I read on your website that you guys actually lost all the original recordings for your new album Parasite (out April 3rd), and had to re-do everything. What happened?
Travis: Well about mid-way through the recording process we went home for Christmas. On our first day back our producers were merging tracks to save space on the harddrive and the harddrive crashed. We tried to listen back and all the songs were washed out with fuzz. They took the harddrive into the local Mac store and found out that all our work was lost.
Do you think that it was a blessing in disguise?
Travis: Actually, yes. We have said in the past that we feel it was a blessing in a way. Granted, cramming to re-record everything sucked a lot; but we feel like the songs turned out better all around. Everything before the crash ended up acting as preproduction for the album.
Why was Andreas Magnusson chosen as the engineer for this record? Are you fans of his past recordings (Scarlet, Spitfire)?
Travis: Carl actually chose Andreas to produce and engineer the album, but we couldn't be happier with how the album turned out. I personally am a huge fan of his work and knew we could expect good things from the recording. He's not a 'metal' producer and we felt that we needed someone who wasn't. So, even though he was Carl's choice, it was a perfectly fine choice in our book.
How did the band get linked to Ferret and why was choosing them as a label the right choice?
Drew: Well once we started taking everything seriously and finally recorded something, we thought about press packing different labels to see who would help us out. But i always just wanted to tour and get out there. We have and always will be about just having a good time, so we just did what we did by ourselves for a couple of years. Finally some of the right people heard about us, including Jeff Hadok of Handleman Dist. and Frank Corva the tour manager of the #12, who both passed along our name to Ferret Music.
The cover art is pretty intense. How does it coincide with the albums content?
Andy: The album artwork was actually conceptualized and tailored to the themes and ideas that Bear had written into his lyrics. Man Vs. Self was the reoccuring theme in Bear's lyrics so we wanted to try and convey that through the artwork. Shortly after, we lost Bear and the album artwork was already underway. Most of Fox's lyrics are of a similar nature but tend to lean more toward Man Vs. Man. All in all, the artwork looks amazing and has a very frustrated and scatterbrained feel to it, which is what our music sounds like most of the time.
How does one start making a certain type of music as a joke (which you've stated) and then turn it into something serious?
Travis: Well speaking from an outside perspective, I can say that they definitely did it. When the band first started they were just five guys who got together to goof around and see what they could come up with. I remember that somewhere along the line they took a short hiatus from playing shows and came back with the songs that ended up making up the Summer Sampler. They had decided that they wanted to see how far they could really take the band, and from there things just grew.
Andy: When we first started jamming, I couldn't even play drums that well. But I had a practice space, my own kit, and a PA making me a likely candidate. The riffs that drew was coming up with were so off the wall and over the top that we'd literally be laughing in hysterics while playing through some of the parts. It wasn't really a conscious decision to start being serious about it. That hiatus occured because I had become involved in acting in an indie zombie film, so I was juggling my schedule during that time. We had just been playing together for about a year at that point and were getting further and further into the groove of working with each other. Happy accident?
If you care to answer, What was the reason that Bear left the band?
Travis: Bear left for a number of reasons, the main reason being his health. On the last tour he did with us he had a lot of chest pain and felt really weak by tour's end. He went to the hospital and found out his lungs were only working at a fraction of what they should have been. His doctor told him that his only option was to stop screaming, which was actually the second time he had been told. This time he thought it best to listen.
What are some of the bands that influence you? and what music/bands are you currently listening to right now?
Travis: Our influences differ greatly based on the individual. Drew (guitar) is the main song-writer and he can pull influence or ideas from basically anywhere. As far as listening goes, the van is usually blaring pop-punk, nu-metal, hardcore or hip hop, depending on who's driving. It's rare that you hear any of us listen to anything that would get classified in our own genre.
Well that's about it. Thanks for your time and feel free to name drop or leave any last comments here.
Travis: Thank you! If we're gonna drop some names then we have to mention our friends Fight It Out, For the Fallen Dreams, Besieged, The Binding, Cassius, and Sluts. Check them all out! And check out the new Psyopus album that just came out, it's ridiculous