It's been a decade since We the Kings gained international attention with their debut self-titled album featuring the platinum single "Check Yes Juliet," and the band are showing no signs of slowing down.
It's been just a month since their latest album, Self Titled Nostalgia, was released, but listeners are forgiven for the sense of déjà vu they may be experiencing. A re-visiting of their debut album, the band has created a new take on each song. Billboard Radio China caught up with Travis Clark and Danny Duncan for an interview:
This is the first time We the Kings have performed at the Billboard Hot 100 Festival -- how's the experience been?
Danny: We're beyond excited.
Travis: I think it's exciting for us because we get to play with other artists that we're fans of, other artists that we've played with before, but at the same time, it's exciting to play in front of new fans. There's people coming to the Billboard Hot 100 show that might not know We the Kings yet, so it'll be nice to get in front of those people.
We the Kings released the 10th Anniversary edition of "Check Yes Juliet" -- tell us more about why you're doing this track again.
Travis: Since it has been 10 years since our first album came out on October 2 in 2007, we wanted for 2017 to do something that was nostalgic and pay tribute to our fans that have been fans for 10 years, so we're releasing every single song from that first album, just done differently. So far, the fans are really receiving it well and responding awesomely.
Danny: It's just a little salute to the past, and we think it was a big song that got a lot of people into We the Kings, and we wanted to pay a little tribute, a little respect to the song that started it all, and I think we did a beautiful job with it.
You two have been good friends since you were kids. It's amazing that you've seen each other grow up and still be making music together -- how does that work?
Travis: It's nice, I mean, he knows me better than I know myself, and I think he would say the same, but it's nice being able to make music, not with only your best friends, but it feels like family at some point where he can hold me accountable for things, I can hold him accountable and it's more than just music, it's bigger than that for us.
Considering how close you both are, how do you handle conflict and balance a friendship with work?
Danny: Here's what you have to do, here's the tip: You just get all of your fights out right on the table. Don't act like, "Oh, actually, well, I think I sorta disagree," you need to just get all of the fights right out and then that way you know you're being real, you're wasting no time, and you know that you're telling the truth to each other. That's what you need to survive as long as people who've been working together this long.
Travis: We're definitely very honest with each other when something comes up and we're just trying to all be like Pikachu, just friendly with each other.
Danny: (Laughing) What? I don't know what he means by that.
What kind of music or artists influenced you both growing up?
Danny: A lot of people will be surprised because our genre is different, but as a drummer I listen to very drum-heavy music, so it'd be metal and things like that, very hardcore genres that kind of feature the drums, and I just love that. I got influenced with how the drums effect songs and then obviously toned it back a little bit to be more tasteful with We the Kings.
Travis: I grew up listening to a lot of pop music, but on the punk and rock side, so Blink-182, Green Day, Jimmy Eat World, all those were some of my favorite bands growing up.
This year is the 10th anniversary of We the Kings -- what's next for you guys?
Travis: More music. We hope we can do the 10th anniversary version of our second album, our third album, our fourth album and fifth album, but also to be able to create new music throughout the entire process. Danny and I have been working a lot of stuff in Orlando, just trying to put out new music when we can, but the fans can be ready for more new We the Kings music.
Danny: That's the only thing we can think of when we hit 10 years, hitting 10 more years.
Final thoughts on coming to play in China?
Travis: We hope to play sometime very soon in China. We hear all the beautiful things about China and we have yet to be there but that will be in the next 10 years of We the Kings.
Danny: We absolutely love you, thank you guys so much for being fans of We the Kings. We promise you we will get to China as soon as possible, but until that we love you and we will see you soon.
Listen to the full interview on Billboard Radio China.
Or watch the interview here:
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