By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
Some of the stuff that you might be sensitive about — is it hard listening to or performing it?
When I hear a song — I don't know if you've ever done this before — but sometimes you'll hear a song and you get, like, this tingle up your back. I'm really sensitive to music, that's one of the reasons why I'm so passionate about it, because it's one of the only things that really gives me...I can't explain it, I get emotional listening to anything that is good to me. And there are certain songs that just make me...I'll cry, or [they'll] just make me excited. I feel 100 percent of my emotion comes just from listening to music and stuff. It doesn't hurt at all.
At the end of the year, when I'm going back and looking at my favorite records or songs, the stuff I choose are things that make me happy, make me want to dance or make me cry. That's my criteria.
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I love when I'm able to get some type of an emotion through listening to something. That's how I know that it's good. I'm sure it's different for everybody...[but] my record does that for me. When I first heard it, I was so proud of myself and my band for making that record. I'm really proud of it; I feel a lot for it.
I always listen to my heart. That's a good way to ensure that you have strong feelings for something, is if you just listen to your heart. So we make the music that comes from our heart — it's not fake, and it's not made just to be made. It's there for a reason. That's why we feel so strongly about it.
How did writing a few songs for MeatLoaf's record with Justin Hawkins [of the Darkness] come about?
This was the first time anything like this had ever happened to me. I'm very interested in writing music for other people. My manager called and said, "Hey, this is happening, I think that you would be great for it, I mentioned it to him, and they think you'd be great for it as well." So I said, "Heck, yeah! I'd love to do that," because I've always been a big MeatLoaf fan. We went to [producer] Rob Cavallo's house [in Los Angeles] — we met through this whole experience, so that's how he came to produce one of the songs on our album.
But anyway, I got to Rob's, and I was really nervous because I had never done anything like it. Justin Hawkins was there too, and he was in the same boat as me, he had never written for anybody else. MeatLoaf was there every day, he told us what we wanted, and me and Justin just worked together every day — I think it was like a week, a week-and-a-half — at Rob's. We stayed at the same hotel, and we wrote together and became really, really good friends.
We successfully wrote two songs for his new album. It was a really awesome time in my life for that type of opportunity to be available to me. A lot of people don't get that type of opportunity until they're much older and much more experienced. I'm really appreciative to have worked with that and [to have made] so many good friends doing it.