Interview By: Caitlin Smith
Fresh from their departure from Victory Records, Chicago-based pop-punk band The Audition has just self-released a brand new EP. Backed by a Kickstarter campaign which raised almost $3,000 over their goal amount and the support of their fans around the world, this rejuvenated veteran band is ready to take on “Chapter II” of their career.
Tim Klepek: Hey Caitlin, this is Tim from the Audition.
Caitlin Smith: Hey! How are you?
T.K: I am doing really good. How are you?
C.S: Good. Very excited about this interview.
T.K: Me too. Well let’s do this.
C.S: For starters, let’s talk about the new album. It came out just a few days ago; so exciting. What has been the fans reaction to it?
T.K: It has been awesome, actually. We have received a lot of comments on Twitter and Facebook and they seem to be responding well to it. It feels good to finally have it out and get to see people excited about it.
C.S: Can you tell me a little backstory on the making of this album and getting to the release date?
T.K: Yeah. It came together actually almost a year ago. Me, Ryan and Danny got together and Jimmy and Joe and we put some songs together. We wanted to take a little bit of a break and come back with things really clean with just new music, new material and just get back to our old ways and stuff like that. We wanted it to be just us making the music we loved. So we got the tracks together and started recording demos and then everything along those lines just fell into place.
C.S: What were some of your influences for this album?
T.K: Influences, hmm…we have so many different influences as a band. Everyone likes a lot of different music. Danny likes more country songs and things like that. Ryan mixes it up with a lot of pop and hip-hop and then Joe loves rock. All of those styles of music definitely have an effect on our music. It isn’t just specific artists or bands.
C.S: Do you have a favorite song, or one you were most excited for fans to hear?
T.K: I like “You Gotta Believe.” That is definitely my favorite off the album.
C.S: I love that one. I don’t know if that one or “Evil” is my favorite. It scares me every time though at the beginning when the girl screams.
T.K: I know! I love it. Some people in the band didn’t like but I am glad it made it into the final thing. Thank you, though. I never get used to people complimenting our music.
C.S: In what ways are the band’s recent changes reflected in this new album? Just the title of the CD alone seems to be about new beginnings.
T.K: Yeah, of course! It is little things for all of us. We really just wanted to get back to our old ways and doing it without giving into music and stuff like that and not giving up quality. We have gotten a lot of stress from media in the past and we’ve had deadlines and things like that and other complications too and it felt great to have a complete fresh start. We had nothing on our backs, nothing like that. So we got to put this out completely on our own and it has felt great.
C.S: I have to ask about leaving Victory Records. Was the contract just up or was there something that pushed you guys into wanting to get out of there?
T.K: Um… it was just… you know. We just wanted to move on and kinda go at it ourselves. We just really wanted to give it a good shot and it just felt like we could get more out of ourselves and out of the band away from Victory. We just wanted to go in a different direction and we pride ourselves on doing things on our own. Maybe one day down the road we will talk about another label but right now the EP is doing great online, so who knows.
C.S: Well that is probably the best way to do it then. The album was on the Spotify homepage this morning, so it can’t be doing too bad.
T.K: Was it really? Yeah! I love Spotify. I know there are a lot of people that don’t like it and think it is like stealing from artists but I think it is a great idea and a great way to get your band out there and if anything it promotes more album sales. Plus, everyone can see on Facebook what you are listening to. It is on everyone’s wall and it is a great way to discover new music.
C.S: Oh for sure. All I use is Spotify these days.
T.K: Same here.
C.S: Well what has been the biggest change since leaving the label?
T.K: What’s changed? I think our overall mentality has changed. We are more driven, more excited about the music we are making and we do not want to stop. It feels like a whole new beginning for us and we could not be happier about where the band is right now.
C.S: You have been a band for awhile now. Do you think the direction or goal of the band has changed at all since the beginning?
T.K: NO! I actually do not think so. I think we have always had our eye on the same goal, we have taken wrong turns or gotten distracted along the way but the goal has always been the same and where we want to be.
C.S: Looking back over The Audition’s discography how do you feel about each album. Anything you would have done differently?
T.K: Differently? No… I don’t think we would have done anything differently. I do wish that towards our later records we could have taken a little bit more time on them and sort of iron out kinks. Other than that, no.
C.S: I have some fan questions for ya. Are planning on playing any songs from Great Danger on this tour?
T.K: Uh, no. We actually don’t. We only get to play eight songs so it was very hard to choose from all the albums. We could only pick eight out of forty and we don’t play any from Great Danger.
C.S: So is there a real “Mrs. Crumby?”
T.K: [laughs] I am sure there is.
C.S: Alright, is there anything else you want to add or think the readers should know?
T.K: We are just out on tour right now with Every Avenue having a great time, come check us out and check out the new album. And I just want to thank everyone who helped out with Kickstarter and everything.
C.S: Well, thank you so much. I absolutely love the new album. Good luck on tour.
T.K: Thank you so much. That really means a lot. Thanks.
upcoming live dates w/ Every Avenue and We Are the In Crowd
Feb27 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
Feb28 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater
Mar01 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
Mar02 – Orangevale, CA – The Boardwalk
Mar03 – Anaheim, CA – Chain Reaction
Mar06 – West Hollywood, CA – The Troubadour
Mar07 – San Diego, CA – Soma Sidestage
Mar08 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Cafe at The Strip (no WATIC)
Mar09 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theatre (no WATIC)
Mar10 – Tucson, AZ – The Rock (no WATIC)
Mar11 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad (no WATIC)
Mar20 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Theatre
Mar21 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
Mar23 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogart’s
Mar24 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge