Assuming We Survive Interview
The M15 3/1/14
Whoever says pop-punk is dead obviously has never heard Assuming We Survive. Formed in 2007 and based in California’s Inland Empire, Assuming We Survive sure knows how to rock a stage. They have opened for bands like Bad Religion, and Alkaline Trio and played festivals like MusInk, Monster’s Aftershock Festival, Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, X103.9’s Merry Meltdown, and the Vans Warped Tour. They keep packing shows because of their energy on and off stage, along with a positive attitude. They put in the work supporting local California bands, and now it’s time once again for Assuming We Survive to head out on tour. For their Inland Empire Strikes Back Tour, Assuming We Survive invited local bands Low Life Music, Cromwell, Dose of Adolescence and One Hundred Proof to travel the U.S. with them to help local music become national music, and show just how dedicated California rock fans are to their music scene. Soundcheck411 writer, Eric Walden caught up with members of Assuming We Survive before they hit the stage at the M15 in Corona opening for Alien Ant Farm to talk about the IE Strikes Back tour, and how they are supporting local music.
Adrian Estrella – Vocals
Joe Lawson – Bass
Phil Adams – Guitar
Eric: Assuming we Survive is about half way through the Inland Empire Strikes Back Tour full of awesome local bands. Who are some other local (California) bands people need to hear?
Phil: Well there are bands that are doing well that we know, like Night Versus. In my eyes they are local because we know them, but they are doing national and world wide tours.
Joe: Our buddies Heroes and Thieves
Phil: I think they broke up.
Joe: No one told me that…
Adrian: Well Cromwell, Dose of Adolescence, Low Life Music, and One Hundred Proof are local bands touring with us now, but Behind the Fallen are definitely a band to keep an eye on, but the key is to go to every local show.
Joe: Return of the Jedi, just for the title. He becomes a Jedi, he becomes a super wicked Jedi in that movie. [I’m] Looking forward to the new movies, I don’t know… Maybe not.
Adrian: Honestly the first three movies, so episodes 4, 5, and 6. Those will always be the best. I never can just watch one of them. I have to sit down and watch all three.
Eric: Would you guys be Jedi Knights or Sith Lords and why?
Joe: I’d be a Jedi Knight because I am a believer of goodness. It’s all about positivity. I don’t like darkness or evil except for Halloween once and a while, but I want to protect people.
Eric: Assuming We Survive opened up for Mest a little while ago at the House of Blues Anaheim. What was the most memorable part of that show?
Adrian: I got to play with them! Twice! I got to play one of my favorite songs, and it just felt good because in Germany when I was 16 or 17, I got their first record, and I would literally just sit in my living room playing my guitar to their C.D. full blast. My mom was totally cool about it so doing that was like a dream come true.
Phil: And our old bass player played for them.
Phil: We are doing an online battle of the bands but it will be harder this year because we have done it consecutively. We don’t want to wear out our fans, but it’s cool and something we always strive to be on. Everyone likes to be on tour and we have been doing our best to get there other ways.
Joe: We will always continue to work hard, and Warped Tour is something we will are always stoked to be a part of. We have been on Warped before, but something where we play a few dates is a goal of ours which we will continue to strive for. We love Warped tour and everything it is about. Some of the bands who played previous years are our heroes so it is always an honor.
Adrian: The two dates we have played were such an honor. Playing the full Warped Tour or even more than one day is still a huge goal for us. We are going to do whatever we can to make that happen whether it’s a battle of the bands or begging Kevin Lyman to put us on the tour, whatever it takes. I would clean up all the trash after every warped show if we have to.
Eric: Assuming we Survive just unveiled a whole bunch of new merch for this tour. What merch from other bands do you guys like to rock on stage?
Joe: I’m Wearing I Omega right now.
Adrian: The City Shake Up
Phil: Ya, Those guys are awesome.
Adrian: They are from Australia, and we met those guys on Warped Tour last year. They are super good dudes and they are actually on the full tour again this year. I’m super stoked for them, and I love their shirt. I literally always rock that shirt.
Joe: He wears it every day for months at a time. We start being creeped out by it but than we are like; I don’t know man, He’s in the drive.
Phil: I bought a Cromwell shirt the other day.
Joe: It’s incredible, we are grateful. We love X 103.9 because they support local music, and they have been supporting us pretty much since the beginning.
Eric: Do you notice a difference in your fan base?
Phil: It’s hard to notice a difference, but we know it is there. We might not see that response right away, but over time I think we will notice the difference. Every once and a while we have a fan come up and say “Hey, I heard you on the radio” and that’s always cool.
Eric: You guys are also scheduled to play a benefit show for Tumani International after this tour supporting aids orphans in Kenya. If you guys could go on an African safari which animal would you be most excited to go see?
Adrain: Lion for sure
Phil: Lion would be cool
Joe: I’m going to go giraffe
Eric: This is about the 10th time I have seen Assuming We Survive play, and sometimes Adrian rides out in the crowd on a giant surfboard. When is the best time to actually go surfing?
Joe: You want to go during the El Nino at Morro Bay about ten years ago. I was there and I had a great time. I didn’t drown or anything.
Eric: A Day to Remember is doing some more stuff with Jeremy’s giant hamster ball, and crowd surfers standing on other crowd surfers. How are you guys going to compete with A Day to Remember’s crazy stunts and fan base?
Joe: Don’t quote me, but we teamed up with NASA so…
Phil: We’re all going to surf and play at the same time. Or we will just bring out a giant water hose like firemen and soak everyone.
Joe: That might drown the entire crowd.
Eric: You guys should play a waterpark on your next tour. Or hotels in Vegas have crazy shows at hotel pool parties.
Phil: But there have to be chicken fights while we are playing.
Joe: Totally, I’m in!
Eric: Assuming We Survive just entered a contest to play Welcome to Rockville in Florida. What will you guys be packing to make Florida Survivable?
Joe: Snack packs and Lunchables.
Phil: Bringing the surf board for sure!
Joe: Shark repellent!
Phil: The thing about those battle of the bands is we try and enter as many as possible. We don’t expect to win or anything, but we have won a fair share. It’s more for exposure. If we get fans in Florida whether we win or lose we’ll be happy. It’s a good way to reach out to those areas.
Adrian: We’ve actually made friends with a bunch of people in other bands from those contests so it’s already a win in my book.
Eric: do you guys think the Inland Empire Strikes back tour is giving these local bands the exposure they need, or would they be better off on a larger tour with no fans?
Adrian: It’s all about groundwork. It’s more real that way, when you put in the footwork and you do smaller tour with bands from your area you gain peers. If you are working as a team along the tour it actually shows the whole music scene and community. All that working class stuff leads to bigger and better tours.
Phil: It’s more to get our legs stretched out but this tour is to show we are still here, still strong, and still doing our own thing. There is a good group of us with different sounds on this tour as well. There is pop rock, and hip hop influences on this tour with Low Life Music. It is nice to tour in a new area with no fans, especially with bigger bands because you can make hundreds and hundreds of fans, but that’s not the goal of this tour. It’s to show we are still here and doing our thing.
Phil: Well it’s somewhat hipster down here.
Joe: Ya… But I like Kelly Clarkson so that’s all good. I really do enjoy Kelly Clarkson so judge me or whatever, but overall I don’t hear enough that really gets me going like heavy faster punk or metal. That may be just the mainstream stations, but X1039 plays metal blocks and local bands. All in all I’m not too psyched on what modern rock stations are playing.
Phil: I now KROQ had some harder sounds in the 80’s and 90’s but it’s different now. I get that they stay with what is relevant and what listeners want, but it makes it hard for people on the underground to listen to the radio because of new rock.
Joe: I think we can sum it up to this. Radio stations: more Metallica.
Eric: Lastly is there anything Assuming We Survive would like to say to the Soundcheck411 readers?
Phil: Thank you for reading.
Adrian: If you are reading you’re already supporting local music, so you’re already awesome!
Joe: Ya, so thank you.
Adrian: If you keep that up and spread any band that you know by going to shows and supporting local music, because that is how local music becomes national music.