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DM) So how has the tour been going so far?
JS) We did this tour up in Canada with Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and Perfect Circle. That was really cool. The summer time we were at outside racing tracks and stuff. Canada in the summertime is beautiful. That's been the highlight for me of the tour. We also went to Tokyo for the first time and that was awesome.
DM) How did the fans over there differ from over here?
JS) Well, this was our first record to come out there and it had only come out a couple of weeks before and we already had people showing up at the airport, wanting autographs. They're really into bringing little presents and getting pictures and having them signed. They're very meticulous; they're really into it. They know every single detail and they get really beefed into it.
DM) As of late in America, it seems that you've had a pretty good climb to fame over the past year.
JS) We're still at the point where not everybody knows who we are. Around town we're just regular people. It hasn't gotten to the point where it's out of control. But it's definitely awesome and it feels really good.
DM) Would you say the growth of your popularity is due to a stronger interest in your style of music or in the band itself?
JS) That's a good question. I think right now, it's almost the opposite. We don't fit in with bands like Limp Bizkit and Korn and stuff like that. It's just completely different from us. I think it's kind of the opposite actually. We've done something a little bit different. I think it just comes down to writing a good song. If you write a good song, it doesn't matter what style it is, I think it will get noticed.
DM) Do you consider yourself a better songwriter or a better performer?JS) I think it's two separate things, you go about it in two separate ways. I'd say probably songwriter though. I think if I HAD to choose between writing and being in the studio and recording and producing OR being a performer, I think I'd choose the studio. I definitely enjoy both though. It's a really good push and pull. DM) Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?
JS) The first song that we ever wrote was called, "Mildred" which was about a girl who was really fat and her friends laughed at her and she got really skinny and then she decided that wasn't really cool and she started eating again.
DM) Was there a real life Mildred in your life?
JS) No, we just made it up.
DM) Do you find that you're constantly writing songs or do you write mostly just to focus on your next album?JS) Right before the record we work out for a couple of weeks and do the majority of the writing at that time. While we're on the road we really don't do too much writing. The situation doesn't really lend itself to it... when we're doing a sound check we just want to get done with it. Other than that we really don't have time to write.
DM) There have been numerous reviews about how the band is a very tight group of friends. When you're not on tour do you still hang out?
JS) We hang out all the time. Any time we're home we're going out and doing things. We're totally friends outside of the band. Yeah, sometimes we'll come off the road and for the first week we have a backlash where we don't do anything with the band, but after that we're hanging out all the time together.
DM) If it wasn't for the band, what would you be doing with your life?
JS) I really have no idea. We started out like this in high school and it was just what I did. I never had an alternative so it's a good question. I'd probably be flipping burgers or something. Ever since I seriously thought about what I wanted to do it was always that I wanted to do something with music.
DM) Did you always want to perform or just be involved with the industry?
JS) Yeah, I just wanted to be in the industry.
DM) Do you feel you've reached the point in your career where you're happy right now?
JS) I'm definitely happy with where we are but right now I'd really like to make a jump to the next level and really start selling a serious amount of records.
DM) Is that something you can control or is that something that other forces seems to have an influence over?
JS) You can do everything that you can possibly do and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The only thing you can do is just do what you do the best you can possibly do it.
DM) In the music industry especially, your success or failure isn't always based on the performer as much as it's based on the populace.
JS) Yes, definitely. And it is frustrating but the only thing you can do is just know that what you're doing is good and just continue doing it. Maybe you're not going to be the hugest thing in the world at all times but as long as you're confident at what you're doing it doesn't matter if you're selling one record or ten million.