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Interview: Wonder Years, The - 07.30.10
 

The Wonder Years - 07.30.10

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The Wonder Years - 07.30.10The Wonder Years have come a long way since they released The Upsides on January 26. After a headlining tour with Man Overboard and Therefore I Am, the group continued their travels on a tour with Crime in Stereo, the Kimbo Wants A Pepsi Tour with Set Your Goals, a Europe run with Four Year Strong, and now string of dates with Streetlight Manifesto. They also managed to get signed to Hopeless Records and record four new songs for a re-release of their latest record as well as one song for a cover split. Needless to say, the boys have been busy and they don't have any intentions of slowing down. I managed to snag about an hour of Soupy and Josh's time outside of The Talent Farm in Pembroke Pines, FL, where they were playing The Warped Tour Cure Show with Dan Potthast and several local bands. The guys were great to talk to and played an absolutely killer set. The Wonder Years have become a pillar in the pop punk scene; the band as a whole play with more passion and desire than almost anyone I've seen, and Soupy has crafted the lyrics to a record that has a song for everyone on it. I've never come across a record that divides my friends so much. Everyone has a different favorite song....a song that seems to have been written by the band for them. So anyway, check out the interview; we talk about their future tour plans, Mark Hoppus, the re-release, Hopeless Records, n00dz, their upcoming compilation release, the story about how a shelf and the world collapsed all around Soupy in the basement at Liv's house, how Josh thinks that eyebrow ring-wearing skulls are really punk, writing for a new album, and lots of other stuff. Also be sure to buy the re-release of The Upsides on September 21 if you don't already have a copy!



I'm Thomas and I'm sitting here with The Wonder Years outside The Talent Farm in Pembroke Pines. Can you guys say your names and what you do in the band?


TWY: I'm Dan (Soupy) and I sing in the band. My name is Josh and I play bass in the band.

All right. So, I guess the first question is just how are you guys doing right now? You guys just got off some bad times with the van issue and all of this other stuff that's been happening. So what is the current state of The Wonder Years?


Soupy: It's fine. I mean, relatively fine. People were asking if we wanted to take donations when the vans broke. We kept saying no, because this is a setback and not a tragedy. No one's sick, no one died, we're not being shot at. We just owe some money. It'll all be okay.

Kind of in that vein, you guys just did a few eBay auctions for a couple of fans who died in a terrible accident. A lot of people wanted to know how you guys were so willing to jump on that and help them out that way when you were in financial troubles on your own?


Josh: Because we can work our way out of financial trouble...we're able-bodied 23 or 24 year old men. Or boys, if you wanna say that. And that was a really terrible thing that happened to those two kids that died in the accident. You know, those kids wanted to come to the show, and they liked our band. So why shouldn't we also support their families?
Soupy: Yeah, it would have been almost callous of us not to do something. When you hear a story like that...and plus, when they told me which two kids they were, I remembered them from the last two Salt Lake City shows. They sang along to every word, I knew exactly who they were talking about. So it would have been callous of us to not do anything. It's not like we ran a fucking marathon or anything, we just put some records online for sale and hoped for the best, and it helped a little.

You guys signed to Hopeless Records a couple of months ago now, right


Josh
: Yeah, it's been a couple of months now.

How has the transition been and what are you guys looking forward to most working with Hopeless?


Soupy
: The transition has been seamless. Really easy stuff because the labels have such respect for each other. It was really easy to transfer all the information because Hopeless had a lot of nice things to say about No Sleep and vice versa. Like, I consider Chris from No Sleep as a friend. Less as a label owner and more as a friend; we would text each other jokes and whatnot back and forth all the time, and we still do the same stuff with Hopeless. Except instead of one guy, there's like 12 people that work there?
Josh
: There are five dudes and three girls I think.
Soupy
: Plus interns and an Australian staff, a UK staff, all that good stuff. And the second part of that question was.....what are we looking forward to?
Josh
: Yeah, well Hopeless is a bigger label in terms of larger distribution and more staff in more places. But I'm excited to work with them because we're one of only a few bands on that label like we were with Chris. So we'll get all the loving, mothers and fathers kind of stuff.
Soupy
: Also naked pictures of Eric Tobin.
Josh
: Yeah the naked pictures!
Soupy
: When we signed, Eric promised us noodz, and we've been waiting....
Josh
: I think we've been waiting since like May for those.

[Laughs] So that's a call out to Eric Tobin, The Wonder Years are waiting for you to deliver. You guys are already doing some work for Hopeless. A re-release of The Upsides is coming out September 21st, right?


Soupy: September 21st? As far as we know! We didn't get told that, it was sort of just on the Internet.
Josh: Yeah, Interpunk told me that.

Okay. So, why did you guys want to do the re-release? And also, a few people were wondering about the "Washington Square Park" acoustic version that does not appear to be on there.


Soupy: We wanted to do it because of the distro. Not purely because of the distro, but obviously Hopeless was going to start distributing the record. And if we're going to have it be distributed through another label, why not beef up the release? So that people who are buying it for the first time get more.
Josh: Also, copies are literally running out. Like, physical copies are ending...the copies that No Sleep pressed are almost all gone. So we have to repress the record anyway to have more to sell.
Soupy: Yeah, if we're going to bother with a repress and redistribution, why not add some more to it? Also, "Washington Square Park" didn't make it because it sounded terrible, and why decided on "Dynamite Shovel" instead.

Fair enough. Another song that people are looking forward to off the re-release is the new version of "Logan Circle". So, how is that different?


Soupy
: Oh, secrets!

Secrets?!


Josh
: I think that might be the one secret that gets kept.
Soupy
: Yeah, we want to keep that a secret. I'll let you listen to it when we're done, as long as you don't record it on that.

I'm definitely down for that. [Editor's Note: It rules. All four new songs rule. Hehehe.]


Josh
: We talked to the guys at Hopeless and people expect so many teasers to come out before the actual record comes out, which is hard to do because there are only four new tracks. So we want to keep at least a quarter of it a secret. Just that one-quarter of the new stuff, we want to surprise people with.
Soupy
: I will say that as far as new versions of songs go....not that this hasn't been done before, but I've never heard one like this done before. So, we're hoping that we did something that's at least going to get some people excited.

Well, as far as secrets go, I was actually talking to Four Year Strong yesterday and they might have said something about a possible tour coming up in October?


Soupy: How have we gotten asked about this like three different times already?!
Josh: Here's the thing....it exists on the Internet somewhere. You can find it. It might even exist on your board.
Soupy: Yeah, I definitely found it there. I don't want to actually say it.
Josh: We'll get in trouble if we say it.
Soupy: Yeah, but there might be a tour in Shmoctober with Shmore Shmere Shmong. And maybe Shmomeback Kid.
Josh: That tour might happen. There are lots of rumors of that happening. There might be a tour.
Soupy: We can't talk about this tour that may or may not happen that may or may not exist on the Internet with some other bands that may or may not be mentioned on AbsolutePunk.net.

Okay. Well that all sounds pretty concrete. As far as new releases go...the compilation record. Six Dudes from the Keystone State.


Soupy: Yes sir.

That's going to be re-mastered versions of Get Stoked On It and Won't Be Pathetic Forever?


Josh: Also Distances.
Soupy: Yeah, here's the deal. Get Stoked On It is out of print, pretty much. There are literally zero of Won't Be Pathetic Forever orDistances. But Get Stoked On It was literally done in 16 days...recorded, mixed, and mastered. So it sounds like it was done in 16 days. We took the time to have that remixed by Vince Ratti and then re-mastered, it sounds much better. Obviously will include the Won't Be Pathetic Forever 7", our songs from the Distances split, "Christmas at 22", "Leavenhouse 11:30", the Kid Dynamite cover, and a song that you've never heard before that didn't make The Upsides.
Josh: A C-side, if you will.
Soupy: It will probably come out in January.

Is that C-side going to be a song that would have fit in naturally on The Upsides? A realist pop-punk song?


Soupy: Well, the original lyrics....I guess I was trying to be snarky or something.
Josh: You were definitely trying to be snarky.
Soupy: The whole song just didn't feel right. I rewrote all the lyrics and vocals for it.

You guys told me last January that you wanted to do three releases this year. Is there anything else we should expect?


Soupy: Well, it all got shuffled around with the switch to Hopeless. The Upsides came out this year, we did the cover split, we did the four new songs for the re-release, and we've got the compilation coming out early next year. Oh, we also recorded an iTunes-exclusive track that we just recorded at the Hopeless offices. It's for charity, that'll probably be up pretty soon.

Well, speaking of tours and Four Year Strong, you guys went on the "Enemy of Europe" tour with them. So, people have requested your favorite Europe tour story. Was that the first time you guys have been over there?


Josh
: First time to mainland Europe. But that was our fourth trip to the UK.
Soupy: My favorite moment of that tour was the day it was Kyle's (Fireworks) birthday, we went to go get him a birthday present. And Josh and I were walking down the street in Germany, so we wanted to get him a big blow-up sex doll because it would be so funny. We were walking and we saw this store. You know what I mean when I say a "wolf shirt"?

Like, The Hangover-style?


Soupy
: Yeah, it doesn't really have to have a wolf on it. Just one of those majestic paintings, that guys wear to WalMart. So anyway, the window of this store was filled with these, and we were like, we have to get that one of the big-mouth bass!
Josh: There were like horses running through water, there were tigers.
Soupy: There was one of a skull smoking a cigarette or something.
Josh: It was a skull with four eyebrow rings riding a motorcycle. Really punk.
Soupy: Yeah, we ended up getting the one of two horses running through water. The great thing about those shirts was that the front was exactly the same as the back. Literally the exact same print. So we brought it back and we showed Kyle and everyone thought it was awesome. This store hadn't even been patronized in the last six weeks, we were like the first customers they had ever seen. So all 25 of us ran back and starting ripping through the racks of clothes. Chris and I bought tweed vests that we wore on stage that night with no shirts underneath.
Josh: Kyle bought a hologram kitten picture. I bought a Jurassic Park man-purse for like two Euro.
Soupy: The great part was that the entire tour caravan was in this store that was just unknowingly based solely on irony. Everything in their store was ironic. Probably my favorite memory of that tour.

Well, continuing with stories...do you want to explain the story that happens in Liv's basement during "Hostels and Brothels"?


Soupy
: Umm....well there are probably a lot of things we shouldn't tell.

[all laugh]


Josh
: It was on the first Hostels and Brothels tour in 2007, and we played in Leeds. Our friend, Liv, was the promoter for that show and she told us we could come back and stay at her house. And on that tour, we had what some people would call an "alcohol abuse problem". Except everyone who was straightedge. We went to Liv's house and a lot of kids from the show came back, and there was just a lot of college movie-type bullshit going on. Everything was broken, someone punched a hole through the bathroom wall, and the hole was in the wall that lead to the outside world. So if a man was using the bathroom, you could actually see him from the street. Some paintings got ripped off of the wall, a table got broken, me and Mikey were kind of just belligerently throwing beers around the kitchen breaking dishes. Bad things happened. I went back in there with a friend the next morning to try to find his hoodie and it looked like a bomb had gone off. It was kind of upsetting and gross. There was newspaper and magazines ripped all over the place like confetti, some kid was still passed out on the couch with a bunch of shit stacked on him because he was so wasted. Someone had put one of those red spinning police lights on top of a mountain of tables and chairs and it was just sitting there still spinning. It was bad, but Liv's still our friend, so it's okay.
Soupy
: We love you, Liv.

Wow. I guess we're almost done, I just have a few random questions with no real relation to each other here. Since Nick is a part of the band now, is that going to change how you guys write?


Soupy
: No, not really. I mean, it'll change a little. The song that we recorded with Nick playing keys doesn't sound that different though.
Josh
: I mean, it'll have to change because there's another person in the band. If you're asking whether we're going to have disco-pop parts and brutal breakdowns, then no, unfortunately.
Soupy
: It's not because we don't want to, it's because we haven't figured out how to write them yet. We've been trying so hard.
Josh
: That'll be the Up-Up-Upsides.
Soupy
: As soon as we figure out how to write that, we will be doing it. I think the plan is to have crazy mosh-for-Christ parts all over the songs, with really stupid electro-pop parts right after them.
Josh
: That's what would be the best for me, I think.

Yeah. Well, that's what makes money.


Soupy
: That's what I'm saying. Gotta sell some records. No, but really. There's just a Rhodes behind some stuff now and there's an extra guitar lead. It sounds nice. We're still the same genre, it's not like we brought the synth back. There's no Nintendo track behind anything, it's hopefully going to sound pretty similar to what we've been doing. It'll just have a keyboard.
Josh
: I'm really happy with the stuff that came out for the re-issue, and I hope other people like it too. If they don't, then I don't know....
Soupy
: Sorry if you don't. We continually do our best.

Mike Kennedy is back with you guys now. Can you guys just lay down that story real quick?


Josh
: That's on the Internet somewhere, but I'll give you the abridged version, I guess. Kennedy left to pursue academia and have an internship at the Smithsonian. We was going to go to grad school too, but he decided the nine-to-five workforce wasn't for him, and he wasn't ready to make that transition so he asked to be back in the band. The way we worked it out is that, since Nick is an extremely gifted musician, he would play keys and guitar and Kennedy could play drums. It's an extra person in the van, who cares. We'll have more fun.
Soupy
: I think he might actually be a better guitar player than he is a drummer. Not that he wasn't a great drummer though, he's just way better at all of our intstruments than we are.
Josh
: He's a great musician, but what an asshole.
Soupy
: Yeah, complete douchebag.
Josh
: We really look forward to writing the record and seeing what happens.
Soupy
: We also look forward to beating up Nick.
Josh
: Well, that goes without saying.

People want to know if you're going to do a Paper Boats repress or a follow-up.


Soupy
: Probably not, no. I thought about repressing it, especially since we've been in this financial peril, because I thought it could make some money. But I think it cheapens it. The idea was that there were only going to be 200 copies, but those went so fast that we did another 100, then another 150. So there are 450 copies of that book laying around somewhere. I'll probably cap it at that. If I do another run, it would probably be short, like 100 or 150, but I'd be surprised if we do that. As far as a follow-up goes, I'm trying to turn all of my attention on writing lyrics for the new record. I want to have a full book of lyrics before we go in to record. So I'm not really concentrating on anything other than that. I want the lyrics to be above and beyond what we did on The Upsides and I know we all want the music to be above and beyond what we did on The Upsides.

So as far as the lyrics for the new record go, are you going to keep the realist pop punk, everyday life sort of lyrics going on?


Soupy
: Yeah, definitely. Well, actually....I have some big ideas for this record. But I don't want to share them right now, I want to keep it a secret. The writing process has just, just, just begun. I don't want to divulge anything yet.

And on that note, I guess that's about it. That was The Wonder Years. Do you guys have anything else you'd like to say to your fans?


Josh
: We'll be on tour in the fall!
Soupy
: Yeah, we'll basically be on tour forever. Except for a couple of months in the winter when we'll be writing and recording the new record. And if you know any way we can meet Mark Hoppus....
Josh
: Yes, Mark Hoppus! Every interview ends with this.
Soupy
: People always ask what the goal of the band is. And I think, pretty consistently, we say that our goal with The Wonder Years is to meet Mark Hoppus. He doesn't even have to like me. We could just hang out for ten minutes, that would be cool. Oh, but actually, I have a new goal!
Josh
: Really?
Soupy
: Yes. I want someone to list us on the notable alumni on the Wikipedia page of our high school.
Josh
: Hell yeah. I want to give a big middle finger to everyone we went to high school with by being the first notable alumni on our Wikipedia page. Me, Kennedy, and Casey all graduated high school together.
Soupy
: Nick, Matt, and I went to a different high school.
Josh
: You guys have a lot of people on yours already though.
Soupy
: I think that one of the girls from Gilmore Girls is on there.
Josh
: Yeah, but we should be the first on ours. Fireworks are already on theirs!
Soupy
: Yeah, and they're fucking super notable! And very handsome. You should see them shirtless. They're all ripped like Jesus. So, you wanna hear the new songs?

Let's do it!
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 38
09:57 PM on 07/29/10
#2
Marc Bianco
Progress, not perfection.
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Can't wait to meet them in a couple weeks
10:11 PM on 07/29/10
#3
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Call out to Mark Hoppus. Show your cards!
10:19 PM on 07/29/10
#4
Fish Man Alex
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I played that show and I hung with them! those dudes are some of the most genuine and nicest guys you'll ever meet. super glad everything's going well for them!
10:20 PM on 07/29/10
#5
RockTheWalls
Rock The Walls: http://idobi.com
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Call out to Mark Hoppus. Show your cards!

Don't know if you have the power to [being rednamed] but can you rename that CBK/FYS tour I announce along with TWY in the show setlist thread? Four Year Strong talked about it and were the first to officially confirm via interview with me so it is deff. out there...
10:21 PM on 07/29/10
#6
Yellowcard2006
I'll buy you a raincoat
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Great interview! I WANT TO HEAR THOSE SONGS.
10:33 PM on 07/29/10
#7
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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I played that show and I hung with them! those dudes are some of the most genuine and nicest guys you'll ever meet. super glad everything's going well for them!
Planet Parker?? I was doing the interview while you guys played but I've seen you before at TTF. Solid stuff.
10:35 PM on 07/29/10
#8
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Don't know if you have the power to [being rednamed] but can you rename that CBK/FYS tour I announce along with TWY in the show setlist thread? Four Year Strong talked about it and were the first to officially confirm via interview with me so it is deff. out there...
I don't know what you are actually asking me to do. But anyway, the tour hasn't been announced yet. Clearly people know about it. But I just posted interviews with FYS and TWY and neither band specifically said, "We're touring with [insert band here] in October" during the interview. That's because it hasn't been officially announced. So until there's a press release or something on Twitter or some other sort of announcement, it won't be posted as news yet.
10:38 PM on 07/29/10
#9
hiya
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great read and good questions, nicely done.

Don't know if you have the power to [being rednamed] but can you rename that CBK/FYS tour I announce along with TWY in the show setlist thread? Four Year Strong talked about it and were the first to officially confirm via interview with me so it is deff. out there...

if you go to edit the first post of the thread and then click go advanced you can change the title of the thread.
10:45 PM on 07/29/10
Oathy
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I wanna know who the 4th band on that FYS tour is and dates/venues.
10:46 PM on 07/29/10
frenchatticus
"Capitalism is killing music."
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I'm going to edit that wiki page.
10:55 PM on 07/29/10
Jaytothesyg
The Greatest Generation
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Love this band, Can't wait for the new songs! And to see that tour. Also really stoked on the Six dudes from the keystone state compilation. Hoping thats a vinyl? They're fantastic. For sure one of my favorite bands
11:05 PM on 07/29/10
zachff
deadformat.net/tradelist/zachff
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Decent read before I pass out for the night.
11:53 PM on 07/29/10
RockTheWalls
Rock The Walls: http://idobi.com
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I don't know what you are actually asking me to do. But anyway, the tour hasn't been announced yet. Clearly people know about it. But I just posted interviews with FYS and TWY and neither band specifically said, "We're touring with [insert band here] in October" during the interview. That's because it hasn't been officially announced. So until there's a press release or something on Twitter or some other sort of announcement, it won't be posted as news yet.

Was talking about the Thread, changed it now though. Got Four Year Strong to say they will be touring with them. I can link you to the interview if you would like.
12:21 AM on 07/30/10
TSTLSOOM
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i think i read somewhere that Dynamite Shovel is a acoustic song along the lines of Wasting Time, where it sounds like you are listening to it at a campfire singalong.

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