You’d think in an interview laced with Pokemon and video games, it’d be tough to find a mature conversation, right? Well, you’re wrong. Count To Four’s Mike surprised me by being able to take on any subject tossed his way. From the idea of touring only using public transportation to the current and future state of pop punk, keep on reading and then head out and get addicted to Count To Four.
Kendra: To get to know your individual personalities a little better, I read you’re a big fan of Pokemon. So if each of you were a Pokemon, which would you be and why?
Mike: I would probably have to be a Jigglypuff because he is the singer and overall general appearance. Neale would be a Snorlax because of his massive appetite and ability to sleep in any possible position imaginable. Jay would probably be an Abra due to, again, general appearance and his knack for disappearing on you when you’re looking for him. Pete would probably be a Pidgeotto because he sometimes sports a mullet.
Kendra: Now to get a little serious. You guys take don’t mess around when it comes to musicianship, so are there some clear signs that a band isn’t serious about that?
Mike: We normally take the position of not trying to talk down to any type of band regardless of who they are, their size, their musicianship, or professionalism. That being said, there are definitely some things a band can do to give off the right attitude and impression. The most important thing is make sure everyone knows you are having fun and you want to be there, regardless of the day, week, or year that you’ve been having. As long as people can see that, you are doing everything you are supposed to do.
Kendra: Are you into checking out other pop punk bands to learn and grow, or to scout out the competition?
Mike: It’s always a good thing to keep up with the bands of your specific genre. It’s good in a way to always have a grasp on what bands are getting big and what music is becoming more popular. Not to say that you should conform your band’s sound to what is popular, but it’s always smarter to be more aware of your niche.
Kendra: What are a few pop punk bands out now that you think will have not only the staying power but the musical tenacity to be the New Found Glory and Blink 182s in ten years?
Mike: Two of the biggest bands of our genre right now are The Wonder Years and The Story So Far. The Wonder Years really have perfected that modern pop punk sound, where every song is an anthem and everyone can scream the words. The Story So Far, to me at least, is a band filled with energy and actually reflexive of the early transition period where punk was moving to pop punk. They are both great bands who are great at what they do and I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon.
Kendra: Other than Legend of Zelda, if you had to place your music in a video game…Which would Between Two Cities fit best in and why?
Mike: Well, Kingdom Hearts 3 is coming out soon. I don’t know if Square Enix has gotten in touch with Utada Hikaru to do the theme song AGAIN, but if you ask me I think it’s about time someone else got a shot! On a serious note, we are all big fans of old Tony Hawk games, so if they were to ever come out with a THUG 3 we would love to get on that soundtrack.
Kendra: Starting out playing Fall Out Boy together, would you be like them and switch up your style as the years go on?
Mike: Although we all secretly wish that one day we, too, could share a track with the likes of Lil’ Wayne and Elton John, I don’t really see us coming out with our own Save Rock and Roll. Every musician knows it’s hard to predict what your next song is going to be and what it’s going to sound like, or what kind of music you’ll like 10 years from now, but a strong foundation of this band has been playing our own type of music, which we associate with the music we grow up with. There is always room to grow and mature, but I can safely say none of us had the intention of becoming a techno pop band when we started Count To Four.
Kendra: After getting Alex Gaskarth’s blessing, were you flooded with teen girls liking and following you?
Mike: I don’t know about flooded, but that interview has been very beneficial for us. He was nice enough to take the time to sit down and talk about our band for a little bit, and in the end it has really been a blessing. We just finished up our second full US tour, and literally all over the country we had some people coming out to shows to see us because they saw the Alex Gaskarth video. So while I’m not sure if we’re ready for the flood of teenage girls, the interview has worked out great for us.
Kendra: This is out of left field, but would you ever try and tour using only public transit? I totally thought of this on the bus and was wondering if any band would try this out one day.
Mike: I can pretty safely say that we would never try to tour using public transit. It would be cool in the sense that a band could make a big gimmick out of it, but we already get burned out touring in our own van, let alone trying to coordinate bus and train schedules.
Kendra: If you were to make a mixtape with the top 5 pop punk songs that have the best lyrics about growing up, which 5 would they be?
Mike: Wow, this is a tough one. Okay here it goes.
“All That Lasts” by Rufio
“-Always Summer” by Yellowcard
“Time Turned Fragile” by Motion City Soundtrack
“Grenade Jumper” by Fall Out Boy
“Dammit” by Blink 182