California’s This Time Next Year released one of the best pop punk records of 2009 in their debut album "Road Maps & Heart Attacks". After finishing a run of dates with Set Your Goals, Comeback Kid and The Wonder Years, the band’s singer Pete answered a few questions for us in his down time.
Start off by stating your name, what you play in This Time Next Year, and who was the first girl you ever kissed?
My name is Pete and I sing in This Time Next Year. The name of the first girl I ever kissed was Claire. It was in a bathtub at my friend’s 8th grade graduation party…not as sweet as you would think.
The band is currently on tour with Set Your Goals, Comeback Kid and The Wonder Years. How have those shows being going so far?
The shows were awesome (we just ended our leg of the tour). It was really cool to be touring on such a mixed bill as far as the bands were concerned. It really brought out every kind of kid to the shows and made it really diverse. Lot’s of positive vibes.
Can you give us a brief explanation of the history of the band, how the band was formed for those who might be unfamiliar with you?
Denis, Brad, and I started the band back in 2006. Prior to recording the demo, the three of us were in a hardcore band called The Starting Point. We had been talking about doing a pop punk band for some time and finally just decided to start writing. Instead of practicing for The Starting Point, we started writing demos for This Time Next Year. We recorded our demo in late 2006 and then released our first EP in 2007. That summer we did our first US tour and since then we’ve been doing the band full time.
The band’s debut album “Road Maps & Heart Attacks” was released in October last year. How well was the album received?
Personally, I think it has been doing really well. The past few tours I have seen more and more kids singing along to our new songs which I am so stoked on. It may seem like a minor success to some but to us it means the world. We just have to keep pushing the record and hope for the best. We’re playing Warped Tour this year so hopefully it will open kids up to us and the record on a broader scale.
The band recorded the album with Brian McTernan, what was it like recording with him?
It was one of the best experiences of my life. Brian has the ability to take elements inside of bands and bring them to the surface and make the record you were meant to make. He has a no-bullshit approach which I really appreciated. If he thought something sounded bad, he would tell you. He didn’t write the record for us but instead guided us to the sound we were going for. He has an ear for the style of music we play which I think really came through on the record.
Did you feel any kind pressure recording with him considering how many great albums he has recorded over time?
It was definitely intimidating going into the studio with Brian. He recorded several pivotal records that I grew up listening to and had developed a reputation as one of the best producers in the industry. To be honest, I was more honored by the fact that Brian wanted to work with us. It was really a dream come true. He would give me so much shit for saying that but it’s true. So, overall I definitely had a lot of different emotions going into the studio but over all I was ecstatic.
The band is giving away the album on a donation basis, where you can choose any price you would like. What is the reasoning behind doing this?
We just want people to have access to the record. We we’re never about the money but just getting kids stoked on our music. Bandcamp allows fans to pay whatever they wanted for the record which both us and our label think is awesome. I figure kids will download the record anyway so why fret about profit? We just want people to hear our music.
You released the album through Equal Vision Records. How did this deal fall into place?
Equal Vision contacted us in the Spring of 2008. Dan Sandshaw emailed us saying he would like to talk about possibly working together which was mind blowing. EVR put out some of my favorite bands ever, one of which was Saves The Day. Dan wanted to see us live so he flew out from New York to see our set in LA. I remember being so impressed by that. We played the show at the Knitting Factory in LA and half way through our set, the fire alarm went off. We were all so bummed. We ended up just playing through it and met up with Dan after the set. He said he was stoked on us and wanted to work together. Later that summer we were on tour and stopped by Albany to meet everyone at the Label. We all hit it off right away and I think everyone knew it was a perfect fit. A couple months later we signed the contract and began talking about writing our first full length.
The band’s sound is fairly different to the other bands currently on the Equal Vision roster. What made the band decide to sign with them?
Equal Vision Records, to me at least, has put out some of the most influential bands of my generation. Saves The Day, Bane, American Nightmare (Give Up The Ghost), Fairweather, and Converge were just some of the bands that got me into punk rock and hardcore. If it weren’t for Saves The Day, I don’t think I would have ever wanted to be in a band. It was an honor to work with EVR, almost a no-brainer for us. Once we actually met everyone at the label, we all knew it was the right place for us. Everyone there knew what we were about and where we wanted to go.
Why did the band decide to put “Alex In Wonderland” and “Cheers To A Late Night” from the band’s previous EP onto the album?
Both us and EVR thought that those two songs had some potential to do really well on the new record. We originally put out an EP on Run For Cover Records which featured those two songs plus a cover by Kid Dynamite and an acoustic rendition of "Sweetest Air." The EP did well but EVR really wanted those two songs on the new record, which we backed. We changed some elements in both songs which I am really stoked on. Kids seem to be reacting really well when we play both of those songs live, so hopefully we made the right move.
Last month you let your fans decide which song you would be shooting a video for. What was the reasoning behind doing this?
Again, we really wanted to incorporate our fans with our band. Instead of dictating to kids what song we think should be in the video, we thought it would be cool for them to choose. Out of all the choices, "New Sensation" and "No Bed of Broken Glass" came out on top. "New Sensation" just barely beat out "No Bed of Broken Glass." The video itself turned out to be a great success. Tons of kids came out for the shoot and we had a great time.
When will the winning video be announced?
We can’t say as of yet, but expect to see announcements around the end of May-early June.
Did you have a different video lined up for each song? Or were you planning on shooting the same video regardless of what song won the poll?
We only planned on doing one video for whatever won the poll.
Has the band been writing any new material as of late? When do you think we could expect to see some new songs being released?
We have been writing in our spare time on tour and seriously planning out when we will record our next record. The new stuff we have been working on looks back towards more melodic 90’s pop punk reminiscent of Green Day. We hope to the hit the studio again in late 2010. Definitely nothing official.
What does the band like to spend your time doing when you’re not on the road?
Personally, when I’m at home I live as stress free as possible. If I’m not working (which is impossible when you tour 9 months out of the year), I usually split my time between my girlfriend and a good book with an iced coffee. Denis, Brad, and I will occasionally meet up a couple times a week for a beer but beyond that we just look forward to touring again.
Do any of you play in any other bands besides This Time Next Year at the moment?
Tony has been jamming with some friends when he’s home on an indie project. It sounds like Hey Mercedes and American Football. Denis, Tony, and myself are entertaining the idea of starting a sludge metal band called Goblin King. We want it to sound like Electirc Wizzard meets Witch with elements of Torche.
What is your favourite food and why?
My favorite food would have to be Pad Thai (or Thai food in general). For some reason, you can find good Thai food in almost any major city in America. Plus, not only is Pad Thai delicious, you will also be full for the rest of the day for only around $7.00. Best deal on tour.
Who are some bands we should be checking out that you are really enjoying at the moment?
Definitely check our Transit, Balance and Composure, Tigers Jaw, The Grown Ups, The Menzingers, Second To Last, The Story So Far, Such Gold, Crucified, and The Wonder Years.
Where can you see the band in three years from now?
It’s really hard to say. I hope that we’re still touring and still relevant. Most of all I hope we’re all still stoked on the band.
What advice would you give to bands just starting out?
Write the music you want to write, not what you should. Be honest and hardworking. Most of all, tour as much as you can and meet other bands to tour with.
When do you think we could expect to see This Time Next Year tour Australia?
Hopefully in 2010! We have been dying to come to Australia. We will see where the road takes us!
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2010?
We are currently on a full US touring with Fallen From the Sky in Florida then heading up the East Coast to meet up with Crime in Stereo and The Swellers. After that, we head to the UK for the Slam Dunk fest plus several shows with Fireworks, The Wonder Years, and a couple with Hit The Lights. We’re doing Warped Tour in August but after that I think we’re going to take a month off to start seriously writing for the next record.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words?
Thanks for hitting us up! If you haven’t picked up our new record, please do so! We hope to be come to Australia VERY soon…thanks again!