On the opening night of their tour supporting pop-punk up and comers Real Friends, with additional support from Mixtapes and Pentimento, vocalist/guitarst Joseph Candelaria of the Twentynine Palms, CA, pop-punk quartet Forever Came Calling spoke with Mind Equals Blown about their current tour and their summer on Warped Tour, as well as look ahead at new material for 2014.
MEB: Tonight’s the first night of the tour. Whenever you start a new tour like this, what are your expectations?
Joseph Candelaria: I think for most tours, you’re nervous for the first couple of days because there’s usually a little break in between unless it’s crazy, so you’re just kind of getting your bearings back from being on tour and you’re meeting new bands and stuff like that. But for this one, we luckily know all of the bands already, which makes it easier. For expectations, I don’t know, you just kind of hope that the shows are good [Laughs] – that’s about it.
I saw that the tour is going through FEST 13 as well in Gainseville, FL near the end of it. Have you guys ever played FEST before?
Nope, this will be our first year! We’re super pumped on that.
Yeah, for sure! Are there any bands that you’re looking forward to seeing?
Oh, there are so many. Everyone? Haha, I don’t know, just every good band that’s playing. Friday in general, I don’t think I have a free minute. I’m really excited for The Flatliners honestly – I’ve never had the chance to see them live before and Cavalcade is still one of my favorite records of all-time. The Bouncing Souls – they’re going to be fucking awesome.
So, are you just going to be there on Friday?
Friday and Saturday. I saw all of the bands and I pretty much just made a schedule on Friday, because on Saturday we’re just going to be completely busy and it’ll be a lot harder to see bands, but Friday is pretty much where we’re going to be doing our crusin’ and bruisin’.
You also played Warped Tour this summer for the first time ever?
Yes! We followed the tour in 2010, but this was the first time that we’ve ever “played” Warped Tour.
Gotcha. What was your experience like as a band on the tour, the first time on all the way through?
Awesome, and nothing like you think it is, if that makes sense at all. It’s truly the best tour that we’ve ever been a part of. You learn a lot about your band, yourself and how to be on schedule. Every day it was wake up at 8 a.m. and get your shit together – if you don’t have it ready, then no one cares, and you won’t have a good spot for merch and you’ll end up by a fucking port-a-potty. It taught us a lot about discipline and how to talk to people, yet not be out of our comfort zone all of the time. You can either sit all day and do nothing or you can go out there and try and get people to your stage. It taught us how to be a band that people want to hang out with, and just not be like, “Oh hey, let’s just go smoke weed”, you know what I mean? Nothing against smoking weed or anything, but…
Oh yeah, there’s just a lot of stuff you have to get done.
Exactly. Another thing was that we were driving ourselves, so there’s just so much work involved, so you just get on a routine with no sleep and that’s all you ever did.
Now, looking at an average day of what Warped Tour is like, how would you describe what it’s like?
I would get up at 6:30 every morning, get everything situated – John [Swaba, Bass] would get the tent out, three of us would go out to line with CDs to try and sell and start promoting what your set time is. I’d also have to go find a good merch spot which is kind of chaotic because you want to try and get it next to your stage, so after your set you can tell people, “Hey, let’s go meet up and hang”, so you’d want a spot that’s close to your stage. After you find a spot, you’re just out there all day, talking to people and trying to get them to your set, play your set, find the catering line, stand for three hours, get food, go to sleep or drive twelve hours and just do it all again.
What were some of your favorite bands to watch, if you ever had time in between doing all of that?
Our stage this year was the Kevin Says stage, which actually had a really good lineup. It had Real Friends, which is ironic, Handguns, Citizen, Strawberry Blondes, which was another really cool band on the tour that we found out about. And just getting to watch Letlive – there’s no better band on that tour. Letlive owned every day – I don’t give a fuck who you were. Jason [Butler, vocalist] is the coolest dude I’ve ever met – it was cool, we became really good friends with them. Sometimes, when you become friends with another band, it’s for the reason that, “Oh hey, I’ll get to like your band”, which was cool, because I also really liked their band. And they’re also awesome dudes, which makes the band even that much better. Seriously, that band is changing people’s lives. They’re changing the way people look at punk rock, and that’s super fucking cool because a lot of bands are trying to that, and they’re actually doing it.
Absolutely. Now, if you were to pick one singular moment out of that entire two month run on Warped Tour, what would you pick?
I think for me, I would pick Long Island. We always have good shows in Long Island – it’s always been a place that’s been gracious to us. We got on stage and we played right after Handguns, which was cool because usually people will leave to go get water and then come back to see what else is going on. After Handguns set, we were setting up and I looked out and I thought, “Okay, that’s cool, a few people hung around”. Then I’d turn around for about a solid two minutes, just tuning my guitar and getting my shit together, and I’d turn back and the crowd was double the size that it was. Then I went off stage to go get some water, came back and the crowd was the double the size again. And then by the time we went on, there were about 600-700 people watching us and we were like, “Holy fuck”. I thought, “What’s going on? There must be a big band playing after us”. We started playing and kids just started going off. It made us feel like we were doing something really cool here, so that was a pretty cool moment.
Now, the band was a part of the documentary No Room for Rockstars, which was a big thing that helped launched you guys into this big mass of popularity in the pop-punk realm. Compared to how you followed the tour in 2010 and how you were on the tour in 2013, what were some similarities and differences you had?
I remember when we followed the tour that I was thinking, “Oh man, those fucking bands on the tour have it so easy.” But then when you actually got on the tour, because we were driving ourselves again and we realized that it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was from the outside. There’s almost more work when you’re on the tour – not to take away from any bands that are following the tour, but when we were following, we would just sell CDs in the line and then leave. So we were there for four, maybe five hours a day, and if we could get inside we would , or we’d just leave whenever we wanted to so we’d have the extra time to drive. But when you’re a part of the tour, you set up merch early as fuck, and then you’d tear it down late as fuck, and depending on when your set time is, you could get out of there as late as 10:00 p.m., if you have a really late set, and then have a twelve hour drive, so you have to pack up and start driving, so that was a big difference when we realized that there’s still a lot of work. We knew there was going to be a lot of work because of the type of band that we are, but it’s one of those things where you realized that this is where the work really begins.
Now, your record Contender came out last summer and you’ve been supporting it ever since. Which track do you think means the most to you?
I really like the song “Harbours”. With that record, it was all just a piece of time that I was going through in record from, and I think that song that sticks with me the most is “Harbours” because it’s a little bit different than the rest of the songs because I had a lot more to say with it. With it, there’s a deeper meaning to everything in that song and that is just a ripper – I love it and how fast it is.
Do you know if there’ll be any new music coming up in 2014?
We are actually putting out an acoustic split – the new song comes out on Tuesday [October 6th] – with our friends in Family Thief, which comes out in November, and then we go into the studio in February.
Awesome! Now, for a band that has such a huge DIY-mentality as Forever Came Calling, is there any advice that you’d give to a band that’s just starting out?
Yes – get someone to record your songs. Go pay somebody money to record your songs and make them the best that you can be. That’s something I had to learn myself – we toured for a long time and then went and recorded. Touring was futile at all, but we definitely saw a lot more growth after we put out a record. For me, I was taught differently – to tour first, and then the songs out there. However, with things like Tumblr out there, just putting out a good recording of your band out there can do a lot for you. Also, be willing to spend a little money on somebody who’s going to make the best representation of your band, put it out there and see what that does.
Do you have any final words for anybody reading this?
Hmm…eat, love, pray, I guess? I don’t know, haha. That’s the only thing that comes to mind.
Forever Came Calling’s upcoming acoustic split with Family Thief will be released sometime in November 2013. You can catch them on tour with Real Friends, Mixtapes and Pentimento from now until November 9th, as well as in Australia from November 22nd through December 1st. Check their Facebook page for dates and ticket information.