So Phantoms came out a few months ago.
About five months ago. Well, April 26th.
Ok, yeah, that’s five months. So how has life been since then? How has life changed?
How has it changed? I don’t know necessarily that it’s changed. For us, I think, we’ve all been anticipating finally having a full length record out and having it, since we had the EP out and we toured on it for so long. That was like a collection of songs, I mean, some of those were really, really old songs, even at that time we recorded them. For us, the change is just being able to get out there and play stuff that we feel, that we wrote together as a band. With that record, everybody in the band now was there when we made it. Our other songs before, people came into the band after the fact and stuff. We’re just excited that we get to play something that we created. As far as life, I’m not sure how much life has changed. We’re still living in the RV, living in here and on tour all the time. It’s kind of similar, we just get to play different songs now.
So basically you guys have been touring non-stop since the release?
Pretty much. Just out.
How long will you guys be touring for?
This year, it looks like we’re planning on … we’re doing this tour, finishing this tour, then we’re going on tour with Yellowcard and that’s going to end December 5th. Then we’ll take the rest of December off and then we don’t really have cement plans after Christmas and the New Year.
The Yellowcard tour is just a small little club tour, right? How did you guys get on that tour?
How did we? Well, they took us out on that initial tour with them, and obviously once you go on tour with a band, you either connect and end up friends, or you don’t, which is kind of rare, but there are times. I think we work as bands well together, so we’re friends with them and we were on their short list of bands they wanted to take out, so it worked out that we were able to get on it.
The last time I looked, I guess about a week ago, Phantoms had sold a little bit over 50,000 copies.
53,000, I believe, now.
What are your thoughts on that?
It’s great. Nothing really comes as a surprise to me, but I still think it’s great. I never forecasted that I’d be in a band that’d sell ten records. As a band, we’re happy with where the album is at right now. Of course, we’d love to see it keep growing and stuff, but I mean, it’s cool. We’ve headlined before, on a smaller toru, for our last EP, but to us, this is our first headlining tour where we feel like we feel somewhat comfortable that “Yeah, let’s go out and play and have it be our tour” and we felt like that we’ve set ourselves up enough to go city to city and have people come out to see us. I mean, as far as where we’re at sales-wise, we’re happy.
Your sound in general is very catchy and very almost radio-friendly, I believe, and so it seems that a lot of fans, including our readers, expected Phantoms to sell much more than where it is right now.
A lot of people would talk to us about stuff like that, and people who had the record before it came out, and stuff like that, “We think this is going to be huge!” and stuff like that. It’s cool to be a member of the band and to hear people talk like that, but I don’t personally dwell on that too much. I mean, I never even thought I’d be in the position to sell 50,000, let alone 500,000 or something like that. I don’t know. To be totally honest, I never really believed, well not that I don’t believe in the band, but I was never like, “All these people say we’re going to be huge so we’re going to be huge!”. It’s not really a shock to me that we’re at the point where we are right now; I’m very content and the band is content too.
This might be a bit too soon to ask, but are there any plans for writing and recording another album?
Everyone in the band always writes and has ideas and stuff. We haven’t really talked too much about recording another record yet. We still want to get this to the point it’s going to get, whether it be 50,000 or whatever. We’re still planning on touring on this for a while. We’ve talked about recording another record, but we don’t really have a time period or anything set aside.
I heard you guys are recording a cover of [The Beatles’s] “Eleanor Rigby”?
Yes, we’re trying to do that. We were home a few days ago and we had a day off and we were going to go in the studio and do that, but I’m not sure exactly what happened. Somebody else in the band probably does, so I’m probably the worst person in the band to ask. Something happened with the rights to the song. I’m not really sure so I’m not going to go in deep with this, but something happened where we weren’t able to record it due to something about rights and certain things about the songs. We were going to donate the money that we would make online to the hurricane. I think there’s complications with that.
Was the song going to be a thing just from the band or was it going to be part of a compilation?
We were just doing it ourselves.
Are you playing that on this tour?
Oh yeah, definitely.
Great. That’s one of my favorite Beatles songs.
We didn’t cover that with that intention. We wanted to cover a song because we hadn’t done it, we were like, “Hey, this is our headlining tour, we’re going to be able to play a longer set than usual, we could do something like this.” Plus, it keeps things interesting for us so we can play a new song so we don’t play the same stuff every night. We decided on that song, which is a miracle, because it’s impossible to decide on anything in this band, but we decided on that and we put it together and we’ve had it on this tour the whole time.
I’m a big Beatles fan.
Cool. A lot of people, I probably shouldn’t say anything before the show, but a lot of people who talk to us after the show, they’re like “You know, I’ve never liked a Beatles cover before, I usually hate them, but I really enjoyed your version.” Everyone seems to like it; I haven’t heard anything negative about it yet. Anybody who’s ever talked about it personally to me has liked it, so I don’t know. We like it.
If the band were on an episode of Survivor, who would win? Who would survive?
Well, there’s two reasons why that question is not good for me. I’ve never really watched Survivor. Well, I mean, I know the gist of it, I think –
I’ve actually never seen an entire episode. Ok, fine, so if the entire band was thrown onto an uninhabited island, who would be the last one alive?
Gee whiz, the last one alive? Ryan would die first.
Paige [friend of mine sitting in on the interview]: You said that pretty quickly.
Ryan’s going to have to read this interview, eh?
He’s kind of a finnicky eater, and I think that the food source would not be up to his standards and he would just die off. His body would just eat itself and he would die. I don’t know who the last one would be. Who would die next?
What about you?
Me? On an island?
Yeah. Would you survive?
Yeah. I think I could adapt. We would probably all gang up and kill Christian because he’s the biggest and we could eat off of him for a while. I don’t know though. I don’t know who would win. I’m going to say that I would win, I’m going to put that out there, just because I can. There’s no one else here doing the interview; I’m going to win!
All right, so when I was trying to think of questions for this interview, I realized that normally I interview bands when they have an album coming out soon or something like that, and I realized, “You know, I’m interviewing Acceptance, but they’re sort of between albums.”
I got a question for you. Do you feel like we’re in-between albums?
I would say so.
How long have you had the record? You probably had it before it came out.
Yeah, it got out pretty early.
Like, two days after we were done recording, kids were like “We got your record and we really like it!” and I’m like, “What? How the flip?”
How did you guys feel about that?
I was pissed because we didn’t know when the record was actually going to come out when we got done with it, so, you know, it ended up leaking a good nine or ten months before it came out, so like, for us, it was kind of – I mean, there was nothing we could do, and I guess in some way it kind of helped because it seemed like a lot of people liked it so it created a good vibe and good press, quote unquote, but I was kind of bummed. We were sort of worried about what it would do to our first week sales.
I think it sold somewhere around 8000 or 9000 copies the first week.
Yeah, I think it was 8300. I mean, we did fine, but I don’t know. We were bummed that it got out. Especially that early. I mean, we had expected it to get leaked, I mean, I’m sure our management would have leaked it at some point, but not that soon. See, that’s why I was curious when you said you thought we were in-between albums, since you had it so long ago, if that makes you feel that way more. To us, we feel that the record just came out yesterday.
I suppose that could be a part of it. I did get it a while back, and I really enjoyed it, but it was like almost a year ago.
Well yeah, I’m sure you got it, since you’re with AP too, you probably got it a good nine months before the release and it’s been out for five months, so it’s been over a year.
Couldn’t you figure it out from watermarks or something like that?
Not that early, not with that one. The version that got out was unmastered, it was a burnt copy from someone in the band, I assume. None of us really know. Before that, it wasn’t pressed or anything, it just came from the studio, pre-mastering.
Definitely, because I got a press copy and it sounded somewhat different.
I think there’s different mixes of different songs. I actually heard a version of the song “Over You”; I heard a version of that, I don’t know, somebody had it in their car, on a burnt CD, on some mix or something. It was one of the first mixes, it had a completely different intro, and I was like “Where did you get this? I don’t even have it and I’m in the band!”. But you can talk about anything you want now, I’m doing interviewing you. [laughter] I’m done!
Now that I think about it, what is a question or two that you hear at every interview which you’re tired of hearing? There has to be at least a few.
You know, for me, that’s another bad question for me. This is the first interview I’ve done in like five months. I used to do them more, I think, because Jason and I were the original members of the band, so I would get clumped in to do more interviews, but lately it’s usually Jason and Christian, or Ryan. I don’t really do interviews that much. No one ever interviews me. But a question that they always ask … I guess, a lot of the questions are kind of ordinary. The ones that I don’t like personally are, well, I don’t know why I really don’t like them, but the ones that are like “If you were a dessert, what would you be?” or something like that. I can never really think of a good answer, because, to me, I feel like I should always have a really good answer to that. I’m like, huh. I don’t know. I guess that’s about as good as it can get. Another one, I guess, is one that we used to get a lot but not so much anymore, is “What do you guys think of being called an emo band?” No one asks that anymore.
I think everyone realizes …
Yeah, people realize it’s done.
Personally, the one I can’t stand the question about where band names come from.
Oh that’s a bad one too, because the story of our name sucks so I hate answering. Like, sometimes, there’s really weird names, so I can see why you’d want to ask, but normally… yeah. We get it about 50% I think, but not too much.
I think it’s because Acceptance isn’t a terribly weird name.
This is random, but did you know that Pink is sitting over there? [While walking to the RV earlier, I had seen Pink sitting at a restaurant a few yards away]
Where? Oh, no way! Dude, it’s a famous day today! We saw Ashlee Simpson at Guitar Center today! She was with that tall dude from her band, who we actually met in Florida. You know the guy with the mohawk? He was in there shopping with her. We actually met him, this is a random side story, we were playing in Orlando. Nick plays Truth Drums, and they have a representative in Orlando who is Chris Kirkpatrick from *N Sync’s personal assistant. He came out to our show because Nick plays Truth Drums and our whole tour, with Anberlin and Saosin, we got invited to go to Chris Kirkpatrick’s house after the show, he would cook for us. I mean, I didn’t even know who he was. I knew who *N Sync was, and I was like, “Who’s Chris Kirkpatrick?” and everyone was like, “It’s this guy!” [makes hand motion on top of his head to imitate Chris Kirkpatrick’s little dreadlock-hair bundle thing. You know what I’m talking about]. You know? We end up going over to his house in Orlando and me and Kyle, our keyboard player, we were sort of late because we were getting ready in here [the RV]. I felt like I had tosmell decent because I’m going into one of these dude’s houses. And we go in and like, we’re looking around, we can’t see anyone because everyone is downstairs, but we didn’t know that at the time. This guy comes walking out of the garage with his arms full of meat —
Did he have the [Chris Kirkpatrick hand motion]?
No, he didn’t have that, so he looked a lot different. I thought he was the help or something, I didn’t know who he was. We’re looking around and I’m like “Where is everyone?” and I felt kind of rude because I didn’t know who he was and I wasn’t saying “Hey thanks for letting us come over.” But yeah, he tells us that everyone is downstairs so I say thanks and later on, I’m downstairs and I see him cooking and it clicked. Oh, that’s him! It was good, he had ribs and hot dogs and stuff and everyone was swimming and stuff. It was one of the most bizarre nights of my life. But anyways, the dudes from Ashlee Simpson’s band were there that one night and that’s how I met them, but I don’t think they remember us for whatever reason or influence they were under.
Isn’t she blonde now?
Yeah, she’s blonde now.
I prefer the black.
I’m not really an Ashlee fan. But that’s really Pink? Wow. Pink’s kind of hot to me. Anyways, we can keep going, maybe she’ll come by this way.
What’s your favorite food?
Dude, that’s a hard one for me again.
It doesn’t have to be specific. You can say a type of food, like Italian or Chinese.
I think just overall, what will please me in any mood is a burrito. I like Chipotle and Baja Fresh is good too. But you guys have Sharky’s? They have this fish burrito that’s really good. I like stuff like that.
This is random but are you going to San Diego anytime soon?
Well there’s this place you should stop at, it’s in Carlsbad, which is just a little bit north of San Diego. It’s called Alejandro’s and it’s delicious. I got their chicken burrito and it’s this big [hand motion, gigantic] and it’s only $3. You should go.
I’ll have to check that out. Carlsbad, I know where that’s at.
Paige: Pirates or ninjas?
What’s the deal with that? I saw some girl with a shirt like that yesterday, it said “Pirates hate ninjas” or something like that. I’m going to go with ninjas though. Speaking of pirates, I thought there was this big Pirates of the Caribbean ad behind us, and it’s like this porn version of the movie. [Turns around and opens window. There’s this giant window poster of a porn movie called “Pirates” based on the movie; we’re in front of the Hustler store, that’s why] I kept on looking at it today and I’m like, “Pirates of the Caribbean is still getting that kind of press, with a huge window spot and stuff?” I thought I’d open the window and show you guys that. I will say that I’ve been in that store once. I don’t know if it still is, but Island used to have an office right above there and we were there one day before we signed to Columbia, meeting some people, and I was really thirsty so they told me there’s this coffee shop downstairs. And they’re right, they serve coffee down there. So I went down to go get an Italian soda down there, but it’s not called an Italian soda down there. It’s like, the nastiest names for drinks. I wasn’t thirsty after I read the menu. I was like, “This is nasty, I don’t want to drink, like, Jenna Jameson’s Saliva.” That would be the name of one of the drinks.
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke by far. Coke just destroys it for me, I can’t handle Pepsi. I stopped drinking pop.
Oh you call it pop.
What do you call it, soda or Coke?
I used to say Coke, since I’m from Atlanta, but now I say soda.
My fiancee is from Ventura and she calls everything Coke. She’s like, “Will you get me a Coke out of the fridge?” and I’ll go over and there’s a Dr. Pepper and a Sprite. It confused me for a while.