How has touring for The Goodnight Moon been? Any good stories from the road?
We actually really haven't started touring for The Goodnight Moon yet, but we've been doing a lot of one-off shows. Before the record came out we had been booking our own tours and were out for about 2 years non stop. We had been playing a lot of the songs from the record at shows to get everyone ready for the new stuff. We have some cool tours coming up for May and the summer so we are pretty excited about getting back out and will hopefully have those announced soon. Hmm..good stories. We were in Iowa at this outdoor, bonfire/keg party thing. And it was one of those parties where the cups are $5. None of us had $5 so we were just hanging out, well some how Ryan had a cup. These kids were giving us dirty looks and one came up to me and offered me a filled up cup of "beer" for free. I went to smell it and it was filled with gasoline. I thought that was pretty funny. Another time we were at a different outside keg party and the cops came... we all scattered and hid in the woods for hours, we woke up the next day covered from head to toe with bug bites.
What kind of things do you guys do on tour to keep you from missing home, family and friends?
Well, I am really close with my family so I usually talk to my parents or sisters once a day. Almost everyone in the band has a sidekick, so they are always busy. I just listen to my I-pod and sleep most of the time.
What can we expect to see Rookie of the Year doing for the rest of 2006?
Touring! We aren't sure of all of our touring plans right now but we plan to be out for a very long time. We've worked really hard to finally get our record out so we are going to make sure we work even harder to get it in people's hands.
Of your label mates, who do you recommend listening to?
Everyone on our label is pretty cool. The new Rory and Inkwell records are amazing, so I would definitely recommend listening to those records when they come out. Thin Dark Line's record is good too, so if you haven't heard that yet, I'd suggest giving it a listen. Mashlin! They are probably the tightest band I have ever seen live.
Were there any complications with writing and putting together The Goodnight Moon?
Yes, writing and putting together this record was a very very long, stressful process. As some people may know, this band has seen a few line up changes. Some of the songs were written by Ryan when he was still solo but were arranged differently by every line up. When Pat, TJ and I joined Rookie, we all sat down and tried to figure out the best way to arrange the songs and then we began writing the rest of the record. Once we had the majority of the record written we rushed into the studio with Ed Rose, which turned out to not be the best idea. We only had about 12 days booked with him to do our entire record. Most of us had never recorded before other then our few demos, so when we got into the studio our whole world was turned upside down. It was a funny experience because we were working with a really good producer who had recorded some amazing bands and amazing musicians, and then we come into the studio with no recording experience. With that being said, we didn't have enough time to finish so we did the basic tracking there and left. We found out a few weeks later that Ed wanted no part in finishing our record. So for the next 6 months we got back to touring and basically just listened to our rough mixes(with no vocals and extra guitars) and wondered what it would sound like if it was ever completed. In November we went into the studio with Matt Malpass and he helped us make a record that we are all really proud of. So it all worked out for the best in the end.
Personally, how do you feel the production to The Goodnight Moon compares to Having To Let Go?
Both records are completely different, Having To Let Go was recorded when Ryan was solo and was independent. Most of the songs are basement recordings and sound really raw. The new record is very produced sounding, but that's what we were trying to go for.
Which songs off The Goodnight Moon do you enjoying playing most? Which song gets the best reaction live?
We all really enjoy playing Poison Like Your Own and Blue Roses live. Liars and Battlelines usually gets the best reaction live because that's the song that most people know if they are coming out to see us. We just started playing Pop Destroyed the Scene live, that one has been getting a pretty good crowd response as well.
It's not listed in the booklet but who does the female vocals on "The Weekend?"
Our friend Rachelle Holscher sang on "The Weekend", she has a beautiful voice.
What city has the best Rookie of the Year fans and why?
Since we have been touring for so long we've made a lot of friends in a lot of areas. We always have a lot of fun when we play in Philly and NYC. Lexington, KY has always been good to us. Ryan and TJ's hometown (Fayetteville, NC) is always a good time also.
You guys are going on tour with Mute Math soon, do you have any expectations on that tour? Have you ever seen Mute Math live?
We are really excited for those dates. I saw them play on Craig Ferguson and it was pretty insane. After watching that performance, we were definitely glad to be playing before them haha.
Becoming a musician is often times a very ballsy move, especially in the indie scene, was it a natural decision for Rookie of the Year? Do you feel that this is what you all should be doing?
Yeah, we all want to play music for a living so it was a pretty easy decision for us. We are all still pretty young so we figured that we should give it a shot and see what happens. It's a really tough business to break into, so we try and set our expectations pretty low, not take ourselves too seriously and just hope for the best.
Also, before ending this interview, I would really like to address one of the questions that I had read in the replies. The question was:
Why do you write such a good record and then ruin it by getting drunk before every show and sucking ass live?
We used to drink before a lot of our shows and it started getting to the point where it was getting out of control. We realized this and took control of that problem. Since our record is out now, we have a big responsibility to make those songs sound the same live. We've worked hard and even added another guitar live. So next time we are in your area, come out and give us one more shot. If we suck again, we'll give you your money back.
Thank you to Gabe and everyone at AP.net for this interview.