lördag 11 februari 2012

Intervju med Joshua Moore i We Came As Romans!

Jag ska erkänna att bandet i fråga inte tillhör den musik jag lyssnar på, men ett samtal är ju alltid intressant.
Jag mötte upp Joshua backstage någon timme innan de skulle upp på scen framför en ganska entusiastisk publik bestående av tjejer och killar i övre tonåren.
Vi snackade om hemstaden Troy, dagens skivsituation och en del annat. När intervjun var klar blev det lite kallpratoch Joshua nämnde då att han var lite trött på alla konstiga "chubby girls" som dyker upp på deras meet and greets. Med tanke på hur publiken såg ut kan jag förstå att där finns en och annan trasig själ som blir lite påträngande i vissa lägen.

Troy, is that far from Detroit?

Joshua Moore: Nah, it´s like 20 minutes maybe.

Ok. Is it far from Flint?

JM: Nah, it´s like an hour away from Flint. We don´t go to Flint. It´s so bad.

I know, but it´s the home of Grand Funk Railroad.

JM: It´s an awful place. Flint´s more unsafe than Detroit is honestly. No one goes to Flint. (laughs) I probably haven´t been in Flint or near Flint in like four years. I think we played one show in Flint once and we were like “We´re not coming back, ever.”.

Was Flint also part of the whole car industry?

JM: Not so much. It was really just like down town Detroit. Originally it was a really big part of it and then now… like, my dad works for Chrysler and I know they have plants in a lot of suburbs around like Warren Sterling Heights and Auburn Hill and it´s all centralized around Detroit and metro Detroit.

What´s Troy like? I guess it´s bigger than Flint?

JM: It´s just like suburbia basically. I was born in Royal Oak, moved to Troy and all original members went to Athens, a high school in Troy. I went to college for one year with our bass player while we were waiting for Eric our drummer to graduate high school, because he´s a year younger than all of us and after that I moved back in with my dad in Royal Oak and now I live in Royal Oak. Royal Oak and Troy are just like straight suburbs of metro Detroit. In Troy there´s no down town, it´s just a buch of houses, businesses and nothing exciting. A lot like that.

So, you go into Detroit to catch shows and stuff?

JM: Generally, any show that I wanna go to is usually in Detroit. There´s a lot of famous or kinda famous venues in Detroit like…

Cobo Hall?

JM: Yeah and there´s the Fillmore and St Andrew´s Hall that are like two of the more played venues. Growing up and with this band, we always wanted to play at St Andrew´s Hall or like the Magic Stick and stuff like that. We have now and it´s been really cool, but that was always like a dream. Like “We´ve made it if we can play St Andrew´s Hall!”.

That´s the way it is. You´re all pretty young and making albums these days… I just read that here in Sweden, downloads are no bigger than actual album sales and just a few more years from now it´ll probably be all downloads and then the whole art of an album will be gone and you´ll be part of all that.

JM: Exactly! Every year there´s reported lowest total CD-sales ever. Every year less amount of albums sell gold in the US and I mean, yeah it sucks. It does suck because back when people still bought albums, it was a really good determination of how big bands were and how many fans they had and now you can´t even tell. Maybe for every 100 people that buy your CD there´s gonna be 400 people downloading it, but in a sense it´s still a good thing because maybe the money those people would´ve spent on a CD, they´re gonna spend on a ticket to your show and they might go buy a t-shirt. I mean, it still sucks that so many people are just getting music for free, but there still is a bright side to it and sometimes it can be really, really helpful to your band. Even the downloading thing… one of the reasons why I think that we ever gained any success was that we went and recorded an EP that we released for free download online and got a ton of exposure from that, so there are good things about it, but it does suck. Especially… like with our last CD, me personally, I was in the studio for two months and after all that work to see so many people just say “Yeah, I´ll take that!”, I´m like “Really, guys?”.

Yeah, it´s the whole thing. It is a piece of art and there´s a lot of work that goes into it with the music, album cover, pictures and whatever and if it all comes down to people downloading it, that whole thing will be lost. And that, for me, since I´m still buying stuff is a big part of buying records. To look at the art work, the lyrics…

JM: yeah and that´s what I was gonna say. We´ve always put a lot of effort… me and the bass player Andy coordinating with Paul Romano who´s done the artwork for both our CD´s and we´ve always put a lot of effort making sure that it´s awesome and Paul´s a fantastic artist and the album artwork and the artwork in the booklet have always been just amazing and something that we´re really proud of being able to put our name on it and it just sucks that there´s a ton of people that all they´re ever gonna see is this digital image of it. It is what it is. I can´t complain whole heartedly just because it does give us a lot of exposure, but it does suck having something that you´ve worked that hard on and people just taking it.

Same thing with making videos these days. It seems like you´re making videos for YouTube. There are no TV-channels showing videos anymore.

JM: Yeah, it is pretty much just YouTube now. A week before our CD came out we flew to New York and filmed three videos and it´s just kinda… I don´t know, it´s just weird to think that we literally just did that to put it up on YouTube. I mean, you really don´t get anything out of music videos, unless we played it at 2 AM on like MTV 3 or something like that.

It´s funny because you get promo stuff from record companies and they wanna hype up the band when they´re not selling records and they write that this or that video has had 2.5 million views on YouTube and you just feel like, “So?”. That´s not really anything.

JM: Yeah, it´s strange.

I read that you´re going to Tokyo and the Philippines?

JM: Yeah, right after this European run we´re home for like three days and then we fly to Japan, so that´ll be cool. I´ve never been there before.

Are you playing a lot of shows there?

JM: No, just like two or three shows. Japan is pretty small so… It´s kinda like with Australia. We´ve been to Australia twice now and whenever we´ve gone, we go for about a week or eight days maybe, just because there´s only so many places you can play without them being too close to each other.

Do you ever get to see anything besides the venue?

JM: Sometimes! The first time we went to Australia it was really cool because we had all these off days in between. It was this festival tour so all our gear would ride on semi trucks in between shows and we would fly to every show and so there have to be days off because the trucks couldn´t make it there. Sometimes we had two days off at a time and it was really cool. We got to see a lot of things. When we went back the second time, we played all the same cities and some of the hotels we were staying in were almost in the exact same location, so we knew where to go and that was cool. This is our third time in Europe and I think we´ve all really made it a point to explore places more this time around. The first time we were all kinda scared to get lost and not really knowing anything. Our first time in Europe and a bunch of new countries so we didn´t really go out unless it was a big group of people. The second time we were here we played a lot of smaller venues and every one on that tour was friends with each other, so we could just hang out in the green room and everyone knew each other and there was no awkwardness or anything and I honestly didn´t go out a lot on that tour either. This tour I think we´ve all really been trying harder to go out and see as much as we can. I went out yesterday and just walked around. I guess the metaphor I made for the other day… like in the US, if a European band came to the US and they play like Columbus, Ohio or something, you´re not gonna go out in Columbus, Ohio! What are you gonna see? You´re not gonna see anything! Some of these areas that we´re playing are like the Columbus, Ohio areas of Europe. It´s not a bad city of any means, but there´s just nothing to see.

After Tokyo and the Philippines, what´s next?

JM: We have a US run in March and April, that we´re headlining and then in May we´re going to South America with Underoath and Protest the Hero, so that´ll be really cool. It´s our first time in South America.

Those guys are crazy, at least what you read about them.

JM: Yeah, I´m definitely interested to see how that goes.

Should be cool. Is that the year out?

JM: That´s just all that we´ve announced thus far. With touring plans, you don´t announce it too early. We´re not gonna say “Hey guys, we´re going to Iceland in December!”, it´s like, who cares right now? You gotta announce it at the right time. We´re really trying to promote our next US tour. We generally try to stay on the road very much. I think last year I was gone for 300 days and this year it´ll be a little more relaxed, but not more relaxed.

Do you all make a living on this?

JM: Kinda. It´s getting more and more to be living. If you´d asked me this a year ago I would say “Not really.”, but when we go home and it´s been like this for the last three or four years, we don´t have jobs or do other things. We go home and sit around and see our family and then we go back out on tour. We´re all saving our money and all that stuff. Saving up to whatever… houses, cars and do all that sort of stuff. Hopefully this will be a good year for us and hopefully we can just keep going, you know.

It´s a nice job. You get to travel the world, see places, meet people.

JM: Yeah, it definitely has its perks.

Ok. Thank you!

JM: Thank you!


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