POZ Interview: Stick To Your Guns

by Zack Zarrillo - Apr 2, 2013


PropertyOfZack had the chance to catch up with Josh from Stick To Your Guns a few weeks ago for an in-depth an interview. Josh and I discussed the band’s current tour, continuing to tour with different types of bands and crowds, their new album catching up quick, the rest of their 2013, and other plans. Check it all out below!

The band is out right now on the first part of the The Ghost Inside headliner with Stray From The Path as well. How’s the first week and a half been?
The first week has been way better than everybody’s expectation. Obviously, we expected that the tour would be good because I think it’s a lineup that a lot of kids that listen to us have been asking for [this] for a while. But the fact that every show has been sold out… I think like one hasn’t sold out. But almost every show has sold out and the reactions from the crowd are just… It’s fucking mind boggling. It’s so awesome to be able to play these places and kids just absolutely lose their shit. The thing behind the tour was a cheap ticket price/ a low ticket price and smaller rooms to try to have more of an intimate feeling. That’s exactly what this tour is providing, I think. Every band… Rotting Out sets it off every night, followed by Stray and then The Ghost Inside. With every band the crowd and the night gets more and more wild. 

The package is just smart. All three of you guys, and Rotting Out as well, have been growing over the past year more and more. It just seems like this is where all these new albums and touring cycles are colliding. Is there a sense of excitement from everyone involved? 
Yeah, you know. It’s funny because over the last two years, there have been a couple of mentions about us going out with The Ghost Inside. But it was never anything more than just, “Oh we should go tour together!” Then Tom from Stray From The Path got on fucking Twitter and started tweeting like, “Hey, how sick would a Stray From The Path, The Ghost Inside, Stick To Your Guns tour be?” Then kids were like, “Go tell The Ghost Inside.” It was almost social media abuse, where all of the sudden everyone’s being punished online about, “If this tour happened, I’d flip the fuck out!” I think that because Tom was so adamant about starting shit on the internet that it actually brought attention to the people, the ‘quote’ powers at be: the booking agents, and all that shit. Then the next thing we know its being really talked about. It’s awesome that… I think it’s really cool that for once it’s really a tour for-the-bands by-the-bands. There a lot less industry, for lack of a better word, involved in it. That’s really cool.

Your last record has been out for about a year now. Is the set based heavily on that record now?
Yeah. Whenever you write a record, or release a record, the band always wants to play new songs. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, it takes almost an entire record cycle for those new songs to start clicking. Live, I feel like sometimes the crowds are one record behind. So you come out with this new record, and then they want to hear the shit from the record before. It’s a cycle like that. We got really lucky with Diamond, it’s been out for a year now, and as soon as it came out, we went ahead and started putting new songs in the set; definitely keeping a lot of the old stuff in. We saw within the first few months of it being released that kids were losing their shit to the new stuff, way more than the old stuff. We were like, “Wait! Is this true? Are we actually able to play the new songs we want to play live?” So on this tour; we’re definitely playing a lot of songs off of Diamond. We play songs from every record, but the tour definitely sits on the side of new stuff. Like I said, it’s great because it’s getting the best reactions. That’s what the goal of the record was and that’s definitely what our goal was. We’re just super stoked that kids have been able to connect to the record and really understand what we’re trying to get across; the energy that we’re trying to put out there. It’s definitely on the air of the new stuff. 

So now that it’s totally caught on, are you guys where you want to be? A little quicker than you thought off of this record?
I’ll say as far as what I was just talking about, the reactions of the new songs, definitely. But as far as the great tours that we’ve been getting this entire record cycle, being able to be on all of Warped Tour this coming summer, and that our 2013 is already completely booked… we’re already booked until December 15th. It’s just tours that can’t be announced yet. That is mind blowing. Because I don’t think that we were… when this record was coming out, it wasn’t like, “Okay! Let’s try to get booked a full year in advance!” You know what I mean? And it just kept happening! Tours just kept getting offered. We were lucky enough to be able to do so many different types of tours. We’re doing this tour, which is more a hardcore tour, and we just went out with Pennywise and Lagwagon, which are like bands that most of us grew up on that I never would have imagined. I learned how to play guitar because of Lagwagon. I never would have imagined that my band would now be on tour with them. From that to even doing tours like Motionless In White. It’s just all over the map as far as the genres we’ve been touring with. And we love it. We love being able to play with different bands every tour; different types of bands and different types of people. I think it’s moved a lot faster than we ever anticipated, as far as that goes. But we’re more than satisfied. It’s one of those things where I feel like a lot of bands didn’t ever realize when they’re having that moment; once the band starts taming down a little bit or dropping off a little bit they’re like, “Fuck! That year was so sick, I wish I would have appreciated it!” We’ve had so many talks like that with the band, where it’s like, “Man. This is so fucking awesome. We’re so fuckin’ stoked.” We’re so fuckin’ thankful for everybody, from everybody that works for us to everybody who comes out to the shows. We are definitely making sure that we live in the moment. Because we know that any minute it can stop. 

You’re going from metalcore, to a hardcore tour, to punk, and Warped is obviously where all those kids intertwine. Do you think Warped will be a great place to see what doing all these other tours has done for your fanbase now?
Yeah, I think that Warped Tour will be a good way to measure that to see if we’re making the right moves. It’s one of those things where… at the end of every tour that we’ve done in a cycle we go, “Fuck! I’m so stoked we did that. That was awesome.” Definitely because the band has an actual message. It’s not just getting up there and shitting out ten or twelve songs a night. There’s also stuff that Jesse wants to make sure he gets a point across to the crowd and let them know that to us it’s not just a band, it’s also about trying to spread a message of hope and letting people know that if they’re feeling alone that it’s not the case and that there’s other people like you and that you’re welcome and that you’re accepted. Whethere you’re a homosexual, or whether you’re a different race or whatever it is. If you’re a woman or if you’re a man. Whatever it is. The fact that because we’ve been doing all these different tours, I think people hear that almost louder than the music. That’s what maybe attracts them to the band. It’s funny, when we did the Motionless In White tour, we were like, “Well, we’ll definitely be able to tell on later tours if kids from this tour were into our band.” They’ll be showing up with makeup or gothic clothing or whatever. It’s crazy because even on this first week of this tour with The Ghost Inside, there’s been a good ammount of kids like, “You’re definitely from the Motionless In White tour.” That’s really cool. 

Do you think it’s important to continue to do tours like that, where you’re testing your limits a little more?
Yeah. Honestly, it’s just boring whenever you do the same type of tours and play with the same type of bands all of the time. A lot of times, we’ll do a tour with a band like Motionless In White and some kids will start talking shit on our social media like, “I can’t fucking believe you would go out on a tour with a band like that!” “Why are you doing that?” “That’s not hardcore!” Well, we’re not talking about it being hardcore. We like those guys. Those guys are cool. You know what? That band actually has a message as well. They’re a good fuckin’ band. So what if they don’t fucking sound like The Ghost Inside or Rotting Out? They’re a good band. If you like our band and want for us to keep going on and to continue, then you’ll come and support and you’ll go buck wild to show their fans that that’s how our fans are. Then it will maybe turn those fans on to being more into hardcore. It’s funny because Stick To Your Guns has such a message of acceptance and then sometimes I feel like kids don’t understand that… they’re just not being accepting if they’re talking shit like that. But yeah, I think that’s the goal is to continue to play a vast majority of genres. 

For the rest of the spring, you have this tour and they you are hopping over to Europe and then just Warped after that, right?
Yeah. That’s it right now. Then we’ll be doing some more tours in the fall. Once those obviously get confirmed and all that, that kind of shit is finalized, it will be announced. Warped Tour right now, is something… we were actually just talking about it while we were walking through the hell that is Houston currently because everything is closed… But we were just talking about how a few of us have done Warped Tour before and it’s one of those tours that can fully crush a band. So we’re already trying to get mentally prepared; ready for the heat; ready for the long days; the early load-ins; all that shit. Our goal is to just be able to have as much fun as possible on tour. That’s the first type of tour that can be as fun as you want it to be or it can be as miserable as you want it to be. It’s all up to the individual. So we were just talking about it like, “Alright. If we kind of make sure we get our head in the game, we can have a fucking blast on it.” There’s no reason why we shouldn’t. We’re super stoked that Warped Tour asked us to be on the entire thing. We were blown away by it, so we want to make sure that we appreciate it. 

If you are literally booked until the end of 2013, do you think you’ll take time off after that to think about new music?
Actually. I say yeah, we’re going to take some time off, but what will happen every single time we say we’re going to take some time off, is another tour comes along. We love touring so much that we end up taking it. Jesse and I, actually in the last two days, have been working on a new song. When we just had a couple of weeks off, Chris was working on some songs. So we’ve actually already started working on new music, we just figured we’d go ahead and get a jump start on it now so that by the time… when the time comes for us to really crack down, we’ll have a really huge selection of songs to pick from instead of just, “Okay we need twelve songs for the record.” I’d love to have twenty songs and pick out the twelve best or whatever. So we’ve started working on shit now, and I’m not going to guarantee, but the goal is to have a new record out in 2014. 

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