Hope For Tomorrow: An Interview from Warped Tour Ventura

Photo Credit: Ken Morton

Photo Credit: Ken Morton

One of the winners of the Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands Competition from Los Angeles, Hope For Tomorrow performed the Vans Warped Tour date at Seaside Park in Ventura. Kicking off the day on an exhilarating note, the up and coming collective unleashed a stunning performance, surely gaining a good amount of new fans in the process. Right after their dynamic live show, Hope For Tomorrow made their way back to the press area for an interview with Highwire Daze Online. Read on as we discuss Hope For Tomorrow’s diverse sound, the intense Ernie Ball voting to be on Warped, their heartfelt lyrics, and other topics of interest…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Hope For Tomorrow, and what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your IPOD?
Justin: My name is Justin – I play bass and do backup vocals in the band – and I’m actually really proud to say that I don’t have any embarrassing songs on my IPOD.
Trevor: My name is Trevor – I do lead vocals – the screaming – and probably the most embarrassing thing I would have to say is Metro Station.
Bryce: I’m Bryce and I do vocals. I think the most embarrassing thing on my IPOD is a song I wrote in 7th grade that has a bunch of sexual innuendos.
Joey: I’m Joey – I play guitar and I have the entire Nickelback discography.
Tyler: My name is Tyler and I also play guitar – and my most embarrassing thing on my IPOD is probably Metro Station as well. Me and Trevor dance to that.

What do you think of the local LA music scene and how does Hope For Tomorrow fit into the scheme of things?
Justin: I live out in Hollywood most of the time, and from what I’ve seen of the L.A. music scene, it’s extremely diverse. You’ll pretty much find every genre of music you want to in L.A. And that’s where we fit in – we’re our own piece. Everyone has their own spot to fit in for a certain genre – a certain type they want to play and a certain crowd they want to please – and for the post hardcore / metalcore kids – that’s us!
Trevor: I think that we tend to blend well with the metalcore / post hardcore sound while putting in more poppy and ambient influences in addition to the straight thrash metal kind of stuff. We’re putting in a lot of piano and a lot of back tracks to help add dimension into our music.

Photo Credit: Edward Brandon

Photo Credit: Edward Brandon

How did you guys wind up on Warped Tour this year and how intense was the Ernie Ball Competition?
Joey: We have an amazing fan base and lots of dedicated people helping us out. We had people voting every day and working hard to get us where we are now, and we couldn’t have done it without them. The competition was pretty intense! We were working nonstop trying to keep our votes up and everything. We were in first place for almost the entire competition, and then out of nowhere, someone topped us. We held out strong and it was pretty intense, but we did good.

What was this experience like to play Warped Tour? You guys just got off the stage now…
Trevor: It was amazing! We had what looked like a couple hundred kids watching us, and the crowd was very responsive to what we were doing. They jumped when there was a pattern – there was clapping, just going with the music. It was really an awesome experience – the biggest show we’ve ever played thus far! And we were just really stoked and grateful that we were given the chance to play Warped Tour this year.

Select two songs you played today and what inspired the lyrics.
Trevor: I would say the song Leeches, which is our second song – was about never giving up on what you believe and what you want to achieve – just by people who will try to suck your dreams dry, which is where the name Leeches came from. Like one of the lyrics, “Who are you to try and tell us no?” People will bash our kind of genre because you know, metalheads will go, “You have singing – that’s lame,” or pop kids will go, “oh, you have screaming, breakdown stuff.” It’s about just doing what you love and pursuing your passions and not letting anyone else tell you otherwise.
Bryce: Our second song could be Risk Over Reward – it was the last one we played. It’s just about putting your all into a relationship – any kind of relationship – and it’s the feeling that you don’t really know. You can’t tell the future – you don’t really know how things will work out, but it’s just about working hard at it.

If Hope For Tomorrow could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Tyler: I think the majority of us would like to open up for Panic At The Disco, because I think deep down we all really love that band. But currently a band that would be nowadays – I think we would all die if we got the chance to open up for Memphis May Fire or for Pierce The Veil – because they make up at least half of our influences for half the band. It would be amazing.
Joey: Personally I would like to open up for Parkway Drive. They are my idols – just their work ethic and their music is exactly how I want to be – and to share the stage with them would just blow my mind.
Bryce: Chiodos would probably be another big one. I know many of our members really like and praise their music – and Craig Owens especially.
Trevor: I would probably say either Memphis May Fire or Blessthefall, because they’re very similar to our genre. I’ve been listening to Blessthefall since I was maybe 13 years old – even with their old lineup. And they’ve been a huge inspiration to me. Or if they still existed, Underoath, because that’s what got me into this kind of genre of music is them.

Photo Credit: Edward Brandon

Photo Credit: Edward Brandon

So a new member has just joined us. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in the band, and what’s the most embarrassing song on your IPOD…
JayJay: My name is JayJay Harris – I play drums in the band. The most embarrassing song on my IPOD – I think I would have to give that to Ke$ha Die Young probably. I like it – it’s bouncy. And if I had to open up for a dream band, it would have to be August Burns Red. They’re definitely a huge inspiration for me, just in terms of my drumming, I’m hugely influenced by them. If I could share the stage with them, it would be a dream come true to me and that would be awesome!

You just jumped in there right away JayJay! And now Justin…
Justin: I actually got my wish today. The two bands I would love to open up for would be Ice Nine Kills and Crown The Empire. Both those bands are playing on the stage I just played on. So, I’m pretty set right here!

What kind of touring have you guys done so far?
Trevor: We haven’t been that extensive with really touring per say – we’ve covered a lot of the Southern California area – the popular ones – we’ve played Chain Reaction in Anaheim, we’ve played DiPiazza’s out in Long Beach – we’ve played the Cobalt a couple of times in Canoga Park. We’ve played at Uncle Studios out in Van Nuys. We’re trying to hopefully put something together soon – as far as touring goes, because that’s obviously the next step. We’re working on our second EP right now – we’re having some big guest vocals – we actually can’t say anything about that yet, but it’s gonna be vocals from a Rise band, so we’re really excited about that. As soon as that gets tracked and recorded, we’ll go the next step, which will be touring.

That was kind of my next question – when the next EP was going to be recorded…
Justin: A few of the songs we played today are actually going to be featured on our new EP and we’re going to finish two, maybe three more songs before we get one set down and we’ll have out – so it shouldn’t be too much longer actually.
Trevor: We’re shooting for mid-August to maybe start tracking.

Do you have any messages for people reading this who might want to check your band out? Why should they check your band out?
JayJay: We’re just six normal guys who love music – and we just really want to play and have other people love us. We put our hearts and soul and everything we can into all of our material – so if you guys love music as much as we do, then you should check us out, because I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Justin: That’s exactly why you should check out our music – because all of us love music – and you can tell when we play, and you could tell how we play and the music we put out. We love it all and it’s because of that. There’s a difference between somebody who just plays music and somebody who likes it. And that’s what we do.
Trevor: Because literally this is all our passion. Everything else that is present in our lives is completely secondary. We would pretty much die to play music. It’s just totally in its own element, and we just love to play for fans. We love throwing down on stage – we love writing music and just progressing as a group of friends. And we hope people see that in our music.
Joey: We’re just all huge fans of music and that’s who we try to please – just people who also love music.
Bryce: We just try writing what we want, and so far it’s sounding pretty good. We’re not trying to fit into any mold or anything. It just comes from our hearts and it works out.

Photo Credit: Josh Shephard

Photo Credit: Josh Shephard

And guess who gets the last word.
Tyler: Yeah! I would say to our fans and anyone who’s trying to check us out is just to stay open minded. Not even by trying, each and every one of our songs sounds completely different – it belongs in its own genre. I guarantee if you listen to five of our songs out of any given context, you’ll find something you like in it. We have theatrics, we have screaming, we have singing – we have everything you could imagine. We don’t even know what genre we’re going to be in the next year – we’ll probably be a different band in the next year to come…
Trevor: All of our songs seem to be so diverse. We’re not trying to keep it just any one specific mood. We literally write whatever we think sounds great, and however it turns out – that’s how it turns out….

Hope For Tomorrow is:
Trevor Edwards: Vocals
Bryce Clifton: Vocals
Tyler Wohlner: Guitar
Joey Brown: Guitar
Justin Scott: Bass
JayJay Harris: Drums

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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