ATP! Interview: Against The Current on Signing to Fueled By Ramen and Life at Home
"It was actually a quick process," drummer Will Ferri says when discussing how long the announcement had been in the works. "Most bands usually have to wait a while for this kind of stuff but they literally wanted to announce the day of when we signed but we waited a week."
Even before signing to the label with a rich history of skyrocketing bands careers (Paramore, fun., Panic! At The Disco), Against The Current already had established a huge online fan base, which they had built from the ground up. Despite this success, the band still felt like it was an no-brainer to join the Fueled By Ramen family.
"You can do a lot on your own but record labels control the radio," explains guitarist Dan Gow. "You need their backing. You need their promotion. They will help out a lot. With us, we've always had to rush to put out previous releases because we were selffunding everything and had to write and record it in a week but now being on a label, we can have a few months to sit down and have a write. That's something we really wanted."
Also a big plus for the band's decision to sign on with Fueled By Ramen was now they can handle the business side of things on their behalf and not having to result in "child labor" (as Dan jokingly says) of having his sister pack up thousands of merch orders.
"It definitely helps smooth out a lot of processes," Chrissy says. "When we just released our new Gravity EP, that's thousands of order and that's one girl packaging everything after school instead of hanging out with her friends because we're not even home."
When you search Against The Current online, the first thing you are directed to is a slew of covers that were released by the band over the past few years, which have attracted over 2-3 million views per video. Despite this online success, part of the reason they signed with the label was to be recognized as an actual band, rather than a YouTube project.
"We always get stuck in that stigma where people think we're YouTubers. We used it an outlet," Will continues. "We actually don't do that many covers to begin with! We do three a year, maybe."
"We kind of stumbled upon it by mistake. We are not a cover band. We don't want to be a cover band. We want to be recognized as a rock band," explains Dan. "We only really do them with artists that we are going out on tour with like this one, we did "Uptown Funk" with Set It Off. It definitely helps ticket sales and introduces everyone to everyone on the tour."
But the question on everyone's mind is when can we can all expect the band's Fueled By Ramen debut? At this moment in time, the label are predicting an "early 2016" album release.
"Right after this tour, we will start working on the album, but it's a long process," says Chrissy. "The rest of the year will be pushing the Gravity EP and still doing self-funded and self-booked tours with our agent. After that, when the album comes out, that'll be the Fueled By Ramen era. Even before we start the process, we plan on hitting the US again but also international countries like Australia, Asia, Europe/UK and hopefully South America, because we haven't been there yet."
After grilling the band for nearly ten minutes with questions purely about signing with Fueled By Ramen, we move on to more important topics. How they spend their downtown when (rarely) at home, and everything behind the music. When asked the question, they are all immediately quick to reply but insist on describing each others day-to-day lives when off the road.
"Dan wakes up about two o'clock," explains Will when describing a typical day in the life of Dan. "Most of the time is spent on his computer, which is about a foot away from his bed. Playing PC games. I think that's basically his day until six in morning."
"He does this on tour too! He goes to bed about two and goes to falls asleep at like six. Staying up watching TV shows on his laptop," adds Chrissy. "Oh! And getting sushi about three times a week."
According to Dan, Will's day starts at 10 or 11am, kicks off with a three hour shower and then proceeds with him working on Logic songs on the computer in his basement. But Chrissy, who lives far away from her bandmates, describes that her typical day consists of video games or time with her family.
"Sometimes I will wake up really early or sleep really late," says Chrissy. "Sometimes I'll go shopping with my mom or go and see my grandparents. Usually when I'm at home, I'll spend a lot of time with my family. I play with my dog a lot and spend all afternoon until 4am playing League of Legends pretty much."
Dan immediately states on record that he hates League of Legends. Sorry, guys.
Like the rest of us, the band like to spend hours on end either at home or in their bunks binge watching shows on Netflix. Dan tells us that he just finished watching every episode of The Blacklist last week and Will is enjoying his time watching new shows including Fresh Off The Boat and The Goldbergs. Chrissy on the other hand has been watching nothing but American Horror Story.
"I've been watching it because everybody says it's really awesome but I don't know if I'd say that it's really awesome," explains Chrissy. "I like it but I feel like all the ideas are much stronger than the actual screenwriting of it."
Besides fronting their already successful band, Chrissy also shares the same last name of one of the greatest sitcom characters of all time. George Costanza of Seinfeld. But to my surprise, it's the parents of the fans that she gets the most Seinfeld references thrown at her from.
"I think our audience for the most part is a little young for that but I personally watch Seinfeld and I love TV shows like that. I definitely get tweets all the time like, "are you related to George?""
The band are still out on the Glamour Kills Spring Tour (which concludes early April), but plan to take a few weeks off before they get back to writing their debut album.
"Maybe Will and I might take a writing trip to Nashville and have a good time?" laughs Dan. "But...probably not though!"
Against The Current fans should not despair as they don't plan on slowing down anytime soon as they plan to be back on the road later this year.
"We haven't announced any tour dates yet but we don't plan on getting back on the road until late August," Chrissy assures us when discussing upcoming plans. "We'll have all the time before that to work on the record."
- Jon Ableson
Against The Current's new self-released Gravity EP is available now via the band's official webstore.