Too Close To Touch made their UK debut on headline shows supporting Set It Off and With Confidence prior to Slam Dunk. We caught up with drummer Kenny Downey, guitarist Mason Marble and bassist Travis Moore after their set to talk about Slam Dunk, winning an APMA and the longest last words in AltCorner history!
This is your first Slam Dunk, we watched a bit of your set and thought you were great! How did you find it?
Travis: It was amazing!
Mason: yeah it was one of my favourite shows probably ever!
Kenny: The crowd response was unreal, especially since we’ve never even been to this country. It’s been amazing, we’ve played a few other shows in the last four days but I’d say this one definitely stood apart. A lot of kids knew the words, people were crowd surfing, and everyone was doing whatever Keaton (Pearce, vocals) was telling them to do which was pretty cool. It was just a fun time all around.
That’s great! You mentioned about your few dates prior to the festival with Set It Off and With Confidence, as your first UK appearances, how have they gone?
Mason: The shows with Set It Off were pretty cool, we’re still relatively unknown I guess to a lot of people here today but the first shows with Set It Off were pretty good, they’re just getting better and better. We kinda had a way to get a feel for the country and the crowd but today was great, the energy felt like we were playing one of our bigger shows in the states so it was great, a lot of fun.
You have one sentence to convince our readers to come see you at a show. What would it be?
Mason: If you want to experience something new, you should come see us in concert.
Travis: Interesting, you’re putting us on the spot with some advertising here! I think it would be better to say if you wanna come feel at home and just let go of what you might think is holding you back then come to a show.
Mason: It’s hard to try and convince people of something because some people are unwilling to be convinced, they won’t really care so it doesn’t matter what I say, you know what I mean? People that want to get something from reading this publication, I definitely think there are people who would respond to that, those are the people we want to come to our shows. So if you’re reading this and you want something new, come to a show!
Kenny: So the jist is we can’t fit the reasons why you should come see us in one sentence. So come see us.
Mason: Or listen you know.
Kenny: Or listen yeah.
You recently released Haven’t Been Myself, can you tell us about the inspiration behind the record?
Kenny: It’s kinda pretty dark content, Keaton was going through a pretty rough time, a family member passed away, his young sister, so a lot of it’s about him dealing through that. Like some of the things he fell into or things he had to overcome. It was very fresh!
Mason: yeah, it’s just really him dealing with life by putting ink to paper and letting his emotions go you know?
Kenny: It was very therapeutic I’d say for him, especially the closing track, Eiley, that was the last song we did and it was probably the hardest song that he personally had to go through. The performance vocally was hard, at the same time, he said at the end of it he felt like that was some sort of closure and in a weird way, he got a lot off his chest. I think it was really good for him that record and I think the record kinda just speaks to anyone that’s had to deal with something as terrible as losing a family member, a sister, a sibling, a friend. He’s been really good at wearing his heart on his sleeve and just expressing to people how he feels and I’d say that’s the jist of Haven’t Been Myself. He wasn’t himself for a while and this is the story about it.
Have you guys got a favourite track on the record?
Mason: My favourite one is Crooked Smile. It’s the most fun and energetic, it’s the most fun to play and definitely the most fun to listen to for me.
Travis: I like Miss Your Face a lot. It’s a dark song but it kinda has a brightness to it. I love the contrast to it.
Kenny: I’m a sucker for Sympathy. It’s our lead single so I know it’s kinda like that thing that’s like “oh yeah. That’s your favourite song?” I just like the dynamic of the song, there’s just a lot of aspects of that song that I enjoy.
Last year, you won an APMA for Best Underground Band beating the likes of Creeper, Moose Blood and ROAM, how did that feel?
Kenny: Did we really? Man I wish they’d tell us about this! (laughs) it was great, it was crazy!
Mason: It made us feel like we were up to something I think. I think it turned a lot of heads of people that I think might not have necessarily been paying attention. It was a really special moment for us. None of us thought we were going to win, I definitely thought Moose Blood was going to win. I didn’t really know too much about Creeper or ROAM but we’re pretty close friends with Creeper now, we just brought them out on our headline run in America and they’re all very deserving bands. I don’t know, it was a good feeling. I think we’re up to something, I think we’re doing something good. It’s good to be turning those heads now and it’s such a major scale! There was a lot of people at the event and following the awards.
Travis: Just to be even nominated for it with all those bands was a blessing and we weren’t expecting to win at all like Mason said but when we heard our name announced we just had an overjoyed feeling and it makes you kinda feel like you’re doing something important. You’re doing something that’s helping other people and that’s why I think we got the award you know?
Mason: Yeah it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice paying off, we’ve been doing this a really long time.
Kenny: We didn’t expect it to pay off that quickly. It was pretty surreal. When we found out we were nominated, we lost our minds. The moment we found out we won, about 2 hours before, it was a really short time, so it was nuts. The one thing I probably remember the most was being asked if we had a speech. I was so confused like why would we have a speech? Like we got asked that question by four different people! Two with our label, management and someone else asked and we just looked at them like “no we don’t have a speech”. That’s probably what I remember most, is just the minutes up to the award because being on the stage and talking I don’t remember much of that because it was so last minute. It was so surreal, like it was insane! Very happy to have won it, thanks to everyone that voted as well!
What can we expect from Too Close To Touch in 2017?
Mason: A lot! We’ve got a lot of surprises, the most recent fun thing is going to be Warped Tour and then we got a bunch of secrets. They’ll be rolling out. It’s going to be pretty quick but if you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss out! So anyone who’s a fan of the band should really keep an eye on social media and things like that over the next few months. The end of the year is going to be a banger! We’re going out pretty hard!
Are you looking forward to Warped Tour?
Kenny: So many friends, it’s nice to not be the new faces on Warped, like last year was a blast but you’re still like the new guys so it’ll be really cool to come into it knowing what to expect, knowing a lot of the bands now! Because that [their last stint] was only like our fourth or fifth tour so we didn’t know very many people. We had only toured with a handful of bands so now we’re going on tour with people [that we’ve already toured with] like the New Years Day guys and girl so we’re really excited to see them, Blessthefall, Hands Like Houses, Sylar we just know a lot of bands. There’s a tonne of friends, it’s going to be a blast!
Mason: Yeah, it’s going to be a lot easier for us this year and probably a lot more fun because we’ve grown as a band, we’ve put out a new record, we’ve reached a whole new number of people so it should be great!
We always end with a few random questions. Would you rather be the author of the Twilight saga or have written every Justin Bieber song in history?
Mason: My hero, he’s right there (Frank Iero walks into the room).
Travis: I’d rather be a Bieber writer.
Mason: He’s got that rep but the songs are sick.
What’s the funniest joke you know?
Mason: I can’t tell you. Let me think. I’m a huge Mitch Hedberg fan he’s got this bit where he’s like “cheese graters, why don’t we call them what they really are; a sponge ruiner!” I fucking love that joke! Or “you know sometimes there’s an escalator and sometimes the escalator is out of order and then they put a sign that says ‘out of order’ but really it’s just temporarily become stairs” (laughs). He does it a lot better, I butchered that. He’s also got one “I used to do drugs, I still do but I used to too.” I love that joke too! Those are the ones I’m comfortable saying on record!
If you could have a meal with any three people, dead or alive, who would you pick and why?
Kenny: Uuuhhhh. I feel like I know this one is dead easy but I just want to make sure it’s good! I know a band that I would love to have a meal with and there’s only three of them in it but one of the girls from Babymetal should be there ‘cause I love their band I just wanna tell them that I love their band! Johnny Depp because he just seems wild and I think I’d wanna hang out with him for a day. He’s like the ultimate guy you know? And we’ll do a dead one (laughs) we’ll do Michael Jackson just cause he’s one of the greats and I never got to see him live or meet him and I’d just love to hear that dude talk about all the stuff he’s done and seen, he’s been famous his whole life. He’s one of the most famous humans to exist so I would love to meet him and have dinner with him! Mainly just to see what all of them would eat because they’re three people I bet don’t eat the same thing!
Mason: Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love and Elvis. Just have Elvis mediate.
Finally, is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Mason: We love you, thanks for giving us the time to read our words that we’ve just spoken to this little recorder.
Kenny: Keep reading, reading is good for the mind.
Mason: If you ever get a chance to see us, come say hey, we’re pretty chatty as you can probably tell. Keep listening to music and keep trying to experience new things. Don’t get caught up in the loop doing the same shit over and over.
Kenny: Like my tweets. Don’t friend me on Facebook, I stopped accepting those ‘cause it’s all fake.
Mason: Like that episode of The Black Mirror, just stuck in the perpetual, doing the same.
Kenny: Go vote. Be better every day, eat healthy food.
Mason: Look both ways before you cross the street.
Kenny: Eat your veggies.
Mason: Wash your hands after you use the bathroom.
Kenny: Sometimes. Don’t waste water.
Mason: Make the world a better place.
Kenny: Be good people and listen to our music if you like it. And if you don’t, then just listen to something else and let us know what you’re listening to. I’m super into Miley Cyrus, yeah I’m talking to you Miley! Anytime you want to hang.