Cassidy: So first off how has the tour been going with Fall Out Boy?
William: The tour has been spectacular. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s our first tour were our record is out. So, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s been our first real look at how our record is going to come out, you know? And its been magical. In just a short period of time. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s been great.
C: How did deal come along with Fueled By Ramen?
W: Well we had an EP and we just started playing local shows in Chicago and we had a couple new demos. We kind of revaluated our songwriting process, like how we are going to move forward, and not be counterproductive, and actually have a focus. We were always friends with Fall Out Boy Growing up and Pete the bass player liked us a lot and he told John Janick that is head of Fueled By Ramen and he got him to come check us out. So, he flew up, at the time Mike and I were living in an apartment together writing the record for out friends Tony and Johnny. He came up and stayed in our apartment for like three days, up to like three in the morning every night, talking about music, talking about our future, showing him some new stuff. At that point it was just all big dreams, no songs written, and it couldnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t have worked out better, he believes in us and signed up with a real simple deal and you know, here we are.
C: So why the name change from The Academy To The Academy Is…?
W: Well, obviously we were originally named The Academy. Right after our EP came out we ran into some legal problems, with other artists or organizations called The Academy or Academy. So, basically we had everything worked out, we where going to keep the name, but there was this rock singer from like the 60Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s or 70Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s, who was only released in Great Britain, but he went under the name The Academy. But, we couldnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t get a hold of him or any label of his, so instead of risking that, plus with all these other legal sharks around us, we figured we could just get out of the water. We wanted to change it to something very subtle, but you have to understand at the time we were changing our sound, we were changing the way we where going to write songs for now on. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s where we were at the same juncture, but we didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t want to alienate the people that saw us spring up. Our local following, we didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t want to alienate those people saying that, Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”We changed our name and we changed our sound.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? So, we just changed it very subtlety and I think it is just very open ended and it is what it is, its means whatever you want it to mean.
C: So the song “Black Mamba” is about the horrible reviews you guys got by critics from the EP, so was the song kind of your way to get back at the critics?
W: Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Black MambaÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? isnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t just a middle finger to critics. Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Black MambaÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? is a lot different, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s about our focus, and itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s like telling people our focus isnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t about Rolling Stones or any critic thinks about our music. If they love it, great, if the donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t, great. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s America, weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re all entitled to our opinions and thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s what is beautiful about it. But as far as art goes, I believe what we are doing is art and art is so subjective, how can you really judge it that intensely? Being so ignorant and not knowing anything about it. For us it was focusing on this song is for people, this music is for people, and this record is for people. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not for some guy in a suit, well it is for some guy in a suit, but itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not about we he thinks about it, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not about the credibility. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s for people thinking for themselves and making their own decisions and just loving music.
C: When you were presented with the chance to play music for a living was it an easy choice or a gamble that you got lucky on?
W: None of us, was presented with that, here go play music for the rest of your life, it will be simple, here you go, you know? This is how I started it, like when I was a senior in high school, I decided I wanted to do music, I want to perform. I still had a solo project back then and I just fell in love with performing. That was just me and an acoustic guitar and singing on a stole. I fell in love with that, I fell in love with writing with song writing, I fell in love with the music. So, I knew I wanted to do it, for me it was a really hard decision because at that point everything for the past 11 years of my life was all devoted to school and academics and education. My future was going to start after college, I was going to do what a lot of people do and for me I value education to no end, but thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not where my heart said and my heart said music, so thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s what I got to do. So, I graduated a semester early and I went on tour right away. If it was like my dads mini-van or me, my guitar and me best friend in the world, Johnny Minardi and we just went and booked our own tour on the east coast through the biggest snow storm of the past decade. It was like really dangerous, but it was really great and thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s how I started. It was a decision, it wasnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t a presentation and thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s how it goes for all of us. We had to really work for that opportunity. It was a conscience decision.
C: Do you miss playing solo as Remember Maine and will Remember Main ever making a comeback?
W: Thank you for knowing about that. It seems like people out here [in Seattle, WA] actually know about it, like someone was yelling it out in the crowd today and I was like what? It is always wild. I love performing solo and IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m not thinking about music and this project and that project, IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m thinking about it as my creative release and what I do as my release. Am I going to record under the name Remember Maine anymore? I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, maybe. Am I going to perform stuff of my own? Everyday. I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know, weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll have to see, all I know its going to be a really long future of songwriting whether if itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s with me or this band.
C: What do you think about the RIAA still suing kids for downloading music to this day?
W: While I found out a lot of the bands I love through downloads through like mp3.com or purevolume. ThereÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s that and I think thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s the right way to go, there doing it the right way, purevolume and mp3.com, are doing it the right way, but these other guys like Kazza and Napster, arenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t doing it the right way and it is stealing music. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s like stealing paintings off a museum wall, it takes away everything rock and roll is about, like going to the record store and coming home like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Now IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m broke, but I spent all my money on these records that are going to change my life,Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? for me it just doesnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t make sense, but for young people who are just are coming up in this new generation of music and the way it is socially accepted, like how it goes about. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s all they know, they donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know about buying records. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s what we are trying to do and what record labels are trying to do is cracking down on this. Like they donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t see as big as turn like they did in the 90Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s because everyone is burning CDs, no ones making any money, so how are going to have rock and roll bands that are going to change the world if labels canÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t stick around long enough to build a career for them. So, for me IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m a supporter.
C: What have you been listening to lately?
W: Well, I listen to tons of Jon Lennon Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”legendÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? that record. Don HenleyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s greatest hits, he wrote so many hits itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s beyond belief. A lot of Simon and Garfunkel, the new Kings of Leon record, is so good, if you havenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t picked it up, pick it up, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s really, really good, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s rock and roll. Listening to a lot of old David Bowie. Listening to Peter Gabriel. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s pretty much what I have on rotation.
C: Anything else you would like to say?
W: Check out our record, our website is theacademyis.com, go there and see where we are going to be around in your city. Thank you so much.