With a brilliant year of pop-punk behind us, including the release of The Story So Far‘s debut ‘Under Soil And Dirt’ (an album we have dubbed with a 10/10 rating and the best pop-punk release of the year), we caught up with the Californian outfit’s bassist Kelen Capaner to discuss the band, the release and his thoughts on what 2011 was for the pop-punk genre:
DP!: Hey Kelen, how’s it going? So you released your debut album ‘Under Soil And Dirt’ this year and it was received really well all round. How does this make you feel?
K: We didn’t expect it to get around as fast as it did, we’re all very happy to have our music in the hands of more people. It’s pretty humbling looking at where we were a year ago versus where we are now, last summer really gave us some perspective.
DP!: So there has been a revival of the pop-punk scene in the last few years, what do you think it is that is getting kids back into your music?
K: I think there are a few independent labels out there that gained a pretty steady following and catalysed it all. For some time I kept hearing of bands, the bands that are doing pretty well in this “scene” I suppose, and they were always on one of a handful of labels. The resurgence seems to have started on the coasts, and slowly seeped into Middle America and abroad.
DP!: Who are your favourite bands in the scene right now? Are there any new bands that we should be keeping our eyes peeled for?
K: Our friends in Seahaven just put out a new album ‘Winter Forever’ that we’ve been listening to a lot. A few label mates of ours, The American Scene and Daybreaker, just put out a split as well. If you go to our Facebook page, we’re pretty adamant about sharing our friend’s music and the music we think deserves our audience’s attention.
DP!: Is it a daunting prospect being labelled “the next big thing” by many people?
K: Seeing the current state of the music industry, I don’t really know what that means. We just want our music to reach as many people as possible and get some raw music back into people’s speakers. We’ll see how that claim pans out.
DP!: Apart from a shit load of touring with awesome bands, do you have any plans for the near or distant future as a band?
K: Once Ryan Torf (drummer) and I get home from school, we’ll probably find ourselves back in our practice space having fun like we do. We’ve been offered a lot of great opportunities thus far, things we never thought we’d do, so we’ll just enjoy the future as it comes.
DP!: Unless I’m wrong you’ve never played in the UK, so are you excited for the tour with Man Overboard later this month?
K: This is true. Ryan and I will be in school during that time, but you can bet the rest of the guys are. Hopefully nobody freezes to death.
DP!: Obviously your lyrics are very honest and I would presume have great significance to your own lives, but do you think being such honest lyricists makes it easier to connect with your fans?
K: Lyrics are the probably the single most important element of a song as far as creating something relatable. I don’t think Parker Cannon (vocalist) was necessarily trying to cater to anyone else while writing the lyrics to ‘USAD’, just channelling his angst and perspective into song. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people have been able to connect with him on that level, and that would be due to the honesty of the lyrics.
DP!: What you would you say has been your biggest achievement as a band so far, and why?
K: ‘USAD’ has been a vehicle for a lot of the bigger accomplishments we’ve had recently, so I would credit it as the biggest. Outside of our music, however, I think that the sense of brotherhood within TSSF in addition to the family relationship we sustain with Jake at Pure Noise and Sam at The Panda Studios is a big accomplishment as well.
DP!: If you had to describe your band in three words, what would they be?
K: White Water (in the) Morning
DP!: Is there anything else that you would like to add for your fans over here in the UK?
K: We can’t believe that people in the UK know who we are, so thank you for giving us a sense of purpose.
Dates of the band’s UK tour supporting Man Overboard later this month are as follows:
JANUARY 25 – LEEDS, The Cockpit
JANUARY 26 – MANCHESTER, Star And Garter
JANUARY 27 – MIDDLESBROUGH, Sumo
JANUARY 28 – GLASGOW, Classic Grand
JANUARY 29 – NOTTINGHAM, Red Room
JANUARY 30 – BIRMINGHAM, The End
JANUARY 31 – LONDON, Old Blue Last
FEBRUARY 01 – BRISTOL, The Croft
FEBRUARY 02 – TUNBRIDGE WELLS, Forum
FEBRUARY 03 – BRIGHTON, The Hydrant
FEBRUARY 04 – KINGSTON, Fighting Cocks
FEBRUARY 05 – LIVERPOOL, Masque
FEBRUARY 06 – DUBLIN, Whelan’s Upstairs
Interview by Oliver Thompson