The Forecast are a sleeper hit in my book. They're one of those bands that I constantly want to see as a big headliner, but in the end, it seems like the success and fan fare they receive is just alright with them. Being a flavor of the week isn't in the band's mentality - just producing great music. On their headlining run earlier this summer, the band sat down to talk about how everything is going thus far, and just where it can go.
I'm sure you guys get asked this a lot, but what was going on in the transitioning period between Victory and Eyeball Records? What was going through your minds prior to signing and releasing the self-titled?
Dustin Addis: Well, it kind of starts after we had put out In the Shadow of Two Gunman and how that had been going on. It was out for a little while and we had been touring for a year and a half. We just knew at that point that we wanted to try and do something different. When we had things set-up with Victory, it was possible to kind of move and expand our horizons. We had a little time that we had to wait out. There was a lot of time hanging at home, writing a ridiculous amount of songs. We all lived in a house together at the time. I guess we just kind of lived for a little bit. We were so used to touring, it was kind of like taking a little break and just kind of write music when we wanted to and just kind of relaxed. We did that for a bit, and when it came time to move on and do what we want to do, we were like, "Let's just go record a record. We had enough money saved up, so we went to New York and recorded the self-titled record. At the time we were recording the album, we ended up staying with Alex [Saavadera] from Eyeball Records - he has a house in upstate - so we got to hang out with him and spend a lot of time. We got to know him really well. We've known him for a really long time, but got to know him a lot better. When the opportunity kind of came up and we were wondering what to do with the record, it just kind of made sense. He definitely runs a lot more D.I.Y. then Victory does. [Eyeball] has something we all kind of grew up on. It's just different, and kind of nice.
You say you had a lot of time off the road and just wanted to play music. What do you mean by that? Was there pressure from Victory for a certain sound?
Shannon Burns: Not really
Addis: Not really. Before we were going in to record In the Shadow of Two Gunman, they were like, "Do you guys want to do another record?" We were like, "Yeah, let's do it!" We didn't really have anything written at the time, so we just kind of held up, knocked it out and recorded it in about a month. It was just super fast process. We didn't really think about it. We were on tour for so long, we had twelve songs and knocked it out and recorded it. [With the self-titled], I feel like we had written three records, and by the time we entered the studio, we flushed out all the bad songs.
Burns: We had time to sit and think about those songs...
Tony Peck: And analyze and analyze...and over analyze it.
Addis: It definitely gets frustrating at a certain point, but I think it's our best record. So far, I like the way it has come out.
There's definitely something about the self-titled that is push on Gunman. There was something in Gunman that wasn't in [Late Night] Conversations. I know it seems like a cliche question, but things definitely seem like they keep cleaning up moving further from just some pop punk band. Thoughts?
Addis: I think it's just time - with everybody. When we did Late Night Conversations, Shannon had never sang in a band and never played bass. We all just kind of grew up. From Late Night to Gunman, I think we just got better being on tour all the time. We just had a lot of time to hone our skills [and] learning how to sing together. Obviously, I think Tony has become a way better drummer.
I think it's interesting what you said about vocals, especially with Shannon's on this record. With Gunman, it seems like it was a duel thing, whereas you seem to play more back up on this album. Is that something you guys were going for?
Burns: I think so. I wasn't trying to go balls out on my vocals. I felt more comfortable. We just went with it. We got better at coming up with harmonies and stuff. Instead of, "Hey, let's just sing this and throw this in there." It was more whatever we liked.
Addis: We weren't trying to push the issue on the duel vocals. We definitely pushed that issue on Late Night and Gunman too. This was a little bit more like "What fits the song?" It's about becoming better songwriters. Knowing where things fit. What's going to make the chorus pop? Where does she take the lead? Where does it split? I think that's what makes the record standout in a way I guess. [Laughs]
There's always been a bit of Southern-tinge to the music, and it seems like this album is a bit more straight forward. Something you guys can see?
Addis: I don't know.
Peck: I don't know. For me, I was listening to the mid-90s kind of alternative. Back in the day, I'd never gotten into Gin Blossoms before. Then I started getting into Gin Blossoms. Holy crap, those guys are incredible songwriters. That's just from my angle of it. If we're still straight rock at this point, I don't know. We still love love the whole Southern rock thing. It's more natural.
Burns: It's not like we planned on it.
Addis: After Gunman came out, I feel like we set ourselves up to put out an alt-country record or the far left or far right. I think we went a little more straightforward, but going the alt-country route was kind of where we were. I feel like we're the kind of band that we can go and record another record and put out an alt-country album and be really happy about it, but I feel like we have a lot of time to process this. I think we were like, "Let's write a rock record. Let's be a bit more straightforward." I think being on tour with Hot Rod Circuit and Motion City Soundtrack and the tour we were on right before we went into recording this album influenced us just being around them. That had a lot to do with it.
What do you think of the reception of The Forecast thus far? I feel like the outsider looking in that the band has always had a bit of sleeper success. You don't see the band in huge headlines, but I know, especially from the site, you guys have quite a following.
Addis: I couldn't be happier about where we are. We have some of the sweetest fans in the world. I definitely don't expect anything. We don't have any expectations. We just kind of write the music we love.
Burns: Our fans are awesome.
Addis: At the end of the day, I feel like we're doing all the right things. At the end of the day, I think we're like a band's band. I love that. You run into a lot of bands that are like "I love your band!" That's great. At some point, something has got to give. I don't want to force the issue. I've got all the time.
Burns: We want to make a career out of this. We don't want to have that one single and be it.
So, what's next? Any sort of writing right now?
Addis: After this tour, we'll probably take some time off and start writing for the new record. We're looking for some tours in the Fall. We're trying to be a bit smarter these days about the tours we want to do. We're probably just getting together a new record and see what happens. We'd like to tour on this record a bit more. I feel like it's just getting out there. It's just hitting stores. There's still a lot to go on this record. At the same time, I think we're all ready to write a new record.
With the time between the digital and physical run of the self-titled, what do you think of that model of releasing the digital first?
Addis: It was something where we were unsure of, but at the same time, at this day and age, it doesn't really matter. We wanted to get the record out after sitting on it for a few months. We have physical copies to sell on tour, which is awesome. As far as it being in stores, I don't know if it really, for a band like us, that might not effect us. For people looking for the vinyl, that's finally coming out. I think it's a good thing. I think it also prolongs the life of the record...I feel pretty good about it.
it's so sad that more people don't know about this band. . . .i went to the evansville, IN show back in may and like 25 people were there. it was cool though because it was intimate and they played an all acoustic set and played one of the songs i requested.
i love this band so much and will always support them. this band puts everything into their music and it just makes you feel "alive".
Good list, but I would add my favorite, "(May you one day) carry me home" and pay close attention to how incredibly awesome the song is from 1:58 on, specifically the mind boggling harmonies she does after the pause at 2:20. The melody is absolutely beautiful and gives me shivers every time.