Four Year Strong have already made a large impact in the pop punk scene. They kick-started their own subgenre, happy hardcore, and have only become more and more popular since their release of Rise or Die Trying in 2007. After a covers album, a number of headlining tours, and the March release of their latest record, Enemy of the World, Four Year Strong are keeping the ball rolling by being out on the Vans Warped Tour for the summer. My friend Sami and I caught up with the guys in Four Year Strong on July 25, 2010 at the Cruzan Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida. This interview was unexpected and I had no questions prepared; however, the guys rang true to their laid back appearance and helped me get a solid set of questions in. We talked about the Deluxe Edition of Enemy of the World, their plans for several more cover records, a secret upcoming tour that's not such a secret anymore, and how tall I am.
Disclaimer: As per my unpreparedness for this interview, it took place in a noisy room with another interview going on in the background. I tried my best to identify who said everything, but there were a couple of moments where I couldn't hear clearly.
I'm here with Four Year Strong. Can you guys say your names and what you do in the band?
FYS: I'm Dan and I play guitar and sing. I'm Alan and I play guitar and sing. I'm Jake and I play drums. I'm Josh and I play the keyboard. I'm Joe and I play bass.
So this is your guys' second year on Warped Tour right?
How has the tour been going so far?
Dan: It's been going great. Alan and Joe: It's been really wacky. It's the wackiest Warped Tour of all time.
Yeah, I saw that Bus Olympiade video you guys posted. Some interesting stuff there....
Whole band: Random talking about German shortcake/making jokes. Dan: It's a long tour. You've got to do fun things like that to pass the time and fans like seeing stuff like that. Josh: We were just having a lot of fun with everything.
A lot of people these days criticize Warped and they say that there aren't a lot of good bands on here anymore. How do you guys feel being viewed as one of the better bands, one of the headliners on this tour?
Josh: It's awesome, because it makes our shitty band look way better. Dan: Yeah it's great. Because normally these kids would hate us but when they compare us with all the other crappy bands, we look way better.
You guys just released a deluxe version of Enemy of the World. Why did you guys want to do a deluxe version?
Alan: We wanted to put out some special tracks. Dan: Yeah, we wanted to do some acoustics and put out another b-side and we needed a way to do it. And the label said, "Fine. Special edition." And we said, "Fine. Pay for it." Alan: And they did.
Those acoustic songs that you guys had on there were way different from other acoustic songs that you guys have put out before. Do you guys normally write stuff like that? With vocal harmonizations that are a bit different from your normal style?
Alan: Well we knew we didn't have any boundaries. We didn't really care if people liked it or not.
Would you guys consider doing an entire acoustic EP or something like that?
Dan: Yeah, maybe. Josh: You know, after we do our next cover record. Joe: Yeah, probably do like 3 or 4....actually maybe do like 5 cover records in a row. Alan: We're going to wait till there's no one left that cares about our band, then put out a really good record that no one cares about.
What are your guys' plans after Warped?
Dan: Probably take a little bit of time off then we want to do a headlining tour in October. Alan: Yeah, I don't know if we're allowed to talk about that yet though.
Well, I actually may or may not have heard about that tour being with The Wonder Years and Comeback Kid.
Alan: It's a secret! Josh: Wow....you know, that sounds familiar. Dan: That does sound familiar!
Four Year Strong and The Wonder Years?
Dan: Sounds good.....
That sounds like a pretty good time.
Dan: Yeah, I think I'd have a good time on that tour. Whole band: A bunch of talking/jokes about the tour that I can't make out.
Alan: If we were allowed to talk about that tour, it might be happening.
You know, you guys could all come to Gainesville and just stay in my apartment.
Whole band: Penis jokes. Josh: Are you the tallest person ever?
Yeah basically. How tall are you?
Dan: I'm 6'4".
Joe: Wow. Alan: I'm 6'3". Dan: This is a circle of tall people. Josh: How tall are you (talking to my friend, Sami). Sami: I'm 5'10. Josh: That's really tall for a girl. Dan: A circle of tall people. Joe: You're taller than Jake. Jake: I'm 5'8"!
Okay, so is there anything else that you guys would like to add?
Dan and Alan: Nothing much. We're playing a set today at 3:40. Joe: Come out and support! Josh: High-fives all around.
That was Four Year Strong. Be sure to check them out on the entire Vans Warped Tour and come by and say what's up.
The tour has since been confirmed concretely. The reason why the interview is short is, again, because I didn't have questions ready. The guys were joking around a lot in their answers which kept things fun and easy but also didn't lead me into any other questions.
haha I'm so glad I got to meet these guys at Warped... they were seriously the coolest all around band that I've met. I'm so stoked for the FYS/CBK/TWY tour it's not even funny. 3 of my favorite bands atm