Interview With Four Year Strong - 15th February 2011
Photo Of Four Year StrongBen caught up with Four Year Strong back stage in Manchester before their slot on the Kerrang tour to talk about the tour, their future touring and recording plans and much more.

You’re currently on the Kerrang! Tour with The Wonder Years, Framing Hanley and Good Charlotte, how are you finding it?
Josh Lyford (Keys/Vocals): It’s awesome, we’ve spent a lot of time this year touring with The Wonder Years, so they’re already our buddies. The Framing Hanley dudes are really chilled guys and the Good Charlotte dudes are actually unbelievable chilled too. It’s ridiculous how awesome they are, they’re a big enough band that if they wanted to be total pricks then they could be, but they’re the exact opposite of that.

Have you hung out with the Good Charlotte guys before? I’m guessing their lifestyle is a bit alien to Four Year Strong?
Josh: As the tour goes on we’re finding out that it’s not wildly different, other than them living in LA and having more success than our band, but where they come from is really not that much different at all. It’s been really nice to see that they’re just really down to earth guys.

You spend a lot of time over in the UK, what’s your favourite thing about being here?
Josh: Well, it’s kind of like touring in America but it’s a different place! The shows are really good here and we’ve got a lot of friends over here. Aside from not being able to use our phones there isn’t much to complain about! Sometimes we tour mainland Europe and you’ll go days locked in these sweatboxes with no technology and you just want to kill yourself, whereas the UK is just a really awesome place. If I could use my cell phone while I was here I would say that the UK is one of the coolest places to tour!

Joe Weiss (Bass): If we could use it once every fifteen minutes it would be okay, but I do sometimes like not having to use my phone.

Josh: Yeah, sometimes I do enjoy not being as easily accessible as I am at home! It really starts to get frustrating when every day before a show you get like 600 calls saying, “Dude, can you fucking do this…argh!” So I don’t miss that, but not talking to your family and your girlfriend gets a little annoying

Despite this, we rarely get to see you play headline shows, can we expect a tour this year?
Josh: We’ve talked about this a tonne!

Joe: Yeah, we’d love to come and do a headline tour over here, but we always get a better offer! We’ve just announced today that we’re going to be supporting Blink 182 on their tour over here. We probably would have done a headline tour around about then, but we’d be assholes to turn that down.

Josh: Our thirteen year old selves would not let us turn that down! Every time we talk about doing a headline tour over here we get a support offer that’s just too awesome to say no to.

Joe: I’m hoping that we stop getting good offers over here!

Josh: Yeah, why won’t they let us catch a break and stop giving us shitty offers?!

Do you feel like it’s less pressure on you to do support tours, or more pressure in that you often play to people who may never have heard Four Year Strong before?
Joe: It probably should be more pressure to do a support tour, but I feel like it’s way less pressure on us.

Josh: I definitely agree, we should probably try and figure out what to do to win over all these kids, but in reality we just drink loads of beer and act like retards for half an hour! It’s nice to have an easy set, but at the same time it’s pretty disappointing that you don’t get the opportunity to play all the songs we’d like to.

It’s been almost a year since Enemy Of The World was released, were you expecting the reaction that you got from it?
Josh: We don’t make a habit of expecting anything, if you have no expectations then you can’t be disappointed. We’re absolutely stoked with how well the record was received, but we didn’t go into it expecting to get amazing press.

So you were surprised when it got amazing reviews across the board?
Josh: Yeah, totally surprised.

Joe: I think I was more surprised with the songs that got people more stoked than others, but whatever, fuck it! I would say that the favourite song over here is ‘It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now’, but I could be wrong.

Josh: Personally I would go with ‘Wasting Time’…

Joe: Yeah, that seems like the obvious one, every time I hear it I think, ‘yeah, this is the one, this is the jam!’, wait, the jam? I don’t even know what I meant by that!

I’ve read that you’ve completed writing the new album, did you enjoy the process?
Joe: That’s not necessarily true, we are far along in the process, but it’s not definitely, definitely done.

Josh: Writing is happening!

So are you enjoying it so far?
Joe: Yeah, it’s going to be interesting. I think the transition from Rise or Die Trying to Enemy Of The World wasn’t all that drastic, but was quite a bit darker and I think this one will follow that pattern. It’s not going to be the last record reworked and I’m happy about that, not because I don’t like EOTW, but I just don’t want to keep putting the same thing out.

Josh: Yeah, we don’t want to rewrite the same record 65 times, that would just get boring.

Are you feeling under any pressure to meet the expectations of the last album?
Josh: We’ll always feel a bit of pressure.

Joe: There will always be people that fucking hate us though, that’s just the way it is.

Is it more of pleasing yourselves over other people then?
Josh: We’re always trying to pleasure ourselves! That’s what we’re all about!

Do you have any idea as to when it will be released?
Joe: We want to release it this year, we know that. Fall would be the best case scenario, but we’d just be stoked to get it out this year.

Earlier today you were meant to be playing an acoustic set at Pulp in Manchester, but we believe that it had to be called off?
Josh: Yeah, this beautiful bastard (their tour bus) broke down. We were a bit bummed about it because we did the Glasgow in-store and we got there and were like, “Holy shit, what is happening?” There were so many sexy girls there, it was unreal! I was very impressed with Glasgow for that! The accent’s cool too.

Joe: I remember when we came to the UK for the first time and pretty much every accent blew my mind completely, but now I don’t really notice it much.

Josh: The only accent we all still find it impossible to understand is Welsh!

Joe: Oh my God! I can understand about one out of every five words, but that’s it!

Josh: “Oh, you’re speaking about the…” Not a clue, man.

Just nod and smile!

Josh: Or just go, “Yeah dude, it sounds weird! See you later!”

So when you do get to play the acoustic shows, do you enjoy them?
Joe: Neither of us are the ones that have to do very much.

Josh: I enjoy not doing very much! I enjoyed looking at breasts yesterday while they played!

Joe: It’s cool to hear the songs played in a different way.

The songs seem to adapt well acoustically, do the songs begin this way?
Joe: Most of the songs start off on a shitty acoustic, but not in the sense that they are written as acoustic songs. It’s easier than having everyone at full volume shouting, “I want this!”

What does the rest of 2011 have in store for Four Year Strong?
Josh: We’ve got the Bad Religion and Rise Against tour.

Joe: Blink and then recording. We’ll be back over here for the Blink tour in June and July I think. The last few dates are at the O2 in London, so we’re super excited for that. It’s going to be my birthday then too, so that should be a fun time.

Do you have any plans to come back over here to play any festivals this summer?
Joe: Yes, we’re definitely trying to get on some of the festivals this year.

You played Slam Dunk last year, is there any chance of you returning this year?
Joe: I don’t think Slam Dunk is on the cards. I mean, if they offered it to us then we probably would. Last year was amazing, it was like every one of our friends was playing. Even some of the off-day shows were good, Glasgow was awesome, the line-up was sick it was us, New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, Against Me! and Alkaline Trio. We’d like to do something like Reading this year.

Josh: We love festivals, responsibilities are low, fun is high! You just have to go to festivals with a different outlook, they’re completely different from playing little club shows. There’s a lot of clapping, a lot of random yelling of nonsense and a couple of bottles you have to dodge, but it’s fun!

Joe: Our first experience over here was Give It A Name, so we came over here on a festival experience and it treated us well. We have no beef with festivals, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens this year.

Interview By Ben Connell
 Band Members

Dan O'Connor
Alan Day
Joe Weiss
Jake Massucco
Josh Lyford
 Latest Releases
Four Year Strong - Enemy Of The World
Release Date - 9th March 2010
1. It Must Really Suck to Be Four Year Strong Right Now
2. Tonight We Feel Alive (On a Saturday)
3. Wasting Time
4. Nineteen With Neck Tatz
5. Find My Way Back
6. What The Hell Is A Gigawatt
7. One Step at A Time
8. This Body Pays The Bill$
9. Paul Revere's Midnight Ride
10. Flannel Is the Color of My Energy
11. Enemy of the World
 Band Related Links
Four Year Strong Myspace