Continuing our coverage of the Vans Warped Tour stop in Holmdel, New Jersey, we are pleased to bring you an interview with Four Year Strong’s guitarist/vocalist Alan Day. Alan took the time to discuss with us the band’s recent signing to Pure Noise Records, their new record Go Down In History, and his expectations for the new Dumb and Dumber sequel. You can read the transcription of the interview below:
TGS: How’s the tour going so far, about halfway through?
Alan: Yeah, tour’s great. Can’t complain. This is our fourth time every doing the Warped Tour. So we’re kind of getting the hang of it.
TGS: Yeah, I was going to say, you guys are getting to be veterans at this point. So do you have any advice for the younger bands on the tour?
TGS: Not trying to take anyone under your wing yet?
Alan: No. It’s just learn as you go.
TGS: You guys have been away I guess for a little bit. How has the response coming back after the while away?
Alan: It’s been good. You definitely notice the difference. It’s crazy, two years not being on the road, how big of a difference that makes in this day and age, but it’s still been great.
TGS: We saw you guys on the Bayside tour, and you guys got a great response there. So it’s gotta be encouraging to come back and get a great response.
TGS: So I guess it’s got to be difficult getting started back up again, and starting to record new music again. So how is the process going, because you guys are releasing a new EP in July, Go Down in History is the name of the EP, on July 22nd, so how was the process for recording that album and getting back to it?
Alan: It was great. We did it with our good friend Machine, who produced our last album, not our last album, but the record before that called Enemy of the World. And we just had a great experience working with him, and looking back we just wanted to do that again. So we worked with him, and it came out f—ing great. We had a lot of fun writing. We kind of wrote a little bit in the studio, a little bit at home.
TGS: So you kind of brought some songs in, but you wrote as you went too?
Alan: Yeah, for sure.
TGS: So you guys just signed recently to Pure Noise Records. What was the decision making process for signing to Pure Noise Records, when you were on a little bit bigger labels before?
Alan: Honestly, we just didn’t have great experiences on major labels, so we just decided to switch it up. We were talking to a few labels, and we had a lot of mutual friends with Jake Rounds, who owns Pure Noise. And he just hit us up, and said “we’ll do whatever.” He really wanted to work with us because he was a fan of the band, and he seemed like a great dude- great thing to do.
TGS: So it seems like they’re putting a lot of attention into you.
Alan: He has a good vision for his bands, it seems like. He seems to really care about them, not just to make money- not that you make money in the music industry these days (laughs).
TGS: So you guys just recently released a song called “Tread Lightly,” which was the first single from the album. How indicative is that song of the rest of the album?
Alan: It’s much faster, I think, than the other songs on the album.
TGS: So was it a conscious decision to release that one first?
Alan: Yeah, i guess just because it was kind of a ridiculous, crazy song. We’ve never been the type to release the “single” first. We want to release a cool song, to show people, “we’re doing this cool s—,” you know. We just love the riff in the beginning of that song- the fast energetic… We thought it would be cool. Yes, the record is kind of like that, but not necessarily as fast, but it is very riffy. It’s in the vein of older Four Year Strong stuff. We like to say, because our last record people didn’t really care for at first… it’s going over better now but…
TGS: It’s more internet people saying that the record…
Alan: We know now that the record kind of came out of left field, so this, what we’re putting out, we kind of wanted it to sound like it would come out between Enemy of the World and In Some Way, Shape, or Form. We didn’t want to go back too far, to like Rise or Die Trying, which everyone wants us to sound like. But we’re not in the same place as we were when we wrote that record.
TGS: So is this indicative of what’s coming for the band? Like do you have a full length planned?
Alan: No full length planned- we don’t really have anything planned. We’re just going with the flow, doing whatever. But we do have some more songs written that are pretty f—ing sweet, and we’ll probably end up in the studio whenever- in the fall or something.
TGS: Just keep on putting songs out as they come to you. That’s cool.
TGS: So I wanted to ask a sort of silly question to close it out. You guys obviously have the cultural references on the new EP. “Tread Lightly” is obviously a Breaking Bad reference, and you have a song on the EP also named after a Dumb and Dumber reference. So what are your expectations for the new Dumb and Dumber movie?
Alan: Honestly, not very good. The previews, the trailers I’ve seen. I hate when people do sequels and just reuse the same jokes. The trailer for the sequel is just all the same jokes from the first one, done a little differently. The reason the first one is so funny is because you’re hearing that s— for the first time, it’s genius. Just do that again, you know?
TGS: A little bit downtrodden on the Dumb and Dumber Too front, then.
Alan: I’m hoping I’m wrong
TGS: The name itself is stupid, but let’s for the best. Do you have any fall tour plans or anything?
Alan: I mean we’re working on some ideas, but no solid plans yet.
TGS: Awesome, thanks for talking with us, we appreciate it. And remember, make a statement and open your mind.