the AU interview: Dan Marsala of Story of the Year (USA)

Larry Heath recently caught up with Story of the Year's Dan Marsala and had a chat about everything from the upcoming Soundwave Revolution Tour in September to karaoke and True Blood.

Hello there Dan, how are you going?

I’m going great, how are you?

I’m doing very well. Are you in St Louis right now?

Yes I am. I’m at home right now.

Good, you’ve got a little bit of time off?

Yeah, we’ve been laying low for the last couple of months but we’ve got a show later this week. So we’re just hanging out.

Well that’s great. You’ve had a pretty hectic touring schedule in the last year or so, I know you were last down in Australia around this same time last year or so.

Yeah, most of 2010 we were on the road, touring the continent, and this year we’re taking it a little bit slower. We’ve got a few side projects going on, so we’re not doing too much touring yet this year, but we’ve got much stuff planned later this year obviously.

But I don’t imagine a break from the band means a break from the band, I mean imagine there’s still writing and things like that going on.

Well I mean yeah, everybody has been working on a lot of music on their own. We’ve been trying to stay away from each other for a few months and then come together for the tour. We’ve been together for the last nine years of our lives so being away from each other is nice but yeah everybody still has been doing plenty of music. We’re all going to rejoin each other’s presence to come down and hang out in Australia so it will be good.

You’re coming down in September for the Soundwave Revolution tour and I imagine we can expect some songs of The Constant and the back catalogue in those shows?

Yeah, we’ll probably play a bit of everything. We’re trying to mix all of the records together. But yeah, it’s going to be awesome, I’m excited. We were there just a year ago so I guess we’re going to have to remember what our set list was and we can mix it up a little bit from that.

What have your experiences in Australia been like?

It’s always great. Definitely one of our favourite places to play and I would not say that just to say that, because it really is. We’ve maintained and continue to be very successful there and so it’s one of our bigger markets nowadays. But flying is very much the worst part of coming to Australia, but once you get there it’s definitely all worth it. We’re very happy to already be coming back so soon and I’ve never got to play at Soundwave Festival at all but I’ve always heard about how amazing it is and a lot of our friends have played [so we] finally get to do it and I’m glad to do the Revolution in Australia, it will be good.

It’s a pretty cool line up, a bit of Van Halen and a little bit of everything else.

I know, and there’s a lot of our friend’s bands playing who we’ve toured with in the past, as well as Van Halen. Hole is playing and I just found out Alice Cooper is too – it will be quite a wide range of rock music but I’m excited.

I imagine on the Warped Tours over the years you’ve played with quite a few of them.

Oh yeah, you know, we’re friends with so many bands – In The Wake, Every Time I Die, The Used – we’ve worked with all these bands and Bad Religion is one of my favourite punk bands of all time so I was excited to find out that they’re playing.

They should be good fun, and Adam will be playing double duties, also doing the Drugs shows.

That worked out really good because I think Drugs got him first and then our manager asked us if we wanted to do it and Adam was like “I’m already going to be there”. I think he’ll be a little tired and stuff.

At least there’s some breaks in between the shows.

Yeah, I’m sure they’ll try to figure it out. There’s a lot of side projects and normal band going on these days so it will be alright.

It will be good fun, and between now and then will you be recording any new material that we might get a taste of when you’re here, or very much just the stuff we’re familiar with?

Yeah right now we have no plans, we haven’t really been playing together, Adam’s doing Drugs [the band], a couple of us are doing side projects as well that we’re working on now so we’ll try to really just chill out on tour this year but when we were offered this [we thought] we’ve gotta do that, it’s amazing but we’re coming together to do a couple of shows in the next month or so, so we might end up jamming some new stuff but I don’t know, so we’ll see.

And then there’s also the Fuck Off and Dies that are doing quite well.

It’s doing surprisingly well considering that band name. We purposely started this just to have fun, and it’s just a fun band to be in. My friends for example are from St Louis and it very quickly turned into writing a bunch of funny songs and people are loving it so, we’re doing really well around this area. Hopefully, we’ll branch out and with that one someday but it’s been keeping me busy while Story of the Year been on a little break.

I’ve been paying attention to your twitter and doing things like karaoke-ing and watching True Blood.

True Blood just started here, I don’t know if it’s started anywhere else yet but yeah, it’s been a mess of rock and roll… I try not to do karaoke too often but alcohol does that to me.

Well there’s plenty of great karaoke places in Sydney if you ever get the urge.

Well yeah, if we have downtime during Soundwave, we’ll hit some karaoke pubs.

And we’ve been able to watch the old True Blood on the internet here, it hasn’t shown on TV or anything but what were your thoughts on it, it’s such a cultural thing now.

That first episode was very weird. There was way too much going on and it kind of confused me. I mean I like the show and all but this first episode is a little odd. They’re trying to get a whole lot of stories going all in that one episode so it should be an interesting season. The good part about being off for a while is I actually get to get into TV shows which when I’m on the road, is a little hard to follow.

It’s certainly one of my personal favourite past-times when I’ve got free time.

It’s fun to escape reality and watch a weird show about vampires and werewolves and shapeshifters whatever else they’ve got going on.

For a minute there I thought they were going zombies as well, or goblins or something.

It definitely tripped me out, I was like “what is happening right now, is it the same show?” Yeah, I’m sure it will make a lot more sense later.

Or the complete opposite, but either way it will be a fun journey.

Yes it will.

I know you have recorded a song this year, you record “Breed” for a Nirvana tribute album.

We did that with our friend here in St Louis, and I don’t know what happened to the tribute album, I haven’t heard any details about it. I haven’t heard when it’s coming out but yeah, the cover turned out pretty cool. Nirvana has been half of our band’s inspiration and favourite band since the beginning. The first time we ever played together, it was me an him both playing guitar and covering Nirvana songs so yeah it is definitely a inspiration on us and it was cool to record one of the songs. Either way, we will make sure it gets released in some fashion but I have no official release date on any of that yet.

Yeah, I wasn’t able to find any information on it, I really wanted to listen to it.

Yeah, I don’t know if maybe the compilation thing fell through or what but I’ll talk to our manager, search it out, but if not, we’ll release it ourselves.

Do one of those old B-side things.


Well we’re looking forward to seeing you down here in just a couple of months and I hope the flight goes okay for you.

Yeah, it’s not usually too bad. Just watch about four movies and sit and watch for about 20 hours straight.

I was about to say it’s a good chance to catch up on TV shows.

Yeah definitely. I’ll have some stuff ready to go on my computer. It’s all worth it once you get there so I don’t mind the flight.