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Interview: Washington Square Park

Chalk Washington Square Park up as a future fan favourite - they are one of a multitude of top notch pop punk bands from the musical hotbed that is New Jersey. Currently on their first full US tour, the band currently have a 3 track EP, ‘Simple With No Explanation’ out on Animal Style Records..

The four piece, comprising of Max Rauch and Keith Williams; both on guitars/vocals, bassist Brian Legentil and drummer Mike Collins, are weighing down more on the side of punk than pop, but steadily making a name for themselves in the scene. They sound like of all the bands you used to love listening to growing up like MxPx and Millencolin, they’re fun pop punk with a kick to it. ATP! spoke to them about their US tour, Max’s move from drummer to frontman and what they have in store for the future.

ATP: What are the first 3 things that people need to know about Washington Square Park?
Keith (guitar/vocals): We're best appreciated live.
Brian (bass): We're not named after The Wonder Years song!
Max (guitar/vocals): We love each other more than any band loves one another.

ATP: You’re currently on your first full US tour - how’s that going?
Max: We met a lot of great people who has helped to keep the tour going, we're extremely grateful.
Brian: Great, everyone has been super nice and we found out everyone and California says "hella"

ATP: How do you prepare for a full US tour?
Keith: Double check with promoters, order and organize merch, get the van a tune up, shine my dancing shoes.

ATP: What have been the stand out moments of the tour so far?
Brian: Getting to California and was a huge deal for us, especially after 6 days of 105 degree weather from Gainesville FL to Arizona. Also pretending we were a Christian band at a Christian venue in Rocklin California.

ATP: Max says he dropped out of school to tour in a band - do you stick by that decision? Would you recommend it?
Max: Of course I stick by that decision, WSP is everything to me. I would recommend doing what you want to do, not just because I did it, the musician's lifestyle is not for everyone and you really have to love what you do.

ATP: Max, how has the move from drumming to vocalist been for you? What prompted that change?
Max: The need to write my own songs and sing my own words.

ATP: How has the transition from drummer to vocalist been?
Max: The transition has been great, I've been able to interact with the crowd way more than I ever have playing drums and I don't think I'll ever look back.

ATP: You have a bunch of songs for free up on your Bandcamp. How do you think free giveaways of music helps/hinders a band?
WSP: Brian: I think it definitely helps, if you're on the fence about something you won't pay for it anyway so we think it's a great way for people to check us out.

ATP: Earlier this year you joined up with Animal Style Records to release a self-titled record. How did you join up with them?
Brian: Matt hit us up asking if we wanted our record released on vinyl on his label and of course we did!

ATP: What are your plans once you come back from tour?
Brian: We're doing a two week tour with True Things the first two weeks of August. that will hit up the troi-state area and the Midwest that we're really stoked for.

ATP: Is there anything else you'd like to say to close the interview?
Brian: Check out our zine Horse Feast! It'll blow your mind metaphorically and literally.

Washington Square Park on MySpace, Twitter, Bandcamp, and Facebook.

Words by Chantelle 'Kiki' Goodchild

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