The Leftovers; a punchy pop punk trio from Portland, Maine come back to UK shores as one of the bands on Bowling For Soup's Party In Your Pant's tour 2009.
We had the chance to pitch some questions about the forthcoming tour and their latest record to bassist and vocalist Kurt Baker.
How are you looking forward to the tour?
We are so excited to be touring England again! We are going to be playing some of our biggest shows yet, so it's going to be a wicked fun time. Also, we love all the awesome people in England, and the wild crisp flavors!
How about your tour mates, are you looking forward to being out on the road with them?
Bowling for Soup are awesome guys. We got a chance to open up for them on a few dates in Texas for their 15th anniversary and we drank so much beer and laughed so much! I'm expecting more of that in England!
What do you do to make audiences remember you? There are four bands on the tour so how are you going to make yourselves stand out?
Our guitar player Matt might get totally naked! Haha, well hopefully we will be able to get everybody dancing and warmed up for all the other bands that we are opening up for. Expect some funny stage banter, lots of jumping around and be ready to dance your pants off!
You've played a lot of shows, has there been a favourite or a memorable one?
We have played some wonderful shows... always great shows in St.Louis, or down in Boston... even Belgium! But one of our all time favorite shows was in Baltimore last summer.. we played at the Insubordination Records Pop Punk Fest, and it was just wild. Picture everybody going nuts and beers, shoes and bodies flying everywhere! What a blast!
How about over here in the UK, is there any that you're looking forward to playing – either having played before or just on what you've heard about a city?
London will be amazing! We love London. Birmingham will be a blast, we are a huge fan of English rock n' roll, so just playing in a town like Birmingham, where ELO started is an honor for us! I mean, crap we are just so happy to be playing in a country that gave us our favorite band, the Beatles! We've never been to Ireland so Dublin will be a trip too!
What are the main differences between UK and US audiences?
We noticed that UK audiences seem to have a bit more fun at shows than us Americans! When we toured England in 2006, audiences and fans were so nice and friendly to us too!
What do you like most about touring?
We love everything about touring... meeting our fans, going to parties, playing in different towns every night and learning about all the funky things about each town we go to. Every place has their own little sub-cultures and we find that so interesting. We even like driving the van to each town! There is not much that we don't like about touring... I think that's why we do it so much!
How would you describe The Leftovers?
Part "That Thing You Do", part "Rocket to Russia" by the Ramones, add some "Meet the Beatles" and "Dookie" and you have The Leftovers!
How would you describe each other individually?
Adam, our drummer is the business man and the brains. He gets our stuff organized and kinda manages us.. he's also wicked behind the kit. Andrew, our guitar player is reliable and never misses a note.. he's the glue that keeps the band together. Matt, our lead guitar player is the wild man, he's also the mechanic and a true rock n roller. Kurt, (that's me) on bass.. well I love to party and sing songs and be goofy.
Your record 'Eager To Please' was released earlier this year, could you tell us a little about it?
"Eager to Please" is our new record that was recorded in LA and produced by Linus of Hollywood. It features some really amazing guest musicians like Brett Anderson from the Donnas, Perry Gripp from Nerf Herder, Kim Shattuck from the Muffs, Coz Canler from the Romantics and more! It's got 14 fun, poppy rock n' roll tunes that should make you bob your head and smile! Pick up a copy!
When you're writing where do you get inspiration from for the songs?
Haha, well most of our songs are about girls. We like girls a lot... except the ones that don't return our phone calls.... then we write songs about it! That's a win-win situation!
How do you think this record compares with your past releases?
"Eager to Please" has so much more going on production wise. We added a lot more back ups, handclaps, pianos, hammond organ and lots of different sounding tones to make the record sound really special. Our last release "On the Move" was a straight up punk rock n' roll record.. lots of energy. We played everything live on that one.. we spent a lot more time on "Eager to Please"... trying to make it the best it could be and I think it shows.
Who would you say your influences are?
Our sound is influenced by the bands we love like The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Ramones, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, the Romantics and the Queers.
How do you think you've developed and progressed as a band from the early days to now?
Starting out.. we were still trying to figure out what we wanted to sound like. Our first couple albums had a lot of past punk rock on it... none of us could really sing that well either haha. But over the years we have been able to really find our signature sound and style that we feel totally comfortable playing... we have been trying to go for this kind of power pop style, lots of 60's influence but with lots of energy. We finally have figured it out and thats what we have been doing sound wise on the last couple records.
If you could wake up tomorrow and have anything, what would the ultimate dream be?
Well, haha that's easy.. a Llama farm! We have a huge backyard at our house that we all live at. Llamas are pretty funny and they seem like cool animals to be around. But seriously, all of us guys in the Leftovers feel really super lucky to be doing what we do... playing in a band, touring around the world and releasing records. We couldn't ask for more. We're living the dream!
What's next for The Leftovers?
After our tour with BFS, Zebrahead and MC Lars in England, we head over to mainland Europe for shows in Holland, Belgium, France, Italy and Spain. It's going to be a great time. After that we go back to the USA where we will do a couple of weeks with the Queers on the East Coast and the Midwest and that will wrap 2009 for us. A busy year. Hopefully in 2010 we can get over to Japan.. or maybe come back to England! A new record may be in the works too!
And finally, if you had to sum up your journey so far, what would you say?
"That was a blast, now lets eat some pizza!"