A Day To Remem­ber formed in Florida in 2003 and since that time they’ve toured Aus­tralia, oh, about a jil­lion times. And while some bands can eas­ily wear out their wel­come under such cir­cum­stances, ADTR have man­aged to make each visit big­ger than the last. With new album Com­mon Cour­tesy out now via 3Wise in Aus­tralia, it’s time for the band to come back with one of their strongest record­ings to date. And so it was that last month they were announced as one of the big-ticket names on the Sound­wave 2014 sec­ond line-up announce­ment. We caught up with vocal­ist Jeremy McK­in­non to chat about it, includ­ing just how close the band came to hav­ing to call it a day.

The first thing we should talk about, of course, is the mas­sive Sound­wave jug­ger­naut!
It’s the best fes­ti­val on the planet, man! It’s our most favourite to play at least. I mean, good lord! It’s the most well-run, fun thing we get to do as a band, hon­estly. It is the high­light of every album cycle for me as a musi­cian. I’m hon­oured to be a part of it and I’m hon­oured that Aus­tralians even care for us enough to bring us back. I’m always excited to go there.

It seems like every time you turn around, you guys are here!
Yeah, we try to be! I’m telling ya, I’d move there if I could!

So why do you think Aus­tralians have taken to you so much?
I don’t know but I’m really happy you have!

So you started the writ­ing process for this album two years ago. Does it always take this long from begin­ning to end?
Always, man. That’s just how I write. I’m always writ­ing at all times. For instance, I just recorded a brand new song just last week that I’ve had sit­ting around but have never recorded. It’s like that. I’ll just plug away when­ever I have time at home. Every time we’re home I’m usu­ally track­ing at least one song every break we have. I’m writ­ing year-round, and that way when it’s actu­ally time to put a record together I have a record full of songs that I love, instead of ‘Oh shit, we’ve got two months to write an entire album,’ and then you write a really half-assed one. This is our career, right? May as well take it serious!

Well the stuff here has been crafted and fine-tuned to a level that you might find in a pop album rather than some­thing this heavy, yet it sure doesn’t sound pop.
It took us eight months to track this entire album. We had some­thing like 40 song ideas. There were like, legit­i­mate great songs that we didn’t even get to work on just because we didn’t have the time. We found 19 songs that we were track­ing, and we ended up actu­ally fin­ish­ing 16 out of the 19 that we started track­ing. Those were the songs that every­body grav­i­tated towards. Even if there were songs that I felt really should have been on the album that were not, that’s just not the stuff that every­body was really drawn to. So this was the album that we all wanted to put out. We had the time to sit and make sure we were absolutely happy with it. And hon­estly, we couldn’t have made a bet­ter record right now. This is as good as it’s going to get at this point in our career.

You have your own stu­dio to work in — what’s it like?
Well we actu­ally had a lot of stuff built for us by (producer/engineer) Dan Korneff. He builds out­board gear too, and we had him build a lot of com­pres­sors for us. I worked with Andrew Wade and he would work with Dan Korneff on what he did and didn’t like in the stu­dio, and by trial and error they built the whole stu­dio around that. We also have a patch bay and every­thing using all this stuff now. It was a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. It took us a few months to get up and run­ning but yeah, it’s a really awe­some setup! And now Andrew’s got it set up here for me and I can lit­er­ally just plug in to the front of a com­pres­sor and I can track a gui­tar that’s the same qual­ity as the album we just made.

That’s one thing a lot of peo­ple with home stu­dios miss — a good ana­log com­pres­sor can do so much more for your sound than a plu­gin.
Yes! A huge dif­fer­ence. So hats off to Dan Korneff for help­ing us out. He built about three or four and he’s amaz­ing at what he does. Couldn’t have done it with­out him.

And have you adapted the stu­dio envi­ron­ment to be a cre­atively inspir­ing space?
For sure! Andrew built cus­tom pan­els and we got them wrapped pro­fes­sion­ally by uphol­ster­ers, so we dec­o­rated the room how we wanted to. There’s this huge panel that takes up the back wall and we had our artist Mike C, who does all of our art­work, he made this big huge 90s col­lage of just stuff that we grew up with. All these 90s things, so like, every time some­body comes into the stu­dio they just stare at this stuff for hours. We have every­thing up there. Michael Jor­dan, POGs, video games, Home Alone, every­thing you can think of. It’s pretty awesome.

So the album was released dig­i­tally on Octo­ber 8, over a month before get­ting a phys­i­cal release.
We had to do that because we didn’t know until two days before Octo­ber 8 if we were going to be able to release it at all, because our old label tried to go to the courts and say we shouldn’t be able to release the album. And the judge decided “We’re not going to stop this band’s career because you guys have a dis­agree­ment. They’re gonna put out their album. You should have set­tled. You shouldn’t have let it get to this point.” Which is pretty much what they said, which is awe­some because our label’s entire game plan was to stretch it out until we were stretched into a cor­ner where we had to make a bad deci­sion. So we kinda just said “Y’know, we’re gonna gam­ble here,” and the judge took our side, thank­fully. We really did gam­ble with our whole career. It was really, really scary. Seri­ously. If we had have lost it would have been the end of our whole career, seri­ously. It would have ruined our career. It would have been over. So it was pretty seri­ous, we knew it, and the judge sided with us. I can not put into words the feel­ing that we all had when we heard that the judge sided with us. It was amaz­ing, man. I’ve never had a feel­ing like that in my whole life. It was like we were the under­dogs who won the foot­ball cham­pi­onship, man.



A Day To Remem­ber are head­ing out for Sound­wave Fes­ti­val in 2014. For more infor­ma­tion includ­ing dates, tick­ets and full line up visit www.soundwavefestival.com

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