Strung Out (22 mai 2009)

Entrevue de Melissa Hetu avec Jordan Burns

Le quintet originaire de Simi Valley en Californie nommé STRUNG OUT sera de retour à Montréal après presque deux ans d’absence le 29 mai prochain au Medley. Le groupe vient tout juste de lancer un album de démos et pièces inédites le 31 mars dernier intitulé Prototypes And Painkillers. Notre journaliste Melissa Hetu a eu le plaisir de s’entretenir avec Jordan Burns, le batteur de la formation.

[PMU]: Do you recall the first time STRUNG OUT and NO USE FOR A NAME toured together? If so, when was it? What was the tour?

I think it might have been a Fat Tour with LAGWAGON, NUFAN, GOOD RIDDANCE, SWINGIN UTTERS long ago. I think back in 95? Long time ago. Aside from that, we have not tour with NUFAN very much. We recently took them to Australia with us though and that made for a good tour. We're looking forward to doing these 5 shows together in Canada. Gonna be awesome.

[PMU]: Early on in your career, did you enjoy touring with a labelmate? Was it reassuring or nice to go out on the road with people you knew or that played similar music?

We've always wanted to do more touring with some of our labelmates but for whatever reasons, it never seems to pan out. I suppose a lot of the reasoning could be timing/scheduling. I've always thought a tour with us, LAGWAGON, NUFAN, PROPAGANDHI, and say GOOD RIDDANCE (when they where together) would have been insane in today’s times. It’s always nice and reassuring to go on the road period. When we do, we know people coming will be into ours and similar music.

[PMU]: Have you ever felt competition between the two bands (STRUNG OUT and NUFAN)? Or has the relationship always been more like a family?

I don’t think there is any actual "competition" at all. We all just play music and do our thing. NUFAN, have always been a part of the Fat family and we've always been friends with them.

[PMU]: Over the years, both STRUNG OUT, and NUFAN, have toured together on several occasions. Can you pinpoint one most memorable moment on the road together?

As I said, we have not toured a whole lot together but, my most memorable moment would be me and Dave (NUFAN) going on a boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns Australia. We both went scuba diving at the reef for our first times and it was insane. A quick 15-minute lesson and we were off. I actually went for two 30-minute dives. It was like fantasyland down below the water swimming through tons of fish, through caves, and seeing all the different colors n such. I will never forget that as I’m sure Dave won’t either.

[PMU]: How much has life of a touring band changed in recent years? (the way bands tour, the itinerary, the costs, the crowds, etc.)

As far as i see it...not at all. We still do our thing just like we've always done and we are happy that our band just seems to keep on growing. Oh, I’m sure the costs have went up but, how could they not. The cost of everything goes up.

[PMU]: What are your thoughts on bands today that rely on radio airplay and publishing as ways of getting their band known rather than going out on the road and touring their asses to build a fan base, as bands did traditionally?

I don’t really think that radio gets you to huge places like it did say even 2 years ago. But hey, if that works for a band, more power to ya. We've of course never been a radio band or a MTV band. We've done things on our own and built what we have by touring and putting out music. Bands that tend to blow up huge on the radio seem to not end up with a long career. We've been doing this for 16+ years now and still plugging away. Myspace has of course spoiled young bands. Some don’t maybe even know how to make or might not be willing to make a flyer and promote their band/show/ its all Myspace. Everyone wants the easy ride to doing well. It's not so easy. It’s a lot of hard work with lots of frustrations along the way. My theory I tell younger bands is, if your doing this to say make it you shouldn’t. Do it for the love of playing music and if success comes along while you’re in process, then you’re stoked.

[PMU]: Today, do you guys prefer touring with similar bands from the label or like to switch it up? Do you like having different sounding bands on the road together? Do you like encouraging up and coming acts?

We always have different types of bands on the road with us. We've had a lot of hardcore type bands out with us like say EVERGREEN TERRACE, SNAPCASE, HASTE THE DAY, TERROR, IGNITE, etc. We think its a good thing to have a good mix of bands on the road together. Right now we have DEATH BY STEREO out with us and it’s great cause they are a sick band and our good friends too. I've been managing/working with POUR HABIT for the past few years and watching them achieve cool things like getting signed to Fat. So ya, I like to encourage new acts that I think are really good.

[PMU]: Why do you think your fans have stayed and grown up with you throughout all of these years? Very few bands can still attract several hundreds or even thousands of kids everywhere they go…

I like to think it’s simply because of our music. Because we've always got something different going on with a wide variety of music to provide/offer. We don’t tend to release the same thing twice as we have 5 people in our band that write and contribute to the songs. Toss in our producer (Cameron Webb for our current album coming out in late September) and you can make that 6 people. So ya, more and more people seem to hear about us through word of mouth from our super loyal fans that help to spread the word about STRUNG OUT. It’s a pretty cool thing we've got going on.

[PMU]: Would you say that it’s motivating to see another band with a similar career path continuing to make music and touring?

Well sure, why not? I mean, only say 4 or so years ago, RISE AGAINST was opening for us. We took them out on their first (or 2nd) tour ever and look at them now. They are one of the biggest bands around. I’d say that’s pretty cool. We're just waiting for them to take us out on a tour of theirs…hehe. That would of course be awesome. But what’s really motivating to me, is knowing that so many people are still so into our music, seeing all these guys/girls with our logo tattooed on them, receiving such positive comments all the time, emails, and letters from fans. That kinda stuff is quite motivating to me. Makes you feel great that so many people care about what you’re doing.

[PMU]: As much as most bands would want continue forever, I was wondering if in recent years, you’ve ever questioned why you were still doing this? Or doubted if it was worth all the sacrifices?

I think the reason we are still doing it is for one, because we enjoy it still. Two, we are still creating and making what we believe to be better and better music. (I guess fans decide on that but, that’s what we feel) and we will keep on doing it as long as we enjoy it and there is people that want to enjoy it with us. There's no reason to think about the "end"

[PMU]: What would you say is the most rewarding thing about still being on the road and being in this band?

Just the fact that so many fans still love us and come to see us. The fact of being able to travel to so many cool places too. We are all proud of what we've accomplished so far and look forward to accomplishing more. In my eye's, even though we've been around for a while, we are still a brand new band to millions and millions of people out there. Lots of people have never heard of STRUNG OUT but, I feel if they heard us, they just might like it. So spread the word....Cheers

Un gros merci à Jordan Burns d’avoir pris le temps de répondre à nos questions ainsi qu’à Melanie Kaye d’avoir rendu cet échange possible.

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