Interview: Midtown


So, is it [the new album] going to be released on MCA? That has sort of been debated by a lot of different people.

Gabe: Yes.

Are you guys excited about that?

Tyler: Yeah, oh yeah.

Gabe: Yeah, we are excited we don’t have to do another record on Drive-Thru.

Hahah. Oh, shit, you guys don’t like Drive-Thru, or what?

Gabe and Tyler: Hate Drive-Thru.

Oh, geezus, never knew this.

Gabe: We like a lot of the bands on Drive-Thru, and, like, a lot of our friends used to work at Drive-Thru, and…

Tyler: It’s just this weird thing when people, like, lie to you and cheat you…

Gabe: …and steal from you, and like don’t give you royalty statements after being on the label for two years…

Tyler: You know, it’s okay, it’s okay. When we started this band we were like, “Hey, we want to make our label … rich!”

Gabe: Haha, yeah, and we did it … good job dude!

[Gabe and Tyler high-five each other.]

Tyler: And I’m not only going to buy them a new house, I’m going to buy them a huuuuge new house.

Gabe: …a mansion, a huge mansion.

Tyler: A mansion!


Gabe: Wait, and didn’t we say we were going to buy them SUVs?

Tyler: Well, first I said let’s get them one SUV … one luxury SUV, like, a Lexus.

Gabe: Why just one?

Tyler: But why just one? Why just one when there is that brand new BMW that they just need.


Gabe: We need to get them that, We need to get them that one!

[Loud Laughing]

Way to go guys … haha, proud of ya.

Tyler: And you know what? I have four dollars in my wallet right now. But you know what? I don’t care because Richard’s bed is worth 15 grand.

Gabe: YA! And, that’s totally cool with me! His bed, in his house, 15 thousand dollars.

[More Laughing]

Gabe: So, so … that’s why we don’t like Drive-Thru, that and for many other reasons. Like, let me just give you an example. What we’re saying is true, ya know? It’s just that they didn’t do a very good job as a label, they are really interested in making money, and making themselves look good, and stuff you know?

Yeah … hmmm.

Gabe: And it’s like they’re not really interested in their bands, and if a band of their’s isn’t doing that well, you know, they have bands that don’t do that well … and then they don’t invest anything into those bands.

Tyler: They’re like, the bastard children, you know?


Gabe: And they will be so psyched about a band, like when the Benjamins were coming out .,. they were all psyched about it, and it was all, “Benjamins, Benjamins, Benjamins,” then they didn’t do well, and they just dropped them.

Yeah, and then now they ended up breaking up.

Tyler: Yeah, they’re done.

Gabe: It’s Richard and Stefanie.

Tyler: And it’s not even the bands that aren’t selling. Even the bands that are selling, we go out and tour nonstop …

Gabe: We had personal problems with them too. They just had some personal vendetta against us or something.

Tyler: It was like, “you guys said something mean to someone,” or “Gabe gave a dirty look to our cat so we’re not gonna fucking …

Gabe: … it’s crazy.


Tyler: … we’re taking the CDs out of stores, there will be no ads … nothing.” I swear to God.

Gabe: And for two years we had to pretend to like kiss their ass, and do interviews and be like, “ooo, we love Drive-Thru, it’s like a big family, it’s great. Richard and Stefanie are great they care about the kids.” They don’t care about shit … except their money and their fucking house.

Tyler: MCA’s our saving grace.

Gabe: Yeah, that’s why it feels so good to be on MCA. If we had to do another record on Drive Thru, I would have shot myself in the face.

Tyler: Gabe and I actually had this whole thing planned out, we were going to shoot each other in the face.


Gabe: Yeah, and do it in their house so we can get their thirty thousand dollar carpet dirty.

Tyler: I shoot him in the face first, and then he shoots me .. or something like that.

Gabe: So … heh, when is this going to be coming out?

Uhmm. The interview?

Gabe: Yah.

Uhmm. The next few days? I dunno. Whenever I can get the whole thing typed up.

Gabe: Let’s wait until like … January.

January, okay. Heh.

Gabe: We’re talking all this shit about Drive-Thru, might as well get our paper’s signed with MCA first.

Hahah. Okay, January it is.

Gabe: But that is why it feels so good to just be able to really tell, like, what is really up. And well, it’s coming out, dude … the Dashboard (Confessional) shit, you know.

Tyler: Yeah! Once somebody opened their mouth about it, everyone knows.

Yeah, you and Chris are pretty close right? I saw some picture of you two together.

Gabe: Dude, we told Chris not to sign with that label.

Oh, really?

Gabe: Yeah, like, we totally denied it. When Rich and Stefanie asked about it I was all, “no we would never do that.” But dude, we told him!

Tyler: Ha! Gabe is a liar.


Gabe: The thing about Richard and Stefanie is that in the beginning, they like seem so nice, and they seem like they really care, and I have never met people who are so deceptive in my life. And Chris was totally fooled.

Tyler: The same way we were fooled.

Gabe: We were fooled.

Tyler: Yeah, we were fooled for a looong time.

Gabe: But, luckily Chris saw it quickly enough. I was telling him, “listen Chris they seem really nice, you don’t wanna do it they are gonna end up screwing you over.” And he was like, “no they seem really great, blah blah blah,” and he eventually just saw what it really was. He was out here for like a week to spend time with them, see what they were like, and how their business was run, and how they treat their workers … like shit. You can ask anyone that works there how they treat them, it’s crazy.

Tyler: They don’t even pay them. That’s why they have such a high turnover rate. It’s really uncomfortable for a band that’s out working so hard and giving their whole lives for something to have, like, a new person every week who doesn’t know anything about what they’re supposed to be doing at the office and how are we supposed to expect them to know instantly: you can’t.

Gabe: I know a lot of kids are going be all, “Oh, fuck, you signed to a major label!”

Yeah, so what do you think about that?

Gabe: Honestly dude, I know a lot of bands that are on independent labels, making themselves an honest living off of it, because the labels work with them, and that’s cool because they are independent.

Tyler: Yeah, and I would of liked to keep on that track, you know? It would’ve been my first choice. But .. we had no choice.

Gabe: We had no choice. It was MCA or Drive-Thru. And we would not be a band right now if we had to stay on Drive-Thru.

Tyler: Yeah, and in addition, in addition to this all, the people at MCA, they are awesome. Like seriously, they are so awesome. I grew up thinking like, major label equals enemy, that we were going to go in there and there would be all these people in suits and ties going, “okay you shave your head, you grow a mustache, you do whatever … this is your new band name, this is yournew sound,” you know?

[At this time an ex-intern at Drive-Thru records walks by and Gabe and Tyler introduce me to her and we all start talking. She wishes to remain anonymous, and asks for us not to record, or post any thing she says. So we are abiding by her wishes. So her comments will be omitted from the following section. (Even though Gabe really wanted us to use some of her quotes to show how she felt about the label.)]

Gabe: So, well … here, I want to give you another example. You know how last year we got in a really bad van accident?


Gabe: And we had like no money, and all that, and we asked for help, you know? To help pay our van lease, and our van lease was like, 500 dollars a month or something, and we were like, “so guys, could you please help us out?” and they give us the run around … you know, like, “uhmm, well we can’t right now.” And as you just heard they spent $5,000 at the Disney store.


Gabe: If you have all that money, and you’re not going to give it to your bands … at least give it to charity or something. You know?

Tyler: Yeah, you could do something so much better with it then buying toys to keep for yourselves.

Haha. yeah, okay so where were we on this list? [Glances at list]

Gabe: So, wait … yeah, what I was saying about our van and stuff. When we asked for some help with it and bills and everything, and they are all, “we have noooo money guys, Richard and I did not get a salary this year, we have no money.” And we are thinking, yeah, is that how you pay for your fucking mansion, and your new Lexus and shit? What the fuck, you know?

Tyler: They push it off like they have this terrible deal, and they give all the money to the bands, well – it’s not true. They take advantage of bands, and the truth is coming out, you know?

Gabe: Yeah, soon as people see the truth, they are going to be buried. People don’t respect people who don’t have integrity and try to rip people off, and who try to pull the fucking wool over your eyes, you know?

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