Recently I had the honor of interviewing Ryan Tapert, drummer of This Providence. He told us about the new record which came out this month, future plans for the band and their time on the road with Paramore, Hit The Lights and Cute Is What We Aim For.
Reema: For starters, could you please introduce yourselves for the readers and state what you do in the band?
Ryan: My nameÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s Ryan and I play drums in This Providence.
You guys did an in store yesterday in St. Pete. How did it go?
It was awesome. It was our first in-store so we were a little nervous because weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve never had to do this before but there was a ton of kids there and it went over really well so we were happy with it.
Your self-titled album was released a couple of weeks ago. Please tell us a little bit about it. How has the reaction been so far?
The reactions been great! We had a really good first week and everyone at the shows have been really, really excited about it. All the people online have liked it a lot too so thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s made us feel really good about it. We had hopes going into it that it was going to do well and weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re happy that it did. The album itself is really a lot different from our last CD. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s a lot more diverse. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not one particular style; there are a lot of different types of songs and different variations of music types on it. It was an album people had to go into not having much expectations of what they wanted it to sound like.
That was sort of related to my next question but what was the recording process like for the album? In general, how would you compare it to your previous record Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Our WorldÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s DivorceÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬??
The recording process this time around was cool because we had the same producer for both releases. Our first CD was the first CD he had ever done so he kind of didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know what he was doing and we were just like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”oh lets try this, letÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s try that.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? This time around heÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s got a lot of CDs under his belt. He did GatsbyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s American Dream, Daphne Loves Derby, Forgive Durden, Fear Before The March Of Flames…just a bunch of CDs. So when we went in this time not only had we had two years to grow as a band and as musicians but we all knew to ask him about what we wanted and he was able to talk to us and help us to get exactly what we wanted to sound like. We also had twice as long to do it this time so it was a lot more relaxed.
What song on the new album do you think reflects the band most? If you could play one song for someone who had never heard your band before, which would you choose?
I think it would a song called Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦But What Will They SayÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?. The song is about not caring what people think about you; like the first line is Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Oh IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m afraid, oh god IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m afraid. What will they think?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? A lot of people in this world really focus their whole life around Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”What are people thinking of me right now. How do I look? What am I going to say? How am I going to act?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? Plus, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s saying that weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re just going to do what we want to do and sometimes weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re going to be a little afraid of how people think of us but really, as the song progresses it goes from being scared to being confident about who we are and what we believe in. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s the message in the song that weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re trying to bring out.
Would you say that is the running message for the entire album?
The album itself doesnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t really have a strong theme. A lot of the songs are about frustration and overcoming things. That would be a good song to pick out that has a really good, strong message. And I think we focus some of our songs around that but not all the songs fit together in a category.
Have you been playing songs from your old record at all on this tour or do you guys like to focus on the newer ones?
WeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve been playing about 2-3 old songs still cause the CD just came out last week so still not everyone has either A. bought it or B. know all the songs yet. We still want to be able to play songs that people are going to sing along to. When you play to a crowd and you just play a bunch of new songs and no one knows the words so they just kind of stand there and stare at you; thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not that fun of a show! Whereas if you play songs that people know, theyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll want to get into it. WeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re going to slowly add more and more new songs and maybe just keep one or two old ones for all the old fans but for the most part itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s going to be all new songs.
Have you guys been gaining a lot of new fans on this tour?
Yeah, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s been amazing. Each shows been sold out and every night so we get a ton of people just come up and say Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‹Å“Oh weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve never heard of you guys before. You guys are awesome! We love you!Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ For us as a band, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s really awesome to get that kind of response. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s what we want and itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s happening so weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re happy about it!
How did you guys come up with the idea for the artwork on the album?
Like I said earlier, the kind of theme but not really theme is restoration. The theme of the artwork is the front has a door in front of what looks like used to be a house but it was destroyed. As you go through the booklet the house slowly gets pulled back up so it really does gets restored. For the artwork we were thinking Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”What is something we can use that can be destroyed but go through a process where itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s built back up again?Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? So we went with a guy called Evan Palebird and he did all of our artwork for us. HeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s done Panic! At The Disco, Cute Is What We Aim For and The Academy IsÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦ He does a lot of Fueled By Ramen bands so his named got thrown out there and we gave him a shot to see what he could do and we loved it.
In these past couple years Fueled By Ramen as a label has gotten huge as well as many of the bands on it. Is it burdening to be on the same label that bands like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco have blown up on or is it comforting knowing youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re on a label that continuously produces successful bands?
We love it. I mean, when youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re a smaller band on a label that has those bigger bands on it you look at them and youÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re thinking Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”WeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re in the same spot they were six months ago.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and so six months from now we have the possibility to be at the same point as them or possibly farther than they are. ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s really exciting for us as a band. Fueled By Ramen puts just as much emphasis on every single band that they sign. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not like they go Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”We just like this one and this one and all the restÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦ weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ll just do a little bit for them.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? They put 110% into every one of their bands to its really awesome for each band to walk into that situation and look another band and be like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‹Å“We can at least do that if not more.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?
So you donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t feel pressure to get onto the same level as them?
No, I mean it would be awesome if we were but its not like we have an obligation to be. Its not like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Oh we have to be the next Panic! At The Disco. We have to be the next Fall Out Boy.Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? We just want to be This Providence. We want to be who we are and if we get huge and play arena tours then awesome. If not, we still love what weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re doing. Honestly though, if we were to stay at the level weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re at right now for like the next five years, I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know how much longer that would last. We want to make a living doing this cause its what we love but still at the same time, itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not all about the money but we still have to make some money to survive.
What has been your favorite Fueled By Ramen release this past year?
I really like the new Gym Class Heroes CD, that was a really good one. Cute Is What We Aim For is awesome as well. What else came out this year? Forgive Durden, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s it! WeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re really good friends with them cause theyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re from the same city and weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve toured with them before so that would probably be my favorite.
Aside from music, what influences you as a band and personally?
My dad. IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m sure the other guys would agree that their parents did a lot too. My whole familyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s really musical and so growing up they always supported me in everything I did. Anytime weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢d be doing something my parents would be like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Oh cool, thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s awesomeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? and just be behind me 100%.
When you were starting out how did the Seattle scene embrace your music? It seems like you guys have a huge following there.
Our Seattle fans are awesome. When we were breaking into the scene like the cool bands I remember wanting to watch were bands like Acceptance and GatsbyÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s American Dream, so when we got to play shows with them we were freaking out. So we were playing with those bigger bands and then their fans started to come to our shows a lot more. Now when we play Seattle shows we bring tons of smaller local bands with us and we still have those same fans from two years ago. It awesome, our fans are so devoted. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s amazing.
Your band personally has gained a huge fan base over the Internet. Despite illegal downloading and album leaks, would you still say that the Internet helps bands and musicians get their word out?
Oh totally. If you think about it, if you go to a show how many of these people that are at the show because they saw something on Myspace or Purevolume or Absolutepunk? If those kids werenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t on the Internet all the time looking at that stuff a quarterÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦no, three quarters of the kids at these shows wouldnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t be here. The Internet is huge in making or breaking a band. If you look at Cute Is What We Aim For, they had a huge online presence going in and when their CD came out they sold 13,000 in the first week. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s unbelievable. Its ridiculous how good the Internet is for bands out there.
So then do illegal downloads not bother you guys too much?
ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢d be nice if people didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t download it but then again when you think about it, if someone does download it thatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s one more person who does have our music. Yeah, we want people to buy our records but at the same time we feel its important that if our music gets to someone whether they paid for it or not and it helps them out in their life then itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s worth it.
Right after this tour you guys are headed out on the road again with the Hush Sounds and before this you guys were touring for a few years straight, right?
How do you keep from getting burnt out after all this vigorous touring?
One of the reasons is that weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re on Fueled By Ramen and its amazing because now if we need anything we can always go to them and they help us out. Plus, this tour and the past tour weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve done weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re touring with other bands on our record label which is cool because when we go and we go play shows like that we have all these fans that like all Fueled By Ramen bands so the shows so far have been sold out. That and weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve gotten to the point where weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re not just people who are friends and in a band; weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re like brothers. ItÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s like our van is our house and everyone in the band is like my sibling. My normal life is when I play music. When I go home is now when I feel awkward, like when IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢m just hanging out with my friends that I used to go to school with. I went on vacation with my family and I would be sitting in a lawn chair and IÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢d be bored out of my mind because I wanted to go go go its like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Just chill! Relax!Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬? It definitely takes time to get used to but once you get used to it, it becomes your normal life. As long as you got kids coming to the shows to sing along itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s totally worth it.
Have you guys been to the label yet since its down here in Florida?
WeÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re going tomorrow! So far we havenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t had a day off down here in Florida but were staying at our A&R guy, Johnny MinardiÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s house tonight and then tomorrow morning before we leave to go up to Rhode island were going to go and stop by and get some CDS and say hi to everyone.
Well, tonight is the last night of the tour; any final thoughts about it? What has been the absolute best moment of this tour so far?
Oh man, this tour was unbelievable. We went into this tour knowing it was going to be a good tour but didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t expect almost every single show to be sold out. Just the response that weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve gotten, its really exceeded everything that we wanted and I bet you anyone in the band would agree that this is the best tour weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve ever been on in our lives. It kind of sucks from now on going on tour that maybe arenÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t as good as this one cause now its like we have to go back down but donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t get me wrong, all tours will be fun. We wish all our tours could be like this though because weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve become best friends with Paramore and Cute Is What We Aim For. Hit The Lights are awesome; we love those guys.
The most memorable momentÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦I donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t know. ThereÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s just so many crazy things. Probably stuff I shouldnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t even say in an interview! We had one day off in Arizona because our tour managers from there and he took us to a lake where we went cliff jumping on like 50-60 foot cliffs. It was amazing. He was going insane and like doing swan dives and back flips off it and were all freaking out. We got Shaant (Cute Is What We Aim For) to jump and he jumped from like the 50-foot cliff and his hands are like shaking cause heÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s afraid of heights and we were like Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã…”Do it!Ãƒ¢Ã¢”š¬?
It doesnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t sound too safe!
Oh itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not safe at all but it was fun!
What are your plans for next year? Is there a chance of a headlining tour in the future?
Probably not. We want to wait a while to do a headlining tour. Our thought is weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢ve been on tours where a band is headlining and it didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t meet their expectations; we donÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t want that to happen. We want to do something like this tour has done. ParamoreÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s CD has been out for over a year and they just now did a headlining tour. They got to the point where they have so many fans that when they did their headlining tours every show sold out. So we feel like itÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s not worth it for us to do a headlining tour until we get to that point but we’ll be playing a lot more tours next year. This year we have planned all the way until like December 17th and then next year weÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢re planning on being on the road for most of the year and maybe do Warped Tour but we have nothing set yet.
Are you guys going overseas soon?
We want to! We tried toÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã‚¦ at the end of this tour Paramore and Cute Is What We Aim For are going and we tried to get on board to going on that but it just didnÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t work out. Hopefully in the next year we can make it over there. We really, really want to get over there cause Europe would be amazing. DonÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢t give up hope!
ThatÃƒ¢Ã¢”š¬Ã¢”ž¢s all I have. Anything else you want to add?
Pick up our record. It just came out!
Michael Schneider says
Ryan didnt even join the band until last year…how does he know about Our Worlds Divorce Recording process?
Cute Is What We Aim For is awesome? C’mon man…