Although this is the third year Florida natives There For Tomorrow have played Warped Tour, the alternative rock group shows no signs of stopping. With the release of their new, edgier album The Verge, the band is making a bold statement that they are on the edge of something huge—no one, including the band, knows what that is yet though.
At the Pomona Warped Tour, three members of the quartet talked with LA Music Blog, discussing the new feel of their CD and their plans to continue to change things up a bit.
How has Warped been so far?
Jay Enriquez: It’s been lovely. Actually this is the best day weather-wise, so far. So far, so good. Everything’s fun. Kids are coming out.
Your new album The Verge just dropped, congratulations! You stated it’s called The Verge because you’re on the verge of something. What exactly is it?
Maika Maile: Well, when we made the record we kind of went in there and had no decided ending point. We didn’t know what we wanted to do—we just went in there and ‘did’ in general. That’s kind of what it was about: we’re on the verge, but we didn’t know exactly on the verge of what. As we play these songs live, as this record sits in the fans’ hands and just permeates their heads for so long, that’ll start to come to life, and the next record will capitalize on what this record is now.
Enriquez: We like to leave that mystery there, like what you don’t really know is going to happen next. We might be on the Ernie Ball stage in two years. Or we might be on the main stage. Or we might not be a band anymore. And those are all good questions, right? That’s the verge.
Maile: Is there a God? [laughs]
Your debut full-length A Little Faster was very polished. Your new album was recorded more quickly and with the whole band together. Since this record was recorded in more of a “live” environment, do you like playing these songs more live?
Maile: Definitely. These songs were bred for our live shows. We wrote them together as a band, and then when we bring them to the stage, the energy just escalates. We’re excited for a couple months down the road when people will know the songs and be able to sing with us. There will be a whole new aura around these songs, and we can’t wait for that.
Are people reacting well to the new album at shows?
Chris Kamrada: I think those songs are getting some of the best responses.
Enriquez: I think we were just in a different place during A Little Faster. I think people can see that we actually have a good grasp on what we’re doing now versus then.
Maile: I think it’s a bit confusing for people that maybe are stuck in thinking we’re still seventeen and eighteen year olds with long, swoopy hair. I mean, we still have long hair, but we’re older now and we have different things to say and different emotions to express. I think our core fans that follow us on a daily basis totally understand our new album. The people that sit on blogs and talk shit all day don’t understand it because they don’t really care about our band. The people who care about our band really love this album.
Now that you’ve recorded one way, focused on near-perfection, and then another way that was more about capturing the essence and energy of your music, do you prefer one over the other?
Maile: I don’t think there’s a preference. We’ve done so many different things now and experimented with so many different types of sound. We did a freaking electronic EP, so with the next album we’ll probably just want to flip it again.
Wow, you’re already thinking about the next album?
Maile: Of course.
Kamrada: Yeah, always. We’re already thinking about it. The fact of the matter is we love so much music and all of us come back to the records that just sound honest. You can hear each individual personality in the band, and that’s exactly what we did with The Verge. There are four members, playing live, and you can hear only those four members. There’s not five, six, hundreds of other instruments in there.
Maile: But one day we will do a symphony, too.
Enriquez: That’d be fun. Sky’s the limit.
Maile: You gotta be old for that. I need a full head of grey hair to compose.
Enriquez: You’re a couple years away.
Maile: Yeah, I’m almost there!
Kamrada: It’s not like we’re gonna be a dubstep band in a year.
Maile: We had a couple people come to Tally [Tallahassee], and they were like, “I mean, that was a cool set man, but I thought you all turned dubstep,” and I was like, “You’re at the wrong place, and you went to the wrong website.”
You really wail on the new album, Maika. How does your voice hold up on long tours like this?
Maile: It’s honestly really tough, and I’ve been having a tough time lately. It takes me just a little bit to get into the groove, especially after being in a certain climate for so long in Orlando and then in a week, being on the other side of the country and in a completely different climate. I’ve been sneezing my head off today, and allergies have a big play. We just have to go up there and deal with it. I think each of us has our own struggles. I just have to gargle more salt water and drink tea.
Enriquez: It may have something to do with the way he also recorded it. It was all just raw. We didn’t say, “Oh, that didn’t sound quite perfect enough.” It was more like, “Go with it,” and even on the raw tracks I thought, “Wow, that sounds great.” I think that helps him in that sense. He is already doing what he did on the record.
Maile: The thing that really helped all of us, especially me, though, when it came to vocal tracking was Elvis Baskette, our producer. He made me feel important, like a real artist. Instead of nitpicking these little things, he would tell me my strengths. He is building an empire there.
Enriquez: A lot of people claim constructive criticism, but it always kind of hurts. He had a way of delivering criticism to where it was actually constructive, and we took that and used it positively.
Maile: He’s like a fifth member.
Kamrada: He really helped us discover our strengths and weaknesses, and we really capitalized on it. We didn’t fake anything, which was nice.
Sounds like a great environment to record the album! Back to the tour—who are you excited to see on Warped this year?
Enriquez: I would tell anyone to check out our bus mates, Moving Mountains. They’re a great band, and they’re doing something completely original for Warped. They’re like ambient rock.
Maile: Band of Rabbits is getting a lot of hype and Foxy Shazam.
Enriquez: They’re both out of their minds on stage.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Maile: We’re shooting a video for a new single and have a lot of big stuff coming. There will be a finding out process for our single though. We’re that one band that gets really creative with our promoting.
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