Throughout my time on Warped Tour this summer, one of my favorite people to chat with was Bert, the lead singer of Chunk! No, Captain Chunk. With that being said, after speaking here and there over the course of a week or so, I decided that now was definitely the time to do another interview. This is a good example of a band that's working hard to move forward, and I can't wait to see where they end up in the future.
First off, let's talk about the tour real quick. How does it compare to the last time you did it? You were on the Ernie Ball stage last time as well, if I'm not mistaken.
Yeah, we played Warped Tour in 2012 - it was amazing, it was the summer of our lives. Even if we played the same stage as we did two years later, it's still great to see a way bigger crowd and way bigger response for pretty much all the songs we play. It's been awesome, it's been great. Also, bigger merch sales - I know that counts and helps a lot.
So it's not as big of a risk coming over here to the States compared to the past?
Yeah, it's better.
What bands have you enjoyed watching on the tour?
I don't know what day it is on the tour, but we've been pretty busy the whole time, so I couldn't see all the bands I wanted to see yet. I really enjoyed Attila and Issues. But yeah, there's a lot of bands I still want to check out...
We Are The In Crowd, The Story So Far, and Yellowcard.
What song in your setlist is your favorite to play and why?
The song I always enjoy playing the most is the latest, which is our cover of "All Star" (originally by Smash Mouth). It's a cover, so people already know the original song and lyrics - I think this is the song that gets the best response live.
Had you heard the song before covering it?
Oh yeah, of course.
Where'd you first hear it?
A lot of kids are telling me that they remember it from the movie Shrek, but I know the song from the movie from the 90's called Mystery Men. I think the music video for this song originally contains a lot of footage from this movie, a lot of people don't know this. I've been a huge fan of this song for awhile.
If you could add one more song to your set, which song would it be and why?
I feel like our set is too short, we only play 25 minutes. I wish we could play from our latest, especially the re-release. I would really love to play "Insanity", it's one of the songs that's on the re-release. And this is the one of the new songs that people seemed to enjoy the most, based on the comments we've seen online. It's just a shame that we didn't have the time to play the song, but we wanted to focus on the biggest songs.
"Good For You" is a song we premiered on the site not too long ago, and it did really well. Can you tell me give me the story behind that song?
So we had this song on the original release of Pardon My French called "Taking Chances" which had a very positive message, and we had a positive response from the theme we wanted to talk about on this song. So we wanted to do something kind of like that, the idea was to enjoy your life - it's basically a very positive message about getting rid of bad thoughts and stuff like that. I think the chorus goes "You're here for a good time, and not for a long one".
If you could take credit for any one song by a band on this tour, which song would it be?
I love Yellowcard, I'm a huge fan. I would say "Only One". I feel like they have the best songwriting skills.
If you had the chance to sit down with Ryan Key and work together, would you do that? What would you want to learn from him?
Oh yeah. I would be curious as to how they write their songs, and if they work together or not. I would like to know more about their writing process.
There's still some time left on this tour, so there's still a chance...
Yeah, but they're such a huge band and they're playing main stage, we're just playing Ernie Ball...there's no way we can make that happen.
Ehhhhh...I don't know about that.
Well see, haha.
Tell me about Bring Me The Horizon and how they've influenced your band. They've moved past the sound of Count Your Blessings and Suicide Season.
Yeah, that's right. Obviously we don't play the same type of music as these guys, but I feel like their career is very interesting to see where they come from, especially the type of music they used to play - very metalcore. To see the album they just recently put out...it's awesome. If you look at each album they've put out, you can see the progression, and I'm very curious to see how they did that because if you go to the U.K., even if it's screaming, it's playing on main radio.
Like Radio 1 (BBC), yeah? Sandwiched between artists like Ed Sheeran and MNEK, right?
Yeah. I feel like every band should be able to actually change their sound, evolve in a good way.
And it seems like you're trying to get away from the first album that you made.
Yeah, the first album was not a "joke album", because at first we believed in what we were doing. But we made it for fun, there's even songs that we didn't want to re-release - we had a song called "MILF", and the lyrics were all about that. So we were like "Let's just do something a little bit more serious" We still want to keep the fun vibe, because it's part of our band and part of our music, but we don't want to go too serious.
If you never played "In Friends We Trust" ever again, would you be fine with that?
Yeah. The thing is, we've always played this song, and it's one of the songs where we get the best response. This is the kind of song that you'll have to play your entire career as a band.
Well, you don't HAVE to, but once people get used to it, it'll be fine.
I don't want to see kids at the end of the show saying "You should've played 'In Friends We Trust'..."
I mean, you don't owe it to them...
Yeah, but we feel like we kind of need to. I really like the message, but for right now it sounds kind of dumb.
Would you consider just opening your set with it, and then moving forward from there?
Well, for example, there's this childish keyboard in the beginning - when we play it live, there is no keyboard, we took it out. So we're trying to make it more progressive. I think we'll have to play this song forever.
So in the fall you're heading out with The Summer Set and Tonight Alive in the U.K.
Yeah, it's a Tonight Alive headliner.
As far as U.S. plans go, are you back here before the year ends?
We don't know yet, but we'll be back for sure next year. We had something planned in the fall, but we're not sure if it's going to happen, so I'd prefer to not say anything for sure.
If you could tour with any two bands here in the U.S., who would they be?
I would love to tour with bands like New Found Glory and The Wonder Years. Because we developed our whole touring career as a band with mostly metal bands, we didn't tour a whole lot with pop-punk bands.
I feel like when you guys toured with A Day To Remember on the East Coast, you developed a lot as a band. Even watching you guys yesterday, I felt like a lot of the same mannerisms with the way that Jeremy [McKinnon] performs was present. I think you wrote with him on that tour, right?
I'm trying to do my own thing though. My thing is to be very contrasted between the singing and screaming, you know? Because when we toured with A Day To Remember, I was watching them every day and I could tell Jeremy had a totally different vocal technique. But it was very interesting to see how they did their performance, every show was amazing.
Wrapping up, for anyone that's brand new to your band or hasn't heard of you guys before, what is the most important thing they know about you guys?
We're trying to bring back the "fun" vibe to pop-punk. I feel like the whole pop-punk scene is trying to be a little bit too serious, in my opinion. Pop-punk has always been a fun kind of music.
Can you give any examples of bands in the genre that are fun?
When you think of bands like Blink-182 when they released albums like Enema Of The State, that was fun. If you read the lyrics, they had a lot of joke songs - this is what we're trying to do with our own sound. If you love to have fun and party, just come watch us live.
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