Every time I send out interview questions, I really don’t know what to expect back. Bigger bands who have been coached to say a rehearsed speech are less interesting than newer bands who let it all out. Arrows Over Athens’ Randy Burlingame didn’t hold back and I want to thank him for his honesty throughout.
Arrows Over Athens plays the game much like my babies in We Are The In Crowd, they don’t just push a girl out front and expect things to work out the way they did for that one female fronted band that has reigned supreme. I won’t mention their name because you already know who I’m talking about…They take have a leading man and a leading lady to bring about their style of pop punk. That’s what peaked my interest in them. I love any band that can put their own spin on something.
While AOA appear a fresh faced band from Massachusetts, they’ve been through a lot and you’ll find out what as you keep your eyes glued to the rest of this interview where Randy is candid about lost friends, health, Spider-Man and more.
Kendra: When it comes to having dual leading vocals in a band, especially when it involves a female, do you guys personally feel it’s a way for the band to stay equals and not result in the girl being pushed out to the front as the “poster girl” for the band? Not just with your band, but with other bands who deal with dual vocals as well.
Randy Burlingame: In a lot of ways, yeah definitely. We think it helps a lot for pigeonholing us into the stereotypes that come with having only female vocals. If a band has female vocals, people will usually say, “they kind of sound like Paramore!” or something like that. I like being able to say, “We only sound like Paramore half the time.”
Kendra: You just announced The David VS Goliath tour for January. Do you even think about health when you’re on the road and stocking up on gas station treats?
Randy: We think about it all the time. It’s really tough to be completely healthy on the road (bands don’t get too many real showers while on tour…. so working out is the last thing we want to do) but our band usually goes grocery shopping before we leave. I personally stock up on things like tuna and applesauce, so that way I don’t need to eat junk food for two weeks straight.
Kendra: Last year when you were down a member, was there someone in mind to replace David, or was there a steady process to find someone new?
Randy: It took us a while after Dave left to find Mike. We tried a lot of solid drummers out, and it took a few months to find somebody who clicked with the group the way Mike does.
Kendra: Along with the band name, your street team is called “Archers.” Have you seen a boost in interest to the band due to archery being the “it” thing this year thanks to movies like Brave and of course The Hunger Games?
Randy: I haven’t even thought about that to be honest, haha. Now that you say it though, I suppose it could be a reason why it’s taking off a bit more now.
Kendra: Still a young band, have you found yourself ever fangirling/fanboying another band you might come into contact with?
Randy Absolutely. We may have fans of our own, but there are still bands I listen to in my car every day that I would act that way around if I met them. Actually, we played a show with Four Year Strong at UMASS Amherst this year, and I kind of felt like that. Two years ago I was just a kid crowd surfing at their shows, and then I got the chance to play a packed college show with them. Crazy how it works like that.
Kendra: To get in the spirit of the season, if you were say…five years old today, what present would you expect Santa to bring you this year?
Randy: A Spider-Man action figure. I LOVED Spider-Man. Still do. I’d probably ask for a Spider-Man beer koozie now though.
Kendra: “Never Gonna Give You Up”…Any other covers coming from you guys any time soon?
Randy: Haha, yeah a few actually. Michelle and myself are doing some acoustic Christmas covers this month (videos), and then we will also be featured as a full band on Covers For A Cure: Volume Two next year as well. I can’t say what artist we’re covering, but I’ll give you a hint. I have their logo tattooed on my left arm (come to a show and look!)
Kendra: What about new music in general? You just had The Atlas drop in June, so is it too soon to start recording new music?
Randy: We’re already working on new music actually. We will be releasing an acoustic song, in memory of our previous drummer David. Dave struggled with depression for years, and took his own life over the summer. This song is going to be about him, and his story is actually where the idea for the “David vs Goliath Tour” comes from too. You can also expect a new album in 2013. We may or may not have already started recording that…
Kendra: We covered presents, but another big thing is the whole “end of the world” thing. So if it happens, what would you want your last meal to be?
Randy: BBQ Ribs. Rack upon rack upon rack and a keg of Magic Hat #9. I would die happy if I could have that on the way out.
Kendra: I want the top 5 songs you’d put on a mixtape for David to get him ready for his battle with Goliath, go!
Randy: Cool idea! Let’s see…
Michael Jackson “Man In The Mirror” (you HAVE to get inspired before you go into battle)
I Am Abomination “Hangin’ On”
The Lord of The Rings entire sound track
Four Year Strong “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Hell”
Lastly, the new acoustic song we are writing about David, that is all about his battle with “Goliath.”