Interview: A Day To Remember - 22/02/09
Guitarist Neil Westfall spoke to Alter The Press about the band's sold out UK tour, the new record 'Homesick', their new found fame, wanting to build an indoor beach in the UK and more.
Alter The Press: You’re back in the UK on a highly anticipated sold out tour. How has it been going so far?
A Day To Remember: It’s been amazing. The kids have been good and we’ve been getting our rider everyday.
ATP: The demand for you guys at the moment is pretty overwhelming. What is it like to be Victory Records’ hottest property at the moment?
ADTR: It’s really awesome! Victory work really hard, they make it possible for us to be such a high priority.
ATP: What’s been the best show on the tour so far?
ADTR: The second Manchester show was awesome, as well as Sheffield. Those two are pretty close.
ATP: Most people wouldn’t have guessed you have been going since 2003, did you ever think you would get this successful?
ADTR: No. It’s very shocking to me. We always just kind of done what we want, and it’s really awesome that this many people think that’s a good idea.
ATP: Have you found it difficult on this tour with Tom (Denney, ADTR guitarist) being out of action?
ADTR: I think it would be a lot harder to cope with it if Kevin (Skaff, Four Letter Lie guitarist) wasn’t so good. Kevin came and learned the songs in two days, he’s even singing some of the back up parts which we never could do before; he’s doing a great job. It’s very cool but it sucks that Tom isn’t here.
ATP: You gave fans recently the chance to pick the songs they wanted to hear on this tour. What was the response like? Has everyone been happy?
ADTR: Pretty much the same set that we’re playing now. Everyone is very excited, each new song we play they’re all into it.
ATP: How do you feel about playing two shows in one day in London on this tour? (a matinee show at the Camden Barfly, and than an evening show at the Camden Underworld).
ADTR: I’m really psyched. I love playing London, it sucks we couldn’t play a bigger venue but everything was booked solid.
ATP: Before most of the shows, you have been doing a series of in- stores, what was the response like?
ADTR: It’s been actually surprising. We do a lot of signings in the US, the kids come out but here they really care about meeting you. We’ve been signing at these little clothing stores and they have been packed out.
ATP: You’re over here in support of your new record ‘Homesick’. You have quite an array of guests who have helped you out; Chad Gilbert (New Found Glory, guitarist) producing, Adam D (Killswitch Engage, guitarist) mixing, how did this come about?
ADTR: We got in contact in Chad when New Found Glory wanted us to tour with them across the US last year, we said we would do this tour if you would work on this record with us and produce it and he said okay. Adam is an amazing engineer; he’s done Underoath and Killswitch Engage, so we got in contact with him through our manager, who had some contacts and all guest vocals were all our friends from being on tour.
ATP: What are your favourite tracks to play live from the new record?
ADTR: ‘The Downfall Of Us’ is the most fun track to play live so far. It has the best response out of all the stuff we’ve released so far. I really like playing ‘Welcome To The Family’; the breakdown is pretty fun to play.
ATP: You’ve covered The Fray’s ‘Over My Head (Cable Car)’ on the new ‘Punk Goes Pop’ record. What made you choose this song?
ADTR: We went through the list, thought about all the songs, how they made us feel and we all came to a conclusion that, The Fray had an amazing song. It was pretty easy to make it our own. The whole thing was pretty exciting.
ATP: Did Fearless Records approach you guys to contribute to the record?
ADTR: We have always told our manager that we wanted to do something like that, because growing up we were all fans of the compilations and as a band, we set that as a goal to be on ‘Punk Goes Pop 2’. We tried to get on ‘Punk Goes Crunk’ but we didn’t end up getting on that, so they offered us this.
ATP: If you could of chosen another song to contribute, what would of it been?
ADTR: I don’t know. We never really thought about it but we would have to think about it.
ATP: After the UK tour, what do you have planned?
ADTR: We are doing The Devil Wears Prada tour in the US then Warped Tour. Hopefully some festivals and a headline tour too.
ATP: When are you coming back to the UK?
ADTR: Whenever we get time off, we’re going to try getting back over here. We really like playing this country. All the venues have top- notch sound and everyone really cares about bands over here. It’s very easy to tour here; it’s just the weather that sucks.
ATP: In closing, is there anything you would like to say to the English public?
ADTR: Build an indoor beach and I will come here more often. In Dubai, they have an indoor ski port; I want an indoor beach in the UK where you can go surfing. That would be awesome, go for it!
‘Homesick’ is out now on Victory Records.