Infectious Magazine chats with Count To Four to discuss their debut album Between Two Cities, high school ambition, following your dreams and their upcoming US tour. Check it out after the jump.
IM: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. How are you?
Count To Four: We’re doing very well, thank you! We just got off of a full month of touring and right now we are just prepping our album to be released. It’s a very exciting time.
IM: Your debut album, Between Two Cities is due out April 30. Can you walk us through the writing/recording process, to give fans insight into what they can expect from the album?
Count To Four: Well, the album started as a concept our singer, Mike, developed during his stint at Hofstra University. The album is titled Between Two Cities because that was literally where it was written; on the long car rides home between New York and Philadelphia. What the album really shows is ones personal struggle between the person that they have been their entire life and the person they will become in their future. Philadelphia is the city that we all call home, while New York, for Mike, was a symbol of the great unknowns of the future. This concept also shows where we were as a band at the time of the writing process. We all knew that music was what we loved and what we wanted to do, but the prospect of, say, graduating college, finding real jobs, and accepting real life was posing a threat to what we wanted to do. That is what the album is about, essentially. Being able to find a balance between who you were and who you are while finding what makes you happy. It was also a scary time because we were without a bass player, so there were a lot of question marks when we were getting ready to record the album. However, shortly before the recording process Neale joined the band and was able to help with the writing process, though not being able to actually record on the album. Musically, the album is a lot more mature then anything we’ve ever done. When we wrote it, we wanted to make sure every song was different, distinct, and something you really haven’t heard before. We even started messing around with different time signatures, facetiously calling ourselves a progressive pop-punk band. It’s a unique album that we are very proud of.
IM: Having shared the stage with bands like All Time Low and The Wonder Years, along with countless other national and local talent, what do you think you’ve taken away as far as learning experiences?
Count To Four: Something we’ve definitely taken away is that professionalism goes a long way. Making the step to being a professional band isn’t just throwing a guitar in a van and hoping for the best. Our drummer, Pete, started playing to a click through in-ear monitors so we could incorporate sound samples into our music. When we play at a show, we always like to know exactly what we are doing and saying at any given point to maintain that level of professionalism. It definitely goes a long way into making you feel better both as a band and as performers. That’s something we didn’t even consider until we started touring and playing with larger bands. We didn’t want to be four guys and some instruments. We wanted to be a band. Professionalism stretches from your demeanor onstage, to your presence online, and even your merch table. Bottom line, what we took away from playing with bands like All Time Low and The Wonder Years is that there is a delicate balance between doing what you love and accepting that it is also a business, which is kind of a beautiful thing.
IM: On the flip side, what do you think that you’ve been able to teach other bands?
Count To Four: Hopefully the same thing that we’ve learned from the bigger bands we’ve played with: do what you love and never be afraid to put that before anything else. Mike left school to do this full time. Jay has turned down job offers to do this. Pete and Neale are in a constant work cycle the minute that they get home to provide extra support for this band. But that’s ok because like we said, this is what we love. And we weren’t afraid to sacrifice to follow our dreams, and we hope younger bands see us and learn that same lesson.
IM: I read an interview where you were talking about how, like so many others you started a band in high school. Although at the time, it seems everyone just wants to be in a band, looking back do you think there were any valuable lessons during that time? (For instance, that the competition just gets harder in the “real world”, etc.)
Count To Four: Odds are if you are in a band and are trying to make it in the music industry, practically all your loves and influences came to you while you were in high school playing in that 3 piece cover band with the drummer who wasn’t actually a drummer, just a guy you threw a pair of drumsticks in front of in band class. High school is where we all met, save for Mike and Jay, and that’s where all of our friendships started simply because of our love of music. As you get older, you kind of realize that the problems you had in high school didn’t really mean that much in the grand scheme of things. But something you also realize is how much certain things in high school do mean a lot in the grand scheme of things. Like your first show that wasn’t in the school’s auditorium or the first guitar you were able to buy with your own money. What you learn in high school you don’t realize until later, which is what is actually still important to you years later.
IM: What’s in the future for Count To Four?
Count To Four: On April 22nd, we are releasing a music video for a song called “Lavender Town,” the first single off of our new record. Our album will be released on April 30th, and you can preorder it at http://counttofour.bandcamp.com. Right now, we are also planning our second full US tour in July and August.
IM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Count To Four: Just thank you guys for the opportunity to be interviewed! Also, if anyone happens to be travelling through Hodgenville, Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln was born there. Pay your respects.
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