Just a little over a week into their Mid-Summer tour, we got a chance to sit down 20/20 style, okay not that serious and I could never compare to the legend Barbara Walters…But we did get to sit down with Dallas’ own Page 9 amidst pushed back set times and the heat of the San Fernando Valley still making life miserable on a Saturday evening. But the sun’s death rays didn’t halter the moods of the guys and gal of Page 9, that I could tell. Excited to be on the west coast again after a couple years absence they were happy to share that they hadn’t hit any bumps in the road so far (knock on wood for them please). The quintet were also down to share some exclusive member news, show us their yellow side solve a puzzle and a whole lot more, so keep on reading and get to know Page 9 a little bit more, but before their words, Ashley Jean is going to share her Page 9 live experience.
Guitar Merchant – what a quaint little place to hold an intimate show. The walls were doused in a deep cherry red, splashed with artwork of The Beatles, B.B. King, and Bob Dylan (just to name a few), and scattered about the neatly carpeted floor, there were chairs for those of us who like to sit during a rock show. It was nice considering the show got off to a late start. Originally, Page 9 was supposed to go on at around 7:40, but the gig was pushed back a couple of hours to allow those in traffic to get there and have a seat with the rest of us senior citizens. (I’m really just talking about me and Kendra here; they weren’t really performing in an old folks’ home). However, despite the quaint and quiet of the ambiance which surrounded us, Page 9 was able to make the crowd move. And? We even pushed our seats towards the stage to be closer to the jams.
It seemed every band had an intro that night, but none more head-bobbing than a mashup of Kanye West’s “Stronger” and “Jesus Walks.” Shortly after this was played, Josh took the stage and Page 9 started out with a brand new hit, “Bridges.” (At this time I’d like to point out that Josh put on a tie, because hours before during our interview he was extremely casual. I found it a little ironic as Kelsey, the only girl in the band, remained in what she had earlier – save for the beanie.) Anyway, I began to tap my toes and dance, but what struck me most were Josh’s vocals. The falsetto through this song, and throughout many of the songs to follow, was incredibly soulful. Not many dudes in this particular genre of music can actually nail those notes and be consistent throughout their set. However, Josh did a pretty kick ass job, and by the next song, he was getting the small, yet tough crowd of 30, to clap. It was during, “Left Behind,” that Josh stated to the crowd with a shameless smile, “I love my crowd participation, as you can tell.”
I was very humbled by the chemistry of the band, and not just because I met them hours prior to their performance, but because they really displayed their passion for music through their performance. They brought forth such an energy that temporarily changed the colors of the walls. The room didn’t feel like this dismal trying darkness anymore. And yet I’m sure if the stage had been larger, Kelsey, Lindan, and Nate would have been able to show us more of their moves, but they worked it regardless of the space given.
Throughout “Worst Day of Your Life So Far,” I was really drawn to the way Kelsey commanded her part of the stage. It takes a lot for a girl in this industry to prove her musicianship. She doesn’t need to be in the spotlight, doesn’t need to sing, nor does she need to show skin in order to “make up” for whatever women guitarist might be lacking. In fact, it was incredibly refreshing to see a girl just be part of a band as opposed to fronting one and adding on to the copious amount of other commodity fetish bands out there who have a woman in the band for the sake of trying to sell something other than what music is – art.
And if you think Page 9 took a moment to slow down our heart rates, guess again. Even when they played a small interlude before their fourth song, “Feel Again,” the energy continued on through, “Enough,” which included the chorus of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” and finally to the closer of the night, “Crawl.”
Admittedly, before all of this incredible chaos ensued, I never heard a Page 9 song before. But that’s what is so great about this kind of thing – it was nice to discover a new band in a small venue, despite that I might have been distracted by a couple of unwanted high school “friends.” It’s nice to have something to listen to, to look forward to the next time they roll into SoCal, for I can expect nothing be a genuine and passionate rock band who will keep me out of my seat come the next gig.
Kendra: You all go out with touring members. I know Korn had to do that when Head left and Green Day does it. So why do you all have the touring members?
Lindan Scott (bass): Honestly me and Josh are the two kind of longest members in this and we went through kind of a phase where we kept running into a lot of people who we thought it was going to end up working out with, and then it ended up not really working out with. And we’re really into our fans and keeping them up with stuff and we felt bad that they’d have to constantly see new members so Kelsey was actually the first one that we had come on as a touring member and then about after a year we put her in full time.
Josh Roa (vox): Well they’re actually going to get added to the band full time, exclusive!
Kendra: Sweet deal! Is there a Star Wars quote that best sums up your live show?
Page 9: “It’s a trap!” (All chimed in one after another. It was kind cute seeing five people on one wave length).
Kendra: For your Heartbeats & Citystreets you worked with a man who’s worked with Senses Fail and My Chemical Romance. Is there a lot of pressure on you guys when you go in with someone who has that kind of resume?
Josh: It was real interesting, but it was really humbling at the same time with John Naclerio because I remember we were going over the final mixes and John was like, “You know your voice is incredible?” And I was just like (Josh made an OMG face). You know Your Favorite Weapon by Brand New is one of my favorite records of all time and My Chemical Romance is just huge. So I guess at that point it kind of took the pressure away and I felt at home. He’s all about working with bands that have big voices that’s kind of his thing. He also did Freshman 15 and Davey’s got such an amazing voice. There’s a ton of bands he’s worked with and he really like sticks with a style of what he likes or bands that have big vocals and have a lot of power behind them. And to be added into that group of artists is phenomenal. So yeah, it was great. And I can’t say I have any down things to say about it, it was all awesome.
Kendra: And it’s been awhile since Heartbeats & Citystreets, so are you guys writing while on the road right now?
Josh: Yeah, we just actually finished up doing three new singles that we’re going to be releasing over the course of the end of summer through the end of the year. And I worked with a guy named Kevin Gates who’s done Never Shout Never, The Ready Set, and the first Cady Groves EP. So he’s had some great work so it was awesome. He kind of got a hold of one our demos and called us up and was like, “You need to get to Missouri. I need to record you,” and it was awesome because he’s had such success. We just finished up those tracks. You can expect those late in the summer. I think September, I guess that’s fall. We’re really excited about this; it’s some of our best work.
Kendra: This one’s for Kelsey. What is your advice for females who want to be in a band? Because I know you and other females get stuck in this little niche that you’re Hayley Williams, but you’re not the singer…
Kelsey Madden (guitar): It’s been different because people ask me, do you sing? No. Do you play bass? No. Do you play drums? No, I play guitar! Yeah, it’s different but, I mean you kind of have to work through all the crap. Like we’ll go to venues and they’ll be like, oh well you have to pay a cover. And I’m like well I’m with the band and they’ll be like, well you’re with the band. I’m like no, I’m in the band! What don’t you get? I’m not the merch girl. So you kind of gotta be like really headstrong about it because people are going to give you crap and try and make you fall into a stereotype.
Kendra: So you have to work like 10 times harder?
Kelsey: Not really, I just have to deal with all these guys. I just go through a lot more different stuff than they do because obviously I’m a g girl and I fall under different stereotypes than they will. But I like proving people wrong. I like people being like, oh I thought you were the merch girl but you get up there onstage and do that!
Josh: Yeah we get this all the time, like which one are you dating?
Kelsey: It’s like, I’m not dating anybody in here.
Josh: Yeah, I’m dating those four fat guys, yeah. Well Jeremy’s skinny…
Kendra: Now something for all the boys and the girl, if you had to pick Simpsons characters for one another which would you pick?
Lindan: Josh is so Homer in the sense of humor and the way he laughs at the stupid things that he does.
Josh: I’ll do one for…Oh gosh, Nate is totally Ned Flanders because he’s like our happy go lucky guy who’s always like that for the most part, except when he’s mad at me. So since I’m Homer, he has to hate me. But yeah most of the time guys meet Nate and he’s like, howdidly doodily. He’s just a ball of sunshine and awesome to have around.
Nate North (guitar): I honestly, correct me if I’m wrong here I really think Kelsey’s Sideshow Bob. I think secretly she really just wants to kill us.
Lindan: Or Ms. Krabappel, with that I hate the world thing.
Kelsey: I have to agree with Lindan and say Josh is Homer. I don’t what the fuck Jeremy is.
Lindan: Jeremy’s like Moe. He doesn’t say a lot but when he does it’s usually pretty funny.
Jeremy Crum (drums): Who’s the dude who’s always in the bar or whatever? I’d say that for Lindan.
Kendra: We’re gonna stick with the geek thing for a second. We had Star Wars and The Simpsons and here we had Comic-Con last weekend. Would you ever be down to play it?
Lindan: We really want to. We’ve been talking about it because one of our favorite bands, I Fight Dragons, got started there. We’re fucking huge, TV, movie, comic book nerds and we’ve talked about it every year, about saving up the money and going but…
Josh: We’re a band that’s getting higher up there with the contacts and we can probably make that happen for us so that’s something we want to do. We just got a new marketing company and that’s one of the things we actually sat down and E3 or Comic-Con, it’s happening; any arcade expos.
Kendra: Would you change up the set, maybe nerdify it?
Josh: We’d just add extra banter.
Kendra: A couple more….What’s up for the rest of the year for you guys?
Nate: I think really and truly we’re gonna sit down and focus on these new singles that we’re gonna be releasing soon and hopefully come Fall we have plans in the work for another tour and I’m not sure, but it’s a secret right now…off the record. But really and truly we’re gonna sit down and take some time and really connect with new fans and just kind of expand the fan base a little more and kind of just go from there.
Kendra: Other than touring, how do you expand on the fan base?
Josh: We’re pretty hard workers when it comes to putting ourselves out there on every avenue possible like we definitely talk to fans on Facebook and Twitter all the time. Like every band says that, but I get our tweets to my phone. Like the second a fan tweets us, I tweet back. And we’ll sit there and look at people on Facebook and are like hey, they like Mayday Parade, they’ll like Page 9. So we’ll send them a message. And also, we got a good marketing team behind us now and we’ve got a couple big shows lined up that we’ll be announcing soon. So it’s just taking every opportunity that we feel will would expose people to our music and it’s great because we’ve worked really hard the first two and half years we started touring to get to that level. Because of course you don’t start out as a band on their first tour and you’re not going to automatically open up for Blink or anything like that, or even Hey Monday or Friday Night Boys, something like that. It’s a lot of work and we’re finally getting to that point where a lot of those industry guys know who Page 9 are and are really starting to see all that hard work we’ve done and it’s great. It’s our time now.
Kendra: Okay last one, I’m going to make you guys think again. So I want each of you to give me a song as if you were making a puzzle. Like each song you pick would be a piece of the Page 9 puzzle.
Josh: “The World You Love” by Jimmy Eat World off Futures a lot of the lyrics are like “I fall asleep with my friends around me, only place I know I feel safe.” I think that every tour I have that song stuck in my head the whole time because I’m doing what I love, with the people that I love…Everybody say “Aw.”
Page 9: Aw…
Josh: Yeah so the people I love, and Jimmy Eat World that’s like my band. So yeah Jimmy Eat World, “The World You Love.”
Nate: You know honestly I’d go with “Everlong” the chorus of it, “if everything could ever feel this real forever,” and you know what we do is almost like a dream. It’s kind of one of those things where you know not everybody is in the position we are. And day to day we’re so blessed to be where we are, and doing what we do. So yeah my song would definitely be “Everlong” by Foo Fighters.
Jeremy: First of all I’m a huge Angels and Airwaves fan so they always give me shit about that when I talk about them. But there’s a song called “Rite Of Spring” where Tom basically explains his life and how he got to the point he is, and he’s saying he has no regrets because every little thing made him do what he’s doing now. And I have to look at my past and everything I’ve done and yeah I’ve failed at some things and I’ve succeeded, but I’m here with these guys playing music for a living and I can’t regret any of that.
Lindan: I’m gonna have to say “Under the Bridge” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just cause multiple reasons but one, it’s one of those songs that every time it comes on we all crank it up and sing along to it. It’s just a solid song. And me and Josh, we’re really about where we grew up in Dallas and that’s a song really all about LA and I can respect loving the city that you’re in and loving your hometown.
Kelsey: I have to pick one Josh showed me actually. They’re from San Antonio and they’re called Nothing More and they have a song called “The Few Not Fleeting.” It’s kind of about us in a way in the sense that we’re the ones that aren’t going to give up on our dreams.
Originally published on August 2, 2011