Putting aside the craziness of their rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for one minute. The boys of Page 44 took some time to chat with our writer Eleanor Rigby, and answer some of her burning questions.
TOS: Hi guys, how is it going? You’ve just come back from playing Vans Warped Tour UK on the 17th of November, “the next important journey in Page 44 history”, as you previously described it. Tell us, how it was?
P44: Hey, things are going well thank you; hope they are for you too. Well, it was simply amazing to be honest. Simply to be there on the bill was great! We assumed being first on we would probably play to a half full room, but we were extremely surprised by the end of our set the room was packed. The crowd was really responsive too, clapping along and a fair few singing along for a couple of songs, all this gave us a lot more energy and was one of our best performances of the year.
TOS: Being part of the same line-up as Enter Shikari, Flogging Molly and Rise Against must have been incredibly exciting for you. Any band you were particularly eager to play with?
P44: Well, the bands you just mentioned are all amazing, so to be on the same Poster as them is great for us. Personally though, it was the likes of Yellowcard, Billy Talent and Coheed and Cambria. They are all bands that I have a lot of music from and have helped inspired us. I’ve bought tickets to see them before and we got to play the same event, which is fantastic. Even better we got to see them for free haha!
TOS: Even though the Warped Tour was definitely a big step for you, we could easily say you’re no stranger to playing big festivals, like Download Festival. What’s the main difference in terms of fans feedback between playing festivals or your own live shows?
P44: We love Download we have played the last 3 years and it’s just crazy! There are the obvious differences such as at our own shows we are playing to hundreds and at Download we play to thousands. We love performing at any time, festivals, intimate shows the works but I defy you to find a band that doesn’t get an extra bit of excitement playing to much bigger crowds. The crowds themselves are made up of a different kind of fan too. Over the years we have developed a decent sort of hardcore base of loyal fans that have seen every show we have done in their hometown over the last 3 years. That’s awesome and makes us so proud, but at the festivals we pick up more new fans. People that were walking past and heard us and thought “Ooo, I like this I will stay a bit longer”. We always seem to have an increase in fans on social networking sites after we play at festivals.
TOS: Last March you released your debut album All That Changes, Stays The Same which has been crowd funded through PledgeMusic. Would you say you got the reaction you expected from your fan base?
P44: The reaction was better than we could’ve imagined. We reached the initial target we set in just over 4 days and by the end of the project we were well over 300%. We were overwhelmed, but it enabled us to create the album to a higher standard than we had originally hoped. Some days we sit back and just think it’s crazy there are that many people who want to listen to us and love what we do as much as much as we do ourselves. It also meant we could reward the fans with an album both parties were proud of. It’s also nice to know there are hundreds of fans getting the album the second it is launched and they all seemed to really like it. Everyone likes different songs on the album too, so it shows we were writing to a consistent standard.
TOS: The entirety of the album is drenched in heavy themes, such as depression or love-misery. What were the main inspirations behind its creation? Was it more of a collective work as a band or has it been inspired by one of you particularly?
P44: All our songs are inspired by all 4 of us, without a certain drum fill, bass line, guitar riff the song would develop in another direction so we all have a lot of input; however, it is Adam Stanford and I (Adam Vygus) that write the lyrics. It mostly is a mix of both our opinions on a certain theme, especially with the love and loss songs. One of us will bring in a chorus or verse, explain what it means to us and then the other will draw on their own experience to craft their own lyrical ideas onto it and it moves on like that. That being said the songs written about depression are more down to me. I have struggled with depression for a few years now and I find it very cathartic to write lyrics about it. Some can be autobiographical, so it’s a definite release and a great way for me to cope with it all.
TOS: You all come from Birmingham. What was it like growing up as a band there? How is music treated?
P44: Well Birmingham has a rich history of great bands, so music is a big part of the city. There are hundreds of venues of all sizes across the city so it has really helped us develop our craft. It meant that when we first started out it was relatively easy to start getting gigs at pub venues and then to move up etc. With hundreds of music venues comes hundreds of music fans and that’s helped us immensely. It’s great seeing the same faces at our hometown shows, people who have been there from the beginning and have been a real part of our history. The music scene is great and there is a thriving unsigned scene with so many talented bands playing 7 days a week. So we are proud to come from this part of the country.
TOS: The name Page 44 slightly recollects Mark Hoppus’ +44. Is there some kind of relation to that?
P44: There is no relation at all. Although the band as this 4 has been going for just over 3 years Adam Stanford and I did perform under the guise Page 44 before then shortly after we first started which happened to be a few months before +44 was even “a thing”.
TOS: I know it’s a pretty clichéd question, but influences are fundamental for musicians. What would you say are yours, musically speaking?
P44: Well, I think any music we listen to influences us. A good song transcends genres. It could be rock, metal, country – a good song is just a good song. Individually, we all have certain artists that got us into music. I was brought up on Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen and the first band that made me want to be a musician was R.E.M. We all listen to a wide variety of music from Motown to metal, so generally we just love good music.
TOS: In April you’re going to tour the UK with All That Changes, Stays The Same, starting from Guildford on the 1st and ending with a homecoming show in Birmingham on the 13th. What are your plans afterwards?
P44: Well, that tour was actually the album release tour this year. We are, however, currently starting to write the second album and are hoping to tour in early 2014 with the 1st album favourites and the new songs too.
TOS: Finally, leave a message to your fans.
P44: I know this is another cliché, but just a MASSIVE thanks! We wouldn’t be anywhere without our fans. I know every band says that, but it has extra meaning from us! We have worked hard to be here, but without the epic support from our fans helping us win the likes of Red Bull Bedroom Jam we wouldn’t be where we are now! RBBJ has been fundamental to our progress and has been the foundations for the album and playing the festivals we have been lucky enough to perform at! So thanks, and hope to see you all in 2014.
Thank you to Page 44 for speaking to us; and if you want more of their awesomeness head to their official Facebook site.