From First To Last

By paul

Paul: Can you please just run through who is in the band for those not yet familiar with From First To Last?
Travis: Jon plays bass and screams, Matt plays guitar and sings, Sonny sings, Derek plays drums and I (TRAVIS) play guitar and scream and sing and like to cook.

Paul: How would you describe your sound to someone who is yet to hear you? Which bands would you say are influences?
Travis: From the outside I would say we are a very dark melodic rock band with some catchy hooks. Some people would label us as screamo, but the difference is we don’t just scream for no reason, its usually when the music is either extremely intense or really heavy. Our influences are like Nirvana, Black metal, metal in general, Michael Jackson…we listen to almost everything.

Paul: One of the major changes FFTL has gone through was swapping vocalists in between the EP and album. How and why did that come about?
Travis: Well we parted ways with our old front man because we were wanting to sorta stretch ourselves as a band and do some different things. We recorded the entire record with no vocals and kinda were at a standstill after that. This kid sonny wanted to come out to the studio and hang out and we heard him singing just playing around and we got him to go in the
vocal booth and sing a little and it just fit. Only something that random would happen to us.

Paul: How did the band come across Sonny (or how did Sonny come across the band?) and how does this change FFTL from the band they were before?
Travis: he wanted to originally play guitar, but he was built for the center stage. He was actually everything we wanted in a singer, someone energetic with a big range, lots of power and an abundance in character. This was the final change for FFTL.

Paul: The EP was probably less experimental to an extent, especially compared to the range of styles on the new record. At what point did these styles of music start to influence the band?
Travis: They’ve always been there and like the people in the band the album is extremely colourful and doesn’t necessarily stick to one style, instead we kinda invented our own. Alot of people look at us from the outside and say ‘oh they are so cliche’, but the truth is we are just all really different people, and when you melt together all the different influences we have with our drive to create something new you get a weird hybrid to say the least. I think the main reason a lot of kids dont get us is cause they think we do the things like the rap and the industrial type song as a ploy or because it’s trendy…but truth be told we are just really into that stuff.

Paul: How does the songwriting process work? Does one person come to the band with lyrics/music or is it more a band thing?
Travis: Starts with Matt most of the time. He pretty much brings the basis of the song to the band then we all start working on it together…it’s all a group process, and that’s why so many styles stick out.

Paul: Who comes up with the song titles and do they have a specific meaning? ‘I Liked You Better…’ for instance may have an interesting story to tell!
Travis: Our band as a whole is extremely critical of pretty much everything. It’s safe to say we have a “fuck the world” mentality. We are always looking at life socially and critiquing it…we also do this to ourselves. So with that said, most everything we do is nothing more than sarcasm or a way to get people to react and then hopefully they will wonder why they are reacting that way. ‘…Naked’ for instance is sorta a way of saying love isn’t enough. Everyone is wanting more and its not satisfying and a great way to get that across to this generation is by using something they can relate to, and we’ve all seen our share of girls and boys taking it off online….some more than others…hahaha

Paul: How did you wind up on Epitaph? Was there a lot of label interest?
Travis: Yeah there was a decent amount of label interest, both indie and major. We all felt that sticking to an indie would allow us to learn who we are as a band and define our sound before taking a leap into the mainstream. Brett the owner of epitaph flew out to our shit hole apartment and really hung out and showed his love for the band, and thats all it
really took.

Paul: How did the recording experience differ between the new record and the EP?
Travis: Actually not a whole lot. We did the majority of the work ourselves. Not alot of people know this but we took our budget, and gave it to our friend lee. He then took the money and built a studio, and we actually physically built that with him…those walls are ours!!!! We had a big part in the process and probably always will.

Paul: How did the collaboration with MLP come about? Have you ever played the song live?
Travis: We wrote that song in the studio and wanted to do something cliche with rapping because it seems everyone wants to be street. WE ACTUALLY ARE! Hahaha we play that song all the time, usually have a kid from the audience come on stage and rap.

Paul: Do you think the emo/screamo explosion is being to die off? Do you think the genre will start to go the way of ‘nu-metal’?
Travis: Nu metal isnt nu metal anymore. Use to Nu Metal was rap rock, now its bands like nickel back or something… ITS JUST MAINSTREAM ROCK PEOPLE! Music is a generational thing..screamo will graduate one day cause the kids will get older…it’ll turn into the matchbox 20s and stuff. I just take it a day at a time…Outkast proved that you can take something mainstream and make it your own and challenge everyone who is in your genre…

Paul: Is the next album going to be more hardcore like ‘Kiss Me, I’m Contagious’, more poppy like ‘Populace in Two’ or more industrial like ‘I Liked You Better Before……’?
Travis: The next album is gonna be a creation that has yet happened to music and thats all im gonna say. Its gonna be everything with the volume up to 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

Paul: Have you ever been given any presents or gifts from fans? What were the coolest or the most weird?
Travis: Underwear, paintings, letters…weirdest, but also coolest was a photo story of ride the wings…BAD ASS!

Paul: Are you looking forward to touring the UK? Do you have any preconceptions of what kind of reception you may get?
Travis: WE CAN NOT WAIT! I’ve always wanted to come to Europe and hopefully our UK fans are gonna represent!

Paul: Do you have any plans to return to the UK again this year? What other plans do you have for 2005?
Travis: Of course! We’d love to travel out of the U.S. as much as we can! We got warped, maybe a headliner…maybe UK, i dunno we’ll see cant be for sure yet…but what I do know is that everything is just starting and we haven’t even begun to show our true faces.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]