Handguns are unquestionably one of the most talented and hard-working Pop Punk bands in the scene at the moment, following closely behind bands such as Man Overboard and Transit. Last year my my fellow blogger, Anthony, had a chance to interview Jake, and now I bring you part two, if you will, with the band's vocalist, Taylor. I hope this helps you get to know the band a little better, and I basically suggest getting your hands on anything the band has put out.
Firstly, can you state your name and role in the band?
Taylor: Taylor Eby and I sing in the band.
I have to say I truly admire the comradery between bands like yourselves, Man Overboard, and Transit - I don't think the Pop Punk scene's even been tighter. Have you guys all met being in bands, or did you know each other from before?
Taylor: I had met Jake from playing in my previous band and both of our bands were having member problems so Jake was just like do you want to be in the same band?.
The style of themes behind Don't Bite Your Tongue's lyrics seem to continue right where Anywhere But Home left off. What kind of experiences have helped shape and inspire the EP's lyrics? Personally, I've always found Handguns' music to be very sincere and accessible.
Taylor: It's always personal. I don't like to get to abstract with the lyrics so we always write about things that we've been through or are going through.
What were the main differences in writing and recording the EPs? Did you guys learn a lot from Anywhere But Home?
Taylor: Well when we were recording Don't Bite Your Tongue, we actually had to finish writing them in the studio. The music on Anywhere But Home was written before Nate and I were in the band, so Nate and I were included in the music writing process this time. We also had Jesse Cannon mix and master Don't Bite Your Tongue, which fucking ruled.
As always, you guys've been touring non-stop this year - are the plans to record a full-length on Pure Noise still going ahead? How much new material has been written so far?
Taylor: We are definitely intending on putting out a full length on Pure Noise. We've been working on a couple new ones for it.
Has coming from different hometowns ever made things difficult, in any way?
Taylor: At times it can be. I live in Baltimore which is like an hour and a half from where Nate and Jake live. So I commute up there when I can or need to. Our drummer lives in Alabama which is far but it all works out in the end.
What's the tour with Hawthorne Heights and Veara been like? How has it compared to past tours? I'm sure this tour would've helped spread the Handguns name even further.
Taylor: It's honestly been awesome. All the bands on the tour are so rad. We had these preconceived notions that Self Centered and After Midnight Project were going to be these cocky assholes, but we were completely wrong. Everybody on the tour is so rad. We've become like a family. It's so awesome to be on such a diverse package. I definitely think this tour is helping us reach out to more kids.
How much longer do you think before you make it overseas? Can I suggest Australia? Haha, where would you guys like to visit?
Taylor: We want to go so bad! Were trying to get over there in the fall haha. I definitely want to visit the UK.
Despite there being so many bands making similar music, you guys still manage to stand out - what was it like, finding your sound, in the beginning? The demo from 2008 sounded quite different to the EPs.
Taylor: Well I'm the third generation of Handguns singers haha, but I love Drive-Thru Records, Jake loves MxPx and Nate loves Alkaline Trio so we just to try to let our influences slide its way into our songs.
What's your take on all the new-age mediums (iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) available to bands nowadays? Do you feel that being closer to your fans and spreading your name is a fair trade-off for inevitably losing some money over pirated music?
Taylor: I think it's a fair trade off. I mean we would love to be able to eat off what we do but even if there's money, we are still doing what we love and were getting out name out there.
Since a few of you are involved in writing the lyrics, what's the process generally like in deciding how the songs are shared? Will one of you start writing a song and have another member add to it, or will it vary depending on what the song is about?
Taylor: We usually just choose a subject and whatever that person will write for it will show it to us and if there's something that needs to be changed or added, we do that.
What can you tell me about the music video you guys recently shot for A Year In Review? What made you choose this song?
Taylor: We shot it with our friend Eric Dickey in Brooklyn. It was an awesome time. We couldn't decide on what the song should be so our label was like just do it for A Year In Review.
Would you like to add anything else?
Taylor: After this tour, we are recording for a 7" split with Forever Came Calling. We are doing a full US co-headliner with I Call Fives and We Are The Union starting June 10th so come to the shows and hang out!
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