Monday 13 May 2013

The American Scene // Interview & Live Review on tour with The Story So Far

The American Scene is currently out on the road with friends The Story So Far touring the UK and Europe.

Est.1987 caught up with drummer Charles Vincent before the NQ Live show in Manchester to chat about this being their first time on UK soil, recording and dicovering Nandos...

Hey Charles, how’s the UK tour going so far?
Yeah, the tour’s been going great. It’s great being out with the Gnarwolves guys. It’s the first time we’ve met them and they like to party as much as we do [laughing], and the weather’s been outstanding. This is how it was when we left The Bay area so it’s home from home. The rooms have been packed which we like. The last tour we did in the States was huge so it’s nice to come back to our roots in smaller rooms. This is our fourth tour with The Story So Far, but we’ve known them the entire time we’ve been a band. They live like twenty minutes away and they’re on the same record label as us too.

And this is your first time in the UK? What do you like most and least?
Yeah, this is our first time in the UK and my first time being overseas so it’s been a really great experience so far. The terrain and architecture is just so different from back home, it’s like a wonderland, I’ve never seen anything like it. Everybody warned us about the food but it hasn’t been that bad. We’ve had Nandos, it was not underrated, I was impressed. I got a solid medium spicy; on the road I don’t want to be too adventurous because you never know [laughing].

The American Scene

This will be the first time UK fans can see you live; what can they expect from The American Scene live?
Our live show is pretty low key; we like to watch and connect; it’s not a stage dive, mosh thing, quite different to Gnarwolves and The Story So Far. For shows I go to I like a bit of diversity so it’s good.

And you’re also playing Slam Dunk Festival whilst you’re over here, are you looking forward to that?
Yeah, it’ll be our first big festival and everyone who we talked to has said it’s one huge party. And, we get to see lots of our friends from back home, Man Overboard and Transit; so it’s going to be nice to see everyone.

You released “Safe For Now” the album last year. It’s a different direction to your earlier stuff; was that a conscious decision or just came with the growth of the band?
We previously had another couple of members, so on this record we sat down and talked about where we wanted to go with it and that’s what we came up with. It flowed much more in the writing process than the past stuff and everyone clicked really well.

Do you feel that the music you’re listening to at the time filters in?
Erm, it’s impossible not to be influenced by what you listen and I guess that’s what all music is; nothing is completely original. But yeah, there was definitely stuff we listened to at the time that influenced us subconsciously, but I don’t ever stop listening to music.

What’s the music scene like in The Bay area?
Yeah, the Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco area is where we all live and it’s extremely diverse. You can walk down the street and see four or five shows of different music, so I think in terms of our style and being able to be open and not feel like we’re pigeon holed it’s great.

You guys have been touring hard for the past year; do you write on the road and have you started thinking about the next record?
We haven’t written on the road at all. It’s something we like to do at home when we’re comfortable. It gets stressful trying to micro manage things on the road and then writing a record as well. We’re not even going to think about writing the next record for at least another six months, so at the moment we’re just enjoying touring and travelling. And Matt’s about to do the Vans Warped Tour with his solo material and acoustic stuff which we’re really excited about.

What’s next for you guys?
Matt’s doing Warped and I’m sure we’ll be going on tour in the fall and then probably go into writing after that. And we’d love to come back over here, it’s been great.

And here's what happened when The American Scene took to the stage...

It is Berkeley quartet The American Scene’s first time on UK shores and they may be a long way away from home but they’re reveling in every second of it; and aren’t doing too badly at making a good impression on British crowds. Playing to a sold out Manchester’s NQ Live, their blend of pure rock, indie and pop punk they suitably warms up tonight’s crowd. The Story So Far is renowned for their anarchic free-for-all live shows and in contrast The American Scene are a much more chilled out affair. However, that isn’t to say that their set was any less captivating.

Opener “Blood Orange”, in typical The American Scene fashion, is filled with strong melodies and intricate riffs. “Just Say It” playfully adjusts the tempo, soaring into an upbeat but angsty chorus. “Fifth and Natoma” brings the pace down a little, mellowing the set out before kicking back in with “Shape Shifter” with its distinctive riff and twang of guitars

The elaborate musicianship and Matt Vincent's raw vocals make for a dynamic performance. The set ends with the brooding and emotion filled “Safe For Now”. The calm before the storm that is The Story So Far, The American Scene’s set may not have the same energy and crazy on stage antics as the headliner’s, but they know how to put on a show. The bemused crowd took a little warming up, experiencing something slightly varied from the other acts on the bill. But The American Scene proved to be a refreshing warm up. At the heart of their songs are inventive, catchy lyrics and dynamic melodies with pop-sensibilities and we can’t wait to see them again. 8/10

The American Scene are currently on tour with The Story So Far and will also be playing at Slam Dunk Festival later this month. 

We also caught up with headline act The Story So Far to chat about being the people’s band, the album getting leaked and what's next for the Walnut Creek five-piece. Full interview and review their dynamic stage show HERE