Chad Bowar: How does Warped compare to other package tours you’ve been a part of?
Maria Brink: It’s a blast. We’re having a great time. It’s a totally different scene, different bands, different kids, and that’s why it’s so great. It’s very diverse. This is a whole new scene who doesn’t necessarily know who we are.
Who have you bonded with the most?
Jesse Landry: Shooter Jennings. Also Aiden, since we shared a bus with them. Some of the guys from Underoath we’ve hung out with.
Maria: After Midnight Project, Alexisonfire.
How was the Download Festival in England?
Maria: It was great! We went on our day off and watched all the bands like Journey, Def Leppard, Whitesnake. We saw Faith No More. It was my favorite show of the whole day. They still sound amazing.
What’s your Warped song set like?
Maria: We do three songs from the first album and two from the new one. We thought we’d be playing all the new songs, but the heavier we get, it’s more of a shock. They aren’t necessarily better songs.
Jeff Fabb: They just want to mosh!
What are your tour plans once Warped wraps up?
Jeff: We’ll take a couple months for writing, then we’re going to be doing our first big headlining tour in November and December. We’ve got three bands opening up, and we’re really looking forward to that. After that we’re off for Christmas, writing again, then we’ll do our third record.
Your sound on The Dream moved in a more mainstream rock direction. Was that something you planned going in, or is that just how the songs ended up?
Maria: It just kind of happened. We had been doing such heavy sets for a long time, and maybe just lightened up and went a little more melodic for a while. The next album that we’re about to write I think will be a bit heavier, a bit darker, but will still be melodic. It will probably have everything. It will have ripping heavy songs, dark songs, melodic feelgood songs.
Jeff: It will be a combination of the two records, but new.
What’s included on the new expanded edition of The Dream that’s been released in conjunction with Warped?
Jesse: It’s got three new songs: “Call Me,” the Blondie cover that’s doing really well right now on radio, then “Dying Star” and “Sailing Away.” It’s cool they are getting released, because we love those songs.
How did you decide to cover “Call Me?”
Maria: Our manager suggested it. We had covered really heavy songs before, and it seemed like a whole other side of the rainbow. It was cool to put our rock and roll twist on it. It’s doing pretty well, though.
How did the response to The Dream compare to your expectations?
Maria: I was happy. We didn’t get negative feedback at all. Writeups and reviews in magazines were like 8 out of 10. It was really a positive thing. Even metal magazines gave it great reviews. They gave us better reviews on the second album than the first.
Jesse: It was interesting, because a lot of people decided to be really honest. They said, “I really like the second one, but the first one wasn’t really my taste.”
Take me back to the very first show In This Moment played.
Maria: It was the gig on Melrose.
Jesse: I was attending as a fan before I joined the band. It was packed.
Maria: It was in L.A. and we’re from L.A. But we played shows with nobody there when we went on our first tour in a van. We played in front of one person.
Would you rather play in front of 10,000 people who are standing there silent and passively, or in front of 30 people in a club who are going crazy?
Maria: 10,000. That’s 10,000 people that you are getting exposure to. If they each tell one person about us, that’s 20,000 people.
Are you guys pranksters on the road?
Jeff: Yes. We make fun of each other all day long. We nickname each other. Jesse is Jebba Headed Jabba Jaw, aka Jebba Johnson.
Jesse: I’m from Louisiana, and am apparently a mixture of Forrest Gump and Mushmouth from Fat Albert.
Maria: Jeff is Spin Top. He was Friday Night Lights, Fabbaducci, George Costanza. They all call me Mary as a nickname. If I get mad or am a bitch they all call me Marty. We all have our own little thing.
Jeff: We spend so much time with each other that there’s nothing else to do but make fun of each other. We also lived together for a while.
Jesse: We lived above a public storage place where Chris (Howorth, guitarist) was working for about six months.
Any tour horror stories, either on or off stage?
Jeff: There was a time we almost got jumped by a bunch of people in the Redwoods. We almost got beat up by a bunch of backwoods hillbillies. There was like 10 guys running out of this bar. We just drove away.
Any onstage injuries?
Jesse: The occasional sore neck from headbanging is about it.
Maria: In Dying Star, the band before In This Moment that Jeff, Chris and I were in, my hair got stuck in the bass player’s bass. We did the whole song like that. At the end of the song I ripped my hair out in a big chunk.
Are you able to write songs on the road?
Maria: We’ll work on the road. They are going to write for the two months we’re off, and I’ll be writing by myself. Then for our six week tour we’ll do all the pre-production. Our tour bus is going to be a pre-production studio. All the stuff is really compact and easily travels.
Do you a have a producer lined up for your next album yet?
Maria: We worked with Kevin Churko on the last album, and that’s who we want. He’s our dude. He can take the second album that we just had, still go heavy, but not sound just like our first album and grow into something new and evolved. We want to move up without sounding like we’ve gone backwards.
As you tour the country, do you get the sense the band’s momentum is increasing and you’re becoming more well-known?
Maria: Yes. We’re playing Warped where we have competition every day with six other stages. We seem to have crowds every day who know the words and have fun with us.