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Interview: Four Year Strong

With weeks before the bands UK return, Sean asked Four Year Strong's Josh Lyford a few questions about the making of the bands 90's cover record, 'Explains It All', bands upcoming appearance on the Eastpak Tour with Alexisonfire, Anti-Flag and The Ghost of A Thousand and more.

ATP: Who are you and what is your role in Four Year Strong?
Josh: My names Josh Lyford and I play keys and toy with vocals in Four Year Strong.

ATP: You recently released 'Explains It All'. What was the motive behind doing a 90's cover album?
J: We had toyed with the idea for as far back as I can remember, but somewhere along the way we decided to do it for real, we had a few weeks off between tours and said, lets stop talking about this and just do it.

ATP: Would you agree that it’s a harmless record that doesn’t need to be taken too seriously?
J: I think most records are probably pretty harmless, our next full length may come packaged with a pipe bomb to ensure maximum violence. But in all honesty, I think people who got really worked up over us doing a cover record didn't understand that the point was just to make a fun record, something people could pick up and get into right away because you knew the songs, it wasn't a totally nefarious scheme, it was all about making something fun. Live and learn though oh well haha.

ATP: How did you go about picking songs to cover? Were there any songs you definitely wanted to cover?
J: We had a list about one hundred miles long going into this, originally
we would just all spout off any songs we were into, then eventually we all made individual lists of songs to cover, and we went from there. I would say there were at least 200 songs that were mentioned that we didn’t cover.

ATP: Did you attempt to cover any songs but just didn't work?
J: Metallica, we tried something off 'Load', maybe 'King Nothing'? but we
couldn't get it to sound like anything other than a ridiculously nu-metal song so we scrapped that.

ATP: How would you explain the process of taking someone else’s work and making it your own?
J: Well, like a thief in the night, we stole the master recordings from the original band, and then through the use of high tech printing equipment acquired from a destabilized South African government, we made a 100 percent forgery.

ATP: Do you think the album is a good way for younger fans to be introduced to bands like Everclear, Del Amitri and Nine Days?
J: I hope so, a lot of these bands, people may not know it, but they were the building blocks to what’s going on now in a lot of ways. These are the roots of modern day music, just like we wanted to include 'Reach The Sky' on the CD, without RTS, their wouldn't be a lot of this new movement of hardcore combined with pop punk. If you look at bands like that, and Kid Dynamite and Lifetime, the list goes on, but theirs a lot of history out there that I think more people need to be familiar with.

ATP: You're heading back to the UK later this year with Alexisonfire, Anti-Flag and The Ghost of A Thousand. What can we expect from these shows?
J: Hopefully these shows are a blast, a few of our friends bands have toured with all the bands on this tour and say that everyone’s really cool and this should be a lot of fun. I'm definitely looking forward to it.

ATP: Any chance we will be hearing new material on the tour?
J: There’s a very good chance actually, I don't want to say 100 percent, but I'd say there’s a pretty good chance.

ATP: Do you have any stories to tell from past experiences in the UK?
J: The UK fucking rules, every time we're there the shows are totally insane, and I can’t wait to have even crazier ones! Everybody come out and hang, it will be rad to see everyone!

ATP: Have you got anything else to say?
J: Grip it and rip it.

Four Year Strong's new album, 'Explains It All' is available now through Hassle Records (UK)/I Surrender/Decaydance (US).

UK Eastpack Antidote Tour Dates (with Alexisonfire, Anti-Flag and The Ghost of A Thousand)

07 Cambridge Junction
08 Norwich UEA
09 Oxford Academy
10 Nottingham Rock City
11 Bristol Anson Rooms
13 Brighton Concorde 2
14 London HMV Forum
16 Glasgow ABC
17 Leeds University
18 Manchester Academy
20 Birmingham Academy
21 Portsmouth Pyramids

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!