There’s no excuse this year to miss The Story So Far at Bamboozle. Playing all three days of the festival and with plans to shake up the setlist for each performance, you may even go back for more each day. This California pop punk band has had things move quite quickly since the release of their first full-length, 2011’s Under Soil And Dirt. With tours that took them across the country and overseas, a full year of being on the road will result with a summer vacation spent writing new material.
Having just finished up the Glamour Kills Tour, vocalist Parker Cannon, guitarists William Levy and Kevin Geyer, bassist Kelen Capener and drummer Ryan Torf are taking advantage of the time off before the Bamboozle Festival and another journey across the pond. Cannon managed to avoid giving detail on what he sees for an upcoming release, but below, he talks about touring, life decisions and why you should never to ask him about schedules.
So how are you doing today?
Good, just chilling at home right now and I’m packing for a trip to Arizona to see some friends. The guys are going down to a Giants game tonight, just doing our own thing and enjoying being home.
Do you miss the road already?
I don’t necessarily miss being on the road just because I came down with this weird skin condition on the road, so we were kind of freaked out. I definitely miss being on that tour and playing those shows. It definitely was the most successful tour I’ve ever been a part of, socially and show-wise.
I hope you’re doing better now.
Yes, I’m fine.
You guys hadn’t done a lot of a touring before your recent release, Under Soil And Dirt.
We did like a couple different weekends and weekly trips up to the Northwest, down south and Southern California, but we’ve never done any serious U.S. tours across the country until our full-length came out. After that dropped, it was like the ball was rolling. We were able to go out and see the country and play off that. We had an EP and a split album, but it wasn’t enough to play a full tour with, so we were just anxious to get a full-length out before heading out.
How was the transition from weekend gigs to full tours?
It was just sort of learning as you go and learning from the bands you tour with. You go through the motions of touring, like breaking down and getting your van fixed and just all the other stuff that goes with it. It wasn’t a too terrible adjustment because we were just so excited to do it—it was all we wanted to do.
You guys have had to bring fill-ins on a couple tours because of college. Will this summer mean the end of fill-ins on tours?
Yeah, it does actually. The next tour we go on will be the full lineup of our original members. And this summer will actually be when we write and hopefully record another record.
How are you approaching the writing process?
We get together and jam all the time. It’s more like we all write our different parts or just like have ideas and we get together and figure them out. We don’t really take anything seriously until it starts to write itself. We never want to push anything when we write, we just want expression more than anything. I can’t say too much as to how we’re going to do it, so I have to keep that under wraps, but we’re definitely going to get together a bunch and blow it out of the water.
Do you have a producer locked in?
Yeah, we do. It’s Sam Pura, the same guy that did our last one.
Do you have any specific reasons why you’re working with him again?
Just the fact that every time we’ve recorded with him, it’s been extremely comfortable and it wasn’t like we’re doing it because we had to record and put out a CD. It was more like how can we make the best sounding music and how can we work together and take your guys’ tunes and mix it with mine and see if we can just one-up and improve. It was more like that. So once we got on the same level and page, it just kind of worked itself out. I love Sam, I love working with him.
How have things changed in your approach towards the lyrics since the release of your full-length?
Well, I mean, it’s definitely going to different. I’m not in high school anymore and been touring for the past couple months and just been meeting so many different people from other bands that I really admire and bands have given me a lot of influence and input. Just growing up in general, I’m about to turn 20 years old and that record I wrote the lyrics when I was 18, maybe on the bridge of 17. I don’t think it’ll be too terribly different on delivery and passion, but I definitely think the subjects will be different. I don’t like to say anything because it’s personal to me.
Has there been any advice from other bands you’ve met that really stuck out to you?
It’s more like never count out things that you once disliked in terms of writing music with other people. Never be inclined that your way is the only way. It’s hard to explain. It’s more like a sense of growing up and just being an accepting person of trying to incorporate different things, but still keep doing what you really want to do. It’s kind of across the board for all of us.
Do you feel the pressure of all the buzz around your band right now?
I mean, there’s always pressure in anything that we do, but you know what, I would never feel pressure from people appreciating our music. I would never misconstrue it to be like, “Oh yeah, somebody expects something of me.” It was never about that. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for people’s true admiration for what we did. We never put that out of perspective.
You mention you’re only turning 20, so how did you know to put college or work on hold and truly pursue the band as what you are meant to do at this moment of your life?
I would probably say that like, midway through freshman year and being that young in high school, I was just listening to my iPod all day, every day and never paying attention in class. And then seeing my older friends in bands like Set Your Goals and This Time Next Year go off, tour and not do college and then be successful, prominent bands and influence kids and just mean something to people. That meant more to me than any diploma could ever give me.
You and Will have mentioned both your fathers had been or still are in bands. Did your father also influence you as a kid to pursue music?
Yeah, definitely, my dad’s always been an influence on my musical tastes and just in general to listen to music. He was always the one to put on something and be like, “This is this and listen to this.” He was a driving influence and he’s the man.
This is your first time playing Bamboozle?
Are you preparing anything special for your performance?
I think we’re going to play three different sets with a couple different songs changed in each of them. But I’m not really sure. To be honest, I’m the worst kind of guy to ask about that because I never really know what’s going on—it’s kind of the band’s thing. But we’re going to practice and play as well as we can and put on the best show.
Who are you excited to see over the weekend?
I’m excited to see everyone pretty much. I love seeing big music festivals, I love seeing big acts, like no matter if I’m into their music or not. I just love the environment. I’m pretty much excited to see the whole thing. In particular, I love Trapped Under Ice, I’m stoked to see them. I’m stoked to see Blink obviously, Foo Fighters, Bouncing Souls—there’s so many. I’m excited.
The Story So Far will be playing all three days of The Bamboozle Festival. For more information, go to facebook.com/thestorysofarca.