Musicsheblogged caught up with them online after the tour to ask a few questions and help all you assholes and myself get to know them better! Check it:
So explain to me the title “Forgettable” and what it means to you as a band, why did you choose such a negative word for an album?
Pesky: Well at first the title came about as a sort of introspective look at ones own work, essentially, but it was only a working title. We were throwing around ideas the whole time we were in the studio. Then after everything that happened while recording the record, all of the fuck ups and bullshit that the band had to deal with, time issues and money issues and abondonment issues and compensation issues and legal issues it just seemed to fit the best. "Murphy's Law" might have been a better title now that i think about it. Anyway, after all of that all anybody wanted to do was move on. Now that's not so easy when you're releasing a new record. I mean you've got to play those songs and tour and all of that for months and months before you start a new project. But that's where we were mentally and that's why the title fit for us.
How much help instruments-wise did you receive on this album (like the strings etc) and how much of it did you do yourselves?
P: Like you said, the strings were played by others, as well as the piano part on "My Finest Suit", the horn parts, and the slide whistle, but i think that's it. Oh, and some of the auxillary percussion was played by our drum tech, which may not have made the record anyway. But i think that's it. Want to know a little secret? The children's choir that keeps getting mentioned in interviews, and i think it might even be in the press release, was actually us, trying to sound like little black girls. I guess it worked.
How does this album differ from your past releases? (Living In The Fallout/East Side of Nowhere)
P: I'd have to say that the only thing that isn't different would have to be the singers voice, which is debateable and the personal content of the lyrics. The new record is more produced than in the past with a bigger, more polished sound. I guess you could say it's more listener friendly. The music is slower and less edgy. Basically it's not a punk record and i think that's something you can't say about our other 2 albums. And lastly every major instrument was played by a member of the band. That's something you definitely can't say about our other records.
Do you feel that the year long effort and the use of unconventional instruments has been successful in the end product and in setting you apart from those bands similar to you that are out there now?
P: First off, the "year long effort" wasn't intentional by any means. It was supposed to be a 4 month effort at most, but shit happens, and the extra time it took to finish everything wasn't necessarily spent on the record. There were delays and periods of time where we couldn't do anything as far as working on the recording goes, for various reasons. Our hands were tied. Flooding even delayed studio time for at least a couple of weeks. After it was all over though, we as a band were happy with what we did, what we had control over. No one will ever be completely satisfied after recording an album, but everything that was within our control we are happy with. Things that were out of our control maybe not so much, but what can you do. So were we successful in doing what we set out to do with this record? For the most part yes, absolutley.
And for the second part, I actually think that this record has totally changed the group of bands that we are similar to. What i mean by that is all of the bands that we were lumped together with, whether it's in the Boston music scene or the punk music scene in general wouldn't be caught dead being compared to us now. "laughs" That's not entirely true but you get the idea. This isn't a punk record, more like a group of punk kids trying something different. The roots are still in tact, and i think that comes through, but the sound and structure are very different.
How exactly would you describe your music, aside from ‘more than just punk’?
P: These days? How about "Easier on the ears than your grandmother's lullaby's". And for some of those of you that have been listening to us from the beginning it might actually put you to sleep.
What impression do you hope to instill in each listener after hearing the new album?
P: A sense of enjoyment i guess. A sense that things are probably more fucked up than what you're dealing with. I guess that would be hope. Or a sense that you're not the only one who has or is going through difficult shit in your life.
What was it like working with Jim Siegel?
P: Unlike anything else you've ever done. He's a mad scientist in a way. He can be very difficult at times as he knows waht he wants, and he can be a pain in the ass about it, but his fingers and ears are so good you don't really have a choice but to deal with it. Or get kicked out of the studio.
Were you big fans of the Dropkick’s and the Unseen?
P: Who wasn't? It's true we did find out about him many years ago by listening to the bands that he had recorded, but it wasn't because we liked the bands. It was because we liked the sounds. Once you do one project with him you realize that he's the guy that can make you sound how you want to sound, and the rest is history.
What words of advice did he give you during the recording process that has stuck with you?
P: Play it more legatto.
Was it difficult to work with somebody who had produced some very different sides of punk rock than what you were presenting him with?
P: I assure you that's not what made it difficult to work with Jim. Boston punk rock hasn't been recorded in Stoughton forever. He's done tons of projects ranging from jazz, and i mean the real thing not that smooth jazz bullshit, to indie rock. Probably before we knew it as indie rock, so he's actually overqualified to do a project like this.
This album is taking a very honest approach to writing, is it at all awkward for you to put your life on the line through your lyrics or is it more of a cleansing to be able to express your inner feelings through your music?
P: There is definitely a vulnerability that comes along with saying how you feel and wondering how you are perceived. You can't exactly choose who listens to what you write, that sounds weird, so you can only write what you know and hope for the best.
How has your Warped Tour 2010 experience been?
P: Up and down. If you want to find out if you have what it takes to be a touring band do that tour in a van. Long ass drives, 7am load in, it's pretty intense. We had 8 people in a van. And i'm not talking well adjusted individuals here, we're talking musicians. You can't be sane and want to spend 8 weeks in a van with 7 other people. It's not natural. The time differed from person to person but eventually everyone kind of lost there minds. Yelling jibberish to no one in particular, talking to strangers about nothing, that sort of thing. Ever read "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"? It was something like that. There were some awesome bands and people that help get you through it though. Everyone's kind of in the same boat. Well, everyone outside of the "castle". The people in the buses can only find A/C problems to bitch about, they've got it pretty good.
Has one show stood out more than others?
P: The last show in Portland. We started doing this thing we called garbage day where right as a song kicked in the whole audience would throw any trash they could find at us and whoever hit someone got a free t shirt. The whole trick of playing the tour is getting the crowd involved and all the bands come up with ways to differentiate there show from every other bands show and that's what we came up with. While the other bands were looking to impress this was just more our style. Anyway, we did that and the stage manager wasn't too happy with us so for the last song we dared everyone to get on stage. There were only 2 security people so it was fun to watch them try to contain the crowd. Eventually the stage was full and the stage manager flipped his lid. After the show he threw a piece of our gear off of the stage and threatened to kick all of our asses. No one ever said people couldn't come up on stage so we didn't really know what his problem was. I'll never forget that shit though. Not sure if he'll ever get over it.
Do you have any funny stories from the tour for us about you or any other band?
P: Our balding merch guy got hammered and passed out on the sidewalk so we shaved his head. We figured if he couldn't wake up to save what hair he had left he didn't deserve it anyway. I got married to our lesbian driver in Las Vegas. We stole a bunch of golf carts and rode them around the venues. I'm sure there's much more that escape me right now.
How have you been received by the crowds this year?
P: No one booed us off the stage. The kids feed off of eachother so the more people that get involved the show the better the show is for the crowd, whether we're playing well or sounding good or whatever. If you can get those few kids that are going crazy to get everyone else involved then the show will be better overall. That's the trick. Thus garbage day.
What do you think of the other bands in the lineup this year, do you think everybody belongs on the tour equally or do you harbor some ill feelings toward certain acts and why they are there?
P: It's no secret to anyone that knows the tour that there are going to be douchey people around. 700 people in one place means some jerk offs will be there. That goes for bands too. It's not totally clear to me how bands actually get on the tour, nor how we even got on, but i'm sure it's not because we're some huge band that everyone wants to see and people can make money off of. That means that every other band has the same right to be there as we do. That doesn't mean that there aren't shitty bands playing shitty music and walking around like entitled fuck heads. Quite the contrary. The biggest money spenders are teenage girls, and the tour needs to at least break even to be around. And it's pretty obvious that teenage girls don't have the best taste in music. So bad taste plus money equals shitty bands. That's not to say that the tour isn't supporting bands that work hard and put out an honest, decent product. But if there were no cash flow those bands wouldn't have a chance to be heard. So it's a give and take. So to answer your qustion we don't harbor ill feelings toward any bands because they are on the tour, we harbor ill feelings because they suck and we have to listen to them everyday. Disco was shitty the first time, what the fuck are these people thinking?
What do you have to do every day to compete for an audience while on tour?
P: Luck out and have a good stage in a good location and a good set time. Let's be honest, we're not competing with the We the Kings' and All American Rejects of the tour. But when The Bouncing Souls are playing at the same time we are it's hard to get people to pay attention. That's just how things work. You show people your music and supply them with the info and hope they show up. Then if they do they get to throw garbage at us.
LastFM states you started off in New York before taking the band to Boston, why?
P: That's where our parents decided to settle down and have children. The band started as a highschool band and if you look really hard you can find old recordings of bad songs we wrote as teenagers.
How much has the city of Boston itself and the cities’ punk scene helped to influence the kind of band that you are now?
P: The sense of community and the honesty in the music has helped keep us from getting jaded on the whole business. If you live somewhere like Los Angeles it's very easy to get fed up with the whole industry as everyone is so god damn fake there and they just want to benefit as much as they can off of you and then leave you passed out in your own piss and vomit and move on to the next poor sap with caviar dreams.
How do you deal with negative feedback?
P: To be honest we don't really pay much attention to feedback, positive or negative. Obviously we appreciate the compliments when they come but neither really affect how we do things. We just do what we do and hope people enjoy it. If not no big deal.
Do you take to heart what is written in reviews/do you even read them?
P: Music is subjective. There's a lot of stuff out there that's really popular that has zero substance at all, and other really great stuff that no one knows about. The industry these days is more about marketing than quality and we understand that. So if the critics don't like what we're doing we don't get upset about it. There are people at our shows that say differently. Reading reviews, which happens rarely, is more out of curiosity than anything else. They aren't something we base our creative decisions on.
How do you turn negative words about your music into a positive?
P: Musically i don't think that's someething we do really. We write songs and what comes out comes out. As far as playing live you just listen to the real criticism and try to get better and laugh at the ridiculous criticism.
What have been your biggest influences over the years? (Both as a band and individually)
P: Our influences tend to come from the decent people and bands we have the good fortune to know and work with and also the crappy people and bands that are just doing things all wrong. We see how people do things right and try to do the same and try to avoid the mistakes we see bing made.
Is the band your full time job or do each of you work on the side to support yourselves? Doing what?
If you weren’t making music what would your professional goals be instead?
P: Right now this band is a full time job for some of us but it's more like pro bono work. The band isn't in the position to support any of us at the moment, and it may never be. We'll see what happens. We do see some money after tours but it's not breaking the bank, trust me. Right now some of us are unemployed, some teach, and others freelance in the business. It's hard to keep a steady job when you're leaving the state for large chunks of time every year.
How did you get into playing music in the first place?
P: To party and get laid of course. "laughs" It depends on the pereson. Some of us grew up with family that played instruments, and others were just so interested in music to begin with that the natural progression is to start playing it, which is easy to do growing up listening to punk rock. Not sure if you know this but it's not that hard to play for the most part, that's part of the whole idea. And then you start becoming interested in other kinds of music and start playing that and before you know it you're coming up with your own stuff.
What do you have planned after Warped Tour’s over?
P: We are going back home to New England to play a couple of shows around our hometown and then it's off to europe for about five weeks, which will be a lot of fun. We always do well over there. It's a different type of mindset, the Europeans really appreciate their rock n roll. Then our calendar is open. The new record will be out so there will be months and months of touring to support it. We'll be returning to Japan at some point and we want to try to go to South America. That's a harder nut to crack though.
You got in a near fatal accident on a tour in 2005, did this experience change the way you approached your lives in general/your lives in the band?
P: For one guy it really fucked him up. I think to this day he's still uneasy about being in a car at night. He rejoined the band a couple years back and after the first show he went home because he couldn't take riding in the van. As for the rest of us we were young enough where it didn't phase us too much, or we were old enough that we had been in that kind of situation before. That shit is just flukey. I mean are you just going to sit inside for the rest of your life in fear. What's the point. We've also gotten into pretty hairy situations since then. You can only do your best to avoid those situations and hope nothing bad happens. You also don't let Oscar drive the van.
Did it push you more towards music or did you question the direction your lives were headed in?
P: Car accidents can happen to anyone, not just people in a band. So i don't really think it affected us in that way. Well besides the one guy.
Why should fans and non fans alike buy the new album, Forgettable, once it’s released on August 31st?
P: Because they just might hear something they like. And i'm getting tired of not having a place to live, it's expensive here. So get out there and spend your parents hard earned cash. Pick one up for everyone in your family. They make great stocking stuffers or night 3 gifts if you're jewish. I'd be surprised if we had a very large jewish fanbase though.
CHECK THEM OUT ON THEIR MYSPACE, BUY THE NEW ALBUM AND FEED THE BAND FOR FUCKS SAKE!
THANK YOU A HUNDRED TIMES OVER TO THE BAND AND RAMON FROM OLD SHOE RECORDS FOR HOOKING IT UP!