Now, I’m not sure if it was the signing to the Pete Wentz backed “Decaydance Records”, or the fact that all five members have beards, but Four Year Strong are set to be one of the biggest bands of 2008.
Having just announced an Australian tour Joshua (keyboards/synthesizer) spoke to us about zombies, flying monkey and unicorns…
Interview w/ Four Year Strong
By Cameron Chambers
Please state your name, what
you do in Four Year Strong and your favourite eighties/early nineties movie.
My name is Joshua Bo Lyford
and I play synthesizer in Four Year Strong. My favorite 80’s/90
movie is a tough one because I’m a huge proponent of Zombie movies and
this was one of the best era’s for that, so I’ll make a short list of
random awesome movies: Evil Dead trilogy, Dead Alive, Bad Taste, Maniac,
anything with gore and hilarity that doesn’t bring me down.
For those who are unfamiliar
with the band, can you please tell us a bit about how Four Year Strong
got together, any line up changes you’ve had, releases etc…
Four Year Strong was a test
tube band baby and we were spawned in a basement laboratory in Worcester, Massachusetts. Their have been several lineup changes over the
years, the last keyboard player was actually a unicorn that I had to
fight to the death with wizards magic to claim my current position.
It’s only really been in the
last twelve months or so that people have started to catch on to the
band on a bigger scale, what were some early tours or defining moments within
the band that really stand out for you guys?
I remember my first tour with
the band a couple years. It was a self promoted/booked full us
tour. We would have shows get canceled because no one came, and
we wouldn’t be able to buy food and we’d used up all of our money on
gas. I think we sold like two t-shirts total? Either way
it was really really fun. it was just the band and our good friend
came along to photograph everything. It was my first time outside
of the east coast so it was definitely a really good learning experience. And even though everyone in the band violently hates each other we somehow
managed to get down every night. Just kidding we actually are all in
love with each other. Violently.
Dan used to play guitar in
Bury Your Dead, were any of the other FYS members involved in any other bands
kids might want to know about?
All of us have had other projects
over the years some more ridiculous than others. Jackson, our
drummer played in Worcester hardcore bands Youth Attack and I Rise. I’ve been in a couple bands that never went anywhere. It was fun
though because they were never really supposed to. The only other
group people might have heard of is my little side project, I was scary
spice from the Spice Girls. I got a sex change operation shortly
Just to clear this up once
and for all, did you take your band name from The Get Up Kids?
This is a good one, the official
story is yes it’s a Get Up Kids lyric changed around slightly. I wasn’t in the band when they named it, so i cant say for sure, but
i didn’t see dinosaurs either and i know they existed.
If you could have played on
any record, from any band, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
If I could drink whiskey and
play guitar with Johnny Cash i would die on the spot. Otherwise Hot Water Music is my favorite band of all time so it would be nuts
to be on stage with those dudes. Or something way out of whack
with that and maybe learn how to play the fiddle for T Model Ford. Maybe Death Threat or Suicide File? Those guys fucking ruled live.
A handful of the songs on “Rise
Or Die Trying” actually appeared on some of the band’s earlier demos, are
those older releases still available or in print? If not, are there any
plans to re-release them?
You can find our demo on iTunes I believe, as far as anything older than that really I don’t know if
it’s possible to get them anywhere. I wouldn’t rule out us reworking
some older stuff though in the future. Anything is possible and
a lot of those older songs are some of my personal favorites.
Speaking of “Rise Or Die
Trying”, it was originally released on I-Surrender records. Can you tell us a
bit about the label and some of the other releases they’ve done that
are worthy of a listen?
I-Surrender is a bunch of
badasses who rule. period. They’ve gone so far above and beyond
for us, we owe them a lot and we are good friends with everyone over
there. they run the label like it should be run, honest, hardworking. Nothing but awesome stuff to say. Check out Valencia and The High Court. I’m sure I-Surrender will have great stuff in the future too.
The record was released in
September of last year and by February you’d be snapped up by Decaydance Records.
How did the signing come about and why is Decaydance the best label for
Four Year Strong?
Decaydance found us at a place
called the “pit of death” we were battling a bunch of other
bands with battleaxes and we were the last band standing, it was only
fair at that point to help us out seeing as the bloodshed had gotten
so far out of control. In all honesty they are just really nice
people and they are helping us get our name out there and we didn’t have
to sell our souls to them, we cut ourselves to sign in blood, and they
told us to relax and stitch it up.
To celebrate your signing to
Decaydance you guys made “Rise Or Die Trying” available for download off
your site. In a day and age where it’s becoming harder for labels to sell records
what made you guys want to give it away for free?
We’re at a point in our career
where we just want to have the craziest shows possible. If people
haven’t heard us they cant come watch us. No one buys cd’s anymore,
so we figured fuck it lets just give it away and try to win some people
over. Listen to it, if you like it, come to a show and go nuts
When can we expect a new record
from Four Year Strong?
We’ve been writing stuff here
and there on tour and we hope to start working on a new record soon. We tour nonstop so who can really say, but I]m confident it will be at
least halfway decent. Haha I think I’m kidding.
What do you think it is about
Four Year Strong that sets you apart from so many other bands, either musically
or whatever else you want to take from that question?
Four Year Strong is just a
bunch of kids who want to rock out and make music that we would want
to listen to. It’s just as much about having fun and touring. We all get along really well and i think that comes through when you
listen to us or watch us. A lot of bands these days try too hard. We write music, we look gross, we wear normal clothes. We don’t
wear like fucking vampire costumes and kiss each others necks. We’re real dudes.
Your first tour to Australia
was recently announced, what can kids expect from a Four Year Strong live
They can expect a heard of Sumatran rat monkeys to fly in and turn everyone into bloodsucking zombies. Plus some bearded guys making funny faces and head banging and yelling.
Do you plan on partaking in
any of the cliché “we’re on tour in Australia” activities while you’re down
I’m going to hug a koala and
ride a kangaroo into the sunset. Plus my little brother, who’s
one of my favorite people in the world is going to be in Sydney by a
freak coincidence and I haven’t gotten to see him in a really long time
because we’re always on tour and he’s in school. So I’m going
to be hanging out with him and his girlfriend. Im really
Who are some bands you’re listening
to at the moment that you think people should check out?
Last Lights is a hardcore band
out of Worcester who are doing some really great stuff right now, their
about to release a 7″ and i think their set to explode. I
recorded gang vocals and some guest vocals on it, so I guess I’m like
extra proud of this dudes, their my really good friends and I wish them
the best. Also everyone should check out A Loss For Words out
of Boston, their from Boston and play really good catchy pop punk. Check ’em out!
If Four Year Strong could tour
with any three bands who would it be and why?
Limp Bizkit, New Kids On The Block and Creed. We listen to them every second were awake. Joking?
Any final words?
I really hope people just give
us a listen, if you don’t like it then fuck I guess I just have to deal
with it. Come see us play and get sweaty. We appreciate
every single person who gives us a chance. Have fun and live life!