The Story So Far - 03.25.12

Interviewed by
The Story So Far - 03.25.12The Story So Far are one of the hottest bands right now on the pop-punk circuit, as evidenced by rampant stage-dives and sing-a-longs every single night of the Glamour Kills tour, headlined by The Wonder Years. Everyone in the band shows a large amount of enthusiasm for what they do, and people in attendance feed off of it. I felt like their set was one gigantic celebration, where everybody came together and just focused on enjoying themselves.

I sat down with Will (Guitar) and Kelen (Bass) on a sunny evening outside of Pepino's, a Portland staple when it comes to delicious mexican cuisine. I really had a fun time with both of them, sharing a few laughs along the way, including getting too excited and calling A Loss For Words "Wrightsville Beach"..."Wrightsville Bitch" -- WHOOPS!

First off, how's the tour been going for you guys? I've heard so many things about your set, with a lot of stage-dives and whatnot.

Will: It's been really cool, the crowd interaction has been really gnarly, the kids have been reckless in a way; the stage is theirs...but sometimes the stage SHOULDN'T be theirs, hahaha. But the bands have been really supportive, and they're all really fucking good, everyone kills it every night; the reaction for The Wonder Years is really another thing to see, it's crazy to see how kids just explode for that band.

Kelen: Last night in Seattle, it was just pure mayhem. It's been a new experience for us coming back to these cities that we've been before, and seeing how our fan base has grown; it's very lively.

The band did a U.S. tour supporting Senses Fail late last year; since then, it really seems like your fan base has really exploded since that tour. What are your thoughts on this?

Will: We were put on a cool tour, a lot of exposure; the internet's a big deal as well. The shows have been getting bigger and bigger and more fun, more kids come on out.

Kelen: It's sortof an exponential growth, based on the internet and the album getting into more and more hands. And with these tours, they've been giving us more and more exposure...

Will: Keep downloading!

Kelen: Being with a diverse group of bands, you have people who have never heard your band out to shows, and they get to see what you're all about as a band, and it become a word of mouth sort of thing.

Soupy from The Wonder Years and bands like Stick To Your Guns have spoke in support of your band, and recognizing your band as one of the next big thing in pop-punk. What are your thoughts to that?

Will: I'd say the whole band supports it, not just Soupy; it's cool, it's real nice. I listened to Stick To Your Guns in high school, and it was cool to tour with them and get their support. That's the best part, is becoming friends with these bands and just kicking it for two months and play music.

Kelen: We were just talking earlier about bands that have recognized our potential, and have been supportive and have invited us to play these cool shows and tours. But as far as the next big thing in Pop-Punk, I think we're trying to transcend that, and get people who aren't in the pop-punk/hardcore scene into our band; we're just trying to invite more people to this community.

Something that was really cool about this current tour in particular was the split that everyone on this tour was involved with, where everyone covered another band's song. You guys covered A Loss For Words "Wrightsville Beach", and they in turn covered your song "Quicksand". What are your thoughts on the split and the experience?

Kelen: The split was cool, we were listening to it earlier today. We put out our spin on Wrightsville Beach, and given the time and resources, it was just what came out. We were just having fun. It was funny skimming through all the comments on it, and seeing the reactions; it was just an opportunity to have some fun with, and we're not going in some heavier direction or anything.

Your debut album, "Under Soil And Dirt" came out fairly recently on Pure Noise Records. How would you describe it to somebody who had never heard it, and what are two songs you'd first show them?

Will: Well, i'd first say "Verb"...just kidding. Pop-Punk, with lyrics about Girls and growing up; grooviness, lot of energy. "High Regard" and "Roam" would be the first two songs i'd show someone.

Kelen: What would I call this album of ours? It's abrasive in a way...my Mom likes it, so that says a lot...

Will: That says A LOT.

Kelen: ...it's not really in your face, but at the same time, it is. It's an honest record, it packs a punch...

Will: (In an obnoxious voice) A nice uppercut to the chin!

Kelen: As for the two songs i'd show someone, i'd say "Swords And Pens", and "Placeholder".

Will: Really? You just said that because we're picking two different songs!

You guys aren't playing Placeholder on this tour; are there plans on putting it on the setlist anytime soon?

Kelen: Maybe, we're gonna try and prepare it.

What bands were all of you guys listening to when you were writing and recording for this album?

Kelen: Transit's Keep This To Yourself, that album was awesome...

Will: I dunno, I drove with Morgan and Kevin everyday; we were listening to listening to Elliot Smith, The Weakerthans, Wilco, Mother of Mercy, Black Breath. We were in the car every single day.

Kelen: The thing about Transit is that we all heard that album, we all loved it and thought it was next level and now we're like...

Will: That was the album where we were like "Shit...14 awesome, solid tracks. That's fucking badass, we want to do that. We want to put out a SOLID record".

Do you feel like the new Transit album is under-appreciated? I've heard during this tour, kids will go wild for their old stuff...and then mellow out for their newer stuff.

Will: Yeah...i'll be really honest, it took me a lot of listens to really get into it; and then actually seeing it live every night, i'm impressed, they wrote a phenomenal record. They got mad at me because I lied to them, and I said that the record was good when I didn't like all of it at the time, and then I confessed my love for them last night...but yeah, the new record's great.

I dunno man, kids get weirded out when bands make a drastic change...and you go from heavy and fast parts, and then there's these really great riffs and guitar tones...kids just don't understand.

...And it's still a Transit album at it's core, you know?

Kelen: Kids just have short memories and feel like they are entitled to certain things, like the bands are their servants or something. But in all reality, Transit's just trying to write a great album. It's different, but it's still Transit. I don't think people should shun bands for doing something different, especially when they're still the same band at it's core. It's not like they're a hip-hop band now, they didn't take a whole 180, they just changed it a little bit. You don't put out the same album twice, it's just never going to happen.

With the way with the music industry is going, where bands are putting out albums super quick, do you feel pressured to start writing for a new EP or full length immediately?

Will: I dunno if it has to do with the industry itself, maybe we're all brain-washed or something. I just think we're all eager to write again; we have fill-ins on tour while people are at school. So when we get back home this summer, we're gonna hang out; that's how we hang out, is write music together.

Kelen: It's different for every band. I think this album we put out has enough lasting value that we have time; it's not like an immediate calling to write and record, but we're going to do it. It really depends, it's a timing thing; you don't want to put out too many releases too soon, but you want to put out good records that people can define you with and time them well to keep them interested. It's sort of a game.

What are some of the difficulties when writing and recording this album?

Will: Not having a bass player to write with...or a vocalist, just distance. Kelen was an hour from us, and Parker was 6 hours away from us.

Kelen: It feels farther away, it's an hour away, but I was working a job and taking a full amount of credits in college, so I was pretty busy.

Will: We had real life to attend to as well, you know? School, work, friends, family, girlfriends...and then we wanted to write a record on top of that shit. We were able to communicate online and share what we were writing, we took a weekend and did some pre-production and sat on it. We basically had the framework of each song ready to go when we went into the studio, but we also did a lot in the studio as well.

Kelen: We learned a lot and how to write, and all the things that go into pre-production; being able to listen to your song and being able to say "I don't really like that...". It was a good experience.

Looking for any sort of criticism for this album, there's been people that have some sort of hang-up on the lyrics; one person on the forums even went as far to call them "Tumblr lyrics". What do you have to say to those criticisms?

Kelen: Well, that's great that someone likes the lyrics...

Kelen: We only made a tumblr account after we started seeing attention, we're not really big internet guys. The thing is, people will prowl all day on the internet and say stuff about other bands. I'd rather be writing music and have people say stuff about it online; we don't pay too much attention to that stuff, we just do what we want and write music for ourselves.

Looking ahead to more music, you said you learned a lot writing the first record. What sort of vibe or message do you want to put on your next record, if you've had any ideas so far?

Kelen: We just want to make a record that makes people want to get up in the morning and kill people.....in a good way.

Will: I think we want to push each other musically, and utilize a bass player this time around.

So you guys will really be hitting your stride on this next album?

Kelen: I think we have a lot to build on; we released this record, and it was received really well, and to launch us where we are now. We can only go bigger than we've already gone, and we're going to shoot for that with our next record.

Are there any producers that you'd like to reach out to?

Kelen: Rick Rubin! haha, just kidding.

Will: Sam Pura, he's the engineer, the man himself...our best friend -- we consider him to be a 6th member of the band. If he thinks a part sucks, we'll fucking listen. He's been there from the start, recording all our records; he knows us, he grooves with us...

Kelen: Groves...is that "grows" and "grooves" in one word?

Will: He knows our weaknesses and hot spots, and he pushes us. We're all excited to go back and see him.

What's one book and one band that you'd recommend to anyone that listens to The Story So Far and why?

Kelen: A book? Requiem For A Dream for sure, but I recommend you watch the movie first because it'll change your life.

A band? If you haven't listened to the Foo Fighters There's Nothing Left To Lose, you gotta listen to that album.

Will: The Weakerthans are great, everyone in the band likes them.

Kelen: Cuninlynguists, they're a hip-hop group, they're really great musically. We listen to hip-hop, stuff like A Tribe Called Quest and all that sort of stuff.

Will: As for our drummer Ryan...Gorillaz, he really likes that band.

As for a book? I'd say It's Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini;I just got done reading that book, there's that movie adaptation with Zach Galifinakis. It was a cool story.

As for a band...


Will: I haven't listened to Limp Bizkit alot. I've listened to No More Black, they shred so hard, I love all their guitar work.

What's next for the band in 2012? You guys are writing in the summer, but other than that, do you have any other stuff to share?

Will: We're doing Bamboozle in may, and then we head out to England with Transit to do the Slam Dunk festival, and then we're doing a week and a half tour with them and Hit The Lights and Decades.

Kelen: We're planning on recording in the fall, and we'll be touring more. Anything that hasn't been announced yet will stay that way.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Kelen: Be respectful to other people...

Will: DON'T step on my pedal board...

Kelen: Don't get caught up in the music scene; there's more to life than music, although it's a great therapeutic element in our lives...

Will: Like SEX...

Kelen: ...with potatoes!
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 24
01:29 PM on 04/09/12
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algae's Avatar
Tumblr lyrics. Who posted that, that's like a really good insult.

What are they studying in college?
02:03 PM on 04/09/12
Jake Jenkins
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Jake Jenkins's Avatar
i like this band. really good. very interested in where they go next.
02:51 PM on 04/09/12
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CastlesXClouds's Avatar
supreme interview!
02:58 PM on 04/09/12
I'll buy you a raincoat
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Yellowcard2006's Avatar
Love the band, love the songs, love the lyrics.
05:17 PM on 04/09/12
Every cloud is in your way
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popdisaster00's Avatar
Such solid fucking dudes. I have been a big fan since their first EP, and it's been awesome to see them grow like this.
06:33 PM on 04/09/12
Dancing on the grave.
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Oskarr's Avatar
Makes me want to listen to under soil and dirt. Hope to see 'em on Wednesday

"Kelen: Don't get caught up in the music scene; there's more to life than music, although it's a great therapeutic element in our lives..."

Sounded like that was directed at pop punk kids on tumblr.
06:37 PM on 04/09/12
Jake Denning
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Jake Denning's Avatar
Makes me want to listen to under soil and dirt. Hope to see 'em on Wednesday

"Kelen: Don't get caught up in the music scene; there's more to life than music, although it's a great therapeutic element in our lives..."

Sounded like that was directed at pop punk kids on tumblr.
If you go see The Story So Far...You're gonna have a good time.
06:51 PM on 04/09/12
Brap Brap
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No Avatar Selected
Saw them in Seattle at El Corazon for the second time, it was bitchin'. I remember seeing them with This Time Next Year about a year and a half ago and there were maybe 10 people there tops... I thought they killed it but my then-girlfriend hated it and she predicted they wouldn't make it six months. Then they fuckin' pack out ElCo. I took a picture during their set and sent it to her, just said "Remember that band you said would never go anywhere? Fuck off."
07:37 PM on 04/09/12
The Starship Renegade
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guitarguy211's Avatar
Great band--saw them on this tour and they did great!
07:44 PM on 04/09/12
Regular Member
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MarquisInSpades's Avatar
I really wish they would play Placeholder on the tour when I see them. There's something about when he sings "It's haunting me, but I feel fine. War of Worlds in real time." that just gets to me. And it's really nice to see the token slower song on a pop punk album still pack a punch.

You guys are awesome!
07:58 PM on 04/09/12
Jake Denning
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Jake Denning's Avatar
I really wish they would play Placeholder on the tour when I see them. There's something about when he sings "It's haunting me, but I feel fine. War of Worlds in real time." that just gets to me. And it's really nice to see the token slower song on a pop punk album still pack a punch.

You guys are awesome!
Yeah, it'll be groovy when that's added in eventually. But you won't be disappointed, absolutely promise.
08:10 PM on 04/09/12
No Closer To Heaven
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Jaytothesyg's Avatar
Awesome. Love this band, can't wait to hear what they do next, I can definitely see them becoming my favorite band
08:34 PM on 04/09/12
Get him a cranberry juice
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ctmk's Avatar
as much as i love this band and Requiem for a Dream movie, read the book first. It kills
08:56 PM on 04/09/12
Registered User
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xgxhxoxsxtxsx's Avatar
as much as i love this band and Requiem for a Dream movie, read the book first. It kills
Hubert Selby Jr's style makes it difficult to identify whose speaking sometimes because there's no formal punctuation. I found by watching the film first the text has more life, simply because you can attach a voice to the text and identify the character.

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