Intertwining songs of girls and good times with ones that will make you think is what We Are! The New Year’s Writing on the Walls is all about. A handful of pop rock songs that will make fans of All Time Low and The Summer Set jump and dance with joy. It’s been about a week since this EP has entered my life, and the infectious ways of “Come On, (Come On)” have yet to leave me at peace. Do the constant stares I get on public transportation when signing along bother me? Yes, but who cares…It’s officially a personal jam, and I don’t mind you making it your own too. Or maybe you can take “Is She Over Him?” It’s like it was meant for a teen movie montage; upbeat, sassy and catchy as fuck. We Are! The New Year’s Writing on the Walls is out now. And something else you can do besides make Writing on the Walls a part of your music collection? Keep reading to see what Brian of We Are! The New Year had to say about (dirty) Jersey, lyrical content and pool parties.
Kendra: What’s the deal being between three states? Is there just one you all call home right now or are you still in limbo?
Brian: Well first off I’d like to say thanks for interviewing us and reviewing the album! It is tough being between multiple states but we manage to make it work. I live in New Jersey about an hour away and just commute. When we’re writing people tend to live together. I’ll stay with the drummer and Pat will stay with DJ the guitar player.
Kendra: You have one state that’s my love because of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and another that’s causing humanity to fail…Jersey. So if put in a dual, which would you hope comes out on top between the two shows?
Brian: Haha, well being as how I am the one answering and I’m from NJ, I would say definitely NJ. NJ has more people and we are all about being buff according to Jersey Shore!
Kendra: Oh no, Sunny for the win….Any who, you guys, The Wonder Years, This Time Next Year…What do you think is the appeal of the word “year” in band names?
Brian: We used to be called just, The New Year, but another band in Canada that hasn’t even been around in ten years threatened to sue so we changed to We Are! The New Year before We Are The In Crowd. But unfortunately the name was decided on before I joined the band.
Kendra: “Number 99 With An Anchor” sounded to me like this revelation that “normalcy” wasn’t for you, like you didn’t want that cliché life of a wife and kids so you chose a path separate from the rest of your friends. Is that the case? And was there an exact moment that made you want music over anything else?
Brian: I would love to have a family and kids just not right now. The song is actually about how hard it is to make it in the industry with how elitist executives are, and these bands that are put together by labels. “Number 99 With An Anchor” refers to the Billboard charts; that’s the worst you can be. The bridge talks about all the bands I’ve seen that don’t deserve what they’ve been given and what will it take for me to attain that after chasing for seven years now.
Kendra: Looks like I interpreted that all wrong then! Moving on…I’m always interested in band’s influences, and in your realm it’s always the same handful of bands (Blink, Brand New, TBS), so I was surprised and happy to see Hit The Lights in your crop. So what is it about them that stood out to We Are! The New Year?
Brian: Honestly our biggest influence is Cartel. They are just amazing musicians and honestly the only band we could even say we sound like. Our songs just sound different from the rest of the pop punk genre out there today and I’d like to keep it that way. HTL is my favorite band so obviously I draw a little from them lyrically but I’m cautious about saying we sound like them because so many bands are copycats of them and we are not.
Kendra: You have a mix of good time songs of girls and fun and then you have the more reflection ones like “Come On, (Come On)” on Writing on the Walls. When writing, do you think about making that mix of the fun and serious, or do you just write?
Brian: It depends. I don’t set out to write anything specific when I begin the lyrical process and the words are actually what comes last after rhythm and the actual notes. I try to make sure not every song is about a girl though because honestly I grew up on punk and ska and those songs mean something and were written about bigger issues. So I try to incorporate a little of that while still staying true to my formula that works.
Kendra: Whatever you all choose to write, it’s working because you have a good amount of sponsorships. Do you have any advice to bands looking to get on that train?
Brian: Write the music you truly love to listen to. I could easily start a hardcore band and hop on that bandwagon but I don’t like that stuff. I have loved powerpop/pop punk forever and when you truly love it the music just flows. Every sponsor we have has hit us up because they like our music and we have more we haven’t even announced!
Kendra: I mentioned this one already, but because it gave a shout out to my favorite decade, the 90’s, I have to bring “Come On, (Come On)” again and ask about 1993 and the best part about it, Power Rangers…Please tell me you were a fan?
Brian: Hell yes…’Nough said.
Kendra: Writing on the Walls, a bunch of dates…What else do you all have planned for the last half of 2011?
Brian: Music Video, more tours to be announced, and shopping our stuff to labels of course.
Kendra: And the icing on the cake, fans of swimming, eh? So if I wanted you to make me a mixtape of the Top 5 songs for a pool party, what would you send me?