Exclusive Interview w/ BoyMeetsWorld
Proud to bring to you today an exclusive interview with Cincinnati, OH based pop-punk sensations BoyMeetsWorld. For those of you who attended this summer's Warped Tour, you probably saw these gentlemen criss-crossing the lines, selling CD's to their fans and also playing select dates as well. They're also the official catering band for the tour, taking a couple of hours out of their day serving food to all the bands and people working the festival, helping them earn their stripes in the process and hoping for bigger and better things down the road. I met up with the guys after their Warped Tour performance at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA where we partaked in some wings at my mothership, Buffalo Wild Wings where we had an extraordinary time talking about music and how the group got started. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and your roles in the band?
Craig: My name is Craig, I sing for the band.
Patrick: My name is Patrick, I play guitar.
Drew: My name is Drew and I play the gator.
Ryan: My name is Ryan and I play drums.
Brad: I'm Brad and I play bass.
How did you guys all meet to form the band?
Craig: Well the three of us are brothers, so we've been playing music all of our lives in our household, and then Patrick we met him on Craig's List, and Drew we've been friends with him in high school and we picked him up a year into being a band.
What music and/or bands inspired you to start a group in the first place?
Brad: My influences mainly old-school pop-punk like blink-182, New Found Glory, Goldfinger, MxPx, bands like those. It really affected me personally, I don't know about everybody else.
Ryan: Well everyone else comes from a different kind of style cause Brad is six years older than me, but what inspired me to start music, I would say straight up my dad listening to The Beatles all the time and just listening to old school rock like that and that really just inspired me to pick up the drums like that.
Drew: I'm really inspired by Luke Bryan and all the stuff he sings about: tractors, trucks, girls, and all that feel good stuff from underneath the seat of his truck. (Laughs) I think in elementary school one day, me and a couple of my friends were in the library, and then was when we listened to Disturbed and Slipknot. We were like, "Hey, we should start a band!" Yeah, my friend RA played the cello so he played the bass and I'm like "I'm gonna yell!" I taught myself how to play guitar cause I wanted to get involved in this process and I've just been playing music since.
Pat: Mainly my father because he played in bands when he was in college, and I found his bass down in the basement one day and just started playing it, he helped me along. As far as bands wise, some of the stuff Brad said like Alkaline Trio, old school pop-punk like that.
What is the music scene like in your hometown of Cincinnati? What bands and/or types of music are most popular down there?
Craig: A lot of hardcore bands, there's alot of hard working bands in Cincinnati. The scene is alright.
Ryan: A lot of big bands have come out of Cincinnati like Walk The Moon, Foxy Shazam, hopefully us one day you know? Nowadays, it's a lot more hardcore bands.
Drew: A lot of people don't know that Foxy Shazam started off as a hardcore band called Train of Thought. Back in the day, there were alot more heavier bands and to this day, it's still a revolving door of all those people, it just continues generationally like that.
What are some of the challenges you've encountered while starting up the band and how did you learn to overcome them?
Craig: I think the biggest challenge comes from how we started the band because when we started the band, I was going to school in Florida I had a cross-country and track scholarship down there. So I guess the biggest challenge for me was dropping my scholarship and dropping out of school to start the band. Then after that, financially it's very hard to start up a band if you're serious about it because it costs so much money to record, buy a van, buy a trailer, there's a lot of costs financially going up, instruments, everything costs alot of money.
Ryan: It's a big risk too because we're not getting paid and we're going from city to city trying to sell CD's to get us to the next place you know, it's a big risk and we're obviously willing to take it.
Take us behind the creative process of your songs?
Drew: We start off by painting Pagan symbols and praying to the dark lord. (Laughs)
Craig: Our whole EP we wrote when I was in college. So alot of the EP was me and then after that, Drew writes some songs here and there. Alot of the songs begin with one person's main ideas and the rest put the icing on the cake, and then form the song as a whole.
How would you describe your sound to those who aren't familiar with you guys?
Ryan: I would probably say if All Time Low hooked up and had a baby with New Found Glory, some of our songs are more pop-punk and some of our songs are pop-rock we're kind of all over the place, so we like to keep it a variety.
Drew: It's one of those things where if you went to a show and saw alot of people in the front row jumping up and down singing, maybe if you went back further there would be some dudes in the middle moshing, it's a very energetic mix we just like to make music we feel people can get into and see us play.
Take us behind the recording process of your debut EP "Do What's Best For You" and what what whole experience was like?
Craig: We recorded with our good friend Eric Tuffendsam at Moonlight Studios in Cincinnati, OH and we just had a blast recording the EP. Basically all of the songs were already written and we already played them and practiced them and everything, so it was really easy to go into the studio and knock them out and add finishing touches to them. The recording process was very smooth, it was a blast.
Brad: We've been recording with Eric through different bands so we have a real close friend connection.
Pat: He's not afraid to tell us what sucks and what doesn't suck.
What themes and/or subject matter typically revolve around your music and can you each personally relate to these types of experiences?
Craig: "Girl In Front" is just a song about an attention getting girl. All of the songs are different on our EP, some songs are about girls, having fun with your friends and just remembering the good times of life, some songs are about getting dark, depression and suicide, we have alot of different things we write about and touch base on alot of life situations that can happen to anybody, especially people in high school.
How supportive have your fans been through getting your band noticed and do you have any memorable fan encounters?
Brad: Our fans are awesome first off, we have people that stuck with us from the very beginning that saw us, we played some charity event and they saw us for the first time and literally came to every single show, bought every one of our shirts, regardless of how much we have to charge for them, they buy everything and support us in every single way. Usually they will always bring 1 new friend to our shows too so they spread the word and its awesome.
Drew: I think one of the flooring moments recently was we were in New Jersey and we never been in New Jersey in our lives and these kids came up to us when we were helping with the Hurricane Sandy relief and they were like "Aren't you guys from BoyMeetsWorld?" and they just recognized us by our faces and it's just amazing that our music has reached that far and we get recognition from places we've never been and it's one of those things when it happens to you for the first time, it's breathtaking.
Craig: Same thing happened today when we were selling CD's in Mansfield and at Warped Tour we sell CD's in line, and I had 3 girls come up to me, "Oh my god, we love your band!" and I was like "This is crazy, how do you know about us?" Obviously social media does a big part but to just have people know you by your faces and recognize you and tell you they love your music, it's awesome.
Drew: When we came back home for 2 days, me, Brad, and Pat instead of going to Canada, I went to Chipotle, the same one I always go to for 3 days out of the week and when I get to the front of the line, one of the girls was like, 'Aren't you from BoyMeetsWorld?" and all of the employees start jumping on the train. Before you know it, I'm signing Chipotle bags and I'm holding up the line, everyone just looks real pissed and everything.
What has the Vans Warped Tour been like for you guys this year and who are some of your personal favorite acts to see live?
Pat: Basically we're the catering band, and Craig got in contact with the head of the catering company and we finally secured the spot for it in the Spring so we all work for the catering company and we work different shifts, they give us free meals every day and All Access passes, we get to play some of the dates so all of the catering company people are really cool, I don't think I've met one person I don't like that doesn't take care of one another.
Brad: Some of our favorite bands to actually watch, I really like The Maine, Bayside, and Mayday Parade, I watch at least one of their sets every day.
Ryan: Hang out with them every night, have a few drinks, play some games, it's alot of fun.
What are some of your favorite activities to do out on the road away from making music?
Ryan: When it's winter, I like to snowski, When it's fall or summer I like to longboard, I don't really do anything else besides music.
Drew: Ryan's an idiot because he forgot to mention the key activity that BoyMeetsWorld is involved in as a unit is frisbee.
Ryan: If anyone wants to challenge us, challenge accepted!
Brad: I'm not exciting, I'm old, I've got bills to pay.
Craig: I run, I like to be outside and I like to swim, I like to fish, I like to ride tractors. (Laughs)
If you guys were stranded on a desert island and could only take one album with you, which one would you pick?
Brad: I could listen to New Found Glory's "Sticks and Stones" for the rest of my life.
Ryan: "The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me" by Brand New. It was either that one or The Used self-titled.
Drew: This is a difficult question, but I'm just going to give an answer that would be solid. If you gave me more time to think about it, it might change. But a good one would be "The Black is Beautiful".
Pat: I would probably say "Good Mourning" by Alkaline Trio.
Craig: I'm just going to say the mosh is in the closet, but Mayday Parade.
If you could pick 1 member off a Warped touring band to have join BoyMeetsWorld, which one would you pick?
Ryan: Well I am the drummer, but if something were to happen to me or if we got a second drummer, it'd be Chris from Bayside cause he's the man, and he's awesome at drums. I don't know if he's better than me though!
Drew: I'd have Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die to ghost write lyrics for us cause he's an amazing lyricist.
If you guys were up at bat playing for the Cincinnati Reds, what would you personal walk-up song be?
Drew: I would do that theme from Dog The Bounty Hunter (laughter)
Craig: What's that song from the Spongebob episode where they do the band? I would do "Sweet Victory".
Brad: If I had walk-up music, it's probably be some old school hip-hop, I'd probably do "Big Poppa" by Notorious B.I.G.
Ryan: I'll just say one, I really like Underoath so I'd probably pick "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door".
Lastly, which movie had you wished you had written the soundtrack to?
Drew: The Lost Boys.
Brad: Probably Empire Records or Almost Famous.
How can guys get ahold of you on social media and the internets?
Craig: And we're on YouTube as well, so you can just go to our main website and there's links to it from there, it's easy!
One more, what is the one thing you love the most about being in this band?
Brad: Right now, traveling and seeing the country.
Pat: I've never been able to achieve the things that we're doing and other bands like this, so it's just kind of surreal to be out here at once.
Craig: Just sharing the passion of music with other people is pretty much amazing in itself. That's what we're definitely doing this summer at Warped Tour. Just in general sharing the passion of music with other people is amazing.
Ryan: Every single one of us when we were growing up, I can tell you everyone dreamt of being a rock star, everyone knows that. I started when I was 10 so we started off at a pretty young age and to be doing this when I'm 21, and potentially getting bigger and bigger, it's a pretty good feeling.
A very special thank you to Craig, Brad, Ryan, Drew, and Pat for being so awesome and gracious for meeting up to do this interview. I feel that I gained 5 new friends after doing this, and I feel like I've known these guys my whole life because they were so genuine and honest, and I feel like I could just talk to them about anything and they were as real as they can be.