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Against The Current: Era By Era

Andy Biddulph
Andy Biddulph 28 December 2019 at 00.30

Explore Chrissy, Dan and Will's full history in their own words. 

‘Infinity’

Properly formed in Will’s basement, Against The Current began with three teenagers uploading covers to YouTube, and their early years culminated in the ‘Infinity’ EP…

Chrissy Costanza (vocals): “The first time I went to the basement was after Dan and Will came to my house once, just to play acoustic in my basement. Then I went [to Will’s basement] and that was kind of like my audition, but no one ever told me if I got the part or not…”

Dan Gow (guitar): “Yeah, the only things we’d done were with singers from local bands, so it was a definite step up!”

Chrissy: “And it was my first real band, so I was just excited to be there. I didn’t really know what it was supposed to sound like or be like. I was just like, ‘Let’s rip’. ‘Thinking’ was our first single, in 2012. I’m pretty sure we were just pumped to finally have an initial song out, because at that point, I think we’d just played a couple of local shows. We had original songs, but none of them were big enough to release, and ‘Thinking’, we rewrote a thousand times. It was almost a completely different song before it is what it is now. I actually found the original ‘Thinking’ lyrics a month ago when I was cleaning my room to start packing before tour, and just buried in my desk was a ripped up piece of paper that had the original lyrics on it. It’s just a completely different song.”

Dan: “I kind of look at the whole YouTube era as if we were a high school cover band, just doing it at home, because that’s what you do when you’re in high school for the most part. We were just figuring it out, slowly but surely.”

Chrissy: “I think it’s weird [to look back on it] sometimes, especially when you get fans who are like, ‘Hey I’ve been a fan since ‘Thinking’ came out, or since ‘Guessing’ came out’. It’s kind of like, ‘Whoa, do you still like us?!’, like that’s crazy. It definitely feels like we’ve changed, and it’s almost like we’re an entirely different band. We were 16 maybe 17 when ‘Thinking’ came out.”

Chrissy: “I think with our first EP, we’re pretty proud of how it turned out. I still think the songs are really good. We always thought that ‘Something You Need’ was a really good song. It was very different to all of the other songs we wrote. We recently added ‘Another You (Another Way)’ to the set, and that’s still a song that we love, the fans love. It means a lot to us that the first EP that we wrote still holds relevance to our songs now.”

‘Gravity’

The ‘Gravity’ era saw the trio finding their feet, signing to Fueled By Ramen and embarking on a world tour. It was a period of intense growth, and a string of highs.

Chrissy: “We really didn’t have any intention when we wanted to write it. We weren’t like, ‘This is going to be rocky or poppy or pop-punk’. We really just went in and wrote songs. That’s when we started realising that people were asking us in interviews, ‘What genre do you consider yourselves?’ and we were like, ‘Fuck, we don’t really know actually!’ We kind of realised we were straddling the two, at the time, completely different genres. Now, there’s a lot of crossover in every single genre, but at the time, when you were in a band, you were either a pop group or a rock band: there wasn’t really a whole lot of in-between. [Touring] was definitely super weird, because we were still going through the motions of being normal teenagers. I think I was still in college the first time we went to Asia, and telling people back at school, ‘Yeah, just went and played a headline show in Asia’ was a really weird thing to everybody else. To us, it was totally normal.”

Dan: “Honestly, [even now] we’re still getting better. We’re better on this recent tour than we had been in the past. But even back then we gave it our all.”

Chrissy: “When it comes to a live show, we’re such perfectionists, so we’re never done with it, especially as you go tour to tour, then you kinda look back at your new best like, ‘Well, what the fuck was I doing before this?’”

Will Ferri (drums): “Touring with Set It Off, ROAM and As It Is, there are a lot of fond memories there. The ‘Gravity’ World Tour was also great; that was our first headline tour around the world.”

Chrissy: “Everything went kind of sparkly. Nothing could really go wrong at that point because we were just so happy to be there in it.”

 

'In Our Bones' 

The debut album is always going to be a big one, and ‘In Our Bones’ came crashing through in 2016 with huge pop rock anthems, and their most intricately crafted album to date.

Chrissy: “I love ‘In Our Bones’, still love it. There are other things that I would do differently that, if I could go back in time, I would probably redo, but at the same time, the fans loved it, we had so much fun with that album. Songs like ‘One More Weekend’ are just the most fun to play live, so I don’t have any actual regrets about ‘In Our Bones’, it was the perfect first album for us.”



‘Past Lives’

More and more comfortable with who they are, and increasingly settled in their sound, ‘Past Lives’ provided a slick, vibrant reminder of exactly what this band can accomplish. Pretty quickly, they realised that this was a whole new version of Against The Current.

Chrissy: “I think for me, it was when we were starting writing ‘Strangers Again’, which was really early on in the process. That was a song that was really hard for me to talk about and really hard for me to write, so writing that and going deeper below the surface than what we had in the past was one of those moments where I realised this record was going to be really different than ‘In Our Bones’ and I was going to talk about different things and it was going to open that door up to kind of let those things that had been hiding beneath the surface come to life.”

Will: “It’s definitely intimidating, but I feel like ‘Past Lives’ has got a pretty open sound, and we’ve definitely expanded on it.”

Chrissy: “We’re just trying to do something that we really love. We definitely feel like there is kind of this gap, and to actually be female-fronted… there are a lot of new pop groups coming up in different ways, but the fact that we do have this rock past influencing it, and now we’re a band but writing pop music with a female singer, it’s this unique space that we’re trying to walk into. Even now, we’re already thinking about [the future], what I want to start talking about, want to start writing again. I have pages and pages of lyrics, I’m already writing what the next chapter’s going to be, so I think it’s nice to be on that end of the spectrum. I think we could’ve dialed back a little bit on some of that, and appreciated what we’ve done for a minute, but we’re just trying to always get better, always improve and keep moving forward. We don’t want to stay where we are for too long.”

Rock Sound: And what would you say to the people you were starting this band, and releasing ‘Infinity’?

Chrissy: “To do things with intention. A lot of the time we just walked in and were just like, ‘Okay, let’s see what happens’, which for better or worse, did work out. It worked out well, but we didn’t necessarily have to. You shouldn’t have any downtime in the day, there should always be something that you could be doing, something that you could be thinking about, you could be developing and curating it in your mind, so if this is really what you want to do, you have to spend all of your time and put 110 per cent into it every second of the day.”

Dan: “We’re not always right. Listen to other people. I definitely wish that we learned that five years ago, but we learned along the way.”

Will: “I’m not much of an advice giver. Maybe don’t hit the drums so hard. And enjoy your hair!”

 

You can pick up a copy of Chrissy Costanza: My Story, a very special mini-mag featuring Chrissy's most extensive interview to date and a one-of-a-kind photoshoot, from SHOP.ROCKSOUND.TV

 

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