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Wednesday, December 13th
The Hot Sweat
Tamar Kaprelian
Hana Pestle
2010 is proving to be a good year for The Friday Night Boys. The Fairfax, Virginia natives are about to embark on their very first headlining tour with support from Anarbor, The Ready Set, and The Bigger Lights. They are releasing a music video and are also having one of their songs featured in an upcoming movie. I had a chance to speak with front man Andrew Goldstein for a few minutes while he was preparing to head out on tour.

Amy Walker: For starters, could you state your name, your role in the band, and one interesting fact about yourself?
Andrew Goldstein: I'm Andrew. I sing and play guitar in The Friday Night Boys and I'm really good at Wave Race for Nintendo 64. Like, unbelievably good at it.

AW: Could you explain how the band got started?

AG: Yes. We actually knew each other from previous bands that we played with, just local bands in the area. One summer I wanted to start playing in this bowling league and I called up the guys and was like "You guys want to be in this bowling league with me?" and they were like "Yeah sure," so the bowling league met on Friday nights, and we started calling ourselves The Friday Night Boys. Shortly after that some of our bands had broken up so I was like "hey, do you guys want to start a band?" and we called it the Friday Night Boys because that was the name of our bowling team. So it's kind of a funny story, but yeah.
AW: That's pretty cool though. It's unique. Not too many bands form that way.

AG: Yeah. It was very random, but it's cool.

AW: You're preparing for your first headlining tour. What can fans expect if they come to a show?
AG: The most fun they've ever had. I feel like just for being our first headlining tour, it's going to be great going out and playing a lot more songs than we usually do while we're support, but one of the things that we've always done is we always meet all the fans after the show and talk with everyone, so it's going to be a lot of fun. Come say hi. Just talk with us. We're very nice people and we love meeting fans, so I feel like that kind of differentiates us from other bands.
AW: Especially the headliners. You don't see them too much afterwards
.
AG: We've always just tried to go out as much as possible and talk to people, so it should be fun.

AW: Where did the tour name "Once It Hits Your Lips" come from?
AG: We were all just brainstorming ideas, and we just watched that movie "Old School" and in it, there's a line where he's like "once it hits your lips". We thought it'd be funny to name the tour that after that line from "Old School."

AW: What is your favorite part about touring?
AG: I'd probably say just meeting new people everyday. Playing for fresh faces every single day. Just talking to different people and hearing what they have to say. A lot of people, if they heard about you online, they might come to see your band or if they saw you play before. There's lots of people who don't know who your band is, so it's cool meeting them and seeing what they thought of the show and building relationships. One of the other things I like is just seeing so many different parts of the country. It's pretty tedious sometimes driving because it's a lot of driving and very little sleep and not always ideal conditions for showering. It kind of brightens your day when you can go and talk to some people. That's one of my favorite parts.
AW: What is your least favorite part?

AG: Probably just driving and not being able to sleep a lot because I love sleeping. I love sleeping in, but unfortunately the days are usually from about 11 AM until about 4 or 5 in the morning. Sometimes you can't even stop anywhere to sleep. Sometimes you have to drive straight through the night to get to the next show which a lot of people don't realize. Even when you have a few drivers, it's hard kind of getting sleep in the van sometimes. It's just part of it at this point. That used to be my least favorite part but now it's not. It's just part of it, you know? You grow to like it.

AW: You're from Virginia.
AG: Correct
AW: Virginia is home to a lot of bands like My Favorite Highway and your upcoming tour mates, The Bigger Lights. How is the music scene there different from other cities across the country?

AG: It's very unified here. The music scene segmented when our band and My Favorite Highway, The Downtown Fiction, and The Bigger Lights kind of came about, so we get together. We just did a hometown show with My Favorite Highway which was interesting because I used to actually play guitar in My Favorite Highway. The Friday Night Boys and My Favorite Highway did a co-headlining show at the 930 Club here in DC which was a great success. It was awesome to see two local bands that are now a more national touring act come together.
AW: Do your fans respond to your music in the same way?

AG: It's a little different. We have some of the same fans and some of our fans are different. There are some people who like all of the bands and some people who only like some of the bands. It's kind of a subjective thing when we're on stage, but I would feel that they would respond similarly. I feel like our fans are very energetic. Probably more energetic than some of the other local band's, other national band's even. It's just really cool to see fans super hyped, and when they know the words, that's one of the most rewarding feelings.

AW: Your CD "Off The Deep End" was released in June through Fueled By Ramen. How has the overall response been to that record?
AG: It's been amazing so far. Great fan reaction, great crowd reaction. A lot of the songs are more high energy. We also have some ballads on it. I feel like people are understanding the music more. A lot of the songs are about real instances that have happened to me personally, so I feel like a lot of those feelings have happened to other people before, so the songs are more relatable. If you listen to a song and it's something that you've gone through before, maybe it's a girl or a boy or a relationship or going out and partying or not wanting to get up and do something with your day, you just want to kind of lay around, I feel like it's something to hold on to because you've been there.

AW: What is the meaning behind the title "Off The Deep End"?
AG: It kind of encapsulates the whole idea of us going out to California and recording the CD. We just wanted to have no boundaries and just kind of put everything out there. No restraints, not worrying about what people are going to think or trying to make it for a certain person. There's just something that, just kind of being like, jumping off the deep end. Not really caring, just going off and doing our thing.

AW: What is the writing process like for The Friday Night Boys?
AG: I write the songs, but everyone's involved. It's just about, it can be about whatever you're inspired. There's not one certain way to write a song. Sometimes you may write a song in three hours. Sometimes it may take you two or three weeks. It really depends on when you're inspired to do something, whatever might happen to you or who knows. I always just try to write down either on a piece of paper or on my computer or even like taking notes on my phone, you know just like lyrics or a song idea or a song title or a melody or whatever it may be. You just have to write everything down because you never know when you'll be inspired. It can just hit you at any time, so it's very important to be prepared.

AW: Illegally downloading music is extremely common with pretty much anything you want accessible to anyone with internet access. How do you feel about people downloading your music?
AG: I've always just been a fan of people getting a hold of the music by any means possible, and how you do it is not my business, but ideally as an artist, you want someone to buy your music, just because artists put so much time and effort and most of us are poor. We're not rich and famous rock stars with houses and cars and stuff like that. For instance, at the moment I live on my friend's couch because we're never here, and I don't make enough money to pay for an apartment all year especially that I'm not living in. We put a lot of effort into this, so ideally I would like someone to buy our music, but if you have other means of getting it, go ahead, but I would just hope that you would come to a show and come get a t-shirt or something to contribute to the band because it's a very difficult lifestyle. Personally, I promote purchasing it on iTunes just to help us a little bit, you know?

AW: Speaking of the internet, how big of a role has it played in the growth of the band?
AG: I would say it has played a massive role. When we first started this band, we played hardly any shows. It was just mainly an internet band on myspace and facebook, and there's companies that can put your songs on iTunes for a low fee, so you can even make a little bit of money unsigned. You don't necessarily really need to tour which we really haven't. We went on one tour. We toured in our previous bands before this band, gone on national tours, and just lost a lot of money. We started getting fans out of my dorm room in college. I started the band in college and just put songs up on MySpace. The thing is, you can't just put it on the internet and let it be. You have to be very active. I was on the MySpace everyday answering messages and comments which we still do to this day on Facebook and now with Twitter. There's other things where you can webcast on Stickam or Ustream which are very effective for talking to fans. You have to be active on the internet, and I would say it's played a massive role in just getting us an initial fan base, so when we do go out on tour, there's people who are like "oh I've known about you from when I heard your song on YouTube" or "I went to your MySpace one day and you responded to my comment", so it's just about being active and you always have to update it with new stuff and just give people something new to listen to or look at or read or just anything. It doesn't do it itself. Sometimes the music speaks for itself, but the music industry is tough and the entertainment industry for that matter, you just have to be active and go out there and go that extra mile that most people are not going to go. For instance, if you send a band a message on MySpace or send one of the members a message on Facebook or whatever it may be, if they actually respond to you, it shows that person, that the person in that band cares. You have to go where people are not usually willing to go.
AW: I know personally, I appreciate when I get responses from bands, so I think it's totally awesome that you guys still do that.

AG: Yeah, definitely. It's difficult. It's easier when we're home here, but when we're on tour, it's a little bit more difficult just because you don't have internet access all the time or you're driving through the night. You get to the show at 12 in the day, you set up, do your sound check, then you play the show, talk to fans, sign or do whatever, and then you have to drive five hours and you get there at three or four in the morning. Then you're dead tired and you have to wake up at 10 AM, so sometimes it's difficult, but you just have to stay determined and stay persistent with that and you try to get to all the internet messages and stuff you can, when you can.

AW: "Stupid Love Letter" is featured in the movie, When In Rome. How do you feel about that?
AG: Amazing. It's such an honor to be featured in a film, since we never have before. We shot a video for the song with director Stevo who plays drums in the band Sum 41, and the video comes out January 22. The song's also on the soundtrack which is available on iTunes, and it's the second track on the soundtrack. It's just an honor really to be in a film like that, and I'm excited to see the movie. I hope other people are as well.

AW: When you aren't on tour or in the studio, what are you doing?
AG: Usually relaxing. For instance, I'm back right now and over at a friend's house. I just like to see some of my old friends that I can't see most of the year. This past year, we were back for maybe a month and a half out of the whole year. Just seeing them, relaxing, sitting down and watching TV. Stuff that regular people do but you don't ever have a chance to on tour. Usually when I'm back, I'm writing almost every day. I'll wake up and maybe go to the gym and work out a little bit and then just sit down with a guitar or piano, trying to write something, make demos and do anything you can just to keep that flow. Writing and recording is one of my favorite things as well as touring and performing, so it's pretty busy regardless, even when we're at home. When we're at home, it's not like everything is on pause. You're still going, you're just not on tour. You have to keep up with all the stuff on the internet and constantly updating, constantly writing and recording. It's an ongoing 24/7 job, but it's a lot of fun, and it's a lot more fun than most jobs are, I would say.

AW: When did you personally start playing music?
AG: I started playing guitar when I was 11. I went over to a friend's house, and he had a guitar and he could kind of play some songs, and I thought it was awesome. No one in my family had really played music. We had a piano in the house, but I started playing guitar when I was 11. When I was like 14 or 15 I started messing around with the piano and got pretty decent at it. I taught myself piano, and then I started singing probably about 4 years ago, so it was a little bit later. It's kind of strange compared to most people because some people have been singing their whole life and then learned to play guitar, but I learned how to sing last. I took some singing lessons and it's going well. I'm trying to expand my knowledge of other musical instruments. I had a clarinet once. It's difficult because guitar is a string instrument, but air controlled is a completely different thing. I also learned how to play pan flute which is like a series of flutes that's kind of like a triangular looking thing. You blow similar to how you'd blow like a bottle top. I picked up that. I can kind of play it. I figured out how to play the theme to Beverly Hills Cop on it.

AW: If you weren't playing music, what would you be doing?
AG: I honestly don't know. I graduated college last December with a degree in Psychology. I actually had applied to graduate school, then we ended up getting signed, so that was quite the relief because I just finished four years of college and wasn't really looking forward to a few more years of intense graduate level studies. So I'd probably be in graduate school for psychology, but I can envision myself not playing music just because it's been such a huge part of my life my whole life, but ever since I picked up an instrument, it's how I identify myself. I don't know what I would be doing.

AW: Who are some of your biggest influences?
AG: Some of my biggest influences are Oasis, Third Eye Blind, Jimmy Eat World, Nirvana, The Cure. I love The Cure. That's about it.

AW: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
AG: One time, when we were in England, we had just driven through the night and we were dead tired and performing as well as we can on low energy and someone had a sign that said "Drop your pants", so I undid my belt and pulled my pants down. My underwear were still on, and I played a whole song with my pants around my ankles. I feel like everyone got a kick out of it so mission accomplished, but it was kind of embarrassing.

AW: What is the greatest gift you've ever received from a fan?
AG: Some of our fans last year came to I think 13 of our shows when we were on tour and they made two scrapbooks for us that had pictures of all the shows that they had come to of us playing live and us meeting them and they put it into these photo albums and it was just amazingly done and it took a lot of time and effort and it was just really cool that they took so much time out of their day. We keep it in the van and look at it every once in a while.

AW: Thank you so much for you time. Is there anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
AG: Check out our video for "Stupid Love Letter" and the song in When In Rome. The video comes out the 22nd on MTVu and MTVu.com and the movie comes out the 29th I believe, so go see it and check out our song in the movie, and if you like it, check out our whole CD.


Amy WalkerAmy Walker is a staff writer in the Midwest region at Musiqtone.com. You can reach her at amywalker@musiqtone.com.






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