the AU interview: Kevin Skaff of A Day To Remember (USA)

Melody-driven hardcore heroes A Day To Remember will be headlining No Sleep Til Festival this December with their latest album What Separates Me from You. Due to be released on November 5, the album is expected to mash up a little old school A Day To Remember with something fresh and mean.

The AU Review’s Alicia Bolton had a chat to guitarist Kevin Skaff about their upcoming Australian tour, the new record and collaborating with Kanye West (or at least dreaming about it).

So where are you guys at the moment?

We’re driving back to our hotel in Florida.

Oh okay. So are you on tour?

No, we just got back from band practice and we have our first show tomorrow.

You guys are heading into Australia this December for No Sleep Til… What are you most looking forward to?

Just being in Australia… haha.

Haha, alright, well are you just looking forward to playing shows in Australia or are there any sites you want to check out while you’re here?

Well I didn’t really get to see very much last time I was in Australia so I want to try and see something cool. I heard we have a couple of days off so I actually want to try to learn to surf or something.

Yeah that’d be good. Australian beaches are nice.

Yeah that’s what I’ve heard but I’ve only seen them a few times so I don’t really know.

You guys headlined Soundwave Festival this year and soon No Sleep Til, do you think you’ll come back here on your own tour anytime soon or are you planning any sideshows?

I don’t think we’re doing any sideshows because we’re only there for such a short period of time. I think we’re only doing about four or five No Sleep Til dates but I would definitely love to come over and do a headlining show at some point in time because we love being in Australia.

Do you prefer playing to a festival crowd, or a smaller show where people have come specifically to see you guys?

Festival shows are fun because you get to see a whole lot of bands that you normally wouldn’t get to see. Plus there’s a lot less pressure than headlining because you know everyone’s not there to see you. Having your own headlining show is always really fun though because all the people there know all the words to your songs so it’s just really loud and energetic so that’s always fun. I don’t know but I think I like doing club shows better. A lot less goes wrong because you have more time for set up.

Which other bands on the No Sleep Til line-up are you keen to check out?

Well I’m excited to hang out with our friends Parkway Drive and August Burns Red. I’m really excited to see Megadeth and The Decendents for sure. NOFX too. I don’t really know who’s playing so it’s just going to be a big surprise when I get there.

New album out November 5th called What Separates Me from You. Can you tell us a bit about it? There’s a lot of debate about how it’s going to sound, more pop punk than post-hardcore?

Well they’re all wrong. There’s a lot of mean songs too, for sure. They’ll soon find that out, but it’s awesome, let’s just say that!

Comparing Homesick to For Those Who Have Heart, they were very different albums and it seems like you guys experiment with your sound a lot. How has your style grown with What Separates Me From You?

We took a lot of what A Day To Remember did on Homesick and we just kind of made a lot of it sound meaner. A lot of it sounds more pop and crazy, but we did it. I have no idea how we did it. It just kind of mashed that way and the songs came out. We didn’t fight it, which I thought was awesome.

Considering you’ll have just released your new album, what sort of set can we expect at No Sleep Til? 

Well I think we have an hour set. Wow, you guys get a whole hour of our set, that’s sick. A lot of energy, a lot of teenage kids push moshing. I don’t even know, tank tops maybe…is it going to be hot there?

Yeah it will definitely be hot in December.

Okay well then you can expect Dickies shorts and tank tops.

“All I Want” has already been leaked on YouTube. Was this intentional?

Nope, that’s just because hackers are awesome at what they do. Anyone with a computer can hack these days, it’s crazy. People are smart like that.

Yeah. Have any of the other songs leaked?

Well no, but we put out a preview of a song called ‘2nd Sucks’. It’s up on facebook.

Okay cool, I’ll have to check it out.

AND actually, exclusive for you we’re putting up the whole song tomorrow. It might even be nighttime for you because it’s what, 10am there?

Yeah it’s around 11am here, so it will probably be online by tonight for us.

You guys might even get the song today!

The Cover Art from your new album has a guy in an hourglass…what’s the meaning behind this artwork and the album title?

Well the title is just about the decisions you make in life, like who you want to be and all the good and bad that comes along with it. The artwork to go with that just shows a guy who knows who he is and what he wants and how he’s separated from everyone else in the world because of the decisions he’s made. We also made it kind of funny because we put our old guitar player Tom on the record cover. Andrew who records the album is actually on there, Drew who does all our video stuff is on there, Chad from New Found Glory is on there.

Can you tell us a bit about your musical background and how you guys formed A Day To Remember?

It was a big mish mash of everything. A lot of people stealing people from other bands haha. But no, just a bunch of kids finding out who they like to jam with and then everyone else kind of came out of the woodwork and that’s it! It’s pretty normal how a band can figure their story out.

What music were you into growing up and how has this affected your style?

Growing up I started out listening to a lot of classic rock with my Dad. Then I started getting into a lot of dance with my sister and started watching MTV and Beavis and Butthead. Shortly after that Blink 182 came along and that was huge for me. New Found Glory was huge for me. Then the hardcore scene hit in my state and I just listened to a lot of local bands that I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of. So that was my influence, local hardcore and Blink 182 haha.

If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be and why?

Kanye West. because he has the same birthday as me.

Haha sick! That’d be interesting.

Haha yeah it’d be a crazy collaboration for sure!

Before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to let your Australian fans know?

Um, I love you!

Thanks for your time Kevin, can’t wait to hear the new stuff! All the best and we’ll see you soon!

Awesome, I can’t wait for it to come out! Thank you.