Interview with Tonight Alive
This sucker for hardcore clearly had to make the jaunt out to Worcester recently to cover the Fearless Friends tour that ended tonight and who could blame me? Insane shredding, great live shows, the most dedicated fans I ever get to see so of course I have to take the opportunity to interview the bands that play these tours as often as I can!
A surprise came though in the band that opened the tour every night with the Australian voices in Tonight Alive who have recently dropped their first EP in the states with the tour’s namesake after already having a incredible amount of success around the world. While the band may just be infiltrating the US now, being that this tour was only their second full run of the US, they are sure to be one of the biggest breaking bands on the scene in 2012 so when I got the opportunity to interview lead singer Jenna, I jumped on it!
Read on for my exclusive with Jenna where we talk about everything from her surprising influences to what is to come for Tonight Alive next year as well as even a dream collaboration? We’ll soon see that her writing partner of choice has a lot of love for her as well and thanks for always checking in readers, you’re the reason why I do this! I sat down with every band on the tour for check in interviews as well as first times around so keep on checking back this week!
Artist: Tonight Alive
Title: What Are You Scared Of?
Release date: 02/14/12
Label: Fearless Records/Sony
Tonight Alive Official Website
Buy at: Amazon
Since you are starting to tour a lot here, what are the three things you must have while on the road to survive?
Baby wipes? I would say deodorant I guess but I don’t want it to all be about hygiene. Socks (laughs)! Is that okay? They’re all about hygiene but that’s kind of essential really!
Then you’re on the tour with a bunch of bands from your label but you guys are really different obviously from the rest of the bands on this tour! So how has that experience been?
It’s been really cool! It’s kind of like a flashback to when we started because when we started in our local scene in Sydney, it was just all hardcore metal bands. So we were always opening up for all these heavy bands. We never fit in with them from the beginning kind of thing from our area so it’s kind of nice to be coming out on these shows because we had been headlining in Australia so to come here and have to really work the crowd and we sort of have to win them over being so different but we’re really enjoying it. We love heavy music so it’s perfect!
Then maybe if you could collaborate with any one musician on this tour or a band, who would they be? You could choose like Beau or the Word Alive or Telle.
I’d probably like to collaborate with The Word Alive. I really enjoy their music and their live show is always awesome and I really like his vocals and I just really enjoy them all around. So I would love to collaborate with them (laughs).
Then how did the signing to Fearless come about? I know it’s pretty new, at least as far as being announced, so how did that signing come about?
Well Sony, we’re signed to Sony worldwide excluding America obviously. So Sony and Fearless have recently sort of joined forces I guess you could say so I mean it was easier in that sense because they’ve sort of become brother sister labels. I guess we were sort of looking around at independent labels in North America and once we came over for the first time last December to record the album was when we first met up with them and they came to a couple shows. So I mean it’s been in the works for a long time but it’s been great!
And then the record has been released in Australia really recently so maybe because that is where you’re from, how has it been going over so far with the kids?
I think it’s been going great. It’s something we’re really proud of and I knew it was something that Australia could enjoy. I knew it was something where we would win over more people but first and foremost, it was definitely something that was a matured version of our sound and a mature version of our EP’s that we had released prior in the past couple of years. So we were really stoked and we toured nationally with Rufio and it was kind of our most successful tour we had ever done and yeah, I’m really happy with the album! All I want is for it to come out in America and just to spread the new music.
Is that soon? Is that like early 2012?
Yeah, it is! It will be. I can’t tell you the exact date because it’s not released yet but it will be early 2012.
Then maybe how do you guys go about the songwriting? Is it one person, is it more collective? Does it change?
Well mostly it’s Whakaio and I, the lead guitarist, so I guess for the first two EP’s that we released in Australia and for the one we just released here in America, they were written with a program called Guitar Pro and the three of us being Cameron, Whakaio and I we would share the writing and send it to each other over the internet in manuscripts on a program called Guitar Pro and that worked really well for us. Since the album, we’ve sort of been writing acoustically first and then recording and sort of not getting ahead of ourselves so we can really work on the band and really have a good core. Especially since writing the album, we’ve developed a better writing process.
Then maybe what was the first CD or cassette you ever bought as a kid and then the first concert you ever went to?
Well the first concert I ever went to was with my dad but other then that, I went to the All American Rejects with our bassist. I was fourteen at the time so All American Rejects and Jack’s Mannequin I think played? It was at a really big venue in Sydney where I live and it was unreal. Anyway, the first CD, I sort of remember more of being given CD’s. It was probably Avril to tell you the truth but I know I was really into Hanson when I was young but other then that, me and my friends all shared a lot of mix CD’s growing up. So everything I have ever listened to was pretty much shared with me. It’s kind of special because everything I listen to is from some one else.
That’s really cool! Do you think those experiences influenced you at all? Maybe just you as a person or Tonight Alive in general? Like the CD’s you bought and the concerts you were going to!
Totally! Well I would say early on when I first started listening to music, well I always listened to music because my dad shared like all these old heavy rock kind of albums with me, and it was really nice growing up on that but when I started finding it on my own I was listening to Avril and Good Charlotte and Simple Plan and Blink and then they were sort of the first bands that got me into pop-punk I guess you could call it. So they still influence me I feel. A lot of that but not like anyone else would probably hear that but I’d say something that kids don’t probably know about my influences is that I love this solo artist called Missy Higgins from Australia.
Oh, yeah I’ve heard of her!
Love her to death! I love every song she’s ever written that I’ve heard and I’ve just always looked up to her. When I first started playing guitar, I was ten years old and I was listening to her and I learned to sing listening to her I feel. So she sings in an Australian accent really really heavy and thick so that doesn’t come through but I just adore her. I do feel like she influences me the most. That’s nearly ten years that I’ve been listening to her. I just love her so much!
No that’s good! Then what is coming up in 2012? Obviously you’re going to release it (the record) here in the US but are you going to be touring steadily here? I know you probably can’t say much just yet.
I can tell you we’re going to try and come to the states at least three times. Well probably max three times but hopefully before summer, through the summer and after the summer but that’s as much as I can tell you about that. We’re half way through writing the next album and hopefully by the end of next year, we’ll have recorded the next full length and I think we’re just going to be pretty much on the road a lot of next year. Heading to Europe and Asia. Oh yeah, can’t wait!
Listen to a teaser of their album 'What Are You So Scared Of?'
"What Are You Scared Of?" by Tonight Alive - release date: 02/14/12..