Alternative Press was a bible growing up. Not only did it showcase the best in music, but fashion (I could never afford) and tours (I could never attend). It was about 2002 when I started reading AP and if a band made it in there, I was sure they had to be worthy. That year was also when a band from Southern California started up, and it’s through AP that they caught my attention. No, no, not in 2002. I saw Five Mile Town earlier this year featured in AP and wanted to showcase them on Golden Mixtape.
So a few emails later and here I am listening to their new album Resolution before Degrassi starts (yes, I’m 25 and still watch). While the album fell off towards the end with the last three tracks, it was a pop rock record with three key elements; Relient K similarities, broken hearts and catchy ways.
“Mood Elevator” and “Nightstars And Daydreams” had that Relient K sound, but not in the Jesus way. Five Mile Town just carried themselves like that faith covered Ohio band. As each song played, I felt bad for the guy writing the lyrics. He never seemed to get the girl in “Shrink The World” and “L.O.V.E.,” which has the greatest line of Resolution, “Your not mine to daydream about.” Almost every song had enough pop thrown in to be an earworm, but it was “Carolina” and “Flavor O-E” the most pop in their step.
Five Mile Town was in the only magazine I actually subscribe to and thank god I took a chance and reached out, so I could share their new album Resolution, out now. If you’re into bands like Valencia and Relient K, then you’ll like what’s on Resolution and are inclined to keep reading on for the interview portion of this piece. Find out how Five Mile Town deals with haters, if they get girls, what they’d do if they were in the White House and more.
Andrew: I feel like taking a break from the band was more a byproduct of our various individual pursuits than a conscious decision. Momentum wasn’t on our side for a while, but we’re definitely glad to be back in the saddle again.
Prescott: I don’t regret taking the break. I think it would have been fun to keep playing, but not all of us had the time because school was taking up so much of it. I agree with Andrew that it wasn’t a decision we made, just something that happened over time.
Kevin: Honestly, it was a stroke of luck for Five Mile Town to take a break because, at the time, I wasn’t the drummer. With all the guys but myself in college, life got hectic for them but I was able to keep working hard and refine my skills so that, when FMT came knocking, I was ready to answer.
Andy: I’m not really keen on regrets. I think everything happens for a reason and who knows what our lives would be like if we didn’t stop and take a break. I do know that it probably would be different and this album might not be what it is, so I’d say we made the right choice because this album is exactly what we had all dreamt of. Plus, it was pretty killer having Kevin behind the drums. We’d always wanted that.
Kendra: In “Mood Elevator” you mention being “too old for the scene” and I have friends who say that at a certain age you need to grow up and realize the band thing isn’t for you. I believe you keep going until you feel like doing something else. Other than writing about it, how do you deal with skeptics like that?
Andrew: I think if you let other people define who you are and what you should be doing, then you’re giving them too much power. We’re five best friends who love playing music together, and I hope we’ll be doing the same thing when we’re old, fat and grey. I think 50 years of FMT would certainly silence the skeptics.
Prescott: I think it all depends on your mindset while you’re playing music. I’m totally fine with being old, fat, and gray playing in the band because I know it’s not something we take too seriously. It’s our hobby, it’s something the five of us have been blessed to be able to do for all these years, it brings us closer as friends, and it makes us happy. We aren’t doing this to become famous, we’re doing it because we love it, it’s been a dream of ours, and we’ve been given the passion to do it….so we’re doing it.
Kevin: As much as the criticism sucks, people that say that really do have a point. There comes a time where you need to grow up and make a living. But at the same time, FMT never expected to get rich off of playing music. We were a bunch of friends that loved music and loved performing and the band grew out of that. So when people say to us, “Hey it’s time to grow up and let go of this band thing.” We can point to our bachelor’s degrees and full time jobs and say, “Thanks for the advice, but we’re doing just fine.”
Andy: We’re all 23, 24, and 25 and it’s weird to think that’s old to people. But you know what? I don’t care to have anything to do with the 15 year olds wearing skinny jeans saying that we’re too old for the scene. I don’t want to be a part of your scene. I just want to rock. “Less talk, more rock”. I think I say it on stage at every show. Today’s world says things like “Stay young forever”, but I have to say, growing up is awesome. You’re stupid when you’re young and you just don’t realize it ‘cause you’re stupid. I swear if I hear “YOLO” one more time, I’m going to put my face through my desk. Make good choices kids. Stay in school and don’t do drugs. I don’t say that as a miserly adult, I say that as someone who’s watched the “scene” destroy a lot of wonderful lives full of potential.
Kendra: I know a couple local bands who’ve gotten lucky enough to be on KROQ. Did you sit around waiting for them to play your song, and what’d you do when you heard it?
Andrew: Do you know that scene in That Thing You Do! where the bandmates hear their song on the radio for the first time and run up and down the streets screaming and laughing and dancing like little girls? It was kind of like that.
Prescott, Kevin, Andy: What Andrew said.
Kendra: Quite a few songs on Resolution are about not getting the girl. Is that still a problem, or have you all attained a significant other?
Andrew: Each song on the record is born out of experience, but thankfully we’ve all been fortunate to come across some upstanding young ladies in our time.
Prescott: I couldn’t have said it better than Andrew.
Kevin: I think everyone is quite well-acquainted with unrequited love, and we were no different in that category. But as Andrew mentioned, we’ve all been lucky enough to get to know some pretty stand up ladies, so I guess, in that sense, it’s becoming less of a problem.
Andy: While we’ve all had our run-ins with tough situations regarding the opposite sex, I’d say that through maturity and grace, we have all been able to tackle that problem. We all hold ourselves to pretty high standards for what is demanded of men and that’s why I love these guys so much. I feel bad for girls these days because there is a severe shortage in good men. We’d like to answer that call. You could say that it’s one of our resolutions.
Kendra: Speaking of, being in a band will lead to some girls thinking you’re top notch just because you’re on a stage. Do those fake girls ever bother you much, or do you even notice them?
Andrew: Some people are shallow I suppose, but that’s their problem, not mine.
Prescott: Are you kidding? We love being chased by all the ladies we meet after a show. Just kidding. That doesn’t happen.
Kevin: I think anyone being fake gets on my nerves a bit. Integrity is a huge deal to me, so when I see people acting one way with a certain crowd and a totally different way with another, I take notice and give them a wide berth.
Andy: With great power, comes great responsibility. I don’t think any of us have ever really paid attention to fake girls. And if any of us ever did, I’m sure the rest of us would say something along the lines of “Dude. No.” That’s part of being in a band of your closest friends. We hold each other accountable. I’m hoping people think our MUSIC is top-notch. Not us.
Kendra: Because the election is still fresh on my mind…I was reading about Obama’s daughters and I wanted to ask what you’d do if you were the first kid (amazing movie by the way)?
Andrew: If Sinbad was my Secret Service agent, I guess I could probably do anything I felt like.
Prescott: I’d probably make rap videos with Andy Samberg and the guys from Lonely Island. And turn the lawn into a baseball field.
Kevin: The White House would definitely need to change one of the rooms into a studio/practice space. It’d solve so many of FMT’s issues!
Andy: I’d host SNL for sure. It’s always been a big dream of mine.
Kendra: Because Five Mile Town formed in 2002 and that year is synonymous with amazing musical memories for those lucky enough to have cared about the pop punk scene then…I want you to make a mixtape of the top 5 songs from that year that helped shape FMT, go!
“The Middle” Jimmy Eat World
“All You Wanted” Michelle Branch
“Pressing On” Relient K
…..this is technically 2001 but since they didn’t release it until 2002, it’ll have to do; “You’re So Last Summer” Taking Back Sunday; I got nothing after that.
“Pressing On” Relient K
“Ocean Avenue” Yellowcard (the album came out in 2003, but they were working on the album throughout 2002. If Andrew gets to cheat then so can I!)
“Swing, Swing” The All American Rejects
“Favorite Accident” Motion City Soundtrack
And I’d agree with Andrew on “The Middle” Jimmy Eat World
Andy: 2002 was a damn good year for music. Here’s my top 5 tracks from the year:
“My Friends Over You” New Found Glory
“What It Is Too Burn” Finch
“You’re So Last Summer” Taking Back Sunday
“Swing, Swing” All-American Rejects
“Best of Me” The Starting Line