Alter The Press!


Interview: The Audition - 17/02/09

Jon caught up with Chicago's The Audition ahead of their main support on Alkaline Trio's UK tour.

The band spoke to Alter The Press about their upcoming new record 'Self-Titled', past experiences in the UK, losing original member Joe Lussa, if member Timmy Klepek would be wearing Australian boxers on stage on their next jaunt to Australia, what the future holds for The Audition and more.

Alter The Press: You're back in the UK supporting Alkaline Trio, how is everything going so far?
The Audition: It's great. We've been fans of the band for a long time, the tour is a lot fun, the shows are really huge and it's a new fan base for us.

ATP: Do you feel there was a lot of pressure on you, when you found out you was going to be Alkaline Trio's main support?
TA: It was kind of weird but after hanging with the guys after the first show, they are really cool dudes. Very chilled.

ATP: How did you guys get booked for this tour?
TA: We played the Give It A Name festival last year, toured Australia with New Found Glory, and Alkaline Trio have the same tour manager. At the Give It A Name festival, Carlos (NFG/Alkaline Trio tour manager) gave a heads up to the Alkaline Trio guys to watch our show, as they were playing on the main stage next to us and after their set Matt Skiba came up to us and was like, 'Hey! I think you guys are really good. We should try do a tour together, we are both from Chicago.' So that's pretty much how we got it.

ATP: How many times have you been to the UK so far?
TA: 12. We've done a lot of tours here.

ATP: Best trip and memories?
TA: I think the first tour was great with The Sleeping and Bayside. I don't know, every time we come here something crazy always happens. (Timmy - Bass): You Me At Six was an insane tour.

ATP: Do you miss the downstairs at a bar kind of shows, like your first ever show over here at The Buffalo Bar?
TA: Oh my God! We were talking about that the other day.

ATP: I was at that show.
TA: Wow, with the BC Rich Guitars? What did you think?

ATP: I wasn't expecting that genre of music at a Gay For Johnny Depp (hardcore band) show, no one was, but you guys were good.
TA: We were just curious what you would think with those guitars going off.

ATP: I remember you guys saying that, 'We got metal guitars!'
TA: That was a really good show and a lot of fun. We played a secret show at the Bloomsbury Bowling Alley and it was insane. People were all of over us, people jumping on the drum-kit. We miss those shows, anytime we get to do something like that it's great.

ATP: When Joe Lussa (ex-bassist) said he was leaving, how did that affect you as a band?
TA: (Seth - Guitar) It was weird for an original member to leave but you have to accept that people want to do other things with their lives. Joe felt more comfortable being at home living the more normal life and this isn't by any means an easy life to live to be away from home all the time and to not have really a home at all. Your life is really is transit all the time, your a stranger everywhere you go, not everyone wants that. When he chose he wanted to live a normal life, it's something that we were bummed out about. He's been part of the band forever, and we've moved on to the next chapter. We'll see what happens.

ATP: Your new record, 'Self-Titled'. It's slated for March 31st. What can you tell us about it so far?
TA: We chose to call it 'Self-Titled' because it's a culmination of everything we've been trying to do so far. The first record was our first shot at writing music. The second was the one which spreaded out in the musical realm. This one takes all of our knowledge of everything we've learnt and put it into a definitive Audition album, which is why it is a self-titled album.

ATP: Can you tell us anything about the style of songs?
TA: Some of the songs run themselves more to the second record, most of the songs in the way they play out run themselves to the first record and its more of a bright sounding record. It's more of a poppy sounding record but we still wanted to see if we could do the style of the CD with the musical integrity of the second CD. I know we've accomplished that.

ATP: Your next off to Australia and Danny (Stevens - Vocals) put out a video on YouTube asking fans if they would want Timmy to wear Australian boxer shorts on stage? What is this about?
TA: (Timmy - Bass) Oh my god. This is a joke. I didn't even know about this until I got an e-mail from my mother! We were asking fans to ask if they would want me to come on stage in Australian flag boxers, which these girls gave to us.

ATP: How are the polls looking so far?
TA: Nobody responded because nobody cared. If we switched it Danny, people would have voted.

ATP: You've toured with a lot of big names. New Found Glory, Boys Like Girls, Head Automatica. What's been the best tour so far to date?
TA: (Seth - Guitar) I would have to say this tour. On this tour you have to be the best band you can be every night, because those kids do not listen to bands like us, the more happier and lighter side. The kids; I should know because I've been going to Alkaline Trio shows for nearly ten years, never liked a band that opened for them, so I know what it's like just going there just to see Alkaline Trio, because they are THAT band so the crowds will be not very forgiving. You have to go out there and do the best show you can and hopefully you can take away some of the fans, but thats the kind of attitude you have to have when opening up for a cultish band. You have to be more keen on grabbing the crowd, its not a showcase, you have to play a show and reel them in.

ATP: Any plans after for this year when coming back from Australia?
TA: When we get back, we have three weeks off in March and starting in early April, we are going on tour with an artist called Kevin Rudolph, who has a hit single on the radio in the US called 'Let It Rock' with Ludacris and Lil' Wayne. He's a hip hop producer who stepped down to produce his own album and it should be very interesting.

ATP: How did you get booked for that?
TA: From that magical business man! That dude in a suit!

ATP: Any thing else? Warped tour?
TA: We are talking about a lot of possibilities like Warped Tour, our main goal is just getting this record released.

ATP: Any plans on returning to the UK?
TA: We're trying in June.

ATP: Support or headlining? Can you divulge any details?
TA: Support and no. I wish I could, I'm sorry!

The Audition's S/T album is out on March 31st via Victory Records

- Jon Ableson

Alter The Press!