How have you found the transition from a long term band member of The King Blues to a solo artist then?
“It’s been amazing really and not all that different. When I tour I normally tour with a band so there is normally a big crew of us. This is the first tour I’ve done with just one other – but you know I’ve still got my crew with me. I think a lot of people imagine me going around on my own. There’s still that camaraderie and I’m having a great time. Logistically it’s so much easier than having to sound check twenty drums and whatever else.”
Is it strange playing to a different type of audience now then?
“I am used to a pop-punk crowd where everyone is jumping around and hitting each other but this was a very different sort of crowd. But it was awesome. It went down very well.
“I think it’s kind of different, because when you do something like Warped Tour there are a lot of bands of the same genre. A lot of bands come from a similar scene. When you come with something different it’s kind of a blessing and a weakness – a lot of people have heard ten scream bands that day and they want something different and other people obviously aren’t that open minded.
“If you go through music in my day though it was sort of like you picked your tribe and genre and stuck to that and it defined you as a person, whereas nowadays if you go through people’s iPods they will have all sorts of music on there. They are a lot more open minded now to new music.”
Has the transition to a more hip-hop style sound been one you’ve been looking to make for a while?
“If you look at the transition of The King Blues over time we got progressively more into that scene. I definitely enjoy playing the stuff live a lot more now. By the third or fourth record I was pretty much exclusively rapping over the different kinds of music.
“For me to do this now is really just where I have wanted to be. We started the band ten years ago and I’ve changed a lot over ten years. I much happier doing this.”
Homeless Romantic with Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara has been a bit hit for you. How did that come about?
“I wrote the song originally in LA with John Feldman and Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy and we were looking for someone to sing the hook. A lot of names were thrown about and then Adam Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday was brought up. Someone put on one of his songs and although I think there are a lot of rock bands around these days that scream and shout really good they aren’t actually that angry – but when I heard Adam sing though I felt the pain in his voice and I believed he was genuine and real.
“So we sent the song off to him not expecting to hear anything back and then a week later we had flown into the studio and were recording.”
Obviously that element of honesty in your music is a significant factor. How does that impact how you listen to and write music?
“I would rather hear someone sing badly from the heart than sing technically brilliantly and put no feeling into it.”
How excited are you to see your upcoming album The Deep End drop on 24 March then?
“Yeah, I mean It’s been two years in the making, and most bands only get maybe two weeks in the studio if they are lucky but I’ve had like six months in the studio to put it together. That was a real privilege and a real honour.
“I’ve been sitting on it for a long time then so to finally have a release date and to finally get it out is very exciting.
“I really just wanted to write the best songs possible. When I sat down with John Feldman in the studio we wrote close to 100 songs before recording. We worked really hard day and night – didn’t sleep and didn’t go out – just worked solidly, and the songs that made it are the best ones of all of those.”
First published at www.brignewspaper.com