As the band are gearing up for their fourth tour through Europe later this month, Overdrive sits down with the 21 year old vocalist Chrissy Costanza to get the latest on all things Against The Current.
OD – In Our Bones is finally released and has been received with a great response. Seeing as this is your debut album and first time with a major full-length release, are you happy with everything?
CHRISSY – Yea, I really can’t complain as we have just had such a positive response overall from many different media platforms and our fans. We spent pretty much most of the summer on the road touring and that really has seemed to help with the overall reaction to the new stuff. There’s nothing really that I can complain about as we spent so much time on the album, perfecting it making sure that we would have no regrets what-so-ever and I think we have managed that. So from a musical standpoint I’m nothing but happy about the album.
OD – How much of a say did you have in the overall release of the album from the artwork to the mastering / production?
CHRISSY -Everything is a collaborative process when working with a label abut Warner pretty much gave us full artistic control over everything from the beginning. When it came to the artwork, we were working with their art department but it was all our vision explained to them and they put it together based on that. Regarding the album itself, we actually choose who we wanted to master and mix everything and we had full say over everything which was great.
OD – Can you explain the title of the album and why you choose it?
CHRISSY – Well there is the title track on the album which we felt represented where we are with things right now. I think that it threw people a little bit, because most bands of our genre wouldn’t normally make an acoustic track the tittle of the album (laughs), but for us a lot of it was based on the fact that the track itself holds a lot of truth for us. It kind of explains, collectively just how we feel about a lot of things right now. We have always followed an idea of doing what we feel comes naturally to us, instead of following precedent, so for us it was kind of ingrained in us and like the expression “it’s in the DNA” we happen to use the term ‘In Our Bones’ instead.
OD – This will be your third time in Europe, as you were here before on Gravity Tour and also with All Time Low back in February of this year. From that experience, did you notice any differences between the audiences in Europe and America?
CHRISSY -Actually, its gonna be the fourth time because we come once before we released Gravity and it was such a small show. It wasn’t a hugely advertised show and we were not as well known. So yea, it’s gonna be our fourth time over in Ireland and our fifth time playing a show in London, because we played there with All Time Low and at the end of our European run of dates, we did a one-off London show.
OD – Since we’re talking about the shows that you have performed over here in Europe, do you find that there is a noticeable difference with audiences and different cultures when comparing shows?
CHRISSY – Actually yea, we really notice with some places. Overdrive is based in Dublin, Ireland right?
OD – Yes.
CHRISSY – Dublin was one of the greatest shows on the All Time Low tour and on our Gravity tour also. Europe is generally more reactive to us as opposed to American or Canada. However Dublin has always been awesome to us. Our first show in Dublin was in a really small venue with something like 200 people. It was sold out and it was just insane. There were these poles from the ceiling to the floor in the middle of the crowd and it was like playing in someones basement. That particular show was the last date of that touring schedule and it was just so much fun.
Even when we came back with All Time Low and we were playing in arena’s and we really didn’t expect to have many people that knew us, but when we got over to Dublin it was like 50% of the venue knew who we were! They were singing back the words to the songs and totally getting into it, which was amazing! All the other venues we played on that tour, there was a few people here and there that knew us, but in Ireland it was incredible that we had this huge positive response. It was amazing!
Anyway, I guess from my perspective European audiences seem to get a little more excited at shows and tend to let their hair down and give off a little more energy than the U.S audiences, which I have heard from a lot of other bands who have been touring for a long time.
OD – It’s common knowledge that a great deal of Against The Current’s success is due to youtube and is an example of just how much things have changed in the music business. For you personally do you think that a lot of bands tend to rely more with online promotion rather than getting out on the road and touring?
CHRISSY -I think the most successful bands are the one’s who understand the importance of just getting out there and touring. Don’t get me wrong, uploading content on line is just as important, but you can’t rely on it 100%. You have to have a mix of both, if you know what I mean. You can look at it like, you create more videos to promote the tour, all the while keep touring; which will help to promote your online presence. Our emphasis tends to follow that pattern as it’s all positive business practice for the band to reach out to a larger audience.
When we first started out, we were uploading whatever we could and although it was a small amount of content, the end result was that our music was getting through to people from all over the world. We were also just playing as many shows as possible. We actually did a world tour before we had a record contract, which is kind of a strange to do with no label behind you. The reason that we did this, was because we knew just how important it was for us to get to play all the places where we already have fans as well as potential fans.
When using online media to promote your band, the results are usually that you will have a global collective fan-base, which is what we managed to achieve. We had to make that decision to start touring if we wanted Against the Current to grow. We couldn’t just keep playing shows in the U.S, so we decided that we had to play shows in Canada, Europe and wherever else we could, because there was / is no guarantee that the people that like your music suddenly decide that they want to move on to another band that have a bigger momentum happening.
OD – The album has an array of many different styles, for you what is your greatest influence?
CHRISSY -The consistency on the album is based on the fact that we all have a huge range of music that we really like. For me personally, I grew up listening to the music that my parents used to play around the house like Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin which is more my Mom’s taste and then my Dad was totally into really old Italian American classics with stuff such as Frankie Valli and Frank Sinatra.
With Against the Current, we all listen to everything far and in-between. We don’t put ourselves in a box, like other bands do. It’s great to have inspiration, influences and look up to other bands or artists but with some bands having a direct influence, it tends to translate throughout all of their music and it begins to become kind of stagnant after a while. That actually reminds me of this one time a local band asked me for some advice and I said “you need to chance your band name” because their name was the title of a Fall Out Boy record and all of their songs just sounded like Fall Out Boy. I told them “you’re never gonna break out of that! Fall Out Boy already exist”. There are a great band and they write really good songs, but they just sounded like a stunt double for Fall Out Boy.
If you put yourself under another band, you’re never going to be bigger than that particular band, because they have already done it and bought the t-shirt, if you know what I mean. Keeping that in mind, the most important thing for us as a band, was that we were not emulating any other band and we were very much doing our own individual thing.
OD – I know that when recording Gravity, you only had nine days, so when recording In Our Bones there was obviously more time, but I can only imagine that it was equally stressful; as it was your debut album and also a going to be released on a major label?
CHRISSY -I’m gonna be completely honest and say no! (laughs) Maybe there was with the guys and they didn’t let me know, but the whole process was just a really positive and great memory. Although we recorded Gravity in just nine days, we weren’t worried about that either. It’s possible that we might be crazy because we were so relaxed and maybe we should have been a little freaked out, but it was all just part of the process for us.
Our approach on the recording of this album goes back to the title In Our Bones. We just do what we feel is right and very natural to us and we don’t worry about it and try to overthink these things or try and force anything to happen. I think the reason why the whole process of Gravity worked so well was because it was a really natural, honest and genuine EP. It was a stream of consciousness that led to us recording six songs in five days and tacked on a few extra days to do drums and additional vocals.
Although In Our Bones had taken nearly a year to complete, the actual writing process was very fast. Every demo was a full fleshed out version of the song and then we would go back to the studio and re-record a lot of things to make everything sound as best as it could, but the overall framework of the songs remained the same as to when we had written them.
We actually left some of the original demo vocals on the finished album such as ‘Roses’ and ‘In Our Bones’ which were recorded way before we hit the studio for the final touch-ups. Once the album was completed, that’s when I began to feel a little stress as I was thinking “is it good enough and should we have thought a little more about it?” but I think that’s been our mentality from the start, which is doing what we feel and not overthinking things.
OD – With regards to the writing of the album and more specifically; your lyrics. Do you take inspiration directly from real life situations or are the songs / lyrics based more on the fictional side of things with suggested life situations etc?
CHRISSY – Well it’s combination of both really. A lot of it comes from real-life situations with stuff that has happened to me or stuff I’m just reacting to or the other side of it is just me exploring the deeper realms of my mind. Perfect example of that would be ‘Roses’ which came together as we were just writing the rest of the song first and I was drawn to one particular emotion which I just expanded on. Even though it wasn’t a “real emotion” that had happened to me, it still comes from a genuine place based on my own experience and my particular views on various matters.
OD – Following this tour, what will be happening for the remainder of the year, leading into 2017?
CHRISSY – Well I know that we will be extending the dates for part one of the world tour as there is still one more leg to be announced. So currently we have Asia, Europe and the next batch of dates that will be announced soon. We have huge plans for 2017 with way more dates that have yet to be discussed and sorted out, so watch this space!
OD – For anyone that has never seen Against the Current live, can you describe the experience?
CHRISSY – We’re definitely a pop-rock band on record but when we hit the stage for the live show, it’s a full-on rock show! We love to have a dynamic and energetic show and even with the softer songs, we really push to make that connection with the audience and harness the energy in the venue. We love having that flow of energy throughout the whole show as it just keeps us totally charged from start to finish. Playing live is one of the biggest rewards for us and we treat every show like it’s the last one! Trust me, you’re not gonna be disappointed with Against the Current live.
AGAINST THE CURRENT will be playing Dublin’s Academy on Tuesday 27th September with tickets on sale NOW! Tickets are priced at €18.00 (inc booking fee) and are available from Ticketmaster today! Support comes from As It Is and Beach Weather.
© Overdrive 2016