MEB staffer Connor Feimster had the opportunity to interview Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die during his time at Vans Warped Tour in Camden, NJ earlier this month. Take a look below at what Buckley had to say about being Warped veterans, the successes of their new record From Parts Unknown, and what bands you need to see this year on the tour:
MEB: So, for starters, I noticed earlier today, through your Facebook page, the wildly impressive chart numbers for your new record From Parts Unknown. How does that feel for you?
KB: It feels like absolutely nothing to me. To be honest, numbers mean absolutely nothing for me. I don’t think in terms of numbers; I hate math…I just don’t relate to that world of ratios and percentages. If kids have the record, great. And if they’re coming out to shows and they’re singing along and they’re jumping on top of each other, that’s all I care about. I don’t care if that means that we’ve sold one record because everybody stole it or we sold a million records, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not like it’s paying for a new car or anything. [Laughs] BUT, don’t mistake that for not being grateful. It’s fucking awesome that kids are still buying our music and we’re seven albums in, but what I care about is the shows. It’s the shows for me.
Yeah, you sound like one of the lucky ones.
Yeah! Yeah, definitely. I’m absolutely blessed in that fashion.
How about fan reactions for this record? How’s that going?
Overwhelmingly positive. I’ve turned into one of those guys that’s like, “Okay, what’s wrong? Something’s wrong. Everything’s going too well.”
Like, “Somebody HAS to have a problem with at least one of the songs”…
Yeah, I’m sure they do! And I’m sure they’ve been vocal about it, but I’ve tried to stay away from message boards for a while after records get released. But from what I’ve kind of seen and heard, it has been overwhelmingly positive and they’re taking the new songs live pretty well, so it’s going great. It really is like a dream situation for me because I’m super proud of the record, people seem to love it, and that’s all I really care about.
You guys seem like the kind of band that just continuously pumps out song after song instead of rather letting fans know that “we’re taking time away to write”, so are you just continuously writing or is the process rather hushed?
I mean, as a vocalist, I’m always writing. I’m always taking notes and when it comes to the writing process, I just kind of take everything I’ve accrued for however long, and I feel like everyone else really needs time to just say “now we’re starting, this is our deadline, we’re under the gun, there’s lots of pressure, let’s just fuckin’ do it.” We never really say “we’ve written a little here and there”, we kind of keep it hushed until we’ve got something to show.
Looking at your past two videos [for “Thirst” and “Decayin’ With The Boys”], will we see a continuation of that house party saga?
I hope so, because those two dudes are great! They’re both friends of mine, but they didn’t meet each other until the day of the “Thirst” shoot and, honestly, it was like they’re soulmates and now they hang out all the time. So, we’re hoping they’d be into it.
Yeah, because it didn’t seem like the “Decayin'” video was really the end of that “saga”.
Yeah, it really didn’t…we didn’t do it with the intent of having something follow that up, but there’s a lot of room to move that forward.
This is your fifth year on Warped; how’s it going so far this year?
It’s my favorite year. There are so many good bands this year that I love watching. And the Monster Stage, that we’re on, is like the “hardcore stage” which is very much its own thing, it is completely separate and it’s kind of like it’s a metaphor for the kind of music, because there’s the Warped Tour festivities and then there’s this little, dark, hardcore stage where things get a little weird. Like, don’t ask questions, just go over there and have a good time, just be respectful. I feel as if Kevin Lyman is like “ugh, I don’t even wanna know what’s going on over there right now”. [Laughs]
Does it feel different being a veteran on Warped this year?
Yeah, I feel like we started getting treated differently the last time we did it, I feel like that was the time when everyone was like: “okay, you guys are kinda like the old guy now” and it’s not like we’re given exclusive rights, but I just feel like we just know everybody, so it’s a little more friendly each year.
So you know the procedure and the rundown for everything.
Yeah, it’s very much a working machine that we’re comfortably inside.
So which bands do you recommend people see at their Warped Tour stops aside from your own?
There’s a band called Plague Vendor that plays on the Kevin Says Stage. There’s this “band” K Flay, which is just a female singer and a drummer, that’s on the Beatport Stage. Bad Rabbits are on the Warheads Stage. Terror, Stray From the Path, Vanna…all on the Monster Stage with us. I’m not gonna lie, Attila is one of the most entertaining sets I’ve ever seen. You’ve gotta watch that.
Can we expect any trailblazing in the fall?
[Exhales.] YEAH. We’re always on tour. We’re gonna get this done this–when’s the fall? What month are we in, July?–okay, so the fall, we’re kind of doing a five-week Canadian run just through Canada, we’re gonna hit the really deep corners of Canada we’ve never reached before. Then we’re gonna do an American tour, then go to Europe, then we’re gonna go to Australia…it all starts now.
I guess you hate this touring thing, huh?
[Laughs.] Yeah, it definitely sucks.
Okay, so to wrap up, what are you guys listening to on the bus these days?
Yikes, okay I’m gonna look up–oh shit, my phone’s dead!–oh crap, what do I listen to? I always forget. [Laughs.] I listen to James Blake; I’m gonna name drop here, my friend Jorma from the Bronx suggested I listen to him and he’s very Jeff Buckley-esque. I just started listening to that last night and I love it. God, what else? I always draw a complete blank on this question every single time. The new Trash Talk is really good. I’m still listening to the Run the Jewels record, like, every morning. I know they have a new one coming out, they’re in the studio now. Yeah, I guess that’s it.
Awesome, well thank you for your time and I hope to catch you sometime in the fall!
Thank you, man.
From Parts Unknown, the visionary new record from Every Time I Die, is out now via Epitaph Records.