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Friday September 19th 2014

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‘Kings’ of the Road Make a Pensacola Pitstop

By Hana Frenette

Florida based pop punk band We the Kings will be stopping by the American Legion in support of their new album.  “Somewhere, Somehow” is a self-released record wielding just as many heartfelt lyrics and catchy melodies as fans have come to expect from previous records. Frontman Travis Clark took some time to chat with the IN about trying to get girls, releasing records yourself, and playing shows in Antarctica.

IN: You guys have been releasing albums since 2007. How’d the group start out?
CLARK: Honest answer—we were just dorky kids that wanted to start a band to get girlfriends. In high school, I went to my first show—I think I was a freshman. It was Blink-182, Green Day, and Jimmy Eat World and I was just like ‘Oh my god, that’s it!’ That’s the answer—this is how we get girlfriends. So I called up my three best friends that I knew had instruments, I think they might have actually been in middle school at the time and we just met up and tried out some stuff. We had a lot of fun and when it was over nobody was even thinking about girlfriends anymore.

IN: How would you say your sound has evolved since your first album?
CLARK: We’ve never really been on a straight and narrow path. We haven’t necessarily tried to stay consistent. Our fans that supported us eight years ago, they’re different people now. I’m proud of every single record we’ve made. I really want it to be the pinnacle of the time for us—each album will have its own moment. I don’t want to put out the same record twice. Our first album was very guitar heavy and had lots of pop hooks, the second album I incorporated lots of piano, the third album I wanted to make sure that every song could be stripped down to just acoustic guitar and vocals if it needed to be, and then our last album was very lyrically focused. I wanted to write songs that could change the world, even if it’s only for one person.

IN: I saw that you guys collaborated on a song with Demi Lovato. What was that like?
CLARK: We’re really good friends and I showed her the song and she just really loved it. Usually any kind of collaboration happens more organically. If it happens it’s probably with a friend that we already know and respect and think is great. Sometimes though with the big labels if there’s a really great song that you have, they’ll want to stick someone else on the song too, just to make it an even bigger song.

IN: Speaking of labels, you released this last album yourselves, correct?
CLARK: We were on a big label for three years. We did release this last album ourselves and it ended up selling 50,000 copies in the first week, which was more than any of our previous releases. We used a site called Indiegogo and ended up raising $150,000 dollars to make the record.

IN: The band has been playing Warped Tour since 2008 and will play it again this year as well. What was the first time like for you?
CLARK: It was like a dream come true. It’s almost like going away to summer camp or something. When the invitation first came to us, we were so excited. And after the Warped Tour we’re going on a big world tour to Dubai, Africa, Chile, the UK. We’re playing 12 shows in Russia in 13 days. We’re still waiting to add Alaska and Antarctica to the list one day. We were actually supposed to play in Antarctica but something happened and we weren’t able to go. There wouldn’t have been any fans there or anything. Just a science lab.

WE THE KINGS
With This Century and Crash the Party
WHERE: The American Legion, 1401 W. Intendencia St.
WHEN: Saturday March 29, 7:30 p.m.
COST: $18
DETAILS: wethekingsmusic.com