Alter The Press!


Interview: Sparks The Rescue - 08/06/09

They might have only been in the country for two hours, but it didn't stop Hassle Records' latest signing Sparks The Rescue for sitting down with Alter The Press! before their first show in the UK.

The band spoke about being overseas for the first time, signing to Fearless and Hassle Records, why it took so long to record their debut album 'Eyes To The Sun', touring with All Time Low and more.

Alter The Press: This is your first trip overseas, what has the anticipation been like, leading up to it?
STR: It's been amazing. When we found out we might be coming over here, it became a slim chance, then a sure thing. We were like 'Oh my god! We're coming to the UK with The All-American Rejects!'. It was planned about two months ago, we never thought it would happen, then our management called us at a show, in Pennsylvania, and said we were going to Europe, and that we need to get our passports.

ATP: You've shared the stage with established names like All Time Low, Hawthorne Heights, Hey Monday, We The Kings and have been going since 1999. What stopped you coming over sooner?
STR: We just signed with Fearless Records, in the US, only a few months ago and our debut record took two and a half years to write, so we were trying to build ourselves in the US, and still are. It's a big market over there. The record has been out for just four weeks, and we've just got signed to Hassle Records in the UK, so it's only made sense to come over now.

ATP: How did the band originate?
STR: Toby, Nate and Ben have been playing music since 1999 and then played with Patrick who had a band and we all played together. After a while, things were falling apart so we decided to form together, to create one band. We've been doing this five piece for 4-5 years.

ATP: The original name for the band was 'Pozer' before 'Sparks The Rescue'?
STR: We started out young, doing Blink-182/pop-punk covers, then broke into writing originals and got out of doing the covers. We started doing screamo/hardcore, then started doing what we are doing now.

ATP: Where did the name 'Sparks The Rescue' come from?
STR: The author Nicholas Sparks. He did the books 'The Notebook' and 'The Rescue'.

ATP: You recorded your first EP in 2005 and recorded the studio release in 2008. Was there anything holding you back for putting out the studio release sooner?
STR: We had 'Stumbling Skyward' in 2005. It took us a couple of years to develop into songs, we kept doing drafts and drafts of them. So our other label, before Fearless, were helping us develop the songs. It just took a long time for us to get everything together. We are extreme perfectionists, there would be one song where we would sit down, and be done in two hours, and some songs which would take two months, and we would question ourselves and ask ourselves if we were on the right track with this. For every song on the record, we have about five or six drafts, we really worked hard to make them the best we could. It took almost two years to get this CD recorded and we are really proud of it. Even when doing pre-production, with the album in the studio, we were nervous asking ourselves 'Have we done this song right?' due to putting them down on metaphorical paper. Our producer, Jon Wyman, was a magician who glued everything together for us; getting it to sound the way we wanted.

ATP: How did you end up signing to Fearless Records?
STR: We went through a bunch of steps, with starting at a small label in New York City, who did our CD and helped us shop it around, having negotiations with big labels for a few months, then Fearless came together at the end who were the right choice. For five months we were saying 'We need to sign to a record label.' We had a lot of talks with the major labels when we thought we were ready, but as the months went by, we thought we needed to develop more. It was a smart choice to go with them. They are a great family there, and have really supported us, by putting this trip to Europe together in two weeks for us and by taking care of all the expenses. It's just amazing for them to do that for us.

ATP: In the UK, you only just signed to Hassle Records. Did they approach you?
STR: Fearless knew them really well for trying to work bands with them, and we played the 'South By South West' Festival in Texas back in March. They saw us play and said they wanted to do this! Fearless then said they will license this record to them, do this deal and start something with them.

ATP: You're in Europe with The All-American Rejects. Did you know them before this tour?
STR: We never met them until the other night. Our booking agents, X-Ray Touring, books them, so our agent hooked it up with them. Those guys are like rock stars in the US so it's crazy because we were super huge fans of them growing up.

ATP: What has been the best tour you've been on?
STR: The small 'Christma-Hanu-Kwanza' tour we did with All Time Low, Hey Monday and The Audition. It was some of the best shows we have played in the US. All Time Low are huge there, and would draw a bunch of kids every night, and for us to open those shows was huge. One time we were with Alex, (Gaskarth - vocalist/guitarist All Time Low) going to a restaurant, and he dropped his pants right there, butt naked! They are funny guys though.

ATP: What is planned when you get back to the US?
STR: More touring. When we get back, we go on tour with Every Avenue and Valencia. Then going on tour with Hit The Lights in October-November. We are pretty much booked until December 1st.

ATP: When are you coming back to the UK?
STR: We have September off, so there have been minor talks about coming over on a tour then.

'Eyes To The Sun' is out in September on Hassle Records.

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