You, Me, And Everyone We Know - 04.16.07
To start this off, what's your name and role in the band?
We've got a night off on tour so we figured we all gather around the warm computer screen and answer all these questions together.
I'm sure you get questions about your band name often and it's relation to the movie Me, And You, And Everyone We Know. What made you decide on choosing that name? What did you think of the movie?
Ben: Ryan and I had just seen this crazy movie, and really liked the all inclusiveness of the title. We thought it'd be a good name to post some new demos under, so we did. We just kinda got the name of the movie wrong in the process.
Ryan: I thought the movie was really good.
Your debut EP Party For The Grown And Sexy has been out for a bit now. How's the general response been so far?
Noel: We're very happy with how fast it seems people are catching wind of us since we released the EP a little over 4 months ago. Considering that this is our first effort as a band, I think the response has been phenomenal.
If you were to pick a single off the EP that would be made into a music video and shown on MTV, what song would you pick and why?
Ryan: "The Rent is Due," because it's a pop song and really catchy and would make us some cheddar, haha.
Ben: I guess I would prefer some of our less friendly songs like "Do it Again" or "I'd be more interested..", their imagery would translate well to a video.
How does it feel being compared to big names such as Fall Out Boy, and most noticeably, comments on vocals sounding like Max of Say Anything? Does that put any kind of pressure on you guys as a band?
Ben: As far as comparisons go, I think we'd all be foolish to be anything but flattered. Say Anything and Fall Out Boy are both such heavyweights, and as far as we've been informed, Max and Pete like our music.
When I listen to your songs, I can picture each one being sung by a ton of people at shows. What influences you to write songs such as those?
Paul: The only way to really answer that question is to think about the first time you went to see your favorite band at a show, and the feeling of being moved by the lyrics to the point where you're screaming them back and losing control of yourself. We want people to have the same feeling when they come see us live.
What other artists/bands, aside from writing the music, affect the lyrics or how you perform live?
Dan: Hardcore bands have always influenced how I perform live. Back in high school I was deep into that scene, and the energy that is emitted from the bands at those shows is so intense that it's something I try to bring to our shows and share with our audience.
Ryan: In a similar aspect, but not from the same genre, I love bands that are just in your face the entire show. I Am the Avalanche, and the The Matches do it so well...that's the energy that I would like our band to have.
Paul: I'd be lying if I didn't say Travis Barker hasn't played a huge role in the way I perform.
Ben: Ideally, on stage I kinda idolize Joe Cocker, Andrew W.K. and Skylar Croom (He Is Legend).
Noel: Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie.
Are there any plans to record a full length album in the future? If so, when will it be recorded?
Ben: We don't have any plans to record a full length in the IMMEDIATE future, but we're writing and performing new songs that will hopefully be on our next release.
Will any of the songs that didn't make the EP such as "What Ink Can Really Do" make the new LP?
Ryan: We wrote the 2 songs that didn't make the EP when we were in transition from our old band to forming this one.
Dan: Now that we have a complete lineup, we'd rather focus on the music we make now as a whole rather than what we did in the past before this band was really complete.
I've noticed that you guys transition very well acoustically. Any plans on all acoustic songs instead of full band?
Ryan: It can definitely happen, it's not something we really think about. The original demo of Carolina Heat was just acoustic, we also had a full band version of it, but things just worked out in such a way we combined them both. I'm sure we'll have some fully acoustic songs in the future.
Can we expect the see the new full length on a record label?
Ben: We're definitely not going to be putting it out ourselves, haha. I think anything is possible. Ideally, we'd like to have some help promoting a full length and a label would be great for that.
What do you look for in a label? Like what is it about one that would make you instantly want to sign with them if they had what you were looking for?
Paul: We want a label that cares about us and wants to help us out. When they hear us they don't just see dollar signs, they hear our "tightnicity", but more than that they want our friendship just as much as they want our success.
Ryan: You gotta be able to trust people. There's some sketchy dudes in this business.
Dan: A good track record with previous bands they've signed. If a label has been home to my favorite bands, then it says something to me personally about our own music if they want to be involved with us.
Ben: I'm going to use a metaphor. We aren't looking for day-traders, we're looking for investors. Someone that enjoys seeing there stocks mature.
Tell me about your hardships as a band, financial or just in general. You've been working so hard to get going; when will you feel like your efforts are paying off?
Ben: Thanks for holding that over our heads.
Paul: All our hard work we've put in this, pays off after every show we play when people come up to us and tell us how much they like what we're doing. It's a very fulfilling feeling.
Ben, you live in the Baltimore area, but the rest of your band lives near Washington D.C. How do you deal? Why is the band living in two different areas and what do you do to remedy the situation?
Ben: I pay through the nose in mass transit fees. I advocate public transportation. There's something about having a home that keeps you a little closer to sane. I did the moving around thing for a long time. It's about time i had a place to call home.
Ryan: He sleeps on my couch sometimes.
Dan: We actually live in 3 different places. Ben's in Baltimore, Ryan and Paul are just outside DC in Maryland, and Noel and myself are just south of DC in Virginia. The distance can be trying sometimes, but we're willing to spend the extra money and time on travelling for practice so that we can have time with our families and friends while we're home.
What other encouraging events have been happening in the band world, like meeting important people or special connections and stuff?
Ben: Tsk-tsk. Loose lips sink ships.
Paul: Mind ya business.
Ryan: We get to play with Phantom Planet and Piebald next week. I'm really looking forward to being able to see them play and have the chance to meet them. We also got to play with one of my new favorite bands The Graduate. They are sick.
Ben: I don't really know how to answer this question in a serious way. I don't really want to define important. Important people come to shows. Those are the most important people I've met so far.
Do you think YM&EWK is anywhere close to being a full time band?
Noel: We like to think we are a full-time band. We spend more time on the road than we do at any job or at home. We're in it for the long haul, baby.
Now let's talk about the transition from Underscore to YM&EWK. Does it feel like you're starting all over again? How did you get to this point? Who from Underscore is in the band and who isn't?
Paul: In the beginning it was really scary...
Dan and Ryan: because you disappeared?
Paul: and I had dedicated 4 years of my life to Underscore and then it was all over. I went a little crazy, but when I came to my senses we got the ball rolling and accomplished a lot more a lot quicker.
Noel: I was the only one never in Underscore.
Ben: Starting over is hard, but it's not often that the right thing to do is the easy thing to do.
When a fan walks away from your merch table, what do you want them to think about your band afterwards?
Paul: Jeeze, these guys are wasted.
Ryan: Hey, not all these guys are as weird as Ben.
Dan: Hey, where was Noel and why wasn't he at the merch table?
Noel: I'd like them to think that "we're just real Topeka people."
Ben: I didn't think I came off as weird as I apparently do. I would like for our band to matter to the people we play for, weeks after they see us. I want to leave a good, lasting impression.
Some bands stay in their hometown for years before they even begin to think about touring. Instead, you guys hit the road right off the bat. Why? Why not stay and build up as much as possible?
Dan: Considering we all live in three separate areas, we don't really see ourselves as having a real hometown. My hometown is my Dodge Ram Van and where ever it's parked for the night.
Ryan: I'd rather be known decently well and developing our fan base everywhere, than just playing at home all the time and being a local band.
Ben: We started this band on the road, it only seemed fitting we get it back on the road as soon as possible. The way the Internet works and stuff now and how impatient promoters can be in watching a fan base grow, it's almost easier to tour. I feel like you feel the progress your band is making more immediately on the road, if that makes sense.
In light of that, now that you are on the road a lot, what places have you played so far have had the best crowd reaction and participation aside from your own home town?
Dan: The Chicago area has been awesome for us. The bands we've met there have been really cool to us and are always fun to watch play, and the kids have welcomed us with open arms and treated us as one of their own.
Ryan: Chicago = love.
Ben: Home shows are great, but we've enjoyed the southern states like Florida.
What does the future hold in store for YM&EWK? Any upcoming tour plans after your tour with The Alpha Couple and Asteria?
Dan: We'd love to go back out on the road especially with our friends The Spotlight, check them out. The Spotlight will out drink anyone and we try to keep up with them as much as possible, so I guess the future holds a lot good times, good friends, and good drinks. Right now we're making plans when we finish this tour.
Ryan: I've been talking to bands about the possibility of doing some dates later in the summer. We're also trying to submit for some other tours right now, so we'll see what comes of that.
That just about does it. Any last words you want to say to anyone reading this interview?
Everyone: Thank you guys (AP.net) so much for being so awesome to our band. It means the world to us. To anyone who likes our music...you are what keeps us alive and motivated, and we love you dearly. See ya at the shows!
Dan: Make sure you check us out in the next issue of Alternative Press in their AP&R section. It'll be in a bookstore near you May 3rd. And go Raiders, this is our year!
Ryan: Go SKINS!
Paul: Yeah! Go SKINS!
Noel: Go Bills!
Ben: "Just make us look cool man"
ha, good interview.
"Just make us look cool man"
not bad of an interview. a little mad no word on a label yet, but the whole not talking about important people prob means that they are talking with them which is a plus.
"Ben: I'm going to use a metaphor. We aren't looking for day-traders, we're looking for investors. Someone that enjoys seeing there stocks mature."
I like that line - Good interview and a good band - I hope everything works out for them
hopefully I'll be seeing them in May if their touring schedule works out
Wonderful job, Joe. And to the YM&EWK boys - much love.
You Me is almost as cute as that puppy :)
glad to see you guys are getting the attention you deserve. great interview, btw, and as a long time fan, im looking forward to any new music and hoping that you guys sign with a good label and get some cds out.
Love these guys..they keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger.. I don't see it ending anytime soon either.
i love these dudes. we are playing with these dudes on friday. cannot wait. we have played with them two times before. everyone needs to check this band out, they are going to be huge by this time next year.
yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah ROCK BUCKET MY HOMIES!
I didn't know they used to be Underscore. I remember voting for them on the Takeover Records Sign My Band Contest like 3 years ago.