The Awesome Forces - 01.26.14

Interviewed by
The Awesome Forces - 01.26.14The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

The Awesome Forces

1. How did you get your band name?
Nick - We were in middle school and we were so stoked on the Aquabats. They released Charge!! and the last track on the album was called "Awesome Forces!" We were like, "Dude, maybe if we start a band called 'The Awesome Forces' we can tell people they wrote that song about us."

2. How did this band get started?
Nick - Well, I learned to play the guitar back in elementary school and I'd been messing around, just writing dumb songs, for years. Some time in middle school I recorded a few songs and put them up on Myspace as The Awesome Forces. My friends heard it and they were like, "Hey, let's play these songs?"
Don - We heard the gospel of the Awesome Forces and wanted to spread it to the world around us.
Nick - That makes us sound like a cult.
Davey - We are a cult. Half of the original members were band kids, high on Reel Big Fish, just itching to pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.

3. What bands are you influenced by?
Nick - First and foremost, Bomb the Music Industry. They are definitely the most prolific band for me in terms of lyrical style and they way we operate. We've always had a rotating line-up of musicians and we've often asked ourselves "So, are we a real band...or...what?" but seeing Bomb do the same thing in their earlier years made it seem okay. Other than Bomb, in no particular order: Third Eye Blind, the Killers, The Get-Up Kids, Streetlight Manifesto, The Brave Little Abacus, Big D and the Kids' Table, and Last Martyrs of a Lost Cause are the first bands that come to mind.
Davey - Oddly enough, Debussy.
Don - Raffy, the children's artist.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Davey - Streetlight and Bomb. I always looked up to their musical prowess. Especially the trumpeter in Streetlight; that guy seems to play notes comfortably an octave higher than I can even dream of playing. But that makes me sad, because those bands are both dead.
Nick - Definitely Franz Schubert.
Davey - Schubert, really?
Nick - Yeah, Schubert. And Bomb, and the Brave Little Abacus.
Don - Frank Sinatra, because he got a lot of tail.

5. Best food to eat on tour?
Nick - Coffee.
Davey - Dude! Those nachos at the Wildflower! Oh god yes. But coffee is the best.
Nick - Coffee and granola and yogurt. More coffee than you can shake a fist at; lest you burn your hand.
Don - Lean Cuisine microwavable things.

6. Why should people listen to your band?
Nick - Because people love supporting small bands. It's hip.
Davey - Because everything is free.
Nick - Yeah, everything we release is free to download. We just want people to hear it. That is literally the only objective of our band. We're just a bunch of college kids writing music that we would want to listen to. We try to make energetic records, and we like to experiment. We take influence from a lot of different genres so I think there's a little something for everyone. Or maybe we're just awful.
Don - They just shouldn't.

7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Nick - Zac Rinaldo. I'm a big Flyers fan. Rinaldo goes out there every game with a grin on his face and just hits somebody. He's doing what he loves as a job and he's still having fun doing it.
Davey - John Elway, because he's retired and already made all of his money.
Don - Hope Solo, so I could look at myself naked and be proud.

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Nick - Debussy. Or Jeff Rosenstock. He set an example for musicians who didn't have a full band to play the songs they were writing and that was really inspiring to me. And, Bomb was definitely one of the first bands I looked at and was like "Wow, this is a band that sounds like a million different other things and I can't even figure out what genre to put them in. That is so cool." Not that we'll ever win a fucking Grammy.
Davey - Not a single person. We did this on our own.
Don - Um... I don't know... Lee Harvey Oswald? No, that's not right.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Nick - I don't think I have an opinion on the music industry. It is what it is. I understand its a business but I'm a musician so I'm like, "Wow, the music industry can be really shitty." I suppose more bands should just release stuff on their own for free. That's what I think. And we should win a Grammy.
Don - New music that is released must be released in outer space. You should have to board a rocket, go into outer space, and then, only then, can you release a song.

10. Memorable tour experience?
Davey - I was in the car with our bassist, Don, and we were following our saxophonist, Alex, to our next show and some bros got in between our car and Alex's. So, Don decides to race ahead and cut in front of them and then proceeds to drive 25-mph in a 55 for like 6 miles until we came to a stoplight. We got caught at a red and the bro's got out of their car and ran towards Don's wielding baseball bats. Being 17 years old, and in car full of hundreds of dollars of instruments and amps Don sped into the intersection narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic. Best part of is, Don was so scared while it was happening but by the time we got to the show he was so mad he could barely play bass.
Nick - So, we were playing this show in Bethlehem and one of the bands that was opening was this street-punker dude that was singing songs about 9/11 and shadow governments. I was like, "Yeah, okay, this is punk, right?" And then he starts this song off by saying, "The only good cop is a dead cop!" Well, my cousin's a cop so after his set I went up to him and I was like "Hey, my cousin is a cop and he's pretty cool." You know, just messing around. All of a sudden I'm bombarded with drinks and food and screaming punk kids yelling things like "Your cousin is a pig! OINK OINK!" and "We live in a police state!" and all this crazy shit and the guys doing security at the club literally had to come in and save me from getting torn limb from limb by these crazy punk-zombie kids. Then we played our set and the club owner told us to never come back because we "nearly started a riot."
Don - The time I had a one night stand with Rosie O'Donnell.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?
Nick - AP is awesome. There's no better place for all things punk and alternative. And where else can shitty bands like ours get an interview?
Davey - It's a lot better than TMZ. That's for damn sure.

12. What is your favorite song to play?
Nick - "J. Hoover the Rex," because we drag out the last chorus and we get everyone singing and going nuts. Last show my little brother, Jordan, was rolling around stage in a trashcan screaming the chorus off time and we pushed him into the crowd and he was crowd-surfing in the trashcan.
Davey - "Aw Yeah," because the beat is groovy. And everyone dances.
Don - Either our cover of "Rape Me" by Nirvana or "Sweet Carolina" by Neil Diamond where we don't sing the words, or even play the song. We just scream incoherently for four and a half minutes and Nick cries.
Nick - I wasn't crying, I was peeling onions on stage.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Nick - Not fucking New York. Oh god, Staten Island driving in the summer? Wow. I like South Carolina.
Davey - Canada. Eh? Never mind, that's stupid. Everyone says that. I don't want to make fun of Canadians.
Don - Yes.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Nick - The Aquabats. The Fury of the Aquabats is just my childhood in a nutshell. And anything Nirvana or Talking Heads. My dad was a big fan of those bands and some of my first memories are listening to that.
Davey - Fuck you, I was going to say the Aquabats.
Nick - Debussy?
Davey - NO! Runescape midi music. Yeah, that reminds me of my childhood.
Don - "Rape Me" by Uncle Cracker.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
Nick - I want the power to sprout extra fingers in order to play more complex guitar riffs.
Davey - Would that even help?
Nick - Are you kidding me?
Davey - I don't know, I guess being able to fly would be nice.
Don - Hold on. I want to think about this. What power would I want? I don't know. I'd like the power to sexually reproduce. Or to menstruate. I could spend 12 days on the couch eating pretzels and bitching.
Nick - You already do that.

16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Nick - I drink a lot of coffee. And I detune my guitar so I can tune it on stage.
Davey - I ask Nick's brother for valve oil. He never has it.
Nick - My brother hasn't played trumpet in 7 years. It's some stupid joke to piss me off, and they're all in on it.
Don - I sit down on a stool.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Nick - Fans? [laughter] I don't think our fans know my phone number, unless they've been listening since we released Dudeski. I scream it during the the second verse of "Rye-an Erwin."
Davey - I don't know your phone number and we've been friends since third grade. What you see is what you get, the fans know me. Wait, I make great guacamole. Does anyone know that?
Don - I'm a girl.

18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
Davey - There's amplitude modulation and there's frequency modulation, and I think that's pretty much it, right?
Nick - Oh my God. Radio is radio. There's some good stations, like Radio 104.5 out of Philly. We're from the Lehigh Valley, so we're listening to Radio 104.5. They play a bunch of alternative stuff. We haven't really pursued the idea of getting radio time, or even thought about it for that matter. I think we'd rather have people downloading our albums and seeing us live, but hearing yourself on the radio has got to be cool, right?
Don - What is the radio?

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Davey - Minecraft, study, study, study, write music? Can I put "write music?" Because this whole thing is about music?
Nick - Study. We're juniors at Penn State, so our plates can be pretty full of school stuff. When I have time I play soccer. Or write music. Can we say that? Isn't that obvious?
Davey - We eat. I don't really like studying.
Don - Dig holes with my dog.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
Davey - How would I know about it if it's hidden?
Nick - Oh Jesus.
Davey - I feel like I made a pretty good point. I wouldn't want to seem pompous.
Nick - I'm really good at typing. 110 words per minute on a good day.
Don - I am ambidextrous.
Nick - No, you're not.
Don - I have no talents, hidden or otherwise.
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