interview: Kassie Salas
photo: Natalie Bisignano
Backwards Dancer is currently on tour, in support of their self-titled LP released on Rory Records with Say Anything. Following their Phoenix, Arizona date, Kassie Salas chatted with the band through e-mail.
The Grey Estates: To start things off, I just need to tell you guys how much I loved your set here in Phoenix. I wasn't sure what to expect, but as soon as you were finished I was completely blown away by how emotional and powerful the lyrics and instrumentals were. Thank you so much for blessing AZ with your music!
On to the questions, how surreal was it to be asked to join Say Anything on their 10 year anniversary tour for In Defense of the Genre?
Backwards Dancer: It's honestly beyond surreal, I've been listening to Say Anything religiously since I was 13 and I'm 24 now. I definitely grew up with all of Max's songs and its wild to be his friend now, he's the real deal.
Were there any moments of nervousness before tour actually began?
Tour is always something you have to prepare for in all aspects of your life, so there is naturally an underlying nervousness that keeps you on your feet and focused.
Are there any plans on pressing your self-titled onto vinyl, or is it going to be strictly available in CD and digital format?
We are actually putting out vinyl in a couple weeks so we should have them available for the second half of tour! They will also be available to purchase online! I'm excited cause there is new album art, so keep your eyes peeled!
You unveiled a new song during your set here in PHX, does that mean we can be expecting a brand new album in the upcoming year, along with a headlining tour?
We've been writing some new songs, I want them to come naturally so we're going to take our time with it the second time around. We will be releasing new music at some point.
When it comes to your album the lyrics tell different stories that are filled with an emotional punch. Is there a certain mindset, or period in time that you have to place yourself in, in order to emulate the same emotion live?
I try to focus on my performance and playing the songs well, when I get to certain lines they definitely trigger certain emotions that are connected to the songs.
Let's say you're listening to your own music with a fresh set of ears, what song (from any of your albums) would you recommend new listeners to start off with?
I would recommend "I Wish I Could Have", "Vanishing, Panicking", and "Forever". They seem to be the songs I go back to and enjoy playing live the most.
Are there certain bands that you grew up with that made you want to pursue a career in music?
Definitely. Say Anything first off, Saves the Day, Green Day, and Conor Oberst were huge for me.
Touring and play shows day after day seems like it can take a toll on a person, are there any rituals you do after a set in order to regain energy?
I usually try to take a few minutes to collect myself and rest. It's super important to make sure you don't wear yourself too thin.
Since signing to Rory Records, how has it effected your professional music career and personal lives?
It is definitely motivating and we are super lucky to have the support and team of people working along side of us. It feels amazing how what used to be a childhood dream has become true.
Is there a certain song that hold top priority in every single setlist?
I really like playing the new song every night and testing how its going to be received.
What's one piece of Massachusetts that you just had to bring along on tour?
I think my pillow, probably.
Us here at TGE find ourselves to be connoisseurs of doughnuts and coffee, especially when it comes to Dunkin Donuts. What's your favorite place and go to order for a nice cup of joe, and a doughnut?
There's this doughnut chain in the town where I'm from called "Dippin' Donuts" its like a family chain version of dunkins. There's also a place called N&J's and anyone from Worcester county can attest to the pizza bagel.
Is there a certain state that you're excited to visit on tour?
I'm really excited to see Seattle. I've been told I will love it by pretty much everyone I know who has gone there.