Interview and Gallery: Deal Casino at Three Links in Dallas 4/3/19

What drew you to the music industry?

Joe: I think no one made a decision to do this. As far as having music be your career path. I think you start doing it as a little kid, the same way you do sports or anything fun. At a certain point, you look up, and you’re still doing it, and you’re not a kid anymore, and you’re like, “Oh alright, I guess we’re just going to have fun forever.” So yeah, I don’t think it was much of a choice. It just feels like what we’re supposed to be doing.

Whats your creative process?

Chris: Well, now it's bringing an interface and a computer anywhere we go and making music wherever we go. This new song we’re working on that will probably be on our next album was just written in a Holiday Inn in Duncanville, Texas. Its kind of whatever at this point.

What's your favorite meaning behind any of your lyrics?

Joe: I think our song “French Blond.” I really like it. I don’t know about one line in particular, but overall that's my favorite song. Those lyrics were the first lyrics [where] I ever felt like, “Oh! I don’t even know what that means. But it must mean something because I wrote it.” So probably “French Blond.” But songs are weird. They have different meanings throughout time. At one point that will mean that and then in a week it will mean this. Its different every show honestly.

Whats your first music-related memory?

Joe: I don’t know. Probably dancing to the Backstreet Boys or something like that [Laughs].

Jon: My dad took me to Toys-R-Us to get any CD I wanted and I picked out “Big Willie Style” by Will Smith because I thought it looked cool and I was like, “Yeah! Rap music!” And I popped it in when I got home and was kind of disappointed. Sorry Will Smith. But then my dad handed me a Led Zeppelin CD and was like “Here you go”. [Laughs]

What are the main themes for your songs?

Joe: I don't know. Like “French Blond,” my favorite song, is the most cynical one ever. And it comes up in a lot of the other songs too but its more undertones of like, love songs. There [are] relationships between people, maybe not in the traditional relationship kind of way but in some way. It's always a little cynical and I guess recently I've been looking at it like, “Did anyone notice that this is messed up?” That's usually where it starts; and then trying to undo that a little. Like we’ll take it too far or make it too negative and we’re like, “How can we tone this down?” [Laughs] So usually it starts out pretty negative and then we gradually get closer to positive.

What was the first song you ever learned to play?

Chris: “Something Happened on the Way To Heaven” by Phil Collins.

Joe C: I think “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Joe: Probably “Hot Cross Buns” on the saxophone.

Jon: Mine was probably “Live Wire” by AC/DC.

What's your fondest music memory?

Joe: Probably Champagne Jam. We played this festival in our hometown, Asbury Park. The Front Bottoms put this together and got all the bands and they were the headliners. We had played in LA the night before-- it was our last show on the tour with The Wrecks-- then we had to get on a plane and fly to New Jersey as soon as we were done with the show. We landed and it was the next morning. We went to that festival and it was so cool. I think it's because we were all jet lagged, tired, it was the last show that we had to play for a while, and there were tons of people and we didn’t know what to do. We were all probably delirious, dehydrated, and God knows what else, but we played and it felt like it was done in two seconds. Usually the best shows feel the shortest. I don’t really remember that show I just remember being done and thinking, “That was so sick!”

Joe C: We played this show in high school as a hardcore band. We had backing tracks, which we haven’t done again since, and never did before then. That was the first show and last show we’ll ever do that. [Laughs]

Joe: Did you prefer that?

Joe C: Yeah! There were bass drops and the crowd was losing their shit just moshing so hard. That one was crazy.

Chris: I think when a song on our latest record made it on a Spotify playlist. We’re not real good at liking our old music. So this last album, the one that we’re touring on right now, I think is the first thing that we can all agree that we like. So when our song “Happy People” made it on that big playlist between Tame Impala and Foster the People I was like, “Sweet!” Knowing we can make music that not just all of us like but other people like, that was just the first thing that popped into my head.

Joe C: When we went to Denny's. [Laughs]

Chris: Not just one time, we went to Denny's way too many times. [Laughs]

Joe C: I guess the first time we went to Denny's was a pretty good one.

Chris: We love Denny's. We highly rate Denny's. We know a lot about Denny's. If we walk into Denny's and we get a bad smell we walk out.

Joe C: Then we’ll go to the next Denny's. [Laughs]

Jon: No comment.

What are your biggest hopes for the future of the band?

Jon: Take over the world.

Joe: From no comment to this? [Laughs]

Joe C: That we could survive on music. That would be sick.

Joe: I want as many human beings to know about us as possible. And to play big shows. I don’t know. The cliche thing. All of that. That's great, its always been great. I just want people to be like, “Oh, they’re the best.” Like in a competitive sports way. That's sometimes how I think about this. Like when we play with other bands, its cool. But I’m thinking of it as like, we need to be better then them. So that’s kind of my mindset.

Chris: Enough money to hangout with Elon Musk. [Laughs] No. Art is narcissistic, if you’re making art you’re clearly narcissistic, you aren’t going to be sheepish. Like we want to be the biggest band in the world. You know, I want Joe to go on Joe Rogan one day and have a one-on-one with Joe Rogan, where he can drink whiskey and Joe Rogan makes him smoke weed and say all sorts of fucked up shit.


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