Paul: Where did your band name originate?
-Will: We were originally called the academy. No rhyme or reason to be quite frank. We just looked at a bunch of name ideas for songs and we had The Academy. I thought it was strong and very strong name you could see on top of a Marquee or billboard. It reflected our ambition. Then we had some legal problems with other bands previously that were called the academy. So we had to change it. At the time our sound was changing, and so was our bands line up. A lot and so our focus was also changing. At the same time we didnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t want to completely change our name and alienate our old fans from our music and local Chicago suburbs. So we changed it to The Academy Is.
Paul: How did you all first meet one another?
-Will: Well Mike and I met because I was doing my solo project Remember Maine and he had his own band and we played a lot together. Over time we eventually built a friendship. This was about four years ago. Adam our bass player went to my high school and I was in one o my first bands with his older brother. But then I ended up liking Adam a lot better. Tom our guitarist was in another band called 504 Plan. When they broke up we were looking for a guitarist and we asked him.
-Butcher: I also played in a band at the time called Last Place Champs. I played a show with The Academy and 504 Plan. The band broke up and a year past and Tom asked me to join the band with him.
Paul: How did you come across Fueled By Ramen Records and why did you decide to sign with them?
-Will: Well they really came across us. At that point when they signed us there wasnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t anyone else that wanted to sign us. Then once we were signed everyone wanted to sign us. Then all these labels were pissed at us because we didnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t let them have the chance to sign us. But hopefully they got over it. We were really good friends with Pete from Fall Out Boy. And at this time Fall Out Boy was just getting signed to Fueled By Ramen. Pete really liked us a lot. He came to some of our first practices and shows and was really impressed. He told John from Fueled By Ramen that he should come check us out. Also at the time, our best friend Johnny at LLR contacted Fueled By Ramen and recommended that they check us out. They saw us live, and two weeks we were getting signed to Fueled By Ramen.
Paul: How did your band become involved with Hollister Co.?
-Will: We sent Hollister our record. Hollister seemed to be really interested. Now they are carrying our record. We are also doing a lot of things with Hollister. Just recently we had an in store performance for Lounge 22 in Chicago. We are planning on doing a few more pretty soon. So pretty much simple, they heard about us, liked the record, and now they help us out a lot with promotion and free clothes.
Paul: How does the bandÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s song writing process go about?
-Will: Well in this past record, Mike and I pretty much wrote the whole record. Butcher and tom werenÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t even in the band when we wrote the record. So pretty much we had to write it on our own. We take the songs from the ground up. We started with acoustic and melodies. I would write a melody to a riff mike had. Then I would go and write lyrics with the melody. The next record will be a lot more collaborative because we will have butcher, mike, tom and myself all writing together. The writing process will definitely be different.
Paul: What song on the record would you say has the more significant lyrics?
-Will: We all of them do. Personally for me, Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½The Phrase That PaysÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ would probably be it. That song says the most of what I wanted to say and painting that picture that I wanted people to take something from. I was thinking a lot about my life, and being who I was and the way my life was at that particular time. For instance, if you were told you were going to die tomorrow, would you be happy with the way you life is? And the way you have chosen to live you life up to that point? I was thinking a lot about death at the time, and something tells me Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½hey man you need to make the most of your time here.Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ That means going for the things that you dream and love as well. The line Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½Take a chance and make it big because itÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s the last youÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll ever getÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ thatÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s the mentality that I think would be helpful if people had from time to time. Because to many people out there just procrastinate and push there dreams away. Always talk about doing something and never end up doing it. So this is what the song is about. It is supposed to encourage people not to do that. ItÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s about taking your life by the reigns and gaining control of everything you ever want it to be.
-Butcher: I would say the last song almost here. The lyrics from what I take of it are about beginning touring and getting adjusted to it. . IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll take my chances of truck stops and state lines. Is one of my favorite lines of the entire album because it personifies the way I feel about doing what IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½m doing and foreshadows my future.
Paul: What is the weirdest or craziest tour experience tour experience you ever had?
-Butcher: Its not so much crazy as it is strange. Well we were on our way to new york for one of our first tours. We were driving through Pennsylvania, and the driver at the time crashed the van. We got it fixed the next day and did our show as planned. Months had past and we were driving from just out of Vermont we apparently didnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t see the low fuel alerts on the car. So we ran out of gas. We just pulled off the highway and ran out of gas exact point where we got hit. It was some extreme dÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½jÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ vu. ItÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s more eerie than anything.
Paul: What other tour plans do you have set up for the future?
-Will: Well we will be touring with Spitalfield, Hidden In Plain View, and Over It in the beginning of September. After that we will be playing some dates in Japan and England. Also as of right now we are in talks about being on a big tour with The All American Rejects, Rooney, and Jamison Parker.
Paul: Well what do you guys usually do when you are off tour and now dealing with the band?
-Will: We are rarely home and we have been out like two weeks here and there. But when we are home we are with the band working on songs and practicing. I mean this is our life.
Paul: If you could go out on any tour with any 3 bands who would it be?
-Butcher: Foo Fighters, The Chemical Brothers. And The Red Hot Chili Peppers
-Will: If it was any bands in the past or current bands now I would choose Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Jimmy Eat World.
Paul: What would you say are your biggest musical influences?
-Will: Well for me the reason why I started playing, the reason why I bought a guitar was Led Zeppelin, I love everything about that band, their performance, their songs, musicianship and they are the band I have listened to everyday of my life. They are really the catalyst of my music career. Also bands like the Promise Ring, The Alkaline Trio, The Honor System, who I just fell in love with just got me into the Indie scene.
-Butcher. What really got me started playing drums is bands like nirvana, Foo Fighters, bush, all that grunge scene are just some of the reasons I started playing drums
Paul: Name 3 things you couldnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t live without on tour.
-Butcher: My friend Nigel he comes through with me he has to be everything. Coke (the soda), and my performance shorts.
-Will: My I-Pod, my film collection, and our tour manager Tony. He is one of my best friends in the world.
Paul: Do you all have any more promotions plans or endorsements in the future?
-Will: IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½m not too sure yet, but we are doing a sponsorship with Red Bull. But we are working on doing something special with the company, and I honestly donÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t know how it will work..
Paul: If you werenÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t in the academy is what would you be doing?
-Will: I would probably be going to school on the east coast somewhere, and probably working and being miserable.
-Butcher: I would be a butcher still. I used to be a butcher. Butcher isnÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½t my real name my real name is Andy.
Paul: Well IÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½ll give you this time to promote and mention anything you would like to say to your fans.
-Will: Come check us out on warped tour and if you have the money and check us out in Japan. Check out our website www.theacademyis.com and the new record Ãƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½Almost HereÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½. Thanks for everything guys.