If there is a band who has maintained a dedicated fan base over a decade of heavy-hitting hardcore tunes that your mom begged for you to turn down in your room, it is Four Year Strong. Creating their own lane has been the name of their game along with taking risks over a career of influencing pumping fists. Leaving their mark in packed houses abounding with rowdy fans all over the globe is one of the special components that sets Four Year Strong apart from the masses. I caught up with the Vocalist/Guitarist, Alan Day to discuss Four Year Strong’s chemistry as a band, touring with Good Charlotte, tattoos, and more.
You guys just went on tour with Good Charlotte. Have you been listening to them every since the good ol’, ‘The Young and the Hopeless’, days?
Yeah. They were definitely a huge part of the mainstream when we were all growing up, and we did listen more to the underground kind of stuff when we were first starting as a band, but they were obviously influenced by all of the same stuff that we were. We have really been able to connect with that now that we know them personally; it’s very cool.
Are you presently working on a follow-up to your self-titled album? Give us the scoop.
Not currently, but we are definitely starting to think about it and make some moves. It is just starting to be talked about, but we haven’t actually started writing anything just yet.
What is your perception of the current state of punk rock?
I think that it is in a funny place where it’s obviously not mainstream, but it’s the most mainstream that it’s been in a long time. And the underground scene of it is almost more important than the mainstream right now.
It is. Especially within the political realm of punk rock, particularly at this time in history.
Personally and professionally, what are the ultimate life lessons you have taken away from your career so far?
I have been doing this since I was in high school, so it’s kind of all that I know. It’s a lot of work. You have to get out there and play music live. It’s so easy to record a pretty good sounding demo at home as a garage band and post it up on the internet and expect people to listen to it. There is so much music out there these days; it is such a cluttered market that you need to get out there in people’s faces and really do it and give it your all.
Totally. And surround yourself with the right individuals that can aid in your progression.
Absolutely. It’s definitely important to submerse yourself in your local scene and make friends and allies. Help each other book shows. Go on tour together. That’s how we got started.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about your favorite personal pieces and the artists that brought them to life.
Majority of my tattoos have been done by a friend by the name of Zane Pendergast. He is from Massachusetts, where we are from, but he has been in and out of Nashville. He has worked at a lot of different shops and traveled around a lot. He’s tattooed me and a lot of my friends, who all got matching tattoos of an X with some branches around it; it’s a straight-edge thing. Dan from the band and our tour manager got this tattoo as well.
I also have a Mom and Dad tattoo that Zane also did. My Dad is a huge part of the reason that I started falling in love with music, so I got an old phonograph in honor of my Father. My Mom has been a hobby seamstress her entire life, so I got a nice spool of thread with with needle in honor of her.
What is your songwriting process like? Do you guys all write together or is it more so the efforts of one particular member of the band?
It all starts with either Dan or I writing a guitar riff and putting together the basic pieces of the song; we kind of hash it out from there. Once the music is finished, that’s when we usually start to write the lyrics and the melodies. We build the song up musically prior to getting to vocals. We have always had this theory that a song can be fun and interesting without the vocals, and will only get better with the vocals on there.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
A big ol’ thank you. Keep an eye out for any stuff that will be coming around. We’ve got some touring plans in the works for next year; it’s the 10 year anniversary of our first full length record, so we got some cool stuff planned for that. Also, definitely keep an eye out for potential new music.