Interview: Jimmy Lopez and Joe Lussa of The Audition at Slam Dunk South Festival

By on Monday, 11th June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

At a festival packed with American pop-punkers from top to bottom, I caught up with Jimmy Lopez and Joe Lussa from The Audition at this year’s Slam Dunk South for a quick talk about leaving Victory Records, their new EP and having legions of female fans.

You played Slam Dunk North yesterday, how was that for you?

Jimmy: Fun, man. It was awesome. It’s my first time here in the UK. Everything’s backwards like driving, but I like it.

Joe: He’s new, it’s his first time over here. But it’s our first time playing back in the UK for a few years, and it was awesome. The kids seem to be excited.

You’re playing alongside some pretty big bands in pop-punk, how does it feel to be a part of such a line-up?

Joe: It’s awesome. A lot of our friends are here so that’s cool – bands like Taking Back Sunday and Every Time I Die are bands we grew up listening to, so it’s cool to be playing the same festival as them.

You do festivals differently in America than the UK…

Joe: Well, these are definitely bigger than Warped Tour, I’d say.

Jimmy: Especially now.

Joe: As far as festivals go, we don’t do too many, but when you’re over here a lot of it is festivals, which is awesome because I enjoy festivals more than a regular tour. I like being around people and playing outside – it’s a lot of fun.

Do you prefer UK or US festivals?

Joe: UK. Always.

Your new EP ‘Chapter II’ came out in America a few months ago and it’s out in the UK on the 11th of June, can you tell us a bit about it?

Joe: We just tried to go back to the old style of the band, combining the sounds of the first two records together so we can give the fans what they know the band as. The other records were a lot more ‘poppy’ than the rock that we like to play.

This is an EP but you haven’t released a new album since 2010, are there plans for a new album?

Joe: There’s a lot of songs we have written that we didn’t put on the EP but we’ll probably end up writing instead and making it fresh instead.

How do the crowds like the new material?

Joe: The response has been good and it’s nice to be able to play those songs and have kids already know the words.

Jimmy: It was cool when they started singing along. I think that was probably the loudest crowd since I’ve played with them – even in America.

You left Victory Records 2 years ago, how has it been since you decided to go alone?

Joe: It’s nice, we don’t have to answer to anybody. It’s better because when things happen for the band we know it’s our hard work that’s paying off, it’s not the record label that’s getting these things for us. We have a great agent and manager so they help out a lot but it’s definitely nice to be a free agent and know that whatever songs we really like will be the ones that we release. No-one else can say “We’d like you to do something else” or “We’d like you to take a different route”, we can just release what we want to release.

Is it something you’d advocate? Would you encourage bands to go it alone?

Joe: It depends on what kind of band you are; if you’re a real pop singer, a record label is going to be your best bet. The bands and the connections they have to put you on the giant tours and you need that promotion. But I feel the internet is a very viable option now, you can do a lot of promotion for free yourself. If you spend enough time you can do really big things on the internet. So if you can do it and you’re willing to put the work in, it will pay off in the end.

There’s a lot of girls here wearing Audition t-shirts and there’s always loads of girls at your shows, what is it about your band that attracts women primarily?

Jimmy: This guy right here (laughs). That and the dancey type groove we have going on.

Joe: I think a lot of it has to do with how we are as people. People see that we just have fun when we play and when they see us off stage they see we’re just hanging out with everybody. We’re very approachable people having fun with everybody – drinking and partying. It attracts people to hang out with us because we want to hang out with everyone else as well.

Finally, if the world ends at the end of 2012, what’s the last thing you’re going to do?

Joe: I’m going to make a billion dollars then buy a spot on the spaceship to the next planet.

Jimmy: I’ll rob the richest man in the world. I’ll rob Jimmy.

Joe: He’ll go the illegal route. I’ll make my millions, then he’ll kill me for it.

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