1. How did you get your band name? (David and Ryan): As is typical for new bands, we couldn't agree on a name. We put a bunch of names in a hat that we all agreed we could live with and threw them into the wind behind our dormitory one day. Whichever one the wind carried the farthest got to be our name. Mick Foley from pro wrestling would always talk about having great "testicular fortitude." But we wanted a less offensive name, so we compromised it to "Fortitude" and then in sort of a nod to The Beatles we deliberately misspelled it by adding a u. We like messing with people's minds by being a three-piece band with the word four in our name too. This was in the spring of 2006. It recently came to our attention that a band from England took to calling themselves "The Fourtitude.” Either they never bothered with a google search to see that we were using the name years before them, or they thought it would be nice to pay tribute; but at least we know we’re not the only people in the world who like the name. Us and Audi enthusiasts, apparently…
2. How did this band get started? (David): We started off playing Weezer and Smashing Pumpkins covers at our small private Catholic college in Indiana. We just wanted to play music and write songs together.
(Michael): Even though we were all friends in college, I actually joined the band a few years after we all graduated because we had talked about the idea of doing an album together, and eventually just decided to continue using the Fourtitude name.
(Ryan): David and I, and later Michael, would all initially meet through being members of the SJC Mock Trial team. In other words, this is one band you do not want to argue with.
3. What bands are you influenced by? (Ryan): I think the best music is usually the product of collaboration, and much of what we do is trying to emulate the way the Beatles did it; for me with a strong twist of 90's alternative.
(David): Weezer and Nirvana with a hint of the Beatles and Nine Inch Nails.
(Michael): Personally, I steal stuff from a lot of pop-punk songwriters. Chris McCaughan from The Lawrence Arms is probably the most apt comparison. When we recorded our album, I was listening to a lot of The Replacements, so I think some of that leaked into it, at least on the faster songs. Also, Elliott Smith...big time.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why? (David): I'd like to go on tour with Weezer or Paul McCartney, personally.
(Michael): I think it would have been great to tour with Jawbreaker during their heyday.
(Ryan): I wish I could have seen Nirvana and the Beatles live, so them.
5. Best food to eat on tour? (David): Chinese buffets!
6. Why should people listen to your band? (Michael): We sound really fresh compared to a lot of rock bands today because all three of us contribute to songwriting and all three of us have very different musical influences. We all write and play very differently from one another, and I think that keeps things from getting repetitive or stale. I think that helps because it highlights each of our strengths, so only our best stuff gets on the record once it's been filtered through all three of us.
(David): Because it's intelligent and dumb at the same time. There's a lot to learn from our music about how to be human.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? (Ryan): Jay Cutler.
(Michael): Daniel Bryan.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank? (Michael): My roommates for allowing me to practice our songs for hours and hours with just the bass and vocals. I'm sure that gets incredibly boring and irritating after a while, but they're champs about it.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? (David): I would just put more emphasis on the songs and the craftsmanship, and put less emphasis on the branding and the image. But then who would the teenagers listen to?
(Ryan): I think people should only be allowed to perform songs they write themselves. I mean, with modern technology anybody can sound good. Song writing is the only thing that means anything to me anymore.
10. Memorable tour experience? (Michael): Making money for playing a show for the first time and feeling legitimate.
(David): We played a fun Halloween show back in Rensselaer where the band first originated and dressed up as Nirvana. It was in a really hip space above a law office and I got to dance with an old student teacher of mine. It was creepy awesome.
11. What does AP.net mean to you? (David): Promoting alternative music for the masses.
12. What is your favorite song to play? (Ryan): “Normal School” for me is always an adrenaline overflow, it’s a song where I lead on vocals, and has some intense drum parts. I always feel my most accomplished after tearing through that one.
(Michael): "I Am Nobody," because I think it's possibly our best song, and I love the way that it's constantly moving and nothing in the song repeats itself. Plus, I get to sing a lot on it.
(David): My favorite song to play is "Stuck" which usually makes people want to hop or jump around near the ending after a really weird intro. It usually makes me sweat buckets by the end.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice? (Michael): Right now, somewhere on the west coast with a lot of hiking trails.
(David): Covert, Michigan, by the lake.
(Ryan): I once went by myself to Hawaii to audition for the third season of American Idol. I knew I’d get on TV with a rocking version of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.”
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? (David): Weezer's first album, the Offspring's "Smash," the Foo Fighter's first album, and R.E.M.'s "Monster."
(Ryan): Guns N’ Roses, and WWE wrestler themes from the time.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? (David): I would choose to have the power to shapeshift into any animal so I could become a snake and sneak onto airplanes.
(Ryan): Whatever Aquaman has might make me better at fishing, so that.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals? (David): Hug it out.
(Ryan): Trying to put my drum kit together so that it doesn't fall apart two songs in.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you? (David): That I teach middle school English full-time.
(Ryan): That the first music I ever made was a tape of rap songs. I called myself by my pro/backyard wrestling moniker: “Radical” Ryan and I wrote “Radical Records” on the tape; because a guy named “Radical” Ryan would logically put out a record on “Radical Records.” I honestly had no clue their actually was a Radical Records, and I was amused to receive a cease and desist notification from their legal team. Apparently they didn’t want anybody to be confused into thinking they were in any way associated with my terrible rap music - I can’t say I blame them.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish? (Michael): I think the biggest issue with radio music today is that it all sounds the same at its core, with all of the flourishes of "genre" added later as just a way to market what is otherwise pretty lifeless pop music. I don't think I would ever have any desire to sound like that, but since it seems to be the trend that music is heading toward, then I don't think I'll ever be involved in that world.
(David):The current state of radio is full of lots of synthesized instruments and vocals which kind of sound hollow after five minutes...Fourtitude can flourish in alternative radio but we just need better equipment if we want to sound that gloriously hollow.
(Ryan): Fourtitude will flourish on mainstream radio as soon as the younger generation realizes that Justin Bieber sucks.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time? (Michael): Reading, wrestling, and playing with my dog.
(David): Watch wrestling and read dense postmodern literature.
(Ryan): Fishing. I’m doing a tumblr blog all about it too, called Indiana Fishing Radventures.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have? (David): I can freestyle rap.
(Ryan): I can move my pinky toes in any direction while keeping all other toes perfectly still.