The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:
Get Down! - Drew Shuck
1. How did you get your band name?
There's a Four Year Strong song called Catastrophe with the lyric "Save your breath and get down with me." Our guitarist, Nick and our vocalist, Tristan took the name from that. We decided to keep it based on its appearance in songs by just about every band we've ever loved. (i.e. "The World" by The Starting Line, "The Future Freaks Me Out" by Motion City Soundtrack, "Soco Amaretto Lime" by Brand New, and so on and so forth.)
2. How did this band get started?
It began as a completely different band. Nick and Tristan came to Alex and Drew with the idea of quitting their current band and starting a new one with the goal of "sounding more like Name Taken/The Starting Line-type stuff." Then the drummer and guitarist quit their band and Alex joined on guitar. Drew started playing drums but wasn't an official member until the original vocalist/guitarist of the other band was removed from the lineup and the band was exactly how it had been intended to be: Drew on drums, Nick on guitar, Alex on guitar & Tristan on bass and vocals. After a few months of doing things this way, we added Zach on bass to free up Tristan to be a frontman and give our live show a little extra boost.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
The Starting Line, Midtown, The Movielife, Set Your Goals, Give Up The Ghost, Brand New, Thursday, Weatherbox, Say Anything, New Found Glory, Saves The Day... there are so many. Basically any band that makes music because they love making music, without regard to trends, what's cool, and getting rich & famous.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would it be and why?
We would all probably agree on The Starting Line & Saves The Day. We all have our personal favorite bands that we'd like to tour with, but those two bands have collectively influenced us the most.
5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
A raccoon. I hit one while I was driving my car the other day and I feel like there is one less in the world than there should be, now. Or I'd be a dog so I could scare all the cats that live in our house.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
We write music that we want to hear. We never sit down and say, "do you think people would like this part? Would people like this song?" We just write songs that we enjoy. It gives a lot more of a personal connection to our audience. We may not gain billions of fans doing things that way, but when someone catches on and loves your band or your songs and your only goal in writing those songs was to make something you enjoyed, then you know that they really get it. You have something a little more personal in common with the listener and it makes for a really rewarding experience.
7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
I'm not really sure. We'd probably pick the last track off our upcoming EP. It's the title track, called "Terminal." The drums and guitars in the song are really fun and the rhythms are really interesting. It might not be the most difficult song on expert, but it'd be fun.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Our parents, our friends. Whoever produced the record that we won with. Our fans. The standard people, probably. But we would also probably thank Wild Bruce*.
*See question 10.
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
I don't know if I'd change anything about the industry, except I think that labels should be made to be more creative and receptive to dealing with illegal downloading and the internet culture. Their old business models are obviously failing, and they need to do something to stay relevant or they are going to die out. I'd also change the way this scene has evolved, if I could. People are always griping about bands like Millionares and Brokencyde and all of that. There have always been those bands. There have always been horrible pseudo-musicians making money playing other peoples' songs or writing terrible, terrible songs themselves and somehow getting rich. But those "artists" weren't on Warped Tour. They weren't doing tours with real bands. If I could change one thing, I'd force all of the artists who sit back, rely on their image and let someone else write their records out of our scene.
10. Memorable tour experience?
Wild Bruce was an old dude living in a motel that we stayed at on tour in Denver, Colorado and he was absolutely insane. He did body shots off of our guitar player. Probably the first night where we all sat back and went, "These are the kinds of things we're going to do and see. Things that no one else will ever experience. This is something really special." It sounds really deep to say that about a creepy old dude in a motel, but really this band is just about having experiences that most people don't have. We're all between 18 and 20 years old, and we're just trying to make the most out of life and do what we love.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
AP.net is a great place. It exposes people to new artists. It's also full of kids who sit around and complain about music. Which is great, really. Everyone wants to decry it when it's their band being torn apart, but without open criticism there's really no catalyst for improvement. There are some people that could do a better job of respecting other peoples' opinions and trying to have fair-minded, intelligent conversation, but I think that's just a given in all aspects of life. Overall I think it's a good thing. It gives people a place to hear new things, discuss things, and it gives smaller bands a chance to connect with an audience that's really interested in music.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
This is probably different for everyone in the band. My favorite song to play would be the first track off our upcoming EP. It's called "The Night James Brown Saved Boston" and it's a really fun song on drums. It's the song that changed the most between doing demos for this EP and actually recording it. I think the growth of it has us all really excited about it. I could say the same about the other five songs, but that one is the most fun to play on drums.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
We all love Chicago. Absolutely love it. We'd play there every weekend if we could.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
My early childhood wasn't very music-filled. Mostly country and radio, etc. As early as I can remember being a fan of music, I loved Third Eye Blind, Fastball, Gin Blossoms, Chevelle, etc. When I really started discovering the bands that made me want to play in a band, it was New Found Glory, The Starting Line, The Movielife, Saves The Day, Hot Rod Circuit... basically anything off of the old Drive-Thru & Vagrant records rosters circa 2002-2003.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Flight, with the ability to have anything I touched fly with me. Touring would be way easier and we'd save fortunes on gas.
16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
Not at all. We're just a hardworking band that tours in cars (our van breaks down literally every time we try to hit the road) and plays on borrowed gear most of the time to 10-200 kids depending on the night. We just love playing music. We didn't grow up listening to bands who wrote a bunch of songs in a studio and then got signed before playing shows. We grew up listening to bands that toured their asses off until someone stood up and took notice. So that's the kind of band we want to be.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
We're really boring. I mean, we're fun guys to hang out with. Nick, Zach & Tristan are especially funny when they're all together. We've all got a good sense of humor and you'd have a good time hanging out with us. But people have ridiculous standards for people who are in bands these days. Like they think every night is just a party on a bus with drunk 15 year olds. Most nights on tour we're chilling on a random couch in someone's house with the other bands we're on tour with having drinks and being ridiculous, making each other laugh. Drew and Nick both have Pokémon on their computers and play it frequently. Tristan and Drew are huge Dragonball fans. We're just nerds who like music and are lucky enough to play it with four other dudes who have the same goals.
18. What's your favorite holiday?
Christmas, because we're all broke all of the time and most of the time our parents will be cool enough to buy us some neat things that we need or give us a little bit of money.
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play Pokémon, watch TV, write new songs, plan tours, talk to people on MySpace/Twitter/Facebook. We're not super exciting.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Tristan does this weird joint displacement thing with his wrist. Or maybe it's his elbow. Drew can touch his nose with his tongue. Nick can handle more alcohol than anyone else I've ever met. Alex can grow a beard like no other. Zach knows how to do just about everything, from fixing cars to owning his own lawn care business to fixing guitars and amps. We probably appreciate Zach the most because he could easily be doing a million things that would make him more money than playing in this band, but he loves music just as much as the rest of us.