Mixtapes are about to get real busy, and PropertyOfZack has a great new interview with co-frontman Ryan Rockwell to fill you in on all the news. A new record, a tour with Masked Intruder, big summer plans, and a slew of funny commentary on Jason Tate, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, For Today, Pierce The Veil, and blink-182 can be found in the interview below!
Mixtapes have been away from touring for a little while and we’re about six months out after the release Even On The Worst Nights. You guys are back writing again, right?
Yes. Are we really 6 months out?
POZ: I think we are.
Ryan: Oh wow. That’s weird. Yeah we are currently writing again. We’ve been getting together three days a week and practicing like five or six hours at a time.
You guys had released a bunch of EPs or 7”s before the record. Why did you guys want to start writing again so quick?
For a while we just released so much music, from 7”s to splits to EPs to eventually the album. I just think that when we got home… You know we toured all over the place. We did some awesome tours. We got to do some cool stuff. I guess it’s not just about industry things, like the “album cycle,” we just feel like we did a lot of cool things and now we just wanted to start writing more songs. I guess in the same way, there was probably more that we could have done with Even On The Worst Nights, to be honest. It was just our first actual record. It’s weird to think about that. We’ve put out so much and toured so much before that, but it was our first real album. It was a learning experience. We’re proud of it and we’re happy and now we just have to learn from that and make something better.
I think there was a nice build up to the album (the EPs and then signing to No Sleep Records). Are you happy with how much the album stuck with fans? After such a build up?
Oh yeah, I think blew away what I would have ever dreamed of. It still sells at like a steady rate like six months later. In 2013, that’s something. We’re in a generation where if an album sticks it out for a month, I feel like that’s pretty good. And we still have so many new people coming to shows, the albums still selling at a steady rate, and people have been posting videos and commenting on YouTube. It just makes me really happy. Like I said, there is something to be said about doing it better from the beginning, music video wise and promoting, but I think for it being our first real record, it’s incredible. We just never really thought we’d do what we’ve done even before the record came out. So the fact that people are saying it’s helped them get through tough times and life or death issues, which is why the band started, is incredible. Like our booking agent called me the week after it came out and said we were on the Billboard Seekers Chart. I actually thought he was joking, like, “haha.” “Seriously go look.” I was like, “oh that’s cool.” It’s not the biggest deal but it’s something that anybody gets. Like I could show my mom, “look we made Billboard,” she even knows who that is.
A lot of people can’t pin down what Mixtapes is, like whether you guys totally take it seriously or totally don’t or some mix in between. But has it just been a humbling year with things (Billboard list) like that?
Yeah. The thing is that we take our band very seriously, the songs are very serious. We don’t have joke songs or anything. We’re not a joke band and we never have been. It’s just our personality, and maybe mine sometimes is too strong on certain things. It’s like I was telling you before the interview, I don’t want to get on stage and be like, “this song’s about my dad passing away” or this or that because A) I think our lyrics are pretty literal, they’re not metaphorical. If you listen to our record, the song is pretty obvious with what it’s about. A lot of bands have that tone or mood and that’s fine, I don’t think what I’m doing is better or worse and it’s not a right or wrong thing. I just am not the guy to get up on stage and stare at the floor and barely talk to people or the crowd or mope around because they’re sadder songs. If you want to know how I think about things, then listen to the record. If you want to know what I think of things outside of that you can just listen to me bullshit between our songs. To kind of get it, for better or worse. I don’t think there’s anything joke-y about our band. That’s kind of some of the regret we talk about on Even On The Worst Nights. The music videos before that were just kind of goofy. Some of those we didn’t even make. I don’t think people get that. Like the video for “The New Ride The Lightning” off the Hope Is For People EP which is Evan of Into It. Over It. just eating a pizza; we didn’t make that video. He made it and just sent it to AbsolutePunk and it got posted. Which is completely awesome. But some of those joke videos weren’t even us, they were friends of ours just doing things, which I think is awesome. But it doesn’t mean we’re a joke band, it just means that we can have fun sometimes.
Somewhere in the past month or this month you guys lost your bassist. Did that shake up things in the band at all? What’s going on there?
Not really at all, actually. Mike is still a really good friend of mine. We play Minecraft. I don’t want to speak for him, but basically he just didn’t want to do it anymore. Which is fine. It wasn’t an argument, there wasn’t a fight. He just really didn’t want to do it anymore. You know what I mean? I don’t know how to put it past that. It sounds weird like that, but not really much else to that. There’s no bad blood, there’s nothing weird about it. He just sat me down, talked to me and talked to everybody else. He’s playing a few shows with us next week with Broadway Calls and Red City Radio. I’m excited about it.
Do you guys have a replacement yet for after he goes?
We’ve been working on things. We do have somebody that’s going to be playing our March and April shows. I guess I can announce that. Then we’ll see how that goes. So we do have somebody to cover. And I will say that he’s a handsome gentleman.
POZ: More handsome than you?
Ryan: I mean, I don’t really necessarily have the conventional ‘good guy’ look. So yeah, I guess he’s probably more handsome than me.
POZ: But that’s what makes any handsome man special.
Ryan: True. I guess I do have my own ‘swag.’ I think that everyone in our band is more attractive than me, but that’s alright. But I play video games best.
POZ: I’d hope so.
Ryan: I do. I practice and practice makes perfect.
POZ: More than guitar. Much more than you practice the guitar. Jason Tate would agree too.
Ryan: Does Jason Tate even know how to play guitar? Can I tell you something funny? I was talking to a blogger such as yourself about five or six months ago. When they talked about our album they said they really like the album. They talked about how musically simple it was though, how there’s just not much going on. I was just like… I don’t think we’re a musically complicated band by any means but I was like, “Do you really think our music is that much more simple than…” and then I named a few bands that person happened to like a lot, that are also in the scene. And they said, “I don’t really know. I don’t play an instrument I just hear what I hear.” And I laughed and said, “Ok that’s fine.” That basically means that you have no idea what ‘complicated’ means. At the end that was kind of a pointless argument. I could not win the argument because we’re actually not musically complicated.
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