MPR: You had a pretty big announcement recently, a brand new single and an album to follow in July. Is "Words As Weapons" kind of a good indication of what we can expect from the rest of the album?
Dale: I think so. Yeah, it’s pretty much kind of along those lines. There’s a lot of dynamics on the album as well. We’ve never been a band that wants to have a kinda monotone album, we like to play some really heavy stuff, some mellow style and then everything in between I guess. But yeah “Words As Weapons” we actually recorded that song last year. We wanted to record 3 songs to put on our greatest hits package that we released last year and that was one of those songs. We ended up actually holding that one back because we liked it so much we didn’t wanna essentially throw it away on the greatest hits thing. So we kept that for the album and I guess it kind of sets the tone for the album and what we’re setting out to do. Ended up becoming the first single so we’re happy we held onto that one cause we love the song.
MPR: What made you decide to do a greatest hits album?
Dale: Our record label at the time. Honestly we were kind of resistant to do that. I dunno, I guess we felt like it was a way for them to cash in and we didn’t think that was cool, you know, it was a douche move. I mean our fans own the stuff already so why should they buy it again. We weren’t really happy with that.
MPR: Is that why you decided to put 3 new tracks on there?
Dale: That’s the thing, if we were gonna do it we wanted to at least release demos and some new stuff, odds and ends so they weren’t just buying old stuff again. It was kind of a compromise that we came to. That’s why we put a dog crapping on the cover, cause we were like ‘fuck this’.
MPR: I did wonder about that
Dale: Yeah it was kinda just like fuck you guys, really, we’re doing this? So we put a dog shitting.
MPR: On that album you also covered Veruca Salt's "Seether". What made you finally decide to cover that one?
Dale: Actually we needed a song after we decided to keep “Words As Weapons” off and we’d been talking about covering it for a while. That’s actually where we got our name from and we were like yeah this is the perfect opportunity. So we went into the studio in New Hampshire and just pumped it out in a day, it turned out really cool. Good energy, that kinda thing. It’s a cool song, it’s just fun. Kind of a happy one.
MPR: Aside from it being annoying that you had to do the greatest hits thing, is it a surreal feeling to look back and realize that you have enough hits to put an album together with them?
Dale: Yeah actually looking back and going through stuff, I kind of find myself wondering where did the time go. When did I get so old and decrepit. No but it’s been good, it’s been a pretty crazy journey. If you said to me 12, 14, whatever years ago that we’d be at this point and still doing this successfully, I might not have believed you. But it’s pretty cool. On the one hand another reason we didn’t wanna put it out is cause it almost seems like that’s what a band does at the end of their career. But when we did it we’re like no we’re still doing it, we’re still writing and recording music, touring. We’re planning on just keeping going. So we don’t want it to be like oh they’re done, there’s their greatest hits to prove it. But hopefully that’s not the case. Looking back it’s pretty amazing.
MPR: With so many songs now is it getting hard to put together your set list?
Dale: Yeah it’s kind of tricky. I guess it’s a good problem to have, having 15 or 16 singles that people wanna hear from the radio. You can’t play ‘em all you’ve just gotta pick the favorites. And also sometimes at a festival like this you wanna play some of the heavier stuff, there’s heavier bands playing so you wanna get that stuff out, but you’ve gotta play the stuff from the radio. Those songs are kinda mellow cause the radio always plays the kinda softer songs and we want to play the really heavy screaming stuff. So it’s tough sometimes. But we pretty much have it down what we’re gonna do and we have fun with it.
MPR: The band recently started it's own festival, Rise Above Fest. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Dale: Rise Above Fest was something we initially started to raise money and raise awareness for suicide prevention. We partnered up with a group called Save and basically we just want to do it annually from here on out. Basically we’re just raising money, letting kids know that there’s people you can talk to, places you can go to deal with this kind of stuff. People have been great, a lot of people donated stuff, a lot of friends jumped on the bill like Avenged. So it's been good, everyone's been supportive so I think it's gonna be good. Some pretty cool auctions and raffles and stuff.
MPR: Every band does pranks on tour, but you guys seem to be pretty good when it comes to them. What's your favorite so far?
Dale: Oh man. We've done a lot of stuff. I forget which band it was but we lined their whole bus with lunch meat while they were playing inside one time. I think my favourite one was I went out in a women's unitard when Evanescence was playing once. Yeah it was disgusting. I was pretty chubby at the time. Actually I think my favorite one was on the last day of the 3 Doors Down tour, this was way back in like 2003. We stopped at Wal-Mart one night. You know when you do a drunken Wal-Mart run we're like "we need stuff" and the bus driver stopped at 3am, we were there hammered and left with like a crossbow and a 6 pack, just random shit. But I found little kiddie pajamas, Superman PJs. So I bought those. They were for like an 8 year old or something. So anyway they were doing "Kryptonite" as the last song of the set and I ran out, somehow crammed into these little kiddie PJs. It was pretty funny, they almost fucked the song up. I also shoved a big italian sausage down one of the pant legs, important point not to leave out. Yeah it's fun, we've been slacking lately.
MPR: I saw you a few years back on the last night of the tour with Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin. A bunch of the guys came out dressed in drag on "Broken", it was pretty funny.
Dale: Was that when they pied us in the face?
MPR: Yep! And "Brokeback Benjamin".
Dale: Shaun and I were.. being intimate.. behind the curtain. Yep I remember that.