Interview: WITH CONFIDENCE – Seeing the World, 10 Year Old Albums and What They Did Right

Australia’s With Confidence are a band to watch, putting out an excellent debut in Better Weather and touring all over the world. Saturday the 23rd saw the band visiting Birmingham in support of Mayday Parade, where they put on a truly fantastic show and, to make the night even better, vocalist/bassist Jayden Seeley and guitarist Luke Rockets took some time beforehand to indulge me in a quick chat.

First off, how sick of interviews are you already? Been doing a lot this tour?

Luke: No, actually.

Jayden: Yeah, we haven’t done much press this tour, we’re in a weird space at the moment at the moment where it’s coming to the end of the Better Weather tour cycle sort of, so a lot of the press that we did for Better Weather was actually kinda like earlier in that whole process. And being a support tour as well, the show’s more about Mayday Parade.

There are lot of places you’ve been touring at the moment, is there anywhere particular you’re looking forward to?

Jayden: In the UK?

In general. No one looks forward to coming here, it’s fine.

(Both laugh)

Luke: In the UK, I think London’s going to be a great show.

Jayden: London’s always a good time. I had a really great time yesterday in Manchester. I think Manchester’s probably my favourite place in the UK.

Luke: Oooh, controversial.

Jayden: Also, London is pretty great as well.

Luke: I’m looking forward to Amsterdam.

Jayden: Why’s that?

Luke: Just a beautiful place.

Often made more beautiful… anyway, every Australian I’ve ever met has been just obsessed with travel, have you guys done much other than touring or is this your first experience really getting out there?

Jayden: I think for both of us…

Luke: Yeah, for him and I.

Jayden: …This is kinda the first chance we’ve had to really see the world. Something that I would personally really like to do when the band has some off time would be abel to just travel by myself, and kinda see a different side. When you’re travelling during a touring cycle, it’s like you’re seeing the places but you’re not, you know?You’ve always got somewhere to be or something to do. You just get to see the whole thing for a day and then you have to leave. I don’t know, I’d like to do it eventually but for me and Luke… pretty much, yeah. The band gave us that.

Is there anywhere you particularly want to go see, if you got that downtime?

Jayden: I think I’d just like to backpack around Europe, that’d be pretty cool. Or America, just backpack around.

And of all the places you’ve toured so far, where’s been your favourite to see?

Jayden: L.A. I just love LA.

Luke: It’s such a cultural hub for music.

Jayden: It’s a cultural hub for music, everything’s there, I love the people there and have a lot of friends there.

Luke: I think in terms of just exploring new places, we’ve done Japan once before.

Jayden: Oh sorry, Japan!

Luke: That was just a culture shock for us, cause I guess most of the western world’s very much the same between Australia or the UK or America so going to Japan was something just kinda fucking mind-blowing. It was awesome.

Jayden: Just so different. It was incredible. That’s the other place I’d go.

So obviously you’re touring with Mayday Parade for A Lesson in Romantics’ 10th anniversary.

Jayden: We’re massive fans of it.

So you guys listened to the album a lot when it first came out?

Jayden: I don’t know if I listened to it when it came out, I might have jumped on the wagon two years later or something. But yeah, when I was a teen, listening to that album… it’s really cool being able to like… it’s very reminiscent.

I can imagine it must be strange now. What’s it like touring with people you actually listened to when you were teenagers?

Jayden: Weird, because I guess like I’ve personally become accustomed to it now and you understand once you’re in this sort of world that everyone’s just people and they’re just doing their things and they’re just like us and when you’re teenager and you’re listening to all these bands you put them on this pedestal and they’re like gods and they just seem otherworldly.

Luke: I think it’s cool, touring with them now, all these bands that we just grew up loving, it’s cool just to pick their brains on stuff, all the stuff I wanted to know when I was a kid.

Jayden: True, yeah.

Luke: I think learning from them has been one of the best experiences our band has had doing these tours, with the bands we just grew up loving, because we just learn so much.

It’s been ten years since A Lesson in Romantics… how do you see Better Weather holding up in ten years time?

Luke: Maybe we’ll be back here doing our ten year tour.

Jayden: That would be cool, but I don’t think Better Weather is our Lesson in Romantics. 

It’s been received really well. 

Jayden: It has been received really well. It’s going down so much better than I ever hoped for.

Luke: But the next one’s going to be better.

We’ll take that as a promise. Why do you think people responded so well to Better Weather?

Jayden: There hasn’t been a lot of bad press for it, obviously there’s people that don’t like that sound but that’s not a reflection of the music as much as the person. But I don’t know, I think we’ve just got something good going and I think we’re all really good in our bubbles at what we do, individually and we all make up each other’s weaknesses with our strengths and when we’re together I feel we just create something that we couldn’t do individually and it just works, you know? It just comes together super easily.

Luke: I think we have a lot of fun too and, at least for the live application, when people see us they can see that we’re really happy and having the best fucking time. I think the energy rubs off on people and if we’re having a good time they’re having a good time and vice versa.

Yeah, when you see a band up on stage and it’s just by the numbers, only doing it to get paid…

Jayden: Yeah, I don’t think we’ll ever be like that.

We’ll hold you to that. You said it now, that’s bound in writing. But you’re now here, very far away from home doing what you love, but did it ever really sink in that this was going to be your life? It wasn’t just going to be something you did on weekends or at local pubs.

Jayden: It’s something we’d always hoped for and wanted and strived for. A couple of years ago when we first started getting bigger tours around Australia, that was the goal, to be able to tour full time. And yeah, I think we’re finally at a point where we spend 9 months of the year on the road and we’re travelling around the world playing our songs…

Luke: There’s just no Plan B, in my mind. I just always wanted this and I know that people want things and it doesn’t always happen but we’re just extremely fortunate that it turned out this way.

Jayden: I couldn’t imagine anything else now.

What else do you think you could have ended up doing?

Jayden: I was studying Music and Teaching at Uni, before the band started to get really busy so I had to defer, but I think if the band didn’t really take off I’d probably just be teaching music somewhere.

Luke: I’d be playing in a cover band somewhere. I’d be doing gigs, I wouldn’t stop playing. Make ends meet somehow.

That’s all you can do.

Jayden: Exactly.

There are so many bands now and it can be so hard to get noticed, but then you guys have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. Is there anything you feel that you did “right”, that people could take away from?

Jayden: I think we did a lot right, without even realizing it.

Luke: Dumb luck.

Something good must have happened. You were there, now you’re here supporting Mayday Parade’s big tour.

Jayden: True, true. I think we’re pretty clue-y dudes, we do a lot of stuff behind the scenes to make sure stuff gets done. Talking to the label, overseeing everything that happens with the music and the release. We try to make sure things are seen through to the very last detail. I think that’s kind of contributed to the way things have gone down. I don’t know about specific advice for bands…

Luke: We haven’t really stopped in three years, since our second EP we started touring Australia and that was touring every couple of months, working in between, starting in between etc. But we really, really haven’t taken a solid break and we don’t have any plans on doing that, so it’s just kind of persistence really.

Jayden: Yeah, I think that’s the thing. I think we all know exactly what we wanted and we just kept fucking going for it. If this is something you’re considering doing, commit to it.

Luke: Do your best and don’t stop.

Jayden: Dive straight into it.

Earlier you did mention the second album, which we’re still taking on record that it’s going to be better than the first. How’s that going so far?

Jayden: It’s good, it’s going well. We’re looking at recording at the end of this year actually. I think we’re about 75% there right now. I think the songs are a step up from Better Weather. I think the production is going to be a step up. We’re working with a bigger name in LA this time.

Luke: I think we can shout it out: Mike Green, for anybody who may know.

Jayden: Yeah, we’re going to be working with a guy named Mike Green. He’s done some incredible stuff that we love, he did Paramore’s first album, he did the recent Neck Deep album, State Champs.

Luke: He’s worked with everyone from Sum 41 to All Time Low, everyone.

I think that’s when you know you’ve made it.

Jayden: I think it’s coming along really well. Of course it’s an artist’s burden, my head is always with this album and I think it’s on its way, but we’re going to make sure it gets 125%.

Luke: I think that if we don’t break up in the studio… it’s going to be great.

Is there anything you took from Better Weather to take into this new album you think you can improve upon?

Both: Oh yeah.

Jayden: You learn so much in the process of writing, recording, releasing an album. Already writing for this album I think personally, and as a band, we’re better at writing now. We understand the process a lot better, to let whatever omniscient fucking force is flowing through us creating this music… how to let that happen with no restraint. I feel like a lot of musicians, when they’re writing songs they don’t really know how to get from “here” to a finished product. They fuck themselves up a lot and they do the wrong things and they do things in an unnatural way. I think when we’re in the studio we’ll understand it a lot better too.

Well I’m looking forward to hearing it for sure. Better Weather‘s “Keeper” was one of my favourite songs of last year in general.

Jayden: Awesome, that was the first song that was written for Better Weather.

Oh really?

Jayden: That’s why it’s called “Keeper”.

Luke: It was the first song where we like “that’s a keeper!”. That is the title.

Thanks to With Confidence for taking the time to talk to us and good luck with the rest of the tour. If you haven’t already, go ahead and check out Better Weather.

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Ross Topham

If there was an award for procrastinating, Ross Topham would probably be late to the ceremony. Hopefully he's writing something worthwhile instead and we'll see that awesome, upcoming space opera novel sometime soon...

Ross Topham

If there was an award for procrastinating, Ross Topham would probably be late to the ceremony. Hopefully he’s writing something worthwhile instead and we’ll see that awesome, upcoming space opera novel sometime soon…

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