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We Are The In Crowd Gets ‘Weird’
Thursday, April 17, 2014

A rise to fame can happen fairly meteorically in the world of pop punk. Just ask We Are The In Crowd. In the span on less than five years the quintet from Poughkeepsie, NY, went from posting songs on the internet to touring the world.

While on those tours, the band developed a rabid fan base that sings along with every emotionally heartfelt, and in your face, lyric. At a recent show at Highline Ballroom in New York City, the sold out crowd was so strong they drowned out the fivesome while reciting the lyric, “You’ll crack just like the rest when I break your fucking jaw,” which is from the band’s latest single, “The Best Thing (That Never Happened).”

The song is off of We Are The In Crowd’s second full length album, Weird Kids, which was released in February of this year on Hopeless Records, and before the band hit the stage at Highline Ballroom, I caught up with We Are The In Crowd guitar player/vocalist Jordan Eckes to find out more about the project, and hear a few tour stories. The zombie apocalypse also came up, as Eckes revealed some interesting info about both his fellow band members, and his family.

Adam Bernard: You released your latest album, Weird Kids, in February. In what ways do you consider yourselves weird kids?

Jordan Eckes: We’re strange people. I mean, we are probably the weirdest people that I know. We do a lot of strange things that I probably can’t even talk about.

Adam Bernard: Give me one example that you can talk about.

Jordan Eckes: We do a lot of bets. We paid our guitar tech, John, to drink cheese out of the cup at Denny’s. I think we gave him like $100 bucks to drink the whole thing of cheese, and a big thing of queso.

Adam Bernard: I think he was richly rewarded if he got $100 bucks. That’s not like a $5 bet.

Jordan Eckes: It was either that, or maybe the whole meal was paid for by somebody. Something happened that was extremely beneficial for me, and I wasn’t drinking the cheese. That’s one example. Our fans are all weirdos, and we want them to embrace their individuality. That’s what we do legitimately, and then on our side of things we’re just weirdos.

Adam Bernard: There’s the legitimate weird, and then the weird weird.

Jordan Eckes: Then the weird weird. Yes.

Adam Bernard: What was going on in your lives that inspired the album?

Jordan Eckes: It was a long time in-between albums. We had a little over two years, and we did so much with Best Intentions. We toured all over the world. I remember the first time we left the country, we were recording it, we went to the UK, and two years later we were headlining the main stage at Reading (for the Reading and Leeds Festivals). So to think all that growth happened, and it actually wasn’t as much pressure as you would think going into it. None of us thought oh, we can’t have a sophomore slump. Working with (producer) John (Feldmann) was an unbelievable experience. If it wasn’t for him the record wouldn't have turned out the way it did. The way that he prefaced the whole working environment when we got there on day one, he was just like you know what, we’re gonna build this ship together, I’m gonna be the captain, you’re gonna build it, you’re gonna be the crew. I slept maybe less than four hours a night, and we did it in under 21 days. It was an amazing experience.

Adam Bernard: When you listen to Weird Kids, or when you perform songs from the album, what musical aspects of it make you say, “This is something we couldn’t have done five years ago?”

Jordan Eckes: A lot of it. I think back to when we first started playing, even playing VFWs until Warped tour, even after Warped Tour we were still playing VFWs. I still love VFWs. I think back to when we were first recording with Paul Leavitt, we were so green, and none of us had any idea of what we were doing, and if I had any idea that I would be recording a record with John Feldmann five years later I would have been extremely excited. This whole band has been non-stop go ever since the beginning.

Adam Bernard: I read the video for your latest single, “The Best Thing (That Never Happened),” was filmed in the same location as the Spice Girls’ video for “Say You’ll Be There.”

Jordan Eckes: I believe so, and the movie Holes, which is even cooler in my opinion. Tay (singer Taylor Jardine) was really stoked on the Spice Girls thing, I was more so stoked on the Holes thing, but that was a crazy day, actually. We got stuck out in the desert after we were done filming. Straight up, the 18 wheeler got stuck, two RVs got stuck, and we were out there until four in the morning. It was crazy. It was a big dry lakebed in the outskirts of California. It was an interesting night to say the least.

Adam Bernard: If no one had come who would have been killed and eaten first?

Jordan Eckes: Probably... Mike (Ferri). Either me, or Mike. I mean, eaten by the people with us?

Adam Bernard: Yeah.

Jordan Eckes: I think it would be Mike first, if that’s the case. I would definitely be like, “Alright, we’re gonna cook Mike up.” There were so many other people there, though, so we could have been the last five standing if we wanted to. There was a large crew, but we were all dispersed throughout the desert.

Adam Bernard: I have ask, since there are five of you, and there are five Spice Girls, which one of you is which Spice Girl?

Jordan Eckes: I’m absolutely not Sporty Spice. I’m trying to think... I’ll be Posh. Posh, cute girl, spice. Victoria Beckham, or whatever her name is. She’s a babe. I’ll go with her.

Adam Bernard: We’re here at the next to last date of your current tour, and you’ve been around the world a few times in your career. What’s been the wildest, or most interesting, thing you’ve seen, or experienced, while on the road?

Jordan Eckes: We’ve been to so many places we never thought we would go. I think the craziest place we’ve ever played, we played Bandung, Indonesia. We were doing a bunch of stuff overseas at the time, we hit Malaysia, I think we played Kuala Lumpur, but we played in Bandung, and it was absolutely terrifying. We had no idea, we were like, “People wanna watch us play here?” It was incredible. We had this huge press thing. It was kind of funny, I remember looking back at it, we got to the airport, we had no idea what was going on, we didn’t have any legitimate people really working for us (there) at the time. We were all just kind of in the same boat together. We landed and there were all these people outside freaking out at the airport. It was crazy. It was unreal. There were cats in the airport running around. It was interesting. Bangdung is an interesting place.

Adam Bernard: I’m guessing after all this, if you guys were on The Amazing Race you’d probably win.

Jordan Eckes: I think so. We’re pretty much veteran travelers at this point. We’ve been all over, but we haven’t seen every state in the United States. I still need to see Alaska, and I still need to see Maine. I’ve been to Maine, but as a band, we keep count as a band. The only state I’ve never been to is Alaska. We got to play Hawaii with Mayday Parade, which was awesome.

Adam Bernard: When you tour you spend a lot of time in a cramped van, and I know that can lead arguments, and horrific eating habits. You’ve already told me about one of the latter. Give me another story about either.

Jordan Eckes: We still don’t make that much money, but there was a while when the only thing we could really afford was Subway, so we always ate Subway. We’d get a footlong, eat half of it, have all the condiments on the side, so it didn’t get soggy, and they would just hang in our van. These bags would just be hanging from things. It just smelled like Subway, and now we all hate Subway, and we refuse to go to Subway.

Adam Bernard: Until they give you an endorsement deal.

Jordan Eckes: I don’t even know if I would do it there with an endorsement deal. I think Subway is just one of those places that just kind of put their restaurants in any building. It could be next to like a fuckin laundromat and they’re just like, “This is a prime location!” It’s something about the bread, the smell of the bread, and the bags. It was a long two years of touring with that.

Adam Bernard: What would you say is the most un-rock n roll thing about you?

Jordan Eckes: I’m definitely not much of a partier. I like to stay in and play video games. I’m pretty much the complete opposite of what people probably think I am.

Adam Bernard: Video game-wise, are you a current gamer, or retro gamer?

Jordan Eckes: I’ve always been current, but I’ve been playing video games my whole life.

Adam Bernard: What would you consider your most “payin dues” moment as a band? Would it be the Subway sandwiches hanging down in your car?

Jordan Eckes: There have been so many things that have happened in our band. We were just thrown into it. We got signed in 2009 at Warped Tour. The following summer we were playing Warped Tour, and we had never even played a show for our record label prior to us signing. It was just really like we were just a band who I guess put the right stuff up on MySpace, and we had a cute girl in the band. We were so young at the time, we had no idea. We were just like, let’s do this, we’re gonna go on tour. We had no idea that it was gonna become what it’s become. The fact that we’re playing Highline (Ballroom in NYC), I remember we’ve done so many support tours, this is our first headlining, so the fact that we’re headlining this room, and I think it’s sold out, the bill is awesome, all the bands are amazing.

Adam Bernard: Have you ever supported an act that you didn’t get along with, like a Guns N’ Roses and Metallica situation?

Jordan Eckes: I’m trying to think. We’ve always tried to take something away from every tour that we do. Even this tour we’re taking stuff away from. We’re always learning new things. Like I was saying before, we were an extremely green band, we were just kind of thrown into it, and we pretty much had to learn how to do everything by getting yelled at by other people in other bands, or other crew members. Still, to this day, I still help set some stuff up, and there have been some times recently, in the last two months, where we’ve been on a tour supporting and people are like, “Who the fuck is crossing my BNC (cables)?!?” We still get it. It’s one of those things where you just kind of learn what you’re doing, and it’s the best way. You learn by experience.

Adam Bernard: Who’s been memorable to you because of their kindness?

Jordan Eckes: Aw man, so many bands. All Time Low, they took us under their wing. We were babies. Mayday Parade, Yellowcard, they were on Hopeless (Records), too, so we all had stuff in common in that sense. If we were really bummed about something going on, as far as like behind the scenes (things), we could always have someone to talk to. So yeah, bands like Yellowcard, All Time Low, Mayday Parade, they’ve always been there supporting us, so that’s cool.

Adam Bernard: Finally, in a zombie apocalypse, which Taylor survives longer, your lead singer, Taylor Jardine, pop superstar Taylor Swift, or former gray haired American Idol Taylor Hicks?

Jordan Eckes: Taylor Hicks, absolutely. He’s surviving the whole time, but Taylor (Jardine) might survive because she has read the Zombie Survival Guide. (She and) Cameron (Hurley), they drew maps of where you should go if there’s a zombie outbreak. I forget where I saw it, but it was awesome.

Adam Bernard: So actual precautions have been taken.

Jordan Eckes: They’ve already been taken. There is a large group of people that think there is going to be a zombie apocalypse, and the internet is an unbelievable place to see all these maps.

Adam Bernard: It sounds like the Subway sandwiches have been replaced by maps, diagrams, and episode of Doomsday Preppers.

Jordan Eckes: My mom was totally a doomsday prepper.

Adam Bernard: Really?

Jordan Eckes: Our basement for Y2K was unreal. I still remember, in 1999 our basement was stacked with stuff because everyone thought people were going to go crazy, and there was going to be this huge thing. 2000 came and went, nothing happened. That ended up becoming a pantry area.

Adam Bernard: I was about to say, how long were eating canned food?

Jordan Eckes: Surprisingly, after a few years it was kind of just like ah, whatever, this is where we’ll just stock up. Still, to this day, any house my mom has bought since 2000, we always have a pantry, a large walk-in pantry, just in case.

Interview originally ran on Arena.com.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 1:38 PM  
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