When I think of pop rock greatness, I am immediately brought back to my youth with hits like “Check Yes Juliet,” “Skyway Avenue” and more. I am talking about a band named We The Kings, who have been a household name for quite some time now. However, this time around, they are proving the method that things can be done DIY style. Many acts would be a little hesitant about parting ways with a label, but We The Kings are proving day by day that their success levels are reaching new highs.
With a new certified-Platinum record, social media campaigns and a tour that is coming to our area on March 25 at Starland Ballroom, they have a lot on their plates and a lot to look forward to! I recently had the chance to chat with Travis Clark, lead singer of We The Kings, about all of their newfound adventures. Check it out below:
2014 has really started out as a great year for you. Congrats on the Platinum record!
Thank you very much, we actually just found out that “Secret Valentine,” “Skyway Avenue,” “We’ll Be A Dream” and “Say You Like Me” just received RIAA-certified Gold records for the U.S., so that will add to the Platinum records that we’ve already received!
Speaking of your new record, Somewhere Somehow, you released it without the backing of a label. For those who may be unfamiliar, can you explain the process?
We decided to do a fan-funded album using Indiegogo. What we did is we offered “perks” to our fans in exchange for their contribution. The perks ranged from a fan’s name in the “Thank You” section of the album to spending a day in the studio with me and helping record one of the tracks from the album. It’s a little unorthodox from the typical “label style” release, but we had a chance to prove just how strong our fanbase really is. With the support of our fans, we raised $150,000 to put toward our album, Somewhere Somehow.
Would you say overall you would release another record this way? What was the hardest part?
Releasing another album this way would definitely be an option for us, especially since the first time we tried, it was such a huge success! The hardest part, honestly, is trying not to let anyone down with the music. If our fans are the ones that are making it all possible, then we want to give them something that they can be proud of helping us produce!
I think my personal favorite track off the album is “Die Young Live Forever.” If you had to a pick a favorite, could you?
It is impossible to pick a favorite track! There is so much heart and love that goes into each and every one of the tracks. It’s like a parent with kids—they can’t “publicly” choose a favorite kid. The songs are like my kids!
I think when bands are just starting out they immediately think that “making it” means getting signed. What was that moment in your careers that you all really felt as if you had “made it,” or has it yet to happen?
I think it’s safe to say you have! Success is different for everyone, but for us it was all about being able to hop in a van and play in a different city from where we grew up and have people come to the show to listen to our music. That was the first moment that we had the feeling of “making it.”
You guys have been active in the business for quite some time now. What would you say has changed the most since you first started out?
I think the biggest change from then to now is the confidence of knowing how to tour, how to do interviews, how to handle the stress, etc. When we first started out, we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off!
Your latest tour, The Art Of Tour, is heading our way to Starland Ballroom on March 25, and you have some cool friends joining you in This Century and Crash The Party. What can fans expect on this tour? Any surprises?
Every tour we do is different and special in its own way. For The Art Of Tour, we wanted to take it back to the roots and just play a high-energy rock show. No special effects or crazy lights, just the music and the fans in one room!
Do you find that more and more younger generations are starting to come out to your shows?
As the years go by, we definitely have seen our demographic expand both older and younger. I’m not sure why this is—possibly older and younger siblings being turned on to our music. Or maybe our music is getting better.
We The Kings are always so interactive with their fans on social media, with everything from the American Rag contests and even having their fans vote on a video. Do you feel that social media is more of a positive weapon for a band like yours?
As most can probably imagine, social media has become the way for bands to become noticed and to stay relevant. For us, it’s always been about connecting with the fans, both through music and through our personalities. We want our fans to know who we are and why we write the songs that we write. The only way to do that is to let our fans into our lives and connect through them if not in person, then through social media.
If you could go back on your careers at this point, would you change anything?
At this exact moment, we have completely outdone any expectation we ever had as a band, so I wouldn’t change a single thing. Had we not made every mistake we did, we might not be at the point in our careers that we are.
When you aren’t dominating the world and making Platinum records, what are you doing?
Sleeping in our own beds, spending time with our girls, hanging out with our pets, and getting ready for the next tour or album!
What’s next after touring this March?
We will be traveling overseas to Japan and Australia, and then touring on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour!
You can catch We The Kings on The Art Of Tour at Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ, on March 25. Somewhere Somehow is available now. For more information, go to wethekingsmusic.com and starlandballroom.com.