What comes in mind when you think about catchy, emotionally charged pop punk? Well, for many, its Don't Look Down. The bands perfect blend pop and punk has allowed thousands to fall in love with what they do. As their fan base grows by the day, the excitement grows as new things arrive by the moment. I had a chance to share a few words with Ryan Ogren, guitar and vocalist for the band, as we discussed life in the band, their past, and their future.... www.dontlookdown.com
Kamtin - Hey! Hows it going? I hope you had a super rad Thanksgiving...Can you please give us a quick introduction?,
Ryan - Hey whats up, this is Ryan from the band Don't Look Down. I sing and play guitar in the band, I'm the one with the long hair.
Kamtin - What happened between Don't Look Down and Iguana Records. You guys released "Start The Show" on that label, then it seemed like things went a little sour between you two. Can you give us the story?
Ryan - Basically we signed a big deal, meaning a lot of options after our first record, and over the year where our record Start The Show came out, we were working really hard. Touring a lot, I mean a lot. We pretty much went on the road full time starting Jan. 2002, and Iguana just didn't seem to know a lot about promoting us from a street level. They didnt have any credibility in the scene because they had no other bands on the label. We pretty much got out of our contract by a fluke. We could have stayed with the label if we wanted, but felt it was in our best interest to be without a label looking for a new one as oppossed to staying with Iguana.
Kamtin - There are many bands out there right now that all seem to be sounding the same as the last. I mean, you have to have respect for anyone that writes their own music, but at times, everything just seems to be a bit redundant. Do you feel Don't Look Down is different from many of the other bands out there?
Ryan - Well, I feel like the new stuff that were writing is definitely different. Our old stuff, though we were proud of it at the time, was definitely a little similar to other pop punk bands, which isn't a bad thing cause that style of music is popular, but now we want to challenge ourselves in writing a completely diverse, and beautiful record. And thats what we plan to do. Our band is not huge or anything so we really wanna make this record define
our band and our sound.
Kamtin - How was it like to have Will Salazar of the late Fenix-TX to produce the "Five EP"? Is it possible that we can see some more work with the band and him?
Ryan - Will is an amazing song writer and a great guy. We're so stoked to have been able to work with him and I can assure you more from him in the future. All check out Denver Harbor and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Kamtin - Whats next for Don't Look Down. Can we expect a new full length anytime soon?
Ryan - All were doing is writing right now. Its the main priority for us. We plan to go record the new album in Jan/Feb and put out a full length in April/May. Were taking some time off from the road right now, but have a couple shows in December with some rad bands like Simple Plan and The Used. We'll probably hit the road full time again in March, and tour out the rest of the year.
Kamtin - These days many new bands have been signing to major labels without ever releasing anything. I personally think the whole sell out issue is stupid, but many people will view a band as not staying true to the punk lifestyle and calling them sell outs (whatever that may mean). How do you feel about this?
Ryan - We've been trying to sell out for 2 years, haha. But honestly I feel our band works just as hard, or harder than any band out there. All we have is credibilitly at this point. We've been touring for 2 years straight and I dont care about major labels or indie labels, as long as your doing what you wanna do musically you can't really sell out.
Kamtin - What are some of the bands you have really been into these days? Are there any unsigned acts that have really caught your attention lately?
Ryan - A band called A Wilhelm Scream is amazing, but I think they might be signing to Nitro but shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! But I've been listeing to a bunch of stuff, like the Recover EP. I can't wait for their new cd. The Matches, the new Blink is awesome, anything from THRICE, the new Strike Anywhere, the new Coheed, YC, Matchbook Romance, Fallout Boy, Brand New, the Acceptance EP, and some Death Cab for Cutie.
Kamtin - How has the move to Nitro Records been? Were there any other labels interested in you guys besides Nitro? Also, what made you guys decide to choose them?
Ryan - Nitro is rad, amazing label, amazing people. A couple other labels were intrested, but we really felt Nitro would be a good home for us for a while, and it is. Its really all about not having thumbs that made us choose Nitro.
Kamtin - Well, I hear a tasty burrito calling my name. Thanks so much for all your help and supporting AP.net. We all appreciate it deeply. Do you have any last words for all the fans out there?
Ryan - Thanks to all the kids that make us work as hard as we do. You guys make it sooooooo worth it! Look for our new album out next year. www.dontlookdown.com I LOVE AP.NET!!!!!!!