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Interview: Four Year Strong - 03.29.10
 

Four Year Strong - 03.29.10

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Four Year Strong - 03.29.10I had a chance to sit down with Alan Day to discuss their new record and plans for the future after a show they played on the Every Time I Die/Polar Bear Club/Trapped Under Ice tour:

So I read Enemy of the World came in at number 40.

Yes, somewhere around there, yeah. We were really excited about that. Rise or Die Trying sold like 1800 in its first week, something like that, which at the time was amazing. And then we sold like 12000 in the first week so we were just blown away. We were so excited by it.

It also avoided a fairly early leak.

Yeah, this one didnít leak until a week and a half or two weeks before it came out. But Rise or Die Trying leaked about 2 months before it came out so we are in better shape for this one. I think itís inevitable these days though. Itís kind of a good thing because you can start playing songs live before the record comes out and kids sing along at least.

Enemy of the World is also your major label debut. Did you feel more pressure?

No, not really. No. Weíre still involved with I Surrender and Pete at Decaydance so we stay very involved with everything. Itís not like what people think the typical major label experience is like, we stay involved and itís cool.

What was the writing process like?

It was very different because Rise or Die Trying was basically a compilation of all these songs we wrote over the years and picked our favourites to make a record. With this one, we had to actually write a record because we didnít have many songs on hand. It was definitely a different experience, we went into the studio with a few songs and then we wrote a bunch more when we were there. It was different because we had never written in the studio before and some of my favourite songs were actually written in the studio. Like ďIt Must Really Suck,Ē that was written in the studio. ďFind My Way BackĒ completely in the studio, that song didnít exist until we went in there. ďOn a SaturdayĒ and ďFlannel is the Color of My EnergyĒ too, they are some of my favourite songs on the record. It was a different experience and we it hit it off really well I think.

How do you and Dan decide who sings which parts?

Thereís no real formula to it. It basically just depends on who wants to start the song, you get this line, then I get this line. Itís honestly very random, we try to break it up evenly and then we do it to see how it turns out. Sometimes itís based on who wrote which lines but there really isnít much of a formula.

Whatís the inspiration behind ďFind My Way BackĒ?

That song and a lot of the other songs are about us as a band. You know, travelling and working so hard at what we do so sometimes it feels like home. Like usually you have one home and you go on a plane around the world to go on a vacation. Now itís like being on a plane, being on the road, being in all these different countries is our home while being home in Worcester is like a vacation. Itís like totally swapped. Itís hard because when we write the songs we kind of jump around to different aspects of the band, the whole scene, the business and it can get all over the place. But thatís OK with us because we like to keep it open kind of. Because what I think people like about music is being able to relate to it in their own way. We write from our own personal experience, but honestly the average listener doesnít really care about what I do on some Saturday afternoon with my friends. They care about how they can relate to the song and how that reminds them of this idea they have. Then they might get disappointed that the song isnít about what they thought it was too.

Is that similar with ďOne Step at a TimeĒ?

Yes. Again we wrote it in a way that anyone can relate to it. That song is about losing someone close to you and Dan wrote that song about his brother who passed away from leukemia about four or five years ago now. So it was definitely something that hit really close to him and was really hard for him, but again he tried to write it in a way that anyone can relate to it. Unfortunately so many people lose people who they are close to, people who they love and music is the thing that can help people get through those things.

It seems like a few people thought the song was written about Dominic Mallary.

Iíve noticed that, a lot of people have said that actually. I mean, I get why people say that because itís obviously about losing someone. But it was written about Danís brother.

Would you agree when people say Enemy of the World has a darker vibe than Rise or Die Trying?

Iíve heard that, I guess maybe a little bit. Not really on purpose thinking that we want to go darker, but I mean the way weíre matured, the way weíve grown as a band. Weíve started taking it more seriously and we have matured. I feel like some of the songs on Rise or Die Trying or earlier, we were so young when we wrote it and we didnít have a care in the world. Which we still donít, I canít really complain about my life because Iím doing this. I donít think it's darker overall, just that there are some songs that are definitely darker because we wanted to have more of a variety on this record. We were so young when we wrote those older songs and a lot of them were very similar so we kind of wanted to mix things up this time.

What was the deal with the pre-orders this time around?

There are just some bands that actually do that and take it seriously I feel like. We think itís ridiculous you can do that and charge people all this money for things so we decided to take it 10 steps further. We just kept coming up with ideas and decided to just roll with it. If someone wants to pay us 10 million dollars to break up, why not? With 10 million dollars I canít refuse.

Has anyone taken you up on any of them?

No, not that one, but people have asked about some of them. I donít really know because itís not directly through us, but I know for Smoking Weed with a Non Straight Edge Member, at least someone has asked about that.

Whatís next for 2010?

We have a lot of touring plans, well I guess we donít have a lot of touring plans yet, but we plan on touring a lot. We are doing Warped Tour for sure this summer, thatís huge. Weíre very, very excited for that because we did it two years ago and it was a blast. So many of our friends will be on it this year too.

Some people wanted to have an idea of what youíll be playing.

I honestly have no idea. Weíre going to definitely play a lot of new songs, as much new songs as possible. Weíve been playing the stuff off of the last record for three years every night so the more new stuff for us, the better. And hopefully kids will be excited for the new stuff too. Itís been, I wonít say rough, the reaction is actually better than we expected, but we do hope that kids will be asking for new songs when Warped Tour comes around.

Any plans for more covers?

No plans yet, no. Yeah, kids werenít as excited for that record because they were so antsy for a full-length of original songs. And I feel like it didnít go over too well, so I think weíll wait a little while before we try it again. But we loved doing covers so we might still do it, but you canít overdo it either.

What about acoustic material?

Weíve actually talked about it. The acoustic videos weíre done have been super rough because weíve been super sick while doing them, but we would like to do an official acoustic thing. I donít know when weíll do it, but weíve talked about it and we have talked about doing some more covers if we do that. But itís still just an idea. Maybe weíd do four or five songs, then a cover. A mixture of old and new.

Do you know when the ďWasting Time (Eternal Summer)Ē video is coming out?

No I donít yet, but it should be very, very soon.

Did anything overly memorable happen on set?

It was just really fun, it was our first studio video. The last video we did was at my house, like a big crew came to my house and my mom cooked for us and we used as much as we could there in the home. So it was definitely a different experience, we did it in LA and a bunch of kids came out to do it so that was really, really cool. Everyone we worked with was awesome. One thing Iíll never forget is we did it on a rotating stage and it was the wobbliest thing Iíve ever been on. It was so hard to stand up and everything was shifting around. It was pretty rough, but a lot of fun and Iíll never forget about that.

Now for some shorter questions. Beard grooming tips?

We trim them every now and then, but we donít like comb them. You just grow it out and trim it all one length, thatís what we do.

Favourite venue/city to play? A lot of people asked that.

Itís an obvious answer to say Worcester because thatís my hometown. This venue here [The Garrick in Winnipeg] is pretty awesome. We played here once before and tonight was a great show.

Lastly, advice on how to make it as a band?

Letís see. Well, I donít really know if Iíd consider that weíve made it. Because in order to make it, you have to be rich, famous, powerful and I donít think Iím any of those things. But, I am so stoked on where we are right now and I never thought weíd make it this far and to anyone who wants to do this, itís not easy. My advice is just to suck it up and then deal with it because it takes a long time.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 32
10:55 AM on 03/29/10
#2
NegativeCreep
I'm just a stupid worthless boy
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very good interview. just more evidence that they are awesome dude.s
11:00 AM on 03/29/10
#3
fishguts182
Pop Punks For Hugs Not Thugs
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great interview
11:02 AM on 03/29/10
#4
brothaman
is too legit to quit.
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nice interview. love these guys, even if i think Rise is the better album.
11:15 AM on 03/29/10
#5
Alex DiVincenzo
www.alexislegend.com
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Good interviews. Awesome dudes. Can't wait for some acoustic material.
11:18 AM on 03/29/10
#6
EastCoastKid
Live from Massachusetts
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Hometown Heroes.
11:28 AM on 03/29/10
#7
shika
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love it
11:28 AM on 03/29/10
#8
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Good read, good questions.
11:33 AM on 03/29/10
#9
DanceAlexDance
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Good interviews. Awesome dudes. Can't wait for some acoustic material.
i don't know what he's talking about alex, the acoustic posted on your site is pretty awesome, they don't sound sick
11:36 AM on 03/29/10
Alex DiVincenzo
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i don't know what he's talking about alex, the acoustic posted on your site is pretty awesome, they don't sound sick
Alex's unite! I don't think they were sick that day, but they had just gotten back from Europe so their voices were strained. And in the backstage session I did with them, they were both feeling subpar due to finishing up a month-long tour. I think they sounded fine, but after some rest they'll be even better.
11:37 AM on 03/29/10
TSTLSOOM
Hayley > Hayley
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Alan is the best! haha
11:44 AM on 03/29/10
cuzimlefthanded
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i don't know what he's talking about alex, the acoustic posted on your site is pretty awesome, they don't sound sick
Dude really? For that performance, Alan was extremely hoarse, with his voice continually cracking/cutting off. He could barely sing his part in the bridge of the song. But it's awesome how despite being sick, neither of them back off from any of the notes; they just go for them.

11:47 AM on 03/29/10
DanceAlexDance
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Dude really? For that performance, Alan was extremely hoarse, with his voice continually cracking/cutting off. He could barely sing his part in the bridge of the song. But it's awesome how despite being sick, neither of them back off from any of the notes; they just go for them.

i'm referring to this set:
http://alexislegend.com/?p=218

but yea, it's pretty sick in the video you posted that they just go for it haha
11:50 AM on 03/29/10
Yellowcard2006
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Grrreat interview
12:40 PM on 03/29/10
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Deborah...you rock...moar interviews by you!

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