Freshman 15 recently released their long-awaited album, Here's To Feeling Good, and are under a week away from going on tour with Bowling For Soup and Patent Pending. I recently discussed the lead-up to the album, recent line-up changes, recording the album, and more with vocalist/guitarist, Davey F. Here's To Feeling Good is now available on iTunes on Standby Records. Click the Read More… link to read the interview, stream the album, and view the tour dates and venues.
First of all, can you state your name and role in Freshman 15?
Davey: I'm Davey Fortner and I sing/play guitar in the Freshman 15s.
No more than a few weeks ago the band released its highly-anticipated album, Here's To Feeling Good - what has the reception to the record in general been like so far?
Davey: People have loved it which I am really stoked about! Honestly I'm surprised when anyone enjoys anything I ever do... It's a beautiful thaaaang!
The album also features the tracks from the Talk Of The Town EP, which was pulled from being released last year - was there ever a sense of anxiety with regards to releasing new music, being that the previous record came out in 2009?
Davey: Absolutely! The Talk Of The Town EP leaked, which was three songs we demoed with a more radio friendly sound. When it leaked the Pop Punk fans really didn't necessarily enjoy that too much. So, when we went back to make the full length we put some of the fastest and most intricate things we've yet to write to tip our hats to those fans.
The album was also originally titled Bad Habits and set to be released last June - can you tell us about the main reasons for the album's delay? When were the songs actually finished?
Davey: We finished the record about a year ago. We had the title Bad Habits for a while because it's a repeated line on the CD. A few months before the release Every Avenue announced their next full length was titled Bad Habits. We had to go back in and consider different names and rework the album art. I think it worked out for the best in the end though!
How much did the most recent line-up changes affect how soon the album could be released?
Davey: None at all actually! The main song writers were still in tact. If any parts needed to be filled in we could cover it! I played all the guitar parts on it, but luckily our new guitarist Mikey handles it like a boss!
Working with new members, what was it like writing and recording Here's To Feeling Good in comparison to the past?
Davey: I wrote the entire Throw Up Your Hands For One Night Stands by myself. It was actually refreshing to have some co-writers and friends help with the process! It gives the record a different sound and aspect than the last one.
The band also recently finished up an eastern tour with City Lights - were there any particular shows or stories that stand out?
Davey: Us and City Lights have been close friends for many years now! Actually one of our first tours as Freshman 15 was with them and The Years Gone By. On the whole 2 1/2 week tour there was one day off and we spent it on Virginia Beach. We started enjoying some adult beverages at around 11am and from there everyone has their own separate insane stories once night time hit! Ha
On that note, you guys will also be going on tour with Bowling For Soup as of April 18th - are there any particular dates/cities you're looking forward to playing?
Davey: I'm looking forward to every single date on that tour! BFS is a huge influence on us and Patent Pending are literally some of our best friends. I can't imagine a more fun tour. Chicago always shows us mad love so I'm looking forward to that show if I had to pick one.
Do you have any particular songs or covers that you enjoy playing at shows?
Davey: I know it seems really cliche but Blink covers always gets me happy in the panties still. The crowd loves it and we love playing it. Our old MIA cover always gets an awesome crowd reaction as well.
Having formed ten years ago, what are some key pieces of advice that you've picked up along the way? How different do you think the local music scene is now compared to when the band started out?
Davey: The one piece of advice I've learned is talk to everyone you meet in the industry. Get your name out there! The fans included... Like I said, I'm still surprised anyone is remotely excited about meeting me so I talk to every fan I can.
As far as the scene goes it has gotten better 10 fold as far as Pop Punk goes. Kids are falling in love with it like they did back in 99. With bands like The Wonder Years, I Call Fives, Transit, etc. Pop Punk is making a huge comeback.
What other plans does the band have for the rest of the year?
Davey: After the Bowling for Soup tour we have some awesome tour plans but I'm not sure if I can announce anything officially yet!
Thanks for your time, is there anything else you'd like to add?
Davey: My name is Davey and I like to party.
Interview by Mario Parra
April 18 – Lawrence, KS – Granada Theatre
April 19 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Underground
April 20 – South Bend, IN – Notre Dame
April 21 – Owing Mills, MD – Stevenson University
April 22 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
April 23 – Vienna, VA – Jammin’ Java
April 24 – Allentown, PA – Crocodile Rock
April 25 – Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live
April 26 – New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre
April 27 – Doylestown, PA – Delaware Valley College
April 28 – Cleveland, OH – Peabody's
April 29 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar
April 30 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
May 1 – St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House
May 3 – Austin, TX – The Parish
May 4 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald's
May 5 – Dallas, TX – Trees
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