Monday, March 4, 2013

Interview With Driver Friendly (3/4/13)

Driver Friendly released the excellent Bury A Dream last year, and their recent signing to Hopeless Records shows that people are taking notice. The band takes pop rock to a new level, combining insanely catchy hooks and smart songwriting with a two piece horn section that sets them apart from all of their other peers. Vocalist Tyler Welsh recently answered our questions via email about topics such as signing to Hopeless Records and the reasons for doing so, an upcoming EP scheduled for June, possible vinyl releases, an upcoming big summer tour, and far more that you can read below.

You guys recently signed to Hopeless Records. After quite a long time of being a band, how did it feel to finally have a reasonably big time record deal?

T: It feels awesome to finally see some reward for the struggle and hard work we’ve put in over the past few years. But then again, it makes us realize it’s going to take much more hard work to get to the next level and we’re excited about that.

Is there any pressure you guys feel signing to Hopeless Records because of the other huge names that you guys are now labelmates with, such as All Time Low and Yellowcard?

T: There’s not definitely not any pressure, but it is an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence as those other bands. The only pressure is the pressure we put on ourselves to be the best band we know we can be.

What kind of things were you looking for in a label? What made you decide in the end to go with Hopeless?

T: We were looking for a label who understood our music, who we are as a band, and where we could go in the future. I think from the beginning, it was very apparent to us that Hopeless had a solid grip on all of those things and had ideas for the band we had never even dreamed of. So it was an easy decision in the end.

Were you at all hesitant to sign since you guys have been a band for so long without a label behind you?
T: I think with any big moment of change in any person’s life, there is a moment where you hesitate about the decision you are about to make. And, of course, after being an independent band after so many years, and having full control over what we do, there was a slight amount of hesitancy. But, quickly we realized this was by far the best choice we could make for the band to get to the audience we hope to reach now.

There seems to be a big shift in the band between the note you guys put on Facebook in 2011 to where the band is now. What do you think was the moment that made you guys feel like the band may actually still have plenty of life left?

T: Well after 2008, we really weren’t much of a band. Didn’t play many shows, didn’t write any songs, and really didn’t even hang out just as friends. But, we have a music festival here in Austin called SXSW, and in 2011 we just got this feeling that we should keep going. We had seen some amazing bands that week (including one of our all time favorites Gatsbys American Dream) and we said to ourselves one night, “Why did we give up? We should still be making music.” And from there we made the plan to basically start over. And, once again with any big moment of change, I think a certain amount of alcohol should inspire you to make grand decisions, and we made sure we had the right amount that night.

I’ve seen a lot of comments of people calling you guys one of the “better new bands” out there. Is it weird to be seeing that even though you’ve been a band for 11 years or so now?

T: Personally, I don’t find it weird because, despite how long we’ve been a band, we certainly haven’t been the most prolific group in terms of putting out material on a steady base. So comments like that encourage us to realize there’s still so many people out there to reach, and gives us a goal to work for.

Hopeless has lately been rereleasing songs from Bury A Dream to put on iTunes. Would it be safe to assume that there is an upcoming rerelease of the whole album soon?

T: Honestly, we’re not exactly sure about the future of a Bury A Dream rerelease, really isn’t up to us. Of course, we’d love to have it out in its entirety, but right now we are focused on writing new music and getting that out as soon as possible. What we do know is that we have an EP coming out in June this year that will feature brand new material and a few older songs off Bury a Dream.

Will there be any new material on the rerelease?

T: We do have new material coming out soon on the EP, but it probably won’t be attached to a rerelease of Bury A Dream.

Do you think there’ll be a vinyl release of Bury A Dream?

T: A vinyl release of Bury A Dream would be sick! We’re huge fans of vinyl! But again, we really have no clue as to the future of that album.

Is there any plan for a rerelease of Chase The White Whale at all?

T: That seems probably way less likely. But that would be nice on vinyl as well. A limited pressing of 300 maybe? Who knows, the future is uncertain!

Throughout the years, you guys haven’t gone on wider tours that often, mostly just playing shows in Texas. With the new signing, should we expect to see you guys on the road more often? Any tours on the upcoming horizon?

T: We can say with absolute certainty will be touring a LOT more in support of our new material. We have a big tour this summer lined up, but we can’t announce just yet. And we have a bunch of other awesome tours that are in the works. We’re pumped to get out on the road and go to places we’ve never been.

Are you planning on playing all Bury The Dream tracks, or do you plan on throwing in some older material?

T: To be honest, we never really know what we’re going to play until about 15 minutes before a show, so you can never be too sure what we will play. I’d say all of our songs always have the potential to sneak into a set list.

What are your other plans for the upcoming months?

T: Right now, we are getting ready to head into the studio to record this new material for the EP. We will probably be making some music videos, hopefully touring a bit up until June. And then hitting the road hard this summer. We hope to see your beautiful faces out there!

I'd like to thank Tyler again for taking our questions. Bury A Dream is an absolutely fantastic album and one that was very properly placed at #11 on my own personal end of year list. Be sure to follow the band's progress on Facebook, and look forward to the busy summer that the band seems to have ahead.

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