California's A Thorn For Every Heart are gearing up for the release of their sophomore album, It's Hard To Move You. I got to ask a few questions about life on the road to their frontman, Phil Nguyen.
PPJ: First, please tell us your name and what you do in the band.
Phil: My name is Phil Nguyen and I play guitar and I sing every now and then.
PPJ: What inspired you to begin playing music?
Phil: When I was in jr. high, my favorite band was Reel Big Fish. This was back in '96. My older brother had a guitar and I would sneak into his room when we would go to school and I would try and learn all the RBF songs. But I grew up with older siblings which were all into music which made me love it as well.
PPJ: Are those things the same things that drive you to keep playing today?
Phil: Yeah, that's part of the reason why I still play to this day.
PPJL Does being from California make it harder or easier to break into the music scene?
Phil: I wouldn't say that it's easier or harder. If you have the drive and determination, your music is going to be heard.
PPJ: You're about to release your second LP. What went into writing this record?
Phil: A lot of jamming. We would take a simple riff and turn it to a song that we loved. If we were writing a song and didn't feel it, we would just drop the song and move onto the next one.
PPJ: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your new album?
Phil: My favorite part of the album is just being able to work with these great producers. They have taught me so much. To be honest with you, I am 100% happy with this record.
PPJ: Why was there such a long period of time between your two albums?
Phil: It's like you have so much time to write your first record. And we wanted to make sure for our second album, that we wrote songs that we were all happy with. It took us a bit but we hope it was worth it. We put our heart and souls into this.
PPJ: Your sound has evolved over time. Why the changes, and how do you hope to see ATFEH continue to mature?
Phil: When we recorded our first album we were only a band for almost 1 year. A lot of the songs were written a few months of being a band. At the time our style was kinda all over the place. We wanted to incorporate all our styles into one. I love the first record. I think we did the best we could. But as you get older and are in this band for a lot longer, you mature. We write what we love and what we feel. This second album is exactly what we were feeling at the time.
PPJ: How did you get hooked up with Kickball Records?
Phil: They actually found us on the internet. We put up some demos online and they heard us and emailed us. Talked to them for a few months. Then signed on to the label.
PPJ: You're constantly on tour. Where are your favorite places to be and why?
Phil: Yeah, we tour as much as possible. My favorite place to tour is the northwest. I love Washington and Oregon. I just love the greenery and the clean air.
PPJ: What tour was the most fun?
Phil: Every tour is fun. You meet new people and life long friends. I couldn't
say what was the most fun. But one band that I loved growing up and got the honor to play with was Jimmy Eat World.
PPJ: You've covered Oingo Boingo and Smashing Pumpkins songs for compilation albums. Why did you choose the songs you did?
Phil: We all grew up in the 80's and we all love Oingo Boingo. We just thought that "Dead Man's Party" was a perfect song to cover. When we got asked to do the Smashing Pumpkins tribute album, we were all wanting to do a song that wasn't a single of theirs because we as a band didn't want to butcher the song. We all loved the song "Jelly Belly" so thats how that all came about.
PPJ: Finally, tell us three bands you think we should be listening to.
Phil: 1. The Receiving End Of Sirens 2. The Sleeping 3. Paper Rivals.
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