PropertyOfZack Interview : : This Providence

by Zack Zarrillo - May 3, 2012

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PropertyOfZack had the chance to speak with Dan Young of This Providence at the beginning of Go Radio’s Lucky Street Tour. Dan and I discussed leaving Fueled By Ramen Records, jumping back on the road, their new EP, future plans for an album and touring, being on their own, and much more. Read up on everything below!

For the record, could you state your name and role in This Providence?
My name is Dan Young, I sing for This Providence. 

So this tour is your first tour in a long time. You’re a few weeks in now. How has it been to get back out there?
Yeah, it’s been two years off the road working on songs. And trying to make stuff work with the record label, which didn’t end up happening. Yeah two weeks on tour. We had three weeks’ notice about this tour. It’s a two month tour. Because a band called There For Tomorrow dropped off and we were like “Hell yes, let’s do it.” We had to get back on the road. 

It was a great situation or chance for you guys. But were there nerves to jump back in with close to no notice?
Absolutely, yeah. It all kind of happened at once, you know? We found out that the record label wasn’t seeing what we were seeing in the songs. So then we decided, ” Okay. Well let’s record an EP. We’ve got to get some music out ASAP.” It was perfect timing. Within a week of all that happening, we got offered this tour. 

So you had decided to do the EP before you were offered the tour?
Yeah. We were already going to do that and look for tours, and this one just kind of fell into our laps. Yeah it was awesome. But it was definitely two years off the road and suddenly everything just happened at once. It was a little nerve-racking. And on top of that, I had to do my taxes. I’m a little OCD so it takes me a while. 

Fans are always excited when a band that has been away for a while comes back. But there can be nerves as well that some of the fan base might not be there and you have to rebuild somewhat.
Yeah, we’re definitely rebuilding. There’s definitely a lot of people who kind of just thought that we were done. Which is cool. I like the idea of having a fresh start and I feel like kind of going in a different direction musically. We’re an independent artist now. So it’s kind of like a fresh start. 

And fans have been receptive so far?
Yeah. We’ve had great reactions and people are excited. Definitely, I think, for the people that have kept in touch with us and have kept following us, it’s really exciting that we’re back at it and that we chose to stick with it. Despite the business side of things. 

When we spoke in December, things were still on with the label. We’ve seen more as of late where bands will go back and forth with their label  for a long time and then it just doesn’t work out. A lot of fans might be like, “I Just waited two years and my favorite band just got screwed a little.”
Yeah, exactly. 

Obviously, you’re happy now to be able to do what you want. But is it tough to look back and realize you stepped away for a long time?
Exactly. We did not plan on taking two years to write a record. It was very frustrating for us and our fans. A lot of it too was emotional stuff. A lot of these songs are talking about me. Just kind of coping with the anxiety that came along with trying to put out a record that the label would love and that we would love and that fans would love. It’s a lot of pressure when it’s record number four. That’s part of  what took so long was that I had some emotional bullshit I had to get through before I could start writing the songs I really wanted to write. 

Not to bash FBR at all, but writing for a year and a half, you obviously feel that a lot of the songs are good songs. So now you guys have a hell of a lot of songs that you’d love to use. How did you go about narrowing the songs down for the EPs? Was that to get something out there quickly?
The EP was that we just took our four best songs. The four songs we were most excited about. With this whole label thing, and going back and forth, and having to write more and more. It actually made me a better song writer; really forced us to be the best that we could be. So now, the songs that we wrote a year ago, there are still definitely some keepers, but for the most part it’s the new stuff that we’ve been writing. Where we got it like, “Okay, this is the sound that we want to go for.” It’s a little bit more rock and roll, a little bit more natural. 

When did it become official that you were off the label?
I don’t remember exactly. Around when I posted my blog. I feel like it was about a month ago. I just kind of made a statement.

So it was a quick choice to get right into the studio.
Yep. That kind of came hand in hand. Like, “Okay, we don’t have a label. What do we do now?” And we had to decide within the next couple of days. There were even conversations about “Do we want to keep doing this? Do we want to give it another try?” 

Was that a serious conversation that you guys had?
It was. We had a conference call, because Dave lives in LA and our manager is in Nashville. So it was a bit of a heated discussion. I was saying, “So what? Who cares if the label doesn’t believe in it? I believe in it. No one is going to believe in it if we don’t. Either we do it whole heartedly or I go do something else.” It was a little nerve-racking. It was seriously two nights later when we jumped on the phone and I was like “Yep. I’m in.” I don’t think we had the capacity to let something go so easily. Something that we’d spent so much time on. 

You obviously weren’t always on Fueled By, but it’s been some time since you haven’t been. What’s it been like doing this all by yourself now? And trying to get an EP out with two months of recording and not eight months?
It’s a lot more work. But it feels awesome actually. I actually prefer it. If we could get away with continuing to be an independent band and grow our fan base and that sort of thing, I’d actually prefer that. I feel like we sat back and let the label do their thing. When really we should have been having a lot more input.

I’m sure it’s tough having all of that on your own shoulders now. But is it great to have your hands on your own creation now?
Yeah, it’s great man. When you are releasing something on the record label, you have to take into account their demographic. Where they are going to be pushing and promoting this stuff. For us now, we can do whatever the hell we want. We can put this wherever we want. It’s just a matter of doing the work to get there. 

You’ve played a new song live. And I think we’ve heard an acoustic version of another. Have fans been into those tracks?
Yeah man, it’s been great. We even recorded the songs in a live kind of manner where there is no layering of guitars. Whatever we can pull off live, that’s how we recorded it. So the songs translate really well live it’s pretty sweet to see the reactions the first time they hear the song. They’re stoked.

So when should we actually be seeing the EP released?
The goal is May 1
st. I’m sure we will be announcing that soon. I’m not entirely sure if we can announce that yet. Because I’m tired of saying, ” Yeah we’ve got a new record coming out. An EP coming out soon. You should pre-order it.” They’re like, “Well, what’s soon mean? You guys always say everything is happening soon.” 

Will it be digital only?
It will be digital and CD. We’ve discussed maybe doing vinyl at some point too. 

This tour wasn’t expected. And you were hunting for more tours. This tour goes through May which is a chunk of time. I think you guys had an issue that you weren’t a band for so long and that some bands might not have realized that you were available for touring either.
Yeah. Actually with this tour, Go Radio contacted our manager like ages ago. Probably four or five months ago. And our manager was like, “Nah. They’re writing.” We had no idea we were even offered the tour. So when we jumped on this, they told us that. We were like, ” Sweet!” So it worked out. 

So are you guys looking past this tour yet, in terms of bookings?
Yeah. We’ve been submitting for tours. It’s one of those things where, if we don’t land something, we’ll track a full length. We’re just going to make sure we are keeping busy. That’s for sure. 

So you’ll either tour next or record next?
Yep. Probably yeah. 

So would you like to have the record out by the end of the year?
Absolutely man. I’d love to have it out next week. You know? But yeah, the goal will be to get it out this year. 

Do you think you will do more writing for it or are you content with how much you have now?
We’ll keep writing. We could easily release it now, but it’s just that every time we write something new, we’re like, “Oh that’s actually pretty sweet.” We’d prefer to have more options. We’ll have so many songs that we’ll be able to release a B-side record one day. It’s fun having so much material, because usually (we have three albums), we’ve always gone in with like ten songs and written like two or three in the studio. Just kind of gone with that. 

How’s the progression of the work sounding? Compared to some older stuff?
They are just sounding straight. More rock and roll. More about the groove and the attitude. One thing we really thought about while we were writing these songs was what music suits my voice. My voice is kind of different I guess, and sometimes I get insecure about it. But I wanted to make sure that there was room for my vocals in the mix. Which is again why we decided not to have a wall of guitars. We just wanted to make something a little bit more rock and roll. It’s a little bit blues-y. We definitely looked to some of the younger earlier rock and roll bands like The [Rolling] Stones. Just how they stole music from the blues. It really got me into listening to the blues and how they structured their songs and lyrics and kind of the vibe of it. Tried to capture that a little bit with the new stuff. 

Depending on how you handle the release of the EP and depending on offers, you guys are content with even doing a full length on your own?
Yep. For sure dude. We’d figure out a way to make it happen. What’s that website called?
POZ: Bandcamp?
Dan: No, the one where you…
POZ: Kickstarter?
Dan: Kickstarter! We might just do something like that. I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. At this point, we’re just focusing on the EP and tour. 

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