Paying It Forward with The Persevering Promise
The Persevering Promise has spent three summers following the Vans Warped Tour, making a good amount of friends and fans along the way. Supporting their album An Illusion in Shambles, the hard working Washington based collective continue to make an impact long past the summer, whether it be on the road or via the Internet. With the many memories one has of Warped Tour 2014, there is a good chance you met The Persevering Promise while in line or after the show. One listen to An Illusion In Shambles, and you are sure to discover a new favorite post-hardcore collective. We caught up with two of the members at the Ventura date of the Vans Warped Tour to find out more about this band ready to pay it forward and make an impact. Read on…
Introduce yourself, what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your IPod?
Matt: I’m Matt Hoos, I do all the clean vocals for the band. The most embarrassing song, I don’t know – I have a lot of embarrassing songs on my iPod. My goodness. I’m going to have to say I’m a sucker for Katy Perry in general. But “Milkshake” is probably the most embarrassing song on my iPod. I listen to everything from the poppiest of the poppy to the heaviest of the heavy. A lot of people would be embarrassed by a lot of the music that I have, so – [laughs].
Jesse: My name is Jesse Barton and I do all the screams for The Persevering Promise. I also play guitar. I think the most embarrassing song on my iPod is probably “Slob on my Knob” by Three Six Mafia.
Matt: I’m embarrassed for you.
Jesse: Or it could be that one Spice Girls song that was famous for a while.
You should cover a Spice Girls song soon.
Matt: Our drummer has been trying to get us to do that for years.
Jesse: I think it’d be fun. We have a good time covering random songs, like that Taylor Swift cover we did. Everyone’s like, I saw Taylor Swift ripped off a song of yours…
Has Taylor Swift heard your cover?
Jesse: I feel like if she had…
Matt: She probably wouldn’t tell us.
Jesse: My good friend Shauna O’Donnell, who interviewed us before, she has been trying to get me to adamantly get that song to their management for a little while now. I need to do that, I just haven’t yet. I’ll get on it.
You guys are following the Warped Tour across the country. This is the second year you’re doing this?
Both: The third.
What made you decide to follow Warped Tour?
Jesse: What made us decide was as opposed to last year when we were giving a label a percentage of our money but they weren’t really out here doing the leg work. It’s not like that this year, we redistributed An Illusion in Shambles by ourselves and we get to come out here and hang out with fans every day, meet new people and spread the word about our music and we don’t have to give someone else a percentage now, so – it’s been incredibly prosperous.
Matt: I think the biggest thing for us is that – when we were kids out here coming to concerts, we’d pay $10-$40 for a chance to even talk to somebody in a band that we enjoyed, that was the single thing that we went home and took home and it changed our lives. Each and every one of these 20,000 kids that shows up to each Warped Tour date, they paid a bunch a money to do the same. For us, I want to actually get out there and meet these people. If, they’re paying my bills, then why would I not want to hang out with them? I think it’s awesome. You really get to see how people appreciate what you do, it’s not just that – you jump on Facebook or Twitter, Instagram. You can see a physical tangible number there but at the same time you dont get to see the expression on kids faces or feel their emotions you get standing out here face to face with them. It really is amazing, because we set out to do this, to change one life, that was our goal. To change one single life – kids tell us every day what we mean to them. For us, that’s amazing.
Jesse: We figured if we started this and when all was said and done, one kids life was slightly different, the same way someone did that for us, than it would be worth it. That was four years ago and now we literally do that every day. We meet people every day who know who we are out here and what we do and tell us what we mean to them, it’s crazy. I’m from a town of 500 people in the middle of the woods in Idaho, so it’s crazy to think that I can go from California all the way to New York City and have the same response from kids, it’s crazy.
The music on this album was recorded a while ago, a few years ago?
Jesse: We did it about a year and two months ago. We did it in April of 2013, we recorded this, we dropped it on September 17th of last year.
How close are you to recording new material?
Jesse: Actually we are on top of that, we’ve started writing some new songs and have a new record in the works. No name for it yet, I dont have a release date either but it’s going to be exciting, man.
Matt: We are making a promise to ourselves and our fans that we’re not going to release our album until it’s perfect for us and for them.
Jesse: When we were on Pavement, we were rushed to get it out the door and rushed to get it on the stands, rushed to do the album art – all kinds of stuff. We felt like as happy as we were with the release, it could have been three notches better if we had had the time do it the way we wanted to do it. So, now that we have parted ways with our label, we get to do things the way we want to.
Let’s talk about the title of the album. An Illusion in Shambles…
Jesse: The song “An Illusion in Shambles” was originally called “Vox Populi,” which meant the people’s voice.
Matt: An old Latin phrase that was used in the coliseum and Caeser would say “yay” or “nay” to whether or not a gladiator would live, but if he would say “nay” and the people would riot, then it was the voice of the people that saved that gladiator’s life. It was all about the idea of listening to the people around you, because everyone has something to say.
Jesse: The actual phrase and name of “An Illusion in Shambles” is something that popped in my head and it’s about – if you listen to our whole record, it’s a record about hope and finding light when you’re in a dark place. Someone can live their life in total bliss and in some sort of an illusion and not really realize that things are happening around them, until someone wakes them up to that and snaps them out of it. Then they realize that false sense of reality that they were living in is really just in pieces and they find light from that.
Any strange or scary happenings while following Warped Tour?
Jesse: Every day.
Matt: Well, I wake up next to Jesse’s feet and that’s terrifying.
Jesse: I’m surrounded by gingers. There’s three gingers in my crew right now. Matt and our new bassist Cameron, and my younger brother Josh who’s also a rap artist named In Depth is on this tour with us as well. I have three gingers in my crew.
And that’s terrifying?
Matt: We are the soul stealers for certain.
Jesse: I wake up and have to check my chest to make sure I still have my soul. On the real, it’s pretty tough out there. We have to drive a lot. Our lovely friend Mandy over here has been incredible at making sure we get to the next place on time. Some of these drives have been insane, just to meet up with Warped Tour we had to drive 2600 miles from Washington State, all the way down to Texas just to do day one of the tour. We did that drive in 48 hours or something, maybe it was 72 – anyway, it was a lot of driving in one day. You get out here, you get tired and you have to keep going. The scariest parts for me are the drives, but the best parts is getting out there to meet our fans and meet new people, make new fans, we spread our music every day. It’s awesome.
Do you have any messages for anyone reading this right now who should go check out your music? Why should they?
Matt: We have plenty and the most common is, there’s always going to be times in your life when it’s hard. Anyone that’s going to tell you life is easy – they’re lying to you. Life is not easy, but if you work hard and keep your chin up and surround yourself with good people that support you – parents, friends and family – then you’ll make it. You’ll do great things. The only way we ever came to do what we wanted to was by working and bleeding and sweating and crying and then when we were in those dark spots, we turned to each other when they were the hardest.
Jesse: We put that into our music. We want it to be clear and we know that is clear that when you listen to our album, that every song is something that every single person can relate to, because they’ve gong through loss, struggle, and not having a sense of belonging. Everyone of us has found that through music, and that’s all were trying to do for someone else.
Matt: Our friends are fans.
Jesse: And our fans are friends.
Matt: They’re all our family. We tell that to everybody and hopefully that everyone that listens to our music knows that at any moment in time, they can hit us up and the second we have a free second to respond, we always take that time to do that. That’s one thing that we can do for our fans. They do so much more for us.
Jesse: We’re music loving kids like everyone else. We’re here for anyone, whether it be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, our personal phone numbers – in person, whatever. Someone did this for us once, we’re paying it forward.
(Interview and Photo by Ken Morton)
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