Interview with Story Of The Year: Warped Tour Refugees

Have your crowds at Warped Tour been a lot of old fans or people that are just discovering your band?

I think it’s half and half. It depends what time of day we play. If we play early some of our fans haven’t gotten there yet so we’re playing in front of a lot of people that just kinda wander up. But everyday the crowds are huge. There’s anywhere from 5,000-10,000 people watching the main stages every day. I’m sure we’re playing to a lot of our fans who came to see us, but I’m sure at least half the crowd are people who came to see other bands and happened to check us out. We’ve been going over really well. That’s the best thing about Warped Tour–you reach out to a lot of different people because there’s like 60 bands on the tour all summer so there’s a lot of people there to see a lot of different things. It’s a really cool tour in that way.

Is it strange to you that even though you’ve been a band for so long people might just be discovering that you exist?

Yeah it’s a little weird. I think it’s more weird for our fans that have been there since the beginning. Our first record came out in 2003 so we’ve been around for a while. Every record we put out we want to push as hard as we can and have it reach as many people as possible. It’s always a new beginning for us– play new songs. I’m not scared to go out there and play in front of all new people and try to win them over. That makes it exciting and makes you have to work for it.

How have your older fans been responding to the new record?

As far as I know, I think everyone is really into. It’s going over really well live. We’ve played a lot of different stuff from the new record live and everybody’s really into it. I think it’s a really good mix of sounds from both the first two records. It’s got the heaviness from the second record and also some of the melodic poppiness from the first record. I think that kind of balances out really well and represents us on the whole.

Did you have a set vision in mind for the record when you sat down to start making it?

Not really. We always just try to write music that’s going to make us happy. On the first two records we were working on trying to find our sound and we’re always going to keep progressing and trying to figure out exactly what our band should sound like. And we have so many influences from soft stuff to mid-tempo rock stuff to heavy stuff that we’re always trying to balance all that out. The only goal this time was to write music that we would want to hear, that we would want to go to the record store and buy. We also try to focus on how it’s going to translate live because we work really hard on our live show and always try to put as much energy into it as possible. We want to write music that you can tell is going to be exciting to play.

Can people still expect to see some back flips during your shows?

Most days, yeah. They’ve been doing it. I can’t do it. They’re the cool guys, not me.

There’s no pressure on you to learn?

I’ve never quite been able to do the back flip. I stick to jumping off stuff and into the crowd. Keep it simple.