After a couple mixed drinks, standing still to We Are The Fury is wholly impossible. So maybe these swaggering Toledo rockstars are on to something, making you dance and everything. Jeremy and Alan of WATF give AbsolutePunk a lessen on what you should really do to maintain your voice on the road, why screamo is a dying genre, and why those classic albums should have never left your CD player. Read up and drink up.
Hello! Welcome to the interview. Iím Julia from AbsolutePunk. Itís really nice to meet you guys.
Alan: Hi Julia, nice to meet you!
First of all, for the record, what is your name and what do you play in the band?
Jeremy: My name is Jeremy and I sing for the band.
Alan: My name is Alan and I provide the bass playing.
So how did you guys meet?
Jeremy: Well, we were in the locker room at the gym and Alan has a massive-sized penis. I said, where can I get a penis like that?! He turned me on to that drug thatís on TV and that was itÖ No, Iím just fucking around right nowÖ We all met each other in high school. Except the drummer in the band is my brother. Weíve actually known each other for a long time. We all grew up together, whether it was elementary school or high school or junior high or something like that. We started playing together in high school and then we picked the name The Fury about four years ago. We had to switch about a year after that to We Are The Fury due to some legal issues that we had concerning the name. And weíve been playing together as We Are The Fury and touring our asses off. And hanging out with a lot of fine people.
When you guys started playing, did you immediately feel chemistry? Did you know that this was something you were going to stick with for awhile?
Alan: Honestly, yeah. Itís kind of weird. Looking back on it, no, the music wasnít very good. But even the first song we wrote, we were like, yeah,weíll be famous by September. (all laugh) It was borderline delusional almost, but it turned out to be a good thing because it got us through a lot of times that most other bands would have probably quit. We were so sure that we were destined for greatness that it seemed ludicrous to quit.
You guys are from Ohio?
Jeremy: Weíre between Detroit and Cleveland.
Tell me about Toledo. Seeing you guys tonight, I see a band that would fit in with the city. You know, hanging out in a cool bar with some cool people and playing some rock tunes. Is Toledo a suburbia-like place?
Jeremy: Toledoís a city. Itís a smaller city. Thereís about 300,000 people in the vicinity. I mean, itís not big, but it has everything you need. Itís a good place to grow up. As far as the music scene, it went away for awhile, but itís coming back. Itís really fun because all the bands there are really tight with each other, regardless of the styles of music. Itís not a ďsceneĒ community where everyone is adamantly against each other. And thatís the way it used to be and in a lot of other places Iíve seen. It seems like a lot of bands are supportive of other bands. It has this blue-collar artsy feel, if that makes sense. Itís in between a lot of different things, and itís our home.
Sounds good. So, whenever I do interviews, I am always curious to know what you want to talk about. So letís turn the tables. What do you want someone to know about We Are The Fury before anything else?
Jeremy: I think our music is a bit different, and we understand that. The most important thing that I want people to understand is that everyone is welcome to be a part of this. Itís all about having a good time. Itís not always about being insanely emotional, about sitting there and feel depressed because I feel like thatís an over-saturated sentiment of the music scene nowadays. Everything has to be so dark and dreary. It has to be so intellectual. Sometimes you just want to put on a record or go to a show and have a good time. I think thatís something missing from music nowadays, so I think weíre trying to bring that back. Most of all, what people need to get out of us is that itís all right to have fun. Itís all right to have a good time, and thatís what we are here for. If you want to go listen to something thatís a little different from that, fine. We do that too. But weíre providing a different place for people to come to.
Alan: If I could add to that, actually. We talk a lot of shit on the screamo scene. But when we make fun of it, weíre not making fun of you and trying to push you around. Weíre trying to open your eyes. Yeah, were making fun of you, but weíd like to think that we are doing you a favor and eventually youíll see whatís going on in the world.
Jeremy: And most of all, just to end that, itís not that I think screamo is bad. Itís just way oversaturated. And people have to realize that there is other stuff out there and there are other feelings that you can experience other than sadness and anger.
Speaking of over-saturation, in the music industry, there is so much talent, so many bands out there. What do you guys do that you think separates you from the rest?
Jeremy: There are so many bands so I donít want to say that we are the only one providing what we are doing, but for a majority of things, small festivals or larger tours that Iím not going to name, the bands are all kind of this melodic pop mixed with this anti-establishment and sadness. We are 180 degrees away from that. Weíre a band that is about having a good time and relating to you. Like I was just saying in the last question, weíre saying itís all right to get loose and have fun. The majority of what I see going on in this so-called ďscene,Ē hipster ďscene,Ē scenester ďscene,Ē I dunno, there are so many fucking names, so fuck itÖ Basically, we want everyone to come and have a good time no matter what class, ethnicity, what high school you go to, or what group you fall into. Everyone is invited.
Alan: Redbook and Penthouse gave us pretty much the same five-star reviews, so I think that kinda says a little something aboutÖ (all laugh) I think that says a lot about the range and the reach of the music, and how wide of an audience it really can appeal to.
Letís chat about the new album. Venus. Why the name Venus? Was there something you were going for with that name?
Jeremy: There are a few things. A lot of the tracks had sex and love and Venus is a good synopsis of that. That was the initial thing. And also, we wanted to incorporate what the album artwork had to do with it and tie it all in together. I think Venus summarized as far as the lyrics, the feel of the music, and the artwork. We wanted something general and classic-feeling.
Did you have the artwork before the name of the album?
Jeremy: We actually had the cover before we had the name of the album. At least the idea of the cover; Iím not quite sure on the timeline of that.
When you headed into record the album, did you have a vision already in place. Or did you head in and let it unfold as you were recording?
Jeremy: Some aspects of it we wanted to unfold in the studio and a lot of the studio we did in the studio that shaped the sound of it. I think generally we definitely had a goal. We had this glam, classic rock mixed with early punk, mixed with a pop sensibility goal, and as far as the in-the-studio elements that came out, they just come out. It was a mix between doing something that was really focused and doing something that was really organic.
If you could cast Venus as a score to any movie, what would it be? I know itís a tough oneÖ
Jeremy: Boogie Nights!
Alan: Imagine thatÖ (laughs)
Boogie Nights? Is that the answer?
Jeremy: Sure! Better than Jurassic Park
Did the release date for Venus get postponed?
Jeremy: It got postponed quite a bit actually. It was supposed to come out in September. Weíve had finished copies of the record with artwork and everything since August, I think. A lot of labels donít like to release records in the latter part of the year. Septemberís kind of the end of the year for a new band. Then it got pushed back and we had some touring issues. We have to have touring around the release of the record. So weíve been on the road for the past three or four months, and the label liked that, I guess, and wanted to put the record out around then. So now itís finally out and weíre stoked about it.
Daryl Palumbo. Are you guys big Glassjaw/Head Automatica fans?
Alan: Huge. I donít really get starstruck. I donít give a shit; itís just another person that is known by a lot more people than I am known by. But meeting Daryl the first time was kind of a big deal for me. The first Glassjaw CD is one of the best rock CDís ever made, in my opinion. So fucking good. Meeting the guy that did that and seeing that he was cool and a down-to-earth guy, it was cool.
So how did he end up recording some tracks on the album? How did that work out?
Jeremy: He met up with us a long time ago, demoing stuff. He was always a fan of ours, and always talking about doing stuff, and it just kind of worked out We were both really adamant about doing stuff with each other. It finally happened and we were so thankful, because he is a great guy to work with. Heís such a talented musician and good person, and we were excited to do it. It definitely helped our record. We wanted it to sound the best and I think it turned out really, really good.
Wonderful. You guys have been on the road a lot. At least thatís what it seems to me. I mean, I saw you here in Baltimore maybe less than two months ago. You must have been on so many different tours and at so many different venues. Which tour has topped your list as the most exciting, or maybe the most significant?
Alan: Iíd say the first Head Automatica tour. That wasnít our first tour but it was the first big scale, professional tour where we werenít responsible for bringing in fans and we could go play in front of guaranteed fans every night.
Jeremy: We did a lot of self-booked stuff and bare-boned it before. And we were out with a band that we really liked and respected and so it was awesome.
Alan: We werenít signed yet at the time and that tour with HA really allowed us to get our foot in the door.
Does being on tour get repetitive or frustrating?
Alan: Yeah. Yeah, it does get repetitive. You drive everywhere. You take a look around and you only need to be in here five minutes before youíve taken in all the visual a van has to offer and thatís where we spend most of our time. We do a lot of drinking, we smoke a lot of pot when we are in the van. Being at clubs is cool because youíre out of the van and youíre doing something.
Jeremy: And itís always cool to meet people in different cities. I think itís one of the coolest jobs you can have, even though it doesnít feel like a job. Itís definitely job because it is work, but as far as the perks or meeting people, being in different places, and having so many stories to tell, it a cool thing to do.
What are some things that you think you will never get used to about being in a band, touring, or whatever? Like getting up on stage and playing in front of new people. Is that something that gets you nervous?
Jeremy: No. This is what we do. Itís like a guy going into his insurance company. He doesnít get nervous about going to his desk in the morning, picking up that pencil and scribbling off some numbers. This is our office, the stage, and how we dress.
Alan: I think that will never get old is playing a huge show, bigger than usual. Itís like when you say, put your hands up, and the entire audience does it. Like 50,000. On the Jackís Mannequin tour, the people who gave a shit would put up their cell phones and start waving. It was like being on a drug watching it. Thatís a clichť thing to say but seeing that many people doing that at the same time because you told them toÖthatís a pretty heavy moment.
Of all the songs youíve written for WATF, which one you are most proud of?
Jeremy: Iíd say ďHey Love.Ē Yeah, ďHey LoveĒ is a fun one. Theyíre like your children. You donít pick your favorite. And if you doÖitís kind of mean. We recorded more songs that we put on the album, but we felt horrible trying to pick which songs were going to go on the record. It was so hard to pick because it was like having a bunch of your children and saying, oh you canít come.
[To Jeremy] Playing shows every night, how do you maintain your voice on the road?
Jeremy: You definitely have to have at least four mixed drinks with rum or whiskey. And you have to sleep as little as possible the night beforehand.
Do you drink tea or anything?
Jeremy: No. I donít. I kind of think that a lot of people, I used to do this too, over think it. I mean, itís rock and roll. Itís not musical theatre. Itís a rock show. You donít need to over think it. Itís very straightforward. Itís not supposed to be about sounding as perfect as can be but sounding intense.
Recommend us something. We like new music over here at AP.net.
Jeremy: Rediscover, the new Silverchair record is really good. Young Modern.
Alan: A lot of oldies, honestly.
Jeremy: Yeah, I think the people at AbsolutePunk should get into classic stuff, pre-punk. Thereís a lot of stuff we are into.
Alan: Motown. Doo-wop.
Jeremy: 70ís glam. It seems like thatís the new thing that everyone is talking to. But punk is just name for something. But really, what I think was punk, was stuff that was against the norm and what was supposed to be the mainstream. And now punk is the mainstream. Everything is punk or emo nowadays. If youíre anything popÖ Iím not saying you have to go back to your roots, but just realize that punk rock is not punk rock anymore. Punk rock is not so much a sound as it is an attitude about music, life and culture. Escape everything and like what you like. I should make sense to you because they tell you its cool.
Any last words?
Alan: Buy our fucking CD!
Jeremy: Weíre doing something a bit different, and we know that. We donít care if you get it or not because you will in a year or two. And then youíll be behind the times. So get it now, and then youíll be on top of shit.
Alan: Come to our show, but if you are going to stand there like a dickhead with your arms crossed, then I am not sure what convinced you to come to our show in the first place. Cause our shows are for letting loose, having fun, and not caring what the person next to you thinks because youíre probably never going to see them again.
Alan: Come to our show, but if you are going to stand there like a dickhead with your arms crossed, then I am not sure what convinced you to come to our show in the first place. Cause our shows are for letting loose, having fun, and not caring what the person next to you thinks because you’re probably never going to see them again.
i am going to explode when i see these guys again. i miss the shit out of them.
this interview made me smile so hard. :D