MTV Radio: How did this all get started?
Jason Wade: I moved to L.A. when I was 15 and I met Sergio. He was just starting to play bass, and I was just starting to play guitar and write songs. We started jamming together, playing basketball and hanging out, just being kids. I met Stu when I was 15, too. When we went in the studio to record a couple of tracks, he played guitar on them. We all ended up coming together through the last four or five years.
MTV: Talk about your debut single, "Hanging By A Moment." [RealAudio] It's a great song.
Wade: I was eight songs into finishing the record, doing a vocal, and I heard the melody in my head before it was written. I couldn't tell if it was a song on the radio that I had heard or if it was a song my friend wrote or something. I picked up a guitar and it was kind of creepy, because the song was almost already written by itself. Within five minutes, the lyrics and everything else were finished. We tracked it the next week and it ended up being the first single. It was funny, because I felt there was another song that needed to be written during the project that was more upbeat and less moody. [RealVideo]
MTV: Do you remember the first time you heard the song on the radio?
Wade: It was in Jacksonville. We were at a truck stop going to the bathroom. We got back in the car and we heard it, but we're like, "It's just the CD playing." And then we saw the numbers of the radio station on the dial. So we stopped and did the whole movie thing where you run around the car and get all excited. [laughs]
MTV: Tell us about the video for "Hanging By A Moment." [RealVideo]
Wade: We shot the video at this really cool place in Crenshaw, in L.A., that was a bowling alley upstairs and a roller rink downstairs. It had this really weird, retro vibe to it. When they were setting up the different sets, we'd have to stop every 10 seconds because a bowling league would walk in. [laughs] It was the coolest thing. At night, we got all of our friends to come down.
MTV: How's the touring going?
Wade: It's going really good. We've been out with Pearl Jam in the last couple of months. And now we're doing all these radio festivals. It's been really cool.
MTV: How has the crowd been responding to you guys?
Wade: Really well, I think. Every crowd is different. With our single kind of picking up, in some places a lot of people know who we are, and some places have no idea who we are. We just get up and bring what we do to the crowd, and people are really responding to it.
Stuart Mathis: Yeah, we played with SR-71 and Nickelback, from Canada. It's cool to see a bunch of great bands and kind of learn from them and hang out. Every band we've met we've ended up hanging out with, except for Pearl Jam.
Wade: They're busy. All those guys are really cool. It's funny to see the people that are in the same place that we are, that are starting to take off. Everyone's following each other on the charts, so we're big fans of theirs and they're fans of us. It's kind of weird.
MTV: What was it like going on the road with Pearl Jam?
Sergio Andrade: They were great live. They were an inspiration for all of us to get our act together and become better.
Mathis: Eddie Vedder's so captivating, without really doing a lot onstage. He just pulls you in. That was really cool to see.
Wade: Since it's our first tour, getting to play in front of like 900 people and then getting to go watch their show in front of 20,000 people every night for two months really helped us grow a lot. [RealVideo]
MTV: How do you approach your live performances?
Wade: On the record, there's a couple tracks that are more mellow, with acoustic guitars and stuff. But in our live show, we've been trying to keep it really up-tempo. It's gotten a lot rockier than on the record. We try to step it up with the guitars, getting them crunchier and picking the tempos up to draw the crowd in more. So the live show's a little more energetic than the record.
MTV: You also could strip the songs down acoustically. Do you guys ever do that live?
Wade: We haven't yet. The sets we've been playing are 30 to 45 minutes, so we've been trying to keep it just to the record. But eventually, when we start doing our own shows, I want to start breaking stuff down to acoustic. It's really easy for us to do that, 'cause when I write the songs I start off on acoustic guitar. Then when I bring it to the band, it turns more into a rock show. But as long as it's a good song, you can always strip it back down to an acoustic guitar and it will sound OK. That's our whole vibe: We could go up and play a rock show, or we could strip it down to acoustic guitar and it's still true to the song.
Mysterious lyrics, the influence of karate and rock's latest comeback ... NEXT>>