We Came As Romans now find themselves spending their second summer travelling across the country on the 19th edition of the Vans Warped Tour. Performing on the Main Stage this time around, it is obvious the passion and enthusiasm has increased for both the band and their many fans. On the verge of unleashing their third full length studio album Tracing Back Roots, we caught up with guitarist Joshua Moore at the San Diego date of Warped. In this interview, we discuss a few songs from the forthcoming record, what it was like working with Aaron Gillespie from The Almost on one of the tracks, their rousing cover of Glad You Came by The Wanted, and many other topics of interest. Read on as we now join Joshua Moore of We Came As Romans in the Press Area at the Cricket Wireless Pavilion in San Diego…
Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in We Came As Romans.
My name is Joshua – I play guitar as well as write the lyrics for We Came As Romans.
How has Warped Tour been going and what have been some of the highlights so far?
It’s been really good. It is only day three. We had some routing dates up to Warped Tour, so we’ve been gone for about two weeks total so far. And it’s been great – it’s a better three days than I can ask for. We’re on Main Stage this year, so it’s automatically just awesome –and just being able to reconnect with our friends that are also on the tour has been awesome for us as well.
No heat – yet!
Thankfully the temperature for all three days has been really, really manageable.
Tell me about the song Hope that’s on the Warped Tour compilation and what inspired the lyrics.
We were looking for a producer to do our next CD with at this point – this was in the Fall of last year. We went in with John Feldman – who is actually in L.A. – and we were like, “Okay, we’ve got four days here. Let’s write a song and see how it goes.” And we all kind of sat down in a room – the band and John – and John was like, “Alright, tell me what you’re about.” And we told him what we’re about as a band, and he’s like, “Alright, let’s figure out what we want to write a song about.” We knew it would be the next single and so it was really important to have something really meaningful. We chose Hope as a unifying anthem for our fans to really realize how much of a positive effect they can have on the world – if we stand up together for something. And so far, it’s done exactly that. It’s been really unifying for our fans – they love it when we play it live, so that’s always good too. You never wanna disappoint your fans at a live show, and they’ve been really stoked about it so far.
Is there any story behind your title of the upcoming CD Tracing Back Roots?
The first song is also called that – the title track. We just released that very recently. The first song on every CD kind of describes my relationship with the band and how we are as a band. On To Plant A Seed, the title track on that was about how we started and how we made it to getting signed and starting to tour and everything – it was this really young perspective on being in a band. And then Mis/Understanding off our last CD was more about the dark side of touring and trying to figure out how to deal with the bad things that happen in life – mostly on the road for us. We were crazy on tour all the time – and there were some moments of doubting whether we should be on the road or be in a band or anything. And then Tracing Back Roots now – the song really encompasses a summary of the history so far – the whole reason that we’re on the road and the thing that keeps us going is our fans. The support from the fans and the impact that we’ve made on fans lives. So with the whole CD being we’re Tracing Back Roots – it’s about remembering the young outlook on everything of To Plant A Seed – having that youthful energy and eagerness to be positive but taking what we learned with our second CD with Mis/Understanding – with all the negativity and how to deal with that and how to turn it into something positive. And so with the new CD, it’s kind of holding both together – kind of tracing back along the lines of where we originally started and incorporating that into one CD.
I actually have your EP Dreams that I bought from you guys at the Cobalt Café several years ago…
Oh geez, that was a long time ago! I think we were on tour with A Plea For Purging the first time we played there.
That was an interesting bill, wasn’t it?
Interesting is one word to describe it… (Laughter)
Back to the present. What was it like working with Aaron from The Almost on the song I Survive and how did he involve with it?
He’s a musician that everyone in my band has looked up to since day one – someone that we’ve all aspired to try and be like. Someone’s whose footsteps musically and everything else we wanted to follow in. So when it came time to talk about getting a guest vocalist on our CD – he’s a name we brought up for the first CD and the second CD and this CD – it’s always been like a dream for the band. And so we sent him the track, and he was really, really stoked on it. He ended up flying into LA and recording it with John and it was like a dream come true. It was awesome!
What made you decide to cover Glad You Came and has anyone from The Wanted heard or commented on it yet?
That’s funny actually – for anyone reading – my girlfriend is actually standing like 8 feet behind me right now – and we were driving down the road – and Pop Goes Punk was like “hey, do you want to do a song?” And we were like, “sure, okay.” And we hadn’t picked one yet. And we were driving down the road – me and my girlfriend were going to dinner and that song came on the radio. And she said, “You guys should do this song!” And I was like, “That’s a good idea!” So I brought it up to management and the band and they were like “Cool!” So we arranged it and did it – and I don’t know if it was the actual band or maybe it was their management or whoever runs their Twitter – they actually tweeted out the video that we shot for it – so they definitely saw it. So that was really cool when it happened.
What could we expect from a live We Came As Romans show today?
We’ve always just tried to strive for having really high energy onstage – always no matter what. You know, however much you put into it onstage is how much you’re going to get back from your fans. No one is really going to enjoy it if you’re just standing around not doing much. But if you’re getting really into it, chances are they are going to see that, and be really into it as well. So we always try to bring as much energy as we have to the stage.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I would have loved to play with Underoath. And they unfortunately recently broke up. But like I said, Aaron was always a musician that we looked up to, and Underoath was a band that our band as a whole always looked up to. Unfortunately we never got the chance to play with them, but that would be a dream come true one day.
Do you have any messages for We Came As Romans fans who are reading this?
We have a new CD coming out July 23rd – all the pre-orders are on wecameasromans.com – if they want to check it out. Tell a friend! Tracing Back Roots the song is even out now on ITunes and YouTube and everything, so check that out as well. And if you like it or you like us as a band in general, you could come see us on Warped Tour. We’ll be here all summer…
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)
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