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Ahead of their headlining set, Neck Deep’s Fil Thorpe-Evans sat down with me at the lovely Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, Ontario for a nice little chat.
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What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing/producing The Peace and the Panic?
I think the whole process came natural in making the album. The only thing that was a little hard was making sure that it was consistent, you know, and picking which songs worked the best together to make the final track listing. Overall though, I thought everything flowed quite well!
Well on that note, what did you find to be the most rewarding part in making this album?
Probably just hearing the finished product that took about a year to make. With all the sessions we did and the recordings, it was really great to see it all come together into something we really put the time and effort into making.
You provided a lot of the backing vocals that really played off well with Ben’s own voice. Have you ever taken an interest in singing solo entirely on one track?
Yeah that was one of the newer things we were trying out on this record. The whole thing behind me singing actually was that in the early days it was strictly Ben, but because we had such complex harmonies, we needed someone to start singing besides just Ben. West [guitar] and Dani [drums] weren’t too keen on doing it, so it kind of fell on me and I never really was much of a singer and never really knew how to sing. If you listen to some old live videos, I sounded pretty rough but it was really one of those things where I just had to learn it as I go. You know, I just got stronger and stronger with it and began to feel more comfortable until we got to the point where I would be singing alone at certain parts of some songs. Yeah so, thank god it ended up working out, but maybe sometime in the future it could end up like a Mark Hoppus & Tom DeLonge type thing with Ben and myself!
What evoked the mixture of different sounds and genres into this recent album?
Well with the one track like “Where Do We Go When We Go”, for example, I felt that the structure was a little off at first, but Ben then had the idea of the kids singing as an intro which I think really made it complete. It actually kind of reminded me of “Letterbomb” from Green Day which was really cool. So I think that everyone having all these ideas about what they think works best for each song and throwing it into the mix really gave the different sound and style that you haven’t really heard in any of our past stuff.
What was the overall message or statement you guys wanted to make when you guys released The Peace and the Panic?
I think The Peace and the Panic was just us trying to prove that we aren’t just a pop-punk band. Like with Life’s Not Out to Get You, we love it and wouldn’t change a thing, but it’s just really pop-punk through and through. The new album though, with songs like “In Bloom” and “Parachutes”, I think it gave everyone a better idea on what we are capable of in terms of not being just another pop-punk band. We have dreams you know, we want to branch out and not be in this little pop-punk world forever.
You guys toured with A Day to Remember across Europe back in January, how was that?
Yeah, we did the U.K. and Europe with them and it was sick, man. I’m a huge ADTR fan and it was the one of the things where we always knew it was going to happen, but it never really was the right time up until then. You know, with the clashing of different schedules, it was awesome to finally be able to tour with those guys for a bit after waiting so long.
What’s your favorite Warped Tour memory?
Oh that’s a hard one…..um, my favorite times when we did Warped Tour was the first two times. The first one was just so sick with the best possible vibes. It was such a good year for Warped, but I remember either the second or first time we played and it was in Toronto. I think it was the first time actually, yeah it was, and it was raining and everyone was going crazy so that was great, man.
Desert island(s) bands if you had to pick?
I know its kind of cliché, but I’d say either blink-182 or Green Day for sure. Well actually, probably the Misfits, too, if I had pick another.
What did you mainly grow up listening to, in terms of genres?
I didn’t really have anyone in my family that really listened to music when I was growing up. I mean, I have an older sister who listened to Beyoncé and shit so I didn’t really have anyone to show me the way, but I just found blink-182 and everything else from there. I used to go to my local CD store and browse the punk section and just buy a random record like Anti-Flag or like a Misfits record or whatever. But yeah man, I definitely tended to stay in the punk and alternative side of music which I still do, but now its mixed with the pop-punk side of the spectrum because of our own sound.