Californian pop punkers The Story So Far have just recently released their new self titled album and announced an Australian tour with Man Overboard. We had the chance to chat to guitarist Will Levy about the album, the tour and his love of vegemite.

SCENEzine
Hey Will it’s Tiffany from SCENEzine in Australia thanks for taking the time to speak to us.

Will Levy
Yeah, of course!

SCENEzine
So, you’ve just finished up a lengthy American tour with Four Year Strong, how was that?

Will Levy
Uh, it was lengthy indeed. It was really fun… lots of big shows, lots of small shows, no bad shows which is always good. It was sweet, just a giant hang out.

SCENEzine
Can you tell us a bit about the writing process for the new album? What was it like working with Chris Conley of Saves The Day?

Will Levy
We wrote most of the record kind of on the road over the last year and a half just cause we knew we weren’t really going to be home much so we had to utilise our time wisely. So a lot of it was just hanging out in a green room and recording on a little computer and then once we got home we kinda put them all together and we kinda used sound checks and stuff on tour to help just kinda jam, that was cool, and then recording with Chris was kind of just a… it was pretty loose…we met him on Warped Tour and we just kinda joked about coming up to his studio, he doesn’t live too far from us, so we made that happen and we more or less used his space and he kind of just sat in and watched and was an extra set of ears and he helped a little bit, he gave us a few pointers and just always reassured us that we were writing good songs and that and he kept the vibe very positive, which is pretty cool. Chris is… Chris is the fucking man, he’s such a nice guy and he’s so cool to work with.

SCENEzine
We’re loving your new album. Are you happy with the response it’s got so far?

Will Levy
Yeah! I’m very stoked. We put a lot of hard work into it and it’s cool to have people enjoy it.

SCENEzine
In regards to Parkers lyrics did he write to the music or already have song lyrics ready to go before the music was even written?

Will Levy
He wrote to the songs. We would put together the music and then from there we would give him the songs and he would write lyrics to it and there were some minor details that were changed musically once he’d put down his melodies just to accommodate his melodies and make them sit a little bit better, which was something we’ve never done.

SCENEzine
Do you have a favourite track from the album to play live?

Will Levy
Either ‘Heavy Gloom’ or ‘Mock’! ‘Mock’ is pretty fun, it’s got a good groove to it.


SCENEzine
Who did the cover art for the new album? Was it inspired by the tracks?

Will Levy
No, actually it was our friend James Fisher who drums in the band Basement. I sent him a couple of different album covers that we liked and I just said, you know, give us a little adventure and put the five of us on the cover. He’s done t-shirt designs and posters for us so we already knew what we were kind of getting and he sent us a couple of different ones and that one happened to be it! The colours came about by accident, I was just going on my iPhone with the original black-and-white and I just put a filter on it and that’s where the cream and the blue came from… just kinda [laughs] just kinda by accident.

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SCENEzine
You are headed back to Australia in September with Man Overboard are you excited for the
tour?

Will Levy
Oh yeah! Love touring with Man Overboard and I love playing Australia.

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SCENEzine
Are Man Overboard good buddies of yours? Have you played together much before?
Will Levy
Yeah. We did our first England tour with them, we did our first co-headliner in the states with them, and we’ve done a bunch of tours probably like 2 years worth. Yeah, they’re great.

SCENEzine
Story So Far gained a lot of new Australian fans through Soundwave and your sidewaves with Mayday Parade & Real Friends. Do you have any memories you can share from touring in Australia?

Will Levy
Yeah, there’s so many [laughs]. I think the first time we went to Perth we were with the band Anchors and we all got to swim in the Indian Ocean and that was kinda… that was kinda wild. Kind of hits you that you’re really far away from home when you realise where you’re swimming and all that.

SCENEzine
There seems to be a resurgence in pop punk with bands like Story So Far, Real friends & State Champs gaining popularity for a new generation of pop punk fans. How do you feel about the state of pop punk in 2015?

Will Levy
Oh, god. Uh… I don’t know, I don’t really pay attention [laughs] Nor do I really… care. I don’t want to come off rude, but like, I generally don’t really give a shit. It’s just, we kind of happen to be playing it and all those bands, I think it’s awesome. You know, right on. But I don’t really pay attention or listen to it.

SCENEzine
You play guitar, what guitarists have influenced you through the years?

Will Levy
I’d say like Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix… Dimebag Darrel for sure from Pantera. Anything super heavy, I’m really into.

SCENEzine
Did you listen to a lot of pop punk growing up or was it more heavier stuff?

Will Levy
I did listen to pop punk growing up like Blink-182, Green Day and New Found Glory. But there was also like… I was also listening to heavier music and you know getting into like hardcore like Comeback Kid and Bane and things like that, and then I think I just like hit a certain age where I just… it didn’t apply to me, oh no I don’t want to say apply, I guess it just wasn’t what I wanted to hear and I was looking for something different so I just kinda moved on to other styles of music and opened a whole world of new tunes.

SCENEzine
Warped Tour is currently on in the States. Are you bummed your not playing it this year? Or is it
good to have a break?

Will Levy
It’s good to have a break. We’ve done two summers in a row now and I think as fun as it is and there’s so many great people to hang out with, I think for us and for people who listen to our band I think they’d wanna see us in a different setting and I don’t wanna burn out on Warped Tour and just keep doing it and keep doing it and keep doing it. I think the break is good. We’ve toured pretty heavily in the last couple of years and I think we all need some time off to just kind of chill and just like regroup, you know? Let the batteries recharge.

SCENEzine
Is there anything you want to do while in Australia this time you haven’t done previously like hug a koala, pat a kangaroo, try vegemite?

Will Levy
I love vegemite. I kind of have it most mornings, awkwardly enough. I’ve done the kangaroo…we’ve eaten kangaroo too, so I feel kind of bad petting the kangaroo and then have someone cook a kangaroo but it is pretty good. I’d like to find more swimming holes and just explore more and go hiking and stuff and see what’s out there in the wilderness area.

SCENEzine
Any message for your Aussie fans? What can they expect from the tour?

Will Levy
Thanks for listening and supporting our band and get ready to party cause we’re ready to party. We’ll be keen to get down there and play some shows.

SCENEzine
I bet a lot of people can’t wait to see you guys play again. It’s been quite a while since you’ve last been here…

Will Levy
Yeah! Over a year, right?

SCENEzine
Exactly! So a lot of excited fans will be eager to come watch you guys…

Will Levy
Yeah, it should be fucking cool.

SCENEzine
Thank you for your time Will. Looking forward to seeing you at the Sydney show.

Will Levy
Awesome! Thank you.

(Interview by Tiffany Herbrik)

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