The Junior Varsity

By paul

Key: Paul = Paul Punktastic, Asa = TJV singer, Nick = TJV keyboardist

Paul: So, this is like your second tour now in the uK?
Asa: Yeah this is our second time, but it’s like our first time too because on the last tour it took us three days to get our permits but as soon as we got onto the shows it was amazing. The permits finally got straightened out, it took, like, two days, so we went and checked out the country while we got the permits sorted out and we played three shows. Straylight Run was a lot of fun to go out with.

Paul: Now this is your second time, do you have any preconceptions of what this tour with The Academy is will be like?
Asa: I think it will be awesome. The three dates we played last time were way cool and some of the dates over here are the biggest we have ever played as a band so we have nothing but good expectations, especially compared to the last time.

Paul: Every night on this tour is sold out…
Nick: …well we only do sold out shows now…
Asa: Yeah dude, we only play sell outs now! I mean, seriously, we come out here and it’s a dream come true. We are really excited to be here.

Paul: Have you played with The Academy Is and Panic! At the Disco before?
Asa: Yeah we have played with the Academy since the year dot dot. We have never played with panic! but the first gig we did at the Metro in Chicago was with The Academy. We have known them for a while.

Paul: What do you think of the whole Panic! thing? I mean they’re on TRL…
Nick: It’s hard to understand. i mean it’s awesome…
Asa:…they’re blowing up and I would love to be where they are. It’s all good. It’s great. I am really glad that music like that is popular.

Paul: How did the deal with Victory come about?
Asa: We knew a guy there and he really pushed us to Tony the owner and we got lucky. It took some time before they wanted to sign to us. But they are awesome. We had to ring them at 3am today and they were like ‘we’re on it’.
Nick: They take care of us. Our drummer was stuck in customs again…
Asa:…yeah he was stuck for 30 mins and at least it wasn’t 8 hours but we called Tony and he took care of it and there was no problem. He was like ‘I’m on it’. They take care of business.

Paul: But they have this dodgy reputation…
Asa:…yeah, you’re right.
Nick: It’s like any relationship dude, there are ups and downs.
Asa: That’s a great way of putting it. They are great to us because they take care of us and they take care of our tour support and we can call them at 3am and they take care of business.

Paul: The album’s been out for like, 6 months now?
Nick: 5 months.
Paul: How was the recording process?
Asa: It was really cool. Like Matt Squire…we had no idea what to expect. He’s like 5ft 3…he’s a little short Jewish little bad ass. It was really cool. Matt Squire is the bomb.

Paul: What’s the plan for this year?
Asa: Tour, tour, tour.
Nick: It’s tour and tour and then write, write, write.
Asa: Right now were talking with the Starting Line for Spring but the main objective is to write. We have to get a new album out. We want to do it, we have to get it done.

Paul: Last year was a really bad year…
Asa:…yes it was.
Nick: It was a terrible year. The worst year of my life I think.
Paul: was there any point where you just thought ‘I can’t do this anymore’?
Nick: The point that really made me feel sick was Olamide. that’s the point that made me feel terrible.
Asa: That made me fucking sick. And then John Beatz from bayside, it just kept going. Nobody can ever expect that.
Nick: It really hurts.
Asa: It totally takes something out of a band, not just a band but a human being, y’know. It’s some hard shit to deal with but there’s nothing else to do than to keep going.
Paul: Then there was all the stuff that got stolen…
Asa:…that was stupid. That got ridiculous. We were just like ‘what the fuck’? They would steal anything. They stole our CDs…the last copies of The Great Compromise, they took t-shirts and shit.
Nick: They took everything.
Asa: And what are they gonna do with that shit? I mean, whatever, it sucks, but what can you do? It would be easy for us all to go ‘fuck you, fuck you, I’m out’ but we;re a band and we;re all fucking together. With everything that happened last year we’re still fucking going for it man. We won’t let anything get in our way.

Paul: Which bands should we be looking out for over here in the UK?
Asa: The Twilight’s the bomb.
Nick: The Maple State.
Asa: The Maple State are the fucking bomb. Check out a band called Bastien (?). They’re from the United States, from Illinois. They’re great, they’re really good. Greenwood are another band from Illinois. There are a lot of decent bands. The Chicago band is always thriving.

Paul: It’s funny you mention The Maple State because we released their record, how did you come across them?
Nick: Well Ollie (ex-Echofreddy) sent me their demos a long time ago and I emailed you asking if they would like to play the show with us.

Paul: And that’s your first headlining show in the UK, are you looking forward to it?
Nick: It’s scary.
Asa: Yeah but it’s cool. Like tonight, we got here and you gotta roll wth it.

Paul: You doing warped this year?
Asa: [Looks at Nick] are we doing warped this year?
Nick: It’s tour, tour and write, write.
Asa: Who knows man. We’re in contact with the people at warped but it’s hard to say. We did 3 dates last time and it was awesome but we need to write.

Paul: Last question…you heard of the Punk Goes 90s comp out on Fearless? If you could do any song which would you do? Are you on that comp by the way?
Asa: No…oooh, what’s a good one. We would do some Gin Blossoms, because they were the best. The 90s shit, that was when I grew up. Meredith Brooks, that shit was awesome. There would be some kind of fucked up shit! I was a 90s kid, I grew up listening to this radio station in my home town and they played the Top 40. I cant remember half the bands now, Green day and Blink, I’m sorry but I used to love them. They got me into it. We’re not emulating them, but if it wasn’t for them…we’d pick something funny, something nobody would expect. We wanna be crazy, we wanna be out there.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]