We The Kings – Across The Ocean

We The Kings

We The Kings are celebrating the release of their fifth album Strange Love and another tour of Australia. This band is all about the fans making sure their tunes get heard far and wide and seeking feedback, which is a really cool thing to have that relationship with their fans. Across The Ocean got to chat to front man Travis Clark in Orlando just before house hunting ahead of the birth of their newborn child.

we-the-kings-2016-promo

Whereabouts on tour are you now?

We’re off tour but I’ve flown from New York with my wife to Orlando as we’re buying a house here for the baby. We’re doing the buy coastal thing living in these areas.

Were you stoked with how 2015 panned out for We The Kings and how the album went in Australia?

We release there before anywhere else and it’s great that you get to hear it before anywhere else does. It’s exciting man! We put out an album every two years and it is really cool to see the response we get from it. Starting with the Aussies we’ll be getting to hear from all the fans about what they think of the album, what their favourite songs are and that is one of the most exciting parts of putting out an album.

Does still amaze you now from where you started off with your debut album to where things are now with the support continuing to grow and get stronger?

Absolutely, what is funny about it all is that it never loses the excitement. Even going back to our first album it is still as equally exciting to do this stuff and see the reaction. I remember putting out our first album, it was like being a kid at Christmas. I told my wife that tomorrow would be like Christmas morning again and that feeling won’t ever get old or go away, that is something that I like forward to.

It must be a great feeling knowing that your music means so much to so many people and that you can explore new ideas along the way?

It is great to be able to impress somebody and make a difference with the music that you do. You want people to be able to appreciate it but it is hard to live off those expectations especially when you put out a really amazing album then the next album has to be even bigger and better. That will go on for the rest of our lives and our tenth or eleventh album, we’re going to be so stressed out trying to make something that is better than all the other ten or eleven that have come before it.

Does each album get harder considering the challenges of the industry?

It definitely gets harder but not the selling of the albums, that is kind of out of our hands. What is in our hands and what we can control is people listening to the music and coming to shows, what songs we can write that make a difference. The music industry decides that no one is going to buy albums any more, which is something that we can’t change or control. All we care about is that people are listening to our music no matter how they get it and coming to our shows so that we are able to tour and play live the past eight years.

How do you think your music has evolved over the past eight years?

I think now we’re just starting to understand how to be a band. How to live together on the road, how to make everything work in our favour without trying too hard and to have all this stuff that we used to do like our touring schedule for example would be like play one shows and have another ten hours away then go back the other direction five hours. It would make sense to book a show two hours away or three hours away in the same direction. Our touring is getting better and we’re finding it easier to do this and be a band and maintain relationships with our families and loved ones. Before when we started we got so wrapped up in the music scene we found it hard to manage both and we unfortunately we lost touch with a lot of our friends and family because we were working so hard. I think now we’re figuring out how to do it in a way that we’re able to keep what we love most.

Is that a lesson you just have to learn or something you wished that one of your peers pulled you aside for a quiet word?

We’ve good fortune of been able to go on tour with bands who we’ve listened to as kids. I think they’ve always had something really nice to say about being a band. It’s funny, every time you go on tour you just learn a little more about yourself, how things are supposed to be and how to take it easy on yourself. It usually comes from bands who have been doing it longer than we have, which is nice. At the same time it is good to remember that youthfulness that some bands lose and become jaded with everything. I love getting advice from everybody whether they’re old or new bands.

Is there a reason why Strange Love was released in Australia before anywhere else in the world?

I’m not really sure! We always talk about it but it’s so funny to me that Australia became our number one place to tour as far as how people come to our shows, how many songs we charted on radio and things like that. I think we have so much fun when we go over there and it’s all completely organic. We thought we would never be able to go that far. Our families have grown up and didn’t have a lot of money, we weren’t thinking outside of Florida, it was one of those things when we went to Australia for the first time you could see it in our faces that it was the best place ever and our fans would attest to that. So far, we have had such a great reaction and that’s the reason why we keep coming back.

Ticket sales are going well, hopefully you’ll be playing to full houses just about everywhere…

Hopefully! We’ll find another tune that we can release to radio in Australia and that our fans will love and support it. Until then, who knows! That’s why the hours after album release is so exciting because we’re going to be able to see who loves what and what happens to the band. It is rare for a band to put out as many albums as we have but the fact we are putting out our fifth album is really special to us.

Is it a challenge to work out the set list nowadays with so many good songs to pick from?

Oh my god yes! I remember our very first tour off our first album, we had forty five minutes to play and our set was always our entire album which was thirty two minutes. How are we going to find thirteen more minutes to fill our set list? We covered a Jimmy Eat World song and then we started producing our set so bridges were longer, double choruses and things like that. Now with our fifth album coming out and we get forty five minutes it feels like a greatest hits set list which is awesome. It is so easy for bands to do that and allows us to multiple set lists where we can change up the songs and make each city special rather than doing the same each night over and over.

What do you look forward to the most when you tour Australia?

I’m actually looking forward to getting out of the cold. January and February in the States is just freezing so it will be nice to get out of the cold. Also, like I said it will be nice to play that first show over there and see which new songs the fans react to. It is great to see your work come full circle especially with so much blood, sweat and tears going in to these songs and to hear the fans sing the songs back especially if it is a new song and hasn’t been out that long is the best time.

Rob Lyon

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

Latest posts by Rob Lyon (see all)