Aussie pop-punk/pop-rockers With Confidence return to Slam Dunk for the second year in a row after making not only their Slam Dunk debut but also their UK debut at 2016’s festival. Since then, they’ve been back to the UK a couple of times, as well as shows all over the world, and released debut album Better Weather. We caught up with drummer Josh Brozzesi for a chat about touring the UK, the album and choosing iTunes Ts&Cs over Nickelback songs…
This is your second year in a row at Slam Dunk. How does it feel to be one of the few that get invited back on consecutive years?
Yeah. See I didn’t actually know that that was quite rare. It’s really cool to be back, we loved doing Fresh Blood (Kerrang!’s stage) last year and we had really good turnouts. It was our very first time in the country so we didn’t really know what to expect and now to come back and do the Key Club stage is sick. I watched some friends play there like ROAM, As It Is, The Story So Far and they all played to thousands of people so, if we can play to that many people I will be glad.
You will do I bet! I caught your set last year and I was really impressed, I hadn’t listened to you before then but I’m a fan now!
Ah sick. That’s why we’re here!
It’s not rare, rare (to be asked back twice in a row) but it doesn’t happen that often, its kinda like Warped Tour, a year on, year off. That’s what it seems to normally be like but there are a few bands who get asked back the following year and you’re one of them.
Yeah it’s sick!
Are there any bands that you want to check out?
I have a whole list, it’s insane! (proceeds to get phone out to list them) I’ve got a plan of who I’m going to try and check out over the three days. I wanna see.. I’ve already seen Trophy Eyes and Like Pacific, I wanna see Andrew McMahon, Beartooth, Don Broco, Neck Deep, The Maine, Trophy Eyes, Seaway, Boston Manor, Against Me!, Citizen, Turnover, Milk Teeth, Sorority Noise, Ocean Grove… There’s like twenty bands that I want to see.
I’m sure over the entire weekend, you’ll be able to catch most if not all of them!
Yeah and I’ve got so many friends on this tour which is amazing.
For those you haven’t seen you live, what can they expect?
Oh that’s a good question. I think on this tour, it’s gonna be a very concise setlist, we’re going to try and play a lot of the upbeat, punky, happy songs and I think people can expect something high energy that they can jump up and down to and run in a circle. It’s gonna be fast paced, we’re going to squeeze as many as we can in to our set. It should be a lot of fun.
You’re done a few co-headline shows with Set It Off prior to the festival. How have they been?
It’s been really good, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s cool to fit some side shows in around the festival. We did just do a headline in March so it’s a little soon to come back but it’s still been really fun. We love travelling, we love playing music.
Even though you did the March headliner, people will still come out to see you again so soon after anyway!
Yeah which is really great, it’s a lot of the same people as well which means a lot.
The fans are so dedicated.
Yeah, it’s really cool. We just did a signing at one o’clock and they didn’t open the gates til one o’clock and I was like “oh no-ones gonna come” and then kids were running over to make sure they could catch it. It’s really sweet. We have great fans!
I was talking to Cody earlier and he said the co-headline shows were so good. Especially Manchester.
Yeah, Manchester was great. They kinda asked us if we wanted to go ahead with the show and we were all like “yes, like more than ever” we wanna keep playing the shows. They need it frankly.
It’s good to see it all carrying on regardless.
Last year, you released Better Weather which has had a very good reaction. How have you found the reaction towards it?
It’s been great. We pretty much put it out just after touring here last year so we were doing a lot of the EP songs and a couple of the singles but the headline tour we just did two months ago, people were singing along, they know all the songs, they know all the deep cuts, the small tracks. They love like Long Night and songs like that that we haven’t pushed as singles or anything but people really connected to it and I think it’s really nice to see people react and know that people are going through what we went through and it’s been a really good reception.
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for the album?
Jayden and Ini are the main songwriters but I think it’s pretty much everything we’ve experienced in the last two or three years. Everything ourfriends have experienced. I think when you come out of school its quite a tough time, you feel a little bit overwhelmed. All of a sudden, you’ve spent eighteen years having this direction and always knowing whats happening next and then all of a sudden you’re just out in the world and it can be a little scary and daunting. We’ve had friends go through mental health issues and we’ve had our battles. I think we didn’t really mean to write towards it but the guys just kept coming back to issues on depression and mental health and I think its just something that has affected us and our friends a lot, so we wanted to try and make something that might make people feel better. That’s kinda the premise of the album, we wanted to write songs that are emotional and they mean a lot but we still want them to be upbeat and happy and have a good album that people could just put on and be in a good mood. It’s cool.
That’s cool. This might be a controversial topic but you guys toured with 5 Seconds Of Summer a while back and have been put under the same labels as the band, however, you guys are loved by the alternative world whereas they don’t seem to be. Why do you think that is?
It’s quite funny. I know some people will lump us in the with poppier bands like 5SOS and Waterparks and State Champs and that but we’re quite luck ybecause we can also go and play shows with people like Knuckle Puck and the bands that are on the other side like ROAM and bands like that that are on the rockier side. I enjoy doing both because I love all the bands. I’ve known 5SOS since I was like 10 years old, we played our very first show with them. I think they’ve had a very different journey to us and they kinda got picked up by One Direction’s management pretty early and we’ve kinda slogged it as a local band. We’ve kinda built it up a bit more slowly but I’ve got nothing but love for them and every band’s journey is different. I have no problem with someone saying we sound like them cause they’re good friends and they’re killing it like. They’re a great live band. If anyone wants to talk shit on them not being a real band, go see them live cause they are shredders! They have worked so hard!
I haven’t seen them recently, but I did a few times a couple of years back and they were so good then.
We did an Australian tour with them around August or September, October maybe? Last year and it was sick! I like sticking in between both and if people call us a pop band or a boyband or a pop punk band I don’t really care, we’re just gonna write the music that we wanna write, people are always going to try and put you in a genre. We’re not too worried about that.
Are there any plans for With Confidence for the rest of 2017?
Not just yet, but I can say we will be back to the UK one more time before the end of the year and it’s a pretty cool tour, I’m pretty rapped on it! It’ll be a support tour. We’ll probably go over to the US again and then we’re gonna try and record an album. We’re writing album 2 at the moment!
How’s that going?
Pretty good. We’ve got a lot of ideas, we haven’t been able to jam a lot as a band, just cause I’ve been away from home for 5 months now so I really wanna go home, get in my shed and just jam with the boys. That’s the plan from here! So pretty much do that and keep touring as much as we can, that’s pretty much the plan.
That’s cool. We always end with some random questions. Would you rather only be able to listen to Nickelback songs or read all 52 pages of the iTunes terms and conditions every day for the rest of your life?
Oh my God! I’d probably read those terms and conditions. I listen to so much different music. As much as it would be fun to make the rest of my band listen to only Nickelback, I think I’m gonna read those terms and conditions. That’s a hard question!
Where has been the craziest place you’ve toured and why?
Definitely Japan! Just cause it’s such a culture shock. The UK, Australia and the US are all relatively similar, I think there’s slight differences which is really nice but everyone kinda like knows how to act at a concert and when to jump and that but Japan was just so amazing, they were so respectful and quiet. You could hear the guitars tuning, just the sound of the strings like it’s just such a culture shock and such a different way of life and it’s one of those times where I was very, very grateful to be travelling and playing music, just to experience that country. It was amazing, really, really fun. I’d love to go back!
A lot of people say that Japan is such a great place to go.
It’s such a cool place! They’re lovely (the fans), so, so lovely!
If you had to pick one song that made you want to be a musician, what would it be?
Wow um…. There’s probably an album, I know I was about 19 and I was going through the same thing I was talking about earlier where I’d gone off to uni and I was studying to be a teacher and I wasn’t very happy and I felt like I rushed into it out of school and I heard this band called The Dangerous Summer, a girl played me their record War Paint and it made me wanna be in a band. I’d always loved music and I never thought of pursuing it from school and I was just like “man I wanna pursue music”, it was cool because it gave me that direction and I started studying to be a music teacher. If I could put it down to one album, it would definitely be that album!
That’s really cool! Finally, is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Thanks so much for checking out the interview and if you wanna hear anything more by us, check us out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and we’ll see you soon.
Thank you very much.
No worries, thanks for your time!