Sunday, July 22, 2012

Interview With The Front Bottoms

If you follow bands like Say Anything, Motion City Soundtrack and Brand New, you've likely heard about The Front Bottoms. Over the last year, the band has burst onto the scene, opening for those three bands above and winning huge amount of fans over every show. On the last date of their tour with Motion City Soundtrack, The Front Bottoms took a few questions from us at MuzikDizcovery, about topics such as the size of their live band, opening up for Tenacious D, reflections on their self-titled album, lyrical styles, a possible vinyl issue of their older material, their plan to finish writing, and much more, which you can read below.

Firstly, can you introduce yourselves?

B: My name is Brian.

M: I’m Matt.

B: And we’re in a band called The Front Bottoms.

You guys have been touring with Motion City Soundtrack, and I think tonight is the last night of the tour. How has it been so far?

M: So far it’s been amazing. It’s been really fun.

B: Definitely one of my favorite tours. Those guys are so so nice to use, all of the shows have been incredible, it’ll be sad to leave for sure.

This is just big tour or shows that you guys have been on lately. I know you've opened for big names such as Kevin Devine, Say Anything, and Brand New. The Brand New show in particular, how were these shows put together?

M: We have a good team of people helping us out. Very, very good people.

B: We’re very fortunate to have people who have a little bit of faith in us to put on a good show and that’s just what we’ve been trying to do. Make them proud.

So I heard that you guys played a special show last night with none other than Tenacious D. How did that come about, and how was it? What is like opening for those rock legends?

B: It was a total dream world experience the whole time. It was at Penn’s Landing. We’ve been told there were like 4000 tickets sold already for the show, which is like totally surreal to even hear that number. But it was great. They had a huge blow up penis on stage, I guess, as to be expected. Those guys were super super super amazing, they put on an awesome awesome show. I think we had a great show, there were a lot of people there when we played. It was great. It was just real exciting, and a good time. It was beautiful out, and I had never been to that concert venue, so it was nice to be able to play somewhere I’d never been. It was just a wonderful experience.

Last time I saw you guys, you played as a duo, but usually Drew plays live bass for you guys. Do you feel that this is the largest that your live band is going to get? Ever feel like adding a keyboardist or even a trumpeter, for those songs?

M: I think the limit’s at three.

B: I know, we say that now. I said the limit was two when it was just me and Matt in the band, so as of right now, probably for a while, it’ll just be the three amigos. I’m not going to say that the limit is three, because you know, maybe one day we’ll have a 50 piece orchestra on stage. I think that’d be pretty dope, or we could get one of our friends to play trumpet or guitar. We’ll see, we’ll take it in stride. We’ll see what it calls for and what sounds good.

It's almost been a year since the self titled album came out. Is there anything that you feel you could have done differently on the album, based on feedback from the last year?

B: I don’t think we’d change anything. It felt pretty natural. It felt really natural actually, and now that it’s been released, it’s just like, it’s out, you can’t do anything. So I haven’t really thought about changing anything.

Has the reaction been what you expected?

B: It’s been so much more than I expected. I would have been happy if ten of my friends listened to the album and bought it, so the fact that other people are buying it…we’re very very grateful.

Brian, you have quite a unique lyrical style. I wanted to ask about that. Do you feel you write in a bit of a stream of consciousness style? The songs seem to flow as stories, and it feels like you definitely write down what's currently on your mind. How do you feel your writing style is?

B: That’s what it sort of is, kind of stream of consciousness. My writing is a way for me to vent or express myself, so it’s nice to have a medium to do it in where people are actually listening to it. But yeah, absolutely, it’s loose ideas that I give to Matt, and then he firms up the ideas. I’m sort of all over the place with it.

As you said, you want people to hear it. A lot of the topics on the album are pretty personal. Do you enjoy being able to tell your personal story of what’s happened through your music?

B: Personally I do, because I hope that other people are able to hear it and connect with it, and maybe take something away from it, which is a pretty amazing feeling to be honest.

I know you guys played a new song a couple months ago. Are you guys working on new music, to put out any time soon?

M: We’ve been writing every time we get home from tour.

What do you think the status of it is? Are we going to be hearing anything new this year?

B: Maybe not this year, just because we are going to stay busy with more touring, but I plan to finish it when we get back from this tour. It’ll be written, so then it’s just the process of recording it. It’ll be out as soon as it possibly can be. That’s something that me and Matt have agreed to do, we’re not going to dilly dally around or anything. As soon as it can be released, it will be.

Do you feel the new music is going to contain any new quirks or lean in any new general direction?

B: I don’t know about a new direction or anything, we’re going to take in a totally natural stride. We don’t try to force anything. Even this album, it was just the next twelve songs that we had written, and then we recorded them and put them out. We don’t really try to get into the studio with a mission of trying to change anything. We’re just going to go in and make a good album that we personally love, and hopefully it comes together nicely and that’s kind of it. That’s how we roll.

I know you guys have the latest album pressed on vinyl. Are there any plans to press any of the older stuff?

B: There’s some talk. I want to, I’m excited to try and release it. We kind of discussed last night about maybe releasing some sort of seasonal series with EPs of like five old songs, and release four of them, one per each season. I don’t know. It’s kind of all up in the air at this point, but it will be released. It’ll probably be rerecorded to some extent, and then rereleased, because I like those songs a lot, and I want people to hear them. If the best way for people to hear them is to release them again like that, I would be happy with that. Especially because if you do want those songs, they are online for free. They’re kind of everywhere, so it’d be nice to have them officially out there.

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

B: Well like we were saying, when we get off of this tour, we’re going to try and finish this album. Then we are going to tour. We have some stuff planned for September. We’re going to go to the UK with this band called The Menzingers for like two weeks, which is exciting. Then more touring after that, and just kind of staying busy, giving people more stuff to be excited about.

You mentioned The Menzingers, who put out a great album this year. What else have you guys been listening to lately? What are some of your favorites of the year so far?

B: Absolutely The Menzingers, 100%. River City Extension are really great friends, they just put out a new album.

M: Kevin put out an album.

B: Yeah, Kevin Devine put out an album. Our soulmate. He’s making phenomenal tunes. What else? *at matt* What else my friend?

M: Motion City’s got a new one out.

B: Say Anything, when we toured with them had a new album out. I guess just all the bands that we’ve been touring with.

M: What else have we been listening in the van…Bayside. But I mean, that’s obvious. That’s just amazing always. That’s about it. We listened to like three Blink albums on the way here, guess that was our Blink fix.

Any final things you have to say?

B: Just thanks so much for interviewing us, and stay cool. We’re glad you got your power back *ed note: my power was out all weekend, and came back on about twenty minutes before this interview* and yeah man, rock and roll.

I'd like to again thank the band for spending some time to answer our questions. Both times I've seen them live they absolutely slayed, and I have not heard about one person coming back from their live show less than impressed. This is a band on the rise, so you better catch them in small venues while you still can. You can follow everything the band does on Facebook, and be sure to purchase their latest self-titled album.

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