Self Help Fest is coming.
A Day To Remember's Self Help Festival is around the corner, so we figured it was time to chat dream line-ups, and new ADTR music with Jeremy McKinnon.
DID YOU EVER THINK SELF HELP FESTIVAL WOULD GET THIS FAR?
“I never thought about it, so I guess... no! It’s been crazy. We definitely didn’t expect it to do as well as it did right out of the gate and it’s been pretty consistent. It’s been wild.”
HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT TAKING IT ON THE ROAD?
“That is the goal. We’re gonna have it in a few different spots around the country, we’ve been talking about taking it out of the country as well, so the goal is to expand.
"I don’t know if we want it to be a full-time tour, but we’d definitely have dates where you can hit one no matter where you live. That would be rad.”
DOES “OUT OF THE COUNTRY” MEAN THE UK?
“Who knows! There’s not really a place that isn’t a possibility at this point, so we’ll see. We’ve talked about a few things but I’m not sure. I couldn’t really say yet...”
HOW INVOLVED ARE YOU IN PICKING THE BANDS?
“We’re very, very hands-on with the line-up. I would say 95% of the line-up is just us giving a list every year. We make a list every year of who we’d love to have on the festival and that usually consists of people who are doing really well in our world, or bands that are close to our genre that are doing well or just who we want to see and have put out albums that matter in that cycle.
"The newest thing we’re trying to incorporate into the festival line-up is going and getting an older band to play their older material, which we’re doing with Further Seems Forever and Underoath.
"If possible we’d like to maybe continue that and have a band and a festival playing an album that is older, but is a staple in their catalogue. We’ll see how that goes, I’m really excited about it this year. Those are both bands that I grew up loving, so it’s gonna be cool just to see them play.”
...AND THAT MEANS YOU GET TO PICK BANDS YOU WANT TO SEE?
“We don’t usually have bands overlapping, so the crowd has been amazing at going back and forth between the two stages and every band played to pretty much the entire festival every time. It’s been awesome.
"No kidding, I have seen some of these bands play my favourite sets I’ve seen them play in front of the Self Help crowd.
“There’s just something special about that festival these last two times. There have been some pretty amazing sets where I’ve been bummed out they weren’t filmed because it’s like, ‘That was fucked up!’”
HOW DOES YOUR FESTIVAL FEEL DIFFERENT TO OTHERS?
“It feels totally different from something like Warped Tour. That’s part of the reason why we wanted to do this festival – we wanted to have something set up where the bands were getting the attention that we feel like they deserve. If we can put together a festival and 12,000 people come every year, these bands deserve to be taken care of and have a good day and have the facilities to feel comfortable backstage and have a good time.
"We got to get a taste of that when we go and play things like Download and Soundwave in Australia (RIP). We’d never experienced that until we played those larger festivals, so on our side of things we go to great lengths to make sure that the bands are taken care of in a way that would make us excited if it happened to us. The vibe is always great.”
DO YOU THINK THAT’S MISSING FROM SOME FESTIVALS?
“It’s totally different. You’re just in a bus in a parking lot and you don’t always have a chance to shower. You can if you really go for it, but at least for me being on the tour is just like... some days it’s so difficult to get that shower that I just don’t.
Warped is its own thing. But other than Warped, what does this genre of music really have in the states? There’s Riot Fest, but that’s a little different. It’s more mainstream and they have really, really big acts but in our world I feel like the only thing that’s really comparable is Warped Tour, and the way that’s set up they just couldn’t have the facilities we’re talking about every day.”
WHICH BANDS HAVEN’T PLAYED YET THAT YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE ON THE BILL?
“I would love to have Balance & Composure on the festival. They’re always busy. This year they had a touring package – I thought this was actually really cool of them – they said they couldn’t play unless we let the whole package on.
“Our thing is that we can’t have people overlapping and we’d already had too many bands confirmed at that point to do something like that. But I thought it was pretty cool that they turned down playing to 12,000 people because their friends couldn’t play.”
ARE THERE PLANS TO FILM THE SETS?
“We are going to have something along those lines. I’m not sure if it’s gonna be DVD quality or we’re gonna have a stream of it or something, but I would love to get to a point where we’re putting out videos of the bands performing a song or two.”
WHAT HAVE YOU PERSONALLY BEEN UP TO RECENTLY?
“Andrew Wade, our engineer – I make albums with him sometimes and we’re building a studio together called The Audio Compound. We’ve been getting that together these last four months or so. It’s been a long process but it’s getting there.”
HOW ABOUT NEW A DAY TO REMEMBER MUSIC? CAN YOU EVEN TALK ABOUT THAT?
“We can’t. We’ve just been taking it easy. It’s been a crazy six years, so I think we just needed some time off. We’ve been doing things here and there but nothing too serious, just taking it easy.”
“We’ve been fooling around with some stuff, but nothing’s finished.”
ANY CHANCE WE’LL HEAR SOMETHING NEW IN 2016?
“I guess it’s a possibility, but I don’t know. We haven’t gotten anything set in stone yet.”
DID IT GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU NEEDED TIME OFF?
“Definitely. Especially with me because when we would take these months off between tours, I would fill it with working with a band and putting out an album. It was always seamless.
"I would just go right into the studio, do an album and then go right back out on tour. Doing that for about three years straight took its toll, so I personally needed some time.”
SO FOR NOW IT’S JUST SELF HELP FESTIVAL. HAVE YOU MISSED PLAYING LIVE?
“Since we’ve been taking this time off, yeah! And there’s no better way to start playing shows again than that festival.”
Self Help Festival takes place on March 19 at the Nos Events Center in San Bernardino, California. Tickets are available now.