Over the last year or so, I've developed a special place in my heart for bands from Texas. From The Rocket Summer to Playradioplay! These boys are some of the nicest kids around, and Dallas natives, Forever The Sickest Kids are no exception. Armed with southern accents, good looks, and infectious hooks, these six boys are a force to be reckoned with and according to Alternative Press, a band you need to know.
Growing up in a city like Dallas caused the boys to step up their game to keep up with the heavy sounds of the South. "For us growing up, we've always been the only pop band in the Dallas scene," keyboardist, Kent Garrison says "like all the bands are hardcore or metal bands. So like, growing up we'd always play like five band shows. There would be like four metal bands and us... that's how our stage presence kind of evolved into being energetic and having to put on a show for these kids that hated us before the show [even started]."
Like their sound and stage presence, even the band’s choice for their name can appeal to a vast audience. "When we were starting the band we wanted an original name on the internet. Something that entices you to click on it." "We wanted people to be curious about how we're gonna sound. That could be screamo, that could be poppy, that could be metal..."
Being a fairly young group of boys, it's understandable that their new album pulls its name from the school anthem. "We were thinking of who we wrote the [Underdog Alma Mater] for, and who we wanted to be affected by the album, because all of us, when we were growing up, we weren't the quarterback, we weren't the homecoming king or anything like that. We were all the underdogs, the normal kids in high school. It's dedicated to the normal kids in schools... Hopefully kids see the CD as a theme to their high school or college lives.
Although FTSK doesn't have the most impressive touring schedule, just yet, they keep themselves relevant through creative and interactive ways. One great example is a five episode cartoon series starring the boys themselves circulating profusely on the internet. "Our label came to us with the idea, we were kind of iffy about it, but we got to go in and say this is what we want. They came to our house and set it all up, they were like... 'Okay this just happened, what would you say?'" Semi-improvised silly fun, these cartoons reflect the boys just as much as their music, even when they choose to do covers, such as their track on the recently released Punk Goes Crunk album. "Actually we sat down, and got the offer and decided we wanted to do it," lead singer, Jonathan Cook says. "We decided we needed the best rapper of all time and the best rap song of all time. It just happened to be Will Smith and Men in Black, and we kinda tried to make it our own song, not just directly rip off Will Smith's version. It was between that or the Space Jam Theme... it turned out great so we're happy."
FTSK has embarked on the Alternative Press Tour with All Time Low, The Rocket Summer, The Matches, and Sonny. "Every day we go out and stand by the merch table, take pictures, sign autographs, hang out. It's really cool that [the kids] know our names, but we don't know theirs. They connect with us. They bring us stuff every show, we find ourselves having to pack our trailer tighter and tighter. It's so great for people to give us stuff and expect nothing in return.
"We are going to Japan right after Warped for a few days, and after that, maybe we'll jump on a tour with a headlining band, or maybe we'll headline. We're playing it day by day. If the CD does well we might do a two week tour with Nickelback—Nickelback & Saliva tour. Either that or Rascal Flats." "As long as you can get Creed back together," I reply.
Although that would, obviously pose for a great tour, they provided me with a story that actually happened on tour, "We kicked over a cactus in Arizona, with the Arizona Department of Transportation watching. We immediately found out that that was illegal, and it's a big fine..." "How much was it?" "We actually ran from them in our van..."
These boys have a silly sense of humor, upon receiving the review of their EP "Television Off, Party On" Jonathon replies to me in a low scream "FIVE OUT OF FIVE!? I LIKE YOU!" Like many of my interviews, things went on a tangent as the boys started naming bands that have the privileged of sharing a home state with. "It's definitely a very Drowning Pool type scene, Pantera, Papa Roach, Creed, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Chris Daughtry." Across the street a security guard looked just like Daughtry, as Jonathon happily pointed out, causing us to erupt in laughter.
Not like we needed to liven up the conversation but just to mix it up, "If you could have any super power, which would you choose?" After a ridiculously long pause Marc replies, "We get asked this question so often, and we never have an answer." "You'd think by now you would have come up with something," I reply. "Super hair growing ability," Marc says. "Six arms, I'd love to have six arms. I could be checking my MySpace and playing keys at the same time... on stage," Kent says whimsically. After coaxing Jonathan a bit to answer, "I'd be able to fly, if you saw me floating off stage... None of the other bands would be able to do this."
Not wanting to be cliché I ask a less common question, "If your lives were a movie, which would it be?" "Finding Nemo" "Home Alone" "Finding Nemo and Joe Dirt together... Nemo Dirt"
As the sun sets over out states Capital, I conclude the interview with these three boys and let them scurry off to consume some great food you have the luxury of one a large tour, like the AP tour. Filled with humble words, and sheer excitement just to be on the road, the best words to end the interview on were said by Marc, "My only real expectation is I just hope kids enjoy it. I don't care how many records we sell or how many shows we sell out, if kids come up to us and say 'Hey I love your album, it's great.' then all the work is worth it." [CO]