Interview: Four Year Strong

joe zorzi speaks the white-hot band …

I’d be lying if I said that Four Year Strong wasn’t one of my favorite bands. I’ve always been a sucker for duel vocalists. Since copping my free download of Rise or Die Trying when the band signed to Decaydance in early ’08, I was in love. Four Year Strong wasn’t doing anything groundbreaking, but they played their brand of fast, aggressive pop-punk and played it really, really well.

Since then, they’ve been continuing to evolve. In 2010, they released their third full length album, Enemy Of The World, which was another great, ‘in your face’ pop-punk album.

Four Year Strong's Alan Day.
Photo: Michael Bush.

In April of 2011, the band announced that synth/keyboard player Josh Lyford would be leaving, which was quite upsetting to many fans. It seemed, to me at least, to be an understandable move. The band wanted to go in a new direction and the synths were better off left in the past.

We were promised a rockin’ new album by the end of the year, and many were skeptical. But boy, did Four Year Strong deliver. They released their fourth proper full length In Some Way, Shape, or Form on Nov. 8, 2011. The album shows the band taking on a new sound with their classic Four Year Strong edge. With a lot of obvious influence from artists like the Foo Fighters, the album really proved to people that the is capable of writing songs outside of their normal comfort zone.

I had the privilege of asking guitarist/vocalist Alan Day a few questions about where the band is at now and what their writing process was like for the album.

Pop-Break: Four Year Strong has progressed a lot with each album, and it’s especially noticeable with the newest one. What were the biggest influences on the sound of In Some Way, Shape Or Form?

Alan Day: On this record, we wrote some darker songs, some heavier slower songs, some faster songs; we wrote songs with all-around different dynamics that we’ve never really touched before. Everything we’ve done as a band built up to this record. We just put so much into it. It’s something we wanted to do for a long time. We just had tons of fun making it.

PB: What bands do you guys jam to when you’re on tour?

AD: Tom Petty is my favorite artist of all time and another favorite is Bon Iver.

PB: “Heaven Wasn’t Built To Hold Me” is a sick song, probably my favorite off the new album. What was the inspiration lyrically?

AD: Thank you. The song is kind of based on organized religion and how some people push that on others, and it’s not completely necessary. We just feel that no matter what you believe, there’s no reason to push your beliefs on someone else. We’ve always had the mindset of “to each his own.” If you believe in something, that’s great! But if you don’t, that’s fine too! That’s kind of what that’s all about. Musically when we wrote that song I think we were listening to a lot of Silverchair [laughs], so that’s kind of where we got that. We just wanted a cool live song. We’ve never written a kind of slower tempo, song like that.

PB: What would be your dream tour?

AD: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Blink 182, Kings Of Leon, Coldplay, Bon Iver, and then us headlining.

PB: Where do you see Four Year Strong in 10 years?

AD: Having at career still playing music.

PB: How long does it take you to grow your beards?

AD: No revealing our secrets!

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