Hailing from Poughkeepsie, NY, rock band Against The Current continues to make a name for themselves on the Cyclops Stage at the Warped Tour. MEB writer Kristyn Shannon sat down with them away from the heat of the midday sun and chatted about tattooing, hopping on the bandwagon, and old stories.
We’ll start off super easy, what’s your favorite song to perform during this set?
Chrissy [Costanza]: We all kind of have different ones. For me, I think right now it’s “Running With The Wild Things,” but it changes every day.
Dan [Gow]: Mine’s “Runaway.”
Will [Ferri]: Yeah, “Runaway” is tight. I can’t think of what we’re playing right now. I’ll say “Wasteland.”
Dan: You didn’t say that in the last interview.
Will: I like to switch it up. If people watch it and it’s the same answer, it gets boring.
What is one crazy memory from this tour so far? It can be fan-based or within the band.
Chrissy: I have a good one right now! This is the first time I’ve ever had a good one. I gave my first tattoo. I tattooed someone yesterday. And now I finally have a story to tell when people ask me for my craziest thing. I gave a tattoo. I permanently inked someone’s body. I stuck a needle with ink in someone’s skin and I am so proud of it.
Will: You gotta add it to your LinkedIn profile.
Chrissy: I know.
Will: It didn’t happen until it’s on there.
What’d you tattoo?
Chrissy: I tattooed a rock onto Travis Clark’s [of We The Kings] sleeve. Yes, a rock. It’s like a pebble under the tire of a jeep.
Did you detail it?
Chrissy: No, I just drew the outline and then his tattooer guy fixed it and made it good. I’m not artsy. I can’t draw a straight line, so drawing with a needle probably wouldn’t be any better. Less is better. But the thought was there.
Will: I feel like tattoo guns are an awkward shape. I don’t know how they do it.
Chrissy: My problem is that at first I was holding it on an angle and it wasn’t tattooing. I thought it was tattooing and then I lifted it off, wiped away all the ink, and there was nothing there. I was like, “Oh.” He was like, “Yeah, you actually need to put the needle into the skin.” And I was like, “Oh, right.”
What’s it like to be a female singer in this day and age when it comes to Warped Tour?
Will: It’s pretty tough. (Laughs)
Chrissy: I think it’s kind of easy in a way. I know a lot of people expect the opposite answer. It’s all I’ve ever known. I don’t know what it’s like to be a guy in a band, so I can’t really compare the two. I know it’s harder in some sorts, like I need more privacy for showering and things. I like being a female in a band, especially right now when the tour is mostly male dominated. It gives you an added edge to be a female because you’re one of the few. I think that’s cool being one of the few females but I’d love to see more in the future.
What was your inspiration to making music? Was it always a dream to land Warped?
Will: Just everything. Our lives, things going on.
Will: Flowers, rocks.
Chrissy: I’m just thinking of the flowers we threw before.
Will: I mean, Warped Tour is one of a kind, so it’s definitely always been on our radar. Everyone always says it’s an amazing experience. So, when we got the opportunity, it was like, we have to do it. We gotta try it. There is really nothing like it. It’s such a big, big thing and goes everywhere. It’s crazy.
Chrissy: It truly is summer camp for bands except a lot of work. Like, if summer camp was fun but also a job and you were also working. I’m trying to think of what other things we do. And didn’t always have bathrooms. That’s Warped Tour.
Dan: And was two months long.
Will: I don’t think there are summer camps that long.
Chrissy: I went to a summer camp that was eight weeks, but it wasn’t sleep away. But I know people that did go to sleep away camp for eight weeks. I thought it was crazy because they’re like 11 years old and away from their families for eight weeks.
Will: Like those weird parents that like it when their kids leave.
Chrissy: I have separation anxiety.
Will: Those parents just drop them off for the whole summer and then are like “Whoo!” I went to summer camp once and I hated it. It wasn’t even sleep away, it was down the road. Every day I was so excited to come home.
So, I hear the band name comes from The Great Gatsby. Why did you choose to quote that book?
Will: We were all in high school at the time, so that was part of the curriculum. We had to read The Great Gatsby and it was one of the names we were toying around with. Then we just found meaning in it.
Chrissy: We grew into it more than anything and it ended up being really, really true to the identity of Against The Current where Against The Current is what we do. We go against the current. We were a part of the YouTube culture and we were also a part of the band culture. But, in all of those different kinds of scenes, for lack of a better word,that we’ve been a part of, we haven’t followed the precedent or done what were expected or meant to or supposed to do. We’ve just done what was genuine to us and we’ve always just gone against the current. So, the name found a lot of meaning to us.
You started as a cover band on YouTube from what I’ve seen. What has that been like to try and break free of that?
Will: We didn’t throw all of our eggs into the YouTube basket.
Dan: YouTube was very foreign to us.
Chrissy: Vegan eggs for me now.
Will: Yeah, vegan eggs. Cadbury chocolate eggs.
Chrissy: Cadbury dark chocolate, not milk chocolate.
Will: But, it was a really new thing to us that we were just trying. We were all about being a band. We were always writing original music before we were doing covers, so it was always a conscious effort to put equal effort into both worlds. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that. I mean, we’re on Warped Tour right now. We tour the world not as a cover band.
Chrissy: I think the easiest part of, for lack of a better word, breaking out of it is the fact that we never tried to break out of anything. We’ve always just done what we do and we’ve never tried to force people to have any kind of perspective or image of us in their heads. It’s just whatever they see, that’s what they see. We are what we are and we’re not going to force you to see something you don’t see. The true fans, the ones who are with us all the time and have been with us for a while and come to every show, they get it by now and that’s what’s important to us. We’re not trying to force anyone to see something that they don’t.
I’m sorry, but this is totally off of my questions, but you play PokemonGo?
Chrissy: I know! It logged me out and now I need to log back in because I only have two and I’m really behind everyone else like I always am in everything ever.
I’m waiting to get an Eevee because I’m obsessed.
Chrissy: I didn’t grow up on Pokemon. At all.
Dan: I never played either until right now.
Will: I was more into Super Mario and stuff like that.
Well, that’s good. I’m not gonna say no to that.
Chrissy: I was into a lot of computer games more so. But, I do play Pokemon X now on my 3DS. I didn’t grow up on Pokemon but I’m really excited and I’m also just a bandwagon fan right now and I’m totally fine with admitting it.
Will: It’s just cool.
Chrissy: I’m jumping on the bandwagon and I’m not afraid to admit it. I didn’t grow up on Pokemon. I’m okay with it. That’s that. I’m sorry, it’s not my childhood. I don’t have an emotional attachment, I just like cute things. Y’know, it’s adorable. That’s all I gotta say.
What makes you stand out from all the other pop-punk bands on this tour?
Chrissy: Cause we didn’t grow up on Pokemon! (Laughs) No, I mean, I wouldn’t really consider us a pop-punk band. It’s one of those weird things. Every band on this tour is so different this year. It’s weird cause we’re all lumped into the same genre. From the outside, people are like, “Oh yeah, a Warped Tour band, a band that fits on the Warped Tour.” But, we’re really all so different and for us, I don’t know what makes us different. I don’t know how to describe it, hopefully you can just see it and get it.
Will: I think a lot of it comes back to is how diverse the music that we listen to is. A lot of bands, you can tell who their influences are and I don’t know if you can really do that with easily with us. We just draw inspiration from everything. Top 40 radio, stuff no one’s never really heard of, older music, just everything. I think that’s really important in crafting an original sound.
Do you prefer acoustic songs or the more upbeat songs?
Will: There’s always a time and a place for all of them.
Chrissy: They both have their purposes. So, I think it’s kind of hard. I mean, obviously for a live set, the more upbeat ones are way fun to play, but the acoustic ones have their moments. On a club tour, when it’s a dark venue and you can get the lights the right way, some of those acoustic songs can create very intimate and very special moments you can’t replicate otherwise.
Will: We finally have an acoustic song! So, it would be really cool in a headlining set to have that moment.
What is your dream tour you’d like to be on?
Dan: Maybe Def Leopard and Nickelback tour.
Will: Florida Georgia Line. Michael Jackson.
Chrissy: I’d love to open for The Killers. Yeah, Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson and Tupac.
Will: Queen. Everyone is just incredible.
Chrissy: Obviously our dream tour is us headlining it and then hopefully some awesome bands that we’re friends with supporting us. Going to see and being on tour and hanging out with bands that are enormous and massive and you grew on with is awesome, but it’s even more awesome to tour with bands that you’re friends with cause you just get to hang out with your friends every day. We just did a run in the UK and Europe and we had our friends in Roam come out and they’re way more pop-punk than we are for sure, but we just had the greatest time hanging out because we’re really good friends and have done a couple tours together. Just having your friends there is so important because when you’re on the road, you’re away from everyone. So, having that consistent family is so good.
I’ve seen a lot of pictures of the band. How is it that all of you are so photogenic?
Will: I don’t know, just look at Dan right now. Always striking a pose.
Chrissy: Photoshop. Duck Face. Snapchat filters.
Will: We also got thrown into professional photoshoots really early on too.
Chrissy: I’m just thinking of the first photoshoot we did on your lawn when you ran out of the house.
Will: Oh yeah…
Chrissy: Can I tell it?
Chrissy: We were doing a photoshoot for the first time when we were like, fifteen, on Will’s front lawn. It was for the “Thinking” album artwork, which was our first song, and they were fifteen, so they had acne and stuff. So, Will’s sister did makeup on them to cover up the acne. Will comes running out of the front door of the house, we were all on the front yard, yelling “LOOK AT ME, I’M BEAUTIFUL. MOM, I’M BEAUTIFUL.” It was amazing.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to us?
Chrissy: Check out our new record, our first record, our only record.
Dan: Thanks for listening.
Chrissy: Thanks for checking it out if you already did.
Dan: Or reading. Is this listening or reading?
This is reading. I’m writing this down.
Chrissy: Thanks for reading.
Will: Maybe see you on Warped Tour this summer. Or anywhere this summer!
Chrissy: Stay cool, it’s a hot summer.