Interview with: Travis Clark of We The Kings

Surely you didn’t think we were done posting Warped Tour interviews after just two? Below is another one that Bethany did, this time with singer Travis Clark of indie power pop group We The Kings:

Bethany, Popwreckoning: Hi, my name is Bethany, I’m with PopWreckoning.
Travis Clark, We The Kings:Travis. Very nice to meet you. Wait, PopRockoning?
PW: No, Pop-Wreck-oning.
TC: Oh, I was thinking like Pop. Pop Rocks. Popwreckoning.
PW: Yep, Popwreckoning.com. It’s a webzine. Sorry, I’m not as well-prepped for this as usual, this was kind of a last minute set up.
(It seriously was, I’m going into this interview completely cold-no research, no pre-written questions, nada. The people that were supposed to interview him didn’t show, so the coordinator asked if I could to an interview.)
TC: That’s fine.
PW: You guys were offered on iTunes as one of the free downloads and that kind of got you some attention on “Check Yes Juliet.” How did that affect you?
TC: Yeah, it was really weird because we had the CD and the kids who wanted had already gone out and got it. Then we had the single of the week and all of a sudden, the sales from the CD and especially that song were going up. But it wasn’t really sales on that song, but it looked like it we were doing really good, but then people kept getting it after it was taken off and it was a huge success. It was a song that we wanted to do a video for. It wasn’t like an amazing decision, but that we were fortunate enough to get that slot.
PW: And that’s your current single now. What were some of the inspirations for the songs on the album?
TC: Definitely our friends and family, the city that we grew up in. It is kind of like a love record, but it’s like uplifting and kind of puts a smile on your face.
PW: I know you guys are from Florida, but what city?
TC: We’re from Bradenton, Florida like right on the beach on the west coast, just south of Tampa. When we were writing, like obviously there’s so much stuff, so much depressing stuff going on like on the news, that we just wanted to write on the opposite spectrum and write a real fun and happy record. So when you look at it is just like our friends and family and that relationship and stuff like that.
PW: How has S-Curve…you are signed to S-Curve, right? How has S-Curve been?
TC: It’s awesome. We had offers from a couple different record labels and they were the ones who seemed like they cared about us and who we were as people, not just as a band. The other labels were extremely nice, but I kind of got the vibe that possibly we’d be just another CD on the shelf rather than a full focus. I don’t know, it’s been a really good decision. We’d never take it back, you know, being eight months into it.
PW: This was your first debut, your first full-length album. Have you started working on the second album?
TC: Yeah, we have. I have like 16 to 17 songs. No, I love writing. So like immediately when we were out of the studio for the first record, I started writing, you know, it’s something that you don’t want to stop. You always have more stuff, more stuff, more stuff, and you’re just like, “Ah someday I’ll use it.”
I kept writing and now I have 16. I think one of the best parts about being in the music industry is that kids are developing ADD quicker, so they get sick of records very quick. It gives us the opportunity to put out another record, more songs and CDs. I think that some time next year, we’ll actually start recording it and maybe put it out the year after. I don’t know.
PW: How do you guys plan to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump?
TC: I don’t know. We’re going to keep doing the same thing. I mean with the songs that we’re playing now, a lot of people ask if we get sick of them. I don’t know, it’s just like a more entertaining thing, like we play a show and the kids hear the songs and it’s about entertaining them. It will be entertaining to play a show and throw some new stuff in: feel out each song and do each set differently. I would say we’re not dreading the sophomore slump. We’re just going to keep writing and doing things for the right reason. If it is a sophomore slump than it is, but I don’t think that it will be.
PW: A lot of bands also try to change their style a little bit for the next album are you going to stick with what’s working?
TC: The stuff that we have, a lot of people say you mature and stuff, and I don’t think that is the right answer. To be honest, we’re just friends playing in a band. None of us are really that good at our instruments so maybe we’ll make it a little more musical, if that makes sense. But I think we’re going to do a pretty big CD as far as like song-wise. Instead of the typical 10 songs, do like 15 or something crazy. I don’t know. I’d love to have like a weird song on the record.
PW: Weird?
TC: Weird like you know you’re writing and this doesn’t fit at all, but it’s awesome. That type deal. I guess people can look forward to that.
PW: Ok. How has Warped differed from other tours that you’ve done and in a good or a bad way?
TC: I think it’s differed amazingly. As a singer, you don’t know what time you play every day, so you have to be vocally ready every hour. From 9 a.m. when you wake up to whenever. You could go on in like an hour. It’s nice. And then also, there are so many of our friends’ bands and bands that we’ve looked up to and we’ve been inspired by that we get to meet.
Like when sitting in the catering line or going on stage next, it is really like a big band reunion. I like it better than most tours because there’s more, there’s never really a dull moment: BBQ every night and tons of kids that you could sit at your merch table the whole time and never have a dull moment without kids being there.
It’s just awesome.
PW: What are some of the bands that you’ve met or would recommend?
TC: We started playing soccer with some of the guys from Story of the Year, which is exciting because we’ve looked up to them and their stage presence. They’re just a stunning band. Our friends in The Academy Is, Gym Class Heroes and Cobra Starship, they’re on the tour and other bands like that.
I know Tom DeLonge is here, I know it’s not Blink, but Angels and Airwaves. But when we were all growing up, we were huge Blink 182 fans, so it is kind of weird seeing him around and being on the same tour as every one. I know we’re not on the same level as band, but it is kind of cool to put yourself in the same category. And then Paramore, we’ve had a ton of fun with them and they’re really cool.
PW: Awesome. Last question: what’s playing on your iPod right now?
TC: Tha Carter III. Lil Wayne. He just put out a CD and it sold over a million copies in a week, which is pretty amazing. But it is awesome. It’s like really good. That, Young Love, is another one. He’s like an indie artist, he’s like a spawn off the band the Recover. Other than that it’s just a lot of my demos. They make it on the iPod.
PW: Cool. Well, thank-you very much. It was nice meeting you.
TC: Thank-you very much.

We The Kings: myspace

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