UTG INTERVIEW: Tonight Alive Continue International Success With Sophomore LP

Tonight Alive interview

Female-fronted Australian rock act Tonight Alive have been making tremendous waves with the release of their sophomore record, The Other Side. Far from a sophomore slump, The Other Side, is a dark and emotional record, full of musical and lyrical twists and turns. The band are fresh off off last summer’s Vans Warped Tour and are headlining their own American club tour with support from Echosmith, The Downtown Fiction and For The Foxes.

UTG had the chance to catch up with Jake and Whakaio while out on ‘The Other Side’ tour to talk about everything from the stellar new record to the growth of the band’s American success. Check out the interview by hitting the “Read More” button.

Hi, guys! You’ve been out on the headlining tour for quite some time now. How has this run been? 

Whakaio: It’s been really, really cool. It’s different, because it’s a lot more tiring. Normally, when we headline in the UK or in Australia it’s for 12 or 15 days and here it’s 30 so playing for an hour every night- gets a bit tiring. But it’s been awesome.

I saw where you sold out your first headlining show in America on this tour, at Webster Hall in New York City. Congratulations! How was that experience?

Jake: Thank you, dude. It was an incredible show. Honestly, it rivaled the shows we have back home.

Whakaio: It was definitely a moment for all of us. It was one of our favorite shows for sure.

Jake: We all got off stage and hugged each other and had one of those moments, [laughs].

When I listen to The Other Side, I feel it is a natural progression from the last record. How has the reaction been and are you satisfied with the result? 

Jake: A lot of kids have been saying we get better with each release, which is what we wanted. We feel the same way, we’ve been stoked with the reaction we’ve had from the kids.

Whakaio: The new songs have been going over better than the old songs, which is a great sign. We sold over 8,000 here in the first week. It’s been crazy, really. Obviously, when you record an album you’re nervous about what people will think and this album did end up being different than the first one. But I haven’t seen any bad feedback at all, which is rare these days.

What’s it like having that international success? You charted in Australia (#5 on the Australian Recording Industry Assisociation chart) and in America (#15 on the U.S. Rock Billboard chart).

Whakaio: It’s definitely something we didn’t expect at all. We just did the record and hoped for the best, but for that to happen and for us to go into this headliner off of it is the best we could hope for.

Jake: It’s insane to get recognition in each territory we can hit. We are more than ecstatic about it.

You’ve been over in America for the good portion of the year, are you ready to head home? 

Jake: We’re ready for Christmas and to have some time off, [laughs]. We’re excited, man. It’s summer back home, and it’s winter here, [laughs].

In the past, you had collaborated with some fantastic artists, such as Mark Hoppus and Benji Madden, but we don’t see that on The Other Side. Any reason for not bringing anyone in? 

Whakaio: We didn’t want collaboration on this record because we wanted it to be 100 percent us.

I think, for the first time in our career, this album was exactly where we wanted to be and we knew what we wanted to be. We just wanted it to be 100 percent us. 

Jake: We also felt like we’d already collaborated with so many artists we wanted to work with growing up.

You’ve had two cool videos to go with this record. Where do these ideas come from?

Whakaio: We do all the treatments, so we come up with all of the ideas and we find a director we want to work with. We got the first cut (of “Lonely Girl,” the first video off of The Other Side) back, and we’re always so nervous when we get the first cut back, and we watched and we were like, “this is awesome.” And “Come Home,” we did at the end of Warped Tour and it was more of a fun thing. We had a lot of beers [laughs], and the concept was really fun and it was a really great day. It came off really well and you can tell.

What’s next, guys? 

Jake: We fly straight home and we have one day off and then we hop on the Australian leg of Warped Tour, which hasn’t been there for 11 years so it’s going to be pretty interesting to see how that turns out. We’re really excited.

Whakaio: Then we have Christmas off and a bit of January off and then we’re back here and then back to the U.K. and all that kind-of stuff.


Written and conducted by: Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt)

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