A Day To Remember’s fame and following has gone from strength to strength in the UK. They’re at the top of our playlists and much-requested at our club nights, but what do they think of their success? We caught up with Jeremy McKinnon and Alex Shelnutt at the end of their recent UK headline tour.
Q: Today is the last show of your UK tour, how’s it all been?
Alex: It’s been amazing. Every show’s been sold out, kids have been awesome with the whole tour package, like they’ve been into it from the first band to the last band. There has just been energy the whole time and that’s really rare I feel, so the whole tour has been great.
Q: We saw you guys play here a year ago in the Wedgewood Rooms, a much smaller headline show, you’ve grown a lot and quite quickly in the past year, how did it happen and how does it feel?
Jeremy: I don’t really know how that happened, it just kinda did. We came back here quite a lot, we actually toured here more than the States on this record. We started the first tour of the [Homesick] record here and then we did two or three other tours throughout the year.
Alex: We played festivals too
Jeremy: Right, we did a lot of work here but we definitely didn’t expect the growth that we have had. But you know, we put in the work and people seem to enjoy it so it’s been an awesome ride.
Alex: They keep coming back and with their friends so hopefully we’ll keep doing good.
Q: You’ve toured a lot with British bands, last year with Bring Me The Horizon, and you’ve had two UK support bands on this tour, [Architects, Your Demise] how have they been?
Jeremy: [Bring Me The] Horizon were awesome, I mean they are really nice guys and they took care of us on that tour, we played a lot of really awesome shows ‘cos of them and that kinda set us up to do as well as we’re doing right now. And with this tour, Your Demise and Architects are awesome bands and we’re all fans of those guys which is cool you know, we knew that both of those bands did well and we liked them so it just makes sense, its been great, great fun.
Q: You’ve got a couple of weeks off now then you’re playing back home in Florida, what is it like when you go and play back home?
Alex: We haven’t done it in a while but I feel like, I don’t know, the amount of kids are usually around the same and I don’t know, I don’t know how to explain it.
Jeremy: I know what you’re saying… It seems like it’s different when you’re overseas. Like with the States its always good shows, like our fans there are awesome, but its definitely a different thing all together when you’re overseas ‘cos kids really appreciate what’s going on whereas the States is kinda over saturated with bands and they’re kinda spoiled you know. Shows are good, kids come out and its awesome for us but its like a different level when you go to like Australia, the UK or Japan, ‘cos it like this kids never get to see that type of thing, especially American bands its not like an everyday thing for them so it’s a difference on how excited the kids really are to be at the show.
Q: So what’s next for you guys, are you writing new stuff or going into the studio anytime soon?
Jeremy: Right now the plan seems to be that we’re gonna go back and do this headline tour in the states, then after that we have a little bit of time off before we come back over here to the UK. We’re doing like a month of the festivals circuit sort of thing, doing all the festivals over here, then we’re gonna go directly from that back home and go to work on a new album. We plan to have that out either in the fall or winter of this year, hopefully.
Q: Have you already started writing stuff while on the road?
Jeremy: Yeah we’ve got a few things here and there, ’cos we’ve been writing pretty much non stop since the last record came out so we’ve got a lot of ideas, a few songs and we’re really excited about how it’s come along so far. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun, I think people are gonna be stoked on it, I’m stoked on it so I’m excited to get it out there.
Q: Is it going to be a similar sound to what we’ve heard before?
Jeremy: It’s not the same as before but its an A Day To Remember record, it’s the same band just…
Jeremy: …just what’s going on now in our lives, if you know what I mean.
Q: If someone who had never heard your music before asked you to play them one song to sum up A Day To Remember, what song would you choose?
Jeremy: Downfall [Of Us All]
Jeremy: It was the perfect song to be the first single of the last record ’cos it was completely 100% in the middle, it was a poppy song, it had a little of our attitude in it like the not so serious beginning if you know what I mean, like a joke that went way too fucking wrong (everyone laughs) and then it was heavy at the same time, so it kinda mixed everything we are into one song… You’d get what our band is trying to do when you hear that song for the first time.
Q: When you go to write and record your music would you say you all have a fair amount of input into it, with your own differing tastes and influences?
Jeremy: Yeah I mean we all have different tastes, and everybody listens to different things at different times of their lives you know, so usually we write songs and then we come together as a band in the end and work it out together you know ’cos that’s what makes A Day To Remember, not just one person, it’s kinda everyone together, so that’s what we do, we take all our influences and put them together.
Q: Obviously you’ve done a hell of a lot of touring, what do you like about playing live?
Alex: That’s my favourite part about touring: playing live, the show. Everything else is cool but the actual playing a live show part is my favourite.
Jeremy: That’s pretty much what we built our band on you know being a live band, we’ve done nothing but tour since the beginning of our band. I think that our live shows kinda make us stand apart from other bands ’cos we’re not just a bunch of kids who threw some songs up on MySpace and people were stoked on them and then we started playing shows. We’ve been together now for seven years and we’ve toured consistently for at least five of them so it definitely makes us stand apart from a band that’s just starting out.
Q: Being on the road for so long what do you miss the most?
Alex: I miss my bed and my own bathroom and my mom
Jeremy: I actually 100% feel the same way, that’s exactly what I miss.
Q: We’re all about live music, what would you say is one of the best live bands you’ve ever seen?
Alex: Biffy Clyro were one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Kiss, Slipknot was pretty sick!
Jeremy: I actually enjoyed Limp Bizkit too.
Alex: Yeah Limp Bizkit was awesome.
Q: How do you guys like the difference between outdoor and indoor shows?
Alex: Festivals are more kinda focused on the energy, I feel like it’s not really about how you play its more about the atmosphere.
Jeremy: Yeah, it’s not so much about you it’s about all the bands, so that’s a cool thing. I like that you can play your set and after that you can go hang out and watch another band that you’ve listened to your entire life. And I think inside shows like actual shows that you’ve put onm that’s a totally different thing
Q: Is there anywhere in the world that you haven’t toured yet that you’d like to play?
Alex: I wanna go to Brazil
Jeremy: I want to go to South America, Hawaii, Alaska…
Jeremy: Good that you said that ’cos I wanna go to Russia and I thought you guys wouldn’t wanna go
Alex: I wanna go
Neil: I don’t wanna go!
Homesick is the latest album from A Day To Remember and is avaiable from Victory Records. The band will be playing at Download Festival 11-13th June, Donington Park, UK.
Interview by Laura Callan and Enrique Bazan