Say No More's new album, What You Thought You Knew, is available online now.
Please state your name and what you do in the band, Say No More. Peter Holbert. I play the guitar. Tim Spier, and I play drums and sing Peter Pedrazzi, lead vocals and guitar Jon Rasmussen, I play bass and sing
Where are you guys right now? Peter P: Sitting on a plastic chair in front of my computer wondering if I should go for that fifth cup of coffee or just go cold turkey and risk answering these questions without the rich mellow support of my Columbian friend.
Can you give a brief history of the band for the people that aren’t familiar with you guys? Peter H: We all met up in high school in our hometown of Salinas, CA. We had all played in other bands before and met through mutual friends. Once our current line up was set about a year later, everything clicked and we all became fast friends. We released our first independent record titled “Stranger in Dreams” in 2004 and started playing small shows.
By summer 2005, all of us had graduated high school. At that point we had to decide if we wanted to go our separate ways in college or continue the band. We actually managed to do both. We ended up moving down to our current residence in LA and go to near-by colleges here. In early 2006 we released an EP called “The Transition.” This is the recording that helped us sign to DTR that year.
Tim and I were music students at Cal State Northridge when we heard about mtvU’s Best Music on Campus contest. The contest was open to any college students that were in bands, so we entered as CSUN students. Over 300 bands entered and we were stunned to keep making the cut down to the final five. We had entered so many other contests in the past with no success at all. In April 2006, Richard Reines, Randy from Finch and an mtvU camera crew showed up at our house as a surprise and told us we had won the contest. We got a contract with Drive- Thru and airplay on mtvU once our video comes out.
We spent the next year writing and recording demos before we were ready to go into the studio in June 2007 to record “What You Thought You Knew.” Our record is coming out Oct. 30th and we couldn’t be more excited about it! Ha ha…so much for brief!
Your newest release, What You Thought You Knew, comes out October 30th. Do you feel all your expectations for this album were met in the final product? Tim: I would say absolutely. It would have been nice to have about a week or two more to track, but that’s how I feel after every recording session. But looking back, I am extremely proud of every song on the record, and I feel like this album really represents who we are and what we’ve been trying to achieve musically for like the last 4 years. I know everyone says that about new records, but it’s totally ture.
Peter P: We have never worked so hard on something in our entire lives. This record has dramatically changed us as a band. The title “What You Thought You Knew” is a testimony to the naivety in our first perception of the music business as compared to what we have come to understand after realizing true nature and reality of life in a rock band. The day you make a record that meets all your expectations is the day you have compromised your intellectual capacity. So ummm I guess the answer is no.
Was there a theme that you guys were following while making the CD? Tim: Not really…we were just trying to write the best songs we knew how. But if I had to say there was a theme SONG, it would probably have been Chariots of Fire…cause seriously, how could you not get pumped listening to that track?
Where did you record “What You Thought You Knew?” Peter H: We recorded it in The Hangar studio in Sacramento, CA. One of the weirdest buildings I’ve ever been in. The studio looked like a giant abandoned warehouse in the bad part of town. We slept in the studio on mats in the middle of an indoor half pipe in a room full on mannequins. (We really did!) Pigeons sometimes flew into our room through hole in the wall while we were sleeping. We also saw the cops raid a huge semi truck full of drugs right by the studio. Besides all that though, the place was actually pretty cool and had really nice equipment! I think there are some pictures of the place in some of our myspace blogs from the summer.
What is the writing process like for the band? Peter H :It’s pretty collective. I’ll usually come up with a cool riff and Tim (drums) and I will start jamming on it to see if we can get a basic arrangement for a song. Once we get something we’ll give it to Peter P (singer) to start writing a melody and lyrics. Jon (bass) writes a lot of the melodies too and most of the background vocals. We’ll continue to bounce ideas off of each other until we have a cohesive song that we’re all happy with.
How long were you guys a band before you got signed? Tim: Well we formed as Say No More in December of 2001, but we weren’t like “Hey we should try and do this for real” until about 2004 or 2005. Before then it was like, “Ya I’m a freshman in high school, and ya, I’m in a band because it’s cool..” at least that’s how it was for me.
How did you guys sign to DTR? Peter P- Four years ago I kept my eye out for new bands signing to Drive-Thru so that I could get to know them before they blew up. I became friends with one of the guys in a band signing to the label and got Richard’s personal email through him. I was 17 and in shock when Richard replied to my email, he’s always been good about that stuff. Anyway, we met up with him several times over the next three years, showing him new music and making bets like how many times can I kick (enter band members name) in the balls before he gets mad (the answer is 4). A contest to win a record deal with Drive-Thru was announced on MTVU so we entered and won. One never realizes how the small things add up until you wake up one day with a pen in your hand saying “holy crap! I’m about to sign a friggin’ record deal!”
What are your plans for the rest of 2007 and 2008? Tim: Well we leave for an East Coast tour with Sound The Alarm and The White Tie Affair tomorrow, and that will go till around Thanksgiving. Then we plan on doing another west coast tour in December. We also have some plans to do a little mini run with our friends from Down for The Count and this awesome band from Montana of all places called Goodnight Sunrise…they’re rad dudes. We just want to tour as much as possible and get our music out there. We spent so much time writing and recording this year, it’s been really refreshing to get back out there and play and meet new kids…that’s really why we all do this.
What is a typical day on tour like for you? Peter H: Haha. To be honest, we’ve never really toured before. It’s been something that’s been really difficult for us. Every time we tried to get something together, it would either not work out or get cancelled. It’s bothered us a lot! We LOVE playing live and that’s the whole reason why we want to play music. We’re really excited about finally getting out on the road soon though!
What is the best/worse thing about touring? Peter H: So since we’ve never really toured, I guess the worst thing about touring is… not touring? We’re really excited about getting out on the road in November! Tim: We’re really looking forward to meeting kids that love music, seeing the country, obviously playing every night, kicking it with the other bands.
Do you have something you can’t go on tour without? Jon: My tool kit, my cell phone and a nice warm cardigan. Tim: Books, my laptop, camera, ipod. Ya know, the essentials. Peter H: Earplugs. I won’t fall asleep without them if there’s three other dudes in the RV with me. Peter P. My journal, which I use to keep track of the details.
Tell us a little bit about your newest “member,” Gumby. Peter P:Abosolutepunk.net is amazing! I’ve always been impressed with the kind of details you know about small bands like us. Gumby is our 1973 RV that we are going to travel the country in. He is shy in interviews so I couldn’t get him to help me answer this question but if you want to know more about him he does have a myspace, www.myspace.com/gumbysaynomore
What equipment do you use? Tim:I am the proud endorser and owner of an SJC custom drum kit. Those dudes are the coolest, and they make AMAZING drums. It’s a four piece maple kit with a custom argyle wrap. It’s probably the sweetest freaking drum set I’ve ever seen if I do say so myself. I also use Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, and DW hardware. Peter P: PRS custom 22 guitar, mesa triple rectifier, Mesa 4x12 cab, vocal chords, Nexium prescription anti-acids Jon: I just got a Fender Marcus Miller jazz bass with DiMarzio pickups and my backup is a Musicman stingray5. I play through an SWR 750 head that pumps into an SWR Goliath III and an SWR Big Ben
Peter H: My main rig is a Carvin DC135 electric through a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier head with a Mesa Boogie 4x12 cabinet.
If you could pick one company to sponsor you, what would it be and why? Tim: Chevron. Absolutely. Or maybe Shell. Heck, I’d even take Valero or Mobile. I never really liked 76 stations though…haha seriously though, if we didn’t have to pay for gas, we wouldn’t be poor!! And we could tour forever and never have to worry about making it to the next venue.
How did you get into music? Jon: When I was 6, I was attending a wedding with my family. A man came out to play guitar during dinner and I went up and sat and watched him for like 30 minutes just completely in awe. After the reception he told my parents that I needed to be taking music lessons of some sort and even offered to pay for piano lessons. A few months later, my parents bought me a violin and put me in lessons (at their own expense). I continued that for a few years, until right about the time I was introduced to “rock”. At that point I picked up the guitar, and the bass followed soon after. Peter P: I was raised on a ranch in central California so the closest thing to rock and roll I had was records of a country singer named Garth Brooks. He got me to pick up my first guitar when I was 8. At age 12 Blink 182 owned my soul, that’s when I first started playing in bands and attempting to sing because I always thought the singer got all the chicks…that was later to be proven incorrect…ha ha but I still have fun with it anyway
What song would you want to do a cover of and why? Tim: We have a pretty extensive cover catalogue, but I always like Top 40 covers the best. For instance, we used to play “Hey Ya” by Outcast, and we do a mean cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Rock Your Body”. That one is fun because I get to beat box. Pop songs are always fun to arrange for a rock setting.
Which record in your CD collection would people not expect you to have? Peter H: Diana Krall “Live in Paris.” That record is amazing! She absolutely kills it on piano. She also plays with Anthony Wilson on that record, who is one of the best jazz guitar players around right now. Tim: I am a huge closet metal fan…Children of Bodom is one of my all-time favorite bands. Another one would be Kelly Clarkson’s last album…those songs are all SO catchy! But I listen to a very eclectic variety of music, so I guess nothing would be a real surprise.