Interview: Four Year Strong

Back in the UK, Faye catches up with Four Year Strong, before their sold out show at the Islington Academy, and once again, it turns into a derailed conversation about dildos and such. Oh, and find out why they back Millionaires!

Faye: Can you introduce yourselves?
Joe: I’m Joe, I play bass.
Josh: What else do you do?
Joe: I don’t know, I like puppies.
Josh: Do you like adult dogs?
Joe: Yes, I also like adult dogs, I like woodworking, what do you like? And who are you?
Josh: I’m Josh, I play the keyboard and the human organ. I heart nothing, except I also like adult dogs and puppies, I like kittens. Oh, and I like writing and reading, but that makes me sound too intellectual. I also like really dumb things. How about you? Who the hell are you?
Jake: I’m Jake, I play drums and I like weed. I also like puppies, kittens and adult dogs, except for mine, it smells. His tail is always up and his butthole is always exposed – he’s old and decrepit – and whenever he barks, it kind of pushes out. His bark is the most horrible thing, if you’ve ever heard a Beagle bark, it’s the most obnoxious thing ever. His hips are bad, he can’t stand up very well and whenever he jumps up on you in the kitchen, he just falls down.
Josh: This is turning into the saddest interview ever. [laughs]

Faye: Didn’t Alan and Dan [vocals and guitars] play an acoustic show at Banquet Records in Kingston earlier today?
Jake: Yeah, the place was rad, I bought a Matt Pryor vinyl, I’m fucking stoked. I’m going to listen the shit out of that when I get home. I wish I bought more vinyl, but I didn’t look hard enough and we had to leave.
Joe: I don’t even collect vinyl, except for Alkaline Trio vinyl.

Faye: You have to play a show in Kingston at The Peel or Fighting Cocks at some point.
Josh: We’ve been trying to do that for a long time. I’ve brought it up on every tour and somehow it just falls through the cracks, but don’t worry, it will happen.

Faye: You were last over in October on the Eastpak Tour, what have you been up to since then?
Josh: Everything.
Joe: And nothing.
Jake: Touring and touring, then we went on tour again. Then I think I slept in my bed once or twice then we went on tour again, and now we’re here on tour.
Josh: And then after this we’re on tour.
Jake: Then go on tour after that.
Josh: So, touring mostly, and we put out a new record.

Faye: You recently played Slam Dunk, it seemed like everyone in your circle of friends also played it, how was that?
Josh: It was so good.
Jake: It was great, we got to see all of our buddies and got wasted. We’ve been drinking cider heavily since we’ve been here, and we got Magners tonight, which is the best kind. You guys don’t believe in ice, though, and that shit’s supposed to be on ice. It’s so much better on ice.
Josh: There is a lack of ice.
Jake: It says “serve with ice” on the can and I’ve still got no ice, so I’m drinking mildly warm cider.
Joe: I’m not a big cider guy. I can drink a cider on ice, though.
Josh: I would drink cider over beer, I think.

Faye: At the Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds, I saw you enjoying Millionaires – taking your shirts off, circle pitting.
Josh: That was awesome. People can say what they want about Millionaires, but I was definitely fucking entertained.
Jake: I had a great time, you can say whatever you want, but they’re real hot.
Joe: We had a blast.
Josh: There’s a hot one.
Jake: Yeah, there’s a wicked hot one.
Josh: They’re puking on stage – GG Allin does that shit, they’re entertaining as fuck.
Jake: No doubt about that, you’ve just got to get really drunk.
Josh: They sing about blowjobs.
Jake: Exactly, I like blowjobs, so songs about blowjobs are just fine by me.
Josh: Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t want to write it myself, because my parents would be incredibly disappointed in me – more so than they are already.

Faye: I heard there was a bit of commotion at the after party, were you involved?
Josh: We were there, but we weren’t involved with the negativity, man. I felt kind of bad. It definitely wasn’t cool.
Joe: Yeah, like trying to hurt someone’s feelings, we were just trying to party.
Josh: Yeah, that’s why we took our shits off and went on stage, we didn’t want people to be bummed, we were just like, “Yeah, we’re fucking drunk, these girls are singing about blowjobs, let’s fucking party!” Then the next thing you know, there’s fucking bottles everywhere.
Jake: Throwing beer bottles is fun, I don’t usually do it at people, though. I don’t like that. I openly support Millionaires – I just want to say. I have fun watching them, I won’t listen to them, but I’ll go see them, if I’m at the same place. I’ll have a really good time if I do go see them.

Faye: When I last interviewed you in October [click], you described yourselves as the “double-sided dildo” of Decaydance and I Surrender Records, but now you’re signed to Universal Motown, what does that make you now?
Josh: We’re something like Belladonna porn now.
Jake: We’re the T dildo.
Josh: 69-ing anal dildos.
Joe: The 696 anal dildo.
Josh: It’s basically a mess.
Jake: We just got another dildo to put in the vagina and butt, and just move it around.
Josh: A double-sided dildo looped around the back.
Jake: Yeah, and the heads are touching inside, moving dildo heads.

Faye: Are you still involved with I Surrender and Decaydance?
Josh: Yeah, everyone in I Surrender – I don’t want to say they’re still on our team, because it makes me sound like such a fucking ass, but we still work with everyone we’ve had since the beginning. We haven’t really lost anyone in the process, we’ve just gained new people. We’ve got pretty lucky in our current situation.

Faye: Is band life any different now that you’re on a major label?
Josh: Well, we’re millionaires… [laughs] No, it’s pretty much exactly the same.
Jake: Yeah, it feels pretty much the same, like most of the tours we’ve been doing have been really, really cool.

Faye: So, you released Enemy Of The World a couple of months ago, what do you think the general consensus has been?
Josh: There’s definitely kids that will never like the second record as much as the first record, and we’ve all been those kids, at one point in our lives, you hear the band’s second record and you’re like, “This is good, but it isn’t the first record, what the fuck?” But I think for the most part, we couldn’t have asked for a much better response, especially after the backlash from our covers record. So, hopefully, some of those kids are like, “I’m still hate them, but not quite as much as I used to hate them.”
Jake: A lot of my favourite bands’ second records have been my favourite, like Through Being Cool is my favourite Saves The Day record, Deja Entendu is my favourite Brand New record – I like the first record, don’t get me wrong, I just like it in a different way.

Faye: I’ve heard some say that Enemy Of The World isn’t as instant as Rise or Die Trying, how do you feel about that?
Joe: I can see that, it’s definitely different.
Jake: Yeah, I can understand that, that happens to me with records.
Joe: I’m sure if you expected to hear that record again, you’d be like, “What the hell is this?”

Faye: Jay Pepito from Reign Supreme does guest vocals on What The Hell Is A Gigawatt?, how did that come about?
Josh: We just met him at a show, I think I met him before, but the first time I actually met him, his band played with at a Reach The Sky reunion in our home town in Worcester, and a couple of my buddies were friends with him, so we met him that way and kind of just got in touch with him. Dude does sound like a fucking maniac, he’s got the wildest voice ever, so it was awesome to get a chance to throw that on there.
Joe: I thought you were saying that the dude actually does sound, like he literally sexes it up.
Josh: Yeah, he’s got little sound babies all over the world.

Faye: How come Enemy Of The World was just released over here when it’s been out in America for over two months? Do you not think that’s weird in this day of age?
Joe: Yeah, especially with like the Internet and downloading, everyone probably already had it.
Josh: I actually didn’t even know that, because I think when we got over here, one of the first interviews we did, we were like, “Yeah, this record’s been out here for a couple of months now, wooo!” and they were like, “It hasn’t.”
Joe: It hadn’t even came out then.

Faye: You also said in our last interview that no one cares about Four Year Strong anymore, but with the release of Enemy Of The World, do you find that the hype has returned?
Josh: We should have said no one ever gave a shit out Four Year Strong. [laughs]
Jake: And no one still does.
Faye: It’s sold out tonight, so some people still do!

Josh: That’s true.
Joe: We have to tell the truth, we bought all the tickets. There’s no one coming to the show.
Josh: We bought 800 tickets, there’s just going to be cardboard cut outs in the crowd.
Jake: There’s going to be a lot of homeless people in there, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Josh: We’re shooting nails into the crowd.

Faye: Do you ever play any of the songs from Explains It All live?
Joe: We do, but not over here.
Jake: It didn’t go over too well over here. Well, it didn’t go over that well in the States most of the time, either.
Josh: It depends on what kind of set we get, too. If we can only play for 35-minutes on a fest, we’d rather play the songs that people really want to here. Whereas, if we have a little bit longer of a set time, we play something from a little bit of everything.

Faye: You friends, A Loss For Words, just released a cover album of Motown songs, what do you think of that record?
Joe: Theirs is fucking great.
Josh: Theirs is 100 times better than ours and they’re fucking good dudes.
Joe: They really are. Matty is like freakishly nice.
Josh: That cover record was so awesome. I thought it was funny that the song that everyone complained about was the song that Dan and Alan did vocals on, they said they ruined it. [laughs] I thought that was hilarious. We’re sorry A Loss For Words, we ruined your record – well, we didn’t ruin it. Except for our own record.

Faye: Change the record, who should we be listening to?
Joe: Title Fight.
Josh: Mountain Man, Fireworks, The Wonder Years.
Jake: Minus The Bear, obviously.

Faye Turnbull.

Many thanks to Four Year Strong, and for more information on the band, visit: www.myspace.com/fouryearstrong

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