Shane: It’s still exciting especially when we’re going to some new places. This tour we’re going to Russia, Portugal, Slovakia and a few others we’ve never been. We also have some new songs to play, and some tricks up our sleeves, so I think it will be a unique show this time too!
You are going to play concerts all over Europe and even perform in Russia. What’s your favorite place to play live and how many impressions do you usually get of the cities you stay during touring?
Shane: In Europe Germany is great because there are so many rock music fans and people really embrace music. I love playing Cologne especially, I think it’s one of the best rock music scenes in the world.
We try to get out and see the sites as much as we can too. It’s nice in Europe because most cities have good subway or train systems and we can get around easily. In the US, it’s very rare and if a venue isn’t nearby anything cool, you’re stuck if you don’t have a car.
You recently released your sixth album, which is programmatically titled „Short Songs“. It would be easy to play the whole 22 tracks during a show. Are you going to?
Shane: We haven’t decided that yet, but you’re right it is only 20 minutes long. I think we’ll definiely play a lot of it. It’s been very well received so far. I think it’s my favorite of all of our records.
„Short Songs“ is a bunch of literally short tracks. Half of them is new material, the other ones are cover versions. How came the idea for the record?
Shane: We did the „Support Your Local Record Store“ 7″ last year and we wanted to do a cover of a hardcore band, but couldn’t decide which one. After awhile we decided we would do more than one, but we were limited to only 3.5 minutes on one side of the 7″. That’s when we decided to do 3 short covers. They were so much fun to record and play live we decided we’d do some more, and try to write some short songs of our own.
Shane: They’ve all got a special place in our hearts. We wanted to keep it diverse. We could have done 11 skate punk songs, but we wanted a hardcore song on there, a softer song, a poppier one. Just to show that it’s about the length, not about the style as much.
There is a shitload of popular guest singers on „Short Songs“, such as Tim McIlrath, Jimmy Stadt, Chris Hannah or (again) Scott Wade. Did you just contact them and ask for a little help on the microphone or were their efforts coincidental?
Shane: Yeah, they’re all friends of ours, we got on the horn and they were all super stoked to do it. It was really special and made for a rad song.
How have the reactions on „Short Songs“ been so far?
Shane: Absolutely amazing. It was just so damn fun to make and to have people enjoy it as well is a great thing.
„Short Songs“ is your second full length album on Hopeless Records. Would a record as this have been possible on Victory Records?
Shane: I don’t think Victory would have really „got it“, but I could be wrong. With Victory it was more sales driven and more of a business operation, whereas Hopeless lets us do some fun things that won’t really make money for them like the 7″, EP, and even this record. So it’s cool to be a part of a label like that.
What were the reasons for leaving Victory after all these years?
Shane: Our contract was done and we thought Hopeless was a welcome change. We own our masters now too so we license our record in Canada, Australia and it gives us some creative control over things.
After the European spring tour, what comes next for you guys?
Shane: We’re doing some Asian stuff, Australia I think as well, and then we’re going to start writing again. „Short Songs“ is sort of an in between record. We are still working on a proper sixth album.
Any last words you would like to share?
Shane: Come see us in Europe! It’s the only time we’ll be there this year!