With a string of new releases having been released in the last few months, New Jersey’s Man Overboard are one of the busiest band’s in pop punk at the moment. The band’s drummer Justin Collier was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Start off by stating your name, what you play in the band and favourite type of pizza?
My name is Justin Collier, I play drums and I’m a pepperoni pizza kind of guy.
Can you tell us a bit about how the band started? Who are the band’s main influences musically?
Zac, Wayne and myself were in another band previous to Man Overboard called Front page. When Zac and Wayne started this band with Nik it became quickly apparent from the revolving door of drummers that they needed a steady person and in came me! I think something that helps shape our sound is that we don’t think "lets write like this band" when we sit down to write. We just sort of play what we play and it comes out organically. With that being said we each have a host of bands that shape how we play or sing or write melodies.
How would you describe the band’s sound to someone who has never heard you before?
I guess it’s more of a throw back to Taking Back Sunday style pop punk from early 2000s? I don’t know. Give me an easy question!
Is the name Man Overboard taken from the Blink-182 song? Or is there cool story about a member of the band being thrown off a boat or something?
Ah ha! An easy one. We were actually all Alaskan Fisherman for a winter. We were on a boat for 6 months catching crabs the size of your car when Wayne fell overboard and was almost eaten by a giant Kraken sea beast.
You released a three song digital EP called "Dahlia" through Run For Cover Records last year. Why did the band decide to release the songs digitally instead of a physical release?
We’ll it was only three songs and its pretty expensive to make 7"s. We have a lot of other releases coming up so we thought "3 songs! digital! Nice! Easy!" and that was that.
Why did you decide to release the songs through Run For Cover?
We really love the Run For Cover roster and Jeff who runs the label. We play with a lot of the bands on the label and feel at home there so it just felt like a perfect fit for us.
What has the reaction to the new songs been like so far?
It has been really great to be honest. We have got a lot of really positive reviews and people are seeming interested in the band more now than ever before.
The band’s split with Transit was released in December last year through Pure Noise Entertainment. Seeing as both bands are signed with Run For Cover, why did Pure Noise release the split?
Jake from Pure Noise hit us up about doing a record with him but we were already set on joining the Run For Cover roster. The Transit split had been a long time coming. It was talked about forever but never got nailed down so we took it as an opportunity to finally make that happen and switch things up a bit. Plus Jake was a fan of both bands and was pleased to do it. He did a great job with it too.
Who brought up the idea of doing the split? Are you happy with the way things worked out for the split?
A lot of bands meet another band and afterwards are like "yeah man those dudes are my boys! blah blah blah" – Transit are for real some of our best friends so we couldn’t be happier.
Can you tell us a bit about the band’s newest release "Before We Met: A Collection Of Old Songs"?
When the band first started we recorded the Hung Up On Nothing EP. We self-released it in a few different small pressings. Sometimes we just burned copies and handed them out for free at shows. Because it never got a formal release and because we had other old songs that we love but had no output for – we put them all together on Before We Met: A Collection of Old Songs. Timm from Panic Records was nice enough to help us with that release. You can get it at www.panicrecords.net!
The band is currently on tour with The Wonder Years and Therefore I Am. What has that tour been like so far?
It has been great. We had never played Florida, Texas, Arizona or anywhere on the West Coast before so getting out there and taking a look around and getting to play some shows has been amazing. We climbed a mountain in Joshua Tree State Park and threw boulders off the top. Good day.
What is your favourite tour the band has been a part of so far?
Although I was not on our summer tour because I was on tour with another band – I’m going to have to say the bands favorite tour was probably the MOB, Transit Balance & Composure tour in August. Both of those bands are good friends of ours.
If you weren’t playing in Man Overboard, what do you think you would be doing with your life?
I actually go to University AND do this band so I imagine I would be bored as all hell just taking classes. Everyone else would be working at Primo Hoagies full time instead of part time.
Do any of you play in any bands besides Man Overboard?
Zac and I play in a hardcore band called History but we have only played 1 show in last year or year and a half. Zac and Wayne are working hard on Army Strong – the hardest band the world will ever see. Ever.
What were your top 10 releases of 2009?
For me personally….
Transit – Stay Home
Balance & Composure – Only Boundaries
AYS – The Path of Ages
Smile & Burn – Demo EP
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below
Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Fruit
Paint It Black – Amnesia
Paint It Black – Surrender
Cheap Girls – My Roaring Twenties
Jeff Kummer – Your Best Alternative
The band has been using the motto "Defend Pop Punk". What does pop punk need to be defended from and how can we help you?
I’m not sure if its really something you need to actively defend but more of being honest and pure and not doing anything for the wrong reasons. I feel like a lot of bands are just making music to go with a haircut or to watch people mosh when they play a break down. I give that shit a big CMON SON! Just make music because it’s fun!
Who are some of the best new bands you have seen lately that we should be checking out?
Some great european bands that you are going to start hearing a lot from (if you have not already) are AYS, Basement, More Than Life and Smile & Burn. I think maybe More Than Life has his Australia? They are not well known (if much at all) in the United States but they are killing it in europe and are a great band. AYS is from Germany and just awesome – same with Smile and Burn. Basement is going to take over the UK.
-Some great upcoming American bands apart from everyone on the RFC roster are Balance & Composure, Borderland, Bearings, Jeff Kummer, James Corbi… too many to name. There are a lot of great bands popping up.
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2010? When will you be releasing your album?
Before We Met comes out March 2nd. We are doing pre-production on the new album March 2nd and start tracking drums on March 5th! We will be recording the rest of the month. On March 26th we will be releasing a 5 song Acoustic EP on Run For Cover titled Noise From Upstairs. Keep an eye out for that.
We hope to release the LP in June and tour the entire summer in various parts of the world.
Does the band currently have any plans to come to Australia?
We do not currently have plans to visit Australia but we would really love to come down… accepting offers! 😉
Thanks for the interview, any last words?
Thanks so much! Before We Met is out March 2nd on Panic Records. Noise From Upstairs is out March 26th on Run For Cover Records. Full Length coming June 2010 on Run For Cover. Hope to see you soon!