There has been a ton of interest surrounding Twin Falls lately, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering the band features members of Dashboard Confessional, Bad Books, and The Narrative. PropertyOfZack was interested in the band too, which is why we were happy to have Senior Writer Jesse Richman do an incredible interview with the band down at SXSW last week. The interview features information on how Twin Falls came together, what the band means for other projects, an album, tour, and so much more. Check it all out below!
Could you state your names and roles in Twin Falls?
Ben: I am Benjamin Homola and I play the drums.
Jonathan: I’m Jonathan Clark and I play the bass.
Suzie: Suzie Zeldin. I sing.
Chris: Chris Carrabba. Vocals and guitar. Suzie plays mandolin, too.
I saw your first real performance at SXSW [at Central Presbyterian Church] yesterday. Chris, you played some songs at shows in the past few months, but was this the first performance?
Ben: Yes. It was the first performance billed as Twin Falls.
POZ: How did it feel being up there?
Chris: I think that the church we were in made us feel a little reserved, but it felt great to be up there. It felt really great.
All of you come from different bands. Is it strange being on stage with a different group of people than who you’re comfortable with? Is there an adjustment period?
Chris: This is the most comfortable I’ve ever been on stage with anybody.
Jonathan: It’s extremely comfortable.
Chris: We’ve essentially been living together for two years making this record, just deciding what the record is going to be. We didn’t know we were even going to be a band when we decided to start messing around for fun. it started out as a labor of love. We were just pals. We even said at one point that we wouldn’t be a band.
POZ: What changed?
Chris: It was just evident that this was a band.
POZ: Was there a certain moment?
Chris: I think I know what it was. I had a handful of songs, and I was looking for a post-Dashboard thing. I thought what I wanted to do was make delicate finger-picking kind of songs, which is something I like very much. Ben and Jonathan are both producers and were helping me with recording these songs.The more I examined what was important to me about music I began to have a revelation that something that’s great about Dashboard is that the audience is in a state of celebration. Which may be antithetical to what people who don’t know much about what Dashboard think it is. It’s a little bit euphoric. But I’ve always felt like I’m just a focal point, and maybe that I’m not quite part of the party. That was something I realized as I was doing this finger-picking. I was getting further away. I want to stomp my foot, I want to be a part of this party, I want the party to be on stage, go outward, and come right back at us. That was a big shift in the tide.
One of the tracks you played at the first show was a cover of Cory Branan’s “Tall Green Grass,” which you also released on your cover LP.
Chris: We did some covers for Covered In The Flood. I’ve had Cory with me over the course of the last three years as my main opener. I’m very inspired by him. I love that song so I did that song. While we were doing that finger-picking thing, at some point, I said we should make another cover record that was closer to where I want to go because I don’t know how to get there. That’s when things started to take shape. That’s when I started to understand what we were chasing.
Was Covered In The Flood the genesis of you seeing this new direction?
Chris: That allowed me to realize that I should be able to make music like that too. I listened to that as much as I did punk rock.
POZ: Was that big in your house growing up?
Chris: No, it was just kind of something I stumbled on in my pre-teen years. I think it started with Willie Nelson stuff. My grandmother was super into Frank Sinatra, and then I heard Willie Nelson, songs that he wrong for Frank Sinatra. I dove into that. My stepbrother knew a lot about country music, so I dug into it that way. I never saw too much distinction between the outlaw country and punk rock. It’s cut from the same cloth, the same dirty, ragged cloth.
Ben: A stained whiskey cloth.
Chris: Even some Dashboard songs have it tempered into what I did. The covers LP was me saying, “How can I do this in such a way that isn’t disingenuous.” They’re my influences and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with embracing them, but I didn’t want it to be pure imitation.
The release of the solo LP was the first time you put aside Dashboard to put something out under your own name. Was that a conscious break where Dashboard is emo music and Chris Carrabba is something else?
Chris: Dashboard has a lot of trappings. There is an expectation from the listener that makes it difficult to write without an expectation of an outcome. I feel like it’s demanded now, at this point. It wasn’t always like that, there’s a lot of variation between records, but I felt that after six records it had to be a certain kind of thing. That felt void of magic to me.
POZ: Do you see yourself coming back to it in the future?
Chris: Absolutely. I think if it feels magical to me that I’ll do it. If it doesn’t, then I can’t do it. I think what makes people connect with my music is the same thing that would make people know instantly if I was bullshitting.
Bad Books will be playing a one-off show in New York City in mid-July. Check out details below by clicking “Read More.”
Kevin Devine and Andy Hull treat PropertyOfZack better than we could ever ask for, and they always give us incredible interviews. I was able to catch up with the duo at Bad Books’ Philadelphia, PA tour stop for one of POZ’s best interviews of all time. Kevin, Andy, and I discussed Bad Books’ new found cohesiveness and success, all the details you could ask for for Kevin’s Kickstarter campaign and two upcoming albums, Manchester Orchestra’s reboot with a new split and album, and so much more. We couldn’t be more excited about the interview and all the great details within it, so check out all of it below!
So this tour is going really well, it seems. This is the fourth tour for Bad Books right?
Andy Hull: Yeah. We did a few short ones so yeah, four.
How many was it, like a thousand in Ohio?
AH: Yeah its nuts, I think we could have done that easily in New York from what we were told; in New York and Philly and Boston as well. Yeah totally nuts. The reception is really cool. Nobody’s asking for anything other than Bad Books tunes. People are actually enjoying the songs.
You can play a full set now, that’s awesome. No filler.
AH: There’s still plenty of bullshit, but yeah.
Kevin Devine: It feels like the balance is… there is one. It’s definitely more… the bullshit is an accent, as opposed to potentially being the main thing.
AH: Half if not more than half of the show…
I know that for the first record, or even for those first shows, there was always talk of, “This is really cool, but it still feels separated between two parties, rather than one band.”
AH: Dude it is so much different now. It feels like a real thing. It feels exactly like a real band. We’re all developing identities. It’s really cool because it’s going to be sweet to see what happens with the next record now that we have an identity. We all have things that we do in the band now. Rather than, “You do this. You play this.” There are members that are doing things. We can only go up from here.
KD: I think an interesting thing about how that live experience can translate into that next record too is that in carving out those identities, I feel like even though it’s a band it’s been something of a studio project for us in the studio. Like me and you [AH] end up doing a lot.
KD: And I feel like it’s nice to have that as an option. But I also think what this enables us to do in the comfort level we’re reaching here is that the next record can be more like a rock band playing songs; rather than building songs in the studio.
There’s been some satellite radio play too, right?
KD: Amazing response there. Like the number one song the last couple weeks on there.
AH: Yeah, nuts.
Especially because it’s four months out since the release.
KD: Yeah four and a half or so.
AH: There’s two different ways a record can go, you know? You could put a shitload of promotion behind it and then have a really big first week and then everything will trail off, or you can try to do it organically where it will continue to grow and just steady as it goes. It feels like that’s what’s happening with this record. It’s starting to connect more and more the longer it’s been out. It’s cool.
I assume you guys are going to be really busy this year. If the record’s doing well and tours are doing better than well, is that something that you now want to try to carve out more time for Bad Books?
KD: Yeah we were having that conversation last night. Like how it’s kind of…
AH: Short answer, yes we do want to. It’s just about making that decision. And hopefully finding some sort of time for it. It’s a timing thing really. I would love to do it more though, especially since it’s going better.
Have you found that with this touring and the band being more cohesive, that you actually have wanted to do a record sooner rather than later?
KD: We haven’t really talked about that yet. We’ve talked a little bit about doing it, but not about a timeline for it. Because I don’t really know, realistically, what that would look like.
AH: That’s the thing is when we could do it. But yeah, I certianly am in my head, being on this tour like, “Yeah we should be writing and we should go in immediately and go make another record.”
It’s a good problem to have.
KD: Yeah. It’s a luxury problem; it’s awesome.
In terms of Bad Books as a separate entity, do you think there are people now that are just Bad Books fans?
KD: I kind of do. Or I kind of feel like there are people who are more… there are definitely people who like it of it’s own merit. And I think that maybe there are some who even like it more than they like either of our things. Probably not the majority. The majority is probably still kids that are coming from Manchester’s world and my world. But I think it’s built itself into it’s own formidable entity. It’s totally amazing, yeah.
AH: It helps a lot that the second record is just such a… in my opinion, stronger album than the first record. The first record is kind of your perfect stereotypical first album for a band. It’s rough and a lot of loose ends. It’s going in all directions, we hadn’t really found out who we are. I’m stoked that we started with something that, you know, I’d saw was a three star record. I’d say this one is a four star record. Now we’re going to try to make a five star record.
Will Bad Books be going to rest for now until there is more time?
KD: Yeah I guess we’ll figure out what happens.
AH: Hopefully going to try to play as many festivals as we can and get some… We’re down to work. And honestly working with Kevin is a lot easier than working on my own. Not that I’m working on my own with Manchester, but just being the sole front guy, it’s just half the work. It feels nice.
KD: It’s totally noticable. It’s lovely. I feel like Bad Books tour is like… It’s still in a van and a trailer and all that stuff, but the fact that it’s other people doing this stuff sometimes, I’m like, “This is sick. Just hanging out while someone sells the merch… that’s amazing!”
Are we cool to talk about prospecitve projects?
KD: I really wish you wouldn’t… Yeah I don’t care.
AH: What do you mean?
KD: Like Manchester and me.
AH: Oh yeah.
KD: But I have to answer all of the Manchester questions and he has to answer all the the…
AH: That would be cool.
We all have our favorite bands, but little makes some of us more excited than when we hear members of those bands are starting a new project, whether it be solo or with other musicians. There’s just something special about waiting for a mysterious project from one of your favorite artists with no idea of what it could sound like. We’re doing a Friday Discussion this week on PropertyOfZack on some of Our Favorite Side-Projects. Check out our list below and feel free to reblog with some of your favorites as well!
Though it transitioned into a longer lived project than Something Corporate, Jack’s Mannequin did start as a simple side-project for Andrew McMahon to try something new, something different. Never could he have expected a near-death battle with cancer and such a wave of support, but that’s not the point of Jack’s Mannequin. Everything In Transit was and still is an album that touched so many in a way SoCo came close to, but never truly hit. Whether you view it at a summer album or a perfect record, there was a certain breath of fresh air that Jack’s Mannequin started with that still lives with so many people today. Jack’s follow-ups to Everything In Transit either met or failed expectations of many fans, but the band kept an extremely large and dedicated fan base until its end. The transition for Andrew McMahon from Something Corporate to Jack’s Mannequin remains impressive in itself, and it will be even more interesting to see what happens with McMahon’s solo career. - Zack Zarrillo (@zzarrillo)
Box Car Racer
blink-182’s Untitled is regarded by most fans as Mark, Tom, and Travis’ best work. But if it weren’t for Tom and Travis escaping to Box Car in 2002, we may have not seen the two incredible albums that we ended up with. blink were always known as a light-hearted pop-punk band, even if Take Off Your Pants And Jacket saw a little bit of an edgier and darker side to the band. Box Car Racer was the first true signs of anger, aggression, sadness, and even hopelessness from Tom DeLonge, and it was an album that resinated with so many blink-182 fans. Though the project was of the main reasons for blink’s hiatus in 2005, there’s just no question that the album was integral for the creation of Untitled. Box Car Racer seems like it will be one of very view projects that will not get some sort of reunion tour in the future, and I would imagine that many feel that that is okay. - Zack Zarrillo (@zzarrillo)
I could list 1000 metaphors combining two awesome things and compare that to Bad Books. Superheroes. Foods. TV shows. Sports teams. Blah Blah Blah. All comparisons would fall short. Taking the storytelling abilities of Andy Hull and slamming them into the unique outlooks and viewpoints of life from Kevin Devine is an indie rock super group goldmine. Two albums into their catalog, the band has proved they are not only a part of the the scene, but also quickly becoming the ring leader of the modern day “brat pack” consisting of Devine, Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, Thrice and the rest of the Favorite Gentlemen collective. Not only is there no denying that this group has more talent than the whole of most indie labels, there is also no avoiding the addiction that comes from giving them a spin. - Josh Hammond (@endless_rambles)
When Your Heart Stops Beating is not my favorite blink-related record, but it may be top 3 for me. Untitled seemed like much more of a “Tom” record for blink, and it was fantastic. Seeing what Mark could do all by himself lyrically on +44’s only record was incredibly interesting following the release of Untitled. I would argue with anyone that Mark’s lyrics throughout the record are the best of any blink project, and that it is a musically sound record as well. There was a certain anger, urgency, and pain in the lyrics of When Your Heart Stops Beating, and it was felt. Another +44 album would be welcomed any day as long as it could rival the original release, but it may be a project better left dead like Box Car Racer as well. - Zack Zarrillo (@zzarrillo)
What do you get when you cross Transit’s Tim Landers and This Time Next Year’s Brad Wiseman? A project that’s less pop punk than you’d think. Misser’s debut, Every Day I Tell Myself I’m Going to Be a Better Person, is an exercise in optimism, and the indie touch the duo liberally applies to their sound keeps the positivity from sounding cliché. Landers and Wiseman trade off vocal performances, a la early Taking Back Sunday, and songs like “Time Capsules” and “I’m Really Starting to Hope the World Ends in 2012” stack up well against both of their respective bands’ discographies. With TTNY defunct and Transit’s new album wrapped up, I’d love to see some more Misser happen. - Erik van Rheenen (@TheVandyMan)
Kevin Devine recently started a Kickstarter to fund his seventh and eighth albums. In good humor, Devine has posted a spoof video of how most Kickstarter videos seem to come across. Check out the video and description below by clicking “Read More!”
Kevin Devine Posts New Song Lyrics
Kevin Devine Posts Kickstarter Update
Kevin Devine Funds Kickstarter In No Time Flat
Kevin Devine Kickstarter To Fund Albums With Rob Schnapf, Jesse Lacey
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- Blood On The Dance Floor told a fan on stage to die a “slow, painful” death.
- blink-182 released the first song off of their new EP.
- Pierce The Veil and Memphis May Fire announced a spring tour.
- The first six bands were announced for Warped.
- The Almost finished their new album.
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- Bad Books and The Front Bottoms announced a winter tour.
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