Dave: Me, Julien, and Rich our singer met in college. We all went to college together. Julien is actually from Canada. I'm from Massachusetts outside of Boston and Rich is from New Jersey. We met there. Julien and I lived in the same hallway and I played drums and he played guitar. We just decided to start a band. We did the cover band thing and we played on Thursday nights for beer. We did that for fun. Rich moved back to Jersey and he was around the New York area a lot. He met actually Steve who is our manager and they initially went down and brought us down there and that's when we started the band four years ago.
What were you guys aspiring to be in college?
Julien: Just graduate. I was studying business and all sorts of stuff.
Dave: We wanted to make music our life. We knew in college that we were going to try to make it a goal. We just had to wait for the right opportunity which we got. I was selling advertising right out of college and I got a phone call from Richie and he asked me if I wanted to move to New York and do the band full time and I was like oh, yeah. It's a no brainer.
At least you guys have something to fall back on.
Dave: Yeah, that's what we tell our parents. Except Matty. We met Matty when we moved down to New York and he was an intern to a major company and he actually left college to do this full time.
So he didn't graduate.
Dave: No, not yet. He's got seven years to finish and he has a 10 year leave of absence.
Julien: He left with one semester to go.
Dave: No, I think he had a full year. He had a pretty big semester. He was a vocal major at NYU. He had to do a lot of recitals and it got to be too much for him.
He's got plenty of practice now.
Julien: Exactly. He's doing great. He's getting a well of experience.
How long have you guys been out on the road?
Julien: We've been out since last summer and July 31st is the last date on this tour. We've been on this tour since August '04 really. In August '04 we did our first tour and then we did another leg in spring of '05 and then we've been out constantly since July of last year. We were talking about that the other day. We had maybe a week off or something since then and we've just pounded the pavement.
So you live in here.
Dave: Yeah, it's a mobile home. It's our home everywhere. This one is definitely an upgrade. We had a van then a truck then this thing.
The van. Do you have any bad van stories?
Dave: No, not really. It just stunk really bad because we were so close to each other all the time.
Julien: Now this stinks real bad. It doesn't matter how big it is.
You can always get some air freshener.
Dave: Febreze is the savior.
Everyone I talk to has atrocious van stories like their van blew up.
Julien: We had some problems with it like it was underpowered. It didn't have a big enough engine to pull our stuff. We'd be going up hills in the Carolinas, you're going 30 miles an hour and you're shaking and praying you get up the hill. So going downhill, you have to speed up to 80 or 85 miles per hour so you could make it over the next hill.
Especially if you go around that one mountain range that takes you into Cherokee, NC. You guys have put out your debut record. Tell me a bit about that.
Dave: We've just been supporting it for the last few months. It came out on September 27 and we recorded it in June of last year. We recorded it with Paul Ebersold. He's actually a Grammy Award winning producer so it was a privilege for us. We had a blast. We actually have 10 songs on the album but we actually recorded 11. We cut one track and stuck with 10. We took the best 10.
That's kind of hard to do when you record a lot of songs. Trying to decide which ones will stay and which ones won't make it.
Dave: It's definitely hard. You love all your songs and you have to make decisions. It's a good group decision. It's all family stuff. We're really close with our management and our label. It's easier than some of the major label situations where they tell you what to do.
Julien: We got to actually sit down, pick what we wanted on the record, and how we wanted to present it and the sound we wanted. It's cool. We're really proud of the record. It came out just the way we wanted.
That's kind of strange to hear people talk about how they're close to their label.
Dave: We're in a really interesting situation because our radio team is also slash our record label and our management is with our label. We're all one big family. It's really cool. We're just an extension of that. We either succeed together or fail together. Everyone has to work just as hard as the next one to make this whole thing work.
If someone were to pick up your record like me, what three songs on it do you think best represent your band?
Julien: "Slowburn", our single. The reason why we did it is because it's a high energy type of song with big guitars and big, big sounds. A big song like "After The Rain", it's a mid-tempo hard song that we have. It's got a lot of harmonies in it and focuses on strong melodies with Matt and Rich, our singer and bass player. It represents us real well but more on a mid-tempo level. "Selfish And Cold", we have two slow songs. Not slow songs but slower. But we still think it's big with heavy guitars and the choruses. We're probably going to play it tonight for the first time. We've never played it. You'll get to hear it in Dallas. It's going to be the first time we've ever played it live. We'll probably mess it up.
Why did you pick "Slowburn" to be your first single and video?
Julien: Like I was saying before, it's high energy and a big sounding song. It might not be the most melodic song I guess you could say. We felt that we wanted to be defined as a hard rock band. It's actually done very, very well on the charts.
It's great that you guys like to do fast paced and slow paced songs. It seems people are against slow paced songs.
Dave: We get them on those ballads.
Julien: It's the type of music we listen to. We really loved the early '90s bands. They weren't afraid to play slower songs and be more melodic and also rock. We want to be dynamic if we can like that.
Yeah, I grew up in that era of ballads.
Julien: The power ballads.
Yeah, the power ballads.
Julien: As long as you do it with integrity. It's honest and you believe in it and love it. I think it's good. You're not shredding a slow song.
Dave: Everyone loves a slow song. It connects with people. We'll see how it goes tonight.
I think it will go pretty well. Where are you guys going after Dallas?
Dave: We have to go to Wichita, KS. Supposedly it's sold out. 1900 people. It's a Sunday night too. We're stoked.
Any other thoughts or comments?
Julien: We love it in Dallas. The fans are great and we want to thank everyone for supporting us.