Forever Today Interview in BANGS!

Forever Today
(Speaking with three of the band members from Forever Today: Evan, Jared, and Andrea)
with Song River

Continuing our Summer Highlights series I got the chance to chat with three of the members of the Texas band, Forever Today. With their new EP, Stranger Things, and a summer tour taking place this band of mates is on fire and super stoked about life on the road, their music, and meeting all of their fans! 

Song River: It would seem the beginning paths always comes together from bits and pieces of other things.  From where did each member of Forever Today come from?

Forever Today: Guitarist Evan Morrison decided to put together a project involving vocalist Andrea Young. Little did he know he was getting a package deal with her and the drummer, Jared Overton. A couple of years earlier the duo  had already started a project, called Forever Today. Together these three built the new and improved FT. Four years later they met their other guitarist, Kyle Honnerlaw through a music posting and bassist, Jamie Wilson followed a year after completing the group.

SR: Evan, looking back at 2012, there were four of you? When and why the addition of number five?

Forever Today (Evan): Back in 2012 there were four of us including our old bassist, Arturo Suarez. He left in late 2014 and it wasn't until March of 2015 when Kyle joined making it four again. Originally added as a second guitarist he started on bass to fill the missing piece that had left with Arturo. When Jamie came a year later Kyle was finally able to switch to guitar. 

SR: Bring your whole back story forward. How does where you have been stand with who you are as individuals and as a group?

Forever Today: A group created in Bryan, Texas Forever Today was formed from various other projects. With an Alternative Indie/Rock sound, the band has finally been able to make music their main focus after struggling with the balance of school, work, and music for many years. Love has grown between the group as we continue to grow as friends and family. 

SR: Andrea has her own YouTube channel. Is this how all of you met is through YouTube?

Forever Today (Evan) : Sort of! In 2010 I was actually scrolling through my Facebook news feed and saw that Andrea had posted a new video on YouTube. After watching it I contacted her to see if she would be interested in singing backup vocals for a project I was working on before FT. 

SR: Andrea, this one is for you. Is Etta James, really your favorite all time blues songstress?
Forever Today (Andrea) : Without a doubt! I have a huge love for forties blues and jazz, and I've listened to Etta James since I was really young. She has always been a huge influence for me vocally. 

SR: Andrea do you still try to weave in your blues roots into what you are today in Forever Today?

Forever Today (Andrea): Absolutely. I think the sound we have created and continue to discover, has so many of our musical influences throughout it. Not only through the instrumentals, but lyrically and melodically too. I especially find myself incorporating more blues elements in the newer stuff we've been working on. 

SR: At what age Andrea did you begin vocal training? Your voice sounds a bit like Hayley Williams of Paramore. 

Forever Today (Andrea): Wow, thanks! I've sung for as long as I remember. I think my parents thought it would be just a phase, and it just sort of never ended. Even though I began singing publicly as young as age four, I didn't begin formal vocal training until age eight. I actually just went to my voice teachers 90th birthday party! 

SR: Jared and Evan who have been some of your great influences musically and how do you bring them into Forever Today?

Forever Today (Jared): Jack White is one because I think he is one of the most interesting people in the music industry and it blows me away how he is so talented at every genre of music. I think it is important to be a well-rounded musician which has helped us create unique styles in our songs.

Matt Greener is another, he plays drums for a band called August Burns Red. I’ve had the opportunity to see him play multiple times and was lucky enough to meet him at a Warped Tour a few years back. He is definitely one of the nicest and humble human beings to walk the planet Earth. His playing style is very impressive/unique and I try to emulate it when writing with Forever Today. 

Last but not least I’m going to say Dave Grohl for obvious reasons, who doesn’t love that guy! 

Forever Today (Evan): Growing up my dad always played Classic Rock everywhere we went. Immediately I fell in love with the sounds of Jimi Hendrix. He was the main push towards me learning guitar. 

Later in life I also grew attention towards John Mayer. Both musicians have affected my life in a big way and some of the gear and the sounds I use today are based on the two. 

SR: Who does songwriting work within the group?

Forever Today: We all write our own parts. Someone will start a new song by either bringing what they created to rehearsal and the rest of the band adds to it, or we will sit down as a group and create something together from scratch. 

SR: Your EP, Stranger Things, came out June 16th?

Forever Today: Yes, the release date for our EP was June 16th, 2016. We set up this tour and dedicated it just for this moment in our career so that hundreds of people from many different locations can enjoy this stepping stone with us.

SR: What can you tell us about you new EP?

Forever Today: Our new EP, Stranger Things, has our entire FT life story behind it. It shows our blood, sweat and tears and what we've worked the past five years to accomplish. 

SR: Where was it recorded and who produced it?

Forever Today: The EP was recorded, mixed and mastered in Lyonhart Studios, owned by Evan. We are so fortunate to have access to our personal recording studio!

SR: Being in a band is an expense and its cost is more than just money... there's tons of time!  As together you have invested in Forever Today... what keeps that passion and faith moving for each of you?

Forever Today (Andrea): It is tough, and with as long as some of us have been at this, it can be hard to find the drive to keep moving forward. I think having the right people with you is the most important thing. We all have the same goals, and the chemistry is there. We mess around and give each other a hard time sometimes, but we also try to keep each other motivated and inspired. We also try to do things outside of the band, so we are not only bandmates, but we're friends too.

Forever Today (Jared): One of the biggest things is you can’t just be band-mates, you have to be friends outside of the music aspect of it also. I think that is one of the best things that we have going for us. As for myself, music is one of the most important aspects of my life. I do it everyday both for a living and for fun, I don’t think there will ever be a day where music doesn’t play a role in my everyday life. 

Forever Today (Evan): From recording, mixing, and mastering, to hosting band rehearsals three times a week at my place, it gets very hard playing such an important role in the band to keep us moving forward each day. We struggle from time to time but someone is always there to put us back in line. If you don't have a relationship outside of the band, being friends would be nonexistent. This would become strictly work and I don't believe we would have made it this far. 

SR:  Supporting a release is paramount to its success.  With all the avenues to connect with fans today and garner new fans. Evan, how has Forever Today  found their formula that seems to work best for the band and music?

Forever Today (Evan): Social media is the key! We meet so many new fans at all of our shows but we meet even more online. You have to stay connected with each fan you make by posting constantly or they will fall out of touch with you. We built the anticipation towards our EP through our online pages and hoped that each fan would connect with us at one of our shows because of this. 

SR: Where is this tour leading you, city stops?

Forever Today: Our tour is leading us towards the West Coast! Stops include Bryan, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Lubbock, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Mesa, San Diego, Mission Viejo, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Denver, Wichita, Norman, and Dallas. 

SR: Are there different bands joining you at each stop along the way?

Forever Today: Yes! We have found different local groups for each stop. 

SR:  Summertime in the heat on the road... how do you all keep you cool and sanity on the road?

Forever Today (Andrea): Well, although this is our first extended tour, when we've had road trips before I think just sharing new artists we're into, and talking about music helps us keep our sanity. At least it does for me. Also, finding cool local shops or restaurants in places we've never been before is a fun way to unwind before or after a show. 

Forever Today (Jared): Lots and lots of water! It is your best friend on and off the stage. As far as staying sane goes one of my favorite things to do besides drum is travel so it’s basically a dream come true for me. 

Forever Today (Evan): Sucking up the AC and drinking water! Keeping sanity might be tough. Taking breaks on the road is important. You need to focus on music but at the same time find different things to keep your mind off of it. 

SR: What videos are in the works to support this new EP and when might we start looking for them?

Forever Today: We are actually planning on writing the script for our first video during our tour so that we can focus on it when we get back! The goal is always asap to keep people from waiting. 

SR: As you travel, have you hit that really weird side of the road pit-stop along the way yet that just says, "Hey this is the weirdest roadside stop... we need to shoot a video here!"

Forever Today (Jared): Houston is the first place that comes to mind, specifically the Warehouse District in the downtown area. Austin is a close second. There’s a lot of culture in that area so pretty much everywhere you go there’s a place to do a photoshoot or a music video of some sort.

Forever Today (Andrea): There are definitely more than a couple sketchy but cool looking abandoned and run down places on the side of the road that we've passed here in Texas that I'd love to shoot a video at. I'm excited to see some cool places when we head out too! 

Forever Today (Evan): Austin and Houston have very interesting Art Districts that would make great music videos. I'm excited to explore new spots along the way for ideas such as future video locations. 

SR: If you could put together a 'perfect' show to go and see... what three bands would be a must in the lineup to be in the audience to hear?

Forever Today (Andrea): This is a tough question. If we could pick artists that no longer play or have deceased members, I'd choose probably Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Etta James. That would be an amazing show. For current/active artists, it's hard to choose just 3, but probably Death Cab for Cutie, City and Colour, and From Indian Lakes. I've been into all of those bands pretty consistently.

Forever Today (Jared): That's definitely the toughest question, there are so many good bands out there. If I had to pick three I’d have to go with Balance and Composure, Pvris, and Citizen. If you haven’t heard of any of them check them out, you won’t be disappointed. 

Forever Today (Evan): Easy. Mutemath, Circa Survive and 1975. 

Forever Today Fun Facts:

  • Favorite Tour Food Stop?

So far my favorite food stop has been Kerbey Lane in Austin, Texas. We went there at like 2 am after a SXSW show and it was delicious. They have some pretty unique plates that are well worth trying. -Jared

I don't think we have an all time favorite yet. If I had to pick, I'd probably say Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin, or Tacos a go-go in Houston. But can't wait to discover more places on the tour! -Andrea

Five Guys! Along with Kerbey Lane but I'm sure that will change when we head out on tour. -Evan

  • How often do you get to do laundry when on tour?

Hopefully enough to where people actually wanna meet us after we come off of the stage. -Andrea

As often as we can. Nobody likes a smelly band! -Jared

We better do it a few times to stay clean and not have the flies buzzing around us on stage. That would be gross! -Evan

  • Andrea, how is it working, playing and traveling with a bunch of guys?

I've always been the kind of girl who gets along well with guys, and has a lot of guy friends, so it isn't that weird for me. Plus they are all like brothers to me so we can joke around too. -Andrea

  • Guys, how is it working, playing and traveling with a girl?

Andrea is like one of the guys so it’s no different from traveling with the other dudes. I think it’s cool that we are able to bring something a little different to the table having a female as a lead singer in the rock/alternative world. She has also been a good friend of mine for a several years so that helps too. -Jared

What girl? Andrea is just another one of the dudes! She has become our sister over the many years together. -Evan

  • Who is the early morning riser out of the group?

I’m definitely an early riser. Part of it has to do with work and the other half is just trying to be proactive about the day. If not me then I’d say Andrea, I know she’s a busy bee. -Jared

Probably me for sure, and probably Jared too.  -Andrea

I'm not up early enough to know. I would figure Jared or Andrea. - Evan

  • Socks or no socks with shoes?

I never wear shoes without socks. I even have tiny Vans "no show" socks for my slip-on's and more low-profile shoes. -Andrea

I’m a sock guy. The shoes I typically wear are made to be worn without socks but I wear them anyways but don’t tell anyone. - Jared

Socks for sure. I think my feet would start to smell since I wear old vans everywhere I go. -Evan

  • Board games or video games? 

That’s a tough one. I think I’m going to have to go with video games because you're able to play with friends/people who live halfway across the country and it’s like they’re right beside you playing. -Jared

I do love a good board game, but I feel like they never end. People usually end up just giving up halfway through. So I'm gonna have to go with video games. -Andrea

Video games but the older kind. Nintendo 64 and Gamecube are my only choices. -Evan

  • Vinyl or stream of your favorite bands?

Let me just throw the hipster card and say it, vinyl of course. -Andrea

Vinyl definitely, I think it’s the best physical form of music you can get. I could go on for days talking about vinyl and the importance of it.- Jared

Vinyl for sure. I enjoy a hands-on experience with new and old music. -Evan

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