Boston based pop punk band A Loss For Words are one of the hardest working bands in the genre right now. They have toured basically non-stop since the release of their debut album "The Kid’s Can’t Lose" in 2009, released a Motown Covers record, and have just announced that they have signed a deal with Velocity/Rise Records. The band will be entering the studio in May/June with producer Andrew Wade to record their new album for the label, and we caught up with the band’s bassist Mike to discuss the band.
Start off by stating your name, what you play in A Loss For Words and your favourite flavour of ice cream?
Hey, this is Mike, I play bass and sing backing vocals. I’d have to say my favorite flavor ice cream is black raspberry.
Can you give us a bit of a run down of the history of the band for those who might be unfamiliar with the band?
Well we were all in different local bands from south of Boston and knew each other, and by the time we were out of high school those of us who wanted to pursue music full time kind of came together. We started touring in 2005 and we’ve been on the road most of the time since.
Who does the band consider to be your main influences musically?
We all have completely different influences, anywhere from Alkaline Trio and New Found Glory to old Motown to 90’s R&B.
The band’s debut album “The Kid’s Can’t Lose” has been out for close to two years now. Are you happy with the way everything went for that album?
Yeah I think we’re all happy with KCL for the most part. We’re proud of the record we put out, and we toured our asses off in support of it. When we released it we couldn’t have dreamed it would take us all over the world and we experienced a lot of amazing things since putting it out.
You released the album yourselves, what was the reasoning behind this?
At the time we all felt that we didn’t need a label’s support, that self-releasing was something we could do ourselves. It worked out pretty well for us.
Some would consider releasing the album by yourselves as a risk, are you happy with the decision to do it?
We are happy with decision. We accomplished a lot with pretty much no help. I think it’s more rewarding knowing we did it by ourselves.
The band’s Motown covers record “Motown Classics” was released in May last year through Paper + Plastick Records. What was the overall response like to this record?
The response to Motown Classics we pretty much all positive. It was really fun to do and we felt we could pull it off. We also figured it would be a cool way to get people who didn’t listen to pop punk into it, and to get kids who didn’t necessarily know any Motown to check that out.
Why did the band decide to release a Motown covers record?
Basically because Motown is a big influence to us, and we thought we could do a good job and have fun making a cover record.
Yesterday you just announced that you have signed a deal with Velocity/Rise Records. What attracted the band to sign with them?
We signed with them because out of all the people we’ve talked to they really had our best interest in mind, and we just clicked with the people over there. We’re very excited to be part of the family.
Recently Rise has caught a few people off guard by signing the likes of Man Overboard, Transit, Sharks and now you guys, do you think the days of them being classed as a only a heavy label are over?
I believe so. They’ve just gone on a rampage signing all these amazing pop punk bands so it should be fun to see what happens with all of those bands.
You will be recording your new album in May/June with producer Andrew Wade. What made you decide to record with Andrew? How excited are you to finally be recording the new album?
We’re stoked to be working with him, everything he’s done has sounded really good and we thought he would be great for our type of sound. Considering it’s been two years since we released a record (that wasn’t a cover record) so we’re all anxious to get in the studio and make new music for everyone.
What can fans expect with the new album?
Think of a mix of Frank Zappa – Burnt Weeny Sandwich, Toni Braxton – Secrets, and Beethoven’s 3rd.
But seriously the record will be fun, intense, and we know everyone will love it.
Such Gold have mentioned a few times that you two will be releasing a split together in the coming months, what made you decide to release the split with them?
We decided to do a split with them just because they’re really good friends of ours and we thought it’d be a fun thing to do.
Do you know when that record is planning on being released?
We’re still working out the details, but we’ll let you know!
You are a band that seems to be on the road more often than not, how do you cope with playing so many shows so often?
We’ve been on the road so long that it’s pretty much more normal to us than being at home. We don’t need to cope because this is where we feel most comfortable.
The band recorded a video for “Hold Your Breath” back in 2009. What was it like filming the video?
It was a lot of fun. We actually came in to the studio and did the live shots a different day than the rest of the video. The only thing that sucked was having to play along to the same song for like 4 hours, that song was stuck in my head for like a week after haha.
You have done a few tours over in the UK and Europe now, what is it like touring over there compared to the USA?
It’s a whole different world. We love being over there, the kids all really appreciate music over there and show us a lot of love.
Back in September you did a run of dates with The Ghost Inside, First Blood, and Australia’s Deez Nuts. What made the band decide to take part in that tour?
Some of us grew up in the hardcore scene, and we’ve been friends with some of those guys for a long time so it seemed like a great idea. It was a lot of fun sharing a month with some of our good friends.
How did the band go down in front of such a different crowd?
It went well, I’d say half the shows we’ve ever played have been hardcore shows. We have a lot of friends and fans in the hardcore scene.
You have dates lined up for February/March 2011 with Streetlight Manifesto, what are you looking forward to the most about these shows?
We’re looking forward to playing in front of some big crowds, and ska fans are all really fun and open minded so we’re excited to play to a whole new fan base.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Not really, just the regular vocal warm-ups and lamb sacrifice.
What is the Massachusetts scene like at the moment?
I feel like we have an amazing scene right now. So many kids come out and show support. There are a lot of amazing bands from around MA like Transit, Four Year Strong, No Trigger, Product of Waste, Maker, Late Nite Wars and so many others.
What is your favourite tour the band has been a part of?
I’m sure we all have different favorite tours but I’d have to say the first UK tour we did with LYU and All Or Nothing. We didn’t know what to expect and kids came out and showed a lot of love for us.
Who are your favourite bands to play shows with and why?
There are really too many to name. We’ve toured a few times with Four Year Strong who are some of our best friends and we always have a great time with them. But we get along and have fun with everyone we’ve played with.
The band’s tour schedule always seems to be very busy. What do you like to do when you’re not on the road? Do you have a day job?
When I’m home, which isn’t often, I just like to lay low and do pretty much as little as possible haha. We all work shit jobs when we’re home but we don’t have careers or anything but the band.
Who are some bands we should be checking out?
Bad Rabbits, LYU, Tigers Jaw, California, State Champs, Such Gold, Daytrader, Handguns and so many more that I can’t think of.
If you could only listen to five records for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?
It’s a hard thing to narrow it down to only five records, so I’ll just list whatever I think of first.
As Tall As Lions – Lafcadia
This Providence – Self Titled
Junction 18 – This Vicious Cycle
Anberlin – Cities
The Beatles – Abbey Road
When can we expect to see the band make it to Australia to play some shows for us?
It’s a dream for me to come over there at some point so hopefully soon!
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words?
Yeah, train, say your prayers, and eat your vitamins!