By Jeremy Vane-Tempest
I spoke to Jeremy McKinnon where the man is in a hotel room in Houston. His band, A Day to Remember, are pretty much the biggest hardcore band going around, opening for blink-182 on a fifty date tour and almost every date is sold out. As Jeremy so eloquently put it, “Shit could be way worse”.
When you mention the fact that they’re opening for blink-182, Jeremy could barely disguise his glee. “This tour has been fucking incredible man; I’m not even kidding. The fans are connecting with us when we play like it’s our show and blink-182 could not be any nicer to us. We keep freaking out and going ‘what the fuck are we doing on this tour?’. These are the biggest shows we’ve ever done, and I don’t know anyone in our genre that’s done bigger. The guys in Blink have been so cool to us, and I’m not just saying that. Mark fucking Hoppus has been going out of his way to come and chill with us in our room and play Pokémon Go almost every day.”
Jeremy’s got another reason to be stoked: his band’s sixth album, Bad Vibrations is due out in a little over a month. Almost all of ADTR’s previous records were written on the road. This one, however, was written on top of a mountain in the middle of buttfuck nowhere. “Cabin fever became a bit of an issue while writing Bad Vibrations, but it would have been an issue if we’d written on the road again”, Jeremy admits. “Writing on the road is a comfortable situation for me, but that’s not the case for everybody. We wanted to make sure that everyone involved was as comfortable as possible. Like every ADTR record, the best songs made it onto the record. There’s no song that has a mortgaged spot on the album. If it gets done right, it’ll make the cut.”
ADTR might sound like a dog’s breakfast to some, but money talks and bullshit walks and ADTR have made a career out of defying the critics. “We’ve always messed around with a bunch of different genres, so we’re fortunate in that we can branch out into different areas with our songs if we want. It’s kind of weird that people accept that about us”, Jeremy laughs. “We’re the band that you can take your girlfriend to, and she’ll be happy, and you’ll get to see the actual heavy band that’s also on the docket. Actually, one of my favourite memes that I saw online was one that said ‘when you meet a girl, and she says she likes metal’ and it’s got ‘what you imagine’ above Meshuggah’s ob zen album art and ‘what she means’ above a picture of us”.
I quizzed Jeremy about pitch changes in his vocal delivery across their discography, and he paused before admitting, “You know, this is the first time I’ve ever been asked that. Basically”, he continued, “when this band first started, it was considered cool to sing as high as humanly possible. You gotta remember that Anthony Green, Circa Survive, Saosin, they were all blowing up. So basically, all the big bands were singing high, and it’s not my natural register, but I could do it. So if you listen to all our records, over the years, I’ve been slowly backing that off because I didn’t plan on having a fifteen fucking year career and I wanna be able to keep doing this live for another fifteen fucking years.”
ADTR were only here last December and wouldn’t you know it; they’re coming back this December. “Australia is one of our biggest markets”, Jeremy shrugs when questioned about the frequent flyer miles they’re surely racking up like so many captures the flag kills on Blood Gulch. “It’s got just as many crazy people and much less humidity than Florida. All the cities are amazing; I don’t even have a favourite – no.” He pauses. “I do have a favourite city. I’m going on the record right now; Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia because they have Lord of the Fries. That place is the fucking shit. That’s one of our favourite restaurants to go to in the world, so Melbourne wins.”
As we were wrapping up, the fanboy in me came out for an honesty session. The thing is, I’ve seen ADTR live ten times. Shut up, Dane, you’re a dork, and your face is ridiculous. Anyway, every time I’ve seen them, they happen to play Chop Suey! by System of a Down as the intermission music before they play. I ask if they do that on purpose, and the answer is a resounding yes. “I’m glad someone’s noticing”, Jeremy laughs in confirmation. “We play that song all around the world, and I can tell you from seeing the way people respond to it that that song is one of the biggest rock songs of all time. That’s why we leave it. No matter what country we play in, when that song comes on, literally the entire crowd sets it the fuck off. It’s a great warm-up for the show.”
Bad Vibrations is out September 2 via ADTR Records.
A Day to Remember will be touring Australia w/ Of Mice & Men in December.
All shows licensed and all ages.
Saturday, 10th December 2016
Red Hill Auditorium, Perth
Tuesday, 13th December 2016
AEC Theatre, Adelaide
Wednesday, 14th December 2016
Festival Hall, Melbourne
Friday, 16th December 2016
Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Sunday, 18th December 2016
The Riverstage, Brisbane