There has been a lot of prophetic visions going on about the end of the world lately, including the recent news of a rapture that didn’t come to be. So now as we await for the next scheduled end of times in December of 2012, we have many cool bands we can check into in the meanwhile. Once such entity is I See Stars, whose new album is coincidentally titled The End Of The World Party. We caught up with three of the members at Extreme Thing 2011 in Las Vegas while they were on the AP Tour with Black Veil Brides, D.R.U.G.S., and Conditions. Here is what I See Stars had to say about their new recording, life on tour, parental support, and other current topics of interest…
Introduce yourself, what you do in I See Stars, and tell me what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your IPOD.
Devin Oliver: I’m Devin and I sing in I See Stars. And embarrassing song? Oh man, I got tons! I like to jam out to N’Sync and Backstreet Boys once in a while – and Britney Spears too – her new shit it pretty good. But I’m not embarrassed about that. But definitely N’Sync and Backstreet Boys. That’s good stuff though, so I’m not really embarrassed off of it.
Jimmy Gregerson: I’m Jimmy, I play guitar. I’d have to say – I don’t think it’s embarrassing to me because I don’t mind listening to it – but I jam out to Nickelback – especially their old stuff. I guess that’s kind of embarrassing to my scene or to the people that we play in front of – but I’m down with it.
Andrew Oliver: My name is Andrew and I play drums. And I gotta say the most embarrassing song on my Ipod is – I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Team America – World Police – but I have the theme song of that. (Sings) America – fuck yeah! (Stops singing) I’m just saying if I was at a party with my family and that song came on, I’d be saying, “What the hell is my problem?” It’s pretty embarrassing…
How does this new album The End Of The World party compare to the previous one?
Devin: Comparing it, it’s pretty much the same as the last record. It’s just I would say that the poppy parts are a little more poppy and the harder parts are a little bit more heavy. It’s just kind of like I See Stars at the next level. It’s not anything too drastically different. We just kind of wanted to go in there and write whatever we wanted to write, and that’s what we did and that’s what came out.
Is there any concept behind The End of The World party and where did you come up with that?
Devin: The concept is pretty much based around 2012 and how it’s pretty much the hype of this year. Everyone is kind of wondering what’s about to happen – if anything is going to happen. It’s pretty much just an encouragement to look at it and being optimistic about it. If the world does end, then live every day like your last. You should always do that, regardless of if there’s a motive to it. And that’s pretty much what the record is based around. It’s like party till the end of the world – whether it’s 2012 or whether it just doesn’t happen.
Pick two songs on the new record and tell me what gave you the idea to some of the lyrics?
Andrew: Me and Devin collaborate to write lyrics for the record…
Devin: …so a lot of the lyrics are pretty much the same concept, but a different reasoning behind writing it. It’s all different experiences.
Andrew: It’s crazy, because sometimes I write from other people’s point of view, just because I’m like seeing it from the outside. Not every song is about The End Of The World Party or the idea of it. It’s basically experiences that just show – they’re all true to this living every day like your last. One of the songs for me that are the most intimate kind of lyrics – It Will Be Up is my favorite song on the record. These guys could pick any song they want, but that’s the one I pick. It’s just about rising against adversity in high school. I wasn’t really a cool kid in school. For one year in high school I was cool – because I was cool with all the seniors and stuff. But once you’re not – you just have your band and that’s all you really care about. We all went to high school together, so it’s kind of a cool story – to be the outcasts – just living, writing music, and just praying for the day to get the hell out of there. And we did! We actually dropped out in 11th grade to start touring – so it was pretty much rock and roll.
Jimmy: Also, there’s a lot of underlying stuff on the album, like the song that he was just talking about. The whole concept of that song came from a Youtube video that we found of 3D reversed. So if you listen to 3D reversed, the chorus when he sings, “It will be up” – that’s where that came from. Like Common Hours Part 2 – that has stuff from an old song that I think was just released on Youtube – but it was something that we made on the computer. It was never, ever an officialized I See Stars track.
Devin: A lot of kids liked it.
Andrew: I don’t even know how they knew it was us. That’s what crazy. We made a beat on Freeloops before we ever recorded or released our own stuff on Myspace – and somehow there’s like 26,000 views on this random ass beat that we made. So we took it and made it a mash up for our new track, which we called The Common Hours Part 2. I mean, it’s kind of cool – we just do our own thing. A lot of people have different opinions of the new record. And I feel like the fans that stick with us past this record are going to be for life. Because they love the difference – they love the change – they love the fusion. Some people are going to hate on it, and that’s the business, man.
You did a cover called Your Love by The Outfield. What made you decide to chose that song and has The Outfield even heard it?
Devin: We were originally going to do Don’t Stop Believing by Journey, but there was already a Journey song on the compilation. So the record label that was releasing it wanted us to do something different. The producer that was recording it was like, “Yeah, this song by The Outfield is really good. I think you guys could do it really well. And we were like, “Yeah, that actually sounds like a good idea.” And we just did it, and I think fan kids really liked it, so it’s cool. And no, I don’t think The Outfield has ever heard it. Maybe, but who knows.
Andrew: It would be cool if they did!
Devin: But they haven’t hit us up about it though.
Andrew: I still want to do that fucking Journey song!
Who knows. Maybe on the next Punk Goes compilation? Now on Warped Tour; what advice would you give a band about to go on Warped Tour for the very first time this year?
Jimmy: Just be prepared.
Devin: Yeah. It’s hot and it’s hectic and it’s just crazy! But at the same time, it’s a really fun experience.
Andrew: Be nice to your crew.
Devin: Don’t get jaded by thinking it’s going to be a party every day, because it’s a lot of work. But at the same time, it’s a big party too. Just be ready to work – be ready to grind because that is the ultimate grind tour. Every band is out there doing their thing and playing at different times. Sometimes you’ll play really fucking early. I’ve never played a show at 11:00 until I did Warped Tour – 11:00 in the afternoon. It was insane to me. Just woke up – went straight to the stage – we didn’t get to warm or do anything. Did my best at playing the show. That kind of stuff is really hard – and the heat could do some damage on someone. Be prepared – and also it’s a great tour so be ready for a good time.
How old are you guys now?
Devin: I’m 18, Andrew’s 21, Jimmy is 20.
How supportive have your parents been on the band?
Devin: They really don’t have a choice anymore. (Much laughter) But when it first started, they were kinda scared because I had to leave high school in my Junior Year. I didn’t get to finish high school, so it was really a big risk, but it was like a “now or never” situation. After a while, once things started doing really good and picking up – and right now they’re supportive. It’s just one of those situations where we’re still building a business right now. It’s not like we’re going home with tons of money. There’s still a lot of investment we need to put into this band to make it to what it needs to be. They’re kind of scared because we’re not rich and famous by now – they’re just kind of hanging right now waiting to see – and hopefully everything goes according to plan.
Andrew: It’s just been weird, because this is our second record. We’ve been touring for like 2 ½ years now. It’s stressful. We went in and wrote the record we wanted to write – not thinking about anything else besides just wanting to write a good record. In retrospect, it’s kind of a selfish decision – or it’s not a selfish decision. I can’t tell which one it is. Some bands write a record to sell records – some bands just seriously give in to their creativity and come out a completely different band on their sophomore record and get the sophomore slump. Some bands just do what they want, but try to relate to their fans – and I think that’s what we did. So it was intense to have all that happen and just kind of hope for the business aspect to just keep on going. I don’t think our parents are crazy. Of course when I walk in and like, “Hey, how are you doing?” In the first 15 minutes they’re like, “So, you gonna buy a car or something?” And I’m like, “Hold off. It might be a couple of more years, ya know?” That’s just part of the business. And we’re just happy to be able to freakin’ travel and play music and it’s really cool!
Do you have any messages for your fans out here in the Los Angeles area?
Devin: We just released a new record February 22nd – it’s called The End Of The World Party. Pick it up. It’s a fun time I think and it’s worth grabbing.
Andrew: And we have some stuff going on this summer that we can’t announce just yet, but keep your eyes pealed and get on our Facebook. Tweet at us because we all have Twitters – and we do our best to keep in touch with the fans.
Jimmy: The biggest thing for me – especially with this new record being a little bit different than the last. I feel like a lot of fans on the last record – we were a guilty pleasure. And one thing I’d really love to see is to see our fans not be afraid to step out of the box and to love this band. Whether they’re light, heavy, whatever – that’s what I’d really like to see come out of this record – just core fans – fans who truly love us as a band.
Devin: We’ll see what happens…
(Interview and Photos by Kenneth Morton)
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