This Time Next Year are among a sea of bands leading a worldwide pop punk resurgence. Their rising status in the scene has been propelled by their well-received sophomore album, ‘Drop Out Of Life’, which was released last year through 3Wise Records. Guitarist Brad Wiseman recently spoke with Kill Your Stereo about ‘Drop Out Of Life’ and the band’s upcoming Australian tour alongside New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday and The Maine.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the band?
Well, I sing and I play guitar and I do the backup vocals, and yeah, that’s what I do. I book all the shows. I’m 23, live in Walnut Creek, California, I have another band called Misser and I work for a company called The Soroka Agency. I book for bands like The Story So Far, Fairweather and With The Punches and a bunch of other stuff, we have a pretty cool roster, but that’s what I do. I play music, I book shows and that kind of sums it up.
What have been some of the highlights of 2011 for This Time Next Year?
The Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour, definitely. That was the most fun I’ve ever had. It was like us, New Found Glory, Man Overboard, The Wonder Years and Set Your Goals, and it was a real good time. I definitely look at it as one of the highlights of last year. It was the best tour, great people, good shows, and you can’t really ask for anything more.
How did the writing and recording process for ‘Drop Out Of Life’ differ from previous material?
Dennis and Pete did a lot more than stuff in the past. Dennis and I, we usually sit down and work on stuff, and those two definitely took the reigns on most of the things that were going on. We usually sit down, the three of us, and try and work things out as far as guitar parts go and melodies.
What was it like working with Chad Gilbert to produce the album?
He was great, you know, he’s a real smart dude when it comes to music and songwriting and he’s got a really well-rounded musical taste. That kind of helps, so he’s not like pitching just for pop punk and can do different things for different genres, which I think is really cool.
How has the band reacted to the overwhelming response that ‘Drop Out Of Life’ has received?
I’m thrilled, I really appreciate that people are picking up the record and giving it a chance and giving us some positive feedback. It’s the best feeling in the world.
Do you feel that you are proud of the band’s artistic evolution at this point?
Yeah, I’d say so, it’s definitely different. There are always times when you record a record and want to go back and change it and do it differently. It’s not like you’re not happy with it, it’s more a case of, “What if this was like this? What if this was like this?” You kind of question yourself, and when you write a song, you think of certain things after the moment that you might not have realised before the fact. Overall though, I’m very proud of ‘Drop Out Of Life’ and think it’s a great record.
The band is set to tour Australia for the first time with New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday and The Maine in April. Are you excited for the tour?
Yeah, I’m thrilled, it’s one of the countries I’ve never been to before. I’ve heard great things, I’ve heard the people are really cool and it’s beautiful out there. It’s kind of a whole new world for us and a kind of touring we haven’t experienced before, so I’m very excited about it.
How does it feel to warm stages up for genre pioneers like New Found Glory?
It’s an honour, it’s great. I definitely didn’t think when I was 15 that I’d been on tour with New Found Glory and Taking Back Sunday, it’s definitely really cool and something I’m really excited about the tour.
What can fans expect from your shows on the tour?
Just a fun, upbeat and energetic performance. We like to have fun and we like to force it out of the crowd too and make sure we have a good time. We like to feed off the crowd, and hopefully the crowd feeds off us so that everyone can have a fun thirty minutes.
Will the band have an opportunity to play smaller, headline club shows on the tour?
I’m not sure, I wouldn’t be opposed to doing it but I don’t think we’ve really brought it up yet. I would like to, but it’s easier said than done. Our transportation is travelling as a tour, so I don’t know what would happen with gear and stuff.
Who has been your favourite act to tour with and why?
New Found’s really up there, but the dudes from Set Your Goals are the greatest group of dudes. I’ve known some of them since high school. We all live really close to each other, we’ve all been great friends growing up and we’ve gotten to go to the UK together and toured the States and all over the world together. It’s something you never dream of doing, let alone with a group of friends. I don’t take it for granted at all and they’re definitely my favourite band to tour with, for sure.
Where is your favourite place to tour in the world?
I love touring England. We’ve only done it twice, but I love it and think it’s the coolest thing. I guarantee you Australia might take the one spot on that one, but England’s great. Kids over there are so appreciative of music and take the time to listen to new bands. I’ll go over there and see kids wearing shirts from bands in my local area and I’m like, “What is this? You guys really put in your research and appreciate things.” The whole Leeds and Slam Dunk thing that goes on over there, that is something that is really, really cool, and if you haven’t heard of that or gone to that you should, they bring over smaller bands help them grow and put them in front of people that’ll give a shit and pay attention.
Across the band’s history, what would you pinpoint as your proudest moment?
I think overall, when something new happens, every time it’s better than the last. The whole New Found Glory tour was like, “Damn! We must have done something right. We got asked to be on this tour and it was a dream come true. ” The Taking Back Sunday thing too with New Found Glory, that’s huge and we’re definitely proud of that. We’ve definitely been doing something somewhat right to get where we are.
When you were kids and just starting the band, did you have any idea that you’d reach the point you’re at today?
No, I had no clue. We definitely didn’t start this in hopes of anything, we started for fun, and the fact that we’ve kept it going for five years now is mindblowing to me.
Talking about the genre as a whole now, do you think that pop punk is truly not dead in this day and age?
No, I don’t think it’s dead. I think it’s been overlooked for a little bit and it definitely wasn’t as strong as it used to be, but I feel that it’s definitely making a strong comeback now. Warped Tour’s a perfect example, there’s so many great bands that just got announced like Fireworks, Taking Back Sunday and Man Overboard. I don’t want to spoil anything, but it’s definitely a pop punk summer for sure and that whole world of music will have a strong presence on Warped Tour. It hasn’t happened for at least three years, and kids haven’t cared about good music or good bands. It’s kind of good to see kids steer away from all the bullshit and not filter out the good stuff.
Tell us about the craziest thing the band has ever done?
I mean, touring for five years is pretty crazy like that, that for me is just like, oh shit! We’re pretty mellow, we like to drink and do our stuff every now and then and have fun, weird party nights, but there’s nothing that pops out as the craziest story that’s somewhat… appropriate… you know? Maybe ask me after the Australian tour and I’ll have some stories to tell.
What does the rest of 2012 hold for This Time Next Year?
We’re going to Australia and we’re going to do a few scattered things here and there. We’re not really sure and we don’t have it figured out. Nothing is too set in stone.
You mentioned that you book for bands like The Story So Far. Are there plans for any of those bands to tour Australia anytime soon?
Not that I know of, no. There’s always talks for a lot of the bands we work with to come to Australia, but there are a lot of factors that go into it. It’s not just a yes or no question, but I’d definitely like to help them get over there sometime in 2012 or 2013.
Are there any comments you’d like to finish on?
Check out the record, and come to the shows. Buy tickets if you haven’t already, cause it’s gonna be a good time!