At the Vienna, Virginia stop of You, Me, And Everyone We Know's tour supporting Hellogoodbye, the band very generously allowed for a couple of questions. The band is just beginning what is going to be a jam packed year for the hard working band. The band answered questions about reception to the record, the change in their sound, the "call outs" in "Shock and Awe", an upcoming EP, and many other things. Check it out below.
Firstly, can you state your name and what you play in the band?
My name is Ben Liebsch and I sing in the band You, Me, and Everyone We Know.
Some Things Don’t Wash Out was released not too long ago. How has the reception to it been?
So far it’s been really good. We broke the Billboard charts on the first week and we’ve been selling records ever since. We can’t seem to keep them in stock on the road and that tends to be a good sign. As a matter of fact, we’re sold out of them tonight, and hopefully we’ll get another shipment tomorrow, hopefully we’ll keep them flowing, we weren’t expecting to be out of them so quickly but we’re glad that it’s occurring.
The album is a little bit of a departure from your older sound, especially in the instrumentations. Songs like “Moon, Roll Me Away” and “James Brown Is Dead” sound pretty much nothing like any of your older song, and the horns added a bit of uniqueness. What was the thought in adding in the horns and the rest of the new instrumentation?
We always liked the sort of “we do what we want” aspect of the first EP. Rather than questioning why we are doing this, we just figured “why not”. We just wrote whatever came to mind and put together right away. We didn’t spend three days questioning it or what not, which I think is an important part of figuring out exactly what kind of band you are. If you second guess all that stuff you tend to lose some magic in your song writing and recording. That was just something that came naturally with those songs. It felt good, so we went with it.
You let the album out to the public by releasing one song a time on a couple of different sites. Any reason for this method rather than letting everyone wait to hear most of the album?
We gave away our first two EPs for free, about 75000 of them. We want people to be excited about the record, to know what they are buying before they have to buy it. Having a label and having the involvement in making the record, we couldn’t give the record away, we’re a blue collar band and we couldn’t give away something that costs so much to make. We wanted to let people hear it without having to take the risk on paying for it and being disappointed. Things like this pay off, and transparency with your fans is very important to them, especially at this level.
Some Things Don’t Wash Out was the first release you guys have put out that was not mostly released for free. Do you think this made a change on the amount of people who heard the record?
I don’t think so. The first two records for us were us building up credit. The people that have always supported the band, by the record came out, they were asking us to sell them something. We sort of earned a credit. Our fans were “ringing up a tab” over the years downloading everything for free and I think a lot of them were compelled to buy something and I think we earned their support in that sense.
This was also the first record released on a label. How has Doghouse records been for you guys, and has the recording process changed?
Doghouse is an incredible label. They’re one of the last respectable labels out there. They aren’t super money hungry and they know this an independent genre. While some of it is bigger stars run, it’s not supposed to be that way and it’s not going to be that way forever. So they make a big deal about themselves. They’re a label, they aren’t a brand, and I really respect the way they do things with the old school mentality. The recording process didn’t change at all, we were almost done when they got involved. As a matter of fact, it was about a year ago when we got a call asking to get involved. They were one of the labels I had my eye on from the start and we couldn’t be happier. They’re all about us being who we are.
You also rerecorded “Livin Th Dream”. Any reason you decided to bring that song back?
When we recorded it initially, there were some band members who had some issues about what elements should be and shouldn’t be in the song. In addition, that song kind of links up the rest of the record because most of these songs I took three years writing the lyrics and even the music, so we wanted a song that kind of connected the first EP to what we have now because we have been writing these songs since then. There are some people who say “I kinda like the originally recording better”, but they don’t understand that this is the original recording. This is how we originally wanted the song to be, and after some people told us to change this and change that we caved a bit, but this is the song I actually wanted to release.
In “Shock And Awe” there are a few callouts against Richard Riemes and Cody Payne. Is there anything you can explain about putting these call-outs in the song?
I mean, not to beat around the bush, but yes, it’s Cody. Richard and his management staff didn’t have our best interest at hearts and they really didn’t very well do right by us in a few areas. I don’t shy away from the things in my personal life that give me a lot of trouble, so why should I shy away from the things in my professional life, if you can call it that. If something’s on my mind, I’ve written about it, and I stand behind it. As far as Cody goes, he knew the song was coming out. He was a bit heated at first when he heard it, but we talked and he’s at the very least cordial now, which is fine by me. I support The Dangerous Summer entirely, they write great music, but everyone’s got a little growing to do here and there.
Are there any additional songs or b-sides from the record you are planning on releasing in the future?
We’re not really much of a “b-sides” band. We have one song we started writing for the record that I just haven’t found the inspiration to finish the lyrics. We have another song that’s like three years old that we plan on releasing in the fall just as a little fun single. After this tour we’re going back to Chicago and recording a few new songs for a 7’’ and an EP that we will be putting out some time in late March or April, but they are all new songs. We may as well release an alternate version of “Some Things Don’t Wash Out”.
You guys are currently on this tour with Hellogoodbye, Gold Motel, and Now, Now. How has the experience been so far?
The tour’s been great. Everyone is nice and it’s a great humble atmosphere. Musically the bands are all great and we are generally embarrassed to be playing before or after anyone on this tour. Beyond that the attendance has been great, many shows are sold out including tonight’s, and it’s been a real pleasure starting the year with this tour.
2011 has only been around for about a month, yet there have been a few solid releases.
What have been your favorite releases so far, and which albums are you looking forward to in the upcoming months?
I know tomorrow Nicole Atkins’ new record comes out, and Neptune City, her last record was incredible and I’m really looking forward to it. Other than that, I don’t know what’s really coming out this year. I’m still listening to The Wonder Years and The Graduate’s record from last year, Two Door Cinema Club, I haven’t really heard anything yet this year.
Yellowcard’s coming out soon, and Taking Back Sunday.
I want to hear what they’re able to do, if they are able to find that magic again from the first record, which is tough, because when people get excited about reunions they forget to realize that music in addition to the fact that it’s good and powerful, there’s also timing and a sentimentality about it. So reunions don’t always go the way people think it will. So I’m always hesitant, but I’m still excited to hear what they have.
2011 seems to be a big year for You, Me, And Everyone We Know. What do you guys have in store for us in the future?
After this we will start recording the 7” and the EP, titled Things Are Really Weird Right Now. It’s a great title. After recording in March we will be on the Glamour Kills Tour, and that takes us until April. In April, we’re going to take about two weeks off, then we’re going over to the East Coast in the end of April and beginning of May, and we should be playing for quite a few people that weekend. Touring, touring, touring. We’re road dogs and we want to get our message out and spread our music to as many people as possible this year.
Again, I'd like to thank the band for taking time out of their day to answer a few questions. You, Me, And Everyone We Know released one of the best records last year, Some Things Don't Wash Out, and it is a record that everyone should take a listen to. Be sure to buy the record, and you can listen to the band on their Myspace page here.