If you haven’t heard of The Company We Keep yet, you will soon. Just the line up of this band, to begin with, is great: a mash up of scene-friendly bands Motion City Soundtrack, Misery Signals and Receiving End of Sirens? Yes, please!
The band is also taking part in Drexel University’s “Making Moves” project, which is a series of 7” single releases by other bands like A Great Big Pile of Leaves,Goldrush, Brick + Mortar, and Skies Revolt. All the bands were curated by Motion City Soundtrack, who are also helping distribute the music via their new record label, The Boombox Generation. Members of Motion City also helped produce all of the artists’ recordings.
Each artist will have releases throughout the year, but The Company We Keep kicked it all off in April. We had a chat with Brian Southall (The Receiving End of Sirens) about this exciting new venture and how it feels to start another band from scratch.
Joonbug: Some of you come from other bands that had a pretty big influence on the music scene at one point. Was there anything from your experience in those bands (Motion City, Misery Signals, Receiving End of Sirens..) that you wanted to bring to The Company We Keep? Or anything you wanted to do differently this time around when making this band?
Brian: I think we all just have a better mindset now than we probably had when first started touring and playing. It’s ridiculously difficult to start a band from scratch these days, but we know what we want and we share a common goal.
The Company We Keep is a part of the Making Moves series happening, which led some tracks to be recorded at Drexel University with some undergrads and alumni helping mix the record. How was that experience?
B: It was great. I've said before, I was admittedly skeptical to go record music in a studio I had never seen, with engineers I had never met, but it was a great experience and everyone there was awesome.
What’s the story behind the band name?
B: Obviously it’s a very popular saying, but for this band in particular, I was having lunch with a friend discussing how we were getting older, things were changing, and a lot of our friends were complacent just getting by and never improving their situation. She said to me "Well, we are the company we keep." And it really stuck with me. So I named a song "We Are the Company We Keep" for an old band of mine, and then later, about 4-5 years ago, decided it would also be the name of my (at the time) solo project.
When writing these songs, were there any main musical influences you drew from?
B: I always draw from my peers and the people closest to me. I get the most inspired by watching my friends play music, and loving the healthy competition of trying to impress one another.
How does it feel to be a part of Making Moves? Are you fans of any of the other bands that are releasing music through this unique project?
B: I'm fans of all of the other bands involved! I had only known Motion City Soundtrack and A Great Big Pile of Leaves before this, but after meeting the other bands and seeing them all play, I think they’re all great bands, and great people!
Your first show wasn’t too long ago, but already the band has such a huge following and is slated for Warped Tour this year, how does it feel to have picked up momentum so quickly?
B: We're getting a lot of attention, which is great! It’s not entirely translating to tours yet, as the 6 people who saw us play in Iowa City could tell you, but we're happy and excited than anyone is paying attention at all!
What are some bands you’re excited to see on Warped Tour?
B: PTV, ETD, Brian Marquis.
Are there any specific goals each of you have with The Company We Keep? Can fans expect a long tour after Warped Tour this summer?
B: We will be heading out on a 4 week tour, with the Warped dates right at the beginning of that! We will be announcing dates fairly soon, just check in at www.wearethecompanywekeep.com!
Photos courtesy of Big Picture Media and The Company We Keep