VALIDA: So to get started, please state your name, age, and what play…
JESSE: Jesse Rendell, I’m 24, and I play the bass for Don’t Look Down.
VALIDA: You guys seem to have a very varied sound on both debut full-length and last yearÃƒ¯Ã‚¿Ã‚½s EP. You’ve got poppier songs, harder songs, and slower, acoustic songs all on the same album. When a lot of bands out there today are picking one niche and sticking to you it, what’s inspired you guys to just put out such diverse albums?
JESSE: Well, definitely, y’know for us it’s about our influences musically. We listen to all kinds of stuff and we definitely don’t like to listen to records where all the songs sound similar and blend together. So we try to make them as diverse as possible, basically. That’s most of the reason why.
VALIDA: With the new album coming is that going to have as much diversity on it?
JESSE: It’s pretty diverse, actually. We like to have, especially on the albums, a couple ballads, a couple slow songs, then your upbeat stuff, and then some just real-hard-rocking songs. We have a lot more of the hard-rock songs on this album. It’s a lot more mature and definitely rocks harder than any of the stuff that we’ve done. But at the same time, it’s got those slower songs as well. No matter what we do, we just try to keep it as melodic as possible, whether it’s slow, or hard, or fast, or whatever.
VALIDA: So will there be any acoustic songs on the album?
JESSE: There’s no acoustic songs, but there are some slow songs. They’re not acoustic, but they’re ballads, for sure.
VALIDA: What are your plans for this fall? Obviously you’re going to want to be out on tour in support of your the album that comes out on September 21st.
JESSE: Definitely, definitely. As of right now we’re weighing our options. We’re just trying to get on some really good tours. It depends on what happens, y’know if we get on a really good support tour we’ll go out on that. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll probably go out and play some really small clubs as a headliner with some smaller and local bands. Either way, you can count on us getting to your town, no matter what.
VALIDA: If you could go out on tour with any three bands, who would you pick?
JESSE: Thrice, [thinks for a long time]. Alright I gotta think. [pauses] That’s a tough question, y’know. Thrice, Recover. I like Recover a lot. [pauses again] Sorry, Thrice Recover… Let’s just do Thrice and Recover for now, I don’t know who else. [laughs]
VALIDA: You guys have that harder edge, but like you said, your music is very melodic. Do you have objections to being labeled as pop-punk?
JESSE: Not really because, admittedly, we have been. I mean, we grew up on it. When we first started making music, we were really into it. As gay as it sounds, I grew up on bands like Blink and Green Day and Offspring and stuff. So that definitely factored into it. And, we’ve always been huge New Found Glory fans, and for a while we were trying to emulate that style. But, more so with our new record than anything else, I think we’ve been breaking away from that. It’s not going to be able as easy to label this us pop-punk band with this record. But in the past, I haven’t objected to being labeled as pop-punk because I felt like that was justified. I think we’ve grown out of that now, and it’s definitely going to be harder to just say we’re a pop-punk band, I think we’re more of a rock band now. So, we’ll see what happens.
VALIDA: We’re also talking to Rufio, you guys are kinda friends with them…
JESSE: Yea, we just did at tour with them in April.
VALIDA: Yea, do you have any funny stories about them? We’re going to ask them the same question about you, so…
JESSE: [thinks] Jeez, people always ask those kinds of questions, and I feel like I’ll never remember any of them unless I was talking to them at the time. I can’t think of any off the top of my head.
VALIDA: That’s alright.
VALIDA: What’s the most overused or annoying interview question that you get?
JESSE: I dunno, I just hate when you start off an interview and it’s just questions like “how long have you been together”, “how did you meet”, “what does your band name mean”… Y’know that stuff’s just really boring. I like people like you that know that we got a record coming out and you’re asking important questions that people want to know, y’know, not stupid stuff.
VALIDA: This is kind of silly but, if you had to stereotype each member of the band, y’know like the “chick-magnet”, “the shy one”, stuff like that, who would you say fits which stereotype the best?
JESSE: Alright… Well I guess Ryan, I don’t know if I’d call him the chick-magnet, but he’s definitely the most comedic and most outspoken in our band. He’s just off the wall all the time, hilarious to be around, and super passionate about music. Matt is just your quiet, but funny, good guy. Tom’s pretty much the same. Matt and Tom are very similar in that they’re both very reserved, they’re not very outspoken. They’re just kind of shy, but once you get to know them they’re super nice guys, just good guys.
VALIDA: What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you guys?
JESSE: We got a couple fans with tattoos out there, which is cool. We got this one fan who made this really cool necklace out of one of our logos. She got like a jeweler to make it, it’s really cool. And then her and her mom made us a cake with all of our charicatures made into it, which is pretty funny.
VALIDA: So it’s just like bling bling “Don’t Look Down”?
JESSE: Yea, it’s sick, it’s really cool.
VALIDA: What goes on during a typical 24-hour period on Warped Tour?
JESSE: If we start at midnight, from midnight til 7 or 8 we’re either driving to the venue, rotating and sleeping, or sleeping in the van in the parking lot, which is not always the best thing to do. At around 7 or 8 we get up, some of us get up, sometimes some of us just end up sleeping. We get our merch guys out there, get our tent set up, go over to catering and get some cereal, find out what time we play, make sure our equipment is at the stage, make posters and flyers and hang them up, and then we just hang out and wait for the doors to open. When it gets close to playing, we get ready to play, go over make sure all of our stuff’s set up, then we play, take it down, shower, hang out with friends, eat – we go to catering and have food, and then we just hang out, y’know stay out of the sun.
VALIDA: Awesome, we’ll close it off with an ultra-random/crazy question. I’m going to need you to pick a number between one and 18 and the number will dictate which question you get.
VALIDA: What country’s cuisine is, in your opinion, the best?
JESSE: Well, I’m really not that much of an exotic-foods connisseur, but I’ll have to say Italy, because they’ve got spaghetti and pizza. I want to go to Italy really bad and eat in their restaurants, because I think it’d be really good. So I’d say Italian food, but I do like Chinese food a lot, too. And salsa.
VALIDA: Alright, thank you.
JESSE: Awesome, thank you.