PropertyOfZack sat down with Handguns at Warped Tour a few weeks ago. We spoke to CJ and Taylor about Warped Tour, Angst, writing new material, plans to hit the studio, and much more. Check out the interview below!
by Erik van Rheenen
Just to start things off, how has the summer been so far?
CJ: It’s been awesome. It’s actually been one of the more fun things I’ve ever done. Usually right now I’d either be working or waking up at 3 every day, feeling like a…
Taylor: Piece of shit? (Laughs)
CJ: Yeah, pretty much.
Taylor: It’s been great, man. It’s Warped Tour. It’s a dream come true, and I know that’s a cliché, but it’s been incredible. It’s mass chaos every morning, but it’s a good time.
POZ: What’s it like not knowing when you’re going to play?
Taylor: It makes me a little anxious, honestly. And I like to party a lot, so it’s like, “Should I tone it down on the partying tonight? What time are we going to play tomorrow?” It’s crazy — you never know when you’re going to play. It’s interesting. (Laughs)
CJ: It’s kind of funny because every morning we’ll stay asleep and wait for our TM to text us our time, and we’ll be like, “Oh, we play in twenty minutes, we have to get up right now,” or, “Oh, you guys play at 7, so do whatever you want all day.”
Taylor: I like the earlier slots just because you play, get it out of the way, and then you can just kind of goof off all day and not really do anything.
POZ: Your set today was right up against The Story So Far’s.
Taylor: Yeah, I mean being in the same genre, we have a lot of competition out here, like The Wonder Years, Man Overboard, The Story So Far. It sucks sometimes, but at the end of the day, it’s going to happen. I’ve seen kids catch a little of The Story So Far and then come over and finish our set out, so it’s been cool. By the end of our set, there’s a decent sized crowd.
CJ: And sometimes there are kids who’ve seen Story like a hundred times, Man O a hundred times, and only have seen us a couple of times. So they’ll come and see us.
So Angst came out last year. Have you guys been working on a follow-up?
Taylor: Yes, we have. We’re going into the studio in January and recording a record. It’s time to put another record out. We’ve had so many member changes, so I’m excited to put a record out.
POZ: Do you know with whom you’d like to record with?
Taylor: We’re going to go with Paul Leavitt. He did the I Call Fives full length, some All Time Low stuff. I like the way his stuff sounds a lot. He’s done Senses Fail, and some other cool bands.
CJ: He’s also from our hometown, so…
Taylor: Yeah, he’s from Baltimore, so it’s convenient for us to just like, go to the studio and go home. (Laughs)
You must be writing, then?
Taylor: Yeah. We’ve got some stuff written, we actually demoed like five songs before we left and then we have a lot of off time in November and December, so we’re going to lock ourselves in a room and just write.
POZ: Where do you go from Angst? Is there another emotion next?
Taylor: I mean, I don’t know what the title of the record’s going to be. (Laughs) It’s going to be a lot of writing about real life experience, shit that we’ve gone through. I mean, I’ve been going through some stuff with my girlfriend on this tour. You know. It’s just going to be real life. Nothing too abstract. I like to keep in concrete and people can grasp what I’m talking about, straight to the point.
I mean, metaphors and all that stuff, I’m okay with. But one of my favorite bands of all time is Coheed and Cambria. I’m saying I’m not going to write like a fantasy rock opera or something like that.
POZ: That would be quite a change for you guys.
Taylor: (Laughs) It would be. Maybe we’ll write a concept record.
You guys have had a lot of member changes. Are you happy with the lineup you have now?
Taylor: This is the happiest I’ve seen this band be. Stuff happens, it just wasn’t working out. But we all play tighter, we all get along better. There’s no shit or internal conflicts. It’s been great.
POZ: I know Brandon Pagano took over on guitar not that long ago.
CJ: Last October, right?
Taylor: Yeah, like last October.
POZ: Are you guys officially part of Team Pagano, then?
Taylor: (Laughs) Always. The Paganos are awesome.
Today we are launching the first-ever POZ and AP.net Fantasy Football Challenge with the help of our friend Soupy from The Wonder Years. We’ve set up 18 fantasy football leagues where you can get the chance to play with members from many of your favorite bands. Each of the band members has chosen a charity for their league to represent, and at the end of the football season, one winner will be chosen to receive all of the proceeds.
Each entry requires a submission of $20 (all to go to charity at the end of the season). Throughout the season, PropertyOfZack will be posting Power Rankings, charity blogs, and Playlists from each league.D
Check out all the details of how to enter, who’s playing, and much more below!
Warped Tour is finally starting to get into a groove in the summer heat, and PropertyOfZack is stoked to bring you a brand new Playlist from The Early November, Handguns, and Young London, who are all on the tour this summer. Check out the Playlists and listen to the songs on Spotify while reading everyone’s thoughts!
Warped Tour Set Lists
Friday Discussion: Warped Tour Survival Guide
POZ Festival Watch: Warped Tour Crib Sheet
Warped Tour Preview: Our Must-See Bands And Acts
Friday Discussion: My First Warped Tour
Sweet summer vibes playlist to kick off a killer BBQ.
Little Joy - The Next Time Around
Get any BBQ/party/hang session started right with the breezy & worldly sounds of Little Joy! This band comprised of a member of The Stokes, my favorite female vocalist Binki Shapiro & the coolest & casual sounding Brazilian fellow popped up with this absolutely phenomenal record in 2008 and disappeared. It was my favorite record of that year and still one of my all time favs.
Young Dreams - First Days Of Something
Take 2 oz Vampire Weekend, 2 oz Beach Boys, a splash of Kings Of Convenience and a twist of electronics and you have Norway’s Young Dreams. Great summery record.
Vampire Weekend - Step
New VW record is great. This song was the first I heard and what can I say, I’m a sucker for harpsichord. This song sounds like it belongs in a Wes Anderson movie or played over a loud speaker everywhere in Cape Cod.
Joåo Gilberto & Stan Getz - The Girl From Ipanema
A classic in every sense. Imagine yourself hosting a dope BBQ in the early ‘60’s. Mad Men or Catch Me If You Can style. Gin & tonic please.
Kings Of Convenience - Boat Behind
Any classy event should call for some KOC. Smooth nylon string guitars, nice harmonies. One of my favorites.
The Lucksmiths – T-Shirt Weather
A song about a hot summer day from one of the most brilliant pop bands to ever come out of Australia or anywhere for that matter. Criminally underrated but hugely influential.
HelloGoodbye - Coppertone
Obviously I’m a little biased on this one, but this is such a beautiful song about beaches and lighthouses. Perfect string arrangements.
Kakkmaddafakka - Self-Esteem
Let’s pick it up a bit. This band sounds like a literal party. Norwegian crazy dudes.
Daft Punk - Instant Crush
The whole new record rules but this is definitely my favorite song. That chorus kills it. Plus The Strokes’ Julian Cassablancas is singing. Total bonus.
Rhye - Open
This is the sexiest song I’ve heard since Sade’s “Smooth Operator”. As those summer nights start to cool down, pop this on, pour a glass a wine and chill wit your boo. - Joe Marro
Captain We’re Sinking - You Have Flaws *Song is not on Spotify
Great lyrics and guitar parts, but what really sells me on this song and record as a whole is the vocal delivery. The singers don’t always hit the right notes, yet both still have amazing voices. It’s hard to explain.
Light Years - Parking Lots
A band that mixes great lyrics with traditional blink-182 esque music? Count me in.
Turnstile - 7
It sounds like Turnstile wrote the most badass one minute Rush song. That guitar riff is tight.
Bomb The Music Industry! - Vocal Coach
Because “I get embarrassed when I hear my voice and it’s not like in my head. If I got a new vocal coach and I could hit the notes, you’d fall in love again.” are great lyrics that hit me really hard when I first heard this.
Broadway Calls - Midnight Hour
A classic. I love songs that have verses start off with the same phrase, and this song does it perfect.
Code Orange Kids - Around My Neck // On My Head
I had never listened to this band before playing with their side project “Adventures” (also recommended) at Heart Fest in Canada. After the fest and seeing their side project kill it, I learned that their main project is fucking amazing. I really need to catch their live show soon.
The Sheds - Ignorance Is Bliss *Song is not on Spotify
Criminally underrated punk band. Lyrics with a great message conveying Mac’s disgust with homophobia and amazing guitar work by Morgan. I wish I could play guitar half as well as he does. When this new record drops you’ll love The Sheds. Be sure to try to catch them at Warped.
Marmozets - Good Days
We just got off a tour in the UK with Senses Fail and Marmozets was direct support. First show of tour I was floored at their live act. They put on energy that rivals bands like The Chariot and letlive. They’re a band with a girl screamer/singer who have Dillinger Escape Plan style verses and breakdowns but will bust into a great pop chorus without it sounding nerdy. I don’t know how they do it, but you should listen and experience for yourself. A+.
The Wonder Years - There, There
Weirdest song this band has ever written. Soupy’s best vocal performance without a doubt. Love it.
No Good News - Back To You
Amazing band. They’re young (my age) and they’re all way more talented than me. Best $5 record you’ll buy all year. For fans of a better Hot Rod Circuit. - Brandon Pagano
Tegan and Sara - Closer
I have always loved these two, but now that they’ve channeled the 80’s, they are my absolute favorite. Such a great song and new album.
Passion Pit - Take A Walk
Whenever I actually take a walk, this song gets stuck in my head. Luckily, it’s awesome.
Kishi Bashi - Manchester
My brother just introduced me to Kishi Bashi. Sooo epic.
Fiona Apple - Anything We Want
Cool love song from one of my favorite girls ever.
PropertyOfZack is stoked to be teaming up the Studio At Webster Hall in New York City to give away a pair of tickets to see Handguns on March 26. The contest will end on March 25, so find out how to enter below quick!
To win tickets to Handguns in NYC you must do each of the following things: