Interview with Balance And Composure: Swimming In A Daydream

Around this time last year, Doylestown, Pennsylvania’s heavy-hitting post-hardcore outlet Balance And Composure received an overwhelming response of support and feedback from their highly anticipated sophomore full-length, The Things We Think We’re Missing. With a progressively innovative and emotionally intensified sound that was exemplified through standalone singles like “Reflection,” “Notice Me,” “Lost Your Name” and “Tiny Raindrop,” this record truly reflected the musical direction of the band moving forward since their acclaimed 2011 debut, Separation.

After touring extensively this past summer as support for Manchester Orchestra, Kevin Devine and La Dispute, as well as sharing the stage with the likes of The Strokes, Built To Spill, Slowdive and Blood Orange at FYF Fest, Balance And Composure started their latest U.S. headlining tour in September alongside Seahaven, who will also be joining them overseas for several shows in Europe.

While the band was on the road for the first week of their tour, I briefly spoke with guitarist and vocalist Jon Simmons about these particular shows, as well as the general reception of The Things We Think We’re Missing after its one-year anniversary.
This week, you will be starting up a U.S. headlining tour with Seahaven. What will you be looking forward to about these upcoming dates the most?

The tour actually starts today and I’m excited (laughs). I’m thrilled so, yeah.

Seahaven will also be tagging along with you guys when you hit the road for your tour in Europe as well. How do think these shows will be different compared to your U.S. tour?

We haven’t been to Europe in a while, so I’m interested to see what it’s going to be like, but I’m sure it’s going to be great. People seem excited to find out that we’re bringing Seahaven with us, so I think it will just be awesome. I don’t know what to expect, but the shows will be fun regardless.

Since this is going to be one of your first U.S. tours since playing with Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine back in May, how does it feel to be headlining a tour in the U.S. again?

It’s always nerve-racking. Umm… I don’t know, it’s just always scary doing a headlining tour; you don’t know if people are going to care or not. It should be fun, but we’ll see how tonight goes from there and see what happens.

You had the opportunity to finish out the summer by playing FYF Fest in California. What was it like playing on the same bill as bands like The Strokes, Built To Spill and The Blood Brothers?

It was so awesome. It was a really, really fun time. Not only were we lucky to be there and go to the festival, but we also got to play it too.

Because of the vast diversity of this fest, was the crowd’s reaction completely different compared to a normal Balance And Composure show?

Well, there were a lot of new people I think watching us, which was I think what we wanted. So, we had our fans in the front and a whole bunch of people just walking up while we were playing and that was really cool.

Who were some of your favorite sets that you saw at FYF Fest? Did you have the chance to check out most of the bands that played both days?

Yeah, we watched Slowdive. We watched Built To Spill, they were tight. The Strokes were amazing. Who else… Run The Jewels. Blood Orange was really good. I mean yeah, it was sick.

This time last year, you released The Things We Think We’re Missing. Looking back, would you say this record signifies what you’ve wanted to accomplish as a band so far?

Yeah, of course, but I feel like we can do better now. At this point, I just want to do better. But I’m happy with how the reception went well. I just want to do other things. I don’t know, I want to move on, you know?

Because of the fact that it’s only been a year since The Things We Think We’re Missing was released, has the thought of writing for another record been something that has come to mind yet?

I don’t know. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. We have to like, see what we got cooking. I don’t know (laughs)… it’s up in the air.

Throughout the last year you’ve talked a lot about the personal themes behind the song “Tiny Raindrop.” What are some other songs off the record that are also personal favorites of yours?

I think the song I liked the most is on that album is “Enemy.” I like playing that one live too. Yeah, “Enemy” right now is my favorite song.

After The Things We Think We’re Missing was released, you guys also put out the single “Why Do You Leave Us” for the Studio 4 Family Compilation, Off The Board. Was this a song that you specifically wanted to contribute to the compilation or was it just a B-side from the record that missed the cut?

Yeah, that was originally going to be on The Things We Think We’re Missing, but it didn’t make the cut, so we used it for that.

Now, since you’ve mentioned before that you feel like you could “do better,” what would you say would be the next step forward for both you and the band to achieve that goal for the next record?

I feel like we’ve done all we could with this record, but I just want to make better music, so we’ll see.

You guys actually spent a few weeks writing The Things We Think We’re Missing isolated together in a cabin in the middle of the woods. When you guys decide to write your next full-length, do you see yourself doing relocating in isolation again?

I’m not sure. I would like to do that again, but it depends on what everyone else is thinking. I liked doing the record that way. I feel like that’s the only way we can really do it now, but we’ll see. We haven’t really discussed it yet, but I did love doing that. It was very beneficial I think.

What are some future plans you have set in stone after U.S. and European shows?

I think after Europe, we’re going to be chilling for a minute at home.

Balance And Composure will be playing at Irving Plaza in Manhattan on Oct. 1 and at the Theatre Of Living Arts in Philadelphia on Oct. 4. For more information, go to