Saturday, December 11, 2010
We Are The Union (Part II)
WATU lyrics “We’re just being who we are and you can’t take that away”, almost sound like an anthem for the band. With that in mind, what’s your main goal as a band?
Brandon: I would say my goal in this band is to be able to play music the way I want and maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle, in whatever form that takes.
Matt: When you start playing music everybody is like “Man, I wanna fucking ride on a bus to all the shows and fly on my private jet, I want to make a living making music.” Everybody wants to make it huge playing music but because of the way the music industry is, and the relation punk music has with the industry, it’s not necessarily possible to do that. I think the band is on the same page with what Brandon said, we can keep doing this as long as we physically can and get home to have enough money to pay the phone bill. We all work and have jobs, we don’t sit around and you know, eat fucking caviar or whatever because we make so much money touring. We bust our asses when we’re on the road and we go home and bust our asses at work. Our goal is to be able to keep doing this as long as we can and have just enough money to get to the next place. I just wanna go play to kids every night and have a blast, and show people our music.
What was your personal experience like working with Matt Allison who produced your latest release Great Leaps Forward?
Matt: He’s just like the best dude ever. He’s recorded all these bands that we all have listened to for years and years, and all the records that he’s ever done are huge. I remember the first record we did was right after This Sinking Ship came out by Smoke or Fire which Matt produced, and I spun that every single day while we were recording. I remember before I went to record vocals, I was wondering around the woods outside the studio listening to that on my ipod while screaming the words to it out in the middle of nowhere, like warming myself up. Then we got into the studio to work with Matt and he’s super cool, he has all these fucking stories and has met everybody in every band you’ve ever heard of. He has all these awesome stories about just throwing down with The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio, and Less Than Jake. He would work from noon to midnight and then leave the studio for a minute and come back with a case of beer, then he’d sit there in the studio and just tell amazing stories. It was like having...a punk rock dad!
If you could pick only one song for someone to listen to by WATU, what would it be?
Matt: Everybody in the band will probably tell you something different.
Brandon: Yeah, because honestly there are some people that are more tired of our first record than others. I would say our classic song is “This Is My Life (And It’s Ending One Minute At A Time)”, but not necessary my favorite.
Matt: That’s a good mix though, it has ska parts and the pop parts, and these fast beat parts.
Brandon: I wish we could redo that record, just record it all with current members.
Matt: That’s the hardest, its like all the songs are your kids. I’m going to make a horrible analogy now, but maybe like the first time you weren’t really that good at raising kids and so you just love them for what they are, but then you look back and go “Man, I would have done a couple things differently.”
Brandon: It’s just that we’ve grown since then and we see all the mistakes that we’ve made, well mistakes in our book.
Matt: I don't think you’ll find a musician that is ever completely, 100% satisfied with anything they’ve done. You always do stuff and the moment you leave the studio you’re always like “I wish I had one more take to do that part.” I think we are just focused on the next thing, that’s the attitude that is necessary. Every month, every week, every day, we’re just constantly growing as fans of music and musicians in trying to incorporate new and different shit into what we’re doing. To answer the original question though, I would say “Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic” or “What We Have Here, Is A Failure To Communicate”, a good mix of pop and fast parts but also technical.
I heard WATU wants to play the next Vans Warped Tour, which seems to pull both positive and negative outlooks from bands. What’s your perspective on Warped Tour?
Matt: I would love to play Warped Tour next year because it’s just a huge, awesome experience. There are a variety of bands on Warped Tour, you have these older main-stage bands for the punk scene and new stuff, and then stuff people wouldn’t even consider punk. It brings out the wide variety of people and this huge variety of bands. People call it “punk rock summer camp” all the time, and I think that’s the most accurate. It’s just total fun.
Posted by Kristen Swanson at 9:18 PM