After their appearance on CP24 this morning and ahead of their performance tonight at The Mod Club, I had the pleasure of speaking with American Authors‘ Dave Rublin. The Brooklyn-based alternative rockers are currently on a North American tour and are scheduled to release their debut album Oh, What A Life on March 3rd. During our phone interview, we discussed influences on the album, their love for Ellen Degeneres, playing Toronto, a prom invite, and Spice Girls! Indulge in the conversion here:
American Authors: Hey Alicia, how are you doing?
AMBY: Well, thanks. Cheers for speaking with us today. How are you?
American Authors: I’m doing alright. Just hanging in Canada [laughs].
AMBY: Welcome to our city once again, Toronto missed you!
American Authors: Thank you so much, it’s great to be back.
AMBY: Of course! It’s nice to catch up again.
American Authors: Yea, it’s great to catch up. This is awesome!
AMBY: The last time we spoke was before the release of your debut EP back in September, and now you’re about to release your debut album! How the time flies, right? With the release of Oh, What A Life now moved to March 3rd, what does the band have planned to celebrate?
American Authors: You know, we’re going to be so busy around release week that the celebration will just kind of have to be all of the time, you know? [laughs] The release we’re just going to try and stay focused, try to stay healthy, try to get some rest. We like to have a good time! I don’t think we have anything really planned though. We have Conan O’Brien on the 4th which is going to be the day after release day. We’re really excited about that; that’s kind of the celebration for us.
AMBY: While creating the album, who or what would you count as your biggest influences?
American Authors: Biggest influences, you know, we are a band who have been together for seven years. Our greatest influences are ourselves and our life stories; it’s authors, movies we love, and seriously just a combination of everything. We’re all so unique when it comes to our choices in music with everything from hip-hop to jazz to old school Motown to electronic music. We really try to incorporate it all, just because we all come from different veins. When all of those veins are together, the album was kind of created based on things that we all kind of want to hear.
AMBY: What’s the one main reason folks should be majorly excited about the debut record?
American Authors: I feel like people should be excited because the album is really, really a journey for anyone to listen to and go through. People will be able to hopefully grab the influences that we came from. There’s a little bit of everything for everyone and I feel like we’re doing a really good justice of telling everyone our life stories. It’s just going to be a really great – it’s hard to explain – I feel that people are just going to have to listen to it. There are so many layers to it that I feel people will be able to hopefully find inspiration and happiness in the music we’re making. Everyone should get really pumped, and we’re super excited to share it with everyone. It’s been a dream for us.
AMBY: In support of the album, you play The Mod Club in Toronto, as part of your Oh, What A Life tour. This tour started in February and will take you out on the road until late June. What have been some of the highlights so far?
American Authors: Honestly, coming to Toronto again.
American Authors: Yea! This is a great city. I mean, seriously, we wish this time we had a little more time to explore the city more. But, we love multi-cultural places and we know that Toronto prides itself on that, and New York City prides itself on that as well. It’s just so cool to be in a city in a different country that shares the same views and there’s inspiration all around. It’s a really, really cool vibe and we love the people, we love the city, and we love Mod Club. It’s a really great time to be back in Canada, we’ve missed it for a long time.
AMBY: We’re excited to see you guys live tonight.
American Authors: I’m so excited to see you! I can’t even express how excited I am to see you all [laughs]. It’s going to be so much fun, we’re going to have a blast.
AMBY: [laughs] I wanted to mention how the tour took you on Ellen, where you performed Best Day of My Life. What was that experience like?
American Authors: We’ve always grown up knowing that the Ellen Show existed because we were a little young when the sitcom was out to really fully enjoy it. We loved Ellen; we just went there with optimism that it would be a great time. You never really know when you get to late night TV or how the host is going to actually act or react to the acts that are playing. We pour our hearts into our music and we pour our lives into it, and it’s so great because Ellen does the same with her show. She pours her heart onto that show and has so much fun. She never really comes out to do sound checks, I’ve heard, but she came out and watch us perform Best Day. After, she came up to us and said, “I can’t believe that no one has made a song about the best day of their life, it’s a very incredible thing! I love the song”.
AMBY: [laughs] Some nice and high praise.
American Authors: It just goes to show that she is such a music appreciator. It was such a nice and comforting feeling for us to be there. We were welcomed with open arms and she was one of the sweetest people we ever met.
AMBY: I’m glad the behind the scenes experience went so well. Speaking of shows and touring, what was your first concert experience like? Who did you see?
American Authors: My first personal concert experience [laughs]. Well… My first concert experience was actually NOFX and Rancid, two punk bands when I was super young.
AMBY: That’s great!
American Authors: I had the flared out jeans, and it was so funny. I also had a big chain on my wallet and looked like a total weirdo. Now, looking back at it, this is embarrassing! I was in the mosh pit getting thrown around and I was about thirteen or fourteen years old. It was a mind-blowing event. There’s such an energy at live shows that you can only get when you’re there, and to see these bands just go on and tear the stage down was amazing. When I was growing up, I played in a bunch of smaller pop-rock-emo groups and really tried my best to give it 120% every show. At the end of the day we all think, and I forget who said this, “It might be someone’s first show of their lives, or someone’s last show of their lives”. We always think to give the highest energy and the best performance every time we play. We really pride ourselves on that.
AMBY: That’s always great to hear a band say. Also – if it comforts you and makes you feel a little less embarrassed, for one of my first shows ever, I was four and I saw Spice Girls [laughs]
American Authors: Seriously? Oh my God [laughs]. That must have been the best time ever.
AMBY: I remember it being pretty amazing.
American Authors: So cool. I actually watched – wait, this is embarrassing, too – but I actually watched Spice World about two months ago.
AMBY: [laughs] With the little fake bus going over that awful looking bridge. Great editing!
American Authors: Have you seen the scene with the aliens?
AMBY: Yes, in the forest once they leave the tour bus. What a film.
American Authors: Good, I’m not alone in this [laughs].
AMBY: Not one bit! Moving on to a less serious question, what’s the funniest thing to happen to you while playing a show?
American Authors: The funniest thing to happen to us at a show was… We were just doing our thing and playing, and suddenly some guy in the crowd was like, “Zac, come here, come here!” And then not into the microphone, but into Zac’s ear, he says, “I really want to ask this girl out to prom, and I’m just too scared to do it. Can you do it for me?” And Zac was thinking why not? So on the mic we’re like, “Hey, so Dan had a question for Kelsey in the crowd. Kelsey, raise your hand.” And she’s there all embarrassed looking super nervous like she’s about to cry.
American Authors: “Your friend over here was wondering if you’d go to prom with him!” And she was all, “OH MY GOD” and kind of fainted [laughs]. They had to bring her into the back of the room to revive her. I thought it was adorable and one of the funniest things I’ve seen.
AMBY: I caught a proposal at a show a couple weeks back, but never a prom invitation. That’s a new one.
American Authors: I know! Then we thought that we had to go to the prom, too. We could play the show.
AMBY: [laugh] For the last question of the interview, what’s the best part of being in American Authors?
American Authors: The best part of being in the band is that we are all in it; it’s not just one person in American Authors. A lot of bands really focus on someone is this and someone is that. We’re all so individually different which I feel is very rare, and it’s been such a pleasure how we’re all songwriters, we all collaborate on the music together, we all write our own music as well, and how we all write the lyrics together and have discussions about it. It feels pretty unique and it’s an incredible thing for us.
Thank you American Authors, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout