It’s go time – Change The Record’s Gorgeous George has it out with The Audition‘s mountainous frontman, Danny ‘Teenie Crusher’ Stevens, in a brutal, no-holds-barred match-up. Seriously though, George has a chat with the lovely Mr. Stevens, who seems in very high spirits on his band’s first date of a massive tour with All Time Low in Newcastle. They grapple with the prospect of an Audition headline tour, tap out opinions on the bands new album, and discuss “that Slam Dunk moment” …Hence the bad wrestling references; let the bell ring…
George: Can you say your name, and what you do in the band?
Danny: My name is Danny and I sing.
George: How does it feel to be back in the UK?
Danny: Great. We’ve been coming here a lot, so yeah, we fucking love it here, y’know, it’s great.
George: Are you stoked to be touring with All Time Low this time?
Danny: Yeah, it’s like our fifth time touring with those guys, they’re like our best friends in the whole world, so it’s great, especially since they’re blowing up so huge, and the shows have been really big, and up front, they’re some of our really close friends too, we toured with them like four times last year, so it’s good, it’s a good tour.
George: How do you feel about all the venues that have been upgraded on the tour?
Danny: Awesome! [laughs] Fucking rad, dude.
George: What has The Audition been up to this summer?
Danny: This summer, we did a headline tour with a band called The Higher, I dunno if they’ve played here or not…
George: They toured here with Elliot Minor once.
Danny: Yeah, that’s right. We did a headline tour with those guys, and a band called Runner Runner, who you need to check out, ’cause they’re fucking amazing, they’re like a really good pop band, and then we did the Cobra Starship tour, they did a tour this summer, they did like 700-800 capacity rooms, and it was crazy, those guys are rad, and y’know, Cobra’s way bigger than those rooms, and the shows were packed, insane. Then, we had two weeks off, and came over here.
George: Last time you were over, you had a bit of an unfortunate incident, at Slam Dunk festival, have you cut down on stage dives and stuff?
Danny: Yeah, I haven’t done it since. I don’t think I’ll ever do it again.
George: She milked that afterwards…
Danny: Oh, I know, I saw it all. It was unfortunate, you know what I mean? I haven’t really talked about it much, I obviously don’t want to hurt anybody, it wasn’t like I was intending to do that, y’know? I haven’t really spoken to her, because I was advised not to, but I’d like to tell her I’m sorry…
George: She’s from Newcastle…[laughs]
Danny: I know, is she coming tonight? Does anybody know?
George: Probably, she’s into that kind of music, it seems.
Danny: I just hope she doesn’t serve me a getting sued paper, but y’know, it sucks, I felt really bad, I still feel really bad, I actually wrote a song about it, that I was gonna send to her, and play her, but I was advised not to do that. [laughs]
George: Either way, the dive was absolutely sick, it was amazing! [laughs]
Danny: Thank you, man.
George: So, the last few times you’ve been over, you’ve supported Alkaline Trio, back in February, and Madina Lake in May, how were they for you?
Danny: They were good man, I mean it’s always good to play infront of new people, who wouldn’t otherwise listen to your band. Alkaline Trio fans would never listen to us otherwise, because they’re so into Alkaline Trio and that type of music, and I think we gained a lot of fans from that, and also the Madina Lake crowd, totally different crowd than we play for. This time with ATL, probably a lot of the kids have seen us before, but y’know, that’s good, because hopefully the kids that have seen us earlier this year will come out and hang out with us. I guess that’s the point of touring! [laughs]
George: You recently released your self-titled album, are you pleased with the reaction it’s recieved so far?
Danny: Yeah, it’s been really good, I mean there’s always haters, but all the reviews were really strong, people seem to really really enjoy the songs on the album, which is, as an artist, you can’t really ask for anything more, than for people to like the music.
George: It’s not your debut album, but it’s a self-titled album, how come you’ve left it without a title?
Danny: Because we’re lazy. [laughs] No, I dunno, we were trying to throw around names, and we just didn’t really find anything fitting, and we just kinda wanted people to take it for what it was, because when I think of bands, or albums, when you see a band name you can almost imagine what that band looks like, and sounds like, right away, without even seeing them, or hearing them, but a lot of times you hear a band name like Creed, I mean, what are they gonna sound like, y’know, and stuff like that. We just kinda wanted to put no title on it, and instead of just calling it The Audition – The Audition, it’s the self-titled album. [laughs]
George: Is it the record the band is most proud of to date?
Danny: Yeah, I think with any artist, their most recent music is their favourite. It should be, because it’s the last thing you wrote, and it should be the best thing you’ve written, in your eyes. Which I think it is, I think it’s the best all round album, with different types of songs, and different feelings for the album, and I’m really proud of it, like every time we write an album we’re like “Fuck, how are we gonna top this?” but in my eyes we always do, so hopefully we can keep topping our last albums. [laughs]
George: You only released it a year after Champion, why did you release it so soon?
Danny: Because our label wanted us to, they wanted us to get it out, and we had nothing going on, so were were like, lets write and record an album. Plus, between our first album and our second album, it was like two-and-a-half, three years, and we didn’t wanna do that again, and we had so much stuff booked up, until now. We were like “Shit, we need to put out an album”.
George: How come you guys keep coming back to the UK?
Danny: Because bands take us out, and nobody will take us out in the US. [laughs]
George: Do you prefer it to the States?
Danny: It’s very different, I dunno, it used to feel different to me, but we’ve been here so many times it’s very similar. I think the crowds are more responsive, and they’re not as afraid to go nuts and sing, and dance, and have a good time, I dunno why that is, but people in America, you have to work really hard as a band to get any kind of light out of them, but here, you start playing and everybody’s so excited to be there. I think it also helps that most of the tours in the UK are only two or three bands, and you’re not getting drowned out with five and six band bills, and you’re dead by the third band, I think that helps a lot.
George: Do you take each support chance you get over here?
Danny: If there’s nothing going on, yeah. I mean, there’s stuff we’ve been offered that we’ve turned down, if it would of been a bad business decision, there hasn’t been many, but the Alkaline Trio thing, if we weren’t such huge fans of that band, like we love Alkaline Trio, we probably would of turned it down. It was a hard crowd to please, just because it was older, and I’ve been around the scene for longer than some of our fans have even existed, y’know? So that was a hard crowd, and if we weren’t such huge fans, I don’t think we would have taken it, but I’m glad we did, because we got to meet those guys, and they’re sweethearts.
George: Are you going to do a UK headline tour anytime soon?
Danny: I hope so! Hopefully early next year, we’ve done three big support tours, and the only thing to do after that is to do a really good headline tour. It can’t get much bigger than this unless you’re playing stadiums or arenas, so hopefully we can do a headline tour.
George: You had You Me At Six on your last headline tour, how do you feel about them exploding like they have now?
Danny: It’s awesome man, we just heard this band from the UK who weren’t very big at the time, and we were like “This band’s pretty cool”, they were good, they were different to a lot of stuff going on at the time, so we were like “You wanna come on tour with us?” and they were like “Yeah, fuck yeah!” and it happened so fast for them, like they got enormous within that year, I mean we did that tour last February, by this year’s February, they were just massive, and by this time next year, they might be doing arenas, the o2 arena in London and stuff, which would be amazing.
George: They’re supporting Paramore on an arena tour in December, it’s unreal.
Danny: I hope it does well, I hope that tour does well for them, they’re our boys and they’re the nicest dudes in the world.
George: Wembley’s already sold out and that’s like 13,000 people or something? Sold out in a day.
Danny: That’s fucking nuts! Like, Paramore, we toured with them on their first tour, and our second tour, and they just took off too.
George: Speaking of You Me At Six, I’ve heard some things going round the internet that you guys and them are gonna be on tour early next year, with There For Tomorrow?
Danny: [grins] …I dunno, we’ll see. [laughs]
George: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Danny: Erm… Our driver, Ben…
Danny: Summerlin, listen to them, they’re cool!
George: You should get them to support you…
Danny: That’d be cool! That’d actually be a good idea, nice thinking. [laughs]
George: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Danny: I think that’s it, just thank you very much!
– George Cannings.
Many thanks to Danny for the interview, for more information on The Audition and tour dates, visit: www.myspace.com/theaudition