as well. I think there's something to believe in there and they're substance. Not just watered down crap that you normally hear on the radio.
You guys said you wanted people to think and to feel emotions again. I like that because I think that people are just so totally robotic these days.
Oh yes, very robotic.
It's like "okay, I need an opinion on something so I'm going to watch Fox News and I'm going to get my opinion" instead of actually sitting there and digging into shit. I think it's so weird how people just believe anything someone tells them so they don't have to think about it themselves.
True. My girlfriend and I were sitting there yesterday watching Dr. Phil just standing by. He's giving advice and all this crap on people's relationships and their marital relationships. There are these people out there who are like well Dr. Phil said it so it must be true. Or Oprah said it. People believe all this stuff these people are saying and the way that our songs are written and the way that Jesse writes lyrics, you do have to read into it and it's in a way that you can get your own interpretation out of the song. It's not just him preaching and telling you something or some guy talking about his girlfriend cheated on him and they broke up and he's pissed off and that's the end of the song. It's like think. It doesn't have to be so dumbed down. People aren't stupid. Let people read into it.
You guys were on tour with Mudvayne and Sevendust. I covered the show in Dallas. You guys put on a really, really good show for being an early opening act. You guys did a great job. How did that tour go?
It went great. We're out with two heavy hitters. It's like Sevendust and Mudvayne. You got to get up and bring your A game. We would do the same if we were playing with fucking Collective Soul. We don't really think about that type of stuff and going "damn man, we're on tour with these really big bands." Just get up there and do what we do and that's all you can do. We give 150 percent. If you don't see us sweating our asses off and falling down by the end of the show, then we're going to kick our own asses after we get off stage. We're all going to give 100,000 percent at every show. On that tour we were one of the lighter bands. We were the lightest band on the bill. You can't let that shine through in your performance because people are going to pick up on it. Especially a heavier audience like that, they're going to eat you alive. We're not going to be scared to play with whoever whenever. We're going to get up there and do what we do and people either like it or they don't. You can't win over everybody and that's not our intention. If you don't like it, cool. If you do, great.
I think you went over really well.
Yeah, it was a great crowd. Texas is always really good. It's like a rock staple in the United States for us. It's great every time we go through there and we've been through there a bunch and the people have been great. The tour was an amazing success. It was great for all of us. We're big fans of both Sevendust and Mudvayne. We were like little kids on the side of the stage watching them every night. It was really, really good. We're just looking forward to get back out on the road in the New Year.
I was so thrilled with Mudvayne because they had the makeup on. That was cool. I love that band. The last time I saw them they didn't do the makeup so that was a real treat this time because I wasn't expecting it. Your record made number one on the Active Rock Radio chart.
Yeah, here we signed these contracts with Universal about a year ago this month. We signed last December so it's cool. We're all sitting wondering where we're going to be a year from now and here it is a year from now and we have the number one single on Active Rock Radio. Top 10 on alternative and we just sold 12,500 records last week. It's nuts. It's enough to be up there on these charts and people are looking at number one and wondering who the hell is this. Then number two is Disturbed, Shinedown, and all these other bands that are better, bigger rock acts. Like Nine Inch Nails and System Of A Down, huge bands are below us. Not to say that we're on that caliber but it's neat to be up there in the ranks with those bands.
Everything is just beginning.
It is just beginning I know. That's what everybody keeps saying.
What are you guys doing after the New Year?
We are actually going to shoot a new video for "Wasteland" in January and we're going to do Headbanger's Ball mid-January and we're going to do Daily Download on Fuse in mid-January as well. All these things are around January 11 or 12 I think. Our drummer and singer were sick and there was a lot of consternation going on the whole time. We don't want to cancel any shows and it's hard to recuperate on the road when you do get sick. We mainly just wanted to let everyone get back to health and we want to be 100 percent heading out in February because we're going to headline in February and starting in March we're going to be out with Korn.
That ought to go real well. Any other thoughts or comments?
I'll be looking forward to seeing everybody back on the road and thanks for believing in us.