Four Year Strong are currently creating huge ripples in the pop-punk and hardcore scenes with their explosive blend of the two genres. Since I love their live show and their new record Rise Or Die Trying, I was excited to get the chance to ask a few questions of frontman Alan Day.
PPJ: First, tell us your name and what you do in the band.
Alan Day: My name is Alan and I sing and play guitar.
PPJ: How did Four Year Strong get started?
Alan: We started like 6 years ago, we were all in different pop punk and hardcore bands and we all wanted to try and start something new and bring the 2 kinds of music we love together.
PPJ: Who would you say were your biggest musical influences when you were growing up?
Alan: We had tons of influences like Saves The Day, New Found Glory, The Movielife, Blood For Blood, The Hope Conspiracy, American Nightmare...here is an endless list of bands that influenced all of us.
PPJ: What do you think of the huge amount of buzz you guys are getting due to websites like absolutepunk.net?
Alan: We absolutely love that so many people have such strong feelings about our band, whether it be love or hate, just to know people care enough to say anything about us means a lot. Everyone at absolutepunk has been great to us, and we really appreciate that.
PPJ: On the flip side, what do you think when people complain your sound is too close to bands like Set Your Goals?
Alan: We do get that comparison every once and a while, and its a little frustrating when we hear people say we sound like them considering we've been around for years and years doing what we do now without ever hearing them until recently. But at the same time, they are a great band and we love those guys, we just wish people didn't feel like they had to choose one over the other. We are both similar
genres, but we are both executing it in entirely different ways.
PPJ: What went into recording your new album?
Alan: Our lives went into this record. We've been working on this record for a long time, and we really concentrated on getting our live vibe across in this record. It is our first national release and we just wanted people to know exactly what were about.
PPJ: How do you go about writing your songs?
Alan: Someone like me or Dan, the other singer guitarist, will come up with a riff or something, and we will all get together and just jam on it for a while. When it starts to escalate, me and dan will get together and work on the structure of the song and then start writing the lyrics and then it all just starts to fall together. We all put a lot into all of our songs.
PPJ: What drives you to write music?
Alan: Everything. Girls, friends, family, other music, but what we really try to do is take our inspiration and translate it so that people that hear it can relate to it. We want our songs to mean as much to everyone else as they do to us.
PPJ: You spent time on Warped Tour this summer. What was that experience like?
Alan: Well we only played one day in our home town, but that one day was awesome. We had tons of fune playing to some new and some old faces. And we got to hang out with a ton of friends in other bands, so it's pretty much just an amazing experience all around.
PPJ: With the recent resurgence of pop-punk music, what do you guys do to make yourselves stand out from the crowd?
Alan: We always just want to do what we love to do, and that just so happens to be what's in right now. We don't want to compete with anyone, we just want to make friends and have fun.
PPJ: What do you hope people will take away with them when they hear your music or see your live show?
Alan: We just hope that people will have fun and run around sing along, jump off the stage and then go home with a smile on their face. We're in it for the same reason everyone else is. To play music and have fun.
PPJ: What are your plans for after your record release?
Alan: We just want to tour as much as possible to meet everyone and hang out.
PPJ: Lastly, tell us three bands you think we should be listening to.
Alan: That's a tough one because there are so many great bands out there. But I guess for now I'll have to say A Loss For Words from Boston, they are some our best friends and they are an amazing band. Daggermouth is also a kick ass band from Canada, we just did a tour with them and those guys rule hard. And a band we are all real into is Shipwreck, a hardcore band from Merrimack Valley, so everyone check them out as well as both of the other bands. A Loss For Words, Daggermouth, and Shipwreck. Listen now.