Ohio duo, The Story Changes are no strangers to touring and this summer they’ve spent the past 3 months on the road with fellow buckeyes Hawthorne Heights & Arkansas’ PM Today. Luckily all that time away from home is beneficial to the two-piece’s writing style and as well as getting to play for lots of new people, the band will come out of this current tour with a bunch of new songs ready to record. Their latest musical offering, however, is in the form of split-CD, ‘Analogies’, an album shared with tour-pals Let Go. It’s the perfect bridge between rock and pop and a perfect introduction to the two bands.
Vocalist/guitarist Mark talks exclusively to Kiki Vs Everyone about tour life, top tips for new bands and Taco Bell.
First up it’s undeniable you guys have spent a lot of time on the road! Are you happier on or off the road?
We’ve definitely done our share of touring over the last few years. I’m at a really good place right now and am really happy both on and off the road. When we’re not on an extended tour, we’re still really busy working on music and on the road on the weekends for a couple of shows here and there every week, so it all kind of blends together. I think overall though, I feel the happiest and more myself when on the road.
How does touring so much effect your inspiration? Do you find it easy to write on the road or harder?Touring is really inspiring and always puts me in the mood to write a lot, but typically it’s hard for me to get a lot of writing done on the road. Most of the time, the stuff I work on on the road gets put on a the back burner until we get time to really focus on it at home. I like to keep a notebook of lyrical ideas that I jot down while being inspired on tour and then go to that for inspiration while we are at home with down time to write and work the kinks out of new songs.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve played at?
It’s really hard to narrow it down to one. The Denver date on this current tour was amazing, probably the funnest of the tour so far. Lots of friends, good sound, awesome city, great crowd!
What’s the most reliable make of van?
Ford all the way. Our 2005 Ford cargo van is named “Lucky” and he’s been nothing short of a workhorse for us. We got him right before an early tour with our good friends Let Go. They had just purchased a new ford Van as well. To seal the moment, our drummer Poppy got a tour tattoo with both bands’ initials dolled up to look like the Ford logo. Before Lucky, we had went through quite a few used vans of almost every make and model and ran them all to death. We’ve left two on the side of the road just in California alone.
What are your top tips for bands embarking on their first tours? Any essential items to take/leave at home?
Be smart about your money and learn the difference between things you need and things you want. Don’t spend a lot of money on snacks everytime you go to a gas station. Go to a grocery store once a week and buy snacks in bulk to keep in the van. Drink lots of water. First and foremost, don’t go on tour until you’re ready and have a release to promote. If you don’t have any merch to sell, you’re not going to make enough money to stay afloat.
Do you think that the internet helps or hinders new and unsigned bands?
I think the internet is probably the most important tool out there right now for new bands. On one hand, there are so many bands online that its so completely oversaturated and hard to get anyone to give your music a chance if they haven’t heard of you, but if a band is really good and creates a buzz through touring, the internet can help them get their music out worldwide extremely quickly and easily. It’s leveled the playing field quite a bit and given smaller artists a shot to create a massive buzz on little to no budget. If you’re good and doing something refreshing that people enjoy, word will spread online.
You had a bit of a change of direction between your first and second CDs, what prompted that?
There’s a little variance in between the albums, but it sounds like a logical evolution. I think it was just a matter of touring between the releases for a couple of years and coming into each new one with a fresh perspective. To me, our first album “Last Night a Rock Band Saved My Life” is the poppiest thing we’ve ever done, our second album “the Way of the Dinosaur” is the darkest thing we’ve ever done, and our tracks on “Analogies” are mashup of both. I love it! Listening to each album takes me back to various memories from those particular points in my life.
If someone said to you you could make your one dream album and go on your one dream tour, but after that never make music again would you take the deal?
Never. I would go crazy if I couldn’t keep making music. I’m sure I would really enjoy the tour, but afterwards, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
(our first ever!) Mini Vs Series:
Hawthorne Heights Vs PM Today Are we talking a clean fight or anything goes? Hawthorne Heights wins. Although the PM boys can scrap, Hawthorne out numbers them and would pummel them.
touring Vs recording This is a close battle for me, but touring wins. ..but without a record to promote and enable kids to connect to our music, touring wouldn’t be as fun. Recording enables touring. Confused?
DC Vs Marvel
Marvel wins. Spiderman was my hero growing up. No amount of cheesy modern CGI’d movies can ruin that for me.
Vinyl Vs MP3
As much as I love vinyl, I can bring a whole lot more mp3’s with me on tour. MP3’s are the champ.
love Vs respect
Respect. You can’t make them all love you, but you can gain everyone’s respect.
stadium shows Vs basement shows
It’s all about the connection and making it a fun show. Basement shows always win, but if you can make a stadium feel as intimate as a basement show, you are golden.
Wendy’s Vs Taco Bell
Taco Bell wins. I never thought I would say that sentence, haha. We’re both vegetarian and T-bell has way more options for us to eat than Wendy’s.
Lindsay Lohan Vs Britney Spears
Britney baby. She’s still got it!
iPhone Vs Blackberry
iPhone! We recently waited in line at the store overnight to get iPhone 4’s on release night. Geek out! I feel like a Jetson every time I face-time video call someone. Welcome to the future.
summer Vs winterSummer owns. Summer means touring and seeing friends. Winter means touring and getting stuck in the snow.:)
Any future plans etc you wanna promote?We’ve got another few weeks on this current run of dates with Hawthorne Heights and PM Today and then we plan on spending a big chunk of August and September at home working on new songs for a new album.
What are your goals for the band?
Our overall goal has always been to be able to create music we enjoy and to be able to afford to live comfortably doing so. We feel very fortunate to continually be able to get by doing something that we love so much.
Hop on over to Last.fm and download ‘Move Forward’ for free and check out the band’s website for more information.