8/8 Philadelphia, PA @ TLA with Gasoline Heart and Snails
8/9 Gilford, NH @ Soulfest
9/19 Mesa, AZ @ The Nile Theatre
9/20 Las Vegas @ Viva Ska Vegas
First off, what inspired the decision to film a video for “Into Your Veins” specifically? It definitely has one of the catchiest choruses that I’ve ever heard from the band.
There really wasn't an "inspiration" for this video, per se. Veins was one of the first singles on the album, so we wanted a video that would be marketable and fit the vibe of the song. The first few cuts of the video had a lot more to them, but it just wasn't gelling. So we decided to cut the fat and just go with a performance style video.
It’s a fairly straight-forward and serious performance video - was there any discussion about taking a less serious approach with this video?
No, we had plenty of silliness to work with on regards to the Zen video, so we went straight forward with this one.
I’d consider the song to be my favorite off your current album, Engine Of A Million Plots. Is that your favorite as well, or is there another song that you consider your favorite? If so, why?
I really like Veins a lot, but it's not my favorite. My favorite, I would have to say, is "Blizzards and Bygones". I like it because it's a total departure from tradition FIF. Lyrically and stylistically it's dark. It has a very somber tone to it and it's the first time we've ended a album like that. All of my favorite stories, movies and books have somber endings, and since Engine of a Million Plots is sort of a concept album, naturally I would gravitate to that song. There is a b-side that I really like that hasn't made it to the public yet called "Between The Pavement And The Stars" that I'm sure will be on a comp of some sort in the future.
You guys asked for $30,000 via Kickstarter to make the record happen - you got nearly 7 times that amount. What were your first thoughts when you realized how fast the campaign was taking off and how much it eventually raised?
Well, at first it was total elation. We were all celebrating and calling and congratulating each other. Then, as the numbers kept rising and rising, I started to really feel the weight and responsibility of the whole thing and it was incredibly overwhelming. It was all very surreal. All I can say is that we have the most dedicated and rabid fans of any band that I can think of and I feel very privileged to have that going for us.
What is something about Engine Of A Million Plots that most fans wouldn't know unless you told them?
So much passion went into making this record. It was really born out of struggle. After FIF broke up in 2003 some of us tried to continue on with other projects. I wouldn't say they failed (not in my case anyway, Altitude by Yellow Second is a performance that I'm very proud of in regards to drumming) but we weren't able to sustain a living doing it. So we all had to return to normal life. I had been a brick mason and in that trade since I was about 13 and on and off throughout FIF's career. But it was still very difficult to return to normal life and settle in to that existence. My wife and I decided to have children, and I got a really good job as a cable technician (which I still hold down today). But when the Kickstarter happened we saw a real opportunity to have the privilege of making a career out of this again. It would be our first studio album in 10 years. I can honestly say I put everything I had into the drums on that record. It really stretched me musically. Scott and I crafted the drums on that record very carefully from every beat, pause and fill. If this was going to be our comeback record, then we wanted it to be the best record we've ever recorded. I think we've accomplished that goal.
Something that I find interesting about the band is the idea that almost everyone has been present since the beginning, with the exception of yourself. However, you’ve been part of the band for well over a decade. What do you think it is about the band that allows everyone to get along so well and stick together? Line-up changes are incredibly common it seems.
Actually, I've been with the band from day one. Sonnie came later, after Scott left. But, our band has a really cool chemistry. I don't want to mislead anyone with this by insinuating that we get along all the time every day. But it's like marriage. I know it's corny to say that but it's true. We had to learn how to argue, and pick our battles. Friendship is more important than pride. I think we realize that early on, so we made sure that we put our friendships before the band so that no one's feelings would get hurt so bad that the friendship would be your permanently damaged. I don't know if that makes sense or not, but that's kind of how I see it.
Lastly, what does the future of Five Iron look like? Are you guys writing new material? Can we expect a fall tour? Would you guys consider doing a tour like Warped Tour again?
The future of FIF is very vague right now. The way we've been doing things for the past two years has not really been conducive to family life. So next year going into 2015 we are going to need to restructure the way that we tour. More than likely that will mean longer runs less often. But that remains to be seen. There hasn't been any "official" vote on that, and since FIF is a democracy, I can't really comment too much on that until we have a consensus from the band. There has been talk of another record, but as of right now it's just talk...