Alter The Press!


Interview: Man Overboard

After the superb review of their new album, 'Real Talk'. Alter The Press! caught up with Man Overboard's drummer Justin Collier to discuss the new album, BandCamp, their new label (Lost Tape Collective), mixtapes and when can we expect to see the band back in the UK.

Alter The Press: 'Real Talk' is your first full-length. What can fans expect from the album? How has Man Overboard progressed and developed with 'Real Talk'?
Justin Collier: It is definitely a progression from our previous material but not in a crazy style-changing way. Those songs were just songs written 2 years ago and these ones are new and fresh. I think anyone who liked us previously will enjoy it. We worked super hard on it. We recorded it with the same guy who has done almost all of our other stuff, Jesse Cannon (Saves The Day, Lifetime, The Cure) who helped us craft it to be the album we have always hoped to make. Not to mention there are guns and hearts on the cover for pessimists and optimists alike.

ATP: Unfortunately the album was leaked on to the internet. What were your first thoughts when you heard about the leak?
JC: We were well aware of the leak before it happened. We saw single songs popping up on blogs and songs showing up on peoples Tumblrs, Last.FM profiles so we knew that the real leak must be coming soon. Jeff from Run For Cover, Jesse our manager and myself are on top of our internet game. So before there was 1000 mediafire/megaupload links we decided to get ahead of it and put it up for sale. It actually worked out great. Run For Cover is a very proactive and forward thinking label so they were completely onboard. Anyone who had pre-order the album got a download link from RFC straight away. It was just another bit of excitement for people who were waiting for the album.

ATP: How has the response been to the album?
JC: Its been nothing short of amazing. We keep getting great review after great review. The worst review we got so far was still pretty favorable. Anyone who has reached out to us via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Tumblr (Zac is a little addicted to talking to our fans on here), etc have all had really great things to say about it so I have no complaints in this department. Really excited that everyone got to hear it early and that a lot of people are enjoying it. Makes it all worth it. We are just really glad people like it as much as us, we set out to make a record we would listen to and we are glad other people like it as much as us.

ATP: How did the title 'Real Talk' come about? Does it have any meaning?
JC: We have a ton of funny lingo as a band... a ton of sayings and everything. fucxr, jixr, szr, etc. This is just another thing we say a lot and it seemed to fit with all the songs we wrote. Real Talk about girls we love or hate.

ATP: All of your releases including 'Real Talk' have been made available through BandCamp. What are your reasons for this?
JC: Bandcamp is a great place to download music digitally. It gives you options for which file type you want. It also is great for offering free and name your own price downloads. You can also get all of your fans email addresses through Bandcamp which iTunes does not allow. We really like to be able to talk and communicate with out fans so having that acess is sooooo important.

ATP: Do you think BandCamp is an ideal solution to prevent leaks from happening in anyway and do you see the service becoming more widespread in the future?
JC: They just sell music digitally so I don't think they could ever prevent leaks but I think more and more bands are starting to use the website and I look forward to it becoming more common. Our manager Jesse has actually written a ton of articles on how stupid labels are with leaks and how Bandcamp can be used for this purpose on his blog

ATP: More recently you've announced your own label, Lost Tape Collective. What led to the formation of the label and what can we expect from it?
JC: Down the road I would love to release MOB material on the label but for now we are just releasing our friends bands and bands we enjoy. I really love this band Basement from the UK; their bassist is actually visiting America right now and at my house. He's Skyping with his girlfriend at the moment, he misses her hard. We just did a bunch of mailorder. Anyways I really love that band and now, because of this label I can help them build up their profile in America. Their new EP will be out on LTC later this summer and they will be releasing an LP on a really great USA label that I can't say who, later this year or early next.

Apart from them we have a few other bands that I really enjoy and want to help the best I can. Our merch guy James has a band called True Things. If anyone likes his old band, I Call Fives you might like True Things. They are awesome. Be on the look out for CDs, Vinyl and Tapes from a bunch of bands.

ATP: One of the first releases on the label is the limited edition cassette verion of 'Real Talk'. What is the reason for this?
JC: I love tapes and we have done some tapes before so I thought this would be a great first release for the label. A decent amount of people have pre-ordered it so far so I am really excited. I am well aware that your average music listener probably doesn't even have a cassette deck in their home but its really more about owning something physical and limited. I love collecting tapes and vinyl so I like catering to people who enjoy doing the same. Plus tapes are cool man!

ATP: In the lead up to the new album, you've released a free mixtape/podcast. What was the motive for this and how has the response been?
JC: If my favorite band put out a mixtape of the music they like and their friends bands I would be pumped. It was also a way to promote our friends and the Lost Tape releases. People seemed to really like it and we will be doing another one later this summer.

ATP: Were you fans of mixtapes when growing up and do you think they can still be influence in the digital age?
JC: I pride myself on being an excellent maker of romantic mixtapes. You can really woo a girl with the proper one. I think they are cool and a good reminder to people that music has meaning. While I am releasing vinyl and tapes on Lost Tape Collective, I also fully embrace the digital era and I think the mixtape we did was a great example of cool and creative things you can still do even though physical music is not as popular as it use to be.

We will have the first Lost Tape Collective Zine starting at the Fireworks tour. Not 100% what it will feature but if I have my way it'll have record suggestions, dating advice from James Corbi and other worth while reads.

ATP: Do you think the mixtape shows that the style of punk that yourselves, Basement, Transit and several play is becoming popular and making a resurgence? If so why?
JC: I think that bands like Man Overboard, Basement, Transit, Balance & Composure, Tigers Jaw, Title Fight, etc along with Run For Cover Records, No Sleep Records, Lost Tape Collective, City Of Gold Records, etc combined with ideas like mixtapes, limited releases, and any other creative ideas people are implementing, help to create the current scene and atmosphere that everyone is flourishing in. I don't even think anyone should call it a resurgence - I think its just a new order of doing things. Music and the Music Industry is always changing and we are all just doing our best to stay ahead of the curve. We want to keep kids excited.

ATP: What five bands from "the scene" should we be listening to right now?
JC: 1. Basement (Lost Tape Collective/City Of Gold Records)
2. Transit (Run For Cover Records)
3. Balance & Composure (No Sleep Records)
4. Hostage Calm (Run For Cover Records)
5. Tigers Jaw (Run For Cover Records)
I know that list is a little heavy on the Run For Cover bands but RFC is killing it. Other bands you should check out if you haven't already include: Fireworks, The Swellers, The Wonder Years, Borderland, A Loss For Words, Such Gold and some Lost Tape Collective bands AYS (from Germany), Smile & Burn (from Germany) and True Things (ex- I Call Fives).

ATP: This summer you're heading out on a US tour with The Swellers, Fireworks and Transit. What can both new and old fans expect from these shows?
JC: So for a while we were playing pretty much the same set every night. We would play 5 songs off 'Before We Met', 1 song off the Transit split and some 'Dahlia' EP songs. For Summer 2010 we created a really cohesive set that covers 'Before We Met', 'Real Talk' and 'Noise From Upstairs'. We are going to be playing Before We Met songs that we haven't played live previously. I am really excited for the summer. That tour is going to be amazing.

ATP: I hear you're heading back to the UK before the end of the year. Any ideas when this will be?
JC: We will be in Europe Dec 7th til the 22nd. UK/Ireland is the first week! Our buds Transit and All Or Nothing will be along for the whole tour. Basement, the UK's answer to the East Coast pop-punk movement will hopefully be playing some of those UK shows as well. I'm releasing their record but I have yet to see them live so hopefully that all comes together.

ATP: Real Talk' is released here in the UK later this summer on City of Gold Records. How did you and them come together?
JC: Adrian's label is pretty new but he has already released records for our buds Daylight and Basement. I was talking to a handful of UK labels about releasing 'Real Talk' in the UK. As we spoke about before, we kept the music locked up pretty tight. I sent out 3 demo songs to a few labels and everyone said they wanted to hear the whole record before they would commit. Adrian said "These are amazing - I am in." You always need to appreciate someone who is willing to work with your band from the jump. I value that and I am really glad City Of Gold is doing the record.

ATP: Finally is there anything you'd like to say to close the interview?
JC: Thanks to anyone who has supported us thus far, especially everyone in the UK. It's really cool to get merch orders from the other side of the world. It's also reallllllly fun to fill out customs forms so thanks for that as well ;)

Finally, please take a minute to check out and get yourself some FREE music at and if you want free Man Overboard music we give a ton away at

'Real Talk' by Man Overboard is available now through BandCamp or is available in the US through Run For Cover Records on July 20th or in the UK on City of Gold from early August.

Man Overboard on MySpace, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Dates for Man Overboard US tour with The Swellers, Fireworks and Transit can be found here.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!