The Story So Far have blown up. Well, not literally, because that would fucking suck. They’ve blown up in the sense that they are one of the biggest up and coming pop-punk bands nowadays. Maybe it’s the angsty, heart-throb nature of their look and sound, and the melodic hardcore elements littered within it. Whatever it may be, they’ve been blazing a trail since 2011 with two full-length albums under their belts. As The Story So Far are about to drop their third, self-titled record, we spoke with the band’s bassist, Kelen Capener.
Hey Kelen, how you doing today dude?
I am doing pretty well, how are you?
Not bad thanks, what are you up to right now?
We’re just chilling in Detroit right now, we’re about to play a show so we’re just sitting outside the venue.
Cool, who are you playing with? Terror isn’t it?
Year, we’re playing with Terror, Four Year Strong and Souvenirs.
You guys tend to go for those mixed bills, don’t you?
Oh yeah, it’s always fun to have a bit of diversity in the lineups.
Totally. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but you have a Wikipedia page, and the bulk of text ends with the line, ‘Contrary to popular belief, he is not Brock from Pokémon’. Do you know what that’s about?
Ah, the Brock thing! I’ve been told about that before (laughs). It’s because I can make a similar face to him, and now comparisons have been drawn, and then someone made a Wikipedia page about it (laughs).
(Laughs) That’s pretty funny man. Do you think that the Australian tour’s name, The Supback, is the most pop-punk tour name ever?
Ah not really, it’s just a thing that Man Overboard do, and that Suppy Nation tour where they convert the cities into “Suppy” names.
You guys are pretty close with them, aren’t you?
Yeah, we’ve done a couple of tours with them and that Suppy tour we put together was just originally going to be for the US, but we figured we’d take it abroad for a few more countries.
Oh, nice! With handing out the demos of ‘Nerve’ under a different moniker a couple months back at that Title Fight show, was it interesting to see how people reacted to it or how they treated it regarding the “new”, fake band, The Skateboarders?
I had the idea to distribute the single under the form of a local demo, and we had people from Pure Noise hand it out. Some people threw them away, some held onto them and some figured out what they were. We thought it would be funny, because it incentivizes people to hold onto those demos they get outside of shows, and it worked! So I did enjoy.
Do you think it’s sad to see when people just pass that off and ignore the bands trying to get their name out there by handing out free demos?
Not really, it’s not uncommon. But yes, in a way it is, as no one wants to see something you like get tossed aside or put in the fridge or something. But I understand an individual’s desire to not have to carry a lot of junk around. I get it, and it does suck from the band’s perspective, but you have to take it in a light hearted sense. Some people won’t want what you’re handing out but you just give them the option, and if they want it, they’ll want it. Or they’ll just chuck it I guess (laughs).
I’m inclined to agree with you on that. Now, I’m very sure I know the answer to this, but what are your thoughts on having the track, and subsequently the album, leak in advance?
It doesn’t really matter at this point because we stated selling the album early on tour. The day that it started leaking, we had a shipment of records with us and we figured we’d start selling them. It’s all out there now, we already sent off the pre-orders and they’re arriving at people’s houses. All things considered, the fact it leaked a few days before release date is actually very successful, as far as an album’s going. Like, it’s expected– once the album hits shelves, it leaks. That’s just the nature of today, but this is an opportune time for it to be leaking.
Do you think that outlook is kind of a sad thing though, that leaking a couple days prior to the street release date is a good thing?
Well, the kids who are going to buy it are going to buy it, and if it gets out there and the people who are going download it are going to download it all along. Sometimes the leak can encourage people to go out and buy it, it doesn’t really bother me at all. So long as kids keep coming out to the shows.
That’s definitely what you want in the end. I’m wondering, do you or other members of the band associate at all with Parker’s lyrics to your own relationships and love lives?
No, that’s just his own personal stuff. We’re all individuals; I don’t ever relate it to my own personal life. But in some instances when he writes lyrics about being on tour and such, that’s more relatable for me. His relationships are his and mine are my own, so I tend to separate it.
With the lyrics, do you ever wish Parker would write about other topics, or do you not mind and let him write whatever he wants?
We really just leave it up to him. It’s really not an easy task to write that much content, so [it’s] whatever motivates him or whatever he finds that he can write about and express with some sort of actual passion. Because you don’t want to write anything that you’re not interested in and then there’s nothing behind it when you record it. For him, it’s obvious to us and it’s obvious in his live performance that he cares about the things he sings about so that translates and resonates more with people.
Well, I guess if it doesn’t come from the heart, then it’s not honest.
Yeah exactly man.
With yourself Kelen, am I right in saying that you’re a big fan of Mortal Kombat?
(Laughs) yeah! We’ve been playing it a lot on the tour so far.
What are your thoughts on the new one, Mortal Kombat X?
I’m not really a gamer, but it looks pretty intense. We play that and Halo a lot on the bus. The only time I play video games is when I’m on tour, and I’m actually pretty good at them which is kinda funny. I think they went a little over the top with the gore, like some of those fatalities just make your jaw drop and your stomach turns. It’s like when you’re younger and your parents won’t let you have a certain game and now you look at it and go ‘If I was like eight years old and I saw that, I’d have nightmares’ (laughs).
Oh yeah, it’s pretty messy (laughs). Who’s your go-to MK character when playing?
Oh I always use Sub-Zero, he’s my dude!
Sub-Zero is a bit of a classic character to go with.
I’m really good with him, so that’s definitely my go-to.
Mine’s Sub-Zero or Scorpion.
Yeah, those guys are the best man.
For sure! Well that’s all I’ve got for you Kelen, thank you for doing this interview.
Oh no worries man, we’ll see you in Australia!
The band’s self-titled album is out May 19th via Pure Noise Records.
Catch the band touring Australia with Man Overboard and Apart From This this September.