Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images The sad news came across late Wednesday afternoon…
- Posted on Mar 15th 2010 8:00PM by Tim K Harlow
Can you tell me how the band started?
John and Stephen are brothers, and they started the band with Jess. They have been playing together since they were in middle school. They played soccer and were all in bands during high school. Their band broke up near the end of high school. They were looking to start a new band, and they put out a call for a new singer, and that's where I [Brian] came into the band. The original guitarist left after a couple of months, and we found Josh who went to high school with the other guys. He ended up being our "replacement" and we haven't been able to get rid of him [laughing].
How did you come up with the name of the band?
John, Stephen and Jess found the name in a road atlas (Somerset, N.J.) We were about to go into the studio and we didn't want to be called Band A or something like that, so at that point it was like we just need a name. Now we have fans from all over that send us photos of street signs, and road signs with the name on them.
Tell me a little about your sound.
Sound is a very hard thing to describe, so we tried to put out the most eclectic record, we could possibly make. We have one song that has a hip-hop sound; we have a country song on the record. We wanted the last song on this record to kind of tie into the first song on the second record. A lot of people look at us and think we are just another pop punk band, but know we are not that. We are all obsessed with more mainstream Top 40 hits, and we just want to be a band that writes good pop songs. We don't want to be pigeonholed into one certain sound, and that's what we were going for -- on the first record.
Are you working on the follow up record?
We have written some songs, but the current record has only been out for five months. This is the first time we have been able to have the time to write songs, just for fun.
What is your target audience?
From the beginning our fan base has been a lot of teenage girls, but we want to make music that anyone can like. I feel like on our record we have songs that a 15-year-old girl can like and we have a song my mother would like. We don't want to stay in a certain "scene" and we don't want to turn our backs on it either. We want to make universal music everyone likes. We are still young and I think that is where our teen fan base comes from, but we did a tour in the fall with a band called Cartel and they have more of a college-aged crowd. It definitely exposed us to an older crowd. It was crazy seeing like 25-year-old dudes rocking out to our music drinking beer. We don't see that every day.
What are some of your influences?
A lot of our influences come from '90s alternative like Third Eye Blind, and bands from Arizona like Jimmy Eat World. Josh was always into bands like Everclear and I was a big fan of Matchbox 20, but I'm a big sucker for any good pop music. For the last year or so we have all gotten pretty big into country music. I ignored it for a long time, but the songwriting is so good I just gave into it. It's funny but the two of us will be driving by ourselves, and we will be listening to Colbie Caillat. That is something you don't see many 21-year-old dudes doing.
Is this your first trip to SXSW?
This is our third time and I am still under 21 -- so this is going to suck. We played our first SXSW when I [Brian] was 18. Josh is now 21 so he can have a little more fun. John, our guitar player, is only 18. He has been going to SXSW since he was 16, so he has years to go. It crazy, but every year we have played SXSW our band has definitely grown. The first time we played for an audience of maybe four people, last year it was maybe 100 people, and this year we are playing a much better showcase, so we are excited.
What about your favorite SXSW moment?
Last year we saw Third Eye Blind and M. Ward play. Our first SXSW experience was crazy, it was like being on your first Warped Tour times ten. We were still kids, and we are seeing all of these bands. We were all on Spring Break, and all our friends were going to Mexico, while we were going to Austin, Texas.
What are your musical guilty pleasures?
Brian: This week it's like that new Rihanna song called 'Rude Boy.' I can't listen to any other song on the radio.
Josh: I love Beyoncé, she is phenomenal.
Tim K. Harlow is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.