Sunday, 25 March 2007

MPM meets... The Academy Is... - March 24th 2007

The Academy Is... are releasing the follow up to their 2005 debut, 'Almost Here', in a few days. After parting ways with former guitarist, Tom Conrad, they completed the line-up with Michael Guy Chislett. Now they're back in the UK for a headlining tour with The Audition and Young Love, and MPM just couldn't miss out on this chance to speak to the next big thing from Fueled By Ramen, the label that gave birth to the likes of Fall Out Boy and Gym Class Heroes.

How does it feel to be back in the UK?
Adam: It feels wonderful. I mean, it's been almost a year since we've been here, when we did the 'Black Clouds and Underdogs' tour with Fall Out Boy last spring. And it was a great time, always a good time to come over here. And we did a tour with Panic! At The Disco last January, that was really great too. I mean, this has, so far, been our favourite time, just 'cause we're back, headlining shows with our friends in The Audition and Young Love, so we're really excited about that. Things are good.
Your sound's changed quite a bit since your debut, how do you think your fans will react to it?
Adam: I guess we'll see. It comes out in just about a week. I don't feel like it's too...I mean, everyone says the sound has changed a lot but to us, it was really like a natural growth. We didn't set out to say "Oh we're gonna write different record to 'Almost Here'", we just said "Let's write some songs". It's been just about three years since we'd written anything. So we came in and the ideas were just coming out. Adding Michael [Guy Chislett, guitarist] to the line-up really helped developed that new sound too, because we had this vision for it, and he really helped us carry that vision and bring it to life. I mean, I'm anxious to see how the fans react. So far we're getting a great response from our core fan base on the internet. No complaints, I guess we'll find out next week.
What are you looking forward to most about being part of the Honda Civic Tour?
Adam: I guess it's just like a repeat of one of our first tours - the Fueled By Ramen Friends tour, which was Midtown, Gym Class Heroes, us and Fall Out Boy. Gabe [Saporta] from Cobra Starship, who's going to be on this tour, his old band was Midtown, but he's a good friend of ours. It's really what we've been doing for years, just touring with our good buddies, but this time it's on a larger scale. Playing like basketball stadiums and stuff. We've never really done stuff like that before, so we're pretty excited to play for that big of an audience. It's a little bit intimidating, don't get me wrong. But we'll make the best of it, and try to perform our best every night.
You haven't really become as popular as other bands signed to the same label as you, like Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. How do you feel about that?
Adam: I feel fine. It's kind of a gradual process. Fueled By Ramen started...when we signed, it was a small indie label. Before Fall Out Boy had blown up, before Panic was even out of high school. We've been really happy with that label, we've always wanted this second record to be our time to shine, and we feel like it has been so far. We hope that we have a good future with this, and we're quite content with where we are. We wanna keep doing it, performing the best we can, writing the best songs we can, and that's all that really matters to us. It doesn't matter how many units we're moving a week, it just matters that people are buying the record, can relate to it, and care about the band. And hopefully, in time, that will grow to be a larger thing.
What's your opinion on downloading music?
Adam: I definitely have mixed opinions on it. Like, it is stealing, it's just like stealing anything else. But at the same time, as the world moves on, and as technology grows, that's just part of life. We're definitely not gonna be able to change it, so we might as well embrace it as a band, and put things on our Myspace, make videos for our website, make the internet a place where we can really drive and take advantage of the internet now, instead of get all glum about it. A good portion of our fan base is college kids who can't afford to go buy a million records a week, and they wanna listen to the bands, so it's become a tool for a lot of bands.
Who do you wish you could tour with?
Adam: Out of any band? I'd really like to tour with Jimmy Eat World. They're one of our favourite bands. Yeah, I don't know. I'm really excited about touring with The Audition and Young Love right now. But yeah, one of my dream tours would be Jimmy Eat World. I know the Smashing Pumpkins are getting back together, I don't know how well they'd take to us, but I'd love to tour with them, Foo Fighters or Weezer. I'd be really excited about any of those tours. But, in the big picture, I'm really happy about every tour we get to do, because as long as we're on the road doing something, I'm satisfied.
If you could bring back any musician from the past, who would it be and why?
Adam: Bob Marley. Just 'cause he's doing so much for the world with his songs and he's really a voice for everyone. He was doing lots of good things with his music and his songs. And it's a shame that his life was cut short 'cause I would have liked to see him play.
When you go onstage tonight, and you had to do two covers, what would they be?
Adam: I'd say Guns Of Brixton by The Clash would be something I'd like to cover. And...I'm trying to think. That's a good question because we've been talking a lot about this lately.
William: I'd like to cover Nothing Precious At All by Stereophonics.
Adam: I was gonna say that. It's a good song.
Tell us a joke.
Adam: How much did it cost for the pirate to get his ears pierced? A buccaneer. No, you guys don't say buck, do you? I'll think of a better one.
William: No more pirate jokes though.
Adam: Yeah, I got nothing.
What's the weirdest dream you've ever had?
Adam: I had a dream that me, and I think William was there, our friend Tyson Ritter from The All-American Rejects was there, and I think Tony, our tour manager, and a couple other people.
William: Are you sure you wanna continue this joke? (laughs)
Adam: It's not a joke, it's my dream.
William: Are you sure it's not a joke? (laughs)
Adam: We were in a torture chamber, and the guy cut my fingers off. And then he let everyone else go. I also had a dream that I fell into a pit of snakes, and that I got swallowed whole by one.
Which one question do you wish someone would ask you, and how would you answer it?
Adam: Who's my favourite member of the band, would be the question I'd like.
And how would you answer it?
Adam: Myself. (laughs)
Danny Stevens [The Audition]: Wow dude (laughs).

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