July 18, 2013 Interview: Anthony Barro & Jake Jones of New Years Day
New Years Day is a unique band hailing from Southern California. Through the years the band has whether many changes since the release of their debut album My Dear (2007). Originally signed to TVT Records the band found themselves at a crossroad once the label went bankruptcy. Determined not to throw in the towel they locked and reloaded the line-up and reshaped the sound of the band. With their new album Victim to Villain they are making some noise and grabbing the attention of many. To combat their new found success the band find’s themselves on this years Warped Tour. Recently we sat down with New Years Day bassists Anthony Barro, and guitarist Jake Jones at The Warped Tour for an in depth look into the band’s new album, The Warped Tour, and the driving force behind the music.
Crypticrock.com- First and foremost congratulations for being on the Warped Tour this year. How exciting is it for you to be on the tour and how is it going up until this point?
Anthony Barro- So far it’s been surreal, kind of like a dream come true. I think for me personally, being on this tour with such amazing bands that influenced me when I was younger, I can totally picture myself being in the crowd and watching my band play and seeing how I was there and now I’m here. The Used is on the tour, Goldfinger was on the tour, The Ataris , Reel Big Fish. Those were bands that I was first into when I was young, now I’m on the same tour as them sharing the same stage with them at times. It’s completely amazing.
Crypticrock.com- It has to be surreal, playing with bands you grew up listening to, playing with them, and becoming sort of equals with them. New Years Day released their debut album My Dear in 2007, The Mechanical Heart EP in 2011, and now the Victim to Villain album in 2013. The band has definitely reshaped their sound in the past 6 years. Tell me what ignited the band to change their sound and how did you approach the new record differently?
Anthony Barro- I think what ignited the change was kind of who took the reign of the band. When the band first started there were different members in the band, it’s a completely different line-up now when you look at it. The band was signed before they even played a show so it was kind of backwards. There were a lot more people influencing the record, the image and the sound. It never really was true to who the people were. Then the record label went bankrupt and we were kind of just floating in band purgatory. Once we decided to pick ourselves up and start the band over and start doing it we had no one telling us what to do except for ourselves. It came down to Ashley who said ok this is going to be our image and this is how I want to approach the music. Russell and I said fuck yea let’s do it and started making music. That is what ignited it, different people and different direction.
Crypticrock.com- The band was categorized as pop punk previously and you have stepped away from that sound with Victim to Villain into a much darker sound. Do you feel more comfortable where you are at now musically?
Anthony Barro- Definitely, it used to be pop punk, but if you listen closely it’s still pop punk. If you break down each song there is definitely some pop in each song. I think we all kind of bring our own element to the table. Since it’s so hard to categorize we can all kind of throw in different ideas like Russell’s influences.
Jake Jones- I pull a lot more bluesy leads. A lot of my solos are pulled from blues and I throw some faster stuff in there to make it more metal.
Anthony Barro- But all that works because there is really no focus on the genre or what the record or the band is suppose to sound like. It is what it is. We’re all comfortable in our elements in the band so I think that makes the band more comfortable.
Crypticrock.com- It seems like the band is headed in the right direction. Now Warped Tour is a very dynamic mix of different style bands. How do you find the audiences are reacting to New Years Day?
Anthony Barro- I think they are all very accepting. This is a very unique tour. We’ve done venue tour after venue tour. It’s always the same story every time. People never really show up for the opening bands and they don’t really care who you are. If you happen to play in front of them and they happen to like you 1 out of 10 people are actually going to be like hey you guys did good. At Warped Tour people show up ready to rock out.
Jake Jones- They show up ready to discover new music.
Anthony Barro- They’re all open minded and their ready to find their new favorite band. That’s the difference between Warped Tour and any other show that we’ve done.
Crypticrock.com- The crowd is a very dynamic audience. Can fans expect to see a full tour in support of Victim to Villain once the Warped Tour concludes?
Anthony Barro- I think the band is still kind of in its baby state even though the band has been for a long time from many years ago. I think we are still kind of in an infantile state and still need to grow. I think for a while we will be a supporting band as we tour. Somewhere hopefully down the road we’ll be doing our own headlining tour for whatever album is out at the time.
Crypticrock.com- That would be great news for fans. I’d like to know what some of your musical influences are?
Anthony Barro- When I was young I was very into pop punk. The old drive-thru record days is what first got me into music. The Rx Bandits, Blink 182, New Found Glory, Finch. That whole scene raised me. My first bands were playing cover songs of those bands. Goldfinger was one of my favorite bands in the world, and one of the first shows I went to I saw them and said holy shit I want to be a rock star and I want to play music for the rest of my life. They were on this tour for the first half it was amazing to hang out with them. Punk Ska was also a big influence growing up.
Jake Jones- My background is a lot of classic rock, a lot of blues rock. A lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I look at all the old dogs and famous big boys and just try and take bits and pieces of what they are playing and mesh it all together and see what I get. Trying to come up with new stuff off of old stuff.
Crypticrock.com- What about the other band members influences?
Anthony Barro- I think our guitar player Nikki is more into glam rock like Alice Cooper and very old school punk rock. Ashley takes influence from Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson.
Crypticrock.com- That is a wide range of tastes and it definitely shows through in the music. My last question for you is regarding films. Crypticrock.com is a rock/metal and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?
Jake Jones- Hellraiser, all of them. Even the shitty ones I still like them. Treat Or Treat is good to go to on a late night. I’m a huge horror guy. I love it if it’s a piece of shit because of it’s a piece of shit, and I love it if it’s good because it’s good. The bad one’s are still good in their own way, they are fucking hilarious.
Anthony Barro- I secretly am not (laughs). What it comes down to is I appreciate it and I usually have fun watching it, but I’m a complete wuss. I’ll go on a crazy roller-coaster or sneak into the woods in the mountains with a flash light but sitting in the theater watching a scary movie, I chicken out every time. I don’t have a favorite because I’m usually terrified of all of them.
Crypticrock.com- Fair enough (laughs). Russell you appear to be big into horror movies. What is your opinion with the direction horror is going with all the remakes and the CGI?
Jake Jones- That just bugs the fuck out of me. They cannot come up with a new horror movie. It’s just remakes of all the originals, like Evil Dead or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, although I do like it, it’s just they make another remake.