Architects Interview

Can you please introduce your band, yourself, and your role in the band?

My Name’s Tim HB and I play guitar in Architects

So, how did the band get started? What is the history behind the band?

We met at college in 2004, and between then and early 2007, went thru a couple of line-up changes to get to the final incarnation of the band we have today.

You are currently on tour with Oh, Sleeper, ETID, and BMTH. How is the tour going so far? I know ETID is just a fun band in general, any interesting, random stories you’d like to share?

The tour is going great so far. It’s a lot better for us than the last US tour we did for sure! BMTH are our best friends being on tour with them is always awesome, ETID are great dudes, and an incredible band. They’re definitely a fun band, last night they offered a free shirt for people to try this insane hot sauce, which resulted in a crowd gathering in the parking lot around a couple of dudes putting hot sauce in some pretty sensitive areas!

Even though your album, Hollow Crown, came out in February how do you guys feel about this release and what are you most proud of from Hollow Crown?

We’re really happy about how Hollow Crown came out and what we’ve achieved from it, especially in increasing our fan-base in the UK and enabling us to play to more places around the world. Im really happy about how the songs go over live too, reaction to the songs from it all over the world have been insane!

What are your plans after this tour is over? More touring? Recording? Sleeping?

After this tour we have a few days off at home, then we go straight out to do the Never Say Die Tour in UK/Europe, which will be awesome! Then after that we’re taking a couple of months off to try and finish up our next record, then after that it’ll be more touring until we go record it later next year.

Is there any specific meaning behind the bands’ name, Architects?

To be Honest, not really. We had to think of a name quickly and wanted a one-word band name, and Architects was the one that we felt suited the band the most out of the ideas we had.

How did you guys get started playing music? Who is your biggest influence?

We all just started playing our instruments for fun when we where real young, and then started getting into more challenging music, and subsequently challenging ourselves to get better as we got older so we could be like our favourite bands!

What has been the most memorable experience about being in a band?

There are so many that it’d be hard to choose, but I would have to say our First UK tour would be my most memorable experience from this band. The excitement, and the lack of expectation are things I really miss. Doing what we do now is incredible, but that child-like curiosity and care-free attitude to what we where doing was so fun back then because everything was amazing and we didn’t really know what we where doing!

What are the future goals of Architects?

Our goals now are the same as they’ve always been, to keep producing records that we’re stoked about, to keep building our fan-base and to play a lot of shows!

Any last words for Driven Far Off?

Alan Dino’s dog frog disco

Terra Terra Terra Interview

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Can you please introduce yourself and your role in Terra Terra Terra?

Loren Taylor- singer, songwriter, guitar player.
John dye- Synth, keys, and all other effects and background noise.
Isaac- drums
Matt- Lead guitar
Stephen sweat- bass

How did Terra Terra Terra come together? What is the history behind the band?

We all come from the East Coast and most of us were brought to
Lakeland, FL because of Southeastern University. We all met up and
decided that our future together was intertwined with music and
friendship. Our story is not that unique. We all love music and this
is what we want to do with the rest of our life.

Where did the name “Terra Terra Terra” come from?

Jerimiah 22:29.  It’s our call to the world.

For people new to Terra Terra Terra, how would you describe your music?

All the bells and whistles of indie rock but with mainstream appeal
and a relentless pursuit of ambiance.

Your album, Mind Like A Man Soul Like A Child, come out in August. How do you feel about the album overall?

Of course it’s a great album. It’s a great testament of who we were a
year ago and should be able to appeal to all rock genres.

What would are some of themes of the songs on Mind Like A Mind Soul Like A Child?

The overall essence of the album is who we are vs who we want to
be. It deals with most issues that every day people go thru. This
album can hopefully speak to all who understand that life is a
constant struggle to better yourself.

What are your touring plans for the end of this year/next year?

We plan to be touring full time in 2010. As far as this year we
are setting up shows locally and a few out of state shows.

How did you get started playing music?

We all started like a lot of musicians in the church. It was a
great place to learn and has shaped how we have progressed as people
and musicians.

What are some of your major musical influences?

As cliché as it may sound everything we here influences us. From
the indie greats such as Dignan and Lovedrug to main mainstream giants
such as Coldplay and fallout boy. We like it all.

What are your goals for Terra Terra Terra?

We want to make this our full time job and get the people invested
in us as well as our music.

Any last words for readers at Driven Far Off?

Please pick up the album and help support our dream. All of our
fans are the only reason we exist and we will never forget that. See
ya soon in a city near you!

Love.

The Used Interview

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It’s been forever since we’ve heard anything from The Used. These guys are all set to make a triumphant return to your eardrums on August 31st. Get ready! Their new album, Artwork is sure to deliver. Can’t wait a few more days? Well, you can stream their new album right now…before it even hits stores. Just head on over to their myspace page. In the meantime, check out my interview with drummer, Dan Whitesides.

The Used has been through a lot of changes recently ““ you’ve come in as the new drummer, there’s been some management changes, etc. How’s the overall vibe of the band these days? Feelin’ good?
Absolutely. I think we’re stronger than ever and that’s one of the main things that’s been so rad. We’re better friends now than ever and definitely stronger than ever in so many different ways, know what I mean? We’ve taken over our careers basically and everything that we do is all us. Like, with the firing of the management and the new producer and all that ““ we decided we wanted to take it all in our own hands and take it a little more seriously but also have fun in the process and that’s what we’re doing.

The Used’s new album, Artwork drops on August 31st. How would you sum it up? Is there a theme to it or is just a mix of everything?
I don’t think there’s a theme, but I do think that The Used is one of the most honest bands out there and I think that lyrically especially, Burt writes about things that happen in his life or just personal things…so every song definitely has that vibe to it. The cool thing about Artwork is that every song is different from the one before, but it all ties in together so well. You know, I listen to this album almost everyday”¦which is weird for me to listen to something I’ve recorded because I never do that. But, the album is a mixture of everything. It’s soft, it’s beautiful, it’s dirty, it’s poppy. I think The Used’s music has always been a little ahead of the curve.

Speaking of The Used’s music, it’s been a good amount of time since we’ve heard anything from the band. Why did you guys choose “Blood On My Hands” as the first song for fans to hear after all this time?
We just wanted to come out and blow the doors open. Like, here we are again! I think that’s the perfect song to do it to. There was no question on what it was going to be with anyone. As a band, we all decided, “Okay, we all wanna come out with ‘Blood On My Hands’ because it’s a pretty pissed song, it’s in your face, it’s heavy.” Everybody at the label agreed and said let’s do it. I think we made the right decision and it’s going over well.

How can Artwork be compared to the other albums from The Used?
Talking to everybody, I know there hasn’t been this much excitement about an album since the first self-titled album. I think we were really prepared when we were writing this album. Going into this studio, we were done writing pretty much…we just had to put some finishing touches on everything. With Lies for the Liars and In Love and Death, those were both written in the studio and they were kinda”¦well, not forced”¦because In Love and Death is one of my favorite albums. I think The Used Can write under any situation. This album in particular, the excitement around it and just wanting to do it and do it our way”¦that’s what it is.

The Used has always worked with producer John Feldmann in the past. This time, you guys worked with Matt Squire. What was it like?
Matt’s just laid back. The first time I met him he was wearing flip-flops, feet kicked up on the couch. Then we got to talking and the cool thing is that he’s from the DC area and kinda grew up playing with or in bands I was listening to when I was younger so I was excited about that. The main thing is, like I said, we went into the studio with this album almost done so we told Matt what we wanted and he just kinda facilitated that. I don’t know if he’d say the same thing, but I think it’s one of the easiest records he’s ever had to do. We were absolutely prepared and knew what we wanted.

Would you consider this album to be more mainstream than the previous albums?
I think it is whatever anyone wants to make it. To me, it takes me back to the first two records. I wouldn’t call The Used an underground band, but I wouldn’t call them Metallica either. The Used has always kinda been right in the middle. Whichever way it goes is fine with me. We wrote a record that we love and it takes me back to the beginning of the band for sure.

You guys are doing a show for first 400 fans who pre-ordered the new album”¦
Yeah, we wanted to do something special for the fans. We’re doing a lot of that with this record. We’re having a Twitter release party. We’re constantly doing things for the fans so that’s the reason we did it, really. We wanna go and play small and more intimate shows. Seeing the fans on that level is way better than seeing someone in like a stadium or something like that. It sounds a lot better and the vibe is a lot cooler. We’re just trying to give things back to the fans and it makes things fun for us, too. It mixes things up so it’s good.

Anything else to add?
If you dig us, come see us play. We’re going to be on tour a lot this year. Check out our tour dates!

Crisis In Hollywood Interview- July 7, 2009

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Can you please introduce yourself and your role in Crisis In Hollywood?

I’m Adrian, I sing and play guitar for Crisis in Hollywood.

Your album Safe and Sound came out on May 12. Overall, how do you feel about this album? What has been the fan reaction to the release?

This album has been a life changing experience for all of us. From the ground up it was something new. With the opportunity it presented, there was a bit of a time crunch on the writing, but regardless, I think we’re all really happy with the reaction we’ve been getting. While many of our fans still love our first album, Safe and Sound opened a few doors creatively for us and so far, everyone is digging it.

How do you think your new album Safe And Sound is different from your previous work?

You could say we’ve grown since the first album. I think that Safe and Sound is far from perfect, and I could pick it apart for days, but we started to understand more of who we were on this album and what we wanted to create. I think our best album will always be whatever is next, but when I watch people listen to the new one, I feel like we’re heading in the right direction.

What song(s) are you most proud of and why?

Really, I’m proud of the album as a whole. The writing process became a frenzy when we found out we would be recording sooner than planned, and we had a total of 18 songs to choose from by the deadline. For me, knowing the metamorphoses of a some tracks is incredible. I still hang on to early demos of songs like “Don’t Overact” which was an up tempo punk song before we decided to pull a 180 and tone it down to get a new vibe for the album.

How was working with Bayside’s Anthony Raneri on this album?

Anthony is a great guy and when the opportunity came to work with him, we jumped at it. We were together for 5 weeks in the studio working on this album and he came in with a lot of focus and great advice that we’ve kept with us. It’s always good to have a mentor become a friend, and creating something with a man we’ve respected for years was a dream come true.

What are your touring plans for the remainder of the year?

Touring is the number one priority. We’re just finishing up our “Survive the Swine ’09” tour with Hand to Hand up the east coast, and we’re plotting out a west coast tour with those guys again very soon. We live to tour. Sleeping in our van is something that’s not for everyone, but it’s right for us.

How did Crisis in Hollywood come together as a band?

Before CiH, we were all friends. In fact, we’ve all played together in separate bands throught the years. Just before this band got together, Andy and I had formed From Adam to Atom, and midway through we picked up Logan. After a few problems with the line up, we threw our hats in and decided to build something we loved from scratch. We recruited Daniel, who we already knew would be a perfect fit, and set up our first show on Super Bowl Sunday in 2007

Do you have any interesting and/or funny stories from the road/recording/life?

We had a night off in NC, and instead of wasting it with sleep recovery, we decided to hit an open mic. The problem was the only one available was a small country bar. Not exactly our style. We showed up anyway and were welcomed with open arms to the crowd composed of men and women 30 years our senior. We set up after an amazing jam band and ripped through a few of our songs. Surprisingly, the crowd loved us and helped us pay our way to the next city. But before we left it was time to party. Unfortunately, the best parts of the night are probably things I can’t talk about, but use some imagination and you’re probably right. They were a people set in their ways, and who were we to turn down any offers? All I can really say is that we will absolutely be returning. As soon as possible.

What goals do you have for Crisis in Hollywood for the future?

Like I said, touring is number one for us right now, although we have been writing our asses off and we’ve got some exciting songs on the horizon. But as for now, we hope to see everyone across the United States.

How did you guys get started playing music?

We’ve all been playing for years. I can’t say how everyone started up, but personally, about 10 years ago, my father surprised me with a guitar one day and the dream was born. He taught me my first chords and after he died a few years later, I found myself with a purpose and more drive to do what I love than ever before.

Any last words for our readers?

In the words of our newest 62 year old friend Harry, “Boogety, boogety.”

Gene Dante and The Future Starlets Interview- June 25, 2009

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Can you please introduce yourself and your role in Gene Dante and The Future Starlets?

My name is Gene Dante.  I’m the primary songwriter and lead singer of The Future Starlets.

How did the band come together?

I had a batch of songs I wanted to record and play out with a full band. I wanted to work with people I admired and respected.   Tamora Gooding (ex-All the Queen’s Men) had played with me before.  She suggested I reach out to Jim Collins (ex-The Buckners).  Over cocktails one night, a friend (the great Ad Frank) suggested I try to lure Scott Patalano (ex-Mistle Thrush) out of retirement.  As luck would have it, they were available and each liked the solo demos I’d recorded.  Since the recording of the album, we’ve added Erik Andersen — taking over for me on rhythm guitar and keyboards.

Tell me a little about your record The Romantic Lead.

Envision me doing my best theatre critic voice…
Thematically, ‘The Romantic Lead’ is an incomplete dysfunctional love story in which the protagonists battle to harmonize their insecurity, vanity, and humanity.  Sonicly, I wanted an album that sounded like no other band out there today, both abrasive and sweet, and can hold its own.

How would you describe the type of music from Gene Dante?

I believe Michael Epstein from The Motion Sick described the band as “the bridge between Morrissey and The New York Dolls.”  If I’m mistakenly attributing this quote to Michael, I apologize.  I’ve also heard we’re a “truck stop Roxy Music” — part glitter, part gutter. Generally, I strive for strong melodies and left-of-center lyrics wrapped in hard guitars.

Lyrically, your music seems to be pretty open and honest. What type of events/experiences inspire these lyrics?

That is very kind.  Thank you.  I’ve always believed “write what you know” is invaluable advice to any writer.  However, this is the deal: my lyrics (or ANYONE’s lyrics) are only as “real” as the listener will allow them to be.  Some are based on my life, some are based on things I’ve observed or overheard, some are heightened or streamlined, some are crude or factual.  I’ll never tell for sure.  Metaphor and Simplicity are my wingmen.  I try to be witty and semi-unconventional.  I’ll let listeners decide if I succeed.

For listeners new to Gene Dante, what song would you recommend they listen to and why?

This is the SOPHIE’S CHOICE question.  How do you pick a favorite child?  “A Madness to His Method” is probably a great introduction.  It’s slowly becoming a positive anthem of sorts for outsiders and the marginalized.  “Photosynthetic” is a personal favorite.  “Brian, My Darling” is an interesting listen and I’m very happy with the album version.  I think people should hear “To a God Unknown” just to hear Scott’s guitar solo.  Listen to “C Star” if you need a smile put on your face — I didn’t intend for it to do anything more.

What are your touring plans for the rest of the year?

We’re gonna go where we’re asked and when it’s right.  In the meantime, I keep writing.  The album JUST hit the college & specialty radio stations.  Feedback from that and the videos (for “A Madness to His Method” and “C Star” — currently on MTV’s LOGO Network and YouTube) will determine where & when shows are booked.

What are some of your major musical influences?

I think David Bowie (1971-1980) is a given (C’mon for real: who HASN’T he influenced?). Also, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Placebo, Gene Loves Jezebel, Echo and The Bunnymen, Frankie Valli, and Neil Diamond.

How did you get started playing music?

I wanted to do something creative and always liked to sing as a child. However, from puberty til about 18 I really couldn’t at all, so I got a guitar and took lessons.  I needed some vehicle for music, and to a 14 year old boy guitars are way cooler than pianos.  I liked to write as well, but lacked both the attention span necessary for a novelist, and the pretensiousness necessary for a poet.  Pop songs seemed the logical choice.  I figured I could make a decent rhythm guitarist and songwriter, maybe sing some back-up.  But as I developed into more of a songwriter than a musician, my voice came to me.

What are some of your goals for Gene Dante and The Future Starlets?

We want nothing less than worldwide domination.  Isn’t that everyone’s goal?  Seriously, I get too much nebulous advice telling me to “elevate” my performance and “take it to the next level”…blah blah blah.  Frankly, buzzwords and catch phrases are said simply to keep corporate dopes fooled into thinking you know something.  I will keep rocking and writing until I feel I’ve nothing left to say, then simply disappear.

Any last words for our readers?

I thank anyone for taking the time to read this all the way through. Anybody can wax intellectual about their “craft.”  However, if you’re at all interested give a listen to the music (for free on our MySpace page and www.genedante.com).  Draw your own conclusions and decide for yourself.

The Veer Union Interview-June 22, 2009

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Can you introduce yourself and your role in The Veer Union?

My name is Fid, and I play guitar and sing a little bit in TVU.

Your debut album, Against The Grain, was released in April. How do you feel about the album overall?

We are so very very proud of Against the Grain. We poured our hearts and souls into that album and want the chance to share it with everyone.

What has been fan reaction to the album? Are they into it?

We have been getting a great reaction from the album. People are really connecting with it which was our goal from the get go.

How did the Veer Union come together?

In short form. The word “Veer” means to change direction. Before TVU we were all in different projects and not happy with the situations we were in. So we “veered” away from all that and came together as a “Union” and here we are today.

What are your touring plans for the rest of the year?

We are currently on tour with Halestorm, Burn Halo, and Since October till the end of June. Till the end of September we go out with Sick Puppies and Hurt. After that, there are definitely some big plans, but can’t quite say yet.

Tell me a little about your involvement with the “You Can Be Anything Foundation.”

It’s a foundation that helps raise money and awareness for kids in music programs. We find it such a fitting foundation because all of us started in school. Many music/art programs in schools are getting their funds cut, so we want to help kids try and reach their potentials and answer any questions they might have.

What are some of your major musical influences?

The whole band has a list that goes on and on and on. As a child I grew up around everything you could think of. Right now I am really into bands like Thrice, Incubus, Misery Signals, Radiohead and that’s just the tip of the ice berg.

Where would you like to see The Veer Union in a year from now?

Doing the exact same thing with more and more people singing along.

For new listeners, what song would you recommend they listen to and why?

I’d have to say Seasons which is our first single. It’s a high energy track that I think a lot of listeners can relate to.

How would you describe your sound?

We are considered an Alt Rock band, but it’s so hard to stick any band in any kind of genre, so you’ll have to have a listen to decide for yourself.

Any last words for our readers?

www.myspace.com/theveerunion and grab our album Against the Grain off itunes!

Madina Lake Interview- May 7, 2009

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madina_lake013Can you please introduce yourself and your role in Madina Lake?

Matthew and me plays bass.

How did the band come together?

We met in Chicago where we had previous bands who were competing for the attention of our then manager. Neither of us were satisfied musically so when we met, we bonded instantly over this and other ideas of what a musical situation could be. we decided to break up the old bands and make ML under these guiding principles.

Your new album is coming on May 5, 2009. How is this album different from your previous work?

This record is devoid of genre.  It’s more of who we are.  The last record was a little too pop-punk, this one is more alternative, and each song manages to be cohesive, while being completely different from one another.

How do you feel about the new album?

What are you most proud of and why?  We feel more satisfied and fulfilled with this record than we could have ever imagined.  We played at the edge of our abilities and we were fearless with every decision.  we tuned out the outside world and dove deep into whatever direction we felt like going, which even found us using a trumpet on one song lol.

How is the current tour going?

What other touring plans do you have for this year?  We are in the UK doing a headlining run with our friends the “audition”  it is dangerously fun and we are loving life.  after this we will do a run of USA dates, some festivals including Rockam Ring Rockam Park in germany and then spend all summer on warped.

What are some of your musical influences and why?

we were big fans of fleetwood mac, paul simon, NIN, smashing pumpkins.  we like the idea of big pop choruses and electronic verses with thick grooves and lots of space.

How did you guys get started playing music?

nathan and i went to see a show at the metro in chicago when we were kids.  it was a band called Hum and Silverchair  The second we walked in the outside world melted away and we were absorbed into this imaginary universe of like minded people.  we thought immediately, we have to do this.

So, do you have any interesting and/or funny stories to share from the road?

I was beyond thirsty the other night in the van around 3am and this beautiful bottle of evian water bumbed up against my foot.  i reached down unscrewed the cap and even squeezed the bottle as to get more of this delicious stuff into my mouth…only to discover seconds later that it was not so refreshing, it was nathan’s urine.

What direction would you like to see Madina Lake pursue?

I would love to go the way of Muse or Kings of Leon…bands that have nice long healthy careers while retaining their artistic vision and integrity and dodging the flash in the pan scenerio that some trendsters fall into.

Any last words for our readers at For The Sound?

Thanks for the opportunity,  we hope you enjoy us, but if not, godspeed and best of luck in your personal musical pursuit.

Ace Enders Interview April 14, 2009

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To start, can you please introduce yourself and describe your newest project Ace Enders and A Million Different People?

Yeah, my name is Ace Enders and you know, my band is Ace Enders and a Million Different People. We’re pretty intense, pretty hardcore. (laughs) Pretty rough around the edges. In the band is myself, a drummer named Jason Howie, guitar player Will Gilree, and bass player Sergio Amelo.

Your new album, When I Hit The Ground, just came out last week. Overall, how do you feel about this album?

I’m really pretty pleased with it. There are a couple minor things I think I would of done differently but for the most part, I’m pretty happy with it. I like how it turned out and I’m really excited about it.

How is this new album different than stuff from The Early November or I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business?

It’s a little different than The Early November as far as like it’s more “grown up.” I don’t want to sound like The Early November was immature but as we get older we definately go through different stages and it’s just what you would expect going through life. I didn’t try and force it to be anything. I kept it natural like The Early November always was and I took all those things I really appreciated about the band and put it into this album.

What would you say are your favorite songs off of the new album and why?

Off the new album..”The Only Thing I Have” is probably my favorite song because it captures the whole story, the whole feeling of what I’ve been going through in the past couple of years and um, it’s probably my favorite one. But another one I really enjoy is “Where Do We Go From Here”..it’s very fun to play. I like all of them and I’m really happy with how all the songs turned out. We just shot a video for “The Only Thing I Have” and I’m really happy with how it turned out. There is a little kid who plays me along time ago and I’m happy with it.

I remember reading somewhere that you recorded all of the instruments on the new album..the guitar, drums, bass, everything. Did you enjoy making an album like this? Was that always the plan for this new album?

I didn’t record the drums, the producer Chris played the drums on the album but pretty much everything else was me. He did some piano but we both sat there and did whatever to get the project done you know? Yeah I really enjoyed making an album like this. It’s the most fun for me. I like when I can just do whatever and just create what I want to do. I think it was my plan then it wasn’t and then it just happened.

You are currently on tour with Craig Owens of Chiodos, The Color Fred, The Gay Blades, and VersaEmerge. How has the tour been so far? What is the response from the kids coming to the shows..do they know the lyrics, are they into it?

The tour has been great. The Color Fred actually jumps on in a couple of days. I’m sure it’ll be much better with him though. He’s a great dude. I’ve actually been having a ton of fun, all the bands are great. I really can’t complain. Yeah they kids are into it and we are having a great time. It’s been great and I’ve been really suprised.

Do you have any other touring plans following this current tour?

Right after this, we are doing an All-American Rejects tour and then in summer we are headlining. We are thinking about bringing VersaEmerge but they straighten their hair too much. [Drummer from VersaEmerge walks by and starts talking to Ace]

I heard that you built your own recording studio to track some demos for the upcoming album. Why did you decide to do this? How much time did you spend working on that project? Now that the album is finished, what are you going to be using it for?

It took me, planning and all, about 2 months. I built it all myself with the help of my little cousin and my grandfather. We just wanted to make everything how it would work best for me. It isn’t the best stuff ever but I get around. I recorded most of my stuff there like The Secret Wars, “Reaction” off of the new album was recorded there. I do a lot of production with bands so I’ve been working with them in the studio. I’m really excited about a couple of things like a band from around here called Echo Screen.

What made you want to do a cover of The Verve’s song “Bittersweet Symphony”? How has the response been to the cover?

The response has been great. It’s one of my favorite songs ever and it’s one of the songs for me that can change my mood. So it’s like I wanted to share that with people. We contacted Save The Music and all the proceeds go to that charity. They were really open to it and loved it. They are really excited about it and it’s doing great.

Do you have any plans to start up any side projects in the future?

[laughs] I have too much of that. I think I’m just gonna stick with this for a while. The reason why I have so many projects is because I like to keep writing music so what I’ll probably end up doing is put out one album every year and a half and put out little things every once in a while like EP’s or something.

How did you get started playing music?

My stepdad I guess was always in bar bands and I picked up one of his guitars one day and that’s how it started. He showed me a few chords and from there I was on my own.

What would you say are some major musical influences in your life?

Jimmy Eat World, Pearl Jam..as weird as that may sound. I really respect them for what they do. Jets To Brazil and all those old school bands have had a big influence on me and I’ve always wanted to have that same impact on kids as they did on me.

I know you probably get this question a lot, but people have been asking me to ask you. Is there any possibility of an Early November reunion?

No. Yeah I mean, I’ll always play those songs like acoustic and have fun with people. Do little sing-a-longs and what not. But as far as the band getting back together, I can’t see it happening any time soon. Maybe we will play a few shows one day but that’s it.

Any last words for our readers at Driven Far Off?

Just thank you for everyone who has been supporting me for so long, I really appreciate it. You know, I don’t want anyone to think I don’t appreciate them or dont care, I really do.

Thank you Ace for taking the time to answer these questions and to Gary Strack for setting up this interview.

Sarah Saturday Interview- March 12, 2009

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To say that Sarah Saturday is a work-a-holic is the understatement of the year. She is the founder of www.earnityourself.com, runs The Kevin Says Stage on Warped Tour, has her own design company, gives out advice over at Buzznet.com AND has her own band. What have you done today?

Can you please introduce yourself and describe your various roles within the music industry (warped tour, earn it yourself, etc)?

So, my name is Sarah Saturday and I run a consulting company called Sarah Saturday Consulting Inc. and under that I run a design firm called The
Weekend Group and we do websites and online marketing for tasteofchaos.com, mayhemfest.com, kevinsaystage.com and we build sites for little bands and labels and whatever. That’s my main day job. For the Kevin Says Stage on Warped Tour, I do all of the online marketing and promotion. For the last 5 years, I’ve been running the application process for that stage with Kevin picking unsigned bands to play the stage and building the stage up. This year, it is the first year we have 98% signed bands. So, what I did, because I only really care about the unsigned bands, is I am sponsoring the stage with my website, earnityourself.com, and so through earnityourself.com, I will be booking one band per day on the Kevin Says Stage to represent the unsigned bands. So, that is my involvement with Warped Tour and The Kevin Says Stage. Earn It Yourself is the website I started, I guess we launched in 2006, and my partners are Ernst Schoen-Rene from Book Your Own Fucking Life and Wyatt Glodell who is my partner from the Weekend Group. We’ve just been rolling that out the past couple of years.

Okay..I gotta ask this question before we start. Where did the name “Sarah Saturday” come from?

(laughs) Okay, well I am originally a musician and still a musician just not full time but I got into the music industry because I started playing music when I was 14 and eventually dropped out of college, quit my job, and did the whole DIY, you know, in the band thing for a few years before I moved out to California. So playing in bands you play around with stage names and you don’t really want to use your real last name so I always had stage names and stuff. Then my band, Saving Face in Wisconsin was on hiatus, and I was going on the road with this band from Los Angeles called The Start and I wanted to have a more serious stage name. So I was asking my mom to help me, and she had a friend whose daughter whose name was Sarah and her middle name was Saturday and it was from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and so we were like “Sarah Saturday would be rad.” So I took that name, started touring with this band, met Kevin Lyman and everybody out here as Sarah Saturday so when I moved out here that is all anybody knew me as. So long story short, my first summer on Warped Tour I met the Bouncing Souls, loved those guys, got along great with them and they loved the name Sarah Saturday and Brian said he was going to write a song with my name in it. So a year or two later he said he wrote the song, it’s gonna be on the new album, it’s called Sarah Saturday and I was like “no way!” So I legally changed my name, I was always planning on changing it, but when I heard the song was coming out I filed the papers. I wanted to be like “yeah, there it is. That really is my name.”

What is the story behind earnityourself.com? How did it get started? Has it been successful?

The Earn It Yourself thing came from me being in all these bands, dropping out of college, I was managing my band full-time and booking and I loved it. I loved the whole ethos of doing it yourself and going out and making it happen and not waiting around for anyone to help you out. But in the back of my mind I assumed you should just work really hard and do things yourself until the point where you can’t do them anymore and then you might need to hire people. I always kind of thought that was okay but the more I got into the DIY scene, at least where I was from, I kind of started realizing it put a cap on what you were with the length you were supposed to go with your band. As my band got bigger and bigger because I was working my ass off, booking all this stuff and doing everything DIY style, we kind of started to get some negative feedback from other people in the DIY scene like calling us sell outs and “we were in it just to get famous” or “just for money” or whatever and it was just kind of upsetting and I thought I was doing it right and doing a good job. On one of the last tours that I had booked with Saving Face we had kind of been called “sell outs” because we opened for Good Charlotte and Something Corporate. We just signed to a real DIY label and we started to get endorsements and I was really bummed at the people that were turning their backs on us and I’m in the band thinking, “How can there be a philosphy that incorporated the DIY ethos and the work ethic and the mentallity and the approach but allowed a band to name their own goal and decide “hey this is far as I want to go” and as long as I’m doing it the right way it should be okay that I go that far. That was 2003 and I started talking to people about DIY and EIY and then I moved out here and made a printzine, EIY zine- I only made two issues but I interviewed Matt from Taking Back Sunday for one of the issues and my friend Chris who runs a booking agency and it was really fun and cool. People were ordering it online and stuff but I needed this to go to the next level. I really wanted to push this philosophy and promote it and I also wanted to offer bands booking help and networking tools and things like that. 2005 or 2006 I called Book Your Own Fucking Life and I was like, “You don’t know me but I think your site would be a great sister site for this thing I’m trying to launch and we could get together and dominate the DIY underground world.” So I brought Wyatt on board and what is now earnityourself.com and it was been a huge undertaking. Way bigger than we thought it would be and the three of us all work for free so that’s hard because it is easily a $100,000 site just with programming and no funding, no backing, no one helping out. People are starting to help out but it has been a DIY project, literally. We are hoping to form a strong network of bands that have the DIY philosophy and are working really hard, bringing out kids to shows and be self sufficient and help keep each other true to their values. I really want it to be a “family” who need that emotional or inspirational boost who are working hard and they see these crappy bands by pass them at 100 MPH. I just want them to know they are doing it the right way and these bands will be gone in 6 months.

Can you tell me some information about your music consulting and and design company, The Weekend Group?

Yeah um, it is actually Sarah Saturday Consulting is the name of the actually company and that I just started because I can do a lot with that. I would like to start consulting bands and helping bands just with business plans. Companies will ask me to sit with them for a few hours and figure out a marketing plan or a strategy for online promotion. This is stuff that I figured out just doing online marketing with my own band. Everything that I know I learned from my hands-on, DIY approach in my band. It’s just teaching bands and companies the best way to get their name out there. But The Weekend Group does website design and I have a bunch of really rad programmers and designers who build amazing websites. We build the sites and then help manage them and do online marketing. Right now, we are working on the Taste of Chaos tour. We have the tour, contests, street teams and e-mail list and all kinds of stuff going on with that. We just launched Mayhem Festival mini website plus the kevingsaysstage.com and also MacBeth shows is really fun for us. It’s a clothing line with cool shoes and cool people and a really good scene in Orange County. Part of what I wanted to do with this company was offer cheap website design to bands because I think it’s really important for bands to control their own data and control their own website and not just rely on MySpace or whatever to get information out to their fans. They should have their own e-mail list, their own place on the internet where people can find them.


On top of running earnityourself.com and The Weekend Group, you are also the booking manager for the Kevin Says Stage on Warped Tour. How did that all come together?

I think I was just in the right place at the right time or destiny or whatever it is..I just met Kevin in the one month I was in LA. Because I wasn’t doing anything I was like, “Hey Kevin, I’d like to come into your office for a few days and volunteer my time cause I’m sitting around doing nothing.” I came in for two days and during those two days we got submissions from little unsigned bands that wanted to play the tour and at that time The Kevin Says Stage was just “showing up”- like “Hey Kevin said we could play.” And they didn’t know where to put these bands so they made up this stage where he said they could play. So it was kind of like a joke and just whatever. That was my first thing with Kevin. When Kevin offered me the job in 2004 and I went on the road with Warped Tour, I was working in production and I just kind of became the dumping ground for those bands that would show up. They would find their way to the production office and I started organizing them. After that summer, I talked to Kevin about really organizing these bands-lets take applications ahead of time and pick bands on a certain set of criteria-bands that are hard working and are gonna work hard to promote their shows. We started doing applications for the 2005 tour and from there just started filling dates. We started to get sponsors like Hot Topic and the stage just grew and grew. I kept working with Kevin because the stage was like “my baby.” That’s still my involvement and my focus is just bringing the unsigned bands out and get people to say, “Hey these bands kick ass!”

Were you always aware that you wanted to be involved with music somehow or did you have different plans at one point?

Well when I joined my first band at 16, it was my whole life. I hung out with the guys all day, we practiced whenever we could, and we played shows whenever we could. I loved it but I remember having to be realistic and like, you know, I wasn’t a rock star when I graduated high school so I needed to figure out college and figure out what my plan would be. I started to take creative writing and bounced around from school to school but it never really stuck with me and meanwhile, I was still consumed by the band. So I think it has always been a part of me to always want to be a part of playing music, and that’s how I got involved in the music industry. I was so passionate about playing music but I started to realize I was good at the business side, too. I really liked it. It’s always kind of been a moral dilemma for me because I’m an artist at heart but I’m also a business person. It’s kind of like it chose me I guess. I switched to the business side but I’m finally starting to get back into playing music and it’s all coming back to me. I think it’s just always been a part of my personality.

Besides being directly involved with the music industry, you are also involved in your own band
Gardening Not Architecture. Can you provide some information about the band?

When my other band broke up, I was upset. I don’t want to say it was a depression, but it was a really big deal for me. So I went through a few years of not writing and I didn’t even want to think about the band. But after a few years, I started writing again and I was like, “I just want to do this for fun.” I started recording some songs and the songs were really cool. I wanted to record better versions, so in 2007 I was home and started recording with my friend Beau Sorenson who is a great engineer. We recorded 4 songs and I just loved them. Started playing for my friends and there was no pressure. It was the best feeling to just say, “I don’t want anything from you. I just want you to hear my songs.” I was excited for people to hear them and the reactions were really positive. It kept building and building and there were kids in Florida who had heard the songs and making them into ringtones. People really liked my stuff and they kept telling me that I needed to tour so in 2008 I said “screw it. I’ll just put a little band together and play some shows.” With the recession and the overall vibe of the music industry, I was in a good place. I want to focus on Earn It Yourself but I want to be living the Earn It Yourself thing as a musician. Like right now, I’m booking a west coast tour for Gardening Not Architecture. We’ve been booking it and I’ve been using EIY. The idea with Gardening Not Architecture is just to have fun, go on tour, see what happens, no pressure. I’ve got a job, I’ve got stuff that I’m doing and I don’t expect anything from it. It just feels good to be playing shows and planning things.

There is no doubt that you are involved with a lot-Warped Tour, running multiple websites, and your own band. How are you able to balance all of these careers? What does a typical day for you look like?

A typical day..(laughs). It was really crazy last year. I had way to much work and I had a couple of assisstants. I cut way back on some work but I’m still a work-a-holic and I always have been. I come into my office and I just go. I’ve been sitting here since I don’t even know what time and I’ll probably in my office until at least 11 o clock tonight. Then I’ll probably take my computer to bed and probably work on booking shows or whatever..It’s just nonstop. I’m not a big partier really. I try and go out to shows and go out to dinner with my friends. But I really just spend as much time as I can working on stuff. It’s like A.D.D. Right now, I have like ten windows open and six IM windows open and three different lists of things I want to do. It’s just kind of craziness.

With all these projects going on at once, there is no doubt that you have the motivation, the dedication and the work ethic to handle of these activities, have you always had this hard working personality?

I was always goal oriented. Like in high school I wasn’t doing drugs or whatever. I would rather be writing or painting or booking shows. I wanted to utilize my time for productive things. It was just more fun for me. It may be genetic, I don’t know. I didn’t really realize this is how I was until college and I read this book called Atlas Shrugged. It’s a really controversial book for some people because the author develops this philosophy that gets a bad rep sometimes. It was really inspiring for me cause it put into words how I felt about myself and the people around me. Basically after reading it, I went into this whole other “realm” of productive, goal oriented work. It had a huge impact on me and it made me want to be productive and do something meaningful with my life.

Among all your projects, what are you most busy with right now?

I try to split up my time equally because I do have obligations, you know? I have clients that are paying me so I try and spend most of the work day Taste of Chaos duties and other multiple websites. Put in my full 8 hours of client oritented stuff so I can pay the bills. My heart and my passion is Earn It Yourself. That is what I am most excited about. I’m also busy with my advice column on Buzznet.com and I’m launching www.sarahsaturday.com. I’m also gonna be selling artwork and clothes through that site. It’s just like an outlet for me and I’ll be able to promote everything.

What advice do you have for people who want to get into the music industry?

I actually have written a bunch of stuff on the site about this. Like for me, I wanted to do this thing and I’m gonna figure out how to do it. I don’t know if that is crappy advice to give or not, but the only thing I can say is be creative. Use what you have around you. If you want to be in a band, talk to your friends and see if they want to be in a band too. If you want to do merch or manage, start working with local bands or your local venue. Try to book a tour for a friends bands. Trial and error stuff is the fastest way to figure out what you are good at and what you want to do. My best advice is just start with short term goals. Offer to help local bands and friends and venues. Talk to everyone you know and make a plan. If the plan fails, try something else. Just keep making new plans even if it fails. I think a lot of people need to sit around and wait. The most successful people I know in the industry said, “I want to get to point A. This is the best way to do it. If it doesn’t work, I’ll try another way.” Someone once said to one of my old bands, and this is a good one, “start with your goals and work backwards.” If you want to be signed to a record label, what are they looking for? They are looking for a band with some “buzz” around them. How do you get that “buzz”? Start playing shows and promoting your band–just work backwards.


To wrap things up, do you have any last words for our readers? Any advice or comments?

The biggest overall message, for me, is just to have a philsophy in your life. People don’t really think about philosophy anymore. If I could do anything, it would be to get the message out to people to make concious decisions all day long. Think about what they are doing, why they are doing it, what it means to them, and why people believe what they do. I think the world would be a better place if we knew what our philosophy was and made concious decisions. Don’t float around waiting for someone else to come figure it out for you. You are living a meaningless life and you don’t know what you stand for. I ultimately just want people to make more concious, thoughtful decisions.

Thank you Sarah for spending a good hour on the phone answering these questions and Dean for setting up this interview.