Before their set at this years Groezrock Festival, Dan Campbell a.k.a. Soupy from The Wonder Years sat down to have a chat with us about their upcoming UK tour and his love for Nandos!
The Wonder Years previously played Groezrock Festival in 2012 and that was on the Etnies Stage, are you glad to be back on that stage?
Yeah, they actually moved us and we asked to move back. They had us on the Impericon Stage so we told them that we’d like to be on the one where the people can stage-dive from and they moved us back over there. We had such a good time that we wanted to go back over there!
Your latest album ‘The Greatest Generation’ got some incredible feedback, what’s the writing process behind your albums?
Erm, everybody writes together is probably the easiest answer, we bring in little parts and we all put them together and do a song. We go into a room, we don’t lock the room but there is a room and if we wanna leave then we can always leave! It’s not strict.
I have no idea! I got nothing, I don’t know man!
What’s been a highlight of your musical career so far?
A couple of days in a row about a week and a half ago, we played a show at a place called The Electric Factory, it’s like the biggest venue in Philadelphia for bands like us and we sold out like 9 weeks in advance maybe? Two and a half months in advance. Being on stage there was really cool. Also, later that week, we played a place in Times Square called Best Buy Theater and in the middle of Times Square there was our faces on a big billboard that was kinda lit up, that was kinda cool too!
What’s the first CD you ever bought?
Boyz ll Men – Cooleyhighharmony.
The Wonder Years have an upcoming UK tour.
Yeah, like next week!
Are you looking forward to that?
I am! I do like the UK but I have to adjust to the time zone, I’m not adjusted yet so I’m still really tired and I’m eating at weird times and sleeping at weird times but it’ll be good! By the time we get to England, I should be awake and ready. I’m gonna try and eat Nando’s every day, that’s the goal for the tour, I am a big Nando’s fan! I think that it is the finest chain food establishment in the United Kingdom so I’ll be there daily.
Well I’ll see you at your Nottingham date!
Nottingham is kinda North-East side of the island right? It’s near Norwich maybe? I think that was the one, when we first started touring over here… it’s not super far from Whisby right? I’ll figure it out! I used to book all our tours over here [England] when we didn’t have a booking agent, I would have to figure out how to do all the drives and how to route the tours, so I know about some weird places! We’ve played Watford a couple of times, I’ve been to Watford, I’ve been to Whisby, we’ve played Exeter, we’ve done it all! I think actually our first show ever in England was in Exeter.
The Wonder Years are playing Reading and Leeds Festival this year!
We are, our first ever time at Reading and Leeds!
Are you excited for it?
I actually don’t even know, I’ve never even seen a picture of it before so…
It’s bigger than Groezrock.
I have a feeling, I kinda got the vibe that we weren’t even big enough to be able to play it so I guess I’m excited to give it a shot and I hope it goes well for us! We do well at festivals like Slam Dunk and Hit The Deck where it’s kind of like our world a little bit so I get a little nervous thinking at the scale of it because it’s like Paramore and Queens of the Stone Age headlining which is a little bit more out of… you know, they’re more in the eye of the general public than we would be.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Motion City Soundtrack gave me some good advice. It’s kinda about the idea of not abandoning your audience so like at a certain point of their career they thought they wanted to do something different and play for different people and then they came around to the idea that that was pretty stupid pretty quickly and you should play for the people that wanna hear you play so I guess that’s good advice – play for the people that want you. I’m not trying to impress anybody outside of what we’re doing, I’m lucky enough that we have fans so I’m not gonna be like ‘Well I’d rather have these kinds of fans’ or ‘I’d rather go on tour with Chvrches’, that’s not our thing, we just wanna play music.
Do you have a favourite song to play live?
A song called ‘The Devil In My Bloodstream’, that’s my favourite one to play live. I just love the song, I love the style, I love the impact it makes – it’s a quiet piano song for the first minute forty-five seconds and then it kicks into like everybody’s with me.
Do you have a hidden talent?
No, I don’t think so. Let me think… I can’t imagine what my hidden talent would be, I mean I do a lot of the business stuff for the band so like merchandise allocation and things like that I guess. I guess that’s a skill-set!
Are The Wonder Years thinking about the next album yet?
You’re like the third person to ask me today so I guess I should be! The Greatest Generation hasn’t even been out for a year so… I guess we’ll start thinking about it!
Everyone was just so impressed with that album that they want more!
Yeah, thank you! Well, we’ll get on it!
You have previously said that you don’t plan on playing songs off Get Stoked on It!
I wouldn’t say that we would never but why would we? There’s no reason to, we have so many songs, we have three full-lengths and like another full-length full of b-sides of songs that are better than that record so if you get to go on stage and you’re only gonna get the chance to play, headlining, 18 songs, well I’ve already got 60/55 songs to choose from before I even think about that record so why would I be thinking about the songs that I don’t think are good? And then also by all metrics are the least listened to, it’s the least bought record, it’s the least downloaded record, least played record, songs are streamed the least on all streaming services by every demographic and every metric. People don’t know those songs so I would like to play the songs that I think the people know. There’s a chance that maybe someday we’ll play one of them again, but I just don’t see a reason to right now. By all logic, it wouldn’t make sense to play them.
Interview by Jess Pearson
For further information on The Wonder Years, check out…
10th May – Queen Margaret’s Union (QMU), Glasgow (UK)
11th May – Fibber Magees, Dublin (IR)
13th May – O2 Academy 2, Liverpool (UK)
14th May – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (UK)
15th May – The Haunt, Brighton (UK)
16th May – Tivoli, Utrecht (NL)
17th May – Dynamo, Eindhoven (NL)
Listen to ‘The Greatest Generation’ on Spotify below…