Chicago-based dance/pop rockers The White Tie Affair have performed at Playboy’s Pajama Party, recently finished touring with Metro Station, and have played about 250 live gigs to date. For a band that was signed last year and only released its debut album, Walk This Way, in April, they’ve racked up a pretty neat list of achievements. Lead vocalist Chris Wallace and guitarist/programmer Sean-P told The Aquarian what it was about their approach that helped them move forward.
So rumor has it, what you guys really want to do is bring the fun back into music.
Chris: Yeah, with a capital F.U.
Sean: A lot of the time music is becoming very business-oriented. Anytime we get to a show and can get the kids moving, we’re happy. We definitely stress live shows and partying.
You’ve also said part of the reason is because there’s too much negativity in music nowadays. Can you explain that for me?
Chris: Who wants to be negative? The economy sucks, everything sucks.
Sean: It’s like, in your life, you have both positive and negative things. Most people do, I’m assuming —I don’t know anybody that has a completely positive life. You can pull from the positive side just as easily as you can pull from the negative side. When we wrote this record, we were very positive and we were very happy about the situation at hand and we wanted to keep happy. The last thing we wanted to do was remind ourselves of the crappy times.
Walk This Way essentially has similar power-pop-punk elements to other bands, but you guys take it to the next level and introduce a dance element. Why did you decide to go that extra step?
Sean: Well, first off, we like to call it a titanium- power-pop-nuclear-fusion-punk-extravaganza. That’s what we like to call it.
Are you sure you’ve ticked off enough boxes there? I think you guys might be missing some genres.
Sean: Titanium pop isn’t a real genre. (jokes) We just made that up.
Chris: And we’re the number one band in our genre, actually. (laughs)
Ha, that’s great. I feel even more privileged to talk to you now.
Sean: No, sorry we got carried away. We just like to go over the top in everything we do; our live shows, our record, every part of our music. We just like to put 100 percent into everything.
You have managed to put yourselves in a bit of a niche area. Did you consciously think about being different, or do you just create music that you love?
Chris: We just go with our gut. And whatever feels right and sounds good, we go with. We don’t try to be like anybody else or fit in.