As one of the biggest rising-star bands at Slam Dunk today, we sit down with Ian Farmer (Bass/vocals) and Jake Ewald (Guitar/vocals) from Modern Baseball to talk about how it feels to be that anticipated in the scene, Motion City Soundtrack and college.
HTS: You guys seem to be the ‘it’ guys in pop punk at the moment, and you were even in a Billboard article! How does that all feel?
Ian: More like the zit guys! (laughs) But no, that was weird. I think honestly, they just don’t know what to talk about. Nah, it was cool.
Jake: It’s kind of unreal.
Ian: It’s definitely really cool. It’s just we never expected any of it. It’s very shocking to us.
Jake: Yeah, we started out like, “Hey mom, we’re getting to play this basement show with our favourite band” and they were like “What? I don’t care.” And then it was like “woah, Billboard likes our band.” And my grandma knows what that is so it’s really cool.
HTS: How did your set go today?
Ian: Awesome! It was a lot of fun. There were so many people there and they all seemed to be having a really good time and we were probably having an even better time.
Jake: The fact that we can play a festival like this in a different country is just unbelievable. We’re just in awe.
HTS: This is the first time you’ve come to the UK, how are you finding it so far?
Jake: It’s awesome. We just wrapped up a tour with Real Friends where we did some UK dates and we just got back from Germany, and now we’re doing Slam Dunk. And that was our first time to all those places. And it’s so cool, the reception has been great, all the kids are awesome. People actually like our band over here which is completely unbelievable.
HTS: What do you think is the best thing about the UK music scene?
Ian: Well one of our favourite UK bands is Bloc Party. But we didn’t get to see them or anything. And we didn’t get a chance to play with them on this tour but another band we like is Johnny Foreigner.
Jake: Yeah, they’re really cool. There’s some cool stuff going on in the UK.
HTS: You site your influences as Say Anything, Motion City Soundtrack, Brand New & more. Motion City Soundtrack are here today, are you going to be checking them out?
Ian: Oh yeah!
Jake: We’ll probably watch them over the next three days. We’re really stoked!
HTS: What have you taken from those bands?
Jake: From Motion City and Say Anything a lot of song writing influences with their kind of honesty, making ourselves kind of vulnerable. Cause I know when we listen to those bands, the songwriter is pretty vulnerable but it makes you relate to that on this level and you feel comforted by that, so we make an effort to do that. And then musically it’s like poppy, rocky, fun and awesome.
Ian: We kind of do what we want, just like those bands do.
HTS: Both of you are still in college. How do you juggle everything?
Ian: It’s not easy (laughs). Right now, technically, we’re supposed to be in school. But we took off for half of a year to go on the Wonder Years tour that we were on in the US. And then this tour with Real Friends and then when we go home we’ve got another tour so we had a lot of stuff we really wanted to do. Jake and I worked really hard in highschool so we had some credits coming in to college so we were able to make it kind of work were we take off sometimes. We have no free time other than doing this, but we like it cause it’s a lot of fun.
Jake: It’s awesome. And we get to travel the world…
Ian: And still graduate!
HTS: Your album came out in February; can you sell it to us in three words?
Ian: ‘Don’t listen to it, it sucks’.
Jake: That’s more than three words!
Ian: ‘Don’t listen to it’. There.
Jake: That’s four words! ‘Don’t listen dude’?
Ian: Oh god, I can’t even count. See, I’m not even smart enough to count.
Jake: You should have just stayed in school.
Ian: ‘Stay in school!’
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