From the highs of a near platinum selling debut to being discarded by their label, Story Of The Year have seen the best and worst that the music industry has to offer.
Two weeks out from their third tour down under, bass player Adam answered the following questions for us…
Interview w/ Adam (Bass) Story
Of The Year (US)
By Cameron Chambers
Hey man, how are you today?
Good man, how are you?
Fine thanks mate. Where
are you calling from at the moment?
Los Angeles, just chilling
in my apartment.
Are you in between tours
at the moment?
Right in between actually.
In about thirty hours we head over to Europe.
How have the crowds on your
recent tours been reacting to the songs off
“The Black Swan”?
Really well! I think everyone’s
really enjoying the new record and um, I think it’s lived up to the
expectations of everyone.
I read in a recent interview
that you guys were hoping to take the melodic elements from
“Page Avenue” and mesh them with the heavier side of your last record.
Do you think you successfully achieved that?
Yeah, I think we pulled it
off. I think um, having a year pretty much to write a record definitely
gave us plenty of time to hone in on our best qualities as a band…
and I think we did that.
“In The Wake Of Determination”
showed the band move in a heavier direction, something which earned
great critical reviews but didn’t translate into record sales. In
hindsight is there anything you would have done differently with the
I think the only thing, and
I’m not one to regret anything, but the only thing we didn’t have
on the last record was enough time. We rushed it a little bit and I
think we had a lot of factors that made the record not sell as well
as we’d like.
But on the level of what I’d
like to do differently I just would have liked more time.
What do you think it was
about “Page Avenue” that made it such a success?
I think the songs were definitely
accessible and we had written a certain kind of song at that time. Songs
like “Until The Day I die” were easy on the ears, which is a good
thing… they had that pop accessibility.
At the same time there was
a lot of good timing as well. Everything fell into place with that record
as far as timing went. Getting added to certain radio stations and getting,
you know, things just happened. Right when “Day I Die” was blowing
up we got onto a Linkin Park tour so it just fell into place
on that scenario as well.
For those that are un-aware,
Story Of The Year was dropped by your label (Maverick) after
“In The Wake Of Determination”. Was there ever a time when you thought
the band might struggle to go on?
Um, we definitely had some
not so positive feelings floating around but I dunno, I don’t think
any of us were in the position to give up at all. We had at that point,
and still have so much left to say as a band musically, so it definitely
wasn’t the time to quit.
After we’d written all this
music for our next record, up until the point where we were dropped,
we decided there was no way we weren’t going to release it. We ended
up getting picked up by Epitaph and now we’re in a better place
than we ever were.
Did it come as a shock that
Maverick opted to let go of the band? Even though your second record
didn’t match the sales of “Page Avenue” 400,000 sales is nothing
to scoff at!
Maverick actually folded as a label so it was more Warner’s decision
to let us go, because all of the Maverick bands were floating around in limbo after the label folded so we were
kind of on Warner’s plate.
Even the bigger bands from Maverick, who I won’t name at this point – bands I thought Warner definitely should have picked up – had to showcase for Warner before they’d get re-signed. Just shit that I couldn’t
believe. If I was running Warner Brother’s there are certain
bands they let go that I’d definitely want on my label!
How did you guys approach
the writing of “The Black Swan”? Did the label situation affect
the way you approached the record, both lyrically and musically?
It definitely didn’t affect
the writing at all. It affected our game plan for the record as far
as the release and all that shit… we even thought about releasing
it on our own. As far as writing though, it was just the usual, we’d
go home and start writing.
Some of the methods were a
little different so we explored everything but for the most part it
was just the usual… write too many songs and choose the best twelve.
You guys recorded 4 of the
tracks off “The Black Swan” with John Feldman. Do you think his
involvement has brought something to the album that wouldn’t have
been there without him?
Um, it’s hard to say but
we’re definitely really happy with the way it turned out. I’m glad
we decided to work with him on those songs because they are four great
Do you think
“The Black Swan” has the same consistency as your other releases,
given that you had 2 different producers working on it?
I can definitely pick it apart
and you know, I see the differences in half a second… they’re right
there. But to the average listener I don’t think they’ll hear them.
Everyone I talk to so far is into it so I think it’s on an even plane.
What was the band hoping
to achieve with “The Black Swan”, both from a song writing perspective
and fan response?
Um, I think like you said,
we tried to bring both elements of both records in, which we pulled
off for sure. More than anything we wanted to kind of avoid following
any trends for the sake of being current or whatever.
We just wanted to be ourselves
and that’s what we did. I think that’s the only way to be a musician.
If it’s your goal to make radio hits then you follow the trends but
if you’re just being a musician coz you love it then you just need
to be true to yourself.
Your Australian tour kicks
off in a couple of weeks, what can your fans expect this time around?
A lot of arse kicking! We’re
definitely going to do three or four new songs and its just going to
be a good time as usual!
We just have a quick, final
5 questions that I’d like to run through if possible?
Who are some bands that
you’re digging at the moment that you’d like people to check out?
A band called Monty ARI.
They’re from Providence, Rhode Island and they’re just amazing and
they’re good friends of mine.
There’s this girl group called The Pipettes. They write fifties pop music and it’s like listening
to an oldies station but it’s awesome. I got the new Goldfinger
record, which is awesome. He Is Legend is another band that I
love. They’re working on a new record and they’ve got a couple of
records out and they’re pretty bad arse.
Oh yeah, old faithful Pantera and Metallica… always!
Who do you prefer, the Olsen
twins or The Veronicas?
What’s the most ridiculous
thing you’ve done for a buck?
You put me on the spot man.
Well, I was straight edge for four years and I drank a six pack of beers
for $250 US dollars, ha ha, and I haven’t been straight edge since.
Any embarrassing tattoos?
No, nothing too embarrassing.
Finally, what’s your biggest
It’s kind of a toss up man.
I don’t want to die, at all, ever! Coz I want to see things you know,
just see things happen. I’m not afraid of dying per se, I’m just
afraid of not living and seeing things.
That’s all we have time
for mate, is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just uh, buy the record coz
it’ll kick your arse!