On Tuesday, August 16th, the “Scream It Like You Mean It” tour hit Toronto bringing acts I See Stars, Chiodos, The Color Morale, Mod Sun, The Air I Breathe supporting headliners Breathe Carolina. Each group on the bill had a different effect on the Opera House, The Color Morale and Chiodos turned the venue into one big throwdown pit whereas Breathe Carolina got everyone off their feet and transformed the crowd into one big dance party. However, I See Stars’ set offered a bit to everyone reaching to those kids who wanted to jam to breakdowns and those who came to let loose and dance. I See Stars are a band that are barely legal in their hometown of Warren, Michigan, but have two full-length studio albums, a deal with Sumerian Records and a collaboration with Bone Thugs N’ Harmony’s Bizzy Bone under their belt. Pretty impressive, right? I got a chance to talk to lead guitarist Brent Allen and bassist Jeff Valentine about their latest release End Of The World Party and what the band is currently up to.
How’s the “Scream It Like You Mean It” tour going?
Brent: It’s awesome!
Jeff: It’s going great. It’s good to be on tour with some of our friends.
With 3D you had a heavier sound whereas End Of The World Party leans toward a more poppier side, but still has some hardcore elements. Critics and fans have labeled your sound as “electronicore”, how do you feel about this label?
Brent: Well, that sound is kind of an umbrella of other bands for those that sound like us and that we sound like. If they want to call it that, then that’s cool.
How would you describe your own sound?
Brent: Electronicore, pop, even a little rap. [laughs] It’s all over the place and we like to keep it that way.
When recording End Of The World Party what bands served as your influences?
Brent: We grew up listening to Chiodos. They are one of our biggest influences.
Jeff: Everything. We like to make sure our songs have a little bit of everything in them.
The entire album has an apocalyptic theme. Why did you decide to focus the album on this theme?
Brent: Well, the theme is a pop culture reference in a way. Nowadays there are hit songs like “Till The World Ends” by Britney Spears and many other artists talk about the end of the world and with the whole 2012 thing we were pretty passionate and interested about it and we felt that it would make some cool lyrical stuff.
The band recently released your new music video for “Glow”. Tell me a bit about the video and what the shoot was like.
Brent: It’s just footage of us bouncing around LA and having fun.
Jeff: We were in Santa Monica.
Brent: We just piled it all together, did some editing and put the music on top.
Why did you choose that song as a single?
Brent: It captures the vibe, along with the song “End Of The World Party” of the album and I feel both those songs do define the record.
You guys have accomplished so much with your band at such a young age, where do you want to take your band in the future?
Jeff: To the top!
Brent: We just want to keep on making records and touring as long as we can while we’re young!
Where would you see yourselves in ten years? Still making music or working in the music industry?
Jeff: I don’t think we have a choice cause this is the only thing that we know. I hope so.
Check out the song: “Glow”
If you were going to host an end of the world party what would it be like?
Brent: It’d be on the moon. We’d have frozen beers. We haven’t done so much event planning yet.
Jeff: We still have some time. [laughs]
Brent: A dubstep party on the spaceship!
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done to get your attention?
Jeff: They showed us their boobs. It definitely catches our attention on stage, and it’s the nicest. [laughs]
What’s your favourite song to play live?
Jeff: “The Common Hours Pt. 2”.
Jeff: There’s this old electronic part that a couple of us wrote years ago and we brought it back so it’s fun to play.
Do you think it’s one of the crowd favourites?
Jeff: It’s definitely in the top three, yeah.
Why should people who haven’t heard of I See Stars check you guys out?
Brent: We have breakdowns and poppy choruses. I don’t know, I mean they should definitely give it a shot and hopefully they’ll like it. They’ll definitely find something that they probably like. You can’t not not like our music! It’s like a guilty pleasure. [laughs]
What does the rest of 2011 have in store for I See Stars?
Brent: We’re doing a new record and then going on tour around the United States and Canada with Of Mice And Men at the end of the year!