Lollapalooza, Warped Tour and then … Urbana? Obviously we’re in the running for the hippest places to hear music. So take this moment to see how one band from St. Louis is taking their time to play here on August 29 at 9 p.m. with special guests Last Fast Action, Shock Stars (featuring Stubhy of Lucky Boys Confusion) and Inept, while on a traveling whirlwind of shows (and interviews).
buzz: How have you been lately?
Andrew Volpe: We’ve been doing very well. We’ve been on the road.
buzz: Where have you been playing?
AV: Well, we’ve done two dates on the Warped Tour so far. We just did two Canadian ones in Toronto and Montreal and we are driving back from Montreal right now. We’re on the last hour of an 18-hour trip, and we’re doing St. Louis and then Kansas City and then Idaho
buzz: Have you been getting a good response from the shows?
AV: Yeah, it’s really cool.
buzz: How do you think [signing with Island/Def Jam Records] will affect your career?
AV: I think it’ll allow us to take things to the next level and get our music in front of as many people as possible. We just felt like it was time to release a record and be able to use all of a major label’s resources to get in front of people. And, so far so good.
buzz: So, what’s the album [you’ve just made] like? Could you describe the sound, what direction you’re taking it?
AV: Our first record was definitely a pop-rock record and then our second album [The Broken Bride EP] was the rock opera – specifically one particular concept that was crazy and off the wall. And, this one is more like the first album in terms of it just being a regular rock record just full of pop songs except it definitely takes elements of the [theatricality] of Broken Bride and really takes all those pop songs to a new level.
buzz: You were on the Warped Tour this summer?
AV: Yeah, we’re doing five dates.
buzz: What’s that been like?
AV: It’s been great. It was pretty dusty up in Canada. For some reason they didn’t have grass at any of the locations, just dust. But, the kids have been great.
buzz: Have you met any bands that you’ve admired?
AV: Yeah, a ton. We hung out with the Rocket Summer a little bit, the schedule’s been crazy because the two Canada shows require a lot of traveling. So, we didn’t get as much time as we would have liked to hang out, but we’re hoping to hang out with more people at the coming shows.
buzz: What are your influences? Because you’re on the Warped Tour and you say you’re writing pop-rock – and those are a bit different.
AV: We have such a diverse array of influences. There are artists that only certain ones of us like, but then there are artists that all of us like. I’d say, overall, we are influenced by a lot of early stuff like oldies and Chuck Berry and the Beatles and stuff like that. And, then there’s stuff like hair metal and stuff from the ’80s and pop-rock from the ’80s and then indie rock from today. We very much have diverse interests vand influences.
buzz: You were at Lollapalooza too, right?
AV: Yeah, that was awesome.
buzz: What’s the most memorable moment from there?
AV: I don’t know. I mean anytime we stopped and thought to ourselves, ‘Wow we are actually playing at a festival right now on the same bill as Pearl Jam, Muse and Ben Harper,’ It was a pretty incredible lineup. The great thing about Lollapalooza is that it’s wall to wall amazing bands.
buzz: Just to get back to the rock opera.
What drove you to write something like that?
AV: We actually started off by writing one song, “Broken Bride,” about a guy whose wife died in a car accident in 1989 so he builds a time machine to go and save her, but he messes up and ends up in the Jurassic Period. We sort of wrote that song and realized that the story wasn’t over and let’s do another song that’ll finish up the story. So then we wrote “Save our City,” but still had only told a portion of the story. We were like ‘this is going to take several songs and several installments to tell this whole thing.’ And once we had it all out there and we recorded it all and put it on one disc, we realized we had a rock opera on our hands.