Being on tour practically non-stop is something that can take a toll on a band, but quite often becomes a way of life for young artists. Vacations come in the form of holiday breaks or studio time, but the longing for the road is not too far off. Even when a break is forced upon a musician in the form of illness, they’re still itching to get back out and play shows.
Guitarist Joshua Moore of We Came As Romans had recently been in that situation; diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and hospitalized not even a week into their headlining spot on the Rock Yourself To Sleep Tour. With only a couple of dates cancelled, guitarist Lou Cotton, bassist Andrew Glass, drummer Eric Choi and vocalists David Stephens and Kyle Pavone continued on, playing shows and asking fans to pray for Moore.
Surprising everyone, Moore not only pulled through with a complete recovery, but also joined his fellow band mates for the tail end of the tour. Now it’s full speed ahead for this post-hardcore band, who recently entered the studio to work on their follow-up to 2009’s To Plant A Seed. This comes right before heading back out on the road with A Day To Remember, going overseas and playing the entire stretch of this year’s Warped Tour. It’s enough work to make anyone wish for home, but Moore seems like he wouldn’t want it any other way.
I’m glad to be speaking with you. How are you doing?
I’m doing just fine. I got all better and I flew out and rejoined the tour. Actually, I believe it marks day seven that I’ve been back on the road. I’m really, really stoked to be back on the road. The tour ends tomorrow, but I’m happy that I at least caught the last week of it.
Reading all the updates online, things seemed to have gotten pretty serious. Were you nervous about jumping back on tour?
Well, I was nervous. After I got home and was on antibiotics and everything, I kept getting better and better and getting more and more bored. I just really wanted to rejoin the boys and get back on the road. I love touring and being on the road, so not really doing anything for three weeks is crazy. I think it was the first time in like two years that I had not been on tour. It was really weird and I feel better being on the road.
Did the guys give you updates of what it was like doing shows without you?
I guess the general consensus was that it just wasn’t the same without me, musically on stage and just being on the road. Dave and I are the two original members left and none of these dudes have done a tour where I wasn’t there or a tour where we weren’t a complete band.
Is there a stronger desire for you now to create music and get back in the game?
I guess not in like the way of like, ‘Oh, I want to write songs about my near-death experience’ or anything like that. After all the things that the doctors had told me about the seriousness about what happen, it just kind of it made me grateful to be alive. I’ve dedicated almost six years of my life to this band and making it work for this band. I could have passed or I could have come out with brain damage, but I never thought that I wasted any time over the past six years on this band. I don’t take back any of it.
After this tour, you’re going back to the studio with producer Joey Sturgis who also work on your first album. Why did you decide to go with him again?
Other than Joey being a sweet dude and we all just love hanging out, he does great work. Joey and I connect on a level of just figuring out what’s going to make a song and take a song to that next level in terms of production. Joey’s an insane producer. He clicks really well with the band and he understands our sound and what we hope to accomplish through our songs. When the label heard us talking about what timeframe we wanted to do a second CD, they already knew we wanted to go with Joey and they checked out Joey’s schedule.
Will you have that orchestral sound on this album like the previous?
Definitely. It’s not something that we’ll ever drop. It’s something that we’ve dabbled with on our EP back in 2008 and it’s something we always wanted to include in the band, but didn’t know how. Once we figured out how, we really put a lot of it in To Plant A Seed and there’ll definitely be a lot if not more on our next CD. It’s something that our fans have come to love us for and I guess it’s one of those distinctions in us that I’m pretty excited about, because I really enjoy.
Are you planning on taking this album in a different direction sound wise?
We’re not going for anything genre breaking or any of that. It’s still going to be WCAR, but it’s still going to be something new. No one wants to hear To Plant A Seed: Volume Two. We’re still evolving our sound and that’s the goal of any band; to evolve through each CD and as we change as people the music that we play is going to change as well.
How have you seen yourself change since WCAR began?
I don’t know how to answer that question. Literally, every aspect of my life in the band has changed, whether it was a gradual one or a quick one. We all made this literally our lives and we all dedicated so much to it and so, as we changed, the band changed too. It’s been so drastic and there’s so many just little things as well, but it’s literally so impossible to explain. It would be a six-hour story, just even about how things have changed with the members in it.
Would the Joshua from six years ago ever predict you would have gotten to this point?
I don’t think that anyone in any kind of world would have expected that we would be where we are now. Because back when we started, we were kids. I was 16 when the band started and we were just having fun. We were just like, ‘Let’s go play and have a good time and not care about anything except having fun and partying.’ I mean, it’s not so much different now, we’re still just trying to have fun and hang out and enjoy being in a band, but now there’s just so many different levels to it.
Especially on this headlining tour, it’s not like [you can] show up to the venue whenever you want, throw our gear on stage, play for 20 minutes, walk off and go to some party. We have our schedule where we sound check at this time, doors at this time, catering at this time, any interviews that are posted, while we’re still just out here having a good time, there are so many more different levels that have been added to it. It’s nice to still retain how we were as a band at the beginning, but there’s so much has changed and none of us would have ever seen any of this happening to us.
Did you ever expect or realize being a touring musician would entail all of those extra responsibilities off stage?
As much hard work as it sounds, that’s what it is—work. I mean, we have a really good crew that takes care of stuff and it’s awesome to be able to have gotten to this level where we can afford that. This is a headlining tour and we won’t have the same size crew on any other tour until the next headliner. It’s nice to rely on other people to get things done that normally we would have to get done. A lot of it for the band is just being on time, which is a lot harder than it sounds being on the road with four other bands, who just want to hang out all the time.
Is there someone who’s always late for things?
No, it varies day to day. I mean everyone throughout the week is late for something. We’re getting use to it, so we’re pretty good.
We Came As Romans will be playing two nights at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory, March 10 and 11, as well as one night at The Crazy Donkey on March 14. More info at myspace.com/wecameasromans.