It takes a while.
Yeah, it took us the majority of the time just to play the record, and I think with rock you have to pay your dues. This band has been, since the beginning, very lucky in terms of how quickly things have developed. So on the other hand, just as we had finished feeling comfortable playing [the album], we weren’t necessarily comfortable performing it. We had been touring on this record straight since mid-May, and just recently in the past month or two, it’s finally been comfortable [for] us. We were learning the record essentially in front of hundreds and thousands of people, and we’d get off stage and we’re like, ‘Oh that part is really weird, we need to fix that.’
So going through all that, and with that, being a band that’s so technologically dependent, there’s a lot of room for error, and it kind of sucks that it’s been that way, but it’s been trial and error in front of a crowd, which is I guess the only way to really accurately find out. But I think this year, we’re starting on the right foot. This last year has been this total learning experience for us, none of us have been in touring bands such as this before, so we’ve been learning on all accounts, and now we’ve learned what works and what hasn’t. And now it’s time for us to really step up our game, like, ‘Alright, we’re starting to play bigger rooms, like rooms that hold a few thousand people.’ Now we need to get our production end taken care of, and have lights and projections going on. And finally get to that point of not just playing our songs but actually putting on a performance and a show.
Have you been able to process everything that’s happened since Manners came out? Are you still in the middle of a hurricane?
In the midst of it, I don’t really realize it, that’s why I have to take a lot of pictures or else things just loop right past me and it doesn’t really process until I get home and my friends want to see pictures. It’s been really weird and really crazy. Our band has been received in the likes of a lot of artists I respect very highly and just being in the same realm as them has been a total trip this year.
Did you have a favorite moment of the year when you were going through all those photos?
I think the craziest photo I have—and actually my parents thought it was really amazing—we were at Glastonbury, I got to meet Bruce Springsteen, and being from New Jersey, he’s like the town hero and icon, and like, I met him and hung out with him, and we took a picture together, and I was like, ‘Holy crap, I can’t believe that happened.’ Of all places, we were in England, and I met Bruce Springsteen. Just crazy stuff like that. Things like, ‘Hey I’m at my parents’ now and two or three weeks ago I was in L.A. and we met the Jacksons, and it’s like, what? That happened? That’s weird.’
I guess don’t get used to it maybe, I don’t know? I don’t know if you want to be jaded about meeting the Jacksons.
(laughs) No, I don’t think bands develop a sort of arrogance. I think bands that are arrogant start off arrogant. And bands that maintain their modesty start off that way. They didn’t start a band because they want to say, ‘Oh yeah, I want to meet some chicks and like, make tons of money and go on tour.’ Modest musicians play music because they like it, and if something comes out of it, that’s awesome.
That’s kind of how we’ve always been, how all five of us function. We’re surprised that people are buying the album and that people are going to our shows, so we feel a sense of luck and appreciation for everything. For me, I’m definitely the most over exaggerated of the band. We have a coffee machine in the dressing room, and I’m like ‘Whoa!’ That’s how excited I get. It’s the little things like that that make me stoked. I’d rather be that way. I don’t care. Everyone can make fun of me, but I’d rather get excited to see an espresso machine in a dressing room, instead of being like, ‘Oh you know, I was hanging out in L.A. next week, I met some people, whatever, no big deal.’
Hey dude, some bands don’t even get dressing rooms.
Yeah! I know. I’m just psyched that we’re able to even do this, and that we’re able to sustain ourselves right now playing music. I think that’s like the best thing we could’ve even asked for. It sounds so stupid and so trite. To say, ‘Mom and Dad, I’m going to go to music school,’ and they’re like, ‘Alright we support you, but are you going to be able to get a job?’ ‘Uh, yeah!’ And the last year of school I was like, ‘Crap, what am I going to do, what am I gonna do with my life?’ And then out of nowhere, stuff just kind of happened.
Has it been stressful? It’s the most consistent touring you’ve done. You’re essentially trying to figure out how to play your record while you’re playing your record up there.
It’s gotten easier. We’ve been lucky to have really awesome people working with us and touring with us. When we first started touring, what made it the hardest was like waking up really early and busting our asses and being really tired and getting sick from being out all hours of the night and traveling all day. And it’s been another thing where we’ve been really blessed and super lucky that it’s happened at such an escalated rate that we’ve been able to hire a few people to help us tour.
They’re amazing, and they help us so much because they’ll help us load and do a sound check and everything and they know our instruments and everything and it gives us more time and more energy to be like, alright maybe if we can get in a little early to set things up and work on what was weird the other day. Or we have a day off, instead of hanging out, maybe we should get a rehearsal studio and work on some songs. So day-by-day, it’s been getting a little easier, but even now, we’ve been on a three week break, and we have these three shows, and we rented out a hall just so we can get things together and work on the production for our show and try to nail things.
Is that the downside to breaking into people’s consciousness so quickly, that you’re sort of in this hurricane? It seems you’re consistently working—is that the worst part about it?
To say that’s the worst part, I would feel very pompous in a way. I’m like, ‘Oh man, I hate that I’ve had to do what I love every day, I hate that we’re actually doing what we went to school for.’ It’s a tiring blessing, maybe. This is what we’ve always wanted to do and none of us actually thought it would ever happen. It’s just getting used to being in that routine and working so hard, but I couldn’t be luckier or ask for anything more. It’s been a great year, and we’ve been able to play music every day, and hanging out with a bunch of guys who are really close to me and really important to my life, it’s been awesome. Maybe if there was a bit more time, you know, spaced in-between the touring, if I could bitch about anything. But it’s the name of the game, and when the album’s out and it’s in a cycle, you gotta do it.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
(laughs) I haven’t really thought about it, I think I’m going to try to practice more as a musician and try to get in shape and stuff. It’s really easy with touring to be really tired and lazy and even though I’m in the city I could go and explore for two hours, or I could just eat some food and dork out on the Internet. So, just take some time to explore more the cities I’m in and exercise more and not be a total loaf.
Manners is out now. Passion Pit perform at DJ set on New Year’s Eve at Piano’s and will be playing three consecutive nights at Terminal 5 starting Jan. 8. passionpitmusic.com.