Frank: I understand you guys are writing some new material, how is that coming along? Have you guys thought about a producer for your forthcoming release? Spencer: The new material is shaping up pretty nice. right now, its all in demo stages, thus needing alot of work, but were still writing more each day. ideally, we'd like to have anywhere from 15-20 songs to pick from. being in a house together, and writing every day, you sort of get into a routine, and stuff starts to almost sound the same. we've been doing a little jumping around by going to Rob's studio and just jamming, so that lets us mix it up and get in a different enviornment. as far as producers go, we would absoluetly love to work with Jim again, but nothing has been set in stone.
Frank: I remember one of you guys telling me, “We were influenced a lot by the Beach Boys”. To be completely honest with you, I don’t here Beach Boys-styled stuff in your songs at all. Did you guys just totally BS that, or am I just not intellectually capable of looking into your songs deep enough to hear this Beach Boy-ness? Spencer: Alright.. the beach boys are a pretty rad group. they definately arent one of our main influences, but we definately appreciate what they do. this didnt really happen until we were tracking the vocals for Halcyon Daze. i wasnt around when this happened, but i think it went something like this:
Joe was doing vocals for Halcyon Daze. it had been a long day or something..he was just having a rough time. Jim Wirt, our producer, called him out and they sat in the contol room and listened to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. i guess it gave a Joe a better direction of where to take the vocals.
Again, im not sure if thats correct, but thats where the Beach Boys come into play, on Halcyon Daze.
Frank: When you your latest release, "Life In Dreaming", was released, I heard some people comparing it to Senses Fail... be honest with me, how does that make you feel? Do you take that as an insult or a compliment? Spencer: Senses Fail are our friends. all music aside, they are our friends. personally, i think we are two completely different bands. when we released our EP, i definately see how people would compare it to Senses Fail. you only get one chance to make a first impression, so i understand how people would think its similar.
To me, comparing "Life In Dreaming" with "Let it Endfold You" cant work, because they are each their own different record. im not saying one is better than the other, though im obviously partial to our record. As far as taking it as an insult, i don't at all.
Frank: I know you’re from Atlanta, GA, while the rest of the band is from New Jersey. My question is, does Atlanta smell as bad as New Jersey? Do you feel that this smell effects the other members’ abilities to write songs and function as a band? Spencer: I'm actually from a town called Newnan, about 25 minutes from ATL, but no one has ever heard of that place, so i just say Atlanta.
Atlanta doesn't smell, certain parts..maybe. And honestly, only half of New Jersey smells :) but to answer the question, no, Atl does not smell as bad as NJ. As far as affecting any band members, i think it might have made them a little crazy, but overall they seem to be ok.
*Side Note - I'd also like to make it clear that ive realized im the outcast from the band, being the only member not originally from new jersey, and although im from western PA, its still just as hick at Georgia. SO, that being said, im going to embrace my redneck heritage to the fullest. git er done.
Frank: The big question: As one of our forum users put it, “what possessed you guys to tour with Simple Plan”? Spencer: Ahh, i was waiting for this one. The main objective of anyone's band, aside from having fun and writing good tunes, is to get as many people as possible to hear your music, right? being offered a tour with Simple Plan was the perfect opportunity to do that. its a different crowd for us, and in a market that we dont always have time to hit. its the same reason Mae toured with them over here.. its a great opportunity to play in front of a crowd that you normally wouldnt have the chance to. Regardless, if we make 1 or 1 million new fans with this tour, then we did our job. the UK music scene is so different from the American one.. it would take alot to explain, and i dont have the intellectual capacity to make it sound right anyway.
Frank: One of our users wanted to know who you have favorite Olsen twin is. Spencer: Ashley ; )
Frank: Are Hidden In Plain View 100% happy with Drive-Thru Records? Up until this point in time is there anything the band would’ve done differently? Any regrets? Spencer: Being upset with DTR is like being upset with your brother, or your best friend. which means it sucks, because i hate being in arguments with people close to me. its a family, but its also a business, thus, its not always going to be a smooth journey. even with those speed bumps, its still the best ride of our lives. they believed in us, and helped us get to where we are today.
-------- Frank: Are you more psyched for the new Brand New album, or the new Thursday album? Spencer: Brand New and Thursday are two of my favorite bands. ive heard those Thursday demos that leaked, and boy howdy, I am freaking pumped. ive yet to hear any brand new Brand New (clever, huh?) but im just as excited.
-------- Frank: After the Simple Plan UK tour in February, what are your touring plans? Spencer: Hm, I dont know if im allowed to say quite yet. It's no big secret or anything, I just dont know if I am allowed to annouce it. I, for one, WANT TO GO BACK ON TOUR NOW. Writing is fun and everything, but I hate this winter shit. at least being home during winter. even though it might be cold on tour, we'd at least have a 2 week run across the south. and that means 2 full weeks of your piss not freezing.
Frank: With all due respect to Drive-Thru Records, if you guys stepped into the studio tomorrow to record a new full-length, it probably wouldn’t hit shelves until about mid-2007. Based on your calculations and knowledge, when can the world expect to hear a new disc from the almighty Hidden In Plain View? Spencer: Sometimes those things are out of your control. it can be anything from the record not being mixed the way you want, to the artwork not looking quite right. each time you put out a record, you want it to be the best thing you've done to date, so you take the extra precautions to ensure that. the downside is that everything effects the release date.
-------- Frank: Up until this point in time, has Eva at FATA (booking agent) been a suitable fit for you guys? How about Mike Bachta (manager)? Why did you guys jump off of Sanctuary Mgmt. to begin with? Also, I’d like to see a Mae/HIPV tour this year, tell Eva to make it happen! Spencer: Eva is the shit. she has taken us under her wing, she has been our psychiatrist, and she has helped us with issues booking agents dont normally tackle.
Bachta is the newest member of our team. he has been working his ass off for us. its tough to keep things fresh when a band isnt doing much, but he somehow finds ways to keep us busy. that, and he runs 8 miles every morning. sounds weird, but it shows he's motivated. i also hear that he can kick Joe Reo's ass in a game of darts.
We were managed by Steve Davis and Brigette Wright, who were a part of Sactuary. we just saw differently on some things, and realized it wasnt meshing the way it should, so we parted ways.
id like to see a HIPV/Mae tour too! those dudes are busy, and soon we will be too, but hopefully it can work out. that band is amazing, but Jacobs feet smell.
Frank: If you could ask yourself any question in an interview, what would it be? What would your answer be? Spencer: Q: Who is your role model? and i would say, Mr Hands, the esquestrian bachelor. (only a few you will get that im sure)
Frank: Give us a tour story…preferably something funny or crazy. Spencer: Fuck man, you know everyone always wants some crazy story, but anything crazy that happens to us on tour is like an everyday thing. all the "insane-o" stuff usually happens at hotels though. shit, i cant believe im going to tell this story. whatever.
We were on tour with The Academy Is.. great friends, great music, great tour. we're in some hotel in Oklahoma i think. oh, did i mention we were wasted? i wont go into detail, but i ended up in the shower, naked, with their stage tech, Borgman. i then proceeded to urinate on him. we didnt hook up or anything if thats what you're thinking. it was a completely hetero experience. i pee on all of my friends anyway.
Frank: Is the writing approach different for this forthcoming release than it was for “Life In Dreaming”? How so? Spencer: When we wrote Life In Dreaming, i had joined the band not too long before. they already had like 15 songs demoed, and we were jamming through some. we ended up writing almost 30 songs for that record. MOST of the songs on LID were written after i joined the band. but a few made the record. the point, hot n' sexy, american classic, 20 below, and halcyon daze i think. american classic and 20 below were already released so they dont count really. but with the the point, i remember listening to the demo and figuring out ways to make it my own. same with hot n' sexy, which ended up being a b-side to LID. Rob had recorded halcyon daze acoustically, so we worked it out in his studio one day.
Also, we have much longer to write this time around. and we all live in a house now, which doubles as our practice space. even though we play together up until 5 or 6.. the acoustic guitars are wailing till 2am. its more open, and not as much pressure.
Frank: From the sounds of it (and based on what your sister has told me in the past) you drink yourself stupid practically every night of the week. Do you think alcohol and drugs have a negative or positive effect on a band? Spencer: Ok. i live in a fantasy world. i cant believe we can call this a job. its super flexible, meaning i can get smashed any night of the week. every night is friday night. there was a point where i took advantage of that and unfortunately it got a little bit out of hand. it was weird to think i was an alcoholic before i was legally allowed to be. im still only 20. i dont want you to think i would wake up and drink, or i would go on stage drunk. im not allowed to go to an office job wasted, so im not going to do it on stage. anyway, it wasnt an uncontrollable problem i had, i just thought i should tone it down a bit. the reason my sister would think that.. when i would be on tour, id call her wasted. or when i came home, i got to see all my friends again, so we would get hammered. but just to clear it all up.. i do not partake in anything but drinking. well, one time at a party, i tried PCP and i woke up naked in the front lawn the next morning. that was the end of that.
As far as substance abuse having an effect on a band.. look at the 60's and 70's man. there had to be tons of bands that went on stage all coked up, or tripping their balls off. they also wrote some badass music then too. HIPV keeps it real though. we been offered stuff for sure, but none of us would ever venture into anything like that.
Frank: Any last words, thank yous, jokes, stories, advice, etc.? Spencer: Yeah, i didnt really do PCP and wake up naked in the front yard, i just thought that was hilarious. Oh, I saw the questions that were posted ater Franks cut-off so i thought id throw those in here too.
the tattoos - i got one. then i got two. now i almost have full sleeves. its not the pain that keeps me coming back, thats for sure. its the collecting good artwork from good artists. (www.tattoodevil.com - if you're interested, get tattooed by Hunter Spanks, he's the shit). when i would go home id hang out at the tattoo shop. its a whole different world really.. some people look down on it, but now im a part of it.
Newnanman - thanks Allister. the local paper did an article on me when i first joined the band, and the title read something like " Newnan man tours North America". my dad has a sweet collection of framed stuff from the band, and while Allister was staying at my house one night on tour, they ran across that. they thought it was the funniest thing ever, so..hi, im Newnan man.
fondue - ive had fondue once, and i enjoyed it. so yes, i enjoy a nice fondue.
buxley aeroplane - steph, you have to be kidding me. of course i remember buxley aeroplane, and he will be thanked in the next record.
the local bands one - Sound the Alarm isnt very "local" anymore, and even though they're a bunch of felchers, i still like their band. The Years Gone By is rippin too.
so i guess that does it. sorry for it being so long, but i like to be thorough. to anyone who got this far: thanks for sitcking through, thats rad. hopefully it was informatvie enough, and you learned a bit more about me and/or Hidden In Plain View. i also started an ap.net journal clever titled "hipvspencer's journal" so ill try to use that to stay in touch and keep yinz updated. thanks frank, and thanks ap.net for letting me take up this much bandwidth. holla!
p.s. - Frank, that was alot of fun. i think you should give me a column or some shit ok peace.