The Story So Far is going to save the modern pop punk scene. Not that they are trying to and not that the genre needs any resuscitation (especially after last year’s Pop Punk’s Not Dead Tour), but this Northern California quintet has both the musical talent and grounded beginnings to ensure that not only is pop punk thriving again, but this new wave is creating some of the most dedicated, talented bands the scene has seen in years.
After last year’s full-length release, Under Soil and Dirt, which fused some of the best elements of pop punk and hardcore, The Story So Far is making a huge impression with their emotionally-charged songs, hard-hitting lyrics and intense live performances. The band is currently on the Glamour Kills Tour which makes its LA stop this Wednesday, April 28th at the Troubadour. Be sure to snag tickets as most shows on the tour have sold out. Lead vocalist Parker Cannon recently spoke to LA Music Blog on the group’s day off in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read on to find out what he had to say.
The Story So Far formed in the winter of 2007 and I know there have been a few line up changes and people switching in and out due to college. How have you changed as a group since your formation?
When we started our band, we played local shows every other weekend when we could get them. We were busy ourselves going to see the bands that we love, and our main focus wasn’t on our band yet. It was still sort of a hobby for us. Once our senior year of high school came around, it was more of, “Okay, what does everybody want to do? Do we really want to go forward with this and push it or do we want to go to school?” Our guitarist Kevin wanted to go to a four-year, and that was totally cool with us. We were supportive in anything he wanted to do.
We wanted to go on tour, to write, to put out a record. Kevin went to school, and our friend Will Levy, who previously booked shows for us as our friend, was always ready to jump in on guitar whenever we needed him. After he filled in on some shows, we gave him the go ahead and he joined the band. After that, we all started writing and wrote a record. The way we changed as a group is just growing up I guess: leaving the bubble of high school and going on the road for the first time and playing different shows and meeting all these new people. I think it’s about growth.
Your album Under Soil and Dirt was released last year, and it’s a lot about growth too. Can you talk about where it got its name?
The name for the record came from the things I wrote about on that record, which were obviously a girl, growing up, and moving away from home and leaving my friends. I guess the name came from wanting to put everything, all those feelings, away and put them “under soil and dirt.” It was a weird title for it. We went through a couple titles I can’t remember, but that one stuck.
One of the themes is growth but another seems to be the friendship among The Story So Far’s members. Would you say those are the two main themes of the album?
Yeah, definitely. I was really angry for a little bit when I was younger and had a lot of emotions, so I just let it fly. Also, at the same time, I was sad and melancholy at the fact that even though all my friends were still my best friends from high school, we all have to move on and do our own thing and go away and not see each other every day anymore and not have that bond. It’s pretty much those two that are the strongest components on the record.
How are you hoping the next album, whenever it’s released, will differ from this one? Have you started writing?
We definitely have started writing, me, Kevin, and Will, on this tour especially. We have two acoustic guitars we bring with us, and we’ll be jamming in the van before, during, or after the show. We’ve written a good number of parts, and we’re waiting to get back to Kelen and Ryan and just jam them out. We love to write our songs collectively, so we don’t want to write all these songs without them. We’re trying to get parts and go and collaborate with Ryan and Kelen and really just make another solid album. We’ll definitely try to release another album before next fall. We’re gonna be taking some time off from touring and hopefully write and record.
You’re on the Glamour Kills tour right now with The Wonder Years, Polar Bear Club, Transit, A Loss For Words, and Into It. Over It. How is it going?
It is the best tour that we’ve done yet, and it’s incredible. At all the shows we’ve had a really crazy response, and it’s a really cool tour for kids to come out and see because it’s five solid bands on the bill. Everyone on the tour is mad friendly and just hangs the whole time. I couldn’t ask for a better tour right now.
You’ve toured with a lot of people though, like fellow pop punkers Man Overboard.
Man Overboard rules. They are our homies. That tour in the UK was awesome too. Every tour is so fucking sick.
What are some of your favorite cities to visit?
Seattle is one of my favorites. Chicago was awesome, Boston was awesome, New York is awesome. I love a lot of cities on the east coast. Philly is awesome. Favorite would have to be Seattle or Portland though. I love the west coast too much.
You have really emotional shows. How do you maintain such high energy during your shows and how does it feel to have your fans singing the words back to you? They get really into your music.
It’s incredible. I used to be a kid at the shows going to see my favorite bands like Killing the Dream in Sacramento and Berkley, and I’d fucking yell every single word. I remember the room just being filled with tons of voices screaming the same thing. It was the best feeling in the world to be a part of it in the crowd that I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like if I was the one being yelled at.
Now, it’s a reality, and it’s numbing every time it happens. After shows, I’m always in a weird state of calmness from it. It’s awesome. I can’t describe it. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s great. It’s just means so much to you at that certain point. To be able to connect with that many people on one line or maybe an entire song, it feels so good.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of this year? I know you’re all set to play Bamboozle in New Jersey.
I am so excited for Bamboozle. I can’t even express it. I can’t wait. I’m ready, I’m preparing myself. After Bamboozle, we fly to the UK for a festival called Slam Dunk, and that should be really fun too. I’m looking forward to going back to the UK. I’m looking forward to writing another record and being able to record again. Recording is one of my favorite things to do. It’s always the best time ever. I can’t wait for that. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds. Everything is moving so fast in 2012, I can’t believe what has happened already, and I’m excited for the future.
Anything to add?
Thank you to everyone who has supported us through thick and thin. Thank you to the people who don’t listen to the bullshit and are down to support this band and what we do and come out to our shows and shake our hands after the set and are genuine. We appreciate it more than they can ever know.
For more information about The Story So Far: