1. How did your band get started?
Josh and Justin both played in different Minneapolis bands (The Saddest Girl Story and Slidecoaster). They played several shows together. Eventually their bands broke up. They decided to get together to play in 1998. That's the insanely short version.
2. How much of a help has purevolume.com and other music sites been for your band?
The internet in general has been a HUGE help for our band. In fact, we got signed to Epitaph because of our website. Brett Gurewitz (Epitaph) first heard us from our mp3s that we had posted at the time. He liked what he heard and e-mailed us. We were playing shows for him in California within a couple weeks.
3. Who are your influences?
Pixies, Jawbox, Braid, Superchunk, Ben Folds, Fugazi, That Dog, Swervedriver, Radiohead, The Rentals, Burning Airlines, Lazycain - to name a few
4. How excited are you about your upcoming tour?
This will be our 2nd headlining tour. We're really looking forward to playing with Limbeck and Maxeen again and to meet up with Tsunami Bomb. And we get to play some of our favorite cities and venues for some of our favorite people with some of our favorite people. I hope that makes sense.
5. What is your favorite bands that you guys have played with?
Blink-182, Sugarcult, Letter Kills, All-American Rejects, Maxeen, Limbeck, Weakerthans, Mae
6. How is it working with Mark Hoppus?
So far it has been all sharp white suits and back rubs. Ha ha. I have no idea what that means. No really, it's been great. He's very open-minded to ideas and sounds. See next question.
7. Has Mark had any effect on your band?
He's been really and positive and encouraging, which is what a band needs during recording. He makes it obvious that he believes in what we're doing. He has also provided a good bit of comic relief and story-telling in between takes. He has also taken our band on tour and allowed us to play in front of a lot of people that we would have never had the chance to play for otherwise. Mark has been nothing but wonderful to us.
8. How is it recording your album? Do you like it?
Recording is fun, but there is a lot of down time too. As long as I am busy doing something when I'm not recording, I am fine. Otherwise, I want to pull my hair out and scream. My favorite part about recording is hearing a song built from scratch - starting with the musicians tracking then moving into the hands of the engineer/mixer. It's very rewarding. It makes all the hard work and frustration disappear. We heard some rough mixes last night and wow. We are very pleased.
9. On that subject, how far along are you in the recording process?
We are at the point where the basic tracks are recorded for all songs. Now we have to go back in and "tie up loose ends" and add back-up vocals, extra guitars, percussion, piano, etc. We should be done in a week or so. Then the record will be ready for mixing.
10. What is a typical day in the studio like?
Wake up. Get coffee. Record for a few hours. Order lunch. Record more. Eat lunch. Record. Order dinner. Record. Eat dinner. Get more coffee. Work late. Sleep. Repeat.
11. Would you ever consider doing a tour with blink-182?
Yes. We have done 2 already and had an amazing time on each. And yes, we would gladly do more.
12. Have you met any interesting people on the road?
There are interesting (in every sense of the word) people everywhere. We have made some of our best friends touring with other bands.
13. Whats life like when you grew up in the mid-west and now are recording or living in So-Cal? Is there a major difference other than the weather?
We are just here to record. We leave for Minnesota in about 2 weeks, which is where the band still lives. These are the biggest differences that I have noticed: traffic renders highways useless, parking is next to impossible - people actually use valet out here, over-abundance of coffee shops and sushi bars (I'm not complaining), a lot of people rush around in high-dollar imported cars wearing track suits and sunglasses, all dogs are small, at least 3 cars per traffic signal run the red. This could go forever.
14. What is exactly is Mark's role with you guys?
Mark is producing this record, meaning that he basically oversees the entire process and keeps things in check. He will give a thumbs-up/thumbs-down to a particular sound or performance and keep watch for technical issues (tuning, timing, etc).
15. Would you ever tour in other countries such as the UK or Australia?
Yes. We have toured in the UK, Europe, Japan, and Canada. We would love to add Australia, among other countries, to the list some day.
16. What inspired you to have the keyboard in your band?
Justin and Josh were responsible for adding the keyboard before the rest of us joined. I want to say that they were very influenced by the sound of the Rentals and That Dog.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, I and the rest of us at b182.com really appreciate it!!!!
Thanks to all at b182.com and of course, the readers.