"You're hearing us grow up on this record…" – hmv.com talks to We Are The In Crowd
As Poughkeepsie pop punkers We Are The In Crowd prepare to release their new album Weird Kids, we caught up with singer Tay Jardine to talk about growing up on record, how producer John Feldman put them through boot camp and their plans for the rest of 2014…
Your new album Weird Kids is out on Monday, how are you feeling? Excited or nervous?
"I was nervous until today (this interview was conducted on February 11th), but we put the album up to stream and the feedback's been amazing. I was feeling really anxious before that, I really wasn't sure what people would think, but now I'm just excited."
When did you finish recording the album?
"We finished in August, so we've been waiting a while to put it out."
Why did you wait until now to put it out?
"It made sense for us. We didn't want to compete with all the releases that come out around the holidays and this gives us a fresh start for the year."
You've been touring the UK over the last few days before the album came out, how has that been?
"We were a little worried about that, we knew the songs wouldn't be out yet, but we wanted to play them live so we ended up releasing the songs that we were playing on tour early so people could stream them and get to know them."
How have people been responding to them live?
"Great. So great. Somehow people seem to know all the words! I love hearing them sung back to us, it's pretty much the best reward we could have."
You've been sat on the record for over six months now, how do you reflect on making it? Are you still really happy with it?
"I'm so happy with it. I've listened to it over and over again, I've not got ear fatigue or heard things that I wish I could do again. Normally I wish I could do back and change stuff, but not with this one."
Your new single 'The Best Thing (That Never Happened)' is quite spiky and angry, as is bits of your record, do you feel like a different band or do you just feel like you've grown up as musicians?
"I absolutely feel like we've grown up. Two years in your early 20s can be extremely formative, I've learned a tonne about myself over the last two years and I think the boys have too. You're hearing us grow up on this record."
You worked with John Feldman on this album, what was he like to work with?
"He was awesome. He's very excited all the time and very encouraging, but he's also very honest and direct too. If he thinks something is a bad idea, he'll just come out and say it. Working with him was the best thing we could have done, he was so real about everything. We've never worked with someone so honest before, we needed to be pushed, to work with someone meticulous, someone who would make us reach our full potential."
Did he make you work hard?
"Oh god yeah! Some days it was like boot camp, he'd work us so hard. With me, he'd really push me, especially on lyrics, he'd be like 'You told me about this before and you're holding back here, why are you holding back?'. If I had an idea, he'd always tell me to go 100% for it, never hold back on anything."
Where did the title come from?
"We came up with it in February of last year. It was more of an idea, we never thought of it as a title, we didn't want to call our fans weird, but as time went on, it just seemed to make more and more sense. We realised that everyone associated with our band, our friends, our fans, the people we work with, our crew, in this creative music world, we're all kind of weird. This title is a way of accepting that, we're all weird, we're ok with that."
Did you have any other titles in mind? Or was this the only one?
"It was the only one. We really noticed it with our fans too, we do meet and greets a lot and our fans are strange kids. They're always making these insane cartoon drawings of us. They're extremely confident, but they're always telling us they've got no self-esteem. They're strange, but the best kind of strange."
So what's the plan for the rest of 2014? Will you be touring just as hard as you did for your first album?
"We've got a big US tour, then we're hoping to come back here for some festival stuff. We'll be on the road for just as long this time, at least the next two years."
We Are The In Crowd's new album Weird Kids is released on Monday (February 17).