Festivals Interview

Interview With:: Have Mercy [Warped Tour Edition]

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Interview conducted by
Kara Kokinos.

Sitting down wih the Have Mercy boys is always a blast and
this Warped Tour was no exception! Andrew Johnson and Nick Woolford sat down
with us to discuss tour grind, recording their last album A Place Of Our Own and their recent split with Somos!

LOL: Hiya! So how’s Warped tour shaping up for you guys?
Andrew Johnson: It’s good!
Nick Woolford: It’s hot.
AJ: Some days are really hot, today and yesterday weren’t
that bad temperature wise but it’s good. I’ve been noticing that the crowds are
getting bigger and bigger for us and the sets are getting better and better.

LOL: It definitely seems like Warped Tour is a time to
expand a fanbase. Have you guys been hitting that hard, meeting new people and
fans?

AJ: We try. Todd, our drummer, and I try to walk the line
every morning but I’ve noticed that there are certain areas where we’ll start
walking the line and we’ll see Attila shirts and we’re just like, “okay, let’s
just turn around”.

LOL: Has your first run on Warped Tour met your expectations
in terms of the grind?
NW: I mean, it’s hard. It’s definitely the most grueling
thing. I used to play professional baseball and this is worse.
AJ: I was talking to my friends yesterday, they came and
visited and they asked, “what do you do all day?” and I was like, “Well I wake
up at seven, I push snooze on my alarm like fifteen times then I wake up again
and we set up the merch tent, get everything ready. Go to production, find out
our set times, sometimes I get breakfast and sometimes I can’t. Then we walk
the line, come back, we play or we don’t play and just walk. It’s a lot of
walking and not knowing what to do.”
NW: It’s a lot of doing nothing!

LOL: What’s the biggest difference between a giant festival
like this and a smaller, club tour?
NW: There’s a million different things. It’s completely the
opposite of any other club tour that you’re going to do.
AJ: For example, we wake up and we’re here, we’re at the
venue. While on a club tour we’ll stay in that city that we played in or a
little outside of that, wake up at a friend’s house and then start driving and
load’s normally at three or four. Load in here is at 8AM and then load out is
at 8PM. It’s literally polar opposites.

LOL: Warped kind of puts everyone on the same playing field
in terms of artist and fan, have you guys had any jarring experiences with that
or is it kind of the same as you typically operate?
NW: Well no one knows I’m in the band, ever, so people
always ask me to take pictures with me and their mom with Andrew but it’s
alright.
LOL: Awww!
NW: Nah, it’s fine.
AJ: I mean, it’s cool. I got really star struck when I met
Jona from I Killed The Prom Queen because I grew up listening to them. I got
hammered at this bar and when we were all coming home I ended up sitting next
to their tour manager and I mentioned the only band I wanted to see was I
Killed The Prom Queen and he was like, “oh, you wanna come meet them?” and I
was on the bus, shaking and I went back to our band and for like forty minutes
I was just telling the story over and over.
NW: Yeah, I did tell him to shut up.
AJ: Yeah, he did.
NW: Everyone was trying to sleep.

LOL: Have you guys made any new or unexpected friends on
this tour or has it been people you already know?
AJ: Well we’re usually pretty easy to get along with.
NW: We also already know a lot of people on the tour.
AJ: I think one of the most unexpected things was that the
bass player from Jule Vera, we were just drinking with him the other day and
found out that he was the only one who was 21.
NW: I think they’re all like fifteen!
AJ: And then we were just talking about gear and stuff, it
was pretty cool.

LOL: You guys have been touring since you put out your album, A Place Of Our Own last year on
Hopeless, how’s that record label switch been?
NW: It’s been great!
AJ: They’re awesome. Toby was there today. We had to ask
them if it was okay if we could sign to Fueled By Ramen… It’s just a joke! But
yeah, they’re awesome.

LOL: The record definitely had a very organic, Hopeless
Records/pop punk feel to it. What was it like having a veteran like Paul
(Leavitt, producer) on your team for that?
AJ: It was awesome!
NW: I mean, I recorded with Paul when I was about twelve but
he is…well he’s weird. He’s a really cool guy, he becomes your best friend.
He’s got a really good ear for what he’s doing and he’s smart and knows how to
write a song. He can be intimidating but he means it in the best way.
AJ: Yeah, the one example I can use for “intimidating in the
best way” is that we were doing pre-production for the last album and there was
this one part that we couldn’t get down and he came storming in and was like “I
THOUGHT I TURNED THE FUCKING STOP BUTTON OFF!”, goes back in and slams the door
and we were just “uhhhhh…”

LOL: I love that you guys are still producing splits with
other artists! What was the process behind your recent one with Somos?
AJ: Uh, they asked us and we said yes haha

LOL: You guys did an acoustic version of one of your tracks
and then a cover? What was the selection process like for that?
AJ: Yeah, ‘Somebody’s Baby’.
NW: Well we all thought of a bunch of different songs and
that was the only one that we all agreed on.
AJ: Yeah, and No Sleep was like, we’re doing an acoustic
version and a cover so maybe if you guys want to do that, that’d be cool. And
then when we heard their tracks, it was two new ones and we were like oh…okay,
here ya go!

LOL: What are your plans after the summer, anything on deck
in terms of touring or new material?
NW: We have two tours for the fall.
AJ: I don’t think we can talk about them yet.*
NW: That just comes out later.
AJ: I can tell you one thing, we are going international
soon.
NW: That’ll be our first international tour.
AJ: And then we are doing a fun tour after that in the fall.

Have Mercy recently announced their fall tour with Transit,
Somos, and Microwave before heading to Europe! Check out the full list of tour
dates here and be sure to grab your tickets ASAP!

For more info on Have Mercy: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

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