Balance and Composure are arguably one of the most exciting bands to come out of the alternative scene in a long time. Having built a following with a string of solid EP releases, the band released their debut full-length "Separation" to roaring acclaim earlier this year. With their hugely anticipated debut Australian tour about to kick off, we briefly caught up with guitarist and singer Jon Simmons.
Hey man, please start out by telling us your name, what you play in Balance and Composure and your favourite Nirvana song?
Hello, my name is Jon and I sing and play guitar. "Serve the Servants".
What bands would you say have been most influential to Balance and Composure?
Everything really. It started out with Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate, Neutral Milk Hotel, Nirvana. Nowadays I don’t really know actually we just write feels right.
B&C’s debut album “Separation” was released in May. How have you found responses to the new record from fans and critics?
We have had an amazing response so far and we couldn’t be happier. We are very grateful to have people enjoy our music.
Being your first full-length release, did the writing and recording process for this record compare to that for your first two EPs and the material for the split?
No not really, we still just wrote it in Erik’s basement but time was a huge advantage. We didn’t feel rushed like we always were with our EPs. We had months and months to write all the songs and I think that helped a lot.
Can you tell us a bit about the album art for “Separation”?
Well we were looking on the internet for a cool artist to work with and we found Jon Turner who did all this amazing work with people with weird objects as heads and we wanted a sun and moon theme to “separate” day and night. So we asked him to give us something that would grab the eye and he killed it. I love the artwork.
You released the album with No Sleep Records, who’ve definitely got some exciting stuff going on right now. What’s it been like working with the label?
It’s been great. Chris Hansen is the man and you know this. Proud to be apart of such an amazing roster.
The band will be making your maiden voyage down under next month. What are you expecting from those dates?
We have no idea what to expect besides having fun and meeting new people. We are really lucky to have a chance to play music there.
Obviously half the shows are free, acoustic ones. What made you guys decide to do the tour in that way?
We were upset that the full band shows were 18 . Its pretty unfair that people under 18 can’t come see us play so we wanted them to see us for free in an acoustic setting at least. Also seeing us acoustic is so different than our full live show and its cool that people can see our other side while we’re there.
A lot of the new songs are quite layered and atmospheric. Is it tough to translate those tracks into an acoustic set?
Its cool cause we just keep it simple when we play acoustic but we fuck with the vocals and melodies a lot more. It’s fun to experiment and improvise during an acoustic show.
What five records tend to get the most playtime on the van stereo when B&C are on the road?
Title Fight’s “Shed”, both Bon Iver records, Saves The Day’s “Stay What You Are”, and Mewithouyou’s “Catch For Us The Foxes”.
The Pennsylvania / New Jersey area has produced some mighty good bands lately. Any new young bands out there we should know about?
Seahaven, Joyce Manor, Daylight and Sainthood Reps.
Thanks for your time dude, any last thoughts or comments?
Thanks for thinking of us! Come chill at a show when we are in your area please.