I wont lie, Four Year Strong have been one of my favorite bands since I ‘borrowed’ their 2007 release Rise Or Die Trying from my friend Benjy (Sorry man, I know you looked for it for about a month). Anyway, my point is … I had butterflies for this interview with Dan, vocalist and guitarist of Four Year Strong. I thought I’d stay in fan-mode for the first part of the phone call and ask Dan something I have always wondered since I first saw Four Year Strong live in 2007; How can you play so many fast-paced energetic wild shows one after another? Dan explains “Well that’s always what we had in mind for the band, we wanted to gig as much as possible, so it’s something we knew we had to do”.
Four Year Strong are visiting our fair shores for the second time for Soundwave Revolution this September. It’s been a busy year for the band who have recently toured with heavy weights and genre pioneers Rise Against and Bad Religion. Clearly not intimidated by playing with the big names, Dan explained his experience on this tour. “Oh it was awesome, I mean every night you get to watch Rise Against and Bad Religion play and we get to hang with them too, I couldn’t think of anything better really” and at this point the butterflies begin to fade as I realise Dan is also just a fan deep down, “Those are some of the bands we always looked up to, so it was a privilege and unreal being able to play with them”.
Now currently working on their fourth studio album, we delve into the writing process and discuss the stark differences between their previous releases and what fans can expect from the new album. “Well, with this one we are a lot more open. It won’t be so … pop punk … it will be heavier. You will really have to listen to Rise or Die Trying, then Enemy Of The World, then the new album, for it to make sense”.
As Dan explains their total artistic freedom, it’s sounding like a lot is going into this release, “We weren’t even free with Enemy of the World, I don’t think that even comes close; with the new album we did what we wanted. And if people don’t like it? Fuck it, we like it!”
Four Year Strong recently parted ways with keyboardist Josh Lyford and have come out publicly stating that with the direction FYS was choosing, they no longer had use for the instrument. I ask Dan’s thought on this and what it was like getting back into the studio one member down “It wasn’t all that different this time, I mean a lot of the keyboard parts were added post production so we were never really in the studio together”.
We change the topic to something a little less heavy and turned towards Dan’s past experience in Australia. You will be pleased to know he loves it here although they did have to learn the hard way that “plugging your gear straight into an Australian power point will blow everything up” – a great bit of advice from Dan.
Four Year Strong are touring as part of the the Soundwave Revolution Festival
24th Sep RNA Showgrounds – Brisbane
25th Sep Old Kings Oval – Sydney
30th Sep Tabcorp Park – Melbourne
1st Oct Adelaide Showgrounds – Adelaide
3rd Oct Arena Joondalup – Perth